Letters to the Editor

Posted: Monday, April 01, 2002

Ninilchik Native Association will not pursue pork project

The board of directors of Ninilchik Native Association Inc. wishes to respond to the "Some residents think pork proposal stinks" article in the March 25 issue of the Peninsula Clarion.

Several months ago, NNAI did indeed receive a proposal from Mr. Dick Metteer for the Alaska Pork Project. As with all proposals, the board and management of NNAI carefully reviewed and discussed this proposal.

The board of NNAI elected not to pursue this proposal as the potential of environmental impacts outweighed the potential for economic growth at this time. NNAI strives to be good stewards of our most important asset, our land holdings. It is a goal of the board of directors to protect and improve these lands for our shareholders today and for future generations.

The shareholders of NNAI, as well as all residents of the Ninilchik area, may rest assured that the board of NNAI would not jump into any enterprise without complete assurance our assets are protected.

Ray Bouwens

Secretary-treasurer

Ninilchik Native Association Inc.

Closing state parks ultimate betrayal by state representatives

It has been a full 24 hours since I first heard the story of the "Parks in Peril," and I still can't quit shaking my now dreary head. Now I know I am only one out of hundreds, if not the thousands, who is overwhelmed and saturated with a feeling of sudden betrayal by our House of Representatives and their colleagues who are paid to foresee financial difficulties such as this one and, therefore, "solve" the problem before it becomes simply that.

Stripped of what to some is the only possibility for a moment of reclusion, barred from the very land we pay taxes for, this system of alienation will stir an undesired tension between local civilians and local law enforcement "bureaucrats," as we wait through several months of winter to only discover a "closed" sign where once we could breathe free of just that -- politics.

How do they expect us to believe that they will stop at only closing gorgeous and unique places like Captain Cook Park and Clam Gulch? How can we keep from becoming victims to the loss of all our rights to peaceful recreation and relaxation across the entire state?

I didn't choose to live here to be mocked by our state representatives and their colleagues who only care about the "money." What about our freedoms that they are supposed to be down in Juneau representing, in Washington, D.C., representing? Are we, the people, to be ignored and forgotten, just as the beautiful republic we fight to protect each and everyday?

They are trying to convince us that Alaska is so out of funds that $1.06 million cannot be raised to help keep in balance the sanity found at these delightful places of escape for the local citizens as well as the tourists. This is one of the most ignorant things our House has ever considered trying to pull off.

Well, good luck to you. Because this summer you will find me at Kasilof River scampering with my dog. This summer you will see me with my girlfriend at Clam Gulch. And this summer you will catch many glances of my disabled mother and I praying on the beach at Captain Cook Park.

And I won't be the only one to follow, trust me.

Dustin Lee Billing

Nikiski

lifelong resident

Questions about Sterling survey, recent grant award get answers

People in our community have asked me to update everyone as to the facts with regard to the community survey and the recent grant award for the completion of the skating rink and tennis court facility.

In November of 1999 a public meeting was held at the Sterling Senior Center to get input as to whether the residents wanted to develop a long-range plan for Sterling. After much debate, a committee was formed with instructions to develop a survey for distribution to area residents. Those in attendance did not want to have another public meeting until after the survey was tallied and a draft plan was developed.

As the committee was formed, by people of the community and was not a nonprofit organization, it was unable to get funding for the survey. The Sterling Community Club was asked if it would apply for the grant to complete the survey and the final plan. After a unanimous vote of the membership, it was agreed to do this. In September of last year, funding was approved through the U.S. Forest Service.

As to the $30,000 grant the community club received for the completion of the ice rink and tennis court facility: The grant is for the paving, sideboards and tennis court fencing. The only contractual part for this project will be the paving and three bids are required per the grant agreement. An addition $27,000 of in-kind match will be required and residents of the community have already volunteered their service and equipment for this.

Last year, over $45,000 of in-kind services were donated by local residents and companies to prepare the ground and install the electrical for the rink lighting. The community club has the funds to maintain the rink and tennis court along with the volunteers to perform the work.

The Sterling Community Club is dedicated to making the Sterling area a place for our children to have fun, and we are continually doing this by adding facilities for their enjoyment.

Anyone interested in assisting in the construction of the rink or if you have further questions, you may give me a call at 262-5409.

Bob Oakes, president

Sterling Community Club



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