Re: “Whidbey Island: Hellscape of Navy jet noise or Puget Sound jewel?” [Aug. 30, Opinion]:

As a retired Navy man, I spent two years with FA-18s and, yes, they are an impressive piece of machinery. And, yes, the skills needed to operate Growlers require intense practice.

Steve Bristow’s recent opinion has interesting claims as to the benefits of Whidbey Island’s Navy Growler presence.

However, he ignored a recent court decision in which the Navy was not truthful in its data-gathering method and disingenuously dodged the driving force of the resistance to the Growlers’ presence here on the Olympic Peninsula: noise.

When I moved to the West End more than 20 years ago, it was extremely rare to hear the Navy’s activities disturbing the sounds of nature.

Then came the Growlers — and the complaints.

I’ve recorded videos of my sound meter pegging 96 decibels in Forks and, while being videotaped by the National Parks Conservation Association and later by King-5 News, decibel levels in the mid-80s in the Hoh Rain Forest.

The choice is quite simple: Visit our parks and beaches for the peace and quiet that soothes millions of visitors from around the world, or suffer your trip with the Navy running a blender on your right and a lawn mower on your left.

David Youngberg, Forks