Doggle That Boon, Fellas: In Which We Revisit The F-35

More money for nothing, as we learn about another glitch with the F-35 strike-fighter program.

landscape_1426089524-181826395It’s been a while since we checked in with the F-35, the new strike-fighter also known as the Flying Swiss Army Knife, and a gigantic lemon from which no lemonade ever can be made. The money pit that is the F-35 program has now grown so deep that it is very possible that some of the money tossed into it is now turning up in Shanghai. The latest glitch finds us in a situation in which the plane won’t be able to carry its state-of-the-art ordnance for another seven years, at least.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a33595/the-f-35-and-the-limits-of-absurdity/

Winooski will join F-35 lawsuit -Burlington Free Press

Elizabeth Murray, Free Press Staff Writer1:11 p.m. EDT April 21, 2015

Applause could be heard throughout the Winooski City Council meeting room Monday after the council unanimously approved the city’s joining as a full party to a lawsuit regarding the U.S. Air Force’s environmental impact statement of F-35 fighter jets.

The decision followed a third heated discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of entering the lawsuit against Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.

As a full party, the city would retain its own lawyer in the lawsuit, forgoing representation by the current plantiffs’ lawyer, James Dumont. The council also approved the expenditure of $7,500 beginning after the meeting. This amount would be capped, and if the city planned on spending more, it would bring that issue back before the public and City Council for discussion.

To date, Mayor Seth Leonard said the city has spent about $4,000 during the F-35 lawsuit research and discussion phase.

“From my perspective, this is the best outcome,” Dumont said outside the meeting. “I’m so happy the city is involved.”

Winooski residents had voted on Town Meeting Day to approve the advisory question that authorized the City Council to enter the lawsuit and spend $7,500 in the process. The council spent three weeks discussing the issue before voting during the third meeting.

Before the vote was taken, former Winooski mayor Michael O’Brien urged the City Council to reconsider.

“I’m concerned about the cost and how deep it’s going to dig into our pockets,” O’Brien said. “The other thing is … we’ve worked hard with the guard to establish relationships and to discuss with them issues about the F-35 concerns that we have. I think we’ve developed a good relationship. The Air Guard will work with us.”

Plaintiffs who filed the case in U.S. District Court say the Air Force failed to provide enough information in the report released in April 2014. At issue is whether the Air Force underestimated the level of noise and its potential impact on health, property values and safety for those in the flight locations.

City Councilors had considered filing a brief in the case to express the city’s support. Councilor Nicole Mace said Monday she felt a brief did not carry as much of a guarantee of success.

The city has passed two resolutions on the issue, first in May 2012 and again in July 2013. City Manager Katherine “Deac” Decarreau said the Vermont Air National Guard has been “exceptional” in providing the city information about the F-35 fighter jet, and the Burlington International Airport is working to complete a noise study to estimate the F-35 impact on the city.

The city joins the Stop the F-35 Coalition and six Chittenden County residents as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Four of the individual plaintiffs are residents of Winooski.

Lawyer Dumont said the deadline for filing a motion in federal court for the city’s entrance into the lawsuit is April 29. Dumont said he expects the city’s lawyer to be contacting him within the next nine days.

Eileen Andreoli, a Winooski resident and party to the lawsuit, said she believes the city made the right decision to join. Andreoli beamed from ear to ear as she and other members of the lawsuit were congratulated by residents as they left the meeting.

“I think it will carry weight when a whole municipality says that they agree this is important for us,” Andreoli said. “It’s been said that Winooski is the conscience of Chittenden County for its efforts to find this truth. We’re a courageous little city.”

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

Editor’s note – The story has been modified to reflect the following clarification: Winooski City Manager Katherine “Deac” Decarreau said the Vermont Air National Guard has been “exceptional” in providing the city information about the F-35 fighter jet, and the Burlington International Airport is working to complete a noise study to estimate the F-35 impact on the city. Her statements were misrepresented in an earlier version of the story.

Contact Elizabeth Murray at 651-4835 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LizMurraySMC.

 

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2015/04/20/winooski-will-join-lawsuit/26105461/

Vote YES on Article Five!

The Air Force Must Obey the Law.

 

  • Air Force data shows the planned F-35 basing makes 2/3 of the housing units in Winooski “unsuitable for residential use.”
  • By unanimous vote, the Winooski City Council adopted a resolution in 2013 saying the Air Force, “…did not adequately address the questions and concerns…” of the council about the impact of the F35 basing.
  • The Air Force failed to comply with the requirements of federal laws in making the basing decision.
  • Vote YES on Article Five to request the City of Winooski join the lawsuit to demand full compliance from the Air Force. The Air Force must obey the law!

A YES vote WILL NOT RAISE your TAXES! 

Article Five is non-binding and advisory ONLY!

Vote YES on Article Five and bring

your voting friends with you to the polls!

 March 3, 2015 – Senior Center, Barlow Street

Documents pertaining to the lawsuit can be found at: www.stopthef35.com

The USAF says homes in the F35 noise impact zone will be considered “unsuitable for residential use”

The Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors now requires a Noise Disclosure Statement on all home sales within the future F35 noise impact zone.

Protect Our Community!

Vote YES! on Article Five

makeoffer

Winooski Residential Properties F-35 Noise Zones

Winooski-65dB-Properties-18F35s-Scenario-1-Horace-Shaw

F-35 in VT: How Blind Patriotism Struck Leaders Blind, Deaf, and Dumb

By William Boardman [May 30, 2014]

In the real world, on 9/11, the Vermont Air National Guard defended nothing against nobody, and managed to provide no real protection for anyone anywhere.  When it mattered most in 2001, our Air Guard was on the ground.

But that’s not the official story.

The official story is framed to make this abject failure to provide any actual defense look like some sort on non-specific heroic saga.  Here’s U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, 74, a Democrat and part-time Vermonter, with his version of the official story in a letter to constituents:

“Vermont’s 158th Fighter Wing [the Air Guard] is of outstanding and proven ability, and in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, scrambled many of their [sic] F-16s in protective missions. For 122 days, the unit provided continuous air patrols over Washington, D.C., and New York City. No Air Force unit did more than the Vermont Guard to reestablish control of our skies after that awful day.”

Read full article:  http://2vr.org/2014/05/30/f-35-in-vt-how-blind-patriotism-struck-leaders-blind-deaf-and-dumb-by-william-boardman/

Open letter to Winooski City Council from George Cross

There are approximately 3,713 residential units in Winooski found in 1,591 buildings. These include single family houses, residences with an extra apartment or two, large apartment complexes, and condos. Over the last few years many of us have struggled with the potential impact on these residences by the basing of the F-35 military jet at the Vermont Air Guard Station located at the Burlington Airport. Currently a group of Winooski citizens combined with our neighbors in surrounding towns have entered into legal actions to prevent this deployment. Why?

The Air Force in its Environmental Impact Statement related to deploying the F-35 here has stated that the F-35 is four times as loud as the F-16 which is the plane currently in use. The EIS also states that the defined 65db DNL noise area around the airport is “not suitable for residential use.” Recently the area real estate association has clarified that agents should provide potential buyers with a disclosure form that indicates when a residence is within the 65db DNL noise zone. It follows, that ethically renters should be told about the potential noise prior to signing a lease.

That is why. But, here is the real problem. About 70{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of those residential units, 2,589 of them, fall in the noise area that the Air Force has defined as “not suitable for residential use.” Stated another way, 70{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the places where Winooski residents now live will be compromised by the F-35.

Thus, the time has come for the Winooski City Council to stand up for the city’s residents by joining the legal actions being taken to prevent this injustice. If you agree, it is suggested that you contact the City Council, the Mayor and the City Manager to register your concern about the deployment of the F-35 at BTV. You can find contact information for all of them at www.winooskivt.org.

To learn more about the F-35 and the many issues surrounding the deployment of the plane in a residential area go to www.stopthef35.com or www.saveourskiesvt.org.

George Cross is a former Winooski State Representative, Interim Winooski City Manager, and Superintendent of the Winooski School District

How Would You Spend 1.4 Trillion Dollars?

Published in Seven Days 10/29/14 (Click to enlarge)how would you spend 1.4 trillion

A Message of Hope

A letter from Col. Rosanne Greco (USAF Ret.)

Dear Friends of Save Our Skies VT:

Many of you have worked so hard for so long to stop the basing of the F-35A in our community. I know many of you are discouraged and disillusioned, and have dropped out of the struggle. But, I am writing today to urge you to come back to help…just for a very short period of time, because we are close to the end of the struggle-one way or the other.

First a little background: I don’t think many of you realize how VERY successful we were. We actually changed the Air Force’s position on basing the F-35 here. Based on the overwhelming number of comments in opposition to the basing, all the opposition noise we made, and the threat of a lawsuit, the AF actually had decided to skip Burlington (on two occasions!). In mid-August 2013, the AF decided to delay making any basing choices for the Air Guard bases. They were going to select an active duty Air Force Base (Hill AFB), and then revisit the Guard base decision in a few years. But, a few weeks later, Leahy made a personal phone call to General Welsh (the four-star General in charge of the AF) telling the General that he would not support this.

Despite this, in mid-October 2013, the AF again decided against Burlington. They were going to select McEntire Air Guard Base in South Carolina! This was mostly because they feared being sued. The Air Force lawyers were very concerned that they could not legally support the rationale for basing the F-35A at Burlington. They were also concerned about what would be made public in legal proceedings. But certain folks convinced the AF leadership that we would not sue. Leahy had told the AF that he had heard from thousands of people who supported the basing, and from only a handful who opposed; and he convinced the AF they had nothing to fear from us.

Despite warnings and objections from the AF lawyers, the AF leadership caved to political demands. Imagine their shock when we did sue them! And, now they are very nervous about our lawsuit.

Our ONLY hope to stop the basing is to continue our lawsuit. And, we DO have hope. Recently, the Air Force backed down TWICE in lawsuits against them by the little city (about 5,000 people) of Valparaiso Florida. If they acquiesced to the folks in Florida, there is reason to believe they will also want to avert our lawsuit by dropping plans to base the F-35A here. We are far more vocal than the residents of Valparaiso. Plus, the AF can now legitimately use our lawsuit as a reason to back off of the basing, and rationalize their decision to Leahy.

BUT…and this is the real reason for this letter…the ONLY way this will happen…. and our only realistic hope of stopping the basing…. is by paying our attorney Jim Dumont’s legal fees. Jim has made great legal arguments, and he has been very generous to us in his fees; but he needs to be paid, or he will have to stop working on our behalf. If that happens, then we have truly lost…and the F-35 will come here and destroy our communities.

You are the people who banded together and through your grassroots efforts convinced the AF to try to avoid Burlington as an F35 basing site. Now, we need to finish the job to eliminate it entirely. And to do that, we must raise money for legal costs…or else all that we have worked for, and sweat and cried over will have been for nothing.

In the larger context of lawsuits, the costs for ours are not very much-due in large part to Jim’s generosity toward us. Nonetheless, it would be beyond sadness to think we lost for lack of a few thousand dollars.

Personally, I have been working this issue for a few years-not because the F-35 basing affects me personally, but because as an elected official, I felt I had an obligation to support the people I represented. I also see this as another example of social injustice in our society.

There is another powerful lesson from history: social justice changes happened mainly because people did not give up the fight!

I hate to give up the fight against something as ethically corrupt as this is…. but, if we don’t raise enough money to pay Jim, it is over. Please help today!

Together we can stop this monster from coming to our neighborhoods. But, it will take money to do it. If we all give according to our ability, it would make a huge difference. Please consider donating what you can: $35 or $70, or $135, $350, $3,500, or more. And please get the word out to others you know who oppose this gross injustice. Our fundraising goal for the end of 2014 is $20,000 and with your help we will continue our fight to protect what we love – our homes and community, our health, and the goodness of Vermont. It’s the right thing to do!

We were incredibly successful in the past. Are you able to help again? Please help us – in these last critical efforts to stop the F-35s!

Sincerely,

Colonel Rosanne Greco, USAF (Ret.)

PS In case you may have forgotten, your donations are tax-deductible. Make checks payable to “Save Our Skies VT/P&JC” and mail it to:
PO Box 191, Winooski, VT 05404 OR donate online at www.SaveOurSkiesVT.org/donate

Protect what you love – Save Vermont – Stop the F35s!

New Data: How Much Does an F-35 Actually Cost?

By Winslow Wheeler
An Air Force F-35A costs $148 million, each.
A Marine Corps F-35B costs $251 million.
A Navy F-35C costs $337 million.
A “generic” F-35 costs $178 million (the average for the three models).
These are production costs only; additional expenses for research, development, test and evaluation are not included.  The dollars are 2015 dollars.
Explanation and elaboration follow.
Find this piece at Medium.com’s War Is Boring at https://medium.com/war-is-boring/how-much-does-an-f-35-actually-cost-21f95d239398 and below.
How Much Does an F-35 Actually Cost?
The F-35 is not just the most expensive warplane ever, it’s the most expensive weapons program ever. But to find out exactly how much a single F-35 costs, we analyzed the newest and most authoritative data.
Here’s how much we’re paying.
A single Air Force F-35A costs a whopping $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs an unbelievable $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a “generic” F-35 costs $178 million.
It gets worse. These are just the production costs. Additional expenses for research, development, test and evaluation are not included. The dollars are 2015 dollars. This data was just released by the Senate Appropriations Committee in its report for the Pentagon’s 2015 appropriations bill.
Except for the possibility that the F-35 Joint Program Office might complain that the F-35A number might be a little too low, these numbers are about as complete, accurate and authoritative as they can be.
Moreover, each of the other defense committees on Capitol Hill agree or-with one exception-think each model will be more expensive. The Pentagon’s numbers for these unit costs-in every case-are higher.
The methodology for calculating these F-35 unit costs is straightforward. Both the president’s budget and each of four congressional defense committees publish the amounts to be authorized or appropriated for each model of the F-35, including the number of aircraft to be bought.
The rest is simple arithmetic: Divide the total dollars for each model by the quantity.
Purchase price
There are just two things F-35 watchers need to be careful about.
First, it’s necessary to add the funding from the previous year’s appropriation act to the procurement money the government allocated for 2015. This is “advance procurement” for 2015 spending, and pays for “long lead” components that take longer to acquire.
Second, we have to add the cost of Navy and Air Force modifications.
For the F-35, these costs are for fixing mistakes already found in the testing process. With the aircraft still in its initial testing, the modification costs to existing aircraft are very low. But the 2015 amounts for modifications are surrogates for what the costs for this year’s buy might be. If anything, this number can be an under-estimate.
The Senate Appropriations Committee sent its report to the printer on July 17, and that data is informed by the latest advice from the Pentagon, which is routinely consulted for the data the committee is working with. The Pentagon is also given an opportunity to appeal to change both data and recommendations.
Accordingly, of the four congressional defense committees, the Senate Appropriations Committee numbers are the most up to date. For the most part, these numbers are also the lowest.
The data from all four defense committees, the Pentagon’s budget request, and the final 2014 appropriations-all for the F-35 program-are in the table at the end of this article. This data is the empirical, real-world costs to buy, but not to test or develop, an F-35 in 2015.
They should be understood to be the actual purchase price for 2015-what the Pentagon will have to pay to have an operative F-35.
It’s very simple, and it’s also not what program advocates want you to think.
In a briefing delivered to reporters on June 9, F-35 developer Lockheed still advertised the cost of airplanes sans engines. Highly respected Aviation Week reported on July 22 that taxpayers put up $98 million for each F-35A in 2013.
In reality, we actually paid $188 million.
Some of these numbers are for the airframe only. In other cases, you get a “flyaway” cost. But in fact, those airplanes are incapable of operative flight. They lack the specialized tools, simulators, logistics computers-and much, much more-to make the airplane useable. They even lack the fuel to fly away.
Rising costs
Here’s another curious fact. The unit costs of the Marines’ short-takeoff, vertical-landing B-model and the Navy’s aircraft-carrier-capable C-model are growing.
The cost of an F-35B grew from $232 million in 2014 to a bulging $251 million by 2015. The cost of the Navy’s F35C grew from $273 million in 2014 to a wallet-busting $337 million by 2015.
The quantity numbers for the F-35B have not changed, remaining at six per year. The number of F-35Cs to be produced has slipped from four to two, but surely learning processes on the F-35 line have not been going so far backward as to explain a 23 percent, $64 million per unit cost increase.
Something else is going on.
That something just might be in the F-35A line. Note the 15 percent decline in the F-35 unit price from 2014: from $174 million to $148 million. The units produced increase from 19 to 26, which Bogdan repeatedly explained will bring cost reductions due to “economy of scale.”
However, is that what’s really occurring in the F-35A line, while F-35B and F-35C costs are ballooning? Should not some of the benefit in F-35A production efficiency also show up on the F-35B and F-35C? Lockheed builds all three on the same assembly line in Fort Worth.
It could be that the F-35B and F-35C are bearing the overheard-or other costs-of the F-35A.
Why else would an F-35B with a stable production rate increase by $19 million per unit, and how else could the cost to build an F-35C-in production for six years-increase by $64 million per unit?
Even those who reject that someone might be cooking the books to make F-35A costs look as good as possible to Congress-and all-important foreign buyers-there should be a consensus that the program needs a comprehensive, fully independent audit.
Surely, an audit will help Congress and Pentagon leadership better understand why F-35B and F-35C prices are going up when they were supposed to be going down-and to ensure there is nothing untoward going on in any part of the program.
The defense world is full of price scams, each of them engineered to come up with the right answer for whoever is doing the talking.
Next time an advocate tells you what the current unit cost is for a program, ask: “What is Congress appropriating for them this year?” And, “How many are we buying?” Then get out your calculator. The result might surprise you.
The aforementioned mentioned table follows:
2015 Congressional Defense Committee and DOD Recommendations for F-35 Procurement
($Millions, 2015 Dollars)
2014 Appropriations
(2014 Dollars)
2015 DOD Request
HASC
2015
SASC
2015
HAC
2015
SAC
2015
F-35A Procurement
(19)
2,889
(26)
3,553
(26)
3,553
(26)
3,553
(28)
3,777
(26)
3,331
Previous Year AP
293
339
339
339
339
339
Modification of Aircraft
127
188
188
188
156
188
Subtotal $
3309
4080
4080
4080
4272
3858
F-35A
Unit Cost
174
157
157
157
153
148
F-35B Procurement
(6)
1,176
(6)
1,200
(6)
1,200
(6)
1,200
(6)
1,200
(6)
1,200
Previous Year AP
106
103
103
103
103
103
Modification of Aircraft
111
286
286
286
210
205
Subtotal $
1393
1589
1589
1589
1513
1508
F-35B
Unit Cost
232
265
265
265
252
251
F-35C Procurement
(4)
1,028
(2)
611
(2)
611
(2)
611
(4)
866
(2)
594
Previous Year AP
33
79
79
79
79
79
Modification of Aircraft
30
20
20
20
20
1
Subtotal $
1091
710
710
710
965
674
F-35C
Unit Cost
273
355
355
355
241
337
Grand Total $
5793
6379
6379
6379
6750
6040
Generic F-35 Unit Cost
200
188
188
188
178
178
_______________________
Winslow T. Wheeler
Director
Straus Military Reform Project
Center for Defense Information
Project On Government Oversight
301 791-2397 (home office)
301 221-3897 (cell)
[email protected]

Petition – Please Sign!

 

Click Here to Sign!

The entire F-35 fleet was recently grounded due to an engine fire, making the F-35 a no-show at a high profile international air show, while Canada just hit pause on their F-35 purchase to evaluate other options.

Over budget and years behind schedule, it’s time to put an end to the most expensive weapons system in history. Tell Congress to ground the F-35 forever.

Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and other Pentagon contractors are profiting off the taxpayer’s dime and funneling money into campaign coffers and lobbying. Even war hawk Senator John McCain describes the F-35 as the “worst example of the military-industrial-congressional complex.”1

They’re rigging the system so the F-35 wins and working families lose as vital programs like food assistance, infrastructure repair and education are slashed again and again.

So what could we have invested in instead of the most wasteful program in the history of the military? Our friends at Think Progress recently broke down the numbers and found that we could buy every homeless person in the U.S. a mansion, feed every school kid in the country or boost infrastructure funding needed to rebuild America.2

Sign the petition to tell Congress: End the F-35 program so we can invest in an America that works for all of us, not just Pentagon contractor CEOs.

Thanks,

Ross Wallen
USAction

 

1. Foreign PolicyThe Pentagon’s $399 Billion Plane to Nowhere: The next-generation F-35, the most expensive plane ever built, may be too dangerous to fly. Why is Congress keeping it alive?2. ThinkProgressAmericans Have Spent Enough Money On A Broken Plane To Buy Every Homeless Person A Mansion

 

Important Update – Please Read This!

 

Dear SOSVT Allies and Friends:

The official USAF Record of Decision was announced on December 2, 2013 to locate the first-ever basing of a new warplane, the F35s, with an Air Guard unit that is situated in a densely populated residential area in South Burlington, VT.   Defying all measures of common sense and safety, this marks the first time that a new warplane has ever been based in a residential area.

The manipulation of data, misinformation, and dismissal of scientific studies, which predict significant environmental damage to our Vermont communities and its people, by well-appointed politicians, corporate proponents, and the local military were key factors in this decision.  But most influential of all was Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who was determined to bring home this pork “prize” for the Vermont Air National Guard, despite the destructive damage from the F35s that will be felt most intensely in the communities surrounding the airport.

Although substantial scientific evidence,  including studies from the USAF itself, points to damage to the health, safety and property values of Vermont citizens, Sen. Leahy merely tells us that, in his opinion, it won’t be too bad or cause harm, and that we are “just going to have to trust him on this”.

But according to the World Health Organization, the damage will disproportionately impact thousands of Vermonters, whereby 50{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of those impacted children will suffer cognitive learning disabilities.   In addition, the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke for all who are subjected to the F35s impact will increase.

No problem, say Sen. Leahy!   He says the “honor” of bringing the F35s to Vermont is worth it, despite the health impact on vulnerable populations and loss of property values.   What a tragedy for our state and its people!

Once the basing decision was announced, our best means to continue fighting this inappropriate and out-of-scale basing are our legal options.

F-35 opponents in December 2012 requested that Burlington, which owns the airport, obtain an Act 250 permit in order to require the Air Force to mitigate the noise impacts of the new jet.   The Act 250 permitting process is Vermont’s landmark land-use law that is designed to “mitigate the effects of development through an application process that addresses the environmental and community impacts of projects.”

Recently, Vermont State’s Environmental court judge denied the request by F35 opponents that Burlington obtain a land-use permit to host the fleet of F-35 fighter jets.  The judge decided that proposed changes at the Vermont Air National Guard base that would be made to accommodate the jets do not warrant an Act 250 permit.

In reality, according to the US Air Force’s study, the F35s will make over half of the city adjoining the airport “unsuitable for residential use”!  If ever there was a case for Vermont’s Act 250 law addressing an environmental impact of a project on a community, this is it!

We will continue this fight to the Vermont Supreme Court to appeal the decision, as well as working to raise the awareness of the fraudulent, corrupt waste of the F35s program on a national level.   Please click here to donate to help fund this fight! 




We are not alone in our fight!  We are encouraged to note that opposition from other densely-populated residential communities against these loud, untested aircraft is being organized in places like Valparaiso, FL., Boise, ID., Tucson, El Mirage and Wittman, AZ, Beaufort, SC, Key West and N. Tampa, FL, as well as western Maine.   The list is growing as other states organize to protect their neighborhoods against the projected intense damage from the proposed basing of the F35s in their areas.

In addition, anti-F35 campaigns are being waged internationally as seen in protests in Italy, Australia and the Netherlands that have been attended by thousands of residents fighting against the colossal waste of the over-budget, under-performing, problem-plagued F35s program that is corporate welfare for the military defense contractor, Lockheed Martin.

So please keep voicing your opposition, and keep our mission of stopping the F35s basing alive with your words and donations!   By signing petitions, contacting your Congressional delegation and newspapers, the Governor of Vermont, the Mayor of Burlington and your local elected representative to give your feedback and concerns, you will continue to work towards protecting Vermont and its people from the devastation of the F35s.

Give money for the legal campaign, keep your voices strong, and don’t give up the fight!  




SOSVT.org

  1. If you haven’t seen it yet, even Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have highlighted the waste and fraud of the F35 and wasteful military spending on their shows.  We are reaching out to more national media outlets to continue to expose this flawed and unnecessary squandering of your taxpayer monies and our country’s misplaced priorities.

Stephen Colbert looks at the latest examples of this absurd way of spending money, especially a fighter jet called the F-35:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/433286/february-25-2014/the-word—jobsolete

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

Burlington City Council Meeting 10-28-13 Speaker Doug Dunbebin

October 28, 5:15 pm: Rally, Public Hearing and Vote

Stop the F-35 Basing

WHAT:          Burlington City Council Public Hearing and Vote on 

Prohibiting the   F-35 Basing

WHEN:          Monday, October 28. Come early for the “People  and the Planet Before                                        Planes” rally at 5:15 pm. Public hearing begins at 6:00 pm

WHERE:        Burlington City Hall, corner of Church and Main

                            WHY:             This is one of the most significant local decisions of a generation

Update on the Burlington Resolution:

The law is on our side: Let’s make history on the 28th!

On October 17, the Burlington City Attorney issued a legal opinion on the proposed resolution to bar the basing of the F-35 warplane at the Burlington Airport. With the corrections to the Burlington City Attorney’s memo and the revision to the text of the resolution provided by Stop the F-35 Coalition attorney Jim Dumont, the problems identified in the City Attorney’s memo are easily overcome.  With the corrections, the City Attorney’s memo actually provides a very strong legal basis for stopping the F-35 basing. The amended resolution to bar the basing will be considered by the City Council on October 28th.

 

*Monday, October 28th*

What: Come stand for democratic rights and stopping the F-35 basing

5:15 pm: Rally for People before Planes

6:00 pm: Public Hearing and Council Meeting

Where: Burlington City Hall corner of Main and Church

 

Here are the details for the amended resolution:

By revising the resolution to block all aircraft that make more noise than the F-16 or that pose a greater crash risk than the F-16, the problem of loss of FAA airport funding identified by the city attorney is eliminated. The FAA expressly allows a municipal government to set noise limits and block aircraft from landing that exceed those noise limits so long as the rules are applied fairly to all aircraft without discrimination.

 

Second, the revised resolution will also be consistent with court rulings under which a city can take action consistent within the traditional role of municipal governments to protect the health and safety of citizens, even if there is an effect on the military if that effect is negligible. The Air Force has many alternative locations available for basing F-35 jets, and there is no identified strategic reason for prioritizing basing the F-35 in Burlington. The Air Force itself included several of those alternatives in the Environmental Impact Statement. Because the Air Force itself identified alternatives, there is no possibility that the basing in Burlington can be found to be anything other than of militarily negligible importance. But protecting the health and safety of nearby residents is of immense importance.

And third, the corrections also mean that Burlington will be liable for paying thousands of residents if it shirks its responsibility to do everything it can to protect the health, safety, and home values of thousands of people and permits F-35 basing.

The Burlington City Council has the responsibility and the legal authority to prevent the F-35 basing and its severe harms to many thousands of people.

October 22: Pierre Sprey on F-35 crash and safety risks, Burlington City Hall

Public talk by Pierre Sprey, Co-Designer of the F-16 and the A-10 military jets, international expert, and leading critic of the F-35.

 

What: Mr. Sprey will speak on the crash risk of the F-35, the dangers of composite aircraft fires, and the failings of the boondoggle F-35 program.*

 

When: Tuesday, October 22 @ 7 p.m.

 

Where: Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall, Church and Main St.

 

Who: Everyone who wants to learn more about the problems with the F-35 program and the plan to base the warplanes in Burlington.

 

Free and Open to the Public

 

Sponsored by the Stop the F-35 Coalition  www.stopthef35.com  

Some comments.

 

Here are the public comments made at that same meeting, urging the Council to act on the Resolutions against the basing before the 30-day waiting period is over.

Watch This

This is a video of the speakers at the Rally to support Resolutions before the Burlington City Council – Resolutions that would block the basing.

Welcome to Vermont…

F35 Poster Cover your Ears-1

SEPTEMBER FUND RAISING RESULTS

GOAL – $11,000”

RESULT – “$10,458.50”

This is absolutely AWESOME!!  We barely fell short of our goal, but we were able to pay our attorney, Jim Dumont $10,000.  A heartfelt thank you to all who donated. Your donations in September made a sizable dent in our legal fees. As you know, our legal challenges are critical to oppose the F-35 and they continue until it is over and it isn’t over until the F-35 will not bed down at BTV for at least the first round.

 

The bicycle donated by Rosanne was won by Igor Zbitnoff, a long time, consistent and generous contributor. I will be delivering the bike to Igor today. A big “shout out” to Rosanne for her gift to our cause.

 

Our fundraising effort must continue. Fifty-four people donated in September. We have attorney fees due, our future printing cost, our security fee for our web site and other expenses are necessary to remain viable.

 

We welcome ideas for future fundraising and, of course, donations at anytime on our web site and/or by sending a check to the Peace & Justice Center.

 

Make your tax-deductible donation online at:  www.stopthef35.com/donate or send a check made payable to:Stop-the-F-35/PJC and mail to:

 

Peace & Justice Center
STOP-THE-F-35
60 Lake St. Ste 1c
Burlington, VT 05401

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Roger Bourassa

Treasurer

Leahy concerned Air Force might pick active-duty base over Guard for F-35s

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is concerned the U.S. Air Force might go forward with basing some F-35 fighter jets with an active military base and make no decision on the question of whether a National Guard facility, such as Vermont’s, would receive the plane.

“This isn’t the first time the Air Force or one of its major commands has tried to put the active force ahead of the Air National Guard,” the senator’s spokesman, David Carle, told the Burlington Free Press.

Click here to read the full article in Burlington Free Press.

Will It Fly?

The Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapons system ever developed. It is plagued by design flaws and cost overruns. It flies only in good weather. The computers that run it lack the software they need for combat. No one can say for certain when the plane will work as advertised. Until recently, the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, was operating with a free hand—paid handsomely for its own mistakes. Looking back, even the general now in charge of the program can’t believe how we got to this point. In sum: all systems go!

 

Video: Burlington City Council Meeting 8/12/13

Watch This!

South Burlington City Council meeting 8/19

The South Burlington City Council will be holding a council meeting this coming Monday, August 19 2013 at the Chamberlin School, starting at 7:00 PM.  The focus of the council meeting is to meet with the residents of the airport neighborhood to present information on the long-range plans for the airport, the FAA Home Buy-Out Program and demolition, noise mitigation, and other topics pertinent to the neighborhood, including using the abandoned homes for police, fire, etc training.  (The full agenda can be found by clicking here)
Anyone who now lives in the F-16 noise zone, and/or will live in the F-35A noise and crash zones is strongly encouraged to attend this very important meeting. Even more important is that these people, either in person or through an email, make their concerns known to So. Burlington elected officials.
Come in person, or email your comments and concerns to one, some, or all of the City Councilors, and the interim city manager:
Pam Mackenzie ([email protected]), Pat Nowak ([email protected]), Chris Shaw ([email protected]), Helen Riehle ([email protected]), and Rosanne Greco ([email protected]), interim city manager, Kevin Dorn ([email protected])
Other Important Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, August 20 at 7:00 pm – Save Our Skies VT meeting to organize and help support activities to oppose the F35 basing in collaboration with the STF35 Coalition.  Please RSVP for directions to:  [email protected]
Wednesday, August 21 at 6:30 pm – Stop The F35 Coalition meeting at Burlington College – Learn about the planned efforts to oppose the basing and volunteer opportunities to help.  For more info go to:  www.StopTheF35.com
We’re very grateful to everyone who can participate in this movement, and these meetings will be an opportunity for you to find out what kinds of contributions we need.
Please join us!
If you are unable to attend the meetings or volunteer your time, please consider sending us a monetary donation.  We are always in need of financial support to produce flyers and brochures and to support educational opportunities about this inappropriate and unjust proposal!
You can donate online at www.SOSVT.org or make a check out to: Save Our Skies VT c/o PJC, and send it to:
Save Our Skies VT
PO Box 191
Winooski, VT 05404
Thanks so much, and we hope to see you on at one or more of these upcoming events!
SaveOurSkiesVT.org

What to Believe:

Click here to download pdf.

WHAT (AND WHO) TO BELIEVE

ABOUT THE F-35A BASING

Positions on the F-35A can be based on objective facts or subjective opinions. Listed below are the facts and opinions as stated by the opponents and supporters of the F-35A.

 

The facts, as stated by the opponents, come from government documents and professional health organizations, which are based on research and scientific studies. All references are cited.

 

The opinions come from ads, letters, and statements in the press from individuals. Since no source documents were provided to substantiate their statements, one can regard their views as being their own personal opinions or conjecture.

 

 

HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE

Opinions

 

I would unquestionably object to the potential F-35 basing in Vermont if I believed F-35 noise would make Winooski or South Burlington unlivable. But I don’t believe that will be the case. I am not willing to sacrifice any Vermont community for a new fighter jet….In fact, I support the F-35 because I believe its impacts, taken together, will make local communities more vibrant through increased investment.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, June 22, 2012)

 

When asked by reporter, Mark Johnson “Is there anything you could hear that would change your mind and make you oppose this?” Leahy responded “Sure, if it was, if it came, if the report showed that this was a danger to our communities then, ah, of course, I would.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, May 2013)

 

“…F-35 flight operations may represent 6 minutes of minimal inconvenience 4 days a week….”

(Open letter in BFP, October 4, 2012, signed by Pomerleau, Davis, Boardman, MacKenzie, Russell, Nedde, Simoneau, Reilly, Fay, Weisburgh, Michaels)

 

 

 

 

Facts

 

There is sufficient evidence from large-scale epidemiological studies linking the population’s exposure to environmental noise with adverse health effects. Therefore, environmental noise should be considered not only as a cause of nuisance but also a concern for public health and environmental health.”

(WHO p. xvii)

 

There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.” (WHO p. 105)

 

Noise is generally described as unwanted sound….Noise analysis thus requires assessing a combination of physical measurements of sound, physical and physiological effects, plus psycho-and socio-acoustic effects. The response of different individuals to similar noise events is diverse and influenced by the type of noise, the perceived importance of the noise, its appropriateness in the setting, the time of day, the type of activity during which the noise occurs, and the sensitivity of the individual.” (RDEIS p. 3-6)

 

There are several points of interest in the noise annoyance relation. The first is DNL of 65 dB. This is a level most commonly used for noise planning purposes and represents a compromise between community impact and the need for activities like aviation which do cause noise. Areas exposed to DNL about 65 dB are generally not considered suitable for residential use. The second is DNL of 55 dB, which was identified by USEPA as a level ‘…requisite to protect the public health and welfare with an adequate margin of safety,’ (USEPA 1974) which is essentially a level below which adverse impact is not expected. The third is DNL of 75 dB. This is the lowest level at which adverse health effects could be credible (USEPA 1974). The very high annoyance levels correlated with DNL of 75 dB make such areas unsuitable for residential land use.” (DEIS p. C-14/15)

 

“…Federal Interagency Committee (Department of Defense, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and Veterans Administration) published guidelines relating DNL to compatible land uses…In general, residential land uses normally are not compatible with outdoor DNL values above 65 dB…” (RDEIS p. C-12-13)

 

The Air Force recognizes that some individuals may feel that they have experienced a reduction in quality of life; however, impacts to quality of life are not possible to quantify, since any potential measurement would be based on a set of subjective experiences that are highly variable among individuals. The EIS does provide several indicators, such as the percentage of the population that would be highly annoyed by noise, as an estimate to predict quality of life impacts.” (RDEIS p GO-17)

 

The EIS quantifies areas and residential populations subject to noise levels of 65 dB DNL or greater in this manner because land use compatibility guidelines, as defined by FICUN and adopted by the DoD, indicate that residential areas subject to these noise levels would be considered incompatible unless additional noise level reduction measures were implemented. Individuals within areas designated as incompatible have an increased potential for annoyance….” (RDEIS p. GO-17)

 

Other studies have reported hearing losses from exposure to aircraft noise.”

(RDEIS p. 30)

 

Since the CHABA (a NIOSH and USEPA commissioned group) report (in 1981), there have been further studies that suggest that noise exposure may cause hypertension and other stress-related effects in adults.” (RDEIS p. C-26)

 

 

 

 

NOISE-RELATED HEALTH AND COGNITIVE EFFECTS ON CHILDREN

 

 

Opinions

 

When asked by reporter, Mark Johnson “Is there anything you could hear that would change your mind and make you oppose this?” Leahy responded “Sure, if it was, if it came, if the report showed that this was a danger to our communities then, ah, of course, I would.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, May, 2013)

 

If the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) or the Department of Education felt there was any impact on children…they would have closed down Chamberlin long ago.”

(Pam Mackenzie, South Burlington City Council Chair, July 2013)

 

…there will be no adverse health effects on citizens.”

(Green Ribbon postcard, July 2013)

 

 

 

Facts

 

Children who were chronically exposed to aircraft noise…had modest (although significant) increases in blood pressure, significant increases in stress hormones, and a decline in quality of life.” (RDEIS p. 30)

 

The research reviewed does suggest that environments with sustained high background noise can have variable effects, including noise effects on learning and cognitive abilities and reports of various noise-related physiological changes. “ (RDEIS p. C-28)

 

In 2002 ANSI refers to studies that suggest that loud and frequent background noise can affect the learning patterns of young children. “ (RDEIS p. C-28)

 

It is generally accepted that young children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of background noise. Because of the developmental status of young children (linguistic, cognitive, and proficiency), barriers to hearing can cause interference or disruptions in developmental evolution.” (RDEIS p. C-28-29)

 

It has been suspected for many years that children’s learning and memory are negatively affected by noise. Over 20 studies have shown negative effects of noise on reading and memory in children…” (WHO p. 45-53)

 

Exposure during critical periods of learning at school could potentially impair development and have a lifelong effect on educational attainment.”

(WHO p. 45-53)

 

The Haines and Stansfield study indicated that there may be some long-term effects (to children) associated with exposure….” (RDEIS p. C-29)

 

“…there is increasing awareness that chronic exposure to high aircraft noise levels can impair learning. This awareness has led the WHO and a NATO working group to conclude that daycare centers and schools should not be located near major sources of noise, such as highways, airports, and industrial sites.”

(RDEIS p. 29)

 

A growing body of scientific knowledge demonstrates that children may suffer disproportionately from environmental health risks and safety risks.”

(Executive Order 13045)

 

PROPERTY VALUES

 

Opinions

 

In my opinion, based on local history, a subjective assessment that it will not have negative impact in the future can be made.”

(Brigadier General Steve Cray, Assistant Adjutant General-Air, 16 July 2012)

 

We have concluded that the basing of the F-35 will not add any significant negative impact to real estate values…”

(Open letter in BFP, October 4, 2012, signed by Pomerleau, Davis, Boardman, MacKenzie, Russell, Nedde, Simoneau, Reilly, Fay, Weisburgh, Michaels)

 

A GBIC analysis of data over a ten-year period showed “that property values within the current 65 DNL area have followed and reflected the overall trend of the County and of the real estate markets outside of the 65 DNL areas.”

(GBIC letter to SB City Council Chair, 24 July 2012)

 

Facts

 

In general, residential land uses normally are not compatible with outdoor DNL values above 65 dB, and the extent of land areas and populations exposed to DNL of 65 dB and higher provides the best means for assessing the noise impacts of alternative aircraft actions.” (RDEIS p. C-13)

 

The study concludes that noise by itself has been shown to decrease property values by a small amount.” (RDEIS p. SO-67)

 

Property within a noise zone (or Accident Zone) may be affected by the availability of federally guaranteed loans. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) guidance, sites are acceptable for program assistance, subsidy, or insurance for housing in noise zones of less than 65 dB DNL, and sites are conditionally acceptable with special approvals and noise attenuation in noise zones greater than 65 dB DNL. … HUD, FHA, and VA recommend sound attenuation for housing in the higher noise zones and written disclosures to all prospective buyers or lessees of property within a noise zone (or Accident Potential Zone). (RDEIS p. C49-50)

 

One paper…suggested a 1.8 to 2.3 percent decrease in property value per dB (increase)….their reviews found that decreases in property values usually range from 0.5 to 2 percent per dB increase of cumulative noise exposure. “

(RDEIS p. C-50)

 

“…the EIS acknowledges the potential and extent of noise from the F-35A has to affect property values.” (RDEIS p. GO-17)

 

Regarding the GBIC study: “The data on which the Winooski analysis rests are ‘extremely small’ and thus ‘statistically unreliable’. In seven of the 10 years studied, no more than five residential properties changed hands (in Winooski). Only nine homes in (South Burlington) were sold to private buyers during the years included in the GBIC study….Over the past decade, the FAA has purchased about 90 houses in that designated excessive-noise zone. Subsequently, they were either demolished or slated for demolition.” Thus, virtually all of the homes used in the GBIC study were purchased with federal money for demolition because of the noise. Dozens of legitimate studies on the impact of airport noise on property values all come to the same conclusion: property values are damaged by high noise.

(Allen & Brooks Inc.)

 

NOTE: “The appraisal of the property to be acquired shall disregard any decrease or increase in the fair market value of the real property caused by the project for which the property is to be acquired…”

(FAA)

 

An analysis of 110 home sales in and outside the Burlington noise zone found the average difference in sale prices was 15{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} or $33,534. Homes within the noise zones sold for 15{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} — or on average $33,534 — less than comparable homes outside the noise zone. “The difference is identified as the average amount per property attributable to the negative impact of airport noise on residential property value.”

(Larson Appraisal Company)

 

The seller has a duty to disclose any issues he or she may be aware of….the seller should disclose any problems as truthfully and accurately as possible (on the Seller’s Property Information Report—SPIR). The SPIR was developed by the Vermont Association of Realtors as a way to cut down on lawsuits by buyers against sellers. Whether or not a SPIR is filled out, if it is later discovered the seller was aware of problems and did not disclose them to the buyer, it could be considered misrepresentation or omission under Vermont Consumer Fraud Act, 9 V.S.A. 2451-2480” (Vermont Property Owners Report, Feb-March 2013)

 

A real estate disclosure policy would be developed for land uses within the 65 dB DNL contour, and implemented through revisions to zoning ordinances (ROA Section II. C. 15). Status: Not implemented. The Airport has not actively encouraged the use of Real Estate Disclosures for properties within the 65 dB DNL contour but will be working with the City of South Burlington and the City of Winooski in that regard.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 16)

 

 

 

NOISE LOUDNESS AND TIME

 

Opinions

 

One fact that is known is that that the F35 will be somewhat louder during take-off for approximately six minutes a day, four days a week.”

(Brigadier General Steve Cray, Assistant Adjutant General, 16 July 2012)

 

It’s going to be similar to the annoyances and impacts we’ve had with the F-16 for the past 25 years.”

(Brigadier Dick Harris, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, VTANG, June 6, 2013)

 

“…I do not believe that the F-35 is significantly louder than the F-16, especially when the afterburner is not deployed.”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, February 13, 2013)

 

“…the F-35 will create sound similar to the F-16, there will be 2,613 fewer operations per year…”

(Green Ribbon postcard, July 2013)

 

Cioffi said he did not think the noise level of the F-35 would be any different from that of the F-16s that the new jets would replace, based on research by GBIC and on his own personal observation. ‘The two aircraft are so similar that we expect the experience of the F-35 to be the same as the F-16.’

(Frank Cioffi, Greater Burlington Industrial Corp. President, June 4 2013)

 

“…F-35 flight operations may represent 6 minutes of minimal inconvenience 4 days a week….”

(Open letter in BFP, October 4, 2012, signed by Pomerleau, Davis, Boardman, MacKenzie, Russell, Nedde, Simoneau, Reilly, Fay, Weisburgh, Michaels)

 

Facts

 

Table 6.7 in the Executive Summary shows the F-35A would be between 17 dB and 20 dB greater in SEL and between 21 dB and 25 dB greater in Lmax than the F-16 during takeoff and arrival, directly over the receiver at an altitude of 1,000 ft and at an altitude of 1,500 ft over the receiver on a downwind leg of a local pattern operations. As explained in Appendix C, Section C1.1 a change in (single-event) sound level of 10 dB is usually perceived by the average person as a doubling (or halving) of the sound’s loudness. Concur regarding sound pressure doubling with every 3 dB change and by a factor of 10 for every dB change.”

(RDEIS p. NS-40)

 

The effect of the reduction in flight operations (referring to scenario 2) would be offset by the F-35A producing a single-event departure SELs 17 dB greater than the F-16s at Burlington AGS…The contribution of civilian aircraft would be negligible compared to the military aircraft contribution.” (RDEIS p. BR4-33)

 

The effect of the reduction in flight operations (referring to scenario 1) would be offset by the F-35A producing a single-event departure SELs 7 to 17 dB greater than the F-16s at Burlington AGS…The contribution of civilian aircraft would be negligible compared to the military aircraft contribution.” (RDEIS p. BR4-28)

 

A change in sound level of about 10 dB is usually perceived by the average person as a doubling (or halving) of the sound’s loudness, and this relation holds true for loud sounds and for quieter sounds. “ (RDEIS p. C-2)

 

The cumulative nature of DNL means that the same level of noise exposure can be achieved in an essentially infinite number of ways….Areas exposed to noise levels between DNL 65 dB and 75 dB are “normally unacceptable,” and require special abatement measures and review. Those at 75 dB and above are “unacceptable” except under very limited circumstances.”

(FAA Part 150 Report p. 5)

 

Pages C1 through C58 of the RDEIS explain noise, noise modeling, noise metrics, and noise effects. Damage from noise is based on amplitude, frequency, time averaging, maximum sound level, peak sound level, sound exposure level, equivalent sound level, day-night average sound level, number of events above a threshold level, time above a specified level, duration, intensity, unpredictability and the cumulative effect of the noise. (RDEIS p. C1-58)

 

USEPA (in 1974) identified DNL of 55 dB as ‘ requisite to protect public health and welfare….” (RDEIS p, C-18)

 

When considering intermittent noise caused by aircraft overflights, a review of the relevant scientific literature and international guidelines indicates that an appropriate criteria is a limit on indoor background noise levels of 35 to 40 dB Leq, and a limit on single events of 50 dB Lmax.” (RDEIS p. C-20)

 

The Time Above (TA) metric quantifies the amount of time the noise level would be equal to or greater than a selected threshold Maximum Sound Level (Lmax); but the DoD noise model used for this EIS is not yet capable of estimating TA. The EIS provides Maximum Sound Level (Lmax) data for the F-35 and F-16; Table BR3.2.1 as an example.” (RDEIS p. NS-32)

 

There are several points of interest in the noise annoyance relation. The first is DNL of 65 dB. This is a level most commonly used for noise planning purposes and represents a compromise between community impact and the need for activities like aviation, which do cause noise. Areas exposed to DNL about 65 dB are generally not considered suitable for residential use. The second is DNL of 55 dB, which was identified by USEPA as a level ‘…requisite to protect the public health and welfare with an adequate margin of safety,’ (USEPA 1974) which is essentially a level below which adverse impact is not expected. The third is DNL of 75 dB. This is the lowest level at which adverse health effects could be credible (USEPA 1974). The very high annoyance levels correlated with DNL of 75 dB make such areas unsuitable for residential land use.” (DEIS p. C-14/15)

 

 

JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

 

Opinions

 

Basing the F-35A in our state would create jobs, spur economic growth, and increase investment opportunities for Vermont businesses.”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, February 13, 2013)

 

Job losses are always hard, but it is important to remember that Vermont currently has the third lowest unemployment rate in the country. Many employers in Vermont are ready to hire those with the skills and education….”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, June 12, 2013 regarding the IBM layoffs)

 

My opinion on the F-35 has not changed…All I can tell you is my support for the F-35 is based upon the thousands of jobs it creates.”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, June 4, 2013)

 

 

Facts

 

Under ANG Scenario 1 there would be no net change in the number of military personnel. Therefore, there would be no change to military payrolls or any subsequent impacts to regional employment or income …Additional taxes would accrue…as a result of the increase on construction activities. These impacts, while beneficial, would be minor.” (RDEIS p. BR 4-77)

 

ANG Scenario 2 would result in an increase of 266 military personnel: an increase of 83 full-time and 183 part-time traditional guardsmen…Traditional guardsmen generally hold full-time jobs outside the ANG and train at least one weekend per month and two additional weeks per year with the ANG. …As any increases in secondary employment as a result of the increase in personnel would also be minor and ….would not affect short-or-long-term regional employment and income trends.… Additional taxes would accrue…as a result of the increase on construction activities. These impacts, while beneficial, would be minor (RDEIS p. BR4-78-79)

 

MG Dubie said that the Air Guard would lose maintainer jobs if the F-35A were to be based at the VTANG. At least half of the full-time Air Guard jobs are maintainer jobs.

(Public Hearing, April 19, 2010 at the 45-minute period of the hearing)

 

 

MITIGATION OF THE NOISE

 

Opinions

 

We feel strongly that we can mitigate those impacts (noise problems) by working with the community on the noise issues.”

(Brigadier Dick Harris, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, VTANG, June 6, 2013)

 

Facts

 

Land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative that would eliminate the residential incompatibility.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 29)

 

“…noise barriers provide little, if any reduction, of noise from aircraft that are airborne and can be seen over the barrier.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 35)

 

Therefore noise barriers are not recommended for inclusion in the Part 150 program at this time.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 36)

 

Therefore, soundproofing is considered the least desirable alternative for addressing sound in residential dwellings.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 46)

 

“…the Air Force and Air National Guard have no plans to acquire or demolish residences as part of the F-35A beddown.” (RDEIS p. BR4-17)

 

“…the Burlington AGS would continue to undertake the voluntary restrictions outlined in the Burlington Noise Compatibility Program Update (BTV NCP 2008). The F-35As would maintain the quiet hours, keep within the specified arrival and departure routes and procedures, as well as ensure that single F-35A flights are flown out of the airport as opposed to simultaneous (or formation) takeoffs.” (RDEIS p. BR4-17)

 

No other extra-ordinary mitigation measure are required beyond those prescribed under existing federal and state laws, regulations, and permit requirements to minimize, avoid, or reduce impacts. “ (RDEIS p. BR4-18)

 

“…the Air National Guard is one of the dominant noise contributors to the DNL contours, as documented in the August 2006 NEW Update…”

(FAA Part 150 Report p. 21)

 

 

FUTURE OF THE VERMONT AIR GUARD

 

Opinions

 

“…over six hundred members of the Air Guard live in the surrounding communities of the airport….and there are over four hundred full time jobs and six hundred part time jobs at the VT Air Guard.”

(Brigadier General Steve Cray, Assistant Adjutant General, 16 July 2012)

 

I would rather protect the mission of the citizen soldiers of the Vermont Guard and maintain 1,100 jobs here in Vermont rather than in South Carolina or Florida.”

(Senator Bernie Sanders, April 20, 2013 and July 26, 2013)

 

The Vermont Air National Guard is a key driver of Vermont’s economy with 1,500 jobs currently attributable to its strong presence.”

(Representative Peter Welch, July 26, 2013)

 

Although I cannot predict what will happen to the Air Guard if the F35 is not based in Vermont, I can definitely say that the unit’s mission will be different and most likely will require a lot less personnel.”

(Brigadier General Steve Cray, Assistant Adjutant General, 16 July 2012)

 

 

 

Facts

 

Therefore, if there is no F-35A operational beddown at Burlington AGS the current mission would continue.” (RDEIS p. PA-47)

 

At each location, there are on-going and currently planned activities and programs that would continue, whether or not the location is chosen for beddown of the F-35A operational aircraft.” (RDEIS p. 2-29)

 

The Air Force plans to upgrade all 1,018 of its F-16s and 175 F-15C/D Eagles to keep them flying until the F-35A joint strike fighter is fully operational and new weapons systems on the F-22 Raptor are installed, according to the 2014 budget request released April 10. In the fiscal 2014 budget request, the Air Force states the service life extension for all F-16s will add eight to 10 years to each airframe, along with upgrades to the fighter’s radars, cockpit displays and other communications interfaces.” (Air Force Times, April 23, 2013)

 

The Air Force is already using service life extension programs to keep F-16s flying while the F-35A are delayed. These jets have seen extensive use in Iraq and Afghanistan and will continue to fly until at least 2030 while the F-35As stand up.” (Air Force Times, May 13, 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLITICAL INFLUENCE

Opinions

I feel strongly that none of our state’s Congressional delegation should put our fingers on the scale. All Vermonters deserve to be heard, and I do not want to tamper with the fair and open public comment process.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, June 22, 2012)

 

What I’ve seen of it, there’s nothing that changes my mind.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, June 4, 2013, responding to the Revised Draft EIS)

 

My opinion on the F-35 has not changed…All I can tell you is my support for the F-35 is based upon the thousands of jobs it creates.”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, June 4, 2013)

 

Facts

 

Other basing factors include, but are not limited to; aircraft production, government budget constraints, national defense policy and political considerations.” (RDEIS p. PI-54)

Prior to the scoping meetings, the Air Force initiated contact with possible interested and affected government agencies, government representatives, elected officials, and interested parties in the states potentially affected…” (RDEIS p. 1-8)

The Air National Guard and the Air Force are working with local and state officials to address specific questions and issues associated with the proposed basing of the F-35A at Burlington International Airport.” (RDEIS p. PI-51)

“…federal, state and local agencies, as well as members of the public, are invited to comment on the Draft EIS.” (RDEIS p. PI-55)

 

 

 

 

 

Source documents for facts:

  • WHO: World Health Organization: Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise, 2011
  • DEIS and RDEIS: Revised 2013 Draft (and 2012 Draft) United States Air Force F-35A Operational Basing Environmental Impact Statement
  • Executive Order 13045: Presidential Order on the Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks, 2003
  • USEPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • FAA: Federal Aviation Administration
  • Vermont Property Owners Report
  • Air Force Times
  • Allen & Brooks, Inc.
  • Larson Appraisal Company (July 2013)

Source documents for opinions:

  • GBIC Report (July 2012)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The facts come from government and health care organizations. The U.S. Air Force Environmental Impact Statement took years to prepare, and millions of dollars to complete. It was prepared by “resource and technical experts in their various fields as noted by their education and years of experience.” (RDEIS p. PI-54) The WHO report contains over 300 scientific meta-analysis studies, which then underwent peer reviews.

The opinions come from those who would benefit economically or politically from the F-35A basing.

The opinions contradict the facts. Both cannot be correct.

Believe government and health organizations — or politicians, big businesses, and developers.

It is your choice. Make an informed one. (August 2013)

Download the F-35A Basing Fact Sheet

Click here to download the pdf: Fact Sheets on F-35A Basing 8-9-2013

Burlington Vermont Air Guard Station

F-35A Basing

Fact Sheets

_________________

(August 2013)

 

 

I. NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS of F-35A Basing at Burlington Air Guard Station

 

A. BASIC FACTS2013 Revised Draft Environment Impact Statement (RDEIS)

 

  1. McEntire JNGB in South Carolina is the environmentally preferable alternative base (Page 2-30).

 

  1. There are negative impacts to the Burlington area in the following categories: noise, air quality, land use, socioeconomics, environmental justice/protection of children, community facilities and public services, ground traffic and transportation, climate change, cumulative effects, and irreversible commitment of resources (RDEIS).

 

  1. LAND USE

 

  • Noise levels increase under both scenarios (scenario 1 bases 18 F-35As; scenario 2 bases 24 F-35As). “In general, residential land uses normally are not compatible with outdoor DNL values above 65 dB….” (Page C-13).

 

  1. Baseline conditions (current F-16s) and F-35A impacts (based on 2010 U.S. census data) are as follows:

 

  • Baseline (F-16s) affects 1,963 acres; 371 residential acres; 1,966 households; 4,602 people; 463 (10{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}) low-income and 581 (13{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}) minorities; 11 receptors
  • Scenario 1: 2,252 acres; 564 residential acres; 2,963 households; 6,663 people; 1,064 (16{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}) low-income and 748 (11{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}) minorities; 16 receptors
  • Scenario 2: 2,635 acres; 667 residential acres; 3,410 households; 7,719 people; 1,224 (16{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}) low-income and 856 (11{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}) minorities; 17 receptors

 

NOTE: AF reports that 4,692 children live in South Burlington and Winooski; but they did not report how many children live and/or go to school in the noise zone. Local assessors estimate there are about 1,500 children in the noise zone.

 

  • Today: 1,963 acres; 1,966 households; 4,602 people; 463 low-income; 581 minorities; 11 receptors
  • Scenario 1: 2,252 acres; 2,963 households; 6,663 people; 1,064 low-income; 748 minorities
  • Scenario 2: 2,635 acres; 3,410 households; 7,719 people; 1,224 low-income; 856 minorities

(Pages BR 4-22, 4-28, 4-33, 4-66, 4-80-83)

 

  1. Of the other Air Guard bases under consideration in the RDEIS, only Burlington has an increase in base residential land use impacts. For example, the residential impact increases by 80{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} in Burlington. It decreases by 100{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} at McEntire, SC, and decreases by 71{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}at Jacksonville, FL (Page ES-70).

 

    • At Jacksonville AGS: 45 households and 170 people (scenario 1); or 57 households and 210 people (scenario 2) will be affected by the F-35A basing (Page ES-29).
    • At McEntire JNGB: 91 households and 245 people (scenario 1); or 120 households and 321 people (scenario 2) will be affected by the F-35A basing (Page ES-37).

 

 

 

B. SAFETY IMPACTS

 

  1. The F-35A is a new type of aircraft; historical trends show that mishaps rates of all types decrease the longer an aircraft is operational and as flight crews and maintenance personnel learn more about the aircraft’s capabilities and limitations….” (Page ES-12).

 

  1. Accident Protection Zones are established at military airfields to delineate recommended surrounding land uses for the protection of people and property on the ground.” These areas in the vicinity of an airfield “have the highest potential to be affected if an aircraft mishap were to occur.” “Similar to APZs, but used at civilian airports, RPZs (Runway Protection Zones) are trapezoidal zones extending outward from the ends of active runways at commercial airports and delineate those areas recognized as having the greatest risk of aircraft mishaps (crashes), most of which occur during take-off or landing” (Page 3-26).

 

  1. “…there have not been enough flight hours to accurately depict the specific safety record for this new aircraft” (Page 3-28).

 

 

C. HEALTH IMPACTS of Noise on Adults and Children

 

  1. The RDEIS uses decades old studies regarding the health impacts to adults and children. More recent studies show overwhelming evidence that noise causes physical and psychological harm to human beings. In the case of children, there is convincing evidence that noise, in particular, aircraft noise, cause cognitive impairment in children.

 

  1. A growing body of scientific knowledge demonstrates that children may suffer disproportionately from environmental health risks and safety risks” (Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks, 2003).

 

  1. Even using old data, the RDEIS still cites studies reporting physical harm from noise.

 

  • Other studies have reported hearing losses from exposure to aircraft noise” (RDEIS Page 30).

 

  • Since the CHABA (a NIOSH and USEPA commissioned group) report (in 1981), there have been further studies that suggest that noise exposure may cause hypertension and other stress-related effects in adults” (RDEIS Page C-26).

 

  • Children who were chronically exposed to aircraft noise…had modest (although significant) increases in blood pressure, significant increases in stress hormones, and a decline in quality of life” (RDEIS Page 30).

 

  • The research reviewed does suggest that environments with sustained high background noise can have variable effects, including noise effects on learning and cognitive abilities and reports of various noise-related physiological changes“ (RDEIS Page C-28).

 

  • In 2002 ANSI refers to studies that suggest that loud and frequent background noise can affect the learning patterns of young children“ (RDEIS Page C-28).

 

  • It is generally accepted that young children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of background noise. Because of the developmental status of young children (linguistic, cognitive, and proficiency), barriers to hearing can cause interference or disruptions in developmental evolution” (RDEIS Page C-28-29).

 

  • The Haines and Stansfield study indicated that there may be some long-term effects (to children) associated with exposure….” (RDEIS Page C-29).

 

  • “…there is increasing awareness that chronic exposure to high aircraft noise levels can impair learning. This awareness has led the WHO and a NATO working group to conclude that daycare centers and schools should not be located near major sources of noise, such as highways, airports, and industrial sites” (RDEIS Page 29).

 

  • More recent studies including those compiled and reviewed in the 2011 World Health Organization Report, “Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise” show overwhelming evidence of harm caused by noise.

 

  • There is sufficient evidence from large-scale epidemiological studies linking the population’s exposure to environmental noise with adverse health effects. Therefore, environmental noise should be considered not only as a cause of nuisance but also a concern for public health and environmental health” (WHO Page xvii).

 

  • There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population” (WHO Page 105).

 

  • It has been suspected for many years that children’s learning and memory are negatively affected by noise. Over 20 studies have shown negative effects of noise on reading and memory in children…” (WHO Page 45-53).

 

  • Exposure during critical periods of learning at school could potentially impair development and have a lifelong effect on educational attainment” (WHO Pages 45-53).

 

 

D. ECONOMIC IMPACTS of Noise on Residents

 

  1. In general, residential land uses normally are not compatible with outdoor DNL values above 65 dB…” (RDEIS Page C-13).

 

  1. HUD, FAA, and VA recommend written disclosures to all prospective buyers or lessees of property within this noise area (RDEIS Pages C-49-50).

 

NOTE: “The seller has a duty to disclose any issues he or she may be aware of….the seller should disclose any problem as truthfully and accurately as possible (on the Seller’s Property Information Report—SPIR). The SPIR was developed by the Vermont Association of Realtors as a way to cut down on lawsuits by buyers against sellers. Whether or not a SPIR is filled out, if it is later discovered the seller was aware of problems and did not disclose them to the buyer, it could be considered misrepresentation or omission under Vermont Consumer Fraud Act, 9 V.S.A. 2451-2480” (Vermont Property Owners Report, Feb-March 2013).

 

  1. Properties in noise areas over 65 dB DNL may not be eligible for federally guaranteed loans, program assistance, subsidy, or insurance (RDEIS Pages C-49-50).

 

  1. One study showed a 1.8 to 2.3{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} decrease in property values per dB increase of cumulative noise exposure (RDEIS Page C-50).

 

  1. Another study showed decreases in property values usually range from 0.5 to 2{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} per dB increase of cumulative noise exposure (RDEIS Pages C-50).

 

6. “…the EIS acknowledges the potential and extent of noise from the F-35A has to affect property values” (RDEIS Page GO-17).

 

7. There are dozens of economic studies related to noise on property values. Virtually every study, including an FAA study, concludes that airport noise has a negative impact on property values.

 

    • Locally, an independent appraisal company conducted an analysis of 110 South Burlington homes purchased under the FAA buyout program. The average home in the 65 dB DNL noise zone lost 15{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} (approximately over $33,000) in value because of its location (Larson Appraisal, Airport Noise Impact on Residential Property Values, July 2013).

 

    • A study, conducted by the GBIC, who has been outspoken in favor of the F-35A basing, concluded that noise levels did not affect property values. The study was seriously flawed.

 

      1. It did not address whether the homes were located in the noise zone.

 

      1. Its sample size was extremely small: (15 homes in 10 years in Winooski and 9 homes in 10 years in South Burlington sold to private individuals).

 

      1. It included the FAA buy-out sales in South Burlington as “evidence” that homes are selling well and at market value.

 

        • FAA buyouts require market value purchases; and the appraisal value of the house specifically excludes the fact that the house is located near an airport.
        • These homes were purchased because they were the noise zone of the F-16.

 

      1. It grouped all sales (condo, single family homes, etc) together, thus distorting the sale price of single-family homes.

 

 

8. In South Burlington, 180 homes were identified as being in the 65 and higher dB DNL noise zones for the F-16 (2008 FAA report Page 29).

 

  • The FAA Part 150 Update, dated April 2008, states “…the Air National Guard is one of the dominant noise contributors to the DNL contours, as documented in the August 2006 NEM Update….” (FAA Page 21).

 

  • Land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative that would eliminate the residential incompatibility” (FAA Page 29).

 

  • “…noise barriers provide little, if any, reductions of noise from aircraft that are airborne and can be seen over the barrier” (FAA Page 35).

 

9. The FAA report states what the Burlington airport was required to do…and then finds it did not take the appropriate action. “A real estate disclosure policy would be developed for land uses within the 65 dB DNL contour, and implemented through revisions to zoning ordinances (ROA Section II. C. 15). Status: Not implemented. The Airport has not actively encouraged the use of Real Estate Disclosures for properties within the 65 dB DNL contour but will be working with the City of South Burlington and the City of Winooski in that regard” (FAA Part 150 Report Page 16).

 

  1. To date, over 127 affordable homes in South Burlington have been demolished because of their proximity to the airport and the noise from military aircraft. Another 54 are awaiting demolition because of F-16 noise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYTHS

 

II. ECONOMIC MYTH: It will bring jobs and benefit the area economically.

 

  1. RDEIS states there is NO economic gain under scenario 1. There would be no increase in jobs (Page BR4-77).

 

  1. RDEIS states there would be only “minor” economic effect from the 266 additional military persons (83 full-time and 183 part-time) that would be added under scenario 2 (Page BR4-78 and 4-79).

 

        1. Some or all of the 83 full-time military could be transferred here from other places around the U.S. (Page BR4-78).
        2. The 183 part-time jobs would likely be filled through local recruitment (Page BR4-78).

 

  1. MG Dubie said that the Air Guard would LOSE maintainer jobs if the F-35A were to be based here, but he did not say how many jobs would be lost (public hearing, April 19, 2010).

 

    1. The F-35A will not be maintained at the Burlington Air Guard Station, as is the F-16. The F-35A will be maintained at a centralized location.
    2. At least half of the full-time VT Air Guard jobs are maintainer jobs.

 

 

III. NOISE MYTHS

A. TIME MYTH: The F-35A will cause noise for only six minutes a day, four days a week, and this is a minor inconvenience.

 

  1. The RDEIS spends 58 pages, and cites 184 references and studies explaining noise, noise modeling, noise metrics, and noise effects (Pages C1-58). The noise metrics include:
  • maximum sound level (Lmax)
  • peak sound level
  • equivalent sound level (Leq)
  • sound exposure level (SEL)
  • day-night average sound level (DNL)
  • onset-rate-adjusted monthly day-night average sound level (Ldnmr)
  • number-of-events above a threshold level (NA)
  • time above a specified level (TA)

 

2. The RDEIS analyzes noise effects on the following:

  • non-auditory health
  • annoyance
  • speech interference
  • sleep disturbance
  • hearing impairment
  • performance
  • learning and cognitive abilities
  • children
  • domestic animals and wildlife
  • property values
  • structures
  • terrain
  • cultural resources

 

3. The F-35A will fly 7,296 operations annually under scenario 2, and 5,486 operations annually under scenario 1, with all occurring during environmental daytime hours (between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.) 260 days per year (Page BR4-4).

 

4. Using Air Force projections of 7,296 F-35A operations over 260 days per year, residents will experience unsafe noise levels 28 times per flying day, or one-to-two times per waking hour.

 

5. Ads claiming six minutes of noise per day count only F-16 takeoff noise, ignoring noise produced on landing and during overhead pattern events from F-16s and other aircraft. But even just six minutes a day is more than 12 times the safe standard.

 

 

 

B. NOISE LOUDNESS MYTH: The F-35A will sound similar to the F-16.

 

1. The RDEIS states the F-35A would be between 17 dB and 20 dB greater in SEL; and between 21 dB and 25 dB greater in Lmax than the F-16 during takeoff and arrival….” (Page NS-40). F-16 take-off noise in military power setting is 94 dB Lmax; F-35A take-off noise in military power setting is 115 dB Lmax (Page BR4-21).

 

2. “A change in sound level of about 10 dB is usually perceived by the average person as a doubling (or halving) of the sound’s loudness….” (Page C-2).

 

3. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that the safe time for 115 dB (assessed F-35A noise on take-off) is 14 seconds. 

 

4. The RDEIS says even though F-35A flight operations would be less than the F-16 flight operations, “The effect of the reduction in flight operations would be offset by the F-35A producing a single-event departure SELs 17 dB greater than the F-16s at Burlington AGS” (Pages BR4-28 and 4-33).

 

5. Any claim that draws conclusions from a single incident of noise ignores science and health studies that show damage from noise is cumulative; and even just a few minutes of tremendous noise, repeated over time, has significant health consequences.  Recent scientific analysis clearly shows that extended exposure, even at small intervals, to excessive noise causes irreparable health damage. 

 

  • Damage from noise is based on amplitude, frequency, time averaging, maximum sound level, peak sound level, sound exposure level, equivalent sound level, day-night average sound level, number of events above a threshold level, time above a specified level, duration, intensity, unpredictability and the cumulative effect of the noise (RDEIS Pages C1-58).

 

  • The cumulative nature of DNL means that the same level of noise exposure can be achieved in an essentially infinite number of ways….Areas exposed to noise levels between DNL 65 dB and 75 dB are “normally unacceptable,” and require special abatement measures and review. Those at 75 dB and above are “unacceptable” except under very limited circumstances” (FAA Part 150 Report Page 5).

 

  • When considering intermittent noise caused by aircraft overflights, a review of the relevant scientific literature and international guidelines indicates that an appropriate criteria is a limit on indoor background noise levels of 35 to 40 dB Leq, and a limit on single events of 50 dB Lmax” (RDEIS Page C-20).

 

  • USEPA (in 1974) identified DNL of 55 dB as ‘ requisite to protect public health and welfare’….” (RDEIS Page C-18).

 

 

 

 

C. NOISE MITIGATION MYTH: The Vermont Air Guard can mitigate the noise.

 

  1. According to the FAA Part 150 Report, “Land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative that would eliminate the residential incompatibility” (FAA Part 150 Report Page 29).

 

  1. Neither the Air Force nor the Air Guard has “plans to acquire or demolish residences as part of the F-35A beddown” (RDEIA Page BR4-17).

 

  1. The only mitigation measures listed in the Air Force report are to operate the F-35A in the same manner as the F-16s: keeping the same flight schedule, employing single takeoffs, and not flying at night (Page BR4-17).

 

  1. Yet, F-35A supporters claim the Air Guard pilots can fly the F-35A quieter than the F-16.

 

  • The Air Force report clearly states the F-35A is 3-4 times louder than the F-16.
  • The Air Guard cannot reduce the noise of the F-16, which they have flown for decades.
  • In fact, the noise of the F-16 has increased in recent years, and the pilots are unable to mitigate the noise of the plane they now fly.
  • How credible then is their claim to alter the noise of a plane they have never flown?

 

 

 

IV. FUTURE OF THE VERMONT AIR GUARD MYTH: If the F-35A does not come here, the

Guard Station will close.

 

  1. The Air Force stated that “…if there is no F-35A operational beddown at Burlington AGS the current mission would continue” (RDEIS Page PA-47).

 

  1. No public official (military, government, or politician) has EVER said the base will close if the F-35A is not based here. (Scare tactics imply the base will close.)

 

  1. MG Dubie said in a press conference in July 2012, that if the F-35A does not come here, the base MAY get SMALLER (meaning the Air Guard).

 

  1. BG Cray stated at a press conference in July 2013 that he could not predict what would happen to the Air Guard if the F-35A is not based in Vermont, but he did say that the unit’s mission would be different and most likely would require a lot less personnel.

 

  1. However, in April 2013, the Air Force announced it was upgrading all of the F-16s to keep them flying until the F-35A is fully operational. The Air Force stated it intends to keep the F-16s flying until at least 2030.

 

  1. Nonetheless, there are other missions for the Air Guard, including drones, anti-terrorism missions, and cyber security.

 

  1. The F-35A basing does not affect the VT Army Guard, which comprise the majority of the Vermont National Guard.

 

    • The Army Guard has approximately 4,000 members.
    • VT Air Guard is authorized 1,130 members: 730 part-time military (one weekend a month), and 400 full-time military and civilians members. BG Cray stated that over six hundred members of the Air Guard live in the surrounding communities of the airport.
    • Guard members often come from other states to serve their monthly weekend Guard duty. It is unclear how much of the reported $53 million in salaries are paid to Vermonters.

 

  1. Even were the Air Guard Station to close, it’s doubtful that it would have a significant economic impact on our area. Over the past three years, our area added 4,250 new jobs (1,400 new jobs per year).

 

9. Two possible outcomes are:

 

  • The Air Guard Station closes entirely 20 years from now, and 400 Air Guard members lose their full-time jobs, and 730 Air Guard members lose their part-time (one weekend a month) jobs.
  • The F-35As arrive here five years from now, and 1,500 of our children suffer physical and cognitive impairment, over 7,719 local residents lose their quality of life, a decrease in home values, and are trapped in houses that the federal government labels unsuitable for residential use.

 

10. Comparison to the closing of the former Plattsburg AFB is absurd.

 

    • Plattsburgh was an active duty base with over 5,000 full-time active duty personnel, in an area (Plattsburg) with a population of around 20,000.
    • The Burlington Air Guard Station has 400 full-time personnel, in an area with a population (Burlington and South Burlington) of around 60,000.
    • The economy of Plattsburgh recovered in half of the time expected (12 years versus the estimated 25 years).

 

 

 

V. NATIONAL SECURITY/ GUARD SUPPORT/ PATRIOTISM MYTHS: National Security, Guard Support, Patriotic duty depend on the F-35A being based here

 

A. National Security

  1. Military experts, politicians, and academics agree that the current major threats to the U.S. are terrorism and cyber-warfare.
  • Fighter-bombers have no role in countering these threats in the U.S.

 

  1. The only threat from military aircraft comes from Russia and China.
  • Vermont is a poor location to respond to these threats.
  • Current F-16s are more than sufficient to defend the U.S.; are more reliable, have better performance characteristics, and cost 75{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} less than the F-35A.

 

  1. The F-35A can and might carry nuclear weapons.
    • This makes an F-35A base a huge target for terrorists/other enemies.
    • AF has had recent problems with nuclear weapons security.

 

 

B. Vermont Air Guard Support

 

  1. Supporting the Guard means looking long-term. Actively recruiting and accepting new missions which counter current and future threats to our democracy is the best way to ensure a stable future for the VT Air Guard.

 

  1. Supporting the Guard means providing all the services our Guard families need when their Guard member is deployed, and most importantly all the services the guardswomen and guardsmen and their families need when they return to Vermont from war zones.

 

 

C. Patriotism

 

  1. Patriotism does not mean blindly accepting whatever weapon system defense contractors propose and politicians support.

 

  1. Patriotism does not mean bankrupting our country so huge defense contractors can stay in business.

 

  1. Patriotism does not mean that defense contractor executives and shareholders should be the ones who profit most from astronomically expensive weapon systems.

 

  1. Patriotism means supporting what is best for our citizens, including a good job for all who can work, a health system that cares for all regardless of economic status, education that allows all individuals to reach their potential, social security in their old age, and safe housing for everyone.

 

  1. Patriotism means supporting our troops and ensuring that they and their families are taken care of financially and medically. Yet our government is planning to pay for costly and questionable weapon systems, such as the F-35A, by reducing (firing) military personnel; eliminating civilian jobs; freezing military salaries; cutting our troops’ benefits; slashing their families’ benefits; increasing veterans’ health care costs; and cutting programs for homeless, disabled, and unemployed veterans.

 

 

 

VI. SCORING SHEET Problems

 

A. PURPOSE of the Scoring Sheet

 

  1. The Air Force devised a scoring methodology to explain how bases were chosen. This was done to preclude future disputes and lawsuits such as the one filed against the F-35A basing at Eglin AFB, in Florida. It was intended to bring more transparency to the process.

 

  1. The scoring sheet rated the bases in four areas: Mission, Capacity, Environment and Cost (Page 2-25).

 

    • Mission related principally to whether the airspace around the facility would be able to accommodate the flying sorties of the F35A, and how the weather impacted visibility. {60{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}}
    • Capacity related to whether the existing facilities (hangers, maintenance units, simulator bays, munitions, runways, etc.) would be able to accommodate the F-35A. {25{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}}
    • Environment related to existing air quality, zoning and land use controls, and existing encroachment (meaning “incompatible development”). {5{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}}
    • Cost related to the base’s construction costs and is tied to the cost-of-living. {10{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}}

 

B. PROCESS Problem

 

  1. Unlike the other criteria, which evaluated whether the airspace and facilities could accommodate the futureneeds of F-35A, the encroachment area (under environment) was related to the current situation—what exists now for theF-16.

 

  1. Rather than ask if there would be incompatible development in the F-35A accident and noise zones around the airport, they asked if there was currently incompatible development in the F-16 accident and noise zones around the airport.

 

    • Since there are different accident and noise zones for the F-16 and the F-35A, (the F-35A noise and crash zones are much larger than the F-16s) it is not logical to assume that the presence or absence of buildings, or the numbers of buildings, for the current F-16 would be the same for the F-35A.

 

C. DATA Problem

 

  1. Two questions in the ‘Encroachment’ area under the ‘Environmental’ category were answered incorrectly. Those questions were:

 

    • Is there incompatible development in clear zones and/or accident potential area?” and
    • Is there incompatible development in noise contours above 65 dB DNL?”

 

  1. The answer marked for both questions was ‘No’ meaning that there were NO incompatible buildings in either area (accident and noise). Burlington thus received 3 points for each question (6 total).

 

  1. But, there is incompatible development in both areas (accident and noise); meaning Burlington should not have received 6 points.

 

  1. Burlington Air Guard Station received a total score of 91.021 on the scoring sheet given to Senator Sanders in June 2012.

 

  1. For over a year, citizens, the media, and lawyers have been requesting to see the scores of the other Air Guard Stations, especially Jacksonville Air Guard Station in Florida and McEntire Joint National Guard Base in South Carolina, to confirm whether or not another Guard base scored higher than Burlington.

 

    • South Burlington City Council requested this from the Vermont Congressional Delegates in July 2012, and was told that the Air Force would not release it to them.
    • The Air Force denied two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to get the scoring sheets for other bases.

 

6. In June 2013, a slide from an Air Force briefing was leaked. This showed the scores of all six bases (three active duty Air Force bases, and three Air Guard bases) under consideration. According to a New York Times press report, this slide (and score) came after the scoring sheet that was provided to the VT congressional delegation in June 2012. And, both scoring sheets preceded the creation of the EIS. On this slide, Burlington received an overall score of 87.1, which was lower than either of the other two Air Guard bases, Jacksonville and McEntire. No explanation was given for why Burlington’s scores were lowered, or why an outdated scoring sheet was given to Senator Sanders.

 

July 13th Rally Photos

 

DSC_7421DSC_7471 DSC_7429DSC_7483 DSC_7448DSC_7432 DSC_7442

July 13th Rally Video

Call to Action! [email protected]

The day after the Citizens’ Hearing at the UU Church in Burlington, the United States Air Force issued their revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) thus triggering a 45 day legal window for public comment that closes July 15th, 2013!!! Everyone MUST email Nicholas Germanos at the email address below and tell him why THE F-35’s SHOULD NOT BE BASED IN VERMONT. Please tell everyone you know: your kids, your spouse, family, neighbors, people you work with, and get them all to send emails as well! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL!! Click on the following link to email to Mr. Germanos at Langley AFB. [email protected]

Mailing address: (in case you can’t email)
Mr. Nicholas Germanos
HQ ACC/A7PS
129 Andrews Street, Suite 332
Langley AFB, VA 23665-2769
or email him at: [email protected]

Here is a recap of the most significant issues facing our Vermont communities from the proposed F35 basing:
· It will harm 1,500 of our children: physically, emotionally and cognitively
· It will lower home values of 4,000 households
· It will degrade and possibly destroy the quality of life of 8,000 people
· It will risk the lives of thousands of people because of a greater probability of crashes from an warplane with no established safety record
· It disproportionally negatively affects minorities and low-income people
· It will pollute our environment
· The AF says the F-35 will bring environmental harm to our communities
· The AF says that Burlington is NOT the environmentally preferred base
· Substantive errors were made in the scoring process
· Substantive errors were made in the Draft EIS
· There are many unanswered questions about the base selection process
For more information about the negative effects of the basing, please review the Talking Points section on this website.
Thank you for your courage and conviction in opposing this attack on our Vermont values of environmental stewardship, protection of our people, children and the Vermont quality of life.
Please help protect Vermont – act now to Save Our Skies from the F35s!
Ask your friends and family, whether they live in Vermont or not, to support you in opposing this proposed basing and to send in their comments. We desperately need as many voices of opposition as possible. The proponents have launched an amazingly expensive mail campaign offensive to drown out our voices, and we need your help to spread the word.
Act Now! DEADLINE: JULY 15, 2013

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Last Call For Kids

WHO studies on children

Download the pdf of the list of WHO studies on children, or just view it here.

WHO_studies_on_children

July 2013 Events

Monday July 8th, 6:00 PM – S. Burlington C.C Meeting – The City Council will have a public hearing on the basing of the F-35 at the Burlington International Airport. We urge your attendance and your voices.

 

Monday, July 8th, 6:00PM – Winooski CC Meeting – The Winooski city Council will hold an F35 Public Forum on the basing of the F-35 at the Burlington International Airport. The Council will hear public testimony, then meet again on Wednesday, July 10th at 6:00PM to vote on a resolution either opposing or supporting the basing. We urge your attendance and your voices.

 

Tuesday July 9th, 7:00 PM – Chamberlain Elementary School, 262 White St in South Burlington. The Citizen Alliance for People Over Planes is hosting a public meeting about the effects of F35 noise levels on our children entitled, “Last Call for Kids: A Public Hearing on the F-35 and Children”

 

Startling new information on the harmful effects of aircraft noise on children will be presented. A representative from the U.S. Air Force may also be in attendance to discuss the F-35A basing process and to answer questions.

 

The purpose of the event is to share this new information about the F35’s projected health hazards, and to give the people who are affected by this basing decision the opportunity to ask questions, express their concerns, and make comments.

 

Citizen Alliance for People over Planes

citizenallianceforpeople@gmail.com

 

Saturday July 13th, 2:00 PM Rally starting at Burlington City Hall – The purpose of this rally is to express to the Congressional Delegation and our State leaders our disappointment in not listening to our voices in a public hearing setting to answer our questions and to hear our concerns. We will walk to the offices of Welch, Sanders and Leahy, hearing short speeches at each stop, and concluding at City Hall. We need speakers, many people with signs and a lot of enthusiasm. This rally will be our final event before the July 15thdeadline for comments to the Air Force on the final DEIS.

 

Monday July 15th, – Last day to mail public comments to the Air Force regarding the basing of the F-35 at the BIA. Comments can be communicated in several forms of mail. The easiest is to go to the “stopthef35.com” web site and respond to CALL TO ACTION by clicking on Nick Germanos’ email. The email will come up on your screen and send a message as to why you do not want the F-35 to be based at Burlington International Airport. Comment bullets are available with this information.

Or you can email him directly at: nicholas.germanos@langley.af.mil

 

Secondly, you may send a slow mail letter to Mr Nicholas Germanos, HQ ACC/A7PS, 129 Andrews St. Suite 337, Langley AFB VA 23665-9900.

 

The final method is to fill out a post card that a supporter of the F-35 will make available.

 

We need to communicate as many of these comments as possible to the Air Force. Encourage friends, family, etc. to do the same no later than Monday, July 15th, 2013.

 

Questions and Response by Captain Gookin

	From: James Marc Leas [mailto:jimmy@vermontpatentlawyer.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2013 12:07 PM
To: Gookin, Christopher J CPT USARMY NG VTARNG (US)
Cc: Lauren Victory WPTZ; David charns WPTZ; WCAX; John Briggs;
stop-the-f35;
Kevin Kelley; VPR2; Other Paper 2; Dumont Jim;
sosvt@googlegroups.com
Subject: F-16 afterburner and mitigation
Dear Cpt. Gookin,
I am delighted with the statement by General Cray on Thursday,
provided in
the Burlington Free Press article, "Air Guard: F-35's ability to
take off
fast limits noise concerns--Commanders meet with media to discuss
new
fighter jet"
<http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130606/NEWS02/306060035?source
=nletter-top5>
<http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130606/NEWS02/306060035?source
=nletter-top5> 
At the start of the Thursday media session, Adjutant Gen.
Steve Cray
pledged that his administration will be as "open and transparent as
we can."
Cray was sworn in as the leader of the 4,000-member Vermont National
Guard three months ago.
At the same news conference, the Free Press reports this statement
about
noise mitigation:  "We feel strongly that we can mitigate those
impacts by
working with the community on the noise issues," Brig. Gen. Richard
Harris
told reporters during a meeting at the Guard's headquarters at Camp
Johnson.
In view of the commitments to being open and transparent and to
mitigation,
would you please answer the following questions about the
afterburner:
1. When were the F-16 planes fuel tanks moved from under the fuselage to the wings on the VTANG F-16 fighters?
2. Was the move of the fuel tanks to the wings responsible for increased use of afterburner?
3. Did the increased use of afterburner cause more noise in the region of the Burlington airport entrance?
4. What measures did the Vermont Air National Guard take at that time to mitigate the noise from the afterburner?
5. What measures did the Vermont Air National Guard take at that time to avoid the need for $40 million of federal taxpayer funds to be allocated 
to purchase 200 affordable homes near the airport entrance and for many of the families to be voluntarily bought out at full price and relocated
and 55 of the homes to be demolished so far?
6. Were the F-16 planes at any other Air Guard or Air Force base not converted to wing-mounted external fuel tanks?
7. How many F-16 planes are in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes?
8. How many of the F-16 planes in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes were converted to wing mounted external fuel tanks?
9. How many of the F-16 planes in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes were not converted to wing mounted external fuel tanks?
10. Do any of the F-16 planes with wing-mounted external fuel tanks not require use of the afterburner for takeoff?
11. In view of the Vermont Air National Guard commitment to mitigate noise will the Vermont Air National Guard reconsider the move to
wing-mounted fuel tank and resume use of the fuselage mounted external fuel tank?
12. How did the Vermont Air National Guard determine that moving the external fuel tank to the wing would reduce metal fatigue and extend
service life of the aircraft?
13. Was the determination based on computer modeling? If so, has this computer modeling showing that adding weight to the wings reduces
metal fatigue been verified?
14. What part or parts of the F-16 is subject to greater metal fatigue in the absence of the heavier weight on the wings provided by the wing
mounted external fuel tank?
15. How long would the part or parts subject to metal fatigue have been expected to last both without the move of the external fuel tank to the wings 
and with the move?
16. What is the cost of replacing that part or those parts in the event they do wear out?
17. Was the cost of replacing that part or those parts considered in view of the displacement of 200 families from afterburner noise and the $40
million of taxpayer money to buy them out?
Thank you very much for the commitment to being open and
transparent. I look
forward to your prompt response to these relevant questions.
best regards,
James Marc Leas
Response:
Mr. Leas,
Thank you for your continued interest in the F35 basing process.  As you know the Vermont Air National 
Guard has a long history of safely operating fighter aircraft at the Burlington International Airport.  
As responsible community partners, the Air Guard complies with FAA and Air Force regulations and 
standard operating procedures.  Depending on mission requirements the Vermont Air Guard has 4 
different wing-tank configurations they have used since 1986.  Power setting at take-off is a combination 
of configurations, gross weight and weather condition.
As far as the housing purchase you refer to, the Burlington International Airport is the lead agency for 
that program.  They work under guidelines of the FAA.  I would recommend your questions be directed 
to those two agencies.
The questions regarding metal fatigue and service life are beyond our scope to answer.  We recommend 
you contact F-16 Special Program Office, part of Air Force Material Command located at Wright 
Patterson AFB.  
The Vermont Air Guard is committed to being a good neighbor and will work with the community to 
minimize any impacts of the F-35 basing.
Captain Chris Gookin
State Public Affairs Officer

Correcting a postcard…

F35postcard

These businesses are actively promoting the F-35 basing in Burlington:

They have been giving out Pro-F-35 postcards and pressuring customers with Pro-F-35 petitions in the checkout line. The information on their materials is inaccurate. Please avoid doing business at the following places:

Garry’s Barber Shop – Essex Jct
5 Corners Variety – Essex Jct
Central Beverage – Essex Jct
O’Brien Town & Country – Williston
Bagel’s Plus – Williston
Dick Mazza’s General Store – Colchester
The Dam Store – Milton
Beverage Warehouse – Winooski
Merola’s Market – Burlington
Waggy’s Store & Deli – Burlington
Handy’s Lunch – Burlington
Aviation Deli – South Burlington
The Citro Agency/Allstate Ins.  – South Burlington

What you can do right now:

 

Dear Friends & Allies,

 

To those who were able to make it, thank you so much for being a part of the Citizens’ Hearing at the UU Church in Burlington on May 30th! It was wonderful to see so many people come out to learn about the F-35A and the proposed basing in Vermont. We were thrilled to meet so many of our neighbors who share our concerns and opposition to the proposed basing! We hope you enjoyed the event.

  

You have probably heard that the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Revised DEIS) was released by the Air Force on May 31st, and we hope you’ve been following the important discussions about noise, real estate, health, crash zones, and the design problems of the F-35 that have been so prominent in the media ever since. Exciting info that supports our cause!

 

NOW, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT & HELP!

 

ACTIONS

 

1. Op-Ed’s to the Press

We need people to flood the press with Op-Eds! If you have a few moments, please write up a short paragraph, expressing why YOU oppose the F-35A basing in VT. Send these to the Burlington Free Press, Seven Days, The Other Paper, and any other media source you can think of.  

Other Paper – news@otherpapersbvt.com

2. Write to the Air ForceThe deadline is July 15th!

We need EVERYONE to write to the Air Force to express opposition to the proposed basing. This is ESSENTIAL! Tell them why you think the basing is bad, unjust, unwise, harmful, etc. Individual letters carry the most weight, and the Air Force IS paying attention to this! Send your letter to:

Mr. Nicholas Germanos

HQ ACC/A7PS

129 Andrews Street, Suite 332

Langley AFB, VA 23665-2769

 

EVENTS

1.   City Council Hearings on the F-35 Basing July 8th,

South Burlington & Winooski

Both towns will host Public Hearings on the same night. It is likely that new Resolutions will come out of these discussions, so it’s ESSENTIAL that opponents show up in huge numbers, expressing their opposition to this basing, with both factual information and passion! Show up and be heard! And invite everyone you know to attend!

 2.  Citizens’ Hearing #2 July 9th, UU Church, Burlington, 7:00 pm

We ran out of time to engage in a robust Q&A session at the first Citizens’ Hearing. We want to hear from YOU! It’s ESSENTIAL that we bring in at least as many people as attended the first Hearing, so please mark your calendars and invite everyone you know! Bring your questions and comments! Stay tuned for more detail about this event in the coming week or so!

3.  DemonstrationJuly 13th

We will need a large crowd to gather for a peaceful demonstration in front of Senator Leahy’s Burlington office two days before the end of the Public Comment period to protest his refusal to meet with opponents of the F-35.

Stay tuned for the exact time and what you should bring to the rally.

  

Thank you so much for your support!

 

All the best,

Citizens Alliance for People Over Planes

 

Will This Happen to Winooski?

Citizens’ Hearing #4

Citizens’ Hearing #3

Citizens’ Hearing #2

Thank you BFP!

Air Force: We overstated F-35 support for Burlington

Opponents of F-35 in Vermont outnumber supporters, Air Force says, acknowledging error in environmental report

Jun. 11, 2013 3:28 PM
The Air Force says its updated environmental report on the F-35 contained an error regarding the level of support in Vermont for the next-generation fighter jet.

The Air Force’s updated Draft Environmental Impact Study, released May 31, incorrectly reported that supporters of basing the F-35 at Burlington International Airport outnumbered opponents by a margin of 8-2.

Study case officer Nicholas Germanos at Langley Air Force base in Virginia acknowledged the mistake Tuesday to the Burlington Free Press. He said it was unclear how the error had occurred.
He said opponents of the F-35 basing at the Burlington Air Guard Station far outnumber supporters: “65 percent of the comments collected during the 2012 public-comment period are opposed to the F-35 basing decision for Burlington.”

Nationwide, Germanos said, the Air Force received 934 comments about F-35 basing after the original draft environmental report was released in March 2012. More than 97 percent, or 913 comments, concerned Burlington.

Of those 913 comments, 65 percent (about 594) opposed the basing, Germanos said Tuesday, while 35 percent (about 320) were in support.

“The document was reviewed by the Air Force prior to publication,” Germanos said of the updated study, “and the error was discovered and was supposed to be corrected, but it wasn’t.”
He said the contractor who wrote the report had agreed to make the correction, but, somehow, he said, “it was not reflected in this version. It will be corrected in the final report.”

The draft environmental impact study can be found online at www.accplanning.org and appears on the opening page of that site as “Current Initiatives.” Appendix E of Volume II of the report lays out both negative and positive comments and the Air Force response to them.

Contact John Briggs at 660-1863 or jbriggs@burlingtonfreepress.com.

Video: The citizens’ hearing #1

Video of Reaction to F-35 Environmental Report

FOX44 – Burlington / Plattsburgh News, Weather

The revised EIS is out!

Click here for link to the revised Environmental Impact Statement

Near & Far: Chris Hurd – F-35 Opponent

Three Articles by James Marc Leas

Click here to download 3 articles explaining the controversy over the F-35A basing in VT

They can also be found here:

http://vtdigger.org/2013/05/21/leas-quite-a-pair-of-stings-for-f-35-basing/

http://vtdigger.org/2013/05/22/leas-follow-the-money-the-f-35-fudge-gate-scandal/

http://vtdigger.org/2013/05/23/leas-crashing-the-party-not-if-but-where-the-f-35-will-crash/

Thurs, May 30th: A Citizens’ Hearing

1T-NoF35inBTV051513-7

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Some more articles about the Boston Globe article

Boston Globe, WPTZ, WCAX, Burlington Free Press, Seven Days, VPR

Meeting at 7pm today at Winooski High School (north wing) to plan action.

“As jets seem bound for Vt., questions of political influence arise,” By Bryan Bender and Globe Staff April 14, 2013
http://bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/04/13/selection-vermont-guard-base-for-jets-was-based-flawed-data-raising-questions-political-influence/pmhiPtI1BPWxwC3yK1adAL/story.html

“F-35 basing data ‘fudged’,” by David Charns WPTZ April 14, 2013
http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-york/burlington/Report-F-35-basing-data-fudged/-/8869880/19747334/-/gv95nmz/-/index.html

“Is political influence driving F-35 decision?” Posted: Apr 14, 2013 6:00 PM EDT By WCAX News
http://www.wcax.com/story/21974714/in-a-report-in-sundays-boston-globe-critics-of-the-program-say-its-more-sen-patrick-leahys-political-sway-driving-the-decision-making-rather-than-the

“Leahy’s role questioned in bringing F-35 to Burlington,” by John Briggs, Burlington Free Press, April 15, 2013
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130415/NEWS03/304150017/Leahy-s-role-questioned-bringing-F-35-Burlington

“Globe Probes “Political Influence” in Vermont’s F-35 Selection,” by Paul Heintz, Seven Days, April 15, 2013, 8:46am
http://7d.blogs.com/offmessage/2013/04/morning-read-globe-probes-political-influence-in-vermonts-f-35-selection.html

“Leahy Responds To F-35 ‘Preliminary Approval'” by Kirk Carapezza, April 15, 2013
http://digital.vpr.net/post/leahy-resonds-f-35-preliminary-approval

Credit Kirk Carapezza / VPR
Vermont real estate developer Ernie Pomerleau observes a F-35 fighter jet inside a hangar at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in December

Selection of Vermont Guard base for F-35 jets was based on flawed data, raising questions of political influence

Click here for the link to the Boston Globe article.

Click here to download a pdf. Preview of “Selection of Vermont Guard base for F-35 jets was based on flawed data, raising questions of political influence – Politics – The Boston Globe”

“Selection of Vermont Guard base for F-35 jets was based on flawed data, raising questions of political influence - Politics - The Boston Globe”

Please Help with the 60 Minute Blitz!

Welcome to Save Our Skies VT, and thank you for helping with our CBS 60 Minutes “Blitz”! Over the course of 48 hours, from April 7 to April 8, we hope to generate 1,000 emails to CBS, with your help.

 

We are coordinating an email campaign to urge 60 Minutes to undertake investigative research on the attempt to base the inappropriate and out-of-scale F35 fighter jets/stealth bomber program in densely populated residential areas in Burlington VT, Beaufort SC, and Tucson AZ.

 

These communities will be severely impacted by the destructive and harmful noise impact of the F35. The decision to attempt to base the F35s in these regions by our military and congressional leaders is outrageous and unfathomable.

 

Please choose one of the sample letters below, copy and paste into your email, and send to 60m@cbsnews.com You can send the letter as is, or adapt it with your own comments. Or, use your own words to tell 60 Minutes to help us fight this unreasonable, unfair and unjust attack on our communities.

 

The F35s have no business being located near residential homes and communities, and we need 60 Minutes help to expose the questionable processes by which our cities have been chosen as potential sites for the basings.

 

Please email 60 Minutes at 60m@cbsnews.com, and help us grow our impact by sharing this plea with your friends, family and neighbors. By working together, our voices will be stronger and our message clear: the F35s are not suitable for residential use!

 

Please note: You can make a comment to appear on this post using the comment form below, but this will not be sent to 60 Minutes. Please email 60 Minutes directly using your email account. Thank You!!

 

Please click here to download a pdf of the letters, or just copy and paste from the following:

 

 

Dear 60 Minutes,

 

I urge you to highlight the wastefulness and damaging effects of the F-35A program. In particular I’d like to have you investigate the potential basing of the F-35A at the Burlington International Airport. This basing is wasteful and damaging because it is bad for the communities near the airport, in the following ways: (1) Economics – The Air Force DEIS says that thousands of homes will be in a noise zone that makes them “incompatible with residential use,” and the effect will be decreased property values; (2) Health – While the DEIS uses outdated studies on the health effects of noise, recent scientific consensus affirms that excessive exposure to environmental noise, especially jet noise, causes hearing loss, heart attack, stroke, mental disturbance, and impaired cognitive development in children; and (3) Safety – the DEIS offers Crash Zone maps within which there are thousands of homes in the neighborhoods surrounding this commercial airport. Certainly, this overpriced and underperforming weapons system does not belong in the most densely populated area of Vermont.

 

Thank you,

 

______________________________

 

 

Dear 60 Minutes,

 

Wasteful government spending is one of the most important issues facing us today.   I live in Vermont, and our politicians (Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, and Governor Peter Shumlin) all have progressive reputations, but are proving to be some of the unexpected enablers of such wasteful spending.  Though they criticize excessive military spending in general, when it comes to the F-35A – an overpriced and underperforming weapons system – they suddenly get transformed into lovers of military pork.  In particular, they want the F-35A to be based in the Burlington area, something the Air Force itself says is NOT an economic or environmental boon for our state in its own Draft Environmental Impact Statement. They refuse to debate or discuss the matter in any meaningful way with the grassroots opposition, who have thoroughly researched the economic, health, and safety problems with the basing.  So while these politicians call themselves “progressive,” they quietly feed at the trough of military pork.  

Please investigate this hypocrisy and contradiction!

 

Thank you,

 

________________________________

 

 

Dear 60 Minutes,

 

I urge you to investigate the denial of a robust, transparent democratic process in the decision process taking place for the potential bedding of the F-35A in Burlington, Vermont. We have two Vermont senators, liberal Patrick Leahy and progressive Bernie Sanders, who have steadfastly refused to meet with the citizens of Winooski, where over 50{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the residents’ homes would be designated “not compatible with residential use,” by Federal Aviation Administration standards. The initial scoring data for Burlington has been proven to have been inaccurate, because it reported zero homes in the noise zone and crash zone, while there are more than 3,000 homes in those zones! Numerous requests for information (including 2 Freedom of Information Act requests) have been denied without adequate justification. We do not understand why citizens are being refused access to the scoring data for all the potential bases, while Burlington remains at the top of the list over the other Air Guard bases competing for the F-35A, even though thousands of local residents will be negatively affected, according to the Air Force DEIS. Please investigate!

 

Thank you,

 

__________________________________

 

Dear 60 Minutes,

 

There is a very disturbing controversy taking place in Burlington, Vermont, because of the proposed basing of 18-24 Air Force F-35A’s in the most densely populated area of our state. Vermont big business is essentially buying support for the basing of the fighter/bomber plane at our commercial airport. They have flown our political leaders south to measure noise (by chartered private flight), and in doing so, ignored the $2-million 2-year Air Force noise-metric study, in favor of recording sound on their iPads. Our leaders listened to these aircraft while wearing ear plugs, determining the jet noise to be “surprisingly quiet.” In addition, Vermont big business essentially bought our recent City Council election in South Burlington, where the airport is located. The amount of money spent on this election is astounding compared to every previous election, and the campaigns were characterized by vicious attacks on Council members who opposed the basing in a 2012 Council Resolution. Please investigate the way that business interests in Vermont are controlling and manipulating a process that should be transparent and democratic.

 

Thank you,

 

_________________________________

 

 

Dear 60 Minutes,

 

Vermonters need your help in investigating a very troubling instance of environmental injustice in our state. Burlington Vermont’s commercial airport has somehow been ranked #1 among Air Guard bases for the potential basing of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, despite the disturbing fact that the most impacted area is comprised of the highest numbers of low-income, minority, and refugee populations in the state. According to the Air Force’s DEIS, there is no question that these vulnerable populations will be “disproportionately” negatively affected by the basing, in terms of health, safety, quality of life, and economic harm. And the DEIS was based on 2000 Census data, even though our Refugee Resettlement Program has increased this diverse population tremendously over the past 13 years. Vermonters wonder why Senator Patrick Leahy, as head of the powerful Judiciary Committee, and now third in line to the presidency as Senate Pro Tempore, can’t or won’t listen to his own constituents, especially when such an injustice has already been confirmed by the Air Force DEIS. Why won’t Leahy apply the same standards of justice to his constituents that he would advocate as head of the Judiciary Committee? And why won’t Senator Bernie Sanders, whose career has been characterized by concern for disadvantaged populations, stand up to defend the quality of life of our vulnerable neighbors? Please investigate!

 

Thank you,

 

_________________________________

 

 

Dear 60 Minutes,

 

In the small state of Vermont, we are witnessing a classic “David and Goliath” battle. On one side, we have both Vermont Senators, its Congressman, its Governor, 2 local Mayors, the Vermont Air National Guard, the business community, and the largest defense contractor in the world, Lockheed Martin. On the other side, we have one short, tree-hugging, animal-loving, 29-year military veteran, retired Air Force Colonel, ex-nun, coal-miner’s daughter, recent City Council Chairwoman. The issue is the proposed basing of the huge trillion-dollar Air Force fighter/bomber (F-35A) in the middle of the most densely-populated area of our entire state. A grassroots opposition movement is steadily growing behind our brave “David,” against the well-funded, powerful “Goliath” forces. But their attacks on anyone who opposes the basing, and especially against Colonel Rosanne Greco, have been vicious and constant. She has been publicly attacked and personally harassed (including vandalism to her home and property). And similar efforts have been made to discredit anyone who opposes the basing. Please investigate this!

 

Thank you,

___________________________________

Another petition to sign

Click here.

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Marine F-35 Jump-Jet PR: Caveataxpayer Emptor

Click here for the link to the article.

20130327-230416.jpg

A letter from Senator Leahy

And check out this article: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130312/NEWS02/303120017/Leahy-F-35-weapons-program-is-too-costly-to-proceed

 

Dear Mr. Hurd:

Thank you for contacting me about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

I support proposals to responsibly reduce the Pentagon’s budget.  I believe the Pentagon can save substantial amounts by improving its acquisition system and leveraging the savings of the National Guard and Reserve.  Reprioritizing defense spending will better prepare the United States to face its current and future security challenges.

I have heard from a number of Vermonters who have specifically questioned the value of the F-35.  The F-35 program has been poorly managed and is a textbook example of how not to buy military equipment.  The causes of the F-35 program’s present difficulties are too numerous to detail in my response to your letter; however, I believe the F-35 program is approaching a point where the military services and a majority of Congress will recognize that the jet is just too costly to proceed with purchases at today’s planned levels.  That recognition may lead to a decision to diversify of our future fighter jet fleet, with the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps opting to modernize their current fleet of fighter jets and substantially reduce the total number of F-35s that they plan to buy.  I do not believe, because of the huge sums taxpayers have already invested and because the F-35 is our only next-generation aircraft presently in development, that a majority of Congress or military leaders will support terminating the program entirely.

I have pushed and continue to push for a better approach to buying military equipment.  I don’t think “one size fits all,” monolithic, ultra-expensive equipment is what our troops need, but enacting a change to the F-35 program at this stage will require the support of a majority of members of Congress.  Please know that I am working to find savings in this program and elsewhere in the Pentagon budget to reinvest that money in other critical areas.

Thank you again for contacting me.  Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

PATRICK LEAHY
United States Senator

Downtown Winooski Map of Accident Potential Zones

Download and Share!

F35_Winooski_SafetyZones
The Department of Defense (DoD) has brought lawsuits and threatened to move an air base due to development potentially infringing on “accident potential zones (APZ)” around an air base in Florida and one in Virginia. (Sources: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/oceana.htm and http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/26/3254990/homestead-farmer-look-to-settle.html#storylink=cpy)

In Chittenden County, about 1400 homes and many businesses are located in the APZ’s around Burlington International Airport (BTV).

The map below shows the military accident potential zones around BTV, depicted based on the May, 2011, DoD Directive. These same zones can be found in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for basing F-35 at BTV.

If you look at the map and included table, you’ll find that more than 1400 residential properties are located in the Accident Potential Zones (APZ) extending from the ends of the BTV runway into Burlington, Colchester, Williston, and Winooski. It should be noted that these properties represent a much larger number of “dwelling units” since many of them are multiple family buildings. In Winooski for instance, the 974 residential properties in the two APZ’s include about 2600 dwelling units.

The DoD says, “Areas immediately beyond the ends of runways possess a measurably higher potential for aircraft accidents. . . . residential development, educational facilities, and medical facilities are considered incompatible and are strongly discouraged in APZs.” In Winooski, St. Francis’s School is in APZ2, just outside APZ1. You can read the DoD directive and learn more about the restrictions on development which the DoD says should be in place at this link: http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/416557p.pdf.

Around other military air bases, some localities have instituted zoning regulations and building codes to restrict development and formalize the DoD’s recommendations for compatible development prohibitions and noise reduction building requirements in APZ’s and high noise zones. The city of Beaufort, SC, is one example, as you can see at this link:
http://apps.cityofbeaufort.org/depts/planning/udo/amendments/O-40-06.pdf.

In addition it is U.S. Housing and Urban Development policy “not to provide assistance to projects and actions in Runway Protection, Accident Potential or Clear Zones.” Paradoxically, HUD also requires that people buying property with HUD funding sign an acknowledgment that they have been informed that the property is in an APZ. (Source: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_14225.pdf)

Are aircraft crashes actual possibilities? The Vermont Air Guard has had two Class A crashes since 1965, one of them near Taft’s Corners where, horribly, a pilot and his navigator were killed, the other a “flameout landing” in New Jersey where the plane was destroyed. A Class A crash is one involving “total property damage of $2 million or more, total aircraft loss, or a fatality and/or permanent total disability.” (Draft EIS, p. BR4-44 and BR4-45)

Once again, it should be emphasized that these are the Department of Defense zones and compatible use recommendations.

Proposed Ireland Development Map

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F35_Ireland_SafetyZones

Imagine 240 more families living right beneath the F-35s!

http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-york/burlington/S-D-Ireland-proposes-new-housing-for-Grove-St-industrial-site/-/8869880/17431208/-/s9acht/-/index.html

F-35 Health Report

Click Here to Download pdf

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 11.43.24 AM

 

We are not the only ones!

Click below to read about another victim of the F-35 program:

http://www.best4beaufort.com/

Launching a Ballot Item!

——– JOIN IN LAUNCHING–FOR NEXT YEAR’S TOWN MEETING–A BALLOT ITEM
PETITION TO STOP THE F-35! ——————————————

For more info: stopthef35.com

Town Meeting Day in Burlington
Join in launching–for next year’s town meeting–a ballot item petition to
stop the F-35!
Meet at Mater Christi School
50 Mansfield Ave, Burlington
Town Meeting Day
Tuesday March 5
8am to 11am
A news conference is being scheduled for 9:00 am to launch the petition drive
Speakers include Attorney Jim Dumont
and
Burlington and Winooski neighbors in the zone the Air Force says will be
rendered “unsuitable for residential use”

Come out for as much time as you can to help launch the petition.

We have nearly 10 months to collect the signatures for next year’s town
meeting. Most signature gathering will be delayed until after the Air Force
decision and then only if the Air Force selects Burlington.

The voters of Burlington do have the power to stop the Pentagon plan to base
the F-35 at the airport!
This is because Vermont law provides that the people must vote on airport
expenditures (see text of the law below).
If approved by the voters the resolution provided in the petition effectively
prevents the basing of the F-35 at the Burlington airport.

Here is why:

The F-35 issue is not a matter of federal preemption–it is a simple
landlord/tenant issue–the City of Burlington is the landlord of the airport
and the Air Guard is the tenant
Any landlord can tell her tenant not to make noise!
And, if the landlord permits the tenant to make so much noise that other
homes are rendered “unsuitable for residential use” the landlord can be held
liable for the damages
Burlington will potentially be liable for $550 million in payments for home
purchases–this far exceeds the financial harm from Burlington Telecom. **see
below**

—Text of the resolution: —

Petition for annual or special meeting to stop basing of F-35 at Burlington
International Airport

“Shall the voters of the City of Burlington approve a resolution to stop
the basing of the F-35 at Burlington International Airport in view of the
following facts:

The F-35 is more than 4 times louder than the F-16. F-16 noise has already
caused blocks of abandoned and demolished homes in South Burlington–at a
cost of $39 million. The F-35 will put 3000 more homes in the noise zone the
Air Force says is “incompatible with residential use.”

Burlington owns the airport and has authority to prevent such damaging
actions by its military tenants. Burlington voters have authority under
Vermont law to set the airport budget to ensure that no more homes need be
demolished.

Therefore, pursuant to Vermont statutory authority 5 VSA 606:

So as to prevent the basing of the F-35 at the airport, and to support the
Vermont Air Guard’s own stated mission, “to protect life and property”
and “add value to our communities,” no more than one dollar may be spent
for construction, equipment and improvement of Burlington International
Airport so long as F-35 jets are regularly based at this airport.”

**Burlington got $40 million from the FAA to purchase and demolish 200
affordable homes near the airport. The demolition permits on file in South
Burlington City Hall for the 55 homes so far demolished give one
reason–being in the noise zone the Air Force and FAA say is “not suitable
for residential use.” The Air Force says that the noise was because of F-16
jets now based at the airport and that commercial flight noise is negligible
compared. The airport says that no more federal money is coming if the F-35
is based here. But Burlington will be just as liable to the 3000 families
whose homes the F-35 will put in the same noise zone if Burlington approves
its tenant bringing the F-35 weapons system. The grand list total for those
3000 homes is $550 million. Having already admitted liability for the 200
homes, Burlington will be on shaky ground to assert it is not liable for the
3000.

The statute:

5 VSA § 606. Vote; income; issuance of notes or bonds

An airport or landing field shall not be established or constructed, or
equipped, maintained, or improved from time to time by a municipality, acting
either singly or jointly with one or more other municipalities, unless and
until a proposition therefor fixing the maximum amount which may be expended
thereunder by such municipality for such establishment, construction,
equipment, or improvement has been submitted to an annual or special meeting
of the municipality and adopted by a majority vote of the qualified voters
voting thereon.

Chief Of Dysfunctional F-35 Program Calls Out The Pentagon’s Defense Contractors

http://www.businessinsider.com/chief-of-dysfunctional-f-35-program-calls-out-the-pentagons-defense-contractors-2013-2#ixzz2M6ONiQmq

Help 60 Minutes expose the VT F35-Gate scandal!

Please contact 60 Minutes or call 212-975-3247 today!

           We are at a very critical point in bringing our serious and well-founded concerns about the F35 to the attention of the national media before the basing decision is released. Among other media outlets that are looking at our story is CBS 60 Minutes, and we need your help to influence their decision to do an investigative story on the VT F35-Gate scandal.
          The contact at 60 Minutes has received much of the background information we have developed for opposing the basing, including copies of the Vermont Department of Health statement, the Burlington Board of Health Resolution, as well as the South Burlington City Council and Winooski City Council resolutions along with many others (see SOSVT.org for more info).
             Now, they need to hear from us why we are fighting to defend our homes and our communities from consideration of this damaging decision. Tell them why we refuse to become “collateral damage” for something that violates our Vermont ideals of environmental responsibility, social justice, welfare of others, healthy living, peace, community support, clean air and skies.
             The F35s are Vermont Wrong and our elected officials are F35 Deaf! Senator Leahy, with his recent ascension to the Senate Pro Tem position, and as the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has become a prominent figure for the media. With recent media attention focused on the F35s’ out of control expenses and continued mechanical issues, our actions now can get us the exposure we need before it’s too late! This story is waiting to break, but needs your help.
What we need now are your emails and phone calls asking for 60 Minutes to use their significant resources to further investigate the inappropriateness of this proposed basing.
            You can speak to the controversy of the issue, the contradictions and conflict that pit a retired US Air Force Colonel against a powerful US Senator, the wealthy proponents against low- and moderate- income populations, the military’s desires against the civilian population’s health and safety, those who have great influence and have the attention of our Senator, and those who have little and to whom he will not speak.
            This may be our last chance to have the spotlight shown on this inappropriate and out-of-scale proposed basing in Vermont. This whole thing is surreal in too many ways, except it is TOO real and it is on the verge of happening here if we don’t continue to speak against it.
            Please contact 60 Minutes at 60M@cbsnews.com or call 212-975-3247 today! 
Your story is so important! Thank you for your continued efforts on this issue.

Chittenden County ECOS Plan

Send comments on F-35’s before March 20! Click the link…

http://www.ecosproject.com/plan

F-35 Jets Grounded

The New York Times

 


February 22, 2013

Pentagon Orders F-35 Jets Grounded

By 

The Pentagon said on Friday that it had grounded all of its stealthy new F-35 fighter jets after an inspection found a crack in a turbine blade in the engine of one of the planes.

The suspension of flights comes at an awkward time for the military, which is facing automatic budget cuts that could slow its purchases of the planes. The Pentagon grounded all three versions of the jets — for the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines — on Thursday while it investigated the problem.

Lockheed Martin, which makes the high-tech plane, said 64 of the jets would be affected. The Pentagon estimates that it could spend as much as $396 billion to buy 2,456 of the jets by the late 2030s. But the program, the most expensive in military history, has been plagued by cost overruns and delays, and it could easily become a target for budget cutters.

The Marines also had to suspend operation of their version from Jan. 18 through Feb. 13 because of a problem with a crimped hose in the fuel system.

The Pentagon office that runs the program said the crack in the turbine blade was discovered on Tuesday in a routine inspection. The crack occurred on a test plane at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The blade is being shipped to a plant in Connecticut, where the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, will inspect it and look for the problem’s cause.

Matthew C. Bates, a spokesman for Pratt & Whitney, said none of the other F-35s had suffered any cracks. The F-35 program office in the Pentagon said in a statement that it had suspended the flights as a precaution until the investigation was completed and the cause of the cracking was fully understood.

The turbine problem, first reported by Politico Pro, arose as the Pentagon has sought to persuade Congress to cancel the automatic cuts, which could force the military to reduce its budgets by about $500 billion over the next 10 years. The first installment of the cuts is scheduled to start on Friday, and it may force the Pentagon to delay buying three of the approximately 30 F-35 planes it had planned to order this year.

“We don’t know the severity of the problem with the turbine blade,” said Richard L. Aboulafia, an aviation analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, Va. “It could be a one-off or it could be something that needs more attention. But either way, given the political scrutiny and the concerns about the plane’s cost and performance, this is a very bad time to have a problem.”

The F-35 was conceived as the Pentagon’s silver bullet in the sky — a state-of-the art aircraft with advances that would easily overcome the defenses of most foes. The radar-evading jets would dodge sophisticated antiaircraft missiles and give pilots a better picture of enemy threats while enabling allies, who want the planes, too, to fight more closely with American forces.

But the ambitious aircraft instead illustrates how the Pentagon can let huge and complex programs veer out of control. The program has run into other technical problems and nearly doubled in cost as Lockheed and the military’s own bureaucracy failed to deliver on the most basic promise of a three-in-one jet that would save taxpayers money and be delivered speedily.

Behind the scenes, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin had also engaged in a conflict of their own over the costs, though both sides now say that the relationship has improved and that the program is making progress. The number of test flights had picked up, and the Marines said before the grounding this week that they were about to shift from simply testing the planes to starting to fly them operationally.

The Pentagon had also reached new contracts recently with Lockheed and Pratt & Whitney that lowered the cost of each aircraft body and engine.

Mr. Bates, the Pratt & Whitney spokesman, said a similar turbine blade in an engine built for testing purposes also cracked in 2007. But he said the blade was redesigned after that, and this week’s failure did not appear to be related.

With all the delays — full production is not expected until 2019 — the military has spent billions to extend the lives of older fighters and buy more of them to fill the gap. At the same time, the cost to build each F-35 has risen to an average of $137 million from $69 million in 2001.

Winslow T. Wheeler, a former Senate staff member who is one of the plane’s biggest critics, said Friday that the program was still only about 30 percent through its testing. While the crack in the turbine blade may just be a minor flaw, he said, it is unlikely to pose a significant problem to continuing the program. “The Pentagon’s current management is hooked on the airplane and refuses to admit it is a failure,” he said.

 

James Marc Leas

Will this happen to Winooski?

Feb 7th Resolution

More news from Montpelier

www.wptz.com…Vt-lawmakers-seek-to-reconsider-F-35-fighter

burlingtonfreepress.com…Lawmaker-wants-timeout-on-F-35s

F-35 opponents take their case to Vt. Legislature

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

http://www.wcax.com/story/21077414/f-35-opponents-take-their-case-to-vt-legislature
MONTPELIER, Vt. -At a Thursday morning press conference, Winooski Democrat Rep. George Cross announced he’s drawing up a resolution and a bill aimed at slowing the F-35’s possible arrival in Vermont. He had the backing of only a few legislators, but many faces familiar to the Burlington debate.

“We’re not asking that it never come to Burlington, we’re asking that we delay the decision,” Cross said.

The federal government considers Burlington a top option for staging its newest fighter jet. But Cross and others worry the plane’s arrival could bring exceedingly high noise levels and correlated health problems for the thousands living near the airport.

The draft resolution calls for more hearings and the removal of Burlington from the first round of Air Force consideration. The bill proposes creating an adverse impact compensation program composed of a fund to offset residents’ costs and a board to oversee payouts.

“The mechanics of just how the fund will work and where the money will come from have yet to be worked out,” Cross said.

In the draft, Cross floats the idea of fueling the fund with 20 percent of the guard’s state appropriation, and a $20 landing fee at Burlington International.

“I think it’s important to our guard and our economy that they are based here,” said Rep. Kurt Wright, R-Burlington.

Wright says he hasn’t read the drafts yet, but generally supports the F-35’s arrival. He’s not alone either; Burlington’s mayor, the governor, and Vermont’s congressional delegation have all spoken in favor of the jet.

Cross concedes the measures likely won’t move beyond committee, but says the measures deserve a legislative dogfight.

Cross says he expects to finalize and submit his proposed resolution and bill by the end of the week or early next week.

Video: Bill Introduced to Delay Proposal

FOX44 – Burlington / Plattsburgh News, Weather

MONTPELIER, Vt. -The debate continues! Should south Burlington be home to the Air National Guard’s F-35 fighter jets?

As you know, we currently have F-16’s, that are four times quieter than F-35’s. Those opposed want the decision delayed.

What looks like a spec in the sky is creating a whole lot of noise on the ground. The two men who represent Winooski, a city in the flight path, also represent both sides of the argument. Representative George Cross is a member of the “Stop the F-35 Coalition.”

“There’s nothing in the air force draft environmental impact statement suggests that it’s a job creator,” State Representative Cross said.

Representative Clem Bissonnette supports the jets. “I was proud on 9-11 when our jets took off and protected the east coast,” Representative Bissonnette said.

Thursday, the “Stop the F-35 Coalition” asked that the decision to bring new models, the F-35’s be delayed until more is known about the health impacts. This is just the latest argument. Noise and property value have been debated in the past.

“The board of health has concluded that noise is associated with hearing loss, stress, sleep disturbance, heart attack, high blood pressure stroke and delayed reading comprehension,” Doctor John Reuwer said.

I asked Rep. Bissonnette, “what about the argument of cognitive development and hearing loss for children?” He said, “there are people who say that, there’s also studies out there that say just the opposite.”

It’s many of the homes near the airport that are of course in the direct flight path, one side says that you wouldn’t hear noise for more than six minutes a day, the other side says you could hear noise between one and two times each hour. What we do know for sure though is that the jets would not be able to fly between 10pm and 7am.

Representative Cross plans to present a bill asking the state to compensate people who would be impacted by the noise. Representative Bissonnette says there’s no money available.

A decision on whether or not to bring the F-35’s to South Burlington is expected within the next couple of months.

If it’s passed, the jets could be here as soon as 2018.

Just to remind you, the Air Force would first select the location, and then the state legislature would vote.

VT Board of Health Report

Click to download pdf.

VT_BOH_F35_Report

Burlington Board of Health F-35 Resolution

Click to download the pdf.

Burlington_Board_of_Health_F_35_Resolution_to_CC_w__Cover_ltr_1_14_13

Saturday, Feb. 9th at Montpelier High School

There is an opportunity to speak with Bernie on Saturday, Feb. 9th at Montpelier High School. It’s a Town Meeting to discuss “Senior Issues” with Bernie. Doors open at 12:00 noon, and the meeting starts at 1:00.

Why Senior Issues and the F-35?

— Senior Housing in Winooski, etc. & regulations for sound level that will be violated

— Seniors and veterans benefits (which are being cut while huge amounts are spent on the F-35 to Lockheed Martin)

— Vulnerability of seniors to health harms

Channel 17’s coverage of upcoming Burlington City Council candidates

Please consider calling in to question them about their position on the proposed F35 basing in Burlington VT.
logo
  Live call-in. Mondays at 11 a.m. Conversations with Your Legislators.  Tune in to representatives Linda Waite-Simpson, Democrat serving Essex Junction, and Kristy Spengler, Democrat serving Colchester, speaking on their initiatives and impressions for the legislative session to date. Your calls make this live TV program happen – 862-3966. Live on TV and online.
Channel 17 Coverage of Town Meeting Candidates and Ballot Questions begins 2/5
Channel 17 Town Meeting Television launches coverage of municipal elections for Burlington, South Burlington, Essex Town, Williston and Winooski. Live election forums, featuring candidates and ballot questions, start on Wednesday, February 5th at 5:25 p.m. Viewers are encouraged to call in with questions at 802-862-3966. Channel 17’s Election coverage culminates on Tuesday, March 5 with live local results coverage, starting at 7 p.m.
Election Forum Schedule for the Week of 2/4 Watch Live on TV or Online 
Wednesday 2/6 at 5:25 p.m.
City of Burlington Ward 1 City Council Candidates (contested)
Sharon Bushor (I) and Tom Derenthal (D)
Wednesday 2/6 at 6 p.m.
City of Burlington Wards 3, 7 & 6 School Board Candidates (uncontested)
 Liz Curry,  Alan Matson and Greg Jenkins
Wednesday 2/6 at 6:50 p.m.
City of Burlington Ward 3 City Council Candidates (contested)
Vince Brennan (P) and  Ron Ruloff  (I)
Thursday 2/7 at 5:25 p.m.
City of Burlington School District – School Budget Presentation
Thursday 2/7 at 6 p.m.
City of Burlington Ward 4 School Board Candidates (contested)
Scot Shumski and Ben Truman
Friday 2/8 at 5:25 p.m.
City of Burlington Ward 7 City Council Candidates (contested)
Tom Ayres (D) and Jim Robert (R)
Friday 2/8 at 6 p.m.
City of Burlington Ward 6 City Council Candidate (uncontested)
Norm Blais (D)
Friday 2/8 at 6:35 p.m.
City of Burlington Ward 2 City Council Candidates (contested)
Jane Knodell (P) and Emily Lee (D)
Friday 2/8 at 7:10  p.m.
City of Burlington Ward 4 City Council Candidates (contested)
Dave Hartnett (D) and Loyal Ploof (I)

F-35 Resolution Press Conference

There is a press conference scheduled for Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 11:00am in the Cedar Creek Room at the State House in Montpelier to publically present the F-35 resolution introduced by Representative George Cross and others. It is expected that Rosanne Grecco will address the press and answer questions. There will also be other speakers at the press conference. This is an opportunity to gain additional public support for the Stop the F-35 and Save Our Skies movement. Everyone is invited to attend, if it can work into one’s schedule. The press conference will probably last no longer than 30 minutes, thus parking on the street is the best option. Parking is metered in Montpelier.
The Resolution will be posted on the legislative web site at some point this week. It basically parallels the open letter signed by 15 members of the clergy. The resolution calls for Vermont to skip this first round of basing decisions so that all can have the necessary time to learn more about the many issues which surround the deployment of the F-35.
Seven Days will carry an article about the resolution and the F-35 issues this Wednesday.
Hope to see you all there.

Trillion-Dollar Jet

Chittenden County House Members Contact Info

(1)
Richmond
*
D
O’Brien, Anne Theresa, 2406 Hinesburg Rd., Richmond, VT 05477
(802) 434-4250

E-Mail:
aobrien@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-2 (2)
Williston
*
D
Macaig, Terry, 82 Pamela Ct., Williston, VT 05495
(802) 878-3872

E-Mail:
macaig@msn.com

*
D
McCullough, Jim, 592 Governor Chittenden Rd., Williston, VT 05495
(802) 878-2180

E-Mail:
jim_mccullough@myfairpoint.net

CHITTENDEN-3 (2)
Jericho, Underhill
*
D
Frank, Bill, 19 Poker Hill Rd., Underhill, VT 05489
(802) 899-3136

E-Mail:
bill@repbillfrank.com

*
D
Till, George W., 74 Foothills Dr., Jericho, VT 05465
(802) 899-2984

E-Mail:
gtill@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-4-1 (1)
Charlotte, Hinesburg
*
D
Yantachka, Mike, 393 Natures Way, Charlotte, VT 05445
(802) 425-3960

E-Mail:
myantachka.dfa@gmail.com

CHITTENDEN-4-2 (1)
Hinesburg
*
D
Lippert, William J., 2751 Baldwin Rd., Hinesburg, VT 05461
(802) 482-3528

E-Mail:
wlippert@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-5-1 (1)
Shelburne
*
D
Webb, Kate, 1611 Harbor Rd., Shelburne, VT 05482
(802) 985-2789

E-Mail:
klwebb22@mac.com

CHITTENDEN-5-2 (1)
Shelburne, St. George
*
D
Lenes, Joan G., 197 Governor’s Lane, Shelburne, VT 05482
(802) 985-8515

E-Mail:
jglenes@aol.com

CHITTENDEN-6-1 (2)
Burlington

D
Cole, Joanna, 108 Rivers Edge Dr., Burlington, VT 05408
(802) 660-7175

E-Mail:
jcole@leg.state.vt.us
joanna.cole1@comcast.net

*
R
Wright, Kurt, 31 Vine St., Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 658-1410

E-Mail:
kwright@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-6-2 (1)
Burlington
*
D
O’Sullivan, Jean, 37 Village Green, Burlington, VT 05408
(802) 658-0492

E-Mail:
josullivan@leg.state.vt.us
osullivan.jean231@gmail.com
Fax: (802) 658-0492

CHITTENDEN-6-3 (2)
Burlington
*
D
Krowinski, Jill, 27 Spring Street, Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 363-3907

E-Mail:
jkrowinski@leg.state.vt.us
jill.krowinski@gmail.com

D/W
McCormack, Curt, 221 North Winooski Ave., Burlington, VT 05401

E-Mail:
cmccormack@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-6-4 (2)
Burlington
*
P
Pearson, Christopher, 12 Brookes Ave., Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 860-3933

E-Mail:
cpearson@leg.state.vt.us

*
D
Ram, Kesha K., 31 N. Prospect St., Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 881-4433

E-Mail:
kram@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-6-5 (2)
Burlington
*
D
Donovan, Johannah Leddy, 38 Bayview St., Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 863-4634

E-Mail:
jdonovan@burlingtontelecom.net

*
D
Wizowaty, Suzi, 177 Locust Terrace, Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 864-5651

E-Mail:
swizowaty@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-6-6 (1)
Burlington

D
Rachelson, Barbara, 205 Summit St., Burlington, VT 05401
802) 862-1290

E-Mail:
barbara.rachelson@gmail.com

CHITTENDEN-6-7 (2)
Burlington, Winooski
*
D
Bissonnette, Clem, 11 Dufresne Dr., Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 655-9527

E-Mail:
clembi@comcast.net

D
Cross, George, 82 Dufresne Dr., Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 655-4611

E-Mail:
gcross@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-7-1 (1)
South Burlington
*
D
Kupersmith, Michele Ferland, 23 Brewer Parkway, South Burlington, VT 05403
(802) 863-1814

E-Mail:

michelesouthburl@gmail.com

CHITTENDEN-7-2 (1)
South Burlington
*
D
Pugh, Ann, 67 Bayberry Lane, South Burlington, VT 05403
(802) 863-6705

E-Mail:
apugh@leg.state.vt.us

CHITTENDEN-7-3 (1)
South Burlington
*
D
Head, Helen, 65 East Terr., South Burlington, VT 05403
(802) 862-2267

E-Mail:
helen@helenhead.com

CHITTENDEN-7-4 (1)
South Burlington

D
Townsend, Maida, 232 Patchen Rd., South Burlington, VT 05403
(802) 862-7404

E-Mail:
mftownsend@comcast.net

CHITTENDEN-8-1 (2)
Essex
*
D
Evans, Debbie, 53 Greenfield Rd., Essex Jct., VT 05452
(802) 878-4317

E-Mail:
ekevans@aol.com

*
R
Myers, Linda K., 51 Forest Rd., Essex Jct., VT 05452
(802) 878-3514

E-Mail:
themyers@attglobal.net

CHITTENDEN-8-2 (2)
Essex
*
D
Jerman, Tim, 5 Sycamore Lane, Essex Jct., VT 05452
(802) 878-2972

E-Mail:
vrunner56@msn.com

*
D
Waite-Simpson, Linda J., 76 Beech St., Essex Jct., VT 05452
(802) 872-0499

E-Mail:
linda.simpson7@comcast.net

CHITTENDEN-8-3 (1)
Essex, Westford
*
D
Heath, Martha, 342 Rollin Irish Rd., Westford, VT 05494
(802) 893-1291

E-Mail:
mpheathvt@gmail.com

CHITTENDEN-9-1 (2)
Colchester
*
R
Bouchard, Bob, 126 Leclair Dr., Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 879-2522

E-Mail:
bob4vtrep@yahoo.com

*
D
Condon, Jim, 500A Dalton Dr., Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 655-5764

E-Mail:
vab@together.net

CHITTENDEN-9-2 (2)
Colchester
*
R
Brennan, Patrick, P.O. Box 796, Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 863-3773

E-Mail:
patrickbrennan96@msn.com

*
D
Spengler, Kristy, 463 Shore Acres Dr., Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 864-6567

E-Mail:
seashre@msn.com

CHITTENDEN-10 (2)
Milton
*
R
Hubert, Ronald E., 68 Woodcrest Circle, Milton, VT 05468
(802) 893-1368

E-Mail:
mrmreh@aol.com

*
R
Turner, Don, P.O. Box 487, Milton, VT 05468
(802) 893-1419

E-Mail:
dturner@town.milton.vt.us
Fax: (802) 893-3467

Final F-35 Resolution

Joint resolution related to the conduct of collaborative hearings and the basing of the F-35A in Vermont

Offered by: Representative Cross of Winooski

Whereas, since 1946, the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) at the Burlington International Airport (BTV) has been an integral part of the Vermont National Guard family, and

Whereas, all Vermonters appreciate the dedication and sacrifice made by the many men and women who serve in or work for the VTANG, both those who are full-time and those who are part-time, and

Whereas, although Vermonters greatly appreciate the many contributions the VTANG has made to Vermont, the proposed basing of the F-35A fighter jets at BTV as a replacement for the currently based F-16 fighter jets raises significant noise issues that warrant the completion of a comprehensive collaborative hearing process prior to a final decision on F-35A basing at BTV, and

Whereas, the U.S. Air Force has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (draft EIS) as part of the decision-making process for determining basing sites for the F-35A, and

Whereas, the statistics presented in the draft EIS were initially based on data from the 2000 U.S. Census, and

Whereas, the implementation of the F-35A proposal at BTV would result in a peak noise level of 115 decibels, which is four times louder than the current F-16 peak noise level, and

Whereas, there would be 2,944 homes and 6,675 persons located in the 65 decibel day-night average sound level contour zone, which is described as “generally not considered suitable for residential use,” and which includes more than half of the city of Winooski, and

Whereas, revised statistical estimates based on the 2010 U.S. Census increase the impacted population to 8,592 and the housing units to 4,200, and

Whereas, according to a December 19, 2012 Burlington Free Press article, slightly less than $39 million of federal funds was spent to purchase 136 residential properties in South Burlington that have been or are scheduled to be torn down because the noise level to which these properties are exposed exceeds the Federal Aviation Administration’s recommended maximum level, and

Whereas, the draft EIS included a scoring system of factors at each of the proposed F-35A bases, and

Whereas, with respect to air and noise standards, the U.S. Air Force awarded BTV the maximum three points for the clear zone category, which indicates there is no development within a specific distance of BTV even though this is not an accurate fact, and

Whereas, similarly, the 65 decibel day-night average sound level contour zone score of three indicates there is no development within this zone, even though the draft EIS, using 2000 U.S. Census data, estimated that 6,675 persons reside in this zone, and

Whereas, the City of Burlington, the Burlington Airport Commission, the Congressional Delegation, the Governor of Vermont, and the U.S. Air Force have refused to respond adequately to the many questions raised by both the South Burlington City Council and concerned citizens, and

Whereas, the General Assembly’s adoption of J.R.H. 51 occurred on May 12, 2010, a full 22 months before the draft EIS was released in March 2012, and one of the clauses in J.R.H. 51 provided:

Resolved: That the General Assembly encourages collaboration among the Vermont Air National Guard, the city of South Burlington, and other affected municipalities to identify and address environmental, health, housing, and workforce concerns, and

Whereas, the collaborative process that the General Assembly requested in J.R.H. 51 of 2010 has yet to occur, and

Whereas, this is only the first round of F-35A basing decisions, and according to the U.S. Air Force, there will be future rounds, and

Whereas, during a future round of F-35A basing decisions, considerably more data may be available regarding the impact of basing the F-35A in Vermont, and

Whereas, in a statement released on December 11, 2012, 16 members of the Vermont clergy recommended that “Vermont be removed from the first round of basing decisions so that we Vermonters can reach a consensus, based on clearing up so many of the questions that remain unanswered in the minds of many residents,” now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly agrees with the learned clergy’s advice and requests that Vermont be removed from consideration in this round of F-35A basing decisions, and be it further

Resolved: That in accordance with the General Assembly’s adoption of J.R.H. 51 of 2010, Joint resolution supporting the assignment of the F-35 aircraft to the Vermont Air National Guard, the General Assembly requests the U.S. Air Force, the Vermont Air National Guard, the City of South Burlington, the City of Winooski, the Town of Williston, and the City of Burlington to conduct collaborative hearings with concerned citizens on environmental, health, housing, and workforce issues related to the F-35A prior to the issuing of a final decision on basing F-35A fighter jets at Burlington International Airport, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly respectfully requests that the collaborative hearing process provide detailed responses to all concerns that affected residents may raise, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley; to the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, General Mark A. Welsh III; to the Vermont National Guard Adjutant General, Brigadier General Thomas E. Drew; and to the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

The F-35 Just Became 25{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} More Vulnerable

Click here!

F-35 Decision Delayed

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The Florida town that sued the Air Force

Check out this article by clicking here.

Opposition rally

Click here for coverage of our rally.

Letter from our Religious Leaders

This letter was sent by US mail to members of our Congressional delegation and Mayor Weinberger and Mayor O’Brien.

Concerned Burlington Area Religious Leaders
c/o 209 North Prospect Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401

December 6, 2012

We have listened carefully to the debate about whether or not F35 jets are to be bedded at our airport. Clearly, the community is divided. We appreciate the efforts you have made to sort through all the issues. We have read many of your words and appreciate your clear concern for the well being of all Vermonters.

Given that we are now only in the first of a number of rounds of basing decisions for the F35s, and given the number of unknowns and still unanswered questions, we urge you to advocate for postponing a decision about bringing the F35s to Vermont at this time.

Whatever one’s point of view, it is clear that many people in Winooski, South Burlington and other communities are very fearful of the consequences of the presence of the F35s here in the most densely populated part of Vermont. The seven to nine thousand people directly affected include many low income Vermonters and many people of color, amongst the most vulnerable of our citizens. We know that you recognize the ways in which these Vermonters already are at risk socially and economically. We ask you to increase the weight of this burden vis-a-vis concern for the over-all economy as you continue to reflect on the issue. We also ask you to continue to investigate and study the unanswered questions and concerns about the environment.

We understand the argument for jobs and remain unsure of the economic impact on the region as a whole—as there is much that is uncertain about the effects of bringing the F35s here. Given this uncertainty, given that this is not the last opportunity for the planes to come here, it seems to us unfair to place the burden of this doubt on those who already struggle the most to achieve social and economic security for themselves and their children

This is not a pro-military or anti-military debate. Amongst those most affected are veterans of World War II and Korea for whom the value of their homes is the whole
of their financial equity. We are not asking you to oppose these planes coming to Vermont. We are asking you to advocate for a delay in such a decision by requesting that Vermont be removed from the first round of basing decisions so that we Vermonters can reach a consensus, based on clearing up so many of the questions that remain unanswered in the minds of many residents.
If we can play a role in mediating this debate, we are available. Not to bring the planes now does not necessarily mean that they cannot come. As it is a time for compromise in Washington, it is time for this issue to be resolved, not by decree, but by salient arguments in a civil debate.

Respectfully,

Rev. Jack Bremer
Rev. Will Burhans
Rev. Adrianne Carr
Rabbi Joshua Chasan
Rev. Roddy O’Neil Cleary
Joanna Cole
Rev. Roberta Finkelstein
Rev. Sarah Flynn
Sr. Arlene Gates
The Rev. Mark H. Hatch
Rev. Debbie Ingram
Sr. Pat McKittrick, SP
Rabbi Jan Salzman
The Rev. Robert K. Stuhlmann
Rev. Nancy Wright

Signatories represent themselves and not the congregations or organizations which they serve.

Burlington-area clergy seek postponement of F-35 decision

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BFP on Florida trip

 

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Rally Photos

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Population and Housing Impact Map

Petition

Please click here to sign the petition directly on the change.org site.

 

Winooski is a small, but densely populated city, which lies just across the river from Burlington, VT. It is part of the Greater Burlington Area, a group of connected cities and one third of Vermont’s total population. Winooski’s downtown has recently undergone major improvements and the city has started to flourish. It is filled with young families who have put everything they have into fixing up their houses. In December, a decision will be made that would cause 78{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the homes in Winooski, as well as significant parts of South Burlington, to be considered “incompatible with residential use.” See the red part of the map above. Burlington has been named a preferred beddown site for the F-35 fighter/bomber, and we have only a short time before the decision is finalized. With the right documents, we can show that Burlington should not even be a candidate.

According to the Air Force’s F-35 Operational Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the new fighter jets will cause 2944 homes in the Burlington Area to fall within the 65 DNL zone. Living in this zone has negative health consequences both physical (hearing damage, stress-related cardiovascular disease), and psychological (anxiety, cognitive impairment in children, etc.). Hearing one of these planes fly 1000 ft above you is like hearing a jackhammer or a chainsaw only 3 ft away. Property within the 65 DNL zone should be purchased and demolished, but in Vermont, residents will have to remain in this zone without compensation for their lowered property values. For more info, see the Save Our Skies website and Stop the f-35 website.

So why has Burlington International Airport been chosen as a preferred site when it is so close to a large city center? We believe it was a simple error. The scoring sheet asked if there were homes in the accident and noise areas, and the answer for Burlington was “no,” despite the 2944 homes mentioned in the Air Force’s draft Environmental Impact Statement. Ignoring this error, our Congressional delegates are supporting the F-35 beddown in Vermont. Previous FOIA requests by the Burlington Free Press for the public release of the complete scoring data have been denied by the Air Force. See this video news coverage.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, we request the release of the complete scoring data used to determine the preferred beddown sites for the F-35. We also request that you postpone the final decision until after we are able to review the score sheets. We have a right to investigate the error that may ruin our communities with slashed housing values, lower tax revenues, abandoned homes, higher crime rates and declining schools.

 

Winooski Map

Here is an overview of the Winooski city residential units impacted by the Scenario 2 F35 basing (78{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the City). It depicts the potential loss of real estate value based on increased noise exposure.

Media

Please print and distribute to spread the word! There are a few different ones to choose from……

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Invitation to Sign on to Lawsuit

Repost from stop the f35 website

Fri, 09/14/2012 – 12:51pm — odmin

Dear Fellow Vermonter,

Now is the time for action.

We, the members of the stop the F-35 coalition, are preparing a
two-pronged legal challenge to the basing of the F-35 in Vermont. This
legal challenge comes in addition to our campaign of education and
visible public action.

We are gearing up for legal action now because the Air Force recently
indicated that the Final Draft of the Environmental Impact Statement on
this matter will issue in the next four to eight weeks and that final
draft will include its final decision on basing.

We are asking everyone on this list to join in these two legal efforts
now
. Large numbers of people joining this legal initiative could help
influence the Air Force to decide against basing the F-35 in Burlington.
The two legal actions are beginning immediately by our experienced and
well respected attorney, Jim Dumont:

  • a request for public records on the F-35 from the City of Burlington
    (the landlord of the Air base). The request will put the City of
    Burlington on notice that the City can be held liable for damages to
    health, hearing, home value, and nuisance to thousands of homeowners
    and renters caused by the noise its tenant at the airport–the Air
    Force–generates. The enormous liability to which the City of
    Burlington may be held for these damages may encourage the City to
    tell its tenant at the Airport that bringing the F-35, an aircraft
    that is more than four times louder than the F-16, is unacceptable
    and to find an alternate mission. Jim Dumont sent letters requesting
    the public records to a Burlington City Attorney and to the Airport
    Director of Planning and Development on September 13, 2012.
  • Preparing challenges to the F-35 through the local permitting
    process, including under Act 250 and local zoning laws, and under
    the National Environmental Policy Act. These challenges, if
    successful, could put a stop to any plan for basing the F-35 in
    Burlington.

We have made arrangement with attorney Jim Dumont to initiate these two
legal challenges immediately. We urge you to add your name in support of
these two efforts by becoming a client of Jim’s now. The client agreement
is online at http://stopthef35.com/sites/default/files/Stop_the_F-35_Coalition_Retain….

We view the legal challenges as one of the ways to demonstrate broad
public opposition to basing the F-35 in the most densely populated part
of Vermont. We want hundreds of people to participate. That is why we
are making participation in these legal actions as easy as possible. The
key is large numbers of people, and if large numbers participate, we
will make an impact on the thinking of city officials, our Governor, our
Congressional delegation, and the Air Force.

How Much Will You have to Pay? As provided in the client
agreement at http://stopthef35.com/sites/default/files/Stop_the_F-35_Coalition_Retain…
, you can add your name to these two legal actions at no cost
to you
. See below for how we are raising funds to cover attorney Jim
Dumont’s reduced legal fee and costs he may incur.

Will you be held liable for legal fees or costs? No

Who Can Participate? If you are a homeowner or a renter in South
Burlington, Winooski, Burlington, Colchester or Williston (or anywhere
else in Vermont); if you feel that your home or your community is at
risk; or if you feel that the noise impacts of the F-35 should be
subject to local and state level review, we strongly urge you to sign on
as a client of Attorney Jim Dumont, who is pursuing this action.

Is there Risk? While there is, of course, always some risk, the two
kinds of actions envisioned, requesting public records and participating
in local permitting through Act 250 and local zoning and
participating in hearings under the National Environmental Policy Act to
stop the F-35, involve low risk of countersuit.

Strategy to raise the money to pay legal fees and costs: The key to
effective legal action–at reasonable cost to each person–is having
large numbers of people participating. Thousands of people and homes are
at risk in Winooski, South Burlington, Burlington, Williston, and
Colchester. We expect that if large numbers of people participate and
each participant donates whatever amount he or she can, such as $25, we
can raise enough to cover legal fees. With large numbers, each
participant will receive expert legal representation to stop the F-35,
and the money raised from voluntary contributions will be enough to
cover legal fees. Please make your contribution by sending a check made out to “Stop the F-35 Coalition” to
our treasurer, Roger Bourassa, 93 Hannah’s Place, Colchester, VT 05446.

Please review the client agreement at http://stopthef35.com/sites/default/files/Stop_the_F-35_Coalition_Retain…, spread the word to let your
neighbors know about this, and contribute whatever you can. Please follow
the instructions in the client agreement to sign on to the suit.

If you have questions or comments, please contact us. Thanks very
much.

Best regards,

legal@stopthef35.com
The Legal Committe of the Stop the F35 Coalition:
James Marc Leas, Richard Joseph

To be added to our email list