By Stewart Ledbetter
March 5, 2018
Burlington voters get their first chance Tuesday to weigh in directly on whether the Pentagon’s new F-35 fighter jets belong at the city-owned airport, an advisory question that continues to generate plenty of heat.
Question 6 was placed on the ballot by a citizen petition drive this winter. It asks whether Burlington city leaders should fornally request the U.S. Air Force cancel the F-35 basing and substitute a less noisy aircraft and mission at the Vermont Air Guard instead.
Save Our Skies, an opposition group, staged a rally Monday outside City Hall.
They quoted from Air Force documents and environmental studies show the F-35 will produce significantly more noise over Vermont’s most densely populated residential neighborhoods that surround the airport compared to the current F-16 jets that fly now.
And that, they argue, risks the health of at least 1,500 children in Winooski and South Burlington.
Dr. John Reuwer, a retiring emergency department physician, said jet noise is no small matter for children.
“(It) causes all sorts of harm to children, primarily — the strongest evidence is cardiovascular risk, that is hardening of the arteries that eventually kills more people than anything else,” Reuwer said.[FULL ARTICLE]