February 28, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 9

To the Editor

Cruise ship sewage mixing zone

To the Editor:

It is with a feeling of pride that I can now tell family and friends that I am now a 'Cruise ship sewage mixing zone Alaskan commercial fisherman'. Imagine, out on the beautiful waters of Southeast Alaska, catching salmon from the fecal and heavy metal polluted waters. It's only a million people or so a season on the cruise ships. And for sure, once word gets out salmon and seafood consumers around the world will all want to purchase our fecal and heavy metal laced seafood.

A nod of thanks to our generous (HB80) and forward thinking Governor Sean Parnell for getting rid of those pesky pristine waters.

And of course we must also acknowledge the genius of our rubber stamping Republican legislature for falling all over themselves to rid us once and for all of the clean water moniker.

The Alaska seafood industry owes a debt of thanks and gratitude to our Governor and our illustrious legislature. Now we can proudly pro claim to one and all, Alaskan Seafood, pulled from the fetid waters of a cruise ship sewage and heavy metals polluted mixing zones.

It's all just too good to be true.

Joe Sebastian

True colors

To the Editor:

Through out the Borough formation process those of us who live outside Petersburg city limits were encouraged to support borough formation so we could “have a voice in local government”, “borough up together”, “have a seat at the table”, “control your destiny”.

The Mayor as well as a number of then Council members requested (the outsiders) people outside Petersburg, especially those opposed to the borough to run for available positions in the Borough government.

The fear of having no representation based on shear numbers 10 inside the then city to 1 outside was a contributing factor for opposition to a borough. The City's history of inequalities with regard to annexation of the Scow Bay and Frederick Point properties was another validated concern.

The February 19 Borough Assembly meeting substantiated our concerns. It was made patently clear by the votes of Borough Assembly members and Mayor that the outsiders were not to be represented. It was obvious Mr. Hoag was traumatized with the concept of Bob Lynn being on the Assembly. Mr. Hoag's question to the then candidates rallying his ambitions to tax and spend clearly eliminated any potential opposition to the “good ole boy” brand of government that exists in Petersburg.

Even though I opposed borough formation I never objected to paying taxes for the education of our children. Now I'm not so sure I can support even that.

If our Mayor and Assembly lead and teach by example, they are teaching our children that in order to get what ever you want, it is permissible to lie, deceive, and cheat people. Shame, shame on you all.

I was a little surprised the Mayor and Assembly would show their true colors this early in the game. This all does help me to better understand why so many people loathe the concept of being associated with Petersburg government.

Kenneth Howard

Laura Howard

Keene Channel

Been dragged into borough

To the Editor:

We outsiders have been dragged kicking and screaming into this borough, through a process resembling democracy about as much as when the vast Persian army overwhelmed the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. But however strongly we believe that we have been stolen from—by the nicest people in the world, we know we have to move on. That's why many of us were relieved when Bob Lynn from Duncan Canal agreed to put his name in for the borough assembly.

Although it would have meant enormous personal sacrifice to himself and his wife, there could have been no better candidate, not merely to represent new residents on the outside of Service Sector One, but those inside as well. Bob and his family have a long history living inside Petersburg when he was the Forest Supervisor of all the Tongass, and he has much political experience from his years in DC, where he weekly took part in hearings before congress and various committees. More importantly, though, Bob is a man of great fairness, intellect, and fiscal prudence. He thinks for himself, and I am afraid that is why Petersburg's Borough Assembly rejected him.

As it came time to choose the new assembly members from the four candidates, John Hoag called in with a question that appeared to be a test: Would the candidates be prepared to increase Petersburg's debt by putting a particular bond issue on a future ballot? The replies and subsequent vote were startling.

The two unsuccessful candidates, Bob Lynn and Jeigh Stanton Gregor, answered that they would need to study the issue before they could commit to asking Petersburg residents for more taxes. The other two candidates showed no hesitation at all to increasing the tax burden on the community even without further consideration. Of course they would be completely in favor of spending money! The votes were in- Mr. Hoag's question was apparently “the secret handshake”. In their blindness, the assembly members have missed an opportunity to extend the hand of reconciliation in a gesture more meaningful than an afternoon of cookies and questionnaires.

Whether from selfishness or in ignorance, our friends in Petersburg have stolen from us. While it is legal, this theft is not moral. It will continue to hurt us for a long time. The selection of two assembly members with outsiders' perspectives-even one member- would have gone far toward mending fences. But now, we have neither true ownership of our properties, nor do we have representation.

Dana Thynes

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