Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, December 12, 2000

Private prison best hope for new economic development in areaThe shoe has dropped. The oil companies will not build a gas pipeline to tidewater. It only makes economic sense to transport the gas through Canada to the Lower 48. It is time for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the cities to turn their attention to realistic possibilities for economic development.

The problem is that development possibilities are few in numbers, and there is firm opposition to new economic development. There are many persons who feel they have theirs, so who cares about jobs for other persons and survival business for small businesses. They don't want the bother that development brings. It is of benefit to the oil industry to have a large pool of unemployed workers. It enables the industry to have workers available at short notice for short-term work. New development would drive wage scales up and reduce the pool of available workers. The need is there, but the opposition will be strong.

The proposal for a new prison makes economic sense for the area. It will provide good paying jobs with minimal impact on the environment. As long as the people, led by politicians, want more people imprisoned for longer periods of time, the need for prisons grows. Some place will get the jobs. Why not the Kenai Peninsula?

Many of the opposition questions being thrown about are answered by the fact that the facility now at Wildwood has been there for over a decade. There have been very few problems, but it has provided good paying jobs. Inmate families don't move here. Only local inmates are released here. Considering the state of the art security measures available today, escape is extremely unlikely. Of course, people opposed to economic development will magnify every issue in order to stop the project.

We could use the state of Nevada as an example. Nevada places correctional facilities in small towns hit by the decline in mining. Considering all the vacant industrial buildings in Kenai and along the North Road, it appears this area has suffered decline. No gas pipeline will be built to here, so where will replacement jobs come from, if not from the prison?

I've got mine, so I don't need a job, but I also know that my wife and I and our property will be safer if fewer people are unemployed. The local police forces have pointed out that crime rises with unemployment. Enlightened self-interest tells me I should support economic development for the area. The best realistic possibility is the proposal for a new prison!

William J. Phillips


Victim hopes vandals learn what it's like to have thing of value ruined

To the person or persons who keyed my truck:

On Dec 4, somewhere between the Carrs parking lot and the Kenai Middle School parking lot, between 1 and 3 p.m, my beautiful black 4Runner was keyed. Not obviously by someone not realizing it, but very intentional. You keyed a huge "X" on my passenger door, and thanks to you, it is going to cost me out of pocket to pay for this.

People like you are lower than dirt in my book. How juvenile! I obviously was the innocent victim of vandalism meant for someone else with a black 4Runner; the people I know wouldn't do such a thing.

Thank you very much; you quickly turned a $20,000 SUV into an eyesore.

One can only hope, that what comes around goes around, and that someone takes something you value and totally destroys it!

If anyone has personal knowledge of possibly who may have done this or has information on someone doing such an act, please e-mail me as soon as possible at jnks@acsalaska.net. It would be greatly appreciated. I am offering a reward for anyone that comes forth with this information and leads to the conviction of this person or persons.

By the way, this was in stark daylight when this incident occurred. Very brazen vandals. You know who you are, and one way or another, you will get what's coming to you as well.

Kara Steele


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