SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


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By A. M. Johnson


August 29, 2011

Editor Sitnews,

Where to begin! Today's Ketchikan Daily News [August 27, 2011] contained enough material to keep Rush Limbaugh busy for a week!!

The paper reported a poll that reflected 87% of Americans are upset with Congress, no surprise, being a devastating statistic when a cohesive Government is vitally required. The Daily News did get the priority of head line selection correct with the article regarding the United States Department of Agriculture taking the time from a busy schedule to visit with the "Folks".

As the article is the whole source of my dissection, the content given is reviewed with that perspective in mind, with tongue in cheek.

I found the statement regarding the intent of the process to "Speed the promotion of economic growth" being an oxymoron. How does one speed anything when the process is stuck in a morass of Federal overreaching restrictive and adversary in nature, regulations?

It appears the outcome of the various visits to our Southeastern Alaska towns and villages, is: The message of how to grow the economic Southeast,. Note the casual reference to "Southeast" as though the speaker was familiar with the area. I say that because the wonderment is this group has just discovering that the key economic sectors are "Ocean products, forest products, renewable energy and visitor services." Some how in the mix,they have heard (Do they listen?) how to build these four areas in a sustainable way in the future. (Read "Way,way,way to never in the future).

What really had me laughing with great glee was to learn the acronym for this effort: "Southeast Alaska Cluster Initiative" Boy- Was I the only one who had a minor change of words for this gem? It sure as heck isn't the word "Initiative". It brings to mind another great acronym of the current administration- "Win the Future or "WTF'

So the solution is to gather and talk, talk, talk, and try to gather their collective resources ( the word "resources" begs for another word substitution,part of ones anatomy) together and have some sort of (O! the opportunity to insert yet another additional word here) movement towards new , yet again, another and another "New" initiatives forward. It would appear they are just beginning to see "It". What ever "It" is.

Always good to tout a project such as the OceansAlaska site as an example of cooperative effort, at the last news notice I had read, there is not a single private dollar involved with this project which in the main, will compete for the private invested tourist dollar with OceansAlaska planned tours complete with "Chips and Dips" from their planned retail store. Visualize bus after bus with 40 some passengers consuming the full four hours of tour time visiting a fully governmental funded project. No skin off my nose, however were I a uptown private merchant depending on this example of "Government, Here to help You", I would be a little miffed.

We begin to arrive at the meat of the article, a resurrection of the almost defunct "Tongass Round Table Committee" or some such group that comprised the timber industry, the State of Alaska ,a large contingent of environmental participants, and of course, the United States Forest Service, under the United States Department of Agriculture, in a supportable viable timber industry.(Definition of viable open to debate, but what is, isn't!!!)

Fortunately, the State of Alaska had the foresight to finally recognize the futility of dealing with a mixed bag of Environmental activist groups and a mindset of intended negative economic results, my opinion, was the reason for the State to withdraw and subsequently, the timber industry representatives like wise withdrew. So much for the success of that effort, which apparently in a wounded state of affairs, now becomes the "Southeast Alaska Cluster ______(insert word of choice).

To read of the projected projects to enhance the use of the United States Forest, one has to gasp at the vast range and depth of employment these offerings project. Forest thinning projects, hummmmm I may be have incorrect information but it seems to me that there was a question on the citizenship of one such employment effort by the United States forest Service, might be a rumor, so I state that as maybe being the case, o well not to dwell on that, as employing illegal immigrants is a part of the "Jobs" promotion of the Congress (You know the group with 87% disapproval rating) and this President's policies.

Now restoring a water shed or two is a well intended effort. Those nasty loggers ruining the streams of Hollis and Harris Rivers some 60 years ago just demand that the United States Forest Service go in and reconstruct all that damage. Maybe somebody from the local office of the United States Forest Service could confirm or deny a rumor heard that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, flying over the project of the United States Forest Service, witnessed a back hoe in the middle of the River as thousands (My estimate) of salmon were attempting to lay their eggs. Hummmmmmmmm? Not to speak to the fact that there were thousands of salmon there 60 years after the alleged damage.

I would surely accept their response to correct this.

Note also that the reforestation of the Hollis area, which is a vibrant living example that trees grow again,with out too much oversight by man, was by nature as reseeding was not in vogue in the 60's Although I recall a resident Hollis logger of those past days, transplanted a cluster of Douglas Fir into the mix and caused some concern by the United States Forest Service as to how Douglas Fir was introduced. A good laugh had by all.

Lastly, the article responds to the evil threat of tighter Federal budgets. The response was "We have to more focused, build better relationships (As it concerns funding,could someone offer some examples of who will be in that relationship? Not enviromental lobbyist, Nooooooo)and the famous go to governmental word of the Century "More Collaboration" I recall a little humor regarding collaboration:

When the farmer was asked what could the Department of Agriculture do to help improve his crop yield, the farmer thought for a moment and said, we need more collaboration on the fields because you have regulated out the use of DDT in America so we have to use collaboration, that and Bull Droppings both seem to work.

As an aside, Americia imports farm produce from Mexico and other Southern Countries, who use, No! Heaven forbid,DDT.

So there you have it, how I read the article and interpret the intent and the results. Of all of it I like the question regarding tightening the budgets best, Defund the United State Department of Agriculture. allow it to make a decision if they want to continue screwing with the farmers or the few Alaskans who work in the private sector.

As to what I would do given the chance to be King? In addition to the above defunding I'd return to the constraints of the United States Constitution and the content of the Bill of Rights, direct the Congress to renew and enforce the restrictions purposely placed to restrict the Federal Government in limit and size. States Rights are supreme in the Constitution, they have been surrendered to the Federal Government over the many years and we now reap what that action has sowed. Pity the children of tomorrow with the continued advent of Federal Government growth.

That is what I would do if I were King. I am not but with a 87% disfavor rating, those who would be King are not doing a great job either.

That brings up the subject of annulment of Federal edicts by an individual State or States . That for a future letter.


Ketchikan, AK

About: "The impact of increasing and unrelenting restrictive pressure on the private sector by the Federal Government is a concern to this senior citizen."

Received August 27, 2011 - Published August 29, 2011



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