Dear Editor: As a community, are we always willing to trade quality of life for the vague promise of “more jobs” and a “better economy”? It puzzles me that, among our elected officials, few minds have been changed by the damning evidence provided by the Air Force itself in the draft Environmental Impact Statement. How can it be OK that officials who are representing citizens turn a blind eye to the enormous harm that will be done to the bodies, homes and schools of the most vulnerable of those citizens? How can it be OK to demolish homes in a city where there is an affordable housing crisis? How can it be OK to allow unnecessary classroom disruptions in schools where there is the largest achievement gap in the country? How can it be OK to allow the poisoning of the water in our wells and lakes with no promise of clean-up?
In recent months, our community has been fraught with three big fights centered on the tension of noise vs. economic gain. Maybe these fights — the stadium at Edgewood, expansion of the Middleton airport, and the F-35s at Truax — are telling us that people are fed up and no longer willing to sacrifice the quality of daily life in their homes, schools and parks for the twin chimera of “jobs” and the “economy.” No matter how good the economy and how low the unemployment rate, the eternal chorus tells us we need to be quiet and swallow one more noxious thing for the sake of these sacred idols. Maybe, at this moment in time, with the F-35s circling and the climate crisis looming, we are no longer willing to do that.
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