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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

"No" on Ballot Measure 2
By Debra Heston


August 20, 2012
Monday PM

Everyone knows that there are special interests that would like nothing more than to rape and pillage Alaska's natural resources, and steamroller the local opposition.  Until now, they have been kept in check.  Parts of the fine print in ballot initiative #2 read like a laundry list of grievances the state has had about all the tactics Alaskans use when they don't want to shut up and do as they are told... and counters for each of them.  I am sure that there are executives who would trade their viagra to see this thing pass, it could be everything they ever dreamed of.  If there is collusion between the state and the proposed board, then they will have one hell of a blank check to do whatever they want.  The only ones restricted by this are Alaskans and their local governments.  There is even a provision on pg. 10 lines 6-11 for overturning local elections!  

Do not take my word for it, or anyone else's.  This is not a 1,000 page monster that you need a law degree and a team of experts to make sense of.  It's 15 pages that few people have examined closely with a critical eye.  This is a bait and switch... so who is the fisherman?  I hear that the Seaparty is behind the initiative.  Who are they, and who are they fronting for?  

Does the promise not to unreasonably or arbitrarily restrict a use of state concern mean that they reserve the right to be arbitrary and unreasonable with anyone else, or that they plan to fast-track large projects, or both? (page 6) When they include "aquifers" in a list of coastal use or resources, does that mean that they would have the right to regulate who can pump water from a well, and how much?  Does it give them the authority to regulate anything over the aquifer? (pg 12 lines 22-32 ) They mention other things too...  lakes, rivers, streams, and even air. Does this mean that they expect to be able to extend the reach of their authority almost anywhere that there is liquid water at least part of the year?  There is a brief mention that some elected officials may not be allowed to claim their positions until they have been "qualified".  Qualified by whom? ( pg 9 line 11)  Cities will not be allowed to even file complaints about anything outside the city limits, and villages can't complain unless it is within 2 miles.  Alternatives proposed within the time limit they set can be dismissed if they do not meet " the district plan criteria adopted under this chapter". Does that mean that they will paint the drilling rigs any color we wish - but not forbid them to drill?  ( see pg 11 lines 1-15)

The measure does NOT offer pushback against federal regulation or other such interference.  (p 6 lines 24-32 )clearly state that they will roll over for State or Federal legislation or regulation a puppy begging for a tummy rub.  It restricts Alaskan's and their local governments, and does that quite thoroughly.  This is not what we were told to expect, and there is more.  Be sure you understand what you are setting yourself up for.  A quorum of seven, and majority of 4, can cut out or override members of the group that do not go along with the program.   

A group with a plan in hand that hits the ground running can do a lot before we can get them thrown out. Sure, the tribes will be able to go to federal court, but are you sure that fed. court is what it used to be?  Even the First Nations may not get what they deserve. Contracts legally signed will be enforced, and if fisheries or anything else gets destroyed, it is done.  Some things can't be fixed after they are broken.

Please read the full text carefully as soon as possible, and talk to everyone about it.

There are only days left to stop the biggest land grab in US history!

Debra Heston
Fort Meade, MD

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

Received August 17, 2012 - Published August 20, 2012



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