Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2002

State lost great Alaskan with death of Iola Banks

We lost a great Alaskan when Iola Banks passed away. Iola worked hard, lived a principled life and never lost her sense of humor nor dedication to fighting the good fight.

Iola was a lifelong Democrat, but she was widely respected and had many friends of all political persuasions and from all walks of life. As a wife, mother, teacher and activist, Iola lived by the golden rule, and our state is a better place for her having shared her life with us. Swing low, sweet chariot, as you take Iola home.

Scott A. Sterling Chairman

Alaska Democratic Party

Inconsiderate guides create lots of ill will toward Soldotna

In the last several weeks, I have patronized 11 different businesses in Soldotna. Events of last Saturday will cause me to rethink my trips to your community, and consequently, the monies that I might spend there.

On Thursday morning, a friend, my 9-year- old daughter, my Labrador retriever and I pushed off from Skilak Lake in an Avon raft to float down to Eagle Rock. Just before noon on Friday, we passed under the Soldotna bridge over the Kenai. For the next two hours and 20 minutes, water was repeatedly washed over the side of our raft. The water came from the wake of the fishing guides that sped past us, oblivious to our small, non-motorized watercraft.

I wish I could name one or two guide services and highlight their inconsiderate behavior, but unfortunately, every single guide that went past failed to throttle back his engine. Not one of them could slow their boats down for the 10 seconds it would have taken to pass us. This was not true for most folks in privately owned boats.

On the ocean, non-motorized boats always have the right of way over motorized craft. Every sailboat, canoe, rowboat and raft have the right of way. Not so on the Kenai River when the salmon are in the water.

The guides in your town have built a lot of ill will for your community. I will not be able to recommend your community as a fishing destination for my friends here in Alaska and my many friends in the lower 48.

One of the great things about Alaska is that people generally care about each other. It is normal for Alaskans to stop and help each other when there is trouble, such as when a car breaks down on the side of the road.

Sadly, the fishing guides of Soldotna seem to be out for themselves and themselves only. Their behavior is a terrible tragedy for the Great Land.

Peter S. Goldberg


Those who 'borrowed' life raft asked to return it to owners

To the person(s) who felt the need to take the lift raft from the deck of our boat:

We were surprised to see that our life raft was missing from our fishing boat this spring while it was stored in the Snug Harbor boat yard in Kenai. You must have been in a hurry to get it because the lines were cut. Maybe you felt you needed the life raft for a fishing trip. If so, I am happy that it made you feel safe having it on board. I hope you did not have to use it. I hope you had a safe trip and caught many fish.

We will be using our boat soon and would like to have our life raft back. Our children will be fishing with us, and our family would like to feel safe also. Having the life raft aboard has given us a secure feeling while we are in the inlet. The raft was a large investment we made because we feel that it is important to have such safety equipment on board, as you obviously must agree.

Now that you have had a chance to use our life raft, please return it to the F/V LOUJON in care of the Snug Harbor boat yard or to Seasonal Seafoods on Cohoe Loop Road in Kasilof.

We would be grateful if you did.

Bill and Kathy Holt


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