Turning up the Volume

An Air Force proposal to lift restrictions on F-35 flight traffic from Eglin AFB, Fla., over the adjoining city of Valparaiso has sparked criticism from the city’s mayor. While the Air Force has not yet made a decision, Bruce Arnold, Valparaiso’s mayor, is already criticizing the proposal, saying noise levels from the F-35s would harm the city and its residents. “The city’s not encroaching on Eglin,” he told the Daily Report in a July 29 telephone interview. “Eglin is encroaching on the city.” While Arnold contends that the Air Force has not adequately reached out to Valparaiso officials to discuss the issue, Air Force representatives said this is not the case. “We’ve never stopped talking to Mayor Arnold, from our top leadership down,” said Mike Spaits, Eglin’s environmental spokesman. “I think we’ve gone above and beyond in reaching out and trying to . . . include everyone outside the gates and hear their opinions,” he said in an Aug. 1 telephone interview. For our full report, continue to Lightning Strikes Twice.