Speak up about important issues

I attended a free community screening of the locally-made film, “Plane Truths,” on April 18, in Anacortes. The 30-minute film was of excellent quality with the filmmakers present for a post-screening question-and-answer session.

It centered on the Whidbey Navy Base expansion, which will increase Growler jet flights and takeoff/landing exercises by up to 400 percent in some areas. It presented current concerns about jet noise, water pollution, and the community impact of the pending Navy expansion.

It was distressing to see this fine presentation veer away from a question-and-answer session and turn into a heated debate and near shouting match rather than a civil public discussion. It appeared that some members of the audience attended to use this as a platform for presenting their own views and biases.

This presentation was not intended as a debate or a challenge. It was an offering of factual material for the purpose of public education and information. It featured interviews with local farmers, business owners, politicians and government officials.

This is not an issue of “us” against “them.” Nor is it an issue of anti-Navy sentiment. It is an issue of quality of life in an area that we have chosen to call home. Comments to “move away” are not a viable option for those who have invested their lives here. This is about making greater efforts to be good and understanding neighbors toward others in our communities.

If you are concerned about this issue, are affected by jet noise while walking in the forested lands, gardening, enjoying local parks or the Olympic peninsula, I urge you to speak to your local officials and state representatives. Change will happen if you are silent, and you may not like the outcome.

Ruth LeBrun


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