Colonel personally apologizes to mayor at Army base

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD — Army Col. Charles Hodges Jr. personally apologized today to Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd for the unannounced, low-flying Army helicopter training exercise that startled many Port Angeles-area residents Thursday night and set off a frenzy of 9-1-1 calls to unsuspecting law enforcement.

At least one more expression of regret will come Tuesday night when Hodges offers a public apology to the City Council when council members meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St., Mayor Cherie Kidd said Monday after her meeting with the Joint Base Lewis-McChord garrison commander.

Hodges will take questions from council members but not the public, Kidd said.

She and Public Works Director Glenn Cutler met in Hodges’ second-floor office today. With the colonel was Maj. Roger Waleski Jr.

“They repeatedly apologized, and I thanked them for their apology,” Kidd said.

“I asked for assurances that in the future, if there are any military exercises, how will we be notified,” she said.

“They said they will notify us well in advance; our police and sheriff.”

Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters were reported flying over Port Angeles between about 10:30 p.m. and midnight at an altitude as low as 750 feet.

The training mission involved flying to and from Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles, Hodges said Friday.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 15. 2013 2:22PM
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