Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Only Clarion's behavior petty, not that of Mayor Bagley

The author of the Oct. 4th editorial on small government, diverse points of view and poor voter turnout sounds to me like someone with a chip on their shoulder over the re-election of Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley. Clarion editorials preceding the election were not just blatantly in support of Mr. Lancaster but were implicitly negative toward Mr. Bagley, as is the case with the Oct. 4th piece.

It is not only nonsense, it is juvenile to presume, as implied in the Oct. 4th editorial, that it is the fault of the Kenai Peninsula Borough that "local government is failing to include a large portion of borough voters."

And then to associate this sophomoric (look it up) declaration with the assertion that our borough does not respect or give audience to "diversity of viewpoints" is utterly absurd.

If the author aspires to meaningful, nonfiction journalistic status in this or any other community, I strongly suggest he/she spend enough time at assembly meetings, public hearings, planning commission meetings and committee meetings to credibly report and comment (with neutrality) on the known facts.

Mayor Bagley deserves better treatment than recent Clarion editorials have given him. He was re-elected by a majority of the people who voted and that is how it works here.

Regarding Mr. Bagley's reaction to the reporter's call, the only pettiness I perceive is in the openly prejudiced manner in which the author of the Oct. 4th and previous Clarion editorials has supported the mayor's opponent.

David M. Bear


Alaska's limited entry monopoly must be removed by this generation

Many generations of Americans have been required to deal with the greedy, personal attempt to use public resources for private gain.

Greed appears to be a reoccurring bad dream within human history, but seems to be even more obvious within American history. Capitalism basically teaches Americans to produce profit at any cost.

Many times people discover that large profits may be obtained quicker than normal by attempting to obtain exclusive control of a public resources.

American anti-trust laws were developed to attempt to control the "profit at any cost" way of thinking. Anti-trust laws were directed at persons and businesses which were interested in finding an item which the public needed and then making sure that they had private control of that item.

Years ago the state of Alaska created the Limited Entry Act. This act was Alaska's attempt to create a state-sponsored fisheries monopoly. The goals of the act were lofty in that they attempted to stabilize and conserve a very unstable Alaska commercial fishing industry.

The act successfully eliminated thousands of competing fishermen from catching or selling fish and that dramatically increased the remaining fishermen's paychecks. This successful state-sponsored monopoly then allowed 1 percent of Alaska's residents to privately absorb 97 percent of the Alaska public fisheries resources.

The Alaska public did not appear to notice its access loss until 30 years later when its subsistence fisheries problem surfaced. The Alaska subsistence issue is the direct result of a public resource being privately absorbed by limited entry interests. Limited entry worked fine as long as there was a public vacuum; the problem is that eventually every public vacuum goes away.

The Alaska fisheries subsistence conflict is the direct result of Alaska moving from a very low public access demand to a moderate public access demand. This private-public conflict was generated because the state did not correctly respond to its public access demand increase. A correct state response would have been the state reallocating limited entry fisheries allocations back to the public.

Our current Alaska subsistence problem is only our generation dealing with the latest greedy, short-run attempt to profit at the expense of future public necessities. Unfortunately, this private-public battle is not a new one. President John F. Kennedy also addressed it at one time: "Each generation must deal anew with the raider, with the scramble to use public resources for private profit, with the tendency to prefer short-run profits to long-run necessities. The nation's battle to preserve the common estate is far from won. We must do in our own day what Theodore Roosevelt did 60 years ago, and Franklin Roosevelt, 30 years ago. We must expand the concept of conservation to meet the imperious problems of the new age."

It is plain that the limited entry monopoly must be removed by our generation. This monopoly works against the common estate and must give way to the common good of maximum public access to our public fisheries resources.

Don Johnson


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