Guemes Island Environmental Trust:

As Time Goes By

July 1988
In response to complaints from Whidbey and Fidalgo islands, Navy places radar point at Cap Sante and instructs its ground-controlled approach (GCA) [A-6] flights to fly north of it, out over Guemes.
November 1988
Flights average 20 to 60 a day. Peak decibels are in the high 90s because the Navy is flying "dirty" (flaps & gear down, throttle up).
December 1988
Guemes residents organize in opposition as they discover Guemes has become the Navy's solution to noise complaints from Fidalgo Islanders.
January 1989
The Navy finally stops misleading residents and admits that its decision in July was deliberate.
February 1989
Meeting on Guemes with Commander Steve Smith. "When the decision was made to put that (radar) point on Anacortes and turn everybody north of it, nobody really stopped to say, 'Look, what impact is that going to have (on Guemes)?"'
February 1989
The Environmental Trust is organized.
March 1989
Representatives of the Navy admit the decision to overfly Guemes was poor because the Navy reacted to rising complaints from Fidalgo without giving thought to the impact to Guemes Islanders and because it focuses the noise on one small place and one specific population.
March 1989
The Navy decides to include Guemes and Fidalgo islands in its recently launched environmental impact study. The Guemes Island Environmental Trust brings islanders' concerns to the EIS scoping hearings.
April 1989
By now all of our elected representatives have expressed their condolences and their impotence in dealing with a federal agency.
May 1989
Prevailing winds turn in our favor. Lower numbers of aircraft are expected until the winds shift again in the fall.
July 1989
A-6 crashes on take-off at San Diego.
August 1989
A-6 crashes at NAS Whidbey.
October 1989
Guemes property owners file their property taxes under protest. County mute.
October 1989
Prevailing winds shift again: They're back!
November 1989
A third A-6 this year crashes nearby.
December 1989
Commissioners are still speechless.
December 1989
Navy responds to GIPOA: We're the Navy and we can fly wherever we damn well please.
January 1990
A-6 crashes on take-off at Whidbey.
January 1990
Trust retains Seattle attorney.
February 1990
At meeting with new Whidbey commander, Navy agrees to train Guemes fire department for disaster.
March 1990
Navy makes "serious mistake" bombing Orcas Island with re-fueling device.
April 1, 1990
Skagit Commissioners still mute.

- Spring 1990

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