Letters to the Editor

Published 4:53 am Saturday, March 15, 2003

By Staff
To the Editor:
I am writing my first letter to the editor in regards to Mrs. Del Stutzman's letter, dated March 5.
Mrs. Stutzman was outraged at the fact that the Beaufort County commissioners spent $3,930 to fund the trip to Washington, D.C., for the anti-OLF group, he also stated that less than 1 percent of Beaufort County residents are opposed to the OLF? I would love to know where this figure comes from. I, myself, a 26-year-old, have educated many Beaufort County residents on the OLF and its impacts. Some of them don't even know what the OLF stands for.
I would like to give to Mrs. Stutzman, and any other citizen opposed to the OLF a few facts. If the OLF is placed in any of the five proposed Eastern Carolina sites, it will impact the farming in this area tremendously. The Washington County site, in particular, is clear land, no trees, and the majority of it is used for farming. This is some of the best farming land in Eastern Carolina, if not the state. This is one of the main reasons why the Washington County site is preferred. Now, Mrs. Stutzman, think of how that trickle down effect will be if the farmers cannot farm. There are dozens of businesses in Washington that conduct business with farmers in that area. If they can't farm, then what about the farm machinery business? All the parts stores' business? Not to mention the men who have farmed all their lives and know nothing else? And yes, if the OLF comes to any of our five Eastern Carolina sites, any farming land within a 50 square mile radius will be affected. The Navy will have the say if the farmers can farm on the land that the farmers own. How fair is that? Not at all!
Also, the Defense Department closing bases and you speculate that they will close ones in Eastern Carolina? That is very doubtful. We have the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast at Camp Lejeune, and the other two military bases are always growing. They all serve a very valid purpose in the military's existence.
I plead with any citizen reading this to write our senators and oppose the OLF. The impacts to our county, and the ones surrounding it, will not be worth the benefits the OLF claims. It would actually provide less than 50 jobs to the county where it is placed. It would definitely drop property values. Compound the fact that it would disturb the citizens', and our children's sleep approximately 26 percent of the time? I don't see that it's worth our investment.
P.S. – I would like for the public to know that I am not against the military. I was married to a Marine in the past and saw the benefit that the military provides. Also, my parents will be less than one mile from the proposed site in Washington County.
To the Editor:
This letter is in response to one sent by Ann Cherry:
I actually do agree with you on one point … No One should have to be a human shield for noise. I was fortunate enough to have been able to make that choice when I built my home on Blounts Creek. I am sure there are many who live next to military bases who are not in the service … and because of jobs, family, or roots are tied to those areas … some by choice, others by circumstance. Call me quirky, but jet noise and pollution are bothersome to me … and I'll lay odds I'm not the only one bothered by those prospects.
It's not all about noise either. If you had educated yourself by reading the DEIS, you might have read that an additional OLF is not necessary for the training of the Super Hornets … NAS Oceana and NALF Fentress meet all the training requirements for these squadrons, as so stated by the Navy themselves!. What it is about is noise mitigation from Virginia. Call me "hypersensitive" to military noise, but if I had wanted to be next to it, I would have moved to Virginia Beach in the first place.
People who move to this area are in search of an "endangered species" … peace, quiet, and a pristine environment. In settling here, we have brought and will continue to bring the need for service and retail oriented jobs, thereby helping to boost Beaufort County's economy. If an OLF comes, we and others will leave in search of our "demand" for peace, quiet, and clean air … and when we do Ann, we'll leave you with our share of the taxes! And no one will come in our place, because no one would willingly move to an area such as this if its main attraction is jet noise and pollution … and then those jobs created by our needs will dwindle, further sinking the local economy.
I pray each night for world peace. I doubt that I'll ever see it in my lifetime but it gives me great solace when I come home to my "quiet corner of the world" on Blounts Creek … a "legacy of peace" I had hoped to pass on to my children.
Ann, if you care to really debate this issue with facts, I encourage you to attend a COOLS meeting. I would only be too happy to share with you our knowledge on this issue.
To the Editor:
A longtime supporter of Boys &Girls Clubs, Secretary of State Colin Powell has called on clubs to support the children of deployed military personnel. Boys &Girls Clubs of Beaufort County has answered the call.
To respond to the Secretary's urgent request, Boys &Girls Clubs of Beaufort County is offering free membership for youth in military families.
As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell oversaw Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. At that time, the Boys &Girls Club partnership with the U.S. military began, with local Clubs providing memberships and special programming to 17,000 children of deployed Reservists and National Guard members. Since then, Boys &Girls Clubs of America has formed formal partnerships with military. Youth Centers on more than 350 military bases worldwide, serving some 400,000 young people.
A letter from Secretary Powell was sent to the entire Boys &Girls Club movement. It is testimony to the power of Boys &Girls Clubs – and to their potential. Secretary Powell rightly points out that Clubs have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to serve all youth, particularly from military families, at this critical time.
Secretary Powell believes, as do we, that Club programs allow young people to overcome the fiercest obstacles. This is why he has taken the time, despite tremendous responsibilities, to urge us to reach children of deployed military personnel.
The Boys &Girls Clubs of Beaufort County have been serving the youth of Washington, Chocowinity, Blounts Creek, Belhaven, Pantego, and Terra Ceia for 11 years. We are proud to join Secretary Powell in urging support for military families at this time and in the days ahead.
Executive Director
Board Chairman