Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monroe County versus The Navy

Every now and again the Navy issues a report called AICUZ which impossible acronym stands for Air Installation Compatible Use Zone. In a town reduced to one bookstore, Island Books, I fear this tool we call the Internet is impeding our ability to reason by way of eliminating thoughtfully printed word. AICUZ is an example of my fears becoming real as our leaders react and don't pause to think.

The Navy issues a map from time to time, perhaps every ten years, outlining areas where they expect their jets to fly over local communities. The idea is that local communities take these flights paths into account and limit development accordingly. It is such a transparent, simple system that you'd think it's would be quite hard to mess it up.

The funny part is that this simple system is nothing but a cause for controversy in Monroe County. Boca Chica Naval Air Station has been where it is forever and they have been flying and training flyers there since Methuselah was a busboy in the officers' mess and yet some few people who live around the base complain about the noise. I chose not to live between mile Marker Four and Mile Marker 15 exactly because I don't like jet noise. They do their thing over the Lower Keys and I sleep my days away at Mile Marker 27. Smart, no?

Thus when people buy existing homes without doing their due diligence and they miss the implications of the widely publicized AICUZ, blame is easy to apportion. Supporters of the Navy abound and claim they don't mind jet noise. Good for them.

What gets my goat though is when our local elected officials argue with the Navy demanding permission to allow development inside the AICUZ. A recent newspaper headline sounded the alarm "County, Navy debate flight zones." Huh?

Shuffling through the newspaper article it seems the county is afraid to adopt the Navy guidelines because they may change in the future, no really, and because if land is rated as not suitable for development there will be lawsuits from dipshits who wanted to speculate on land parked in jet flight paths. Imagine the lawsuits that would be generated if a jet failed and crashed into a home built under the flight path....

The county will be meeting and talking and negotiating this month and I ask myself whether anyone notices the benefits of thousands of Navy salaries in our community. Yes I know they are just more government workers like me, not producing widgets and thus not appreciated by the Tea Party members in our community. This is a government program and of course our leaders are brainwashing us into hating government programs but for the rest of us rational thinkers does anyone think building a house under a jet flight path makes sense? Why is this even being debated?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Chuck and the Pheebs said...

great deal for the hearing impaired!

Conchscooter said...

i have no idea how one buys a home in the noise zone without noticing.

Gina C in AL said...

I knew Borders would be going but is Voltaire Books out too? Remember when (not so long ago) we also had Valladores news-stand and the Blue Heron on upper Duval. Island Books just isnt up to it with the customer service.

Singing to Jeffrey's Tune said...

Perhaps there is an opportunity for you Conch - a bookstore during the day and night shift at night. You can go without sleep!

Actually the last time I was in a bookstore in the keys (looking for locally authored books - now which can be found on Amazon and the like), the owner of the one on Marathon said after 15 years, they raised his rent by $3K a month in KW so he moved the store to Marathon, lived on his houseboat and then rented out his house. This was back in 2002, so it was a bit ago.

Interesting how the previous boom in real estate and advances in reading technology could kill a local business type. We have to adapt I guess.

Conchscooter said...

Voltaire Books is holding a closing sale as well.
Like it or not we are all going electronic. My wife has weak wrists and loves her Kindle. She reads more than ever but she does it electronically.
I expect to see a lot of empty store fronts in the future because I don't see any grounds for economic recovery.