Even if you think you know it all, there#8217;s much to learn about OLF

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

To the Editor:

As a Southampton County taxpayer and member of a family that is devoted to the “No OLF” campaign, I decided it was my responsibility to attend the meeting held against the Virginia OLF at Southampton High School on April 2.

Before attending this meeting, I personally felt that I knew all of the reasons why we, as Southampton County residents, should pull together to prevent the OLF from coming to our rural area. The obvious ones include: 1) Our land (whether family-owned for generations or currently being farmed and/or inhabited). 2) The noise.

However, for those who are criticizing this campaign or sitting back and thinking that it won’t affect them or their families, my plea is to you: Attend one of these meetings. Then, you, too, will learn some concerns for our entire area that you may not have even pondered. For example:

– 1) If one of the three possible sites in our area is chosen by the Navy for the OLF, you will be affected. Even if your home is not a part of the 30,000 acres required for this outlying landing field, the jets from Oceana may still have to fly over your house to reach the site. It will not be a quiet time for any of us.

– 2) If the Navy does take over one of these sites, the Commonwealth of Virginia will not be able to collect any taxes for this land because it will be owned by the federal government. Now at first glance, you may rejoice and say “Yea, less property taxes.” But, this will cause a loss in revenue for our county and possibly affect funding for our schools, highways, etc. And this, in turn, may possibly raise taxes for our residents.

– 3) This can hurt us environmentally in that we don’t know how it will affect air pollution or even our well water. Our wildlife, our farm land and our livestock will be in danger. Vast amounts of trees will be cut down to be replaced with concrete. Does this sound like Southampton County?

– 4) This can be a deterrent to our health. Studies have shown cardiovascular problems and increases in blood pressure. And you can only imagine the hearing loss.

Our biggest concern is that we, as neighbors and friends, should all be pulling together to fight this. Get involved, get informed, attend the next OLF meeting, or go to the Web site for more information on how you and your family will be affected. There is a great group of people fighting for all of us, but we need to join them.

There is power in numbers. It is not us against the United States Navy. We support our Navy and would like to work with them to find a resolution to this problem. But the answer we want to hear is not jet noise.

Kim Pope