Tag Archives: corruption

WI State Journal, Hubbuch: Future noise concerns could scuttle housing along planned transit corridor

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Alders for City of Madison

Dane County Board of Supervisors

Contact other elected officials – Safe Skies Website

“With its strip malls, auto repair shops and used car lots, the stretch of East Washington Avenue between Aberg Avenue and Stoughton Road shows no signs of the revitalization happening a couple of miles to the west, near Downtown.

That could soon change with the addition of a planned bus rapid transit system.

Bill Connors, who heads a coalition of real estate developers, envisions three- and four-story buildings with ground-floor retail stores below apartments, much like those that have sprung up on the Isthmus.

City plans call for high-density housing that would both provide equitable access regardless of income and support a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system that’s expected to begin shuttling commuters between the city’s East and West sides in 2024.

But with the Air National Guard expected to begin flying a fleet of new F-35 fighter jets from nearby Truax Field in 2023, this ¾-mile strip is expected to be subject to noise levels considered too loud for residential development without significant soundproofing.

The conflict has created a dilemma for leaders of a fast-growing city in desperate need of more housing: By allowing the type of high-density development that would support rapid transit, Madison could also subject thousands more people to unhealthy levels of noise.

Connors argues the market will solve the problem, as builders who don’t do enough to muffle the sound will struggle to keep their buildings full.

City Council president Syed Abbas has appointed a council workgroup to explore possible alternatives, including a development moratorium or zoning changes, in an effort to prevent a situation where poor and minority people bear a disproportionate share of the environmental impacts.

“I have to see the situation with the lens of environmental justice,” Abbas said. “If you go historically, the market decided to put all the people of color there — Black and brown folks.”

Military decision

The Air Force last year selected the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing as one of the first Guard units to fly the military’s new F-35 fighter jets.

There is disagreement on just how much louder the F-35s will be compared to the F-16s that currently fly out of Truax. But there would be more takeoffs and landings, at least initially, which would increase the overall noise exposure for those living near the airport.

 

Uninvited: Sen. Baldwin Denies Access to Constituents Who Oppose the War Machine

Tammy Baldwin Denies Access to Fundraiser Ticketholders Who Have Been Vocal Against the F-35 Bomber Deployment in Madison
By Amy Anderson, Aug 26, 2021

 

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The latest battle to stop the planned F-35 bomber deployment to Air National Guard’s Truax Field in Madison took place at the entrance to Senator Tammy Baldwin’s annual summer BBQ fundraiser last Sunday, August 22nd. Held at the picturesque Fields Reserve reception barn on a wooded hill near Lake Kegonsa, some residents came to express their alarm and dismay about the harm to the Madison community that they say the stationing of these jets would bring.

 

However, several constituents who had paid for entry to the $50-$1000 fundraiser received email cancellations and refunds of their donations from the event staff just one day prior to the event. The seven constituents were all members of Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin, a group calling for the halt of F-35s coming to Madison.

These seven individuals came despite the cancellation but were not allowed in as eight security officers and three Dane County sheriff deputies guarded the driveway. So instead they joined the picket organized by the No F35 Action Faction, who brought 35 local residents to picket and pass out flyers. Donors attending the event waited in lines in their cars, sometimes for 15 minutes or longer while a single event staff person checked tickets against a list of names to determine if each passenger was on the approved list for entry.

One of the most vocal members denied entry was Tom Berman, a northside
homeowner for 37 years who has also operated a small business there for 32 years.
He expressed desperation that his beloved home and place of business will be
officially condemned as being within an “uninhabitable” zone once the F-35 jets
arrive and the frequent practice drills begin.

He quotes the Air Force’s Environmental Impact Statement that there are already 6222 sorties planned each year for the F-35s once they arrive in 2023. This is a 27% rise over current flights from Truax Field. He explained that the noise levels from takeoff of F-35s are traumatic to humans and more than four times louder than the F-16s which currently regularly practice over Madison’s east and northside.

David Williams from the No F35 Action Faction called the blacklisting of Madison residents from the event a sad but unsurprising disappointment in light of the Senator’s continued stonewalling against the growing voices from her own hometown against this deployment. “Our original picket slogan was We should not have to pay to be heard. But now we realize that even for those purchasing a ticket, we still don’t get to be heard.”

 

Mr. Berman reports that after the event was over Senator Baldwin did stop and let him give her his letter on her way out, saying she would have one of her staff get back to him.

 

The Safe Skies and Action Faction groups have been working for over two years to raise public awareness and to pressure Senator Baldwin, who has been a supporter of deploying F-35s in Madison rather than a sparsely populated area where it would be easier to mitigate the impacts.

 

Objections to the F-35 deployment include:

  • regular traumatic and unhealthy noise levels for Madison residents
  • the expense and hardship of relocating multiple Madison residents
  • decrease in property values for east and northside residents
  • impacts will affect low-income and minority populations the most
  • increase of PFAS “forever” chemicals commonly used in firefighting drills at Truax which  have already contaminated local waterways and many municipal wells
  • the well-documented dubiety of the F-35s as a military investment
  • the danger of bringing these nuclear-capable planes to Madison
  • the escalation of out-of-control military spending and endless war

 

Find Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin and sign up for updates.

Like  No F-35s Action Faction on Facebook, and they welcome people to join the cause.