Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, November 03, 2000

Sprague will be voice for working men and women of District 8

While the voters in District 8 have the rather unique opportunity of choosing between two decent candidates, I do believe there is a clear choice. Pete Sprague is neither a businessman nor politician. As he has stated throughout his campaign, he is a public servant. And having been acquainted with Pete for several years I know this to be the case.

Pete is in this race for no other reason than that he believes he can make a difference. He will be beholding to no special interest group or agenda, truly a voice for the working men and women of this district.

While his views on furthering education are widely known, it should also be pointed out that Pete is committed to preserving the permanent fund, and that in his time on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly he voted to cut the general tax rate and to protect critical habitat along our rivers and streams.

Certainly both candidates should be commended for running such a clean race and sticking to the issues. However, if the people of District 8 want someone who will go to Juneau with a mind toward change, someone they can trust to be an advocate for each and every Alaskan, they should vote for Pete Sprague. I know him to be an upright, honest and caring individual -- something we desperately need more of in government.

Dave Atcheson


Industrial hemp products would help diversify Alaska's economy

I'm a lifelong Alaska resident as in CIRI shareholder, Kasilof dipnetter and taxpayer for the Kenai Peninsula Borough as well as the Municipality of Anchorage. Here are several reasons why I'm supporting the effort to legalize industrial hemp in Alaska.

As a landholder on the Kenai Peninsula, I would like the opportunity to replace the bark beetle infested standing timber with industrial hemp. Curiously, we've heard nothing from the state of Alaska Department of Natural Resources regarding this potentially viable replacement for the bark beetle infestation throughout the Kenai Peninsula. Why?

Alaska is blessed with abundant resources, the mineral resource wealth and the renewables such as timber, fishing and tourism. Add another renewable resource to further diversify our economic wealth here in Alaska, the versatility of industrial hemp products!

I encourage Alaskans to consider the opportunity to grow a new industry here in Alaska and give hemp a chance. Vote "yes" on Proposition 5.

Georgia L. Mario


Alaskans need to make sure their voting choices reflect their values

Not too long ago I read with growing incredulity the newspaper account of a man who wanted to go on a ballot as a candidate to represent part of the Kenai Peninsula. He went to great lengths to convince a judge that he was, indeed, involved in an illicit relationship with a woman to whom he was not married. She resides in one voting district; therefore, he should qualify as a resident of that district, not in the area where he has a home. And he had the grocery receipts to prove it.

What is this, I asked myself, have I stumbled into Bizarro World? Aren't we still healing from a situation where the top politician of the land was willing to commit perjury if it would convince another judge that he wasn't involved in an illicit relationship -- in spite of evidence to the contrary? That man advised the woman in question to "deny, deny, deny," but in our Bizarro World version, this woman appeared willing to support the claim!

She explained that in their arrangement, she paid the bills and he bought the groceries. No, his name doesn't appear on the condo purchase agreement, she said, because at this stage (of life) both of them have a lot to lose. Presumably, she meant if someone wanted out of the "relationship." Sounded like someone didn't trust someone. Unless they eat a lot of food, that's not exactly a 50-50 split. (My immediate take was, hey, if she doesn't trust him, why should we?)

Haven't we had enough of leaders who thumb their noses at convention and indulge in liaisons considered immoral by most of the voting public? Even the couples I know who enjoy the physical benefits without the legal responsibility of marriage say they plan to marry some day -- suggesting this somehow turns a "wrong" relationship into something "OK" if not exactly "right." Is this the sort of easy-in, easy-out unfettered approach we want modeled before our young people? I don't think so.

As individuals and a society, we need to connect the dots between the problems we have and the choices we've made. When adults tell young people to "live right and do right," then insist on making their own rules of conduct for themselves, inner conflict is set up.

We adults need to make better choices. The societal course correction must begin with us. With every senseless act of violence by youth, the number grows of professionals who recognize there is a moral shift taking place in America, and it's somehow connected to attitudes toward others -- in other words, respect. Instead of looking for places to blame, like guns and economics, it's going to take men and women who are willing to step up to the plate and lead by example.

Beginning right now, let's resolve to think about the bigger picture when we make choices in our personal lives and also when we vote next week. I think we can do better.

Sherry Innes

33 year resident of the Kenai Peninsula

and mother of three

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