Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I am very excited that they finished the new library. It’s going to be great to go and sit in the library to do my homework because there aren’t really that many public places to go to. You see I am a freshman in high school and my options are limited where I can go to do my homework in peace; school or home. But now we have an alternate place.
For the past few months the only places where you could get books, magazines and movies cost money. Now that the new library is open we will have a whole building full of media to check out for free. Since the library has been closed it has given me and hopefully the whole community a new appreciation for the benefits of having a library.
The biggest benefit is we will have a beautiful new place where we can meet our friends and participate in all the great library programs they had in the past, in the old building. This is truly the greatest resource in the whole town.
Answer from State concerning pesticides
To the Editor:
Mayor Mark Jensen,
The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is in receipt of your August 19 letter expressing concerns with our Integrated Vegetation Management Plan. We discussed your concerns with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and it turns out most of the issues expressed in your letter (contamination of aquatic habitats, impact on local fisheries, contamination of drinking water, impacts to harvesters of berries and other edibles, and impact to the seafood industry) were addressed in detail by DEC during the regulation process.
Managing invasive vegetation within the DOT&PF right-of-way and on state lands is also a goal of the IVMP. Some of these species cannot be controlled without the use of herbicides. Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), for instance, is becoming an increasing problem for DOT&PF M&O staff as well as other local, state, and federal agencies. Japanese knotweed is very invasive and can establish and spread along marine and freshwater waterways. The plants clog waterways and lower the quality of habitat for wildlife and fish. It also reduces the food supply for juvenile salmon in the spring. In this instance, the application of a herbicide enhances waters that support salmon.
The DOT&PF believes that our limited, specific, and targeted herbicide application provides an appropriate balance in maintaining state lands for public health with the low risks associated with the selected herbicides to both human and wildlife health.
If you have and additional questions regarding pesticides, please feel free to contact Karin Hendrickson, Pesticide Control Program Coordinator with the Department of Environmental Conservation at Karin.Hendrickson@Alaska.gov. Karin has helped us through this process and can provide many answers to the intent, use, and results of our pesticide program.
Michael J. Coffey
Chief, Statewide Maintenance and Operations
Office of the Commissioner