Measure Banning Blue Angels From San Francisco Skies Is Rejected
By Wyatt Buchanan
San Francisco's skies are safe for the Blue Angels. A Board of Supervisors committee Monday rejected a measure that would have called for a permanent end to the high-flying, aerobatic show that happens yearly during Fleet Week.
The committee voted 2-1 to table the measure, authored by Supervisor Chris Daly, effectively killing it. But Daly, who cited public safety and noise concerns as his reasons for proposing the ban, promised to continue pushing it.
"(The measure) is a little fly-by-night, 'let's do this because we think it might not be safe,' " said Alioto-Pier, who said she was contacted by hundreds of city residents on the issue and most wanted the Blue Angels to stay.
A spokesman for the Navy said the Federal Aviation Administration consults with the Blue Angels on every show about the potential risks of performing certain maneuvers. The Blue Angels perform the same routine at every location, with variations depending only on clouds.
"The simple fact of the matter is we will not go to a show site if that site does not conform" to the routine, said Lt. Sean Robertson, spokesman for the Chief of Naval Air Training. "Safety is a primary concern for the Blue Angels."
Daly's resolution also raised concern over the noise created by the roaring jets, stating that the jets "terrorize small children, seniors, pets and local wildlife" and war veterans who may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.
Steve Noetzel, a San Francisco resident who served in Vietnam, said the show masks the grim reality of warfare.
"The graceful, swooping dives we see in the air show in San Francisco do not represent what really happens and what these craft are really for," Noetzel said.
But others who support the show said passing the measure would be to insult military service members. They said the city already has a record of not supporting the military, including votes against bringing the battleship Iowa to the bay and ending ROTC programs in schools.
"The city sunk the USS Iowa, killed Junior ROTC and now you want to shoot down the Blue Angels. This is just another nail in the coffin of patriotism in this city," said Wallace Levin, a retired lieutenant colonel with the California State Military Reserve and a member of the city's Veterans' Affairs Commission.