Plane Noise: Choose Port candidates carefully

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Port of Seattle have created flight paths for SeaTac airport that make Vashon a runway “approach” for hundreds of planes per day, flying a narrow path, 24/7, directly above nearly all our schools, health care facilities and commercial establishments. Many of our popular recreation areas are now places to hear jets, not birds. I’m one of many parents whose child lives and goes to school under the flight path. My boy is under that noise all day, every day.

It may get worse. There is a plan in development to increase the number of flights over Vashon and divert flights arriving from the east over Vashon.

Fortunately, there is an election coming up for Commissioners at the Port of Seattle and the League of Quiet Skies Voters issued a candidate questionnaire regarding airport operations.

While it was not focused on Vashon-specific issues, it provides useful insights. You can find detailed information here:

Here’s my take:

Port Commissioner Position 2: Three candidates responded to the questionnaire. Nina Martinez, Dominic Barrera and Sam Cho. Each ranked “addressing human health and environmental impacts” as their highest priority.

The other candidates did not bother responding and hence, won’t get my vote.

Ms. Martinez and Mr. Barrera have thoughtful comments on environmental issues on their website. I plan to vote for one of them.

Port Commissioner Position 5:

This race is more challenging. Incumbent Fred Felleman’s answers were mixed, and I was troubled by them. He placed “addressing human health and environmental impacts” third of three in his questionnaire responses. However, the folks running against him (Garth Jacobson and Jordan Lemmon) did not respond to the questionnaire. Given that, I intend to wait and see how the Position 5 candidates engage prior to the general election and vote accordingly.

— Rob Harmon

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