Comment and Debate: Readers sound off in the F-35 debate | Burlington Free Press

We deserve better than F-35

The F-35s should not be housed in South Burlington. And yes, I am in the “noise zone.” In fact, the F-35s should not be housed anywhere in the U.S. Truth be told, Congress fell sway to the Lockheed Martin lobbyists and have funded about $1.3 trillion to make the ill-designed F-35 a reality.

It’s supposed to be good in air-to-air combat, in bombing capacity and in ground support. The F-35 has failed to perform well in these three areas.

What can it do? It can continue to waste our tax dollars. Shame on our senators and representative for supporting such a money-draining project as the F-35. Our troops and this country deserve better.

ANNA K. JOHNSTON
South Burlington

F-35s mean security and jobs

I have listened to the banter about the noise levels of the planned F-35 aircraft and I’m appalled by the willingness of some people to abandon our local and national security for a slight rise in noise.

I was stationed on an aircraft carrier and slept under the flight deck. Strange thing was, we got used to the noise.
I listen to the F-16 take off every day and say to myself how proud I am that our Green Mountain Boys are out there protecting us. And I think about them upgrading to the F-35s and what the men and women of the Green Mountain Boys bring to our community — jobs for hundreds of our local residents, not to mention a sense of security. They are considered some of the countries best pilots, not only protecting our homeland, but deploying to cover our objectives and men and women overseas.

Burlington Airport and the Green Mountain Boys also host training sessions with the Canadian Air Force and our Navy pilots flying F-18s. The F-35s have the capability of being louder, but as I understand it they won’t need to use the afterburners during takeoff as the F-16s do.

When the Navy F-18s are flying in and out of the airport I don’t hear complaints of their noise. For those who have bought homes around the airport or in the flight paths, maybe you should have taken off your earmuffs when you were looking to buy. Let’s support the F-35s and let them do their jobs protecting us.

RICHARD ROWDEN
Burlington

Compromising quality of life

If we wanted to trash our environment for some vaguely promised financial gain, the F-35 siting in South Burlington would be a great way to do it. The Vermont quality of life is high because again and again over the years we have refused to compromise that quality — air/water/sound/commercial endeavors — in the pursuit of some supposed economic advantage.

A fascinating image from the publicized trip south a couple of months ago by the government and business brass to view the F-35s was the photo of Gov. Shumlin watching the planes rev up to take off — he was wearing ear protection! You think maybe he wanted to save his hearing?

F-35 positioning here would seriously compromise the quality of life in destroying our sound quality, essentially making the area unfit for human/animal life. If we cared nothing for our state, we could have traded our pristine lakes and mountains and skies for cash payments and a few jobs years ago. That we refused is the reason we now enjoy our current lifestyle quality.

Maybe the screaming engine people would find contentment in Daytona? Indianapolis? LasVegas? Sturgis?

MAURTY K. KOST
Colchester

No F-35s in residential neighborhoods

The congressional delegation and business community’s stalwart support for the F-35s — and disregard for the voices of the residents who don’t want this plane disrupting our neighborhood — is disheartening at best.

Make no mistake about it; this is an environmental justice issue with differential impact by neighborhood socio-economics. Ponder, for a moment, how the dialogue would emerge if the planned site for the F-35s was in south South Burlington, perhaps near the country club golf course. My sense is that such a thing would not be considered. Homeowners would not tolerate the potential threat to their neighborhoods and the business community would be right with them.

East South Burlington and Winooski neighborhoods are apparently more expendable. Equally disconcerting is how the pro “facts” fold into misrepresentation — the use of 2000 census data rather than 2010 to assess resident impact and the Air Force’s mistake in presenting the actual level of community support as just two examples.

The further industrialization of our neighborhood is not acceptable. The suggestion that this view is anti-military or anti-business is, quite frankly, insulting. There is nothing more patriotic than individuals wanting to preserve the sanctity of their homes, families and neighborhoods, and nothing more pro-business than happy residents.

BETTY RAMBUR
South Burlington

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