Reader gives opinion on ballot measures

Posted: Friday, August 22, 2008

Ballot Initiative 1: Vote no. This initiative to form a state gaming commission was proposed by two Alaska EX-legislators, who are now in prison, but is supported by CHAR (hotel and restaurant association). The intent is to put video poker games in restaurants and bars and possibly bring money-draining gambling casinos to Alaska. This commission creates another unneeded, unproductive bureaucracy, which could mark the end of gaming fundraisers, such as raffles, for deserving nonprofits.

Ballot 2: Vote yes. Man is the only animal on the planet that kills for sport, including killing his own kind for sport. And the state of Alaska pays people, who enjoy killing for sport, gasoline and money, which the Alaska Board of Game calls "predator control."

Moreover, the state sanctions and pays for killing these animals (including nursing mothers) and their young in their dens, and/or for running them to exhaustion and killing them from airplanes, helicopters, snowmachines and other vehicles.

Even though Gov. Palin says Frank Murkowski is her antithesis, in many ways she is his exact image, eg, fires people on a whim (like Monegan (Palin) and like Irwin (Murkowski), both are intellectually dishonest, both enthusiastically support killing wolves and bears by any means available, both support the Alaska mining industry and pollution mixing zones in salmon spawning streams (Ballot Measure 4), both do little to encourage or regulate responsible development in Alaska, and both have almost a total lack of management experience (people and programs). "Beauty" is only skin deep, and more and more people are beginning to realize that about Palin.

Ballot 3: Vote no. Incumbents should be re-elected (or not) on their merits, not on the public and state dole.

Ballot 4: Vote yes. The Clean Water Initiative protects our drinking water and our salmon spawning streams, two of the most valuable commodities Alaskans own. The propaganda campaign by the Alaska mining industry about this initiative shutting down all mines in Alaska is plain hogwash. Recently, I heard a superlative "talking dog" (military term), a spokeswoman from the NANA Corp., tout the Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue. She mentioned jobs and the mine's clean surroundings. She did not mention the mine's more than 1,000 documented EPA violations for polluting the environment (sin by omission?).

Many (most?) mines, worldwide, have simply raped the earth for its mineral wealth, dumped the mining waste into the environment, and when the lode is exhausted, walk away and leave their pollution for others to clean up. For mines like Pebble, et al, reference NY Times Magazine, "Gold's Glitter ....", Nov. 11, 2005. Alaskans should not choose to disbelieve history.

Richard Hahn

Soldotna



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