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Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, August 24, 2001

Nearby residents have many valid reasons for opposing subdivision

On Aug. 13, at least 50 of my neighbors and I attended the Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission meeting. The reason for the high attendance is a shared concern for sensible subdivision development.

The group was largely comprised of folks living to the north of a subdivision proposed by developer Clint Hall. A number of concerns were voiced including, but certainly not limited to, high increase in traffic, quality of life issues, safety of the many children presently residing in our neighborhood, the high water table (well problems and possible contamination by such an increase in sewage disposal), compromised wildlife habitation, increased dust, fractured neighborhoods and increased taxes due to the added road maintenance that would be required.

We strongly oppose Mr. Hall's subdivision, Zephyr Field Estates, as it is presently being proposed, and this is why: Access to this proposed subdivision would primarily be gained via Poppywood Street, Whisperwood Street and Silverwood Street. These gravel roads are already pushed to the limit, so far as the amount of traffic is concerned. Mr. Hall's new subdivision would add another 113 lots, not to mention through traffic. Connection to the afore-mentioned roads would create two loop roads connecting West Poppy Lane (state maintained) and Jones Stub Road (state maintained).

With the exception of Mr. Hall and Mike Tauriainen, professional engineer, all speakers were opposed to this plan as presented. Mr. Hall's concerns were clearly from a financial point of view. He noted that several possible modifications were not affordable to him, but that "he has a responsibility to develop." Mr. Tauriainen stated, "The roads in all of Mr. Hall's subdivisions are well constructed."

Regarding the above quotations, may I suggest that Mr. Hall think more in terms of developing responsibly, than to feel responsible to develop? The statement by Mr. Tauriainen that roads in Mr. Hall's subdivisions are well constructed is interesting. I am only familiar with Willowbrook, as I have relatives who live there, also with Liberty and Commerce, where I often visit friends. All I know is that I have experienced mud holes on Even Lane (Willowbrook) and very deep standing water on Commerce. Decidedly, all things are relative. However, I just can't imagine on what planet these roads would be considered "well constructed."

Earth to Clint and Mike, "Please don't trash our community!"

Linda K. Price, Soldotna

e-mail: synergystyle@hotmail.com

P.S. I would very much appreciate hearing from people who live in Hall subdivisions, "within this solar system." Are you satisfied with the construction of the roads, sewage, water, etc.? Seriously, according to Mr. Tauriainen, water and soil testing has not even been done in this proposed subdivision.

What ails America best fixed by abiding by Constitution

I read with considerable interest and sympathy Mike Lawson's excellent letter regarding the Kenai Lake fire of this summer.

Why do you think we have to rely on letters-to-the-editor to get this news, Mike? Why won't the news services cover it? The answer ought to be painfully obvious: the media is sympathetic to environmentalism and bigger government.

Any news story that reflects poorly on developers makes a headline, while environmental wackos and terrorists get no coverage. Any demand for more government protection of the environment gets a big play, but plant closures and lost jobs make a quick and forgotten study.

For those people like Mike who are ready to fight back, might I make a suggestion? The problem is not, repeat is not, in asking our congressional representatives or president to "fix" the Forest Service, or whatever other bureaucracy it is that's misbehaving. The solution is far more fundamental than that.

Ask yourself this question: Do you have a built-in instinct that regards all things that are old and ancient as "outdated," "passed up by modern technology" and "obsolete"? This attitude might be useful for things like automobiles and toasters, but should not be adhered to when it comes to human nature.

Our forefathers understood human nature better than we do, and they also understood the nature of government. In our utopian, semi-Marxist society, we have a naive and dangerous belief that man is always "improving" and

that all "progress" is good.

We must rethink these dangerous ideas!

Our solution is to have our congressional delegation simply start obeying their oath of office and defend the Constitution. A quick and easy reading yields the following information in Article 1, Clause 8, section 17: the federal government is entitled to own and control the District of Columbia, arsenals, dockyards, forts and other "needful buildings" (like maybe the post office?).

That's it! National parks, forests, monuments, wildlife refuges, all violate the Constitution. Whether or not they are popular or serve the common interest well is not the point.

But wait! Isn't the Constitution a "living document" that morphs into whatever we want it to be as the times change? Like I said, we need to rethink these dangerous ideas. Human nature, and the nature of government, never changes and never will. A new power constructed for government, however well intentioned, will turn into a new and dangerous tyranny at some time in the future.

Notice that there were no national parks and forests until after the War Between the States destroyed states' rights and violated other Constitutional principles. Yellowstone came into existence in 1872, seven years after what southerners call "The Late Unpleasantness."

A reasonable person might say "This is crazy! How could so many elected officials be so ignorant of the Constitution?" That's easy: Take two parallel lines, one representing Truth and the other Error. Now, have the Error line move a tiny fraction off of the straight path. It might not appear to the naked eye at first that Error is no longer straight, but as time and distance pass, it moves further and further away from Truth.

And so, a constitutional error made a hundred years ago may not have appeared too important at the time. But ask any small businessman or western state legislature what they think of federal regulations and controls, and they will give you a pretty consistent answer.

Someone out there who knows a little history better than the average person might be saying, "What of the Statehood Act, that acquiesced millions of acres of land to be granted to the feds as part of ANILCA?"

Well, even though it was approved by the people of Alaska (who probably knew even less of constitutional principles than Congress), it still does not make it constitutional.

An absurd illustration that all would agree on would be if Alaskans voted in 1958 for a state government that elected a governor for life, with dictatorial powers. Even if they approved it with Congress, it would not make it constitutional.

Our problems are so deeply ingrained and fundamental, most people who are suffering from this tyranny don't know the right answers yet.

But we can start.

Bob Bird, Kenai

Heart of rehabilitation programs is person wanting to make change

This letter is in response to Mr. Ron Dolchok:

Like Mr. Dolchok I, too, am a Native, who is very concerned about the rehabilitation of those who are incarcerated. As a concerned person, unlike Mr. Dolchok, I do not have the Pollyanna outlook that blames the state and its programs for failures of the inmate populations.

No one can change a person! People must change themselves. Programs, no matter who runs them, are opportunities for an inmate to self-evaluate, make a conscious decision toward rehabilitation and have the guts to carry it through to the end. As with any rehabilitative program, success is totally dependent on the participant's ability to be honest with himself and not try to scam the program for whatever reason.

Private enterprise and new paradigms? If private enterprise had a way to make a profit, paradigms would not be in the way. To stay profitable it surely would not place itself in a paradigm situation.

Not only does he blame Columbus for his law-breaking actions, which made him an ex-inmate, but corporations, which he states should run the state penal system.

What viable programs, if any, do the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporations have in place within prisons or jails at this time, which are not funded through a government program, federal or state? How successful are they? They don't even run homeless programs, much less fund them.

Will someone show me one private enterprise that pays a cost-of-living allowance? The state of Alaska pays a differential allowance according to where you live within the state. The feds pay COLA, too. No private outfit is going to pay you COLA.

What new approach to rehab was he relating to? Paying a private outfit to run prisons? Case studies across the Lower 48 states have shown private prisons, as well as private-run boot camps, are dismal failures.

When he states that inmates who try to better themselves deserve our efforts, I could not agree more. The crux of that statement is " who honestly put their hearts and efforts to the process."

The people of the Kenai Peninsula Borough had better take a realistic look at who will profit from a private prison, and who will pay the piper when all is said and done.

You have an assemblyman stating "The Native inmates will feel better, if they are incarcerated on Native land." What was he smoking? People, let's get real. When you are locked up, all you care about is freedom. There is no strange, enveloping, rehabilitative effect emanating from the land that a prison sits on.

After reading Mr. Dolchok's letter, I did learn something, though. I learned what a Judas goat is. It is the leader that leads the flock of sheep to slaughter.

Let's not practice nescience, when it comes to private prisons.

Charles Hubbard, Sterling

PFLAG organization helpful addition to central peninsula

I was glad to see, in the Monday's Clarion, that a local PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter has been started. I know that my aunt found them very helpful when my cousin came "out of the closet." They provided a sympathetic ear, answers to her questions, and suggested resources for her to use. I have referred several people in our area to the national organization's Web site, www.pflag.org, and when I just checked it, the Soldotna-Kenai chapter is now listed as the sixth in the state.

David Thomas

Kenai



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