SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Setting the Record Straight
By Meredith M. Kenny


November 12, 2007
Monday AM

Alaskan Congressman Don Young has proudly served his constituents in the great state of Alaska for the last 35 years. As Alaskans had honored him with seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 2001 to 2007 he was given the privilege of serving the American people as the Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. In doing so, he became responsible for taking the lead in penning the comprehensive Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act ­ A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

This bill contained a host of provisions designed to improve, maintain, and move forward the Nation's transportation infrastructure, especially the highway and interstate road system, which is critical to our Nation's commerce. In the end the bi-partisan bill that passed the House by a vote of 412-8, where Members of Congress elected by citizens of our great Nation voted together to enact this ground breaking legislation. The U.S. Senate also passed the bill by vote of 91-4.

As Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, many publications fail to note that Rep. Young had Congressional oversight not just only for the State of Alaska, but for our great Nation. In accepting this tremendous responsibility, he worked hand-in-hand with the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as our country's Governors, Mayors, local transportation officials, and the transportation community to develop legislation to assist the nation. It was his responsibility to travel the country, primarily at the behest of his Congressional Colleagues, State and local officials, to educate himself on the needs of their districts, their regions, and their states, and to see first hand those projects which had potential positive national impact on the future of the country.

Those that seek profits from sensationalist headlines will want their readers to believe that Rep. Young was too busy traveling the country to be responsive to his own state. However, they miss opportunities to mention that nobody understands Alaska's infrastructure needs better than Rep. Young and as such, he worked closely with Alaska's administration and transportation department to ensure Alaska's priorities were considered. In doing so, Rep. Young ensured that every need that could be met in Alaska would be met.

Due to this foresight and dedication to his state, Alaska received critical funding including projects such as emergency evacuation roads, public access roads to hospitals, rail safety, and general road improvements. In total, Alaska received over $690 million in highway funds and millions more for the Denali Access System.

Unfortunately it has become the trend to write articles that focus on raising circulation numbers rather than reporting on the truth. The hope is that with the vast number of resources available at all of our fingertips, those that actually seek accuracy will find it.

Meredith M. Kenny
Communications Director
Office of Rep. Don Young
Washington, D.C.


Received November 11, 2007 - Published November 12, 2007


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska