Monday, February 15, 2010

Kodiak letter sung to the tune of 'OUR TOWN'

This letter was C.C.'d to me by the author, addressed to the politicians representing the Kodiak area: Rep. Alan Austerman, Sen. Gary Stevens, Gov. Sean Parnel's office, U.S. Sen. Begich's office and U.S. Sen. Murkowski's office. It describes the drying up of the once thriving fishing community. The reason? Jane Lubchenko and NOAA's famous 'catch shares' system I suspect. But listen to the author, she lives there.

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, 2-14-10
Alan , you asked me during the LIO call in, to make sure I tell the country that Joe Childers
dosn't represent all Alaskans. How about you guys do that, too? It would mean alot! It's exactly what I've been asking. When you just stand by and let this happen, don't raise your voices to anyone in gov't, or anywhere else that I can tell, aside from the HR21, that got stuck in your office Gary, it's condoning the plan.

There was an opportunity to take a stand, and honestly, Gary, I think you could have tried harder. It's not over yet, and a lot is happening. We need you. This town is becoming a ghost town. Island TV just closed. That means that we have 3 vacant spaces right here on the mall. Norman's is open 3 days week and Ardingers only on Saturday. The building where I used to be for 8 years, next to AC, has a minimum of 3 spaces for rent. The corner of Center and Mission, where I was for about 1 year, was available all summer and fall. I finally got relieved of the whole rent, but am still responsible for a goodly sum. After we couldn't rent it for what I was paying, Mel kind of bought my lease.

Now the USCG is expanding into that space, but that's a shame because it used to be prime retail space. Royal T's used to be there and moved in next door to The China House, is only open on the weekend, after taking another job.

My business is down between 60 and 70%, from last year, and I have the best possible spot in town, next to Henry's. One reason I felt comfortable making a life here, investing my life in this town, is because the fishing industry insulated our economy, to a large extent. That is no longer the case. So many jobs have left town and the boats that fish here are usually from somewhere else, and they bring their crews with them.

Come on. God darn it! Please. Alaska needs to take a stand. The North Pacific Council is gearing up to give away the Gulf of Alaska groundfish. Doesn't that bother you!? Do you think it's right to let this travesty go on right in front of your eyes, and do nothing about it? You seem to hide behind the fact that it's "the Council", a group of self serving interests, who are out to take our resources, and my livelihood, and are above reproach.

No! I believe it is your responsibility to tell the truth. So many livelihoods, all around the country, are at stake, (, and we know, you know, what the outcome will be, without a doubt, and you do not raise your voices? I have to take high blood pressure medication because of the stress of it on me; both from the fact that I have no money, and I am watching this scenario unfold and our state govt is doing NOTHING about it!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's time! How about it?! I'm sick of hearing 'it's not my call!' No one is paying me for the hrs. I spend trying to fight this. You are being paid, and I want my monies worth, please!
I will be looking forward to hearing about your progress. Of course, if there is anything I can help you with, please let me know. I'm here for you! Thank you, Rhonda Maker
907 481 3100

And here's another one from the East Coast, which is why a national rally is being held on the steps of the Capitol in D.C. on Feb. 24. It's a national issue of preserving our marine food supply for the local economies.

Hello Everyone,
> Thank you Rhonda, for this heartfelt letter. I stand behind you.
> My own family has lost our fishing livelihood to this scam
> called Catch Shares.
> ITQ's (Individual Transferable Quota)
> is an economic tool, not a conservation one. The scallop
> fishery that I've been part of the last 20 years is not over fished now or
> recently. Some closed area scallops are dying of old age.
> My state of Massachusetts, has made a powerful
> political statement by electing Scott Brown to replace Senator
> Ted Kennedy's place.
> Our country is a mess right now.
> Main Street, America is suffering from unemployment. Jobs are our number
> one concern and we are losing them needlessly.
> We need political leaders who walk the walk, not just talk the talk. If
> you are not willing to act for the people, we will find someone who will.
> Thank you,
> Mary Beth de Poutiloff
> family fisherwoman