Petersburg Pilot -

 
 

To the Editor

 


Keep moving, Petersburg

To the Editor:

Petersburg Mental Health staff is grateful for the generous people that made the second annual Pedometer Challenge happen.

We couldn't have done it without Mark Kubo’s amazing tracking skills, Erin Michael and Colleen Jaeger at Public Health serving as the distribution center, local businesses (Hammer and Wikan and Skate of Gear) for  their contribution, and the Petersburg Indian Association for providing amazing grand prizes. Thanks to you and to all the participants.

Petersburg's entire step count during this challenge was 46,851,667. We are excited to exceed 47 million steps next year. Together we can do it. Keep moving, Petersburg.

Kimberly Kilkenny

Does Assembly want diversification?

To the Editor:

As I was leaving my residence to go to the Borough Assembly meeting on June 16, I received a phone call stating that rather than presenting my material to the assembly I should just take it to the library and invite those who might be interested. This was the second time I was not able to present my material. What is so controversial about my material? To the Assembly it has to do with logging.

Some time ago the Assembly voted 4-3 to go along with the City of Kupreanof to prevent the University of Alaska from logging their land on Mitkof Island. There has been a lot of false material on slides presented, and I had hoped to use both pictures and written material to counter this. Would a 10 minute presentation, at most, be too much time for the Assembly to sit and watch? I really don't think it would change some members minds because, simply put, they are "tree huggers."

The Borough is running out of money. A good example is get rid of senior sales tax exemption.

On Dec. 19, 2013, John Glenn told the assembly of his plan to build a lumber mill in Petersburg. Apparently, only one assembly member asked any questions. U.S. District Forest Ranger Jason Alexander did state the amount of timber that might be available. Glenn stated that the mill would employ 30-50 people and that he was pleased to bring economic diversification back to Petersburg.

One might have thought that the assembly would follow up on the offer and see if they could help. One assembly member I spoke to recently said he thought Glenn did not have the necessary finances. Apparently, with assembly members help, he could have received financial help if he needed it.

If you read the Tongass Transition 2010 report, you'll see the City of Petersburg received a $200,000 grant for the new library. Alaska Sustainable Wild Seafood received a $20,000 grant for energy improvements to fishing vessels. FV Redemption, LLC got a guaranteed loan of $1,100,000 for new fishing vessel construction. Talon Lodge, LLC received a $1,840,000 guaranteed loan for working capital and debt restructuring. I can give you a copy of the report if you are interested.

What would a lumber mill do for Petersburg, besides employing 30-50 people? In Craig, the biomass from Viking Lumber heats the pool, pool building, and a school. In Tok, the spruce forest supplies the biomass to furnish electricity and heat for the schools and heat for a green house that supplies vegetables for the school lunch program.

I think the citizens of the borough need to approach the Assembly and see where they stand. Do the Borough Assembly members want diversification or do they intend to find new ways to tax us?

George H. Rice Sr.

 

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