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Look at Vieques ... In The Navy Poker Game… A Cautionary Tale

Look at Vieques ...


January 14, 2004
Copyright ©2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.

The Virginian-Pilot & The Ledger-Star

Re "In the Navy poker game, city holds a stronger hand" (letter, Jan. 10) by Thomas Moore:

Puerto Rico thought the same thing. Remember when the Navy just couldn't live without Roosevelt Roads Naval Base and Vieques island? Where are they now, Mr. Moore? Be careful what you wish for ... the head "Rowdy Boy" may just see that you get it.

Jim Elliott
Virginia Beach

In The Navy Poker Game


January 10, 2004
Copyright ©2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.

The Virginian-Pilot & The Ledger-Star

In the Navy poker game, city holds a stronger hand

When the Virginia Beach City Council negotiates with the Navy on land use and other matters, it should first look at the map. Not the city map - the world map. The strategic location of Oceana, and the cost of replicating or distributing its functions elsewhere, make base closure unthinkable.

Were it to close, in a few years after the expensive closing process was completed, the military jobs would be replaced by higher corporate salaries and baby-boom retiree income. The base might be converted to a commercial airport or air cargo handling facility subject to federal noise regulations, or just turned over to further development of this God-blessed area.

Bottom line - the Navy needs us more than we need the Navy.

That said, I believe we remain a patriotic community that fully supports the Navy. Many, like me, are former naval personnel who served here once, and returned to retire. We recognize Oceana's vital role in providing a strong defense and effective training of the world's best fighter pilots.

We want the Navy to stay. All we ask is that it curtail its rowdy boy's penchant for full-powered low flyovers.

When discussing land use, strict noise abatement procedures and other actions expected of a polite member of the community, the council should play smart poker. The base closing card is not in the Navy's hand.

Thomas V. Moore
Virginia Beach

Take A Hard Look At The Lessons Of Puerto Rico: A Cautionary Tale About The Future Of Oceana


February 24, 2004
Copyright ©2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.

The Virginian-Pilot & The Ledger-Star

In 1999, after a tragic fatal bombing accident, the government of Puerto Rico decided to support the ouster of the U.S. Navy from the island of Vieques - despite Navy warnings about the future of the base at Roosevelt Roads.

The base ceased air and port operations last month and will close next month. Already, the economy of eastern Puerto Rico is reeling from the loss of $300 million annually in wages and business. It is doubtful the region will recover.

The leadership of Virginia Beach (and other Hampton Roads communities) needs to take a hard look at the lessons of Puerto Rico. Any time a base's operational effectiveness is threatened, its very existence is threatened.

Encroaching development around NAS Oceana threatens the future of the base. No military installation is absolutely indispensable. NAS Oceana can be closed and that is no idle threat. Nothing is being done at Oceana that can't be done elsewhere.

I have watched development spring up around Oceana and Fentress for 20 years with little effort by the surrounding communities to address encroachment.

The Virginia Beach City Council needs to decide whether it wants a base in its community and then zone accordingly. And, of course, be prepared for the consequences.

James K. Stark Jr.
Virginia Beach

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