It is dismaying and troubling to read the newspaper ads for the Blue Angel air show.

The air show, according to the ads, is for “honoring those who serve” and for “celebrating 100 years of naval aviation.” Very nice motives, but at what expense to taxpayers and the environment?

The cost to operate the Blue Angels this year is about $40 million, according to Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Jackalyne Pfannenstiel. Last year, the Blue Angels used 97,619 barrels, or 4.1 million gallons, of fuel, with corresponding CO2 emissions of about 88 million pounds, Pfannenstiel said.

Do such expenditures and consumption set a good example? Are they fiscally and environmentally responsible in these times?

The ad neglects to state that the Blue Angels also are used for military recruiting.

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority must provide space for military recruiters.

While the authority is to be commended for helping to turn the biblical sword (Brunswick Naval Air Station) into a ploughshare (a civilian facility), having the air show violates part of its stated purpose to establish “environmental sustainability” and “green” community development.

Cheaper, greener and more patriotic alternatives exist for the authority to carry out its purposes. For example, why not have a traditional Maine lobster/clambake with the closest Navy fleet band in Newport, R.I., invited to serenade us?

What is most troubling, however, is that sponsors listed in the ads (which could easily be construed as political) are complicit, unaware probably, in support of the Blue Angels and their recruiting and polluting — more complicit than I am.

Thomas C. Sturtevant, Winthrop


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