News-Times Whidbey News for those 55 and over Pullout inside WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26, 2013 | Vol. 114, No. 51 | www.whidbeynewstimes.com | 75¢ Letter claims noise a health hazard By Justin Burnett Staff reporter Photos by Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times Jake Brown and Ryan Meese work to set up a Discount Fireworks stand at the old Ford dealership lot on State Highway 20 in Oak Harbor. The Island County Commissioners agreed Monday to shorten the county’s rules to comply with state law. Fireworks season now a day shorter on island By Justin Burnett Staff reporter SeE RULES, A2 “CLEARLY, THE actual 2012 noise levels are much higher than predicted in the 2005 AICUZ study, partly because of the greater number of over-flights, but primarily because of the much higher percentage of nighttime flights,” Lilly wrote. The 2005 study looked at the airfield and the associated impacts of the Navy’s transition from the EA-6B Prowler to the EA-18G See LETTER, A2 FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS Est 1991 830 SE Pioneer Way Oak Harbor, WA 360-679-3700 Tues-Fri 11-5:30 Saturday 10-5 22 years at the same location YOUR LOCAL GOLD BUYER We Buy Gold, Silver, Coins, Diamonds, & Estate Jewelry FREE $20 Gas Card FREE $100 minimum with our purchase of your jewelry. FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS FREE GAS Island County Sheriff Mark Brown responds to a statement from Commissioner Helen Price Johnson about fireworks during a meeting. Despite the pleas of a handful of residents, fireworks season in Island County will not be shortened beyond state law. The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to alter county rules for the sale and discharge of fireworks so that they align with state regulations but nothing more. “This is a good first step,” Board Chairman Kelly Emerson said. County ordinances allowed the discharge and sale of fireworks from noon on June 28 to noon on July 6. State rules have a similar schedule but it ends on July 5 and are slightly more restrictive with the specification of allowed hours. County officials have been aware of the discrepancy for years and although a change was discussed by the board last year, the issue was tabled until 2013. Previously discussions about restricting the allowable timeframe even further were not supported by the board. The commissioner’s vote followed a public hearing in which at least six people requested the board go beyond the state standard. Many asked that the rules be restricted to just one day. Complaints were across the board, ranging from impacts to animals and pets to litter on beaches and excess noise. Jet noise over Central Whidbey is loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage, a privately-funded acoustics study asserts. Jerry G. Lilly, president of Issaquah-based JGL Acoustics, was hired earlier this year by Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve for a Healthy, Safe and Peaceful Environment to conduct an auditory study on jet operations at the U.S. Navy’s Outlying Field Coupeville. The study results, which were recently released to the Whidbey News-Times and the Navy, claims noise levels are not only louder than the Navy forecast in a 2005 federally required environmental assessment, but pose a potential health hazard to the community.