Concerned about jet noise? That’s become a huge topic lately, especially in Northwest Florida! If you missed my newsletter last Veteran’s Day then you may not know I grew up a military kid. There were fast, loud military jets flying over my head while I was growing up and it always thrilled me! I can remember swinging on a swing set when I was in 7th grade imagining that I was flying straight up with my afterburners forcing me into my seat. Is there anything we as Americans can be more proud of than our country and the men and women that fight for our freedom? I think not!
Of course freedom comes with a price, and sometimes that price includes listening to loud jets as they repeatedly fly overhead training to defend us. Sometimes the noise from Eglin Air Force Base makes the windows in my house shake; but my heart always swells with pride (and envy) as I know some stud is sitting on top of that flame throwing rocket waiting to take off and conquer the air in a way I could only dream of. It’s more exciting than bull riding on steroids!
Northwest Florida was immensely fortunate to be the recipient of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Training Center as part of the BRAC decision in 2005. Most of us have been eagerly anticipating the huge economic boost provided by the several thousand people moving to our area, the large amount of military construction needed, and the notoriety this move will give our area. However, there are a few that are not at all happy about the JSF coming because of “noise concerns”. The city of Valparaiso has decided to sue the Air Force (twice that I know of) to stop the JSF from coming to our area. Thus far, the lawsuits have slowed the arrival by a couple of years, and have potentially jeopardized the arrival of the JSF at all. Valparaiso cites concern that the jet noise will cause Valparaiso to become a “ghost town”. I believe Valparaiso will become a ghost town faster if there is no jet noise than if there is. Our economy (most notably Valparaiso) has for generations relied on the Air Force and it’s employment.
Last night at the City of Crestview courthouse, Okaloosa county commissioners met to decide what to do with regard to these “ill-advised” lawsuits. You can read about their decisions in the local papers. If you’d like to support the program I know of at least 2 ways you can do so. Come to Uptown Station on the 13th of March between 10 and 2 for BBQ from Chris Hughes (pre-order your $5 BBQ by calling 651-7447 by March 10), and an opportunity to sign your support to a huge billboard, and/or answer the quick poll on Congressman Jeff Miller’s webpage asking “Do you support the Air Force’s decision to locate the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Eglin Air Force Base?” by clicking here. I hope you support the Air Force’s decision. Our local economy needs this program and we need to support the men and women that train and fight for our freedom! I have attached a resolution passed by the Board of Directors of the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce for your review. Today the Federal Government will release plans for use of the Economic Stimulus Plan’s money to bolster the housing industry. I plan to provide details on this plan in next week’s newsletter.
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