Letters to the Editor

Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2003

Be careful what you wish for; Wal-Mart would hurt, not help

As I read the paper Wednesday morning, I saw that there are those who support the opening of a Wal-Mart in our area.

Although the thought of being like the "rest" of America and having a Wal-Mart is appealing on the surface, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration.

First, everywhere Wal-Mart has opened a store, small businesses have been forced to shut down. Kodiak is the most recent example of this. My job has required me to travel to Kodiak several times since Wal-Mart opened there. The old business district now looks like a ghost town, and the few shops that have remained open struggle to get by.

You think we have vacant stores in Kenai and Soldotna now? Just wait until Wal-Mart opens its doors. Is that the legacy we want for our friends and neighbors who own small businesses in our area?

Second, almost everything that Wal-Mart has to offer can currently be purchased at other already existing businesses within our area, so it really would not be adding any diversity to our economy.

Third, Wal-Mart pays little more than minimum wage, which is difficult to live on -- at best -- which, in turn, may tax social services in our area as they try to help those families who are employed by Wal-Mart make ends meet. However, the small business base that has so faithfully supported these social services will no longer be able to help because they will be out of business or struggling to stay open.

In my mind, it makes much more sense to attract a business to our area that competes less with current local businesses, such as Home Depot. Yes, it will affect lumber sales from the two current providers in our area, but answer me this: Who currently is providing all of the home improvement materials being purchased on the peninsula? Lowe's and Home Depot out of Anchorage. Why? Because no one locally provides all of the items that they carry. So why not tap into those sales locally and add better paying jobs to our labor pool while adding a little diversity at the same time?

There are pros and cons on both sides of the story, and truth be known, I, nor anyone else for that fact, really has any say in who can and cannot open a new business within our community. But, in my mind, the economics speak for themselves -- just ask Kodiak.

In support of a healthy and diversified local economy,

Tiarnan Coval

Kenai

Scope of proposed cuts at Ninilchik go far beyond school's walls

I am writing this to voice a public objection to the possible consolidation of our high school as well as the cut of two teachers. Due to being on four funding formulas instead of the kindergarten through 12 we should be on, our children may lose their high school. We cannot allow that to happen.

To begin with, we will have the buses on the road long hours. This is very dangerous, especially during days filled with ice, snow or rain. The respiratory system also suffers when long hours of riding on buses is a continuous event.

Now, because of the time transporting students to distant schools will take, they lose the opportunity to participate in extra curricular activities. That will most certainly affect the resumes they need for college entry. Ninilchik offers many scholarships -- one scholarship pays room and board for UAA -- that will all be gone.

The Homer schools are building a new library while Ninilchik is facing the loss of a school. Families who have children of varied age groups will be unable to make sure the children are on time for school when they are going to school in different towns.

We are not asking for more then an equal opportunity for our students. They will not be getting any opportunity by losing the school or the teachers. The scope of the school cuts will go far beyond the school. The school glues the community together. If students leave, jobs leave and the entire community will suffer.

A school board work session is being held on Feb. 3, tentatively scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. It will be followed by the public school board meeting at 7 p.m. It is essential that Ninilchik people show up for both of these meetings in volume. I am asking you all to come and wear your blue and gold.

Kill our school, kill our town.

Charlene Florence

Ninilchik

Many animal lovers anxiously waiting for outcome of collie case

According to a recent article about this highly followed collie case, there is a statement made: "But Donna Miller, who has had sled dogs since 1989, said the trailer's configuration did not strike her as cruel."

And just what qualifies this Donna Miller as a witness? Just owning sled dogs for 13 years means little. What care does she take for her dogs? What is her background in animal health and care? Not all sled dog owners take optimal care of their dogs anymore then the Harmans did.

Another statement was "In a bizarre twist, Albers tried to discredit Pauli by painting his employer as an extreme animal-rights organization whose goal is to destroy breeders like the Harmans."

Well, as an ethical show breeder myself I, too, would like to see "breeders like the Harmans" out of breeding. I am not at all extreme except in the caring of animals we are responsible for having bred.

This couple allowed unsafe, unhealthy and uncaring transport of dogs they obviously could not afford to keep. I cannot imagine any breeder of any breed backing and supporting this incident! I know I am not alone, as many dog fanciers, breeders and just those who respect the lives of any of their pets are watching to see how this is handled by the courts.

We do not condone this atrocious behavior of overcrowding, inconsiderate care for the health and comfort by allowing these animals to travel in such filth, with lack of air flow and introducing dogs recovering from Parvo. My children knew better as teen-agers!

I find it all totally unacceptable and surely hope the courts and the jury do, too. I also find it very disturbing that Donna Miller finds all of this acceptable. It makes one wonder what her dog area looks like?

Lynda Rocksvold

Winlock, Wash.



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