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Seaton: Still listening to Peninsula’s needs

House District 30 — Republican

Posted: August 22, 2012 - 8:57am

Editor’s note: The following opinion pieces were requested by the Clarion to offer our readers the viewpoints of those running for office in the Aug. 28 primary election. 

Each candidate also received a questionnaire, the answers to which may be found here.

Today’s focus is on candidates running State House District 30, representing the area from Homer to Kasilof, as well as Funny River. 

Incumbent Paul Seaton and challenger Jon Faulkner will appear on the Republican ballot. Elizabeth Diament is running on the Democratic ballot.

Each response is printed as it was received.

I have been actively involved in Kenai Peninsula communities for 37 years. As your representative I work hard for an Alaska that values fiscal responsibility, quality education, improved health, responsible resource development and accountable government. My experience as a small businessman, my community involvement, and my experience in the legislature will continue to provide excellent representation of your local concerns and a strong voice on statewide issues.

I responded to the needs of Alaska’s students for quality education by finding answers to funding problems that enjoyed bipartisan support. I am a leader in bringing vocational education back to the classroom and expanding the use of technology. I worked hard for the results-based Alaska Performance Scholarships and Project Grad, which reward hard work by making Alaskan colleges and technical schools more affordable. I sponsored a pilot project using iPod Touch technology in six schools on the lower Kenai Peninsula. 

I continue to work to improve the safety and accessibility of health care in Alaska. In the last legislature I was able to pass the resolution moving Alaska towards a “Prevention of Disease” model of health care and increasing awareness of Vitamin D. A focus on prevention can reduce our heath care costs and improve the wellness of Alaskans. I was also able to pass a prohibition on the sale of non-tobacco nicotine to minors.

I work hard to ensure that resource development is responsive to our communities. I have sponsored successful legislation to: repeal an oppressive tax on sand and gravel operators; expand the opportunity for geoduck clam farming, and a resolution to bring the Coastal Villages’ Bering Sea Pollock and crab fleet to homeport in Alaska at Seward. 

I support passage of the Coastal Management Plan initiative as the most effective way to get back state control of development on federal lands and the outer continental shelf. The initiative also provides for local plans for our regional coastal development, though local plans cannot override statewide standards or issues of statewide concern. 

I support sustainable fisheries for all user groups. The weak stock management in Cook Inlet of this last year must not be repeated. I pushed for the strongest proposal for halibut bycatch waste reduction on the trawl fleet and will work for further reductions. I was the only House candidate to actually submit a public comment to NMFS opposing the implementation of the one-fish charter halibut catch limit plan this last year. Both the United Fishermen of Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association have endorsed me for the 2012 election.

I am working to bring affordable natural gas to many communities in the district, enhancing individual energy security and economic development. Drastically lowering home and business operating costs can produce the greatest stimulation to our local economy. I am pleased to have helped Alaska receive the rating as the Fifth Most Entrepreneurial State and the Fifth Fastest Growing State Economy in the United States in 2011. [ June 2012]

I promise to continue to provide you with weekly notification and analysis of the issues during the legislative session through my email newsletter, allowing constituent input as legislation is being formed, which gives you a strong voice in state government.

Please vote Seaton on the Republican primary ballot. Return me to the State House so I can continue listening to and working for Kenai Peninsula residents.

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spybot 08/22/12 - 09:48 am
weak stock management?

By weak stock management, you mean closing the Kenai River in-river sport fishery and the commercial set net fishery due to low king salmon abundance, as in the minimum escapement was not projected to be met without severe harvest restrictions and closures?

That type of "weak" stock management must not be repeated? And you state that you support "sustainable" fisheries? In Alaska, escapement based management is the bedrock management principle that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game operates from.

Are you saying that the Department should suddenly ignored its primary management objective, in favor of what? Strong stock management? For Kenai River sockeye?

The commercial drift fleet did quite fine in harvesting the strong stock of Kenai River sockeye and other sockeye this year - 2.9 million at season end. And the Kenai River sockeye escapement will fall within its escapement goals once the in-river sport harvest above the mile 19 sonar counter is accounted for. And whether or not the commercial set netters fished, the processors still processed the same amount of sockeye by the end of the year.

So clarification of your comment is in order about how weak stock management by the Department must not be repeated. At this point that comment shows a complete lack of understanding of how the Department of Fish and Game operates and its primary guiding principles for fisheries management in Alaska.

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