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Readers write: Letters to the editor, July 29

Alaska Dispatch News
LETTERS: Readers weigh in on oil taxes, the value of bulletin boards, the king cove road, and watering our grass. Plus, a newcomer to Alaska has a question about giving away salmon. U.S. Post Office image

SB 21 needs to be rewritten

Why this Alaska Libertarian has decided to vote yes to repeal SB 21:

The crony capitalism beat goes on and on and on. Another taxpayer-backed big oil company and big government sweetheart deal. I am so disappointed that these elitists are willing to overtly squander more of our Alaska wealth due to misappropriations of big government and big oil businesses.

I propose a rewritten SB 21 that results in language much more friendly to the everyday and hardworking people of Alaska. Additionally, I favor allowing smaller energy companies a chance to compete and responsibly harvest our abundant supplies of oil and natural gas. Time to end lining the pockets of big business and career politicians.

God bless the free thinkers.

-- Jim McDermott
Alaska Libertarian for U.S. Congress 2014
Fairbanks

Bulletin boards reach out to everyone

What would you do if you lost a pet? Were starting a small business? Wanted to get the word out about a new self-help meeting? You might go looking for a community bulletin board. (Why not Craigslist? Because a bulletin board is the place to reach people who aren’t looking for your item/service/event because they don’t even know it exists.) And I think you will find community bulletin boards are not as easy to find as you expect (especially in some of the obvious locations -- gyms, bookstores).

For some reason, it seems like more and more bulletin boards are disappearing or becoming unnecessarily restrictive -- i.e “events only” or “no housing or for sale items.” For this reason I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to those establishments that still provide unrestricted bulletin board space. When I see an unrestricted bulletin board, I feel I am in an establishment that sees itself as a member of the community.

I want to give a special shout-out to the Sagaya locations, Kaladi Bros., sometimes Carrs, Thai Kitchen, Spenard Roadhouse, Starbucks, sometimes Fred Meyer and all the other businesses that provide this simple service. Thank you!

And to the rest -- please consider it. It may sometimes look messy but it is our mess.

-- Janet Rader
Anchorage

Corporations dip into our resources

If the news that TransCanada, BP, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and the state of Alaska (aka Sean Parnell) have concocted a secret deal re: a gas line that even our elected legislators are not privy to, and that siphons off at least $125 million of Alaska money, doesn’t drive citizens to the polls to vote yes on Ballot Measure 1, I am not sure what more it will take.

I know … we’re talking gas and oil, two different things. But what ties them together here is the ease with which Outside corporations dip into mega-amounts of state resources, and a governor who seems to have no problem finding ways to give these resources away.

-- Jeanne Ashcraft
Anchorage

Pavement can’t grow, so don’t water it

Alaska is blessed with resources, including water. After all, there is no life without water. So while watering the grass with a sprinkler is responsible, letting the water fall on the pavement is not.

-- Patrick Czyz
Anchorage

Making room for new catch seems wasteful

I’m new to Alaska, so please forgive my ignorance. 

I have had several people offer me their last year’s salmon as they want to make room in their freezer for salmon they’ve caught this year.

I also read an article recently about frozen salmon ending up at the dump, again to make room for this year’s catch.

Please help me understand why you don’t limit how much you catch to what you’ll use?

Again, my apologies for my ignorance.

-- Carol Jenkins
Anchorage

‘No road’ argument has wrong priorities 

I am getting tired of listening to idiots expound on connecting King Cove to the airport at Cold Bay. I have made many trips to King Cove, many more to Cold Bay.

The issue is, of course, the impact on the migratory waterfowl in the Izembek  Refuge of a road linking Cold Bay with King Cove. There has existed for about 70 years an extensive road system in and about the Izembek Refuge. This began in 1942, when the Cold Bay airport was built, and expanded as the military installation Fort Randall was built.

There are miles  of gravel roads in this area. I know, I have driven on them hunting geese and ptarmigan. In 1945, a massive training program, “Project Hula,” existed at Cold Bay. At any given time, there were at least 1,500 troops on site participating.  In subsequent years there was a small USAF facility at Cold Bay.  The geese didn’t seem to be affected by this level of activity, which was probably a hundredfold over and above what occurs today.

I lost a very good friend in the crash of a Beech KingAir at King Cove a number of years ago. It can be a very dangerous airport due limited visibility, low ceiling and ferocious wind all at the same time.

This “no road” argument has no reasonable basis.  Geese, minimal to no impact; people of King Cove, potentially major impact.

Where are your priorities?

-- Mike Koskovich
Wasilla

Alaska’s quality of life is paid for by oil companies

Where have I heard “top contributors include BP,  ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil” before? Sure, they are involved in the oil tax campaign. We should expect them to express their opinion given the billions in investments and thousands of employees they have in Alaska. 

But back to that “paid for by” phrase. Do you know where I hear it the most? At every local running race, arts performance, soup kitchen, scholarship program or insert-charitable-event here in this state. Not only does oil fuel our economy, but these same companies spend many more millions in making sure our communities are viable and healthy by supporting local nonprofits and charities. I suspect Alaskans hear so much of it that they don’t even notice it anymore.

I, for one, would like to take a break from all the campaign rhetoric and call attention to the important contributions these oil companies make in our communities. They are our partners, not only in growing the economy but also in making sure this state is a great place to live for years to come.

-- Susan Whited
Anchorage

Price of oil is deciding factor 

As a small business owner with offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks I know the importance of keeping your expenses low and taxes reasonable.

The argument I continue to hear, that SB 21 is a $2 billion giveaway, is ludicrous. The opponents always fail to bring up the rest of SB 21, which offset most of the reduction in taxes when oil was at $140. These same opponents to SB 21 never mention that when oil is around $100, which it is now, the state of Alaska makes the same amount of revenue under both the old plan, ACES,  and the new SB 21, because oil prices have fallen and it has nothing to do with which tax structure was in place.

Let’s keep the current plan in place as we see oil activity in the state continue to increase and make sure we understand all the facts. The worst thing we can do is change the tax policy again when we know it will not bring in any more revenue at the current oil prices we are experiencing now.

-- Michael Ferris
Anchorage

Short-term interests trump the future of all Alaskans

I scarcely envisioned the day when I’d be in full agreement with our erstwhile half-governor, but ACES was indeed a more equitable share. SB 21 guarantees only benefits for a single constituency, while providing only a cheery promise to all others. A reduced financial burden is in the interest of any profit oriented entity, and yes, may well foster more investment -- but, at what cost? What of all the livelihoods, current and future, that aren’t part of the oil industry? Alaska’s ability to provide for its citizens in education, infrastructure, and basic governance is being wagered based on a self-interested basket of promises. Once again, short-term interests are trumping those of the future.

Does a 100 to 1 spending campaign in defense of SB 21 by a historically exceptionally profitable industry give any indication? Would Gov. Wally Hickel remotely consider this the proper action of an owner state? The Legislature gutting our state’s future ability to carry out its most basic functions was a shameful travesty. We can’t let it stand. Please, vote yes on Ballot Measure 1 Aug. 19.

-- Todd Bureau
Hope

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter for consideration, e-mail letters@adn.com, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity.