Environment not the only thing that should stay clean

Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Many people are attracted to Alaska and the Kenai because of the clean, scenic and often pristine environments. Residents often exert incredible amounts of time, energy and resources to maintain it that way.

Billions of dollars were spent in cleaning up the Exxon Valdez spill, carefully cleansing the miserable sludge from beaches, animals and affected areas. The result of that spill will be felt for generations as man, nature and time work to cleanse and heal the affected areas. The effects of the spill are not only limited to the areas directly covered with sludge, however, as the decrease in food sources affect fish runs and other aquatic cycles throughout coastal Alaska.

As a result of this spill, procedures and policies were changed and quick response teams and equipment were assembled. Shipping regulations were changed, as people quickly realized prevention was a far easier task than containment and cleanup. The spill also had far-reaching effects on the Kenai, as increased regulations, policies and management strategies are enacted to keep our beautiful river clean.

We cringe at the thought of an oil tanker crashing in Cooper Landing and dumping into the river. We can only surmise of the damage that would create.

Despite these cautions and concerns about our environment, they pale in comparison to the social sludge about to be spilled into our community. Recently, an Anchorage businessman teamed with Realty Executives of Alaska, another Anchorage business, to find a location for an adult cesspool to be established in Soldotna. The social effects of such an establishment are enormous. We ignore these effects at the risk of our children and grandchildren.

I work with children as a profession and see the effects of the cumulative decisions of our society daily. We do not live in a vacuum, and one's decision to pursue devious and perverse diversions are not victimless. The effects of pornography are absolutely destructive upon family relationships and extend to relatives, friends and associates.

As families break down or the creation of a family unit no longer seems important, the effect upon the child is enormous and heartbreaking.

I would far rather cleanup our beautiful environment from an oil spill than attempt to clean up and heal the effects upon our children and society from this pernicious sludge.

I urge Realty Executives and any others involved to no longer assist or support this individual and his attempts to invite deviousness into our society. In addition, I urge the Soldotna City Council and Mayor David Carey to stand firm in their opposition to this proposal and explore all avenues to keep this out of our midst.

Finally, I firmly believe in the value of the individual to promote good within our society. I urge all who read this to talk to your neighbors about this, write letters to Realty Executives and voice your concerns to your elected leaders.

Lee Chadwick, Kenai

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