Letters to the editor (6/25/12)

June 24, 2012 

Obama owes an explanation

President Obama campaigned in 2008 on many platforms, one of which was increased government transparency. He even mentioned broadcasting government affairs and business on CSPAN.

With that campaign platform in mind, he should explain his need for, "executive privilege," to Mr. and Mrs. Terry and the American people.

-- Matthew Thiel

Anchorage

Where are those who should be protecting our fisheries?

Where is the Alaska we've lived in and grown with? Now we are arresting subsistence fisherman in the most economically depressed parts of the state!

In the world of Alaska fisheries, subsistence must have the first seat at the natural resource table as the primary and foremost partner of sustainability. Over several decades now, we've watched as more and more economically and politically powerful commercial fishing, coastal industrial, and unregulated international interests have weakened and or destroyed fisheries and coastal spawning habitats both here and around the world.

Their interests are solely short-term profit maximizing and -- when their relentless and indiscriminate harvesting or extractions cause a fisheries collapse -- they have protected themselves by gaining tax write-offs or "jobs" protection legislation. Yet Alaska fisheries protection -- not from Alaska Natives or local non-Native small-scale fishers -- but from large and mostly "Outside" commercial interests -- was the very "trigger" for Alaska seeking statehood. Now the same issues are at play again.

Do we have any Alaska politicians or citizens leading a charge to protect our fisheries, subsistence and sustainability interests?

-- Clayton McDowell

Anchorage

Doogan's retirement is a big loss to the Alaska Legislature

I have had the pleasure and great good fortune of knowing Mike Doogan since he was a shining star in the galaxy of extremely talented staff supporting legislators, individually and collectively, since I was a state senator many years ago.

Often the brightest of the staff avoid running for office and instead remain in the background playing critical roles in policy development. Rep. Doogan is the exception.

When Mike decided to serve the people of Alaska, as a representative, he brought a wealth of experience, great insight and a unique approach to transparency which has elevated his service above the typical legislative service.

As Mike retires from public office he deserves to know his service will be greatly missed by many.

-- Terry Stimson

former Alaska state senator

Anchorage

Council must step up to job

The North Pacific Management Council should cut current bycatch to zero.

Seattle-based corporations (trawlers) have no control over king salmon bound for Western Alaska.

Fifty thousand king salmon thrown overboard is not how you manage a fishery.

The NPMC should get real and do your job.

CDQ members -- your job is to insure that communities get king salmon to feed their families, not line your pockets with slimy dollars.

It would make sense to address this at the next NPMC meeting and it should be held in Bethel for testimony.

-- Jimmy R. Hurley Sr.

Ekwok

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