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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Rise of Coastal Management Phoenix
By A. M. Johnson


August 06, 2012
Monday PM

Editor Sitnews,

Nice to see old faces return to the Ketchikan scene. I recall Ms. Troll being a what is now commonly referred to as 'Community activist or maybe organizer' in her early days as a resident she apparently continues very successful with what she does. Good to hear comments from retired Judge Schultz, happy to know that he and his wife chose to retire here in Ketchikan.

After listening and reading the resulting comments regarding the upcoming Coastal Management ballot proposal it becomes apparent that those representing the "Pro" side consist a high number of former and present employed persons or committee members of governmental and quasi-governmental activities.

Having been a member of the original Ketchikan Gateway Borough Coastal Management committee formed so many years ago under the leadership of then Borough employee Kathy Carso. , I can assure the voting public there was then as there would be now, restrictive thinking on the part of governmental members or appointees of said committee(s). Much of the original Coastal Management program was designed with per-ordained outcomes formulated by staff. The general public members balked with harsh debate during those formulating meetings. Favorable changes were made to the document, yet not enough.

It would be fair to say that the outcome of a new Coastal Management effort would end much as the U.S.Forest Service 'Tongass Round Table. This government formed committee designed to address activity in the Tongass National Forest, ended in utter breakdown and disappointment with the private sector members of that committee along with the State government appointee, departing. Restrictions, restrictions, restrictions, never any positives for economic growth was the root cause.

The usual relationship with a governmental ruling department consist of what one can't do rather than what one can do. I understand reaction to that observation, however it is my opinion and one often heard in conversations relating to adventures in dealing with bureaucratic departments or appointed committees. One finds that the oversight of any dealing is that of "I am only doing my job" as threatening statures are touted out and presented. In other words one faces 'Restrictions' not encouragement when dealing with governmental or quasi-governmental departments' or appointed committees. A new Coastal Management committee viewed by the 'Pro' supporters, would fall into this descriptive category. All committee actions would be controlled by prior governmental edict. Resulting in time delays, most by design, to discourage economic diversity to the area (Exceptions taken to this may state your case.)

Generally the private tax paying individual (s) involved are attempting to better their, current employee(s) or potential employees lives with entrepreneurial attempts in creating, establishment, accomplish, invest, improve, or build. These efforts are represented by personal responsibility, personal risk, fiscal and personal obligations all having cause and effect as to success or failure. To be successful in these endeavors one has to be optimistic, positive, believe, articulate, creative, risk taker, jovial and possess a cheerful attitude, willing to take responsibility understand personal obligations and be cheerful towards life in general.

With that all said, I will be in opposition to the Coastal Management ballot issue. The content of this proposal is wroth with 'Restrictions' potential and restrictive vagueness that far outweigh the opportunity of advancement of capitalism, industry, commercial or individual entrepreneur.

The cast of characters who are vocal complete with yard signs, in support of this policy, again reflect in my opinion, governmental feelings which advocate 'Restrictions' not advancement of industrial or commercial enterprise under the guise of 'Government' appointed oversight. This Coastal Management program if approved,will end being designed to delay,deny ,derail, any capitalistic enterprise attempted that falls into the venue of the category of Coastal Management.

One can anticipate the rebuttal of claims of being 'For responsible development' however the never ending "Reviews" and environmental law suits represented by increasing stature restrictive demands weighted down by "What Ifs" witnessed day in and day out with current economic development efforts across this vast State confirms yet another environmental threshold committee intent on ending any meaningful debate regarding capitalistic advancement when dealing with progressive governmental control advocates.

Now, I have vented my view on the subject. It is better that I end this piece with a small bit of reflective humor to the issue.

A DEA officer stopped at a ranch in Texas, and talked with an old rancher. He told the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs." The rancher said, "Okay, but don't go in that field over there", as he pointed out the location. The DEA officer verbally exploded saying, "Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!" Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher. "See this badge?! this badge means I am allowed to go where ever I wish.....On any land!! No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear..... do you understand?!!

The rancher nodded politely, apologized, and went about his chores. A short time later, the old rancher heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by the rancher's big, really big Santa Gertrudis bull.....with every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he'd sure enough bet gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified. The rancher threw down his tools, ran to the fence and shouted (I just love this part......) "Your badge, just show him your 'Figging' powerful BADGE.........!!


Ketchikan, AK

About: "Senior 'Sod' who has been around the block on Coastal Management. Advocate for 'You lose you pay' on environmental court challenges to resource development. "

Received August 04, 2012 - Published August 06, 2012


Ballot Measure #2 ~ Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program
Ballot Measure #2 will appear on the Primary Election Ballots. The Primary Election will be held August 28th, 2012.


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