Sunday, January 13, 2013
Move to Shrangri-La
Ladies and gentlemen of the most sensitive nature, that is the only useful advice that I can give you. That you should move to Shangri-La and enjoy the meditative peace found in that far distant destination. As opposed to where you now find yourself living since it seems to be such a tribulation.
Fleeing things like high taxes or inferior schools you moved away from the local city center to a more rustic area. So you settled for a nice house in a suburb that was was just a few miles and to the left of the runways of your local airport. Now it is a few years later, you and your neighbors have happily settled in and done improvements. But there is a fly in your ointment. Those dratted planes taking off at all hours of the day and well into the night. Oh how will that Dutch china given by an aunt survive all the rattling? Never mind your cute little pug named Fifi who goes into spasms with every aviation related noise. So you hit upon a brilliant idea, complain to the city and airport management! By Jove that is what you will do.
By now you, dear brave home owner, have forgotten it was you who had move near the airport, not vice-versa. Now you scream in city council meetings and meetings of the airport board on how the noise of take offs and landings damage your house and ruin your sleep. You will thunder at one point in these proceedings on how its un-American to be subjected to these noises.
The long serving members of the airport management will silently turn to each other while you thunder from the podium and trade knowing glances. The glance will communicate that not much has changed in fifteen years when farmer Jones was saying the same things about jet noises making his chickens laid funny eggs and then farmer Bjorn will immediately follow and claim those noises are ruining his cows' milk. Next they will each think in the deepest recesses of their minds 'You stupid fool you chose to move next to an airport. But now here we go placating you for your stupidity. And then get with the FAA to devise noise abatement plans that will cost money. Money taken from your taxes bud and airport fees. Just to keep you happy in your McMansion.' But none of this will be visible for they will have their poker faces on. And once you have run out of steam they will thank you politely for letting them know how you feel and adjourn the meeting.
Variations of the above always run through my mind when someone complains about noise from their local airport. What has caused me to wax to long and eloquently this time concerns the plane in the picture at the top of the post, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Burlington, VT is the home of the Vermont Air Guard's 158th FW which is an F-16 unit and is now trying to be one of the first units to get F-35s. Sounds grand except for those who complain the F-35 is far louder than the F-16. Leading the fight it seems is Rosanne Greco who is the South Burlington City Council President. She is most concerned because the noise from the F-35s will be akin to a vacuum cleaner running three feet away, that seems unacceptable to her. So she is leading the opposition. For a 29 year Air Force intelligence officer she does realize how quickly jet noise transits? Or does she? A more detailed biography of Greco can be found here. Failed novice nun, retired officer, and now environmental activist. I think I know her true motivation now. And if she gets her way and no F-35s are assigned soon there will be no F-16s either and when that unit shuts down many nice paying technical jobs will go with it. Which will have a negative impact on the tax base. But if you ask Greco about that impact she will probably say that is fine with her as long as she turns Burlington into her personal Shangri-La.