N&O to US Navy: You Stacked the Deck

Here's to the editorial writers at the N&O today. They've come out loud and clear in condemning the sham that the US Navy calls a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. I for one am happy to give them all the credit in the world for this strong editorial.

The U.S. Navy justified its decision to build a practice landing field for jet fighters close to a North Carolina haven for large migratory birds on the basis of an environmental study found deficient by the federal courts. So, the courts told the Navy to take another look. But its supplemental study turns out to be little more than a warmed-over rationale for why a site near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is just fine. That conclusion remains unconvincing.

The Navy's full-speed ahead attitude might be understandable if its preferred site in Washington and Beaufort counties, south of Plymouth, was the only conceivable one in North Carolina. It's not, as Governor Easley reminded Congress in a letter he sent soon after the draft study was released. But even though the Navy insists that no final decision has been made, which is technically accurate, it still seems unwilling to seriously consider plausible alternatives.

That's as good an overview of this whole sorry situation as you'll ever find. It cuts to the chase with no varnishing or equivocating.

The new report is over 400 pages, with environmental and economic analysis for five proposed OLF sites. But it fails to adequately explain why the Washington-Beaufort site (Site C in the study) is preferred.


The report minimizes the risk of dangerous aircraft-bird collisions, provided that a suitable management plan were in place to deter birds from foraging on the site. Perhaps that judgment is correct, but the management plan would not be painless. It would include restrictions on crops normally grown in the area that are attractive to birds, such as corn and winter wheat. How large an area would be affected is unclear, but it could be upwards of 24,000 acres. Then, the geese and swans would have to change their forage patterns.

And by the way, there's only one paid hack for the Navy who even remotely thinks the geese and swan would be all that likely to change. If you've been out to the site, you know the sky is filled with birds the size of dogs stretched out for miles and miles across the horizon. A jet flying low at 200 miles an hour would find it impossible to navigate the crowded skies. That's what the US Air Force bird strike experts say, anyway. And they have a whole program dedicated to understanding these risks.

None of the other sites previously identified as worth studying is perfect. But some of them raise fewer troubling issues. For example, about 900 acres of wetlands could be affected at Site E in Craven County, but that seemingly is the site's only major drawback. What makes the Washington/Beaufort site so much more attractive to the Navy, other than the fact that it already has bought land there?

Even while the supplemental study was being prepared, following a ruling by U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle that was upheld by a federal appeals court, the Navy continued land purchases at Site C. The follow-up report does contain more information about environmental impacts at that site, but frankly, it still looks as though Navy minds were made up.

That about says it all. The Navy spend $3.5 million in taxpayer money building a fantasy story about Site C without looking seriously at realistic alternatives. Meanwhile, they've been pushing hard to acquire more land, digging themselves farther and farther into a hole with each new turn of their lying scheme.

If there were any justice in the world, Senators Dole and Burr would get off their asses and shut this deal down. But we already know they won't. We already know they're both representing Virginia voters instead of the people who elected them here in North Carolina. We already know that Republicans in the Party of Greed would sell out our state to curry favor with the chickenhawks in the Bush administration and a bunch of fat-cat admirals who would just as soon lie as look at you.

Good for the News and Observer for calling this one straight.


One of our lurker readers

sent me this great idea for a bumpersticker today. The colors it came in we're hard to read online, so I've adjusted thing to make it easier on the eyes. (If anyone with design skills wants to really make this beautiful, have at it.)

I just LOVE this idea.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I absolutely love that graphic

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm hearing more and more people talk about this travesty

If it weren't for the NO OLF people and YOU beating those drums, the Navy would have just gotten their way. Shame on you for making them spend over $3 million taxpayers dollars...shame!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Why can I read a title

BlueNC High Impact - Nov 7, but not read the post?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

I don't know

SD is developing a new entry that she's still developing . . . not yet ready to post in other words. And somehow the title is showing up. Weird.

Of course it's also weird that I can't get to the track-changes page either.

There must be gremlins in the Tubes!




Now that was a fun belly laugh

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


roflmao! That whole Patty thread ... how did I miss it? Nice, y'all. heheheheheh 8-D

Ok... thus begins my weekend. Yabbadabba!! Time to sign off and head down the road. I get to make 16 quarts of chili tonight for a fundraiser. woohooooo!!!

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I truely love the

support the N&O is doing for the NO OLF movement. They are keeping this thing in the forefront and hopefully, our legislators are reading this paper.

The only concern I have with the N&O is they have not come on board with the fact that this second OLF is not needed.

The only thing I would suggest to the N&O is to indicate that while this OLF will have a huge impact on the bird habitat of Washington County, the other sites will also be impacted in a similar fashion. By dividing us even inadvertenly, the Navy is getting footholds in our defenses. All 5 sites do not want this OLF. All 5 sites will be impacted. All 5 sites are potentially eligable for getting this OLF. Currently, Washington/Beaufort County site is the record of decision of choice, and until an new record of decision is promulgated, it cannot be changed.

How ever, in the DSEIS, the Navy actually placed the NO ACTION site on the table. That is the most prefered site for EVERYONE in North Carolina. That option should be the number one option of the state of North Carolina.

With Gov. Easley requesting that our congressional representitives defund this project, he has actually stated that the NO ACTION alternative IS the option of choice for North Carolina. An excellent choice Gov. Easley!

Why not Cherry Point?

Why not locate the whole shootin' match at Cherry Point? What am I missing? The fact that Navy pilots don't like to hang around grunts? What is the reason this whole business shouldn't be absolutely consolidated at Cherry Point?

Let's go after the whole mess.

Hey Walter Jones: This would make you a rock star. Change the tide, dude. Get those Hornets into Onslow County. All of 'em.

I Wish -

We had all the supporting documents in one place (so I wouldn't have to open so many windows)- LOL

Governor Easley's letter was great and so was Senator Pro Tem Basnight's.

I especially like this part:

"I have discussed with many of you personally the possibility of considering other more feasible locations in North Carolina, a parallel runway at Cherry Point, and even an offshore platform. Yet the Navy has declined all these
alternatives without due justification
, while continuing to promote Site C despite significant evidence that it is not a safe or beneficial location."

How's this?

can we add that

to the cafe press?

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Of course

have at it

Very excellent!

Would be a good t-shirt to wear to her office for a visit, no?

you wear

a t-shirt with that on it anywhere near her office and you wnt get an audience with her.

Just walking into her office with that would cause her staff to to go into cardiac arrest! The death of those workers would be on your hands....dont do it!