We are writing to refute assertions made by Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christine Cribb in her July 23 letter to the Islands’ Weekly.
1) Asserting that “Jets really do equal jobs” is an inaccurate equation. Jets bring some jobs and lose others. Bed-and-Breakfast reservation cancelations and refunds because of jet noise, farmers with PFOS/PFOA contaminated well-water, potential new businesses who eliminate central and north Whidbey as potential locations for white-collar high-paying jobs, are just some of the job losses. We should be asking “what kinds of jobs do we want?” 2) We are not a “small group of self-interested divisive activists promoting limited special interests over the greater national good.” 3) We are citizens of a regional group deeply concerned about the impact of the Growlers on our health, environment, and economy. 4) We are not citizens “focused more on their property values than the safety of the flight crews.” The issue is that the Navy has not followed the law in conducting their EIS for the Growler expansion. 4) The assertion that “the lawsuit that AG Bob Ferguson filed against the Navy is completely out of touch with the real issues” is in itself a false characterization of the issues. Anyone who thinks that following the law is “completely out of touch” has no business being on a Chamber of Commerce. 5) In using the term “the Sound of Freedom,” Ms. Cribb ignores the negative impact upon citizens of the entire region, stretching from the Olympic Peninsula through Port Angeles to Port Townsend, Anacortes, Camano Island, and the San Juan Islands. We are not “a small but very vocal special interest group” that “the AG is promoting the objectives of…” The AG Bob Ferguson is asking the Navy to follow the law. We, as concerned citizens, should ask no less, for the sake of our community.
Kip & Stanley Greenthal
for Quiet Skies Over San Juan County