I appreciated the attendance of the many concerned citizens, Jim Jorgensen, port commissioner, and the four port commissioner candidates at the airport town hall meeting. After attending port meetings and researching our airport for the last year and a half, I now understand an important clarification. By accepting Federal Aviation Administration grants, the port has agreed to "provide acceptable service to the public" and to "serve demand." The port is not allowed to a set a limit to the number of flights or an arbitrary maximum number of passengers to control jet traffic over our community. However, the port can decide to not accept more FAA grants, to not continue this endless airport development and increasing levels of jet traffic. "Creating demand" is not required by the FAA grants. We as a community have important choices to make. Do we want the convenience, cheap airfares, so-called economic growth? Do we want extreme levels of jet noise, air pollution, traffic, lowered property values -- the destruction of our quality of life? Or do we want Bellingham to remain the special place that it is? Can we have one without the other? I do not think we can. Inform yourself. Attend the port's airport master plan update community meeting in mid-September. To sign up for airport notification e-mails on the port's website, click on "notify m." Take part in the discussion. Vote for Mike McAuley and Renata Kowalczyk for port.