Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Corrections to Vessel Upgrade Program post

New information has it that the rules in the Vessel Upgrade program were changed in mid-stream. I'm relieved to find out that there is no challenge to the basic program. And changing the rules on a whim doesn't surprise me, if that's what happened. I worked there.

This picture has nothing whatsoever to do with this post. It was one of the first pictures I took with my new gear after retiring the 1940s vintage Argus I started with in 1970 in the Bay.

I also saw rules come out of thin air when I applied in 1991 for a grant to start up the RSDA concept.Would that other people like Gov. Murkowski would change their minds when given new information. He reminds me of President Bush about now.

Bush seems to have dug his heels in regarding giving charge of the chief U.S. ports to an Arab company. Gov. Murkowski has dug his heels in to support giving living marine resources to big corporations in perpetuity. Just because Sen. Stevens started pushing for this give-away doesn't mean two wrongs make a right. And all in the face of overwhelming public revulsion for the idea and all those pushing it.

But I'm getting off the subject. The reader that e-mailed me set the record straight(?) on the vessel upgrade program. Even if he looks at supporting Alaska residents with such a program differently, truth is truth. We should all be seekers of the truth so we don't go down in flames. Remember those two U.S. Presidents in the '70s? I wish our leaders well, but nobody can protect them from themselves. Maybe this blog's mission is to point out the truth so these kinds of people will go down in flames before becoming our leaders. 550,000 hits on the AlaskaReport site in the last 45 days says the truth will get out in the seafood industry in Alaska.

So here's to the courage and integrity of the fisherman who put his name on a letter seeking to set the record straight and sent it in for publication. Think about this: if you don't help straighten things out when you know you can, you can't rock in your rocker in your old age in peace. Don't forget the Letters to the Editor section too.

"Mr. Enge, Have you been in contact anyone who was denied a SAVQUP grant? Do you understand the controversy? Would you like to educate yourself? I am one of those who were denied access to this important program. Attached is my letter asking for reconsideration. If you read it you will have the basis to blog with intellegence about the topic.

The facts are these. After 3 rounds of grant consideration 103 grants have been awarded, all to applicants claiming an Alaska mail box. 32 grants have been denied, all to applicants claiming non-Alaska addresses. These are federal funds. The program was sold as a vessel upgrade / quality improvement program. No where in the application does it state that residency is required. Many of us asked before we went to the trouble of applying. It is illegal use residency as the basis to discriminate against a class of people with federal funds.

The scoring to receive a grant required 70 out of a possible 100 points . The scoring criteria were altered, after the guidelines were published, with a new element (increased profits community) to be worth 35 points. Glenn Haight from ADC instructed that no one with a Non-Alaska address should receive points for this element. Many of us, with other than Alaska addresses received perfect scoring on all other scoring elements. Receiving 1 of a possible 35 points eliminated us. Identical projects were scored differently with Alaska addresses being granted and Non-Alaska addresses being denied. No one to my knowledge has called for the program to be halted.

I have asked that my project be judged on its merits. Given all the bad publicity Alaska has gotten lately (bridges to nowhere and such) I would think the State of Alaska would be more sensitive to how it uses federal funds. You have my permission to post this letter along with my request for reconsideration on your blog providing the contents are not edited. If you care about the fishery then you should be concerned by this attempt by the State of Alaska to divide the fishery. We ALL need to be working together. A level field of play is essential."

Lanny Carpenter

Larry, if they cut you out, at least you'll have done your part to make things work and you can rock in peace. Young bureaucrats wouldn't know why fishermen spend winters in Alaska. And that the ones that keep P.O. boxes in AK and managed their businesses well, may or may not be around after the snow flies very much. How does that differ from you?