October 31, 2018, Letters to the Editor

Ballot Measure Poses Problems for Economy

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the sixth in a series of commentaries for and against Ballot Measure 1 – an  Act Providing for the Protection of Wild Salmon and Fish and Wildlife Habitat – that the Sentinel will run prior to the Nov. 6 election.


The Alaska Chamber of Commerce has served as the nexus between public policy and the Alaska private sector economy for 65 years. Rarely in that time has an outside agenda presented a risk as great as Ballot Measure 1.

On November 6, I will Stand for Alaska and I urge voters to Stand for Alaska as well. I’m asking you to join the 500+ local businesses, Native corporations, nonprofit organizations, labor unions, and the Alaska Chamber members who plan to vote no on 1.

Ballot Measure 1 is deeply flawed, with serious unintended consequences for Alaska and Alaskans. Alaskans want healthy salmon and successful fisheries. That universal desire is why Alaska is proudly recognized as a world leader in responsible fish and habitat management, and this poorly conceived initiative does not advance that interest.

The initiative puts future transportation improvements at risk such as the Seward, Steese, and Glenn Highways. Each of these projects might not go forward under this measure. Existing projects, like the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, may not be able to have their permits renewed. Passing this ballot measure could make wastewater treatment plants, dams, ports and other infrastructure projects nearly impossible or cost prohibitive to develop and maintain, particularly in rural Alaska.

This ballot measure is an issue that promises to negatively impact all Alaska regardless of location and political affiliation.

Many may not be aware of the serious consequences to business and development in Alaska by the passing of Ballot Measure 1. Please look carefully at the initiative before voting. Share this with your friends and employees, and encourage them to do the same. Information is available online at standforak.com. I encourage you to join me in Standing for Alaska by voting no on 1 at the ballot box on November 6.


Curtis W. Thayer, of Anchorage, is the president and CEO of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce


Support JKT

Dear Editor: I am voting for Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.

I like both candidates. In fact, a huge shoutout to Dr. Wien for a great hernia repair! (Thanks, again.) But as a member of the city Assembly, I heard many “no” votes, without offering any possible solutions.

I see JKT as solution oriented for me, our district, and all Alaskans. I watched him help form a House coalition that was instrumental in holding ground in funding education and public safety in declining revenues. He has my vote.

Bill Hutton, Sitka



Yes, Yes, Yes!

Dear Editor: Your op-ed about the Stand for Salmon (Oct. 29) ballot initiative just made me angry. This is not rocket science folks. Strengthening 60-year-old environmental regulations to keep our water clean which protects our salmon is a no-brainer in my world.

The heroes who have fought every year to protect the Bristol Bay salmon run are nothing short of warriors. Bristol Bay pristine rivers bring life to Alaska. But greed has no bounds. Frankly, I am shocked that all of Alaska is not fully on board with the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative. 

We all drink the water, we all eat the fish, we all benefit from the clean water that our state provides. This should be a slam dunk. I started to realize that, “oh, no, is a REPLAY of millions of dollars flooding in the state to convince voters that we needed to give the oil companies a tax break so they would come pump more of our thick rich Alaska oil and we would get richer?” The oil companies’ campaign investment bought that vote then the cost of oil cratered and we have been sucking air ever since. People lined up and voted for something they knew was funded by polluters anyway.

Now people are lining up calling themselves “I Stand for Alaska,” whining about how these regulations will hurt Alaska. How is keeping our water clean going to hurt Alaska? It is like saying, “If I can’t pollute the water, I can’t give you a job and I can’t make millions off of your resources!” Who wants a job that pollutes the water? Who wants to reduce and/or wipe out whole DNA strains in Alaska Salmon? 

OK, I can see how Anchorage can hold onto the fossil fuel gravy train until it breathes its last dying breath. I can see how polluted water doesn’t mean much to someone who lives in the big city. But I cannot understand how any of our Sitka elected officials who are currently running for office could be against the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative??!!

Tell me, did the pulp mill clean up that nasty “super fund” qualified mat of dioxin and other toxins before they left? The answer is no! Did we learn anything from this? It is our responsibility to our future generations to keep Alaska waters clean.

I am not just voting Yes for the Stand for Salmon ballot initiative, but I am voting “hell Yes!!’’ I am grateful to the folks who care enough about Alaska to fight for our salmon!

Patricia Dick, Sitka


Supporting Galvin

Dear Editor: I was excited and nervous to testify for the first time way back in 1979 at a public hearing for the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA.) I never had the chance to testify but I did have the chance to see our current congressman in action.

When a person expressed an opinion he didn’t hold, he refused to acknowledge them and either read the Seattle Times or held audible conversations with his colleagues during their testimony. He didn’t even thank them for their time. I never forgot his inexcusable behavior and that behavior hasn’t changed much since then.

I want to be represented by someone who is courteous, refrains from using racial slurs, acknowledges a mistake and embraces different opinions. Someone who will listen deeply and respect all people. Someone who will lead Alaska’s effort to bring diverse people and opinions together to address and solve the ever more challenging issues that impact every single one of us. 

Alyse Galvin is this new face for Alaska and Washington. I believe she has the skills and desire to reconnect us rather than further divide us. I believe she will be a congresswoman Alaska can be proud of. Take a look at her webite: alyse4alaska.com. 

She has my vote of confidence and I hope yours.

Krisanne Rice, Sitka


PEAK Open House

Dear Editor: Recently, the PEAK After-school Enrichment Program held a Keep the Lights On open house. This was our fourth year holding such an event and it was a huge success! Keep the Lights On event highlights the importance of after-school programs, such as PEAK. The KIND Company donated 300 snack bars to PEAK to help energize parents, students, and the community members as they participated in different STEAM activities. Thank you to everyone who helped plan and participate in this delightful experience.

Karla Horner Raffaele,

PEAK Director


Race for Congress

Dear Editor: As a former educator who is concerned about the future of Alaska for all of our children, I want to encourage you to vote for Alyse Galvin who is running for Congress to represent the hard-working people of Alaska. A fierce advocate for public education, Alyse lobbied legislators in Juneau and in Washington, D.C., to hold the line on public education cuts that were devastating our children’s schools.

Alyse believes that strong public education, real wage growth for jobs, and quality, comprehensive health care are the keys to growing a healthy, diversified economy for Alaska’s future.

It is time for change. It is time to replace Don Young with someone who is ready to put partisan politics aside and find real solutions to the challenges we all face. Alyse is that person and deserves your vote on Nov. 6.

Jane Seesz, Sitka


A Vote for Alyse

Dear Editor: Who is to be Alaska’s champion in Congress? I want a bright, engaged person with 45 years … of experience in Alaska. I want someone who has been molded by the passion, success, disappointments of contemporary life in Alaska communities.

I want to assure that my choice will model to my children and their children respect for truth, science, ethics, courage, honest labor, education and diversity.

“Representative Alyse Galvin” sounds great to me.

John C. Stein, Sitka


Jonathan Support

Dear Editor: It is with great pleasure that I write this letter in support of Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins’ candidacy for re-election to the District 35 House of Representatives seat. My relationship with Jonathan spans decades and I have never been surprised by his success in endeavors spanning from cello to politics.

While there are many superlatives that I can attach to his name, I am most struck by his adherence to those basic qualities we all strive for, but most politicians soon forget. Jonathan represents Sitka with honesty, integrity, strength of conviction, and enduring advocacy. As a key member of the Alaska House’s bipartisan coalition, he demonstrates the ability to compromise and draw upon other points of view to best serve his constituents and the State of Alaska. Jonathan is widely respected by his peers for these qualities in addition to his intellect, knowledge, and hard work. 

In these times of gridlock due to political rancor and divisiveness, Rep. Kreiss-Tomkin’s approach is the only way our state and community can continue to move forward. While I have great admiration for the Republican candidate as a gifted surgeon, the traits which made him successful in this capacity do not translate well into politics. 

While our representative to the House consistently conducts himself with civility he should not be underestimated. He fiercely advocates for the town in which he was born and raised. He strongly supports salmon and our fisheries. In these trying economic times, he was able to reinstate a State Parks position in our community. He also developed language protecting the Trooper Academy budget. There are innumerable examples of his extraordinary efforts to advocate for the residents of our community. 

Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins is an individual who will continue to effectively serve the needs of the community of Sitka and the State of Alaska. We should re-elect him resoundingly and with pride. 

David Vastola, Sitka


Galvin Support

Dear Editor: Nov. 6 will provide the opportunity to bring improvement to the State of Alaska. We can elect Alyse Galvin, an energetic, compassionate, and genuine person, someone who is in touch with the common person. Alyse has worked in business and in education. She has raised a family here in Alaska. She has the backbone to refuse the donations of political PACs. She understands the needs of Alaskan families. 

Your other choice is man who has been under the cloud of corruption for decades. A man censured by his colleagues and denied committee chairmanships after 45 years in Washington, D.C. A man no longer in touch with or concerned for the average citizen.

Alaska deserves better. Let’s send another strong Alaskan woman to D.C. Please join me in voting for Alyse Galvin on Nov. 6. 

Randy Hughey, Sitka


Marine Service Center

Dear Editor: After reading the article in the newspaper regarding the Assembly’s comments on the Marine Service Center (City Cold Storage) item on last week’s agenda, I felt I needed to comment on this topic. As a past tenant of this facility, and an individual who has been involved with this facility since the conception phase, some items need to be clarified.

The Marine Service Center idea came about to help promote the local seafood industry, both processors and direct marketers. During this timeframe there was a lot of federal and state funds available to help fund these types of projects. The project in Sitka was used as a model for other communities in Southeast. The main driving force was to try and create jobs during the offseason doing secondary processing. Due to the high cost of labor in Alaska compared to the Seattle area and overseas, this secondary processing component never really materialized.

During the planning phase and several years after it was constructed, the tenants did not know that the tie downs for the seawall were under the building. Once the condition of the seawall was told to the tenants and the location of the tie downs, it became clear that the City of Sitka was looking for funds for its repair. The MSC fund was a source they were looking at. Currently this fund has more than $2 million in it. These are funds collected over the years over and above the cost of operations. It was my understanding that the excess amount of funds needed over operations was going to be used for the maintenance of the building and not the repair of the seawall. It is also my understanding that any revenue generated from the use of the seawall goes to the Harbor Fund and not the MSC Fund.

Since Sitka Sound Seafoods did not exercise its option on the five-year renewal, the MSC will operate at a loss for the first time in its history. For an Assembly member to say this facility has been running at a loss is not correct. Where did the $2 million in the MSC Fund come from? I am sure that both of the tenants would love to have the $2 million in our bank account and not the MSC Fund if this was true.

The primary reason SSS did not exercise its option on the renewal was cost. We operate in an industry and environment where the pennies make a difference between being able to sell products. One of the costs associated with the cost of the product is storage. Craig Shoemaker mentioned this topic in his letter to the city administrator.

I am glad to see that this item was tabled and that more work is going to be done prior to coming back to the Assembly. I would hope that we can work out some of the details and concerns regarding issues confronting Sitka prior to being presented to the Assembly. I feel that such time and effort is wasted when not all the parties involved are not spoken to beforehand. We in the seafood industry feel this is the case in the last year with the Assembly.

Tim Ryan, Sitka Sound Seafoods


Common Sense

Dear Editor: Our state needs effective, respectful leadership. We need an improved and diverse economy with business opportunities, wage growth, and good family income levels. Alyse Galvin understands issues important to our state and can communicate that understanding. She has outlined policies to address those issues realistically with common sense. And she demonstrates the abilities necessary to effectively promote the best policies for our state. Please join me in voting for Alyse Galvin as our new representative to the U.S. House.

James Clare, Sitka


Pumpkin Patch

Dear Editor: 3 to 5 Preschool would like to thank the community of Sitka for coming to our 6th Annual Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser on Oct. 20. Seeing families walk through our pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin, enjoying games, food, delicious baked goods and spending time together is what makes this event so much fun to do each year.

There are so many people to thank for making this event possible and we want to acknowledge them publicly! AC Lakeside once again graciously sponsored our event by creating the pumpkin patch, donating mini pumpkins, apples, and oranges to kids coming to the event and donating pumpkin sale proceeds to our preschool. We received early morning help from the Alaska Safety Academy who put up the big tent, got all the supplies outside and helped get the pumpkins into the pumpkin patch. 

We also wish to thank the members of the Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe National Honor Societies, AmeriCorps Volunteers, Delta Kappa Gamma members, and our wonderful parents for volunteering to help at the various stations. Many, who came, enjoyed a hayride with music provided by Mike Fair and Jackie DiGennaro. What a special treat! Thanks also to Mike Coleman for letting us borrow your trailer and to Les at the Fortress of the Bear for the straw bales. Thanks to Harold Greene and the City Public Works for the materials required to create our maze and to Ashley and Anthony Haskins for creating yet another fun maze adventure. We couldn’t have had the fundraiser without all of your tremendous help.

We also would like to acknowledge the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station for the use of their large tent, your contribution of the lemonade/bake sale stand, Sitka Emblem Club for canopies, Sitka Fine Arts Camp for the use of the campus grounds, tables and chairs, Josh and Katherine Johnson for use of the bouncy house – always a favorite stop for the kids – and to Kevin and Katherine Johnson for sharing their animals! Thank you to Sitka Hotel for generously providing the beef stew, Shawn Hutchinson for the salmon chowder, and Our Town Catering and Wooch.een Yei Jigaxtoonei for use of their kitchens.

We also wish to thank Sea Mart, Elks, Alaska Pioneers of Alaska Igloos 12 and 22, Sitka Dental, Harry Race Pharmacy, Sitka Bottling Co., Harry’s Custom Services and Spenard Builders Supply, Sea Mountain Golf Course, for their help and donations, along with the Sitka Sentinel, Sitka Soup, KIFW and Raven Radio for getting the word out about our event. 

As you can see it takes many, many hands to put on an event! Most of all 3 to 5 Preschool wishes to thank our community for the support you give us year round by coming to our events, and graciously offering and giving your gift of time, energy and talents to our program in a variety of ways.

We are forever grateful!

3 to 5 Preschool 

Staff and Board of Directors


U.S. House Race

Dear Editor: It’s time for Alaska to have a change in the U.S. House of Representatives and Alyse Galvin is the change we need.

She will work for all Alaskans putting partisan politics aside.

She is a problem solver who is solution-oriented.

She is running a grassroots campaign about and for Alaska, not accepting any corporate money.

She is the kind of leader we need now and for Alaska’s future.

She will put Alaskans first.

Alyse Galvin has my vote and I encourage you to vote for Alyse, a vote for Alaska.

Grace Brooks, Sitka



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Advertisement: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Caring Employee of the month! Franklin Thomas Hospital Nutrition Services.


June 1974

Edna Revard is enjoying a much-deserved vacation: she and youngest son Joe are in Italy visiting her older son, Jack, his wife and child. Jack is with the military, stationed in Italy. Edna will be gone a month, the crew at Revard’s Restaurant says.


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