Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Here's a suggestion for lobbying law that might prove effective

It's truly reprehensible for this state's chambers of commerce to be asking for relaxation of the lobbying rules, but certainly not unexpected. For campaign law reform concerning lobbyists to be effective, here's a suggestion for a lobbying law that might be more appropriate.

"No corporation or business entity shall pay or contribute, or offer consent or agree to pay or contribute, directly or indirectly, any money, property, free service of its officers or employees or thing of value to any political party, organization, committee or individual for any political purpose whatsoever, or for the purpose of influencing legislation of any kind, or to promote or defeat the candidacy of any person for nomination, appointment or election to any political office."

The penalty for violation shall be dissolution of the business entity or corporation, and "any officer, employee, agent or attorney or other representative of any business entity or corporation, acting for and in behalf of such entities or corporations" would be subject to "imprisonment in the state prison for a period of not less than one nor more than five years" and a substantial fine.

Paul Zimmerman


Why is catch-and-release bad only when applied to early run of kings?

I am writing in response to Les Palmer's article titled "Fishing for Food" which appeared in the March 14 issue of the Peninsula Clarion.

I have a few questions for Mr. Palmer. First, when did catch-and-release become a negative and destructive practice? And why is catch-and-release bad only when it is applied to the early-run kings on the Kenai River?

In support of your opinion, you mention a 7 percent mortality rate on released kings. This can be viewed two different ways. In your view, the "glass" is 7 percent empty. In the opposing view, the "glass" is 93 percent full. I may be naive, but in my opinion, a 93 percent survival rate justifies the practice of catch-and-release.

Furthermore, if catch-and-release is such a bad idea, why not abolish the mandatory catch-and-release of steelhead in the Anchor and Kasilof rivers, and the rainbows in the upper Kenai? It seems odd to me that catch-and-release fishing is a widely accepted (and beneficial) practice everywhere except the Kenai River in June.

I can understand how not being able to kill an early-run king will ruin your annual "celebration of spring." I also realize that without that early-run king in your freezer, you and your family might not make it through the winter. What I fail to understand is how any "thinking person" can believe that catching and killing a salmon is "noble," while catching and releasing a salmon is bad.

David Justice


Fish farming not the answer to seafood industry's woes

As a salmon fisherman and IFQ fisherman I think our new fish guru is off his rocker! We --my family -- has spent many years cultivating our business, marketing wild Alaska seafood. I don't want to spend more time trying to educate the American housewife as to the choices in seafood.

Further, what kind of jobs does he think we would create? They can't produce fish cost effectively in Chile where the wages are dollars a day, let alone here where we try to maintain a decent standard of living and future for our children. Fishing is a business, yes! It is a lifestyle choice as well. But producing a higher level of quality and responding to the market demands for product is first and foremost!

Maybe everyone won't be able to enjoy Alaska seafood because of its cost as a speciality item. But face it, corporate fish farms will only serve the multinationals and further suppress the independent spirit of Alaska businesses and fishermen.

Keep the farms out, keep our unique product unique, and just maybe all Alaska seafood can be revered as the finest natural product in the world!

Mark Hoffman


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