Culvert repair funds worth the investment

Last Tuesday the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly heard arguments against funding a non-profit organization to repair culverts near anadromous stream crossings.

The ordinance sought to fund the Kenai Watershed Forum with $100,000 for those culvert projects critical to fish migration.

Two residents testified against the ordinance, one of whom said the borough shouldn’t be giving money away to non-profit organizations.
Don’t listen.

While we could argue both sides of that sentiment, we have to remember what we are talking about here — not an organization receiving taxpayer funding for its own benefit, but rather an organization wanting to put our tax dollars to work at a 2-to-1 ratio.
Watershed Forum executive director Robert Ruffner explained that means residents will get $300,000 worth of work from a $100,000 investment, all of which will go toward borough land and not the organization.

Let’s not forget the bottom line — healthy fish. The Kenai Watershed Forum has a great track record and there is no other organization we’d rather have at the forefront of protecting our anadromous streams.

Spending $100,000 for the health of our fishery is a no-brainer. Even though it might not put more sockeye, coho or kings up the Kenai River next summer, everyone eventually benefits from a healthy, Peninsula-wide salmon run.

Sure, that is a good deal of money. But it’s an investment we’ll argue for every time.

More

Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

Read more

Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

Read more

Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

Read more

Letters to the editor

Chuitna mine threatens Alaska way of life

Read more