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Off Mic

Last week the KPBS radio newsroom received two phone calls from the Navy and an email, informing us of the decommissioning of the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. They wanted us to cover the story.  

It was a good story and one that many old timers in San Diego are interested in… the Kitty Hawk spent half of her 48 years home ported in San Diego. We followed up and did a radio spot to mark her departure.

But today, another fax eventually made its way to the newsroom from some far-off fax machine in the station, informing us that the Navy is holding public hearings on the traffic impacts of permanently home porting a third aircraft carrier in San Diego. When was that hearing? It started 20 minutes ago!

I called to find out why we didn’t get the information sooner. I was told that, due to Labor Day weekend, they had to fax out the information instead of emailing it. Hmm.

The web site on the press release led to a message: “There is a problem with this website's security certificate.”  When I asked where I could get information on the proceedings, the Environmental Public Information Officer didn’t know the web site address.

I called another Navy contact who eventually found me the web site.

It is, conveniently, under the Navy’s Engineering Command .

The public scoping period on the impacts of home-porting a third Nimitz class (that means nuclear powered) aircraft carrier starts next month, in October. Maybe by then the Navy will have figured out its public outreach.

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