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Very painful
by Patrick Branco


June 24, 2004

I agree with Dave when he said "It was very painful on Monday to watch the Assembly cut most of its local non-profit grant funding from the budget..."

He went on to reflect acurately on the profound impact of these cuts. He fell short though in describing the impact on at least one program. The Assembly eliminated Alaskans for Drug-Free Youth (ADFY). ADFY has been a vital part of the community for nearly 20 years. The Borough funded this program under their responsibility for education. In 1998, Ketchikan General Hospital agreed to assist the program by covering all of the overhead expenses. In this way, every dollar of the grant money from the borough went directly to putting education in virtually every classroom in Ketchikan.

Dave Kiffer and David Landis fought hard to keep the ADFY program alive. Jack Shay voted for it as well. But Sarber, Lybrand, Tipton, and Bergeron voted loud and clear to eliminate this program from the community. It is gone.

I would ask the parents of the community to go home tonite and ask their elementary-aged school children what they learned this year about drugs. I think you will be surprised to hear the enthusiasm and positive learnings they have achieved. I especially ask Sam Bergeron to ask his children about the impact of ADFY education. He will find it was a positive experience this year.

The program ceases on July 1st. I would love to know what went through their minds when they eliminated this program.

Jack Shay indicated that the Borough is very likely to receive an allocation of between $500,000 and $900,000 after the legislature is reconvened. I would urge parents to urge the Assembly to reconsider funding ADFY if they receive this extra boon.

Bobby McCreary has the right idea but sadly it is too late for ADFY.

Anyway, that is just my opinion and I applaud people of vision like Kiffer, Landis, and Shay.

Patrick Branco
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoints:

Re: To the Borough Assembly by Dave Kiffer - Ketchikan, AK - USA

To the Borough Assembly by Bobbie McCreary- Ketchikan, AK - USA



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