Letters to the Editor

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Federal, state constitutions protect equal access of fish, game, waters

Yes, I have also quit attending the Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee meetings because of its history of biased and loaded representation. But, I am still active as an advocate of the fact that fish, wildlife and waters are common property public resources, protected by both state and federal constitutions and held in trust for equal access by all us citizens.

After reading Mr. Les Palmer's Jan. 4 article "Advisory committee gives biased advice," I must reply to some of his attackers in the Clarion.

Mainly, I will address Mr. Jim Butler's article Jan. 11 -- "Palmer, Clarion lynch commercial fishers." Mr. Butler, as an attorney, has chosen to voluntarily enter this flak. I recognize that an attorney has a professional commitment to his client, but when he voluntarily enters the public interest arena he has more of a constitutionally committed responsibility to the people as a whole.

In Mr. Butler's article, his first three paragraphs were used to create a false foundation of racially based accusations, the total purpose of which was to ignore the true issues at hand. At least he should try to admit and meet his own constitutional "corresponding obligations to the people and to the state." Alaska Constitution Article 1 Section (1).

Another paragraph of Mr. Butler's accusations stated: "He (Palmer) failed to mention that it was the local advisory committee that undertook designation of seats to particular user groups." But, in fact, "designated seats" were the result of direct orders of the Board of Fish. One of its own members reported incidents of attempted intimidation during public testimony and pact voting tactics. It's no wonder that the Board of Fish is not comfortable in holding hearings on the Kenai Peninsula.

Mr. Butler's reference to "commercial guides" may be technically correct but that "commercial" designation does not have the same connotation as limited entry "commercial fishers."

Owsicheck vs. Alaska: The rights of a guide are protected under the common use clause.

McDowell vs. Alaska: When commercial fishers impinge on common use, the limited entry commission must reduce the commercial fishery access to the resource.

Mr. Butler's final reference to "some who want to create hate and dissension among neighbors" must reflect his own attitude toward nonresident fellow American citizens who should not have equal access rights to fish local streams as do those who live on the Kenai Peninsula.

I am proud to be an American citizen first and only then a 54-year resident Alaskan.

Some who visit our local streams may be veterans who defended the equal rights of all citizens. Their rights are not based on local residency. Even nonresident commercial fishermen are equal limited entry holders.

Mr. Butler, get a life, not based on regional hatred, racial slurs and making lynching accusations.

Dale Bondurant


Encounter with college-level shortcomings truly disappoints

As disheartening as it is to see tens of billions of tax dollars going to prop up educational shortcomings and still rank so low in the world, I somehow believed that our college-level performance still maintained high standards.

Upon request recently, I obtained a description and application for a correspondence video course from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Hurriedly, I scanned the several pages faxed to me and found the average completion time to be 100 hours and the cost to be nearly $1,800 with the 14 tapes returned. To keep the tapes, the price jumped to $8,400.

At $84 an hour for me sitting at home using my television, I decided that was a little costly. Returning to the title-cover page for course title and outline I read in the large boldface type: COLLEGE OF SCINECE, ENGINEERING & MATHAMETICS INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO PROGRAM.

I blinked my eyes once, I blinked my eyes again, and it still read the same. As I had already spoken with the Ph.D. listed on that sheet and she had faxed me the brochure sheets dated November 2001, I knew I had the latest and greatest. Am I going to enroll in this course? I don't think so.

Barrie Lowe


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