The Dec. 6 Guest Opinion from Scott Anderson regarding the F-35 mission at Gowen Field is another example of how the F-35 program propaganda is being spun. Scott implies that if only those opposed to the F-35 could hear the planes, they would become supporters of the program. This is completely false. It is in fact those uninformed proponents like Scott who are ensuring that the citizens of the Boise Valley do not hear the F-35s, because to do so would actually drastically diminish the F-35 support.
If the planes actually flew in Boise as they will ultimately train, the true result is that support for the F-35 would drop dramatically. This is exactly what has happened at locations where the F-35s are now stationed. The May 3 Statesman letter to the editor from the Rourke family who hear the F-35s flying out of Luke Air Force Base in Airzona stated: “Long-term residents who have long supported the ‘sound of freedom’ of the F-16s are joining in the outcry.” And they do it for this reason, as described by the Rourkes: “The F-35 decibels of 105 to 112 cause pain, hearing loss and stress. As the F-35s scream overhead, residents who are outside visiting, gardening or enjoying their patios hold their ears to block the pain and run for their homes.”
And this description is for the town of Sun City, which is five miles from the end of the Luke AFB runways.
If Scott and Zions Bank were more concerned about the quality of life of those thousands of residents of the Boise Valley, they would actually try to become informed regarding the true facts about F-35 loudness (eight times louder than the current A-10s), numbers of operations (over 3,000 takeoffs annually), and the cumulative duration of the elevated noise levels. Shame on Scott and Zions for not doing their due diligence before adopting the proponents’ scripted story line. One more entity that is concerned more with corporate profits than citizens’ lives.
Monty Mericle was born in the Treasure Valley and has lived here all of his life. A licensed electrical engineer, he was the sponsor of the SaveOurValleyNow website from 2009 until 2012, providing facts about the effects of bringing F-35s to the Boise Valley.