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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Ballot Measure 2: Bait and Switch
By Debra Heston


August 20, 2012
Monday PM

I have heard that the ballot initiative for re-establishing the coastal management program has been promoted as protecting local property rights.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  It is hard to believe that Alaskans would support the measure if they had read the fine print... which not everyone does.  

While everyone has been focused on the upcoming Presidential election, interested parties are trying for the largest land grab in U.S. history, and there are only days to stop them.  If the ballot measure is passed Obama will support their socialist agenda and Romney would probably be disgusted... but he is pro-business so he may say that the people voted for it, and he won't use the federal government to run roughshod over state elections. ( That would be a bad precedent anyway. ) If they vote for it, they will have to live with the consequences until it can be repealed.  

This is not a partisan issue.  It involves one of the most mineral rich coastlands in the world, and the total area and resources affected are HUGE.  With a quorum of 7, a majority of 4 unelected people would have nearly 100% control.  Elected members on boards representing the population of a service area serve 3 years, until their sucessors have been elected and qualified... qualified by who? A seat on a coastal resource board can be declared vacant if certain criteria apply to the person elected.  Check page 9.  The vacancy would be filled by apointment.  Does any of this make you uncomfortable?  

Page 6   line 16   states that enforceable policies will not unreasonably or arbitrarily restrict a use of state concern... which seems to imply that they reserve the right to be arbitrary or unreasonable to anyone else.  

page 10    lines 6-11 and other specifications elsewhere give them the power to override local elections.  Key wording in lines 12-21 implies that they may be willing to do what locals want... unless or until it conflicts with what THEY want to do.  Cities cannot even object to things outside of the city limits, and villages can only file objections to things within 2 miles of the village.  Alternatives submitted by a city or village within the time limit must meet the district plan criteria, or the area board may adopt the district coastal management plan as initially offered.  

page 3     lines 26-29 gives them the authority to issue ( or perhaps withhold ) certifications on behalf of the state for projects that require a permit, lease, or authorization...

page 12     lines 22-31   include a note that the biological and physical resources include but are not limited to   air, tidal AND non-tidal wetlands, ocean waters, estuaries, rivers, streams, lakes, aquifers, submerged aquatic vegetation, land, plants, trees, minerals, fish, shellfish, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and costal resources of national significance.    ... Basically they can follow rivers and streams inland, and claim authority over almost anyplace in alaska that has liquid water part of the year.  The full text of that section was too long to copy out.  

How intrusive could they really be?

page 13   lines 15 - 23   includes in the definition of  "direct and significant impact"  an  "activity which proximately contributes to a material change or alteration in the natural or social characteristics of a part of the state's coastal area and ..... C ) would of itself constitute a tolerable change or alteration of the resources within the coastal area but which , cumulatively, would have an adverse impact.  "   

How many activities do not cause or contribute to some material or social change? Social change ?  How much of Alaska do they hope to regulate ?!!  

This is the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Protection of private property is enshrined in the constitution.  Even if this measure doesn't pass, shouldn't the attempt ring alarm bells for all of us?   

Debra Heston
Fort Meade, MD

About: "My husband is stationed out of state.  We are in Fort Meade MD "

Received August 16, 2012 - Published August 20, 2012


Ballot Measure #2 will appear on the Primary Election Ballots. The Primary Election will be held August 28th, 2012. Polls are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm


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