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Letters and Opinions

April 4, 2002 - 

Last night 4/4 the superhornets were quiet, but the Navy found yet another way to totally disturb the little peace that exists.  Now it seems they have decided to fly E4 aircraft in a pattern over Chesopeian Colony hour after hour, plane after plane.  I called them twice to complain.  This has never happened before.  Our situation is steadily deteriorating.    C. Delfaus
April 3, 2002

For  the record, ---  today Wednesday April 3rd at 4:50 p.m.  I noted an F-18 conducting a very aggressive airshow session.  The plane was at high speed and very low (less than 500 feet) altitude a couple of times over the Linlier - Friends School, Hilltop area.  Clearly these are not isolated occurrences.  It seems fairly certain that they now intend to continue the airshow flying at Oceana on a regular basis.  Makes those commissions seem sort of superfluous doesn't it.  H. Stokely

March 19, 2002 - Jet Noise at Hilltop 10:25 pm

 I just left the McDonalds, Hilltop. The jet noise was so loud they cut off the drive up ordering.   P. Durham
March 20, 2002

 While shopping at Hilltop last night (the Jet noise was pretty bad), I was amazed at the working and shopping conditions. Office Depot is built like a metal hanger, with absolutely no insulation. Kroger (ex-Hannafords) is the same type of construction. It makes me wonder, if they were mislead when they decided to open those businesses at those locations, and without SOUNDPROOFING to compensate for the EXCESSIVE noise from the nearby Jet Base. 

 When I went to the KFC at Hilltop, the drive thru attendant, couldn't "conduct business", when the planes were flying over. If we have known about the current noise concerns, and about the potential for even louder noise concerns for a few years, then those Businesses, should have had that information FULLY & ACCURATELY disclosed to them, before they signed  contracts to move in.

 I would think that the CORPORATE offices for Office Depot, KFC and Kroger would want the safest and most comfortable conditions for their employees and their customers. And they have no idea how much worse it may become.                                         B. Messner

Letter to COMATDV - March, 2002
Commander, Atlantic Division
Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Attention: Mr. Fred Pierson, Code BD32FP
1510 Gilbert Street
, Norfolk, VA 23511-2699

Dear Commander:

It is 1:45 p.m. (1345 hours), and I am hard at work in my home office. I have been waiting since early this morning to find a time when I can make some important phone calls. You see, I live in Shadowlawn, and the jets have been flying noisily and persistently for hours, and I am unable to hear the person on the other end of the line.

It is a beautiful, clear day with temperatures in the 70s. I cannot open my windows because of the jet noise; I cannot work outside in the garden because of the jet noise; I cannot watch television because of the jet noise. All of these things I have forfeited -- not just today, but on many occasions -- feeling I am demonstrating my patriotism by not complaining; as clearly as the flag flying proudly from my front porch.

But I am frustrated, and apparently I need your help. There are so many times I am sitting in my own home and have to clasp my hands over my ears because of the unbelievable level of noise; there are many nights I am unable to fall asleep for the same reason. My quality of life is greatly diminished, and although I love my home very much, I am, sadly, seriously considering moving to a different area.

One thing is for sure: if the new Super Hornets are two to four times louder than the aircraft flying overhead now, this entire area will be a ghost town – nobody will be able to tolerate that level of noise disturbance. It will be a danger to our health as well, and I do not believe we can all walk around with ear plugs all the time to protect our precious hearing from the effects of extreme noise.

I have tried to be an uncomplaining neighbor to the Navy for nine years; I am begging you to restore some peace and quality of life to me and my neighbors in our otherwise wonderful community. If you can’t accomplish that request, can you let me know when I will be able to use my phone? Thank you so much for your help.

Respectfully,  Nancy Darling

Letter to Senators etc. Subject: Operations at NAS Oceana and NALF Fentress - January , 2002.

Honorable United States Senators and Congressman,

 I write to you as a Board member of CCAJN [Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise], an organization of approximately 5500 members in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake formed four years ago by those with mutual concerns about noise and safety as it then related to the transfer of Hornets from Cecil Field to Oceana. Since then our numbers have and are growing and we now concern ourselves not only with current operations but also the possible siting here of the Super Hornets. In connection with our efforts to support the Navy and at the same time to have our skies become quieter and safer without adversely effecting military preparedness, we would appreciate your support. We applaud and congratulate the Navy for its beneficial impacts resulting in the successes in the War On Terrorism as well as past and anticipated future victorious battles and missions. all at a price paid and to be paid by all of us. Yet we believe that more can be done reasonably to alleviate the legitimate concerns and eardrums of thousands of residents of this area. Therefore would you please advise us what you are doing and have done to help mitigate the adverse impacts of pollution [ noise and air] and accident risk associated with military jet plane operations in this densely populated area. We also ask that you let us have your answers to the following questions: 

1.  Inasmuch as the Navy has acknowledged that the establishment of a second, more remote outlying field (in addition to NALF Fentress) is a critical component of any meaningful solution to mitigating the adverse impacts of high noise levels and increased accident risk caused by the local operation of jet aircraft based at NAS Oceana, do you support an expedited effort to establish such a field?  Further, would you support a decision to site most or all the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets at NAS Oceana if such a field were NOT an integral part of that decision? Would you support such a field even if no Super Hornets were sited here? 

2.  The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected to include scenarios that site a few squadrons of F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets at MCAS Cherry Point, with the majority of East Coast Super Hornet aircraft being sited at NAS Oceana.  If such a split-siting scenario is determined to measurably improve the existing noise and accident risk environment within Virginia Beach and Chesapeake while accommodating "real and manageable" Navy mission readiness and training requisites, and with virtually no economic penalty to the Hampton Roads area - would you support it?

In an effort to keep our membership and others apprised, a copy of this is going to them. As we intend to report further to them in detail in ten days as to your present and past actions in this area, we should appreciate your responses as soon as possible. Thank you 

Allan R. Johnson 

January 19, 2002 - Response to a Virginia Pilot Editorial of 9/10/01

Response to Letters of 27 January 2002 

Re: “CCAJN Proposal doesn’t fly with everyone” (letters, Jan 27) By Ronald Pearson, Tom McGowan, John Stalling, and Tammy Cook”. 

It would be instructive for all of us to reread the 9/10/01 Pilot front page.  It now seems like a millienium ago but the mood of those pre-war times was that we should closely examine the Jet Noise Issue in Virginia Beach. I quote from that article: 

“ One-third of Virginia Beaches 425,000 residents now live in neighborhoods where military jet noise is so high that the Federal Aviation Administration considers the land incompatible for HOMES, SCHOOLS, and HOSPITALS.”

“More than 23,000 Beach residents live on property where the Navy knows that military jet crashes are more than likely to occur”

 The Jet  Noise, pollution and accident risk to ten of thousands of American Citizens must be carefully analyzed.  Letters that tend to marginalize this serious risk add nothing to the solution equation.  This is especially true when the letters propose no meaningful solution to the fact that today more than 139,000 Virginia Beach citizens and 23 schools are in high noise areas. (46,000 higher than 75 dB. 45,000 70 to 75 dB. 48,000 65 to 70 dB). If your family is one of the thousands who live in the high noise areas no one has to explain to you or your children how loud the noise can be.  If you live outside of the noise contours, it is difficult to comprehend how loud it is.

  The high Jet Noise must be addressed.  CCAJN has proposed a comprehensive solution to this problem. Two major points of the comprehensive mitigation plan are as follows.

           1. Move 6 to 8 of the new Super Hornet Squadrons to MSC Cherry Point NC.

.           2. Encourage the Navy to carry out their plans to build a new landing field somewhere             

between Cherry Point and NAS Oceana. This new field will absorb the impact of thousands of high noise, high risk practice carrier landings. 

 These two actions will go a long way towards satisfying most of the Navy and Citizens’ concerns. 

T. H. Askins

Letter to Senators Warner and Allen, Congressman Schrock & Congressman Randy Forbes.

Subject: Operations at NAS Oceana and NALF Fentress  

Honorable United States Senators and Congressman,

I write to you as a Board member of CCAJN [ Citizens Concerned About Jet Noise ], an organization of approximately 5500 members in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake formed four years ago by those with mutual concerns about noise and safety as it then related to the transfer of Hornets from Cecil Field to Oceana. Since then our numbers have and are growing and we now concern ourselves not only with current operations but also the possible siting here of the Super Hornets. In connection with our efforts to support the Navy and at the same time to have our skies become quieter and safer without adversely effecting military preparedness, we would appreciate your support. We applaud and congratulate the Navy for its beneficial impacts resulting in the successes in the War On Terrorism as well as past and anticipated future victorious battles and missions. all at a price paid and to be paid by all of us. Yet we believe that more can be done reasonably to alleviate the legitimate concerns and eardrums of thousands of residents of this area. Therefore would you please advise us what you are doing and have done to help mitigate the adverse impacts of pollution [ noise and air] and accident risk associated with military jet plane operations in this densely populated area. We also ask that you let us have your answers to the following questions: 

1.  Inasmuch as the Navy has acknowledged that the establishment of a second, more remote outlying field (in addition to NALF Fentress) is a critical component of any meaningful solution to mitigating the adverse impacts of high noise levels and increased accident risk caused by the local operation of jet aircraft based at NAS Oceana, do you support an expedited effort to establish such a field?  Further, would you support a decision to site most or all the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets at NAS Oceana if such a field were NOT an integral part of that decision? Would you support such a field even if no Super Hornets were sited here?

2.  The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected to include scenarios that site a few squadrons of F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets at MCAS Cherry Point, with the majority of East Coast Super Hornet aircraft being sited at NAS Oceana.  If such a split-siting scenario is determined to measurably improve the existing noise and accident risk environment within Virginia Beach and Chesapeake while accommodating "real and manageable" Navy mission readiness and training requisites, and with virtually no economic penalty to the Hampton Roads area - would you support it?

In an effort to keep our membership and others apprised, a copy of this is going to them. As we intend to report further to them in detail in ten days as to your present and past actions in this area, we should appreciate your responses as soon as possible. Thank you                                    Allan R. Johnson

Letter from former Resident - May, 2001

A former Virginia Beach neighbor emailed me about the jet noise litigation and I wanted to respond to this action.  First of all, RIGHT ON to all who are fighting this business.  After 25 wonderful years in Va. Beach (moved from Detroit), always living near the water, I had to pack it up.  I moved in August, 2000 to the Farmville area of Virginia. 

In fact, my roommate and I both moved.  What Va. Beach lost were two Special Education teachers with Master's Degrees who were law abiding, peaceful, contributing members of the community.  We lived on Arctic Crescent (near Star of the Sea church) and thought we were going to go crazy if we heard another jet.  Since we are teachers, we go to bed early and get up early - as you are well aware, the jets are just getting wound up at 8 or 9 p.m. and they started back up around 4:30 or 5 (regardless of what the newspaper schedules indicated.  I have very fond memories of the Beach and, from time to time, think about the possibility of moving back.  Then I go to visit and hear that miserable noise and remember very clearly why I left              Joan Kruzicki