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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 12:40 am | Updated: 11:34 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Letter to the Editor

Sept. 24, 2012

To the editor:

I was very surprised to read in Sunday’s News-Miner that two of the three candidates for borough mayor plan to vote for Proposition 3, which would undo the borough’s efforts to control our local air pollution problems. It seems very clear that if the borough doesn’t step forward, the state will take over. In that case, it will be more difficult to provide input into the process, and it is more likely that draconian measures would take place. One of these might be a burn ban, which I understand has happened in other places. If that happened here, we could be told not to burn wood during severe cold spells — the worst possible time.

Although one can always find things to complain about, I think the borough staff has been doing a good job of working to mitigate PM 2.5 emissions while still allowing residents to burn wood for heat. They have been starting with education, which is all the proponents of Proposition 3 say they want. It would be nice to think that education alone would solve the problem, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case. Working with members of the community, the borough has come up with a program of incentives, followed by penalties if the incentives don’t do the trick.

It is hard to believe anyone would seriously run for borough mayor while voting to eliminate such an important part of the borough’s agenda. Luke Hopkins has been working to solve this problem since it became an issue. He has not run away from it or tried to turn it over to someone else. It seems nonsensical to me to put someone else in the driver’s seat, especially someone who isn’t even willing to try to solve the problem locally.

I urge people to vote on Oct. 2. Vote “no” on Proposition 3 and vote “yes” for Luke Hopkins for mayor.

Ann Swift

Fairbanks

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