Only company would benefit from pig farm on peninsula
Due to medical reasons, my husband and I had to leave Alaska. We moved to the San Jacinto Valley in California, an agricultural-retirement area. We now are happy to be back home in Alaska, breathing clean, fresh air again.
Although we lived a good 10 miles away from the dairies that had thousands of milk cows in total, at times we had to suffer a very nauseous odor, when the wind was just right ... which was often.
These dairies were scrupulous about obeying all laws regarding the disposition of cattle feces, putting it in huge ponds until it liquified (called slurry). There was nothing done regarding the smell, which would have gagged a maggot.
This slurry was then spread back into the ground, which made the smell worse.
As far as I can figure, the only ones that could benefit from such a huge amount of pigs, besides the company, of course, would be our bears. There is nothing a bear likes better than a tasty pig, and they can go through fences, etc. and even break into buildings to get to one.
But, in the end, it will be the bears who suffer, as big money would not let a little thing like killing any bear that threatened their income bother them at all.
I also imagine the tourists wouldn't appreciate trying to enjoy our wilderness, with pig smell wafting on the breeze.
Alaskans should not let legislators destroy nation's finest park system
During the 25 years I lived in Alaska, I enjoyed and appreciated many programs created by giants -- men and women whose vision and labor left grand legacies for us today and, with proper care, will also benefit those who follow us.
These giants crafted a system of dreams, dreams that became reality, reality that includes schools, universities, roads, airports, museums, bike trails and more. Also on this impressive list are state parks -- the finest, largest state park system in America.
When I think of Alaska's 100-plus state parks, I think of the giants who built the system: Bill Egan, Walter Hickel, Lowell Thomas Jr., Helen Bierne, Bill Sheffield, Jay Hammond, Sharon Cissna, Esther Wunnicke and many, many more public servants and citizens alike. Republicans and Democrats working together to build a system that today receives more than 5 million visits each year from Alaskans and out-of-state tourists.
But today, Alaska's parks are under siege from some legislators in Juneau who do not see the value of what the giants gave us; legislators who want to dismantle parks, to lock the gates where Alaskans and visitors camp, hike, fish, picnic and boat.
It's not too late for residents to stop this short-sighted action, to save these precious places that refresh us, recreate us, connect us with the real Alaska. But you must act today. Contact your state senator -- phone and fax is more effective than e-mail -- and tell them to keep their hands off your parks.
Neil C. Johannsen
Bainbridge Island, Wash.
(Neil C. Johannsen was director of Alaska State Parks from 1983 to 1995.)
State's budget must be cut; some Alaskans already pay enough taxes
And what type of taxes do you want to pay?
1. I already pay a 5 percent sales tax and do not look forward to paying any more.
2. I already pay property tax and don't want to pay any more.
3. I already pay income tax (federal) and don't want to pay any more.
Wait a moment; let's think about this a moment:
1. The majority of the state has no sales tax. Have those residents been paying their way all these years?
2. Property taxes also are not paid in the majority of the state, and in the areas so lucky to be thus encumbered, the seniors and veterans are exempt.
3. Income taxes; approximately 279,000 of us work and the state only spent $8 billion last year. That's only $28,674 per worker. No, no one should complain about that.
The state budget must be cut. It is well past time to review all departments to see how we do business and just what services we do provide. Consolidate staff and services; streamline management positions, (if we have no money, then we need fewer accountants). You cannot cut the budget if you do not know how it is being spent.
Demand line item budgets from all departments. Please review what services as a state we are mandated to fund and only fund these items.
Please see the Web site: www.akvoters.org.
Malcolm G. McBride
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