Forks implements emergency water restrictions – PDN

The drought is not over folks, just because we got rain. In fact, the forecasts for the next year is for no real relief. Forks has one of 5 city wells shut down, and appears to be in a bad situation for the near term. In Port Townsend, with minimal rationing going on, there still is no talk about backup plans for next year. You would think that if our politicians understood the issue, they would be looking into drilling wells around the county. Just what is their plan if the snows do not materialize this year?

Forks implements emergency water restrictions due to well levels

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150914/NEWS/309149969

In-Depth Article on Navy Training Plans – Truthout

Local writer Dahr Jamail has written the first in-depth piece I’ve seen on the Navy plans for expansion of it’s electronic warfare training. He brings home the key issues that this entire program raises. And the casual way that the Navy went about expecting to push through this plan.  The core of the story is not necessarily this one expansion, but the apparent decision, done without public input, to radically expand the presence of Navy training in Puget Sound, as opposed to elsewhere. This decision has apparently been made, and what we see is the pieces being rolled out as quietly as possible.The West End training that is the current hot issue (there are more than one happening simultaneously) is a good place to start challenging this entire program.

It is important to note that neither I nor anyone I know is against having the Navy train our pilots as they see fit. The issue is where. The Navy put these facilities into North Puget Sound during an era (the 1940s and 50s) when the population was much smaller, and the scale of the training was much smaller. Now we have screaming jets flying over us at all hours of day and night, with the Navy seeking the authority to do so almost continuously. This training, if approved, will have it happening at low altitudes in areas near the Hoh River where tens of thousands of people hike and camp every year.The noise will be encroaching on a National Park, which is supposed to be a haven for wilderness, which in my definition, does not include low flying fighter jet noise.

The increase in low flying helicopter sorties over Port Townsend, for example has increased dramatically since 2000. Last year the Navy very quietly expanded the ability to do so over the Bay with not one of our politicians even being aware of the program. (I know because I brought it to their attention at the time).  And the noise from the jet training at Whidbey has been heard from the San Juans to Port Townsend (a distance of 16 nautical miles, or from Seattle to Sea-Tac) as late as midnight during peak training periods.

The Armed Forces work for us. Taxpayers fund their expansion. We have the right to call them on their plans, regardless if we *win* or not on the issue. Or is that battle over? Are we now just a country that exists for the military and their needs? It often seems so.

If you care about this issue, you might want to read Dahr’s excellent article. And then decide whether you want to comment. But my suggestion is to contact our Senators and Representatives. They hold the power to slow this and get the right thing done. Our comments are just wallpaper for the Navy’s process.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27339-navy-plans-electromagånetic-war-games-over-national-park-and-forest-in-washington-state

For war games next year, Navy wants to post trucks with electromagnetic radiation equipment on West End – PDN

So this is the rest of the story, which was originally posted in the Forks Forum and reposted here. The Forks Forum article read like a conspiracy theory report, with mentions of a tiny notice in one location in Forks and no contact with local newspapers, elected officials or anyone else. I almost didn’t pass it along because I didn’t have time to verify it independently.

Without any debate from our elected officials in the last three years, we have allowed the Navy to continue to turn our forests, waters  and airspace into a training ground for their war games. Since the Forest Service has decided that there is no health hazard (a bureaucrat decided this on the public’s behalf  without consulting scientists apparently), the Navy has not been asked to do a public Environmental Impact statement.  For those hiking, mushroom collecting, fishing, and hunting in the woods, you may never even know you are possibly being given large doses of electromagnetic radiation. We have endangered species like the Marbled Murrlett, and the Spotted Owl along with eagles out there in those woods as well. All you can hope is that the Navy actually sees you before they blast you. It would be great to see one of our elected officials step in and demand an EIS on this, rather than rely on the good graces of the military, which operates much of what they do in total secret. Without it, we have no idea of what kind of risks this poses. It’s the kind of thing that is much better suited to a treeless, remote Alaskan island in the Aleutians than a working forest.

My issue with all this, is that while well meaning, many of the soldiers working in our bases around here are not from here. And their commanders apparently don’t train them on how these issues affect us. They have no local knowledge of the people who sail, work the forests, or otherwise live here. We see that all the time in the way we are treated when the Coast Guard stops us sailing around the Bay because they need to practice their boarding techniques, treating us as criminals or possible terrorists. We are the ones who pay their salaries. They serve to protect us. We may be doing nothing more than sailing around an area that they are practicing in, and we become their targets for the day. We also see it in the lack of concern that the Navy shows by flying jets at all hours of the day and night. And now we see it here, where military personnel apparently decided there was no reason to really notify anyone about a major war games project in our woods. As an example, on the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee, we have a standing open position for the Navy, a key player in the shorelines and waters of our county. Despite repeated attempts over the years to get them to participate, by sending even one low level PR person to the meetings, they have never felt it necessary to even show up. It just shows a lack of interest in engaging the public, except when they are forced to. This wargames story is another sad example of that.

FORKS — The Navy wants to allow three camper-sized trucks with electromagnetic radiation equipment to conduct war exercises with military aircraft from 15 sites in Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties.

The locations — 12 in Olympic National Forest and three on state Department of Natural Resources land — would be part of the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range and would involve aircraft from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Read the rest of the story here: (and support local journalism by subscribing to the PDN!)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140926/NEWS/309269975/for-war-games-next-year-navy-wants-to-post-trucks-with

More on Navy Electronic Warfare Plans

One of our correspondents did some digging today. Thanks to L.P.  Here’s the report:

I just got a call from John Mosher, Navy Project Manager for that “electronic warfare testing project” reported in the Forks Forum. He had just received a similar call from someone in Forks so he knew my concerns – he confirmed that there was no posting of the project info or comment period for project, in particular in Forks Forum or PDN.

At first he started out defending the project, saying there were going to be 15 sites, only 3 of which were in an area east of Forks “far from the town, in the remote mountains of the Olympic National Forest.”  The sounds were to be emitted from a vehicle, only after it had been ascertained that “no people or animals were nearby.”  I pointed out that was impossible in the terrrain he described.  I also explained that what might seem remote to someone in an office was not remote to the people of Forks who have made/are making their living by logging and collecting salal.  The forest is their “neighborhood.”

I asked whether the Environmental Assessment and the Navy’s Declaration of Non-Significance are posted on the web and he gave me this link  http://go.usa.gov/kQ6e

But when I went there it had lots of old postings with meaningless titles and didn’t see anything that obviously related to this issue.   Unfortunately I didn’t get his contact info but he’s on the Whidbey Island base outside of Oak Harbor.

As we finished he did say that our phone comments now were being made note of, not in the official Comments on those documents but they may be taken into account for “further outreach.”  He did say “I can say that I now wish we had posted the information locally.

So it seems that yes, the Navy is up to something out near Forks, that it involves some kind of electronic warfare testing that involves sound emission, not clear if it’s something that is sonic, ultrasonic or electro magnetic. We hope that a larger news agency with staff might follow up on this issue.

Navy Planning on Electronic Warfare Exercises Near Forks – No warning to locals – Forks Forum

Apparently the Navy is planning on conducting unannounced Electronic Warfare Exercise in rural areas around Forks sometime in the near future. The exercises will include some kind of electromagnetic radiation exposure, that the Navy intends to stop if humans are found in the area. WTF?

Discussed in the Forks Forum, http://www.forksforum.com/opinion/277005121.html, this training exercise, which was ‘publicized’ in news outlets far from the affected areas, is somehow secret, yet needing local approval. According to the article, local politicians in Forks are unaware of the activity.

You can read the whole story at the link above, but if you want to call and complain, here’s the info:

Call Dean Millett at 374-1222 or Charles Escola (Navy-Silverdale) at 360-396-0069 or Leslie Yuenger, Northwest Public Affairs Officer (Navy) 360-396-6387.

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