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Letters to the Editor

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2002

Alaskans should speak now or forever hold their peace

As of last week, the Alaska State Senate was to deal with with House Bill 20 (raids the permanent fund), House Bill 175 (gives millions to utility companies), House Bill 225 (alcohol tax up to $12.80 per gallon), House Bill 302 (state builds natural gas pipeline), House Bill 303 (income tax), House Bill 304 (spends permanent fund), House Bill 344 (increases driver's license tax by 50 percent), House Bill 403 and House Bill 404 (includes $635-plus million in new spending and 614 new state positions over last year's enacted budget), and House Bill 498 (gives contract worth over $1 billion to private company).

It seems our House of Representatives were hearing the sweet siren's song of special interest groups and their highly paid lobbyists, instead of ordinary citizens whom they are supposed to represent. Now the House is hearing House Bill 519 (gives $600 million tax break to oil companies) and will soon pass this bill on to the Senate.

If you are concerned about these "tax and spend" bills, you must contact the Legislature and let your feelings be known. Call the local Legislative Information Office (http://www.leg-is.state.ak.us/legaff/liolist.htm) or Alaska Voters Organization (http://www.akvoters.org/) for additional information.

Mike McBride

Kenai

New fishing regulations change honored lifestyle on peninsula

Carpetbaggers were Northerners who went to the South and got involved in Republican politics to profit from the socio-political and economic disarray after the Civil War. The word has since evolved to represent any outside opportunists and exploiters.

It seems in the case of some present-day carpetbaggers, their migration pattern has reversed.

The carpetbaggers of Alaska today are taking advantage of the social and political disarray to supplant resident's lifestyles with the marketing of a caricature of that same lifestyle in the tourism marketplace. This is conducted wholly at the expense of a time honored way of life residents used to enjoy.

The "new" regulations on the Kenai River promulgated by these carpetbaggers removes biologically sound harvest opportunities from resident Alaskans.

Their subterfuge was to purport to have a conservation concern with their gift horse.

The folly of these new regulations is that they most certainly will exacerbate any conservation concerns about the Kenai king salmon which they profess to champion.

Continued inaction by the populace will only equate to further degradation of a way of life that residents here used to enjoy.

Paul Zimmerman

Kasilof



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