Alaskans denied chance to speak

  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014 5:19pm
  • News

I wrote the following to the senators on the Senate Finances Committee: “The Silencing Alaskans Act, House Bill 77, seems to be living up to its name. At the Homer LIO, 17 of 20 who intended to testify at a public hearing were not allowed to testify. When 85 percent of the people who attend a public hearing are not heard, something is wrong.  This is not a democracy.”

I attended a town hall meeting with Sen. Peter Micciche in Homer on Friday, March 7. He could not answer many questions about HB 77 because the amendments were not released until Monday, March 10. Forty-eight hours is not enough time to review a law that restricts the public to provide input to their legislators. Obviously, 1.5 hours was not enough time allowed for the public hearing. But, more than 150 people statewide found time to go to the hearing.

Reply from Sen. Cathy Giessel, chairperson: “Thanks for your message. It will be added to the bill file. There are NO Alaskans being prevented from testifying. You just did!! It’s as easy as an email.”

My reply to Sen. Giessel: “Many people speak better than they write, or aren’t comfortable with computers. To make it easier to destroy our salmon habitat and resources that create our Alaskan lifestyle — will the multinational corporations and outside  billionaires buy our government and resources owned by the people of Alaska — and totally eliminate public hearings? Looks like we are headed that way.”

It appears that dozens — or hundreds of Alaskans were prevented from testifying at public hearings — where the public was not heard.  

Kevin Walker

More in News

Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove poses for a photo on Jan. 9, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The veteran Alaska legislator was passing through Homer while waiting to take the M/V Tustumena ferry to Kodiak. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Clem Tillion, PFD founder and former legislator, dies at 96

Tillion died Wedneday, Oct. 13, at Halibut Cove home.

Thunder Mountain High School on April 18.  Earlier this fall, vandalism including stolen soap dispensers and toilets clogged with foreign objects such as paper towel rolls were a problem at schools nationwide and in Juneau. But, principals say the local situation is improving. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
After brief surge, vandalism subsiding at local high schools

Principals say internet trends, stress likely behind incidents.

In this Jan. 8, 2020, photo Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, heads to a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Alaska man faces federal charges after authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill Murkowski, according to court documents unsealed Wed., Oct. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)
Delta Junction man faces charges over threatening Murkowski’s life

Authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill the senator.

Donna Aderhold recites the Homer City Council oath of office and is sworn in for duty at the city council meeting on Oct. 11. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
New council members sworn into duty Monday

Newly-elected Homer City Council members Shelly Erickson and Jason Davis and re-elected… Continue reading

Runners participate in boys varsity race at the Ted McKenney XC Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The trails recently reported incidents of vandalism and theft. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Vandalism and theft reported at Tsalteshi Trails

One trail user reported stolen skis recently and multiple signs have been defaced.

At left Bonita Banks, RN, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) nurse at Homer Medical Center, and at right, Annie Garay, RN, Community Health Educator, pose for a photo at South Peninsula Hospital on Sept. 27, 2021, at Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
New hospital community health educator starts

Garay, a Homer raised nurse, came home to ride out COVID-19, wound up doing pandemic nursing.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Montessori school goes to universal indoor masking

As of Tuesday, eight KPBSD schools were operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Crabbers look at cuts to quotas

Tanner, opilio crab quotas cut on top of cancellation of fall king crab fishery.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Judge sides with psychiatrists who alleged wrongful firing

Two psychiatrists said they were wrongfully fired when Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office.

Most Read