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Above the Law?
By Don Hoff Jr.


July 10, 2005

Is Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) or State and Local Governments above the law of the land? Rep. Don Young says the possibility of federal funding for the proposed bridge link in Ketchikan, Alaska remains "very strong through highway legislation he expects Congress to approve in mid-July. I can't guarantee you anything, but it s still very strong, Young told the Daily News on Wednesday, July 6, 2005 while in Ketchikan for a House subcommittee hearing."

jpg Bear Grave Pole / Pennock Island

Bear Grave Pole/Pennock Island

Rep. Don Young also disagreed that the project is about connecting Ketchikan to its airport on Gravina Island. "This is about opening the island, Young said. There's state-owned and borough-owned land. It gives the opportunity for Ketchikan to grow. ... Once they build the bridge across, you have the opportunity to expand, and growth occurs, and that's the whole idea of bridges - to get across a body of water."

Retort to that statement, why not open Revillagigedo for Ketchikan to expand and economic growth that is where the population is? It would cause further desecration of our Tribal grave sites on Pennock Island with access by this proposed bridge that is protected by Federal and State laws that are listed below. All the homes today on Pennock Island are and have been in violation of the State law even though encroachment started in the early 1900 s. Do you think that any one Alaskan Native or Tribes in Alaska are going to allow any removal or desecration of Tribal graves on Pennock Island or any Tribal Grave sites in Alaska so a few opulent people can drive over a bridge?

Alaska Historic Preservation Act (Alaska Stat. §41.35.010 through §41.35.240).

Summary: Alaska has no specific laws dealing with reburial or repatriation of prehistoric human remains or an unmarked graves law, §41.35.190(c) of the Alaska Historic Preservation Act does state that "No person may unlawfully destroy, mutilate, deface, injure, remove or excavate a gravesite or a tomb, monument, gravestone or other structure or object at a gravesite, even though the gravesite appears to be abandoned, lost or neglected." Native Alaskan consent is required for excavation of native sites and landowner consent is required for excavation on private lands. The Alaska Historical Commission has responsibility for managing and protecting all prehistoric and historic sites in the state and issues permits for excavations. Nothing may diminish cultural rights or responsibilities of persons of aboriginal decent or infringe upon their right of possession, and use of those resources and local cultural groups may obtain from the state resources of respective cultural if meet certain criteria. Violations of the Historic Preservation Act provisions are considered a class a misdemeanor and civil penalties may be assessed up to $100,000 per violation and up to one year in jail.

NAGPRA is an acronym from Native American Graves & Preservation Reparation Act passed by Congress in 1993. The act had a time frame for all museums and other repository of Native American sacred objects and etc. to be inventoried, identified from what tribe, and disseminated to tribes of these items. The tribes have the long process of declaring these items and proving that it belongs to them. Also, this act is protecting our gravesites.

"The possibility of Ketchikan bridge funding remaining in the bill when finally approved by Congress is very strong, said Young, who added that he's bothered by criticism describing the project as an expensive "bridge to nowhere". These people keep saying it's nowhere, they're just smoking pot, Young said. "

How arrogant! Well..."These people in Washington, D.C. that want this bridge to nowhere, They're just a bunch of drunks," Aan Kadax Tseen says.

In closing, Rep. Don Young and supporters of this boon-doggle bridge, we don't want your $315 million dollar bridge to Gravina Island via Pennock Island. It is an extreme waste of our Federal Taxpayers money. This is my own opinion shared by others that oppose this bridge project.

Don Hoff Jr.
Aan Kadax Tseen
Gaanax adi Clan
Yei l hit
Taan ta Kwaan
Hixson, TN - USA


Related News:

Young sees strong possibility of bridge funding
Ketchikan Daily News - - July 08, 2005



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