Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vote yes on Ballot Measure 2

Recall the Alaska Department of Tourism ad some years ago: Alaska is twice the size of Texas and at low tide 2 1/2 times as big? Well, Texas has a coastal management program as do all of the other coastal states except Alaska. A coastal management program is the only way local communities and the state can force federal agencies to consider local concerns.

What does this mean to the Alaskan voter who has to choose either yes or no for Ballot Measure 2?

It means you ought to think for yourself and think why you live in this state. Is it because of the special qualities that the Great Land affords us? If so, it means we have an obligation to protect our state from those who would do her harm. It means that intentional or not, harm can come to Alaskas lands and waters if large corporations put profit above all other concerns. Remember the Veco scandal and the legislators that were tried and found guilty?

We would not be voting on Ballot Measure 2 if former Gov. Frank Murkowski had not caused the demise of Alaskas Coastal Management Program that Gov. Hammond had signed into law in 1977.

Former Alaska Senator Arliss Sturgulewski said it well in her Anchorage Daily News Compass piece July 31, 2012. The coastal management program we had helped coordinate decision-making among various government agencies, helped identify problems and solutions, and resolved disputes before they turned into lawsuits. It made the permitting of our coastal development smarter and more efficient. Isnt smarter and more efficient a better form of government?

The Compass piece asked readers to see who is contributing to the Ballot Measure 2 campaigns. As of Aug. 2, this is what I found (source KTOO reporter Casey Kelly):

n The Vote No on 2 group raised $719,000 in the two months since it was formed: Shell Oil $150,000; Alaska Miners Association $120,000; Hecla Greens Creek Mine $75,000; Council of Alaska Producers $25,000.

n The Vote Yes on 2 group raised $64,000 since its inception. The largest donor is the North Slope Borough $40,000; other donors include the Bristol Bay Borough, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, and Bob Gillam from Anchorage.

The Kenai River Center in Soldotna is one example of the one stop permit review for coastal projects by a single state agency that used to be the case under the previous coastal management program. This allowed a person or a company access to all the regulatory agencies at the table at the same time, walking through issues that might arise and prevent going back through all agencies if there was a modification specific to just one agency.

Protect Alaskas future by preventing special interests from controlling big government. Vote yes on Ballot Measure 2.

Mike McCarthy