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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Pay for the port

  • Author: Robert A. Winfree
    | Opinion
  • Updated: February 11
  • Published February 11

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has proposed giving Alaska residents an extra $3,678 as “payback” for former Gov. Bill Walker’s capping of PFD checks during the Alaska recession. At the same time, we read that the Port of Alaska — Alaska’s primary marine port for importing food and manufactured necessities — is failing rapidly.

We Alaskans need to act like adults and build the infrastructure that our families and businesses depend on for survival now. The estimated $2 billion in port upgrades, if spread equally across all 738,000 Alaskans, would represent an investment of $2,700 each. That’s still $1,000 less than Gov. Dunleavy has proposed to send us. I like cash as much as the next person, but all Alaskans depend on the Port of Alaska. The ADN reports that Alaska’s stores and warehouses contain only a 6-10 day food supply. Alaska’s best alternative marine ports, Whittier, Seward and Valdez, were destroyed within minutes and with high loss of life by our 1964 earthquake and tsunami. We also just had a serious reminder of our collective vulnerability on Nov. 30, even before the governor issued his earthquake disaster declaration.

Wake up, Alaska! We all need a strong and secure port in Anchorage for our own survival, not to mention national defense. Let’s not ignore this opportunity to build our state’s future. Let’s pay for it now.

— Robert A. Winfree

Anchorage

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