April 26, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 17

Letters to the editor

PIA changes

To the Editor:

Out of respect to the many relationships that the Petersburg Indian Association (PIA) provides to the Petersburg School District, City of Petersburg, Roads Programs, and businesses in the community, the PIA Board of Directors would like to reassure the community of the strength and stability of our organization. PIA has undergone many organizational changes within the last year with the addition of new board members and changes in leadership. Change is always a challenge however be reassured that PIA is moving forward in a positive manner with an excellent employee base and structure and there will not be any disruption in any of our current programs, services, and grants.

In the 2010 Strategic Planning Retreat the PIA Board committed to bringing a first class restaurant to the City of Petersburg to fulfill the often heard comment from locals that they wished there was another restaurant in town. The Seaside restaurant is the result of this effort and commanded many hours of planning, labor, and expense from PIA. This labor of love was done for the enjoyment and as a service to the entire community. PIA did not expect Seaside to be a highly profitable business, rather one that would be of value to the people who lived here and provide additional employment opportunities. PIA has no plans or intentions to close Seaside and we appreciate everyone’s patronage and support of Seaside so that it can remain in the community for many years to come.

The past year has been filled with many accomplishments and challenges that have strengthened and challenged the organization. It is with sadness that we accepted the resignation of our current PIA Administrator Will Ware and our newly elected Board President Ronelle Beardsley this week. As in all organizations PIA is now adjusting to these resignations and changes in personnel. We are currently working on the process of recruiting a new administrator and replacing the Board President. In the meantime Barbara King will be acting as the Interim Administrator for PIA and all of our grants and programs will continue as usual.

Looking back at our successes we would like to publicly acknowledge and thank Will Ware for his time and commitment to our organization as well as the role he played in ensuring the Seaside restaurant would be completed in a professional and quality manner. Will’s leadership, vision, and dedication will be missed at PIA and difficult to replace. We wish the best for Will in his future endeavors and continued input as a valued PIA member.

Ron Ware

The Petersburg Indian Association Board of Directors

Health Fair successful

To the Editor:

The 2012 Health Fair was a success once again due to the many people, mostly volunteers, who worked endless hours to make it all come together.  Thank you to you all.  Many folks commented to me that they were impressed and appreciated the information provided, especially the special exhibits from out of town.  Nolan the Colon was a big hit.  I hope everyone had a chance to walk through the display. 

If you did not have a chance to pick up your lab results, please pick them up at the Hospital Laboratory registration desk Monday - Friday from 8:00 to 4:30.

Let's do this again in the Spring of 2014. 

"Our Intention is Prevention."

Liz Bacom

Petersburg Medical Center Laboratory

Do the math yourself

To the Editor:

Kathy O’Rear’s convoluted explanation of school funding makes for ‘put you to sleep’ reading while disguising the reality that becoming a borough will cost current City of Petersburg residents a lot of money.

This is for a number of reasons but the most simple is this:  The additional real and personal property that will come with a borough will raise the required minimum local contribution by about $500,000.  Not in the first year, not in the second year, but by the third year the one half yearly increase she mentions will be used up.

According to her petition (her claiming to be a private citizen when advocating for the borough is laughable), she expects to collect 4 mills or $184,000 from us ‘outliers’.  That leaves Petersburg holding a $300,000 bag.  And, if she wants to add another 2 mills on top of that for voluntary contributions, it adds another $100,000 to that bag.  Remember, the City Administration has been promising us since 2006 that the maximum mill rate they will tax outliers is 4 mills.

So we have a situation where Ms. O’Rear is obfuscating the cost from current Petersburg citizens or she foresees a raise in the ‘outlier’ mill rate.  Either way, it is a pig in a poke situation.  You can check my figures and conclusion by reading the petition, visiting the Public School Funding Overview at http://eed.alaska.gov/news/Funding_Program_Overview_2012.pdf, and reviewing Alaska Statute AS 14.17.410.

I urge you to read up on it, plug in the figures and do the math yourself.  Ms. O’Rear must know that the best thing to do to increase school funding for Petersburg would be to convince all home-schoolers to enroll their children in one of Petersburg’s fine schools.

George Cole

Keene Channel

Help with herring appreciated

To the Editor:

Every year at this time, members of our Tribe wait in great anticipation of receiving herring eggs from the beaches of Sitka. Each year the Petersburg Indian Association works diligently to find the most economical way to get those cumbersome boxes home.

This year, we made a call to our friends over at Icicle Seafoods. They volunteered to not only bring back our highly valued traditional foods, but apparently coordinated the pick up as well. By the time we were able to get in touch with our contact in Sitka, Icicle had already picked up the boxes, brought them home and were storing them for us until we picked them up.

While a simple thank you doesn’t seem to do justice, our hope is that by sharing the gratitude from this short story will let you know what may have been a little effort to you, has brought great benefit to us.

Gunalcheesh

Barb King,

Petersburg Indian Association

Kindergarten ready sessions

To the Editor:

We at Stedman Elementary would once again like to thank the dedicated parents and teachers who attended the second "Kindergarten Ready" session.   Social and Emotional development of our children is an important part of being ready for school.  We would also like to thank the Petersburg Children’s Center staff for their wonderful support, providing free child care during the Kindergarten Ready session. We could not provide these trainings without their help.  We look forward to seeing parents and caregivers at our final "Kindergarten Ready" session on Wednesday, May 23 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Erica Kludt-Painter and

Stedman Elementary Staff

Missed the point

To the Editor:

Thank you, Mayor Dwyer, for bringing my concern regarding the new security cameras before the Petersburg city council. However, the council missed my point entirely. It's not the cameras I am calling into question, but rather the lack of a written policy to help restrain abuse of the system and to provide legal redress if abuse occurs. To paraphrase James Madison in Federalist 51: If men were angels, no written policy would be needed. His actual words: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary... In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." In other words, it's not the new toys that are the problem -- it's always the human beings who are using the toys.

Dana Thynes,

City of Kupreanof

Prom and dance style

To the Editor:

In Petersburg City School District we are as concerned about the health and well-being of students as we are about academic and vocational skills progress. With this thought in mind, the annual "Prom" (Promenade) dance is fast approaching. "Prom" is a classy event where students have the opportunity to dress formally and enjoy an evening with friends in a highly decorated special venue.

The Junior Class devotes significant time and effort to planning and hosting the Prom. The 2012 Petersburg High School Prom will be held at the Sons of Norway Hall on Saturday, May 5 from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Crowning of the Prom King and Queen will take place at midnight.

A school-sponsored dance is not a city night club venue. Dance styles that may be observed in disco clubs in New York, Anchorage, Portland, and San Francisco or seen on MTV are not appropriate or acceptable for a high school dance. The dance style commonly called "grinding" is a very physical and suggestive style of dance that is one example of a dance style not appropriate or acceptable for Petersburg High School or the community of Petersburg.

Please join involved school district staff, parents, community members and students in supporting a safe, sober and drug free evening of appropriate dance activity. The District has the following expectation for ALL high school dances: "Face to Face; Leave A Space".

Demonstrating appropriate dance style will help ensure a successful, safe and enjoyable Prom.

Dr. Robert Thomason

Superintendent

Justice is blind

To the Editor:

I am appalled at how misguided our local judicial system has treated me and my family. As some of you may know, my dog Loki was recently found guilty of being a dangerous dog after biting another dog. My dog was properly tied up on my property and a “Beware of Dog” sign was visible.

The victim admitted that her dog was unleashed and that she brought her dog onto my property. There is a leash law in this town and I’m sure there is some about trespassing.

During the trial the victim admitted that her first testimony was a lie and then changed the facts of her story five days later when she finally decided to contact the police. And yet the court still wouldn’t dismiss the case. Her negligence has led up to everything that has happened. She shouldn’t have trespassed on my property and her dog should have been on a leash. And even though she can lie about the facts, I am the one who is supposedly held accountable for her actions. Is this the so called justice system hard at work?

Now the real kicker is that at the beginning of the trial I was told that they must find my dog guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet at the end of the trial the judge wasn’t sure if he was guilty or not so she would have to think about it for a few weeks. Is that not reasonable doubt? Is this what constitutes are a fair and speedy trial? And after all these facts I’m still found to be at fault.

If a buglar broke into your home, fell through the skylight and broke their leg would our courts allow them restitution? I would hope not.

Bottom line, she should have never let this happen and not only let this happen, but demand that I’m the one at fault. It’s outrageous. It makes me feel completely let down by the justice system. And I have very little faith that if I ever went to court for a real crime that I would not receive a fair trial. I feel that justice is not only blind but possibly deaf and dumb also.

Royce Vick

PIA meetings open to public

To the Editor:

We would like to make a public apology to Lee and Gail Ribich for the disrespectful manner in which they were treated by a tribal member at the Petersburg Indian Association meeting. It was brought to our attention that while the Board of Directors was in executive session Mr. and Mrs. Ribich were confronted and asked to leave the PIA meeting since they are not tribal members.

PIA meetings are open to the public. We both have the utmost respect for the Ribichs and their contributions to the community and are sorry they had to be subject to this type of treatment, please accept our apology on behalf of those who don’t know any better.

Ron and Dawn Ware

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