Submitted by Kip Greenthal
Quiet Skies Over San Juan County
Quiet Skies Over San Juan County introduces the Sound Defense Alliance to the Lopez community on Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m. at the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts. Two SDA members, Larry Morrell and Maryon Attwood, will speak on the expansion of the Growler jet operations at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
This decision by the Department of Defense, made public in early March, has alarmed residents of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Anacortes, Whidbey and San Juan islands. SDA, formed in 2018, has grown to more than 20 member and affiliate groups throughout the region and includes 25,000 individuals. SDA aims to protect communities and the environment from the harmful and unnecessary impacts of military activity around Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. Quiet Skies, a group of local citizens opposed to the addition of Growler jets to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, is an SDA member.
Attwood and Morrell will provide an update on the anti-Growler campaign and ways to become involved. Both possess extensive experience and expertise on the issues surrounding the Growler expansion and other encroachments by the military.
Attwood, SDA chair and founding member of Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve, helped initiate the 2013 lawsuit that forced the Navy to file an Environmental Impact Statement for the Growlers. Attwood, a resident of Coupeville, owns and operates Cook on Clay, LLC, which designs and manufactures ceramic cookware sold nationally.
Morrell, a resident of Port Townsend, is an active member of SDA and Save the Olympic Peninsula. He is a retired high-tech executive with 37 years in the semiconductor industry, a Vietnam-era Army veteran and a former Navy reservist. Morrell is also a member of the Sustainable Economy Collaborative that published economist Michael Shuman’s report, “Invisible Costs: The $122 Million Dollar Price Tag of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.” Morrell is a member of the Citizens’ Advisory Panel for the development of the Washington State Guidebook for Military and Community Compatibility, to be published in 2019 by the Washington Department of Commerce. He is a licensed private pilot and ham radio operator.
SDA seeks to maintain a sustainable balance between the roles and responsibilities of the military and civilian authorities in Washington; accordingly, Morrell and Attwood have testified on bills submitted by the Washington Military Alliance to the Washington state Legislature.
The Lopez community has an opportunity to learn more about this timely and challenging issue. Light refreshments will be available. For more about the #NoNewJetsNoNewFlights campaign and SDA, visit sounddefensealliance.org, https://facebook.com/SoundDefenseAlliance.