Blame game does no good in OLF fight

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 21, 2008

As human nature dictates, we have sought to ease the fears and uncertainties created by the proposal of an outlying landing field by doing the one thing that any rational, clear -minded adult would do: identify the party responsible for our predicament and drag them under the bus of public opinion.

We have ventured to lay blame on any person or entity even remotely associated with the possible construction of the OLF: The Navy, the cities of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, the governor and even &uot;administrative errors&uot; committed by the governor’s secretary have been taken to task for leading us to the place we find ourselves today.

But like all rational, clear-minded adults we must eventually come to the conclusion that, no matter whose decision has led us down the dark and winding path we currently find ourselves, finding fault and laying blame does not help us navigate that path and lead us to our desired destination.

The actions we choose to take, rather than those of others whom we choose to blame, will ultimately lead to an outcome that we as a community find desirable.

The Navy has announced it will begin conducting its public scoping sessions the last week of April.

These meetings are intended to give the public an opportunity to voice all of its concerns surrounding the proposed OLF. Every possible environmental, socioeconomic and cultural impact that might be incurred due to the construction of a new landing field in our community must be addressed and investigated by the Navy in its legally required impact study.

No issue is too great or too small, and every individual has an opportunity to participate and contribute to this critical process. It is also imperative that a large number of people turn out at these meetings.

We don’t want the Navy to get the impression that only a handful of people care about the issue.

They must know that the entire community is concerned about the potential impacts of an OLF.

This is your opportunity to be heard. One person, one voice, can make a difference.

If you have an idea or concern that you would like the Navy to consider in its selection of a landing field site, there are many avenues through which to do so.

Virginians Against the Outlying Landing Field has established a Web site with all the pertinent information regarding submission of concerns or questions.

Please visit where you can submit your ideas to us directly or find the various other methods by which you can communicate your ideas directly to the Navy.

Remember that your actions — not just the actions of others — will help determine whether we achieve our desired outcome.

Tony Clark

Chairman, Virginians Against the Outlying Landing Field