Slanted picture of Alaska
By Carl Thompson
November 24, 2005
Bob Ciminel's article in Wednesday's SitNews hit the mark
for entertainment. He is still a very talented writer in
my book and I respect him tremendously. But........
Although his facts are probably right on - it paints a slanted
picture. It reminds me of big media. They paint a
portion of the picture and hope for a reaction. You don't
really get to see the whole picture, but the part they allow
you to see can be sensational depending on what part it
Two basic questions for you to think about and research if you
don't know the answer:
Who owns most of the state
How large is Alaska compared to the rest of the US?
If the state is too large to
build roads and bridges to all the cities and towns, then
is it our fault for living in such a huge state? Should
we not be entitled to any more funding per capita than any other state
- like say, Georgia? Kind of like people who live
in hurricane prone areas - except of course if you live in a
hurricane area, who pays for rebuilding your city and roads everytime
a hurricane comes along? Hmmmmm.
Alaska would have the resources
to pay for all we need except, someone took away most of the
state and gave it to the Federal Goverment a few years back.
We cannot access our resources freely and so when we finally
get money to develop a bridge or two, some un-informed people
scream "Pork!!" But, I am sure they mean
well, they are just not aware of the whole story. And big
media is partly to blame for that too. Sensationalism sells
better than the whole truth.
If Alaska is one-fifth the size of the U.S., then should we not
get one fifth of the road money? No, that would not
do. We don't have that many roads up here. A good
thing I guess, because then people could drive to Alaska on more
than one road, and then once here, they could drive around the
state - then there would be lots of people up here.
But that brings us back to who owns the forest. Tongass
National Forest is owned by the Federal Government. And
luckily, the USFS is there to make sure we don't build roads. And
the roads that have been built by logging companies are blocked
off so people cannot drive on them. But it's for our
own good I am sure. The forest is there for
"everyone" to enjoy, you just can't get to it.
I must clarify, the people who work for the USFS are some of
the nicest people anywhere and our community is lucky to have
them. They contribute greatly in many areas. They
are our valued and trusted friends. When I am speaking
of the USFS, I do NOT mean the women and men who do the jobs
expected of them the same way I would do the job if given that
If you are going to compare Alaska to other states, you need
to remember to compare it against ten states to be fair.
There, now I have painted "part of a picture".
Ketchikan, AK - USA
Bob Cinimel: And
the Winner is: Alaska! - A month or so ago, I wrote a letter-to-the-editor
taking a tongue-in-cheek poke at Alaska Airlines' "Flying
Salmon" Boeing 737. I was rightly admonished for not having
my facts straight, so I really can't disagree with those who
challenged my position.
With that in mind, and with
the recent cancellation of the "Bridge to Nowhere"
project, which consumed the letters-to-the-editor page for several
months, I embarked on a little research to see just how many
Federal projects are funded for Alaska in a typical year. - More...
Wednesday - November 23, 2005
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