Good neighbors

Published 3:40 am Saturday, September 29, 2007

By Staff
It’s time to help two neighbors to the north.
Gates and Camden counties each have two alternative outlying landing field sites being considered by the Navy to provide a potential replacement for its preferred Site C outlying landing field in Washington and Beaufort counties.
Washington and Beaufort counties know something about proposed outlying landing field sites.
The Navy is considering six alternative outlying landing field sites in North Carolina. In addition to the two sites in Gates County and the two sites in Camden County, the Navy is looking at sites in the southeastern segment of the state. One of the remaining sites is the Angola Bay gameland on the border of Duplin and Pender counties. The other remaining site is Hoffman Forest, which is state-owned land on the border of Jones and Onslow counties.
North Carolinians Opposed to an Outlying Landing Field, with many of its members residents of Washington and Beaufort counties, are supporting Gates County folks and Camden County folks who oppose an OLF coming to their counties. That support should not come as a surprise.
In 2004, Gates and Camden counties approved resolutions “on our behalf to protect our interests,” reads a statement released earlier this week by North Carolinians Opposed to an Outlying Landing Field. Washington County residents and Beaufort County residents opposed to an OLF at Site C understand part of the foundation of support they have received in the past several years comes from people elsewhere in the state.
NO OLF member Myra Beasley, in the statement, had this to say: “We have been fighting for years to protect ourselves, and we are so grateful to all the people who have stood next to us and who have helped us. We feel it is our duty as both patriots and good neighbors to help one another.”
NO OLF, Washington County and Beaufort County should stand next to the people in Gates and Camden counties who oppose an OLF in their counties. It’s a simple as the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you would want them to treat you.
At a NO OLF meeting earlier this week, NO OLF members unanimously approved a resolution aimed at helping residents of Gates and Camden counties. That show of support must bring some comfort and hope to folks in Gates and Camden counties. Those folks have much in common with the folks in Washington and Beaufort counties, including a strong heritage of farms being passed from one generation of a family to the next generation.
Losing their land to make room for an outlying landing field also would be losing a way of life.
It appears that may folks in Gates and Camden counties, if they have not already started, will begin preparations to convince the Navy and others an outlying landing field is not wanted in their counties. In that fight with the Navy, those two counties would do well to listen to and learn from a seasoned “veterans” who have been fighting a similar battle with the Navy for about six or seven years.
NO OLF members and their allies know what it takes to take on the Navy. They’ve done it, and rather successfully.
Now, they are ready to help others who are just beginning to face what they’ve been facing for a long time.
That’s what neighbors do — look out for each other.