Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Bridge to Nowhere

On a CNN program last night there was a feature on this subject. Sarah Palin got applause when she stated at the convention that she had said “thanks but no thanks” to the Federal Government request for 25 million dollars to build the bridge. I take her at her word for this; however what she didn’t say is that 28 million of federal dollars had already been spent on a road from the airport to where the bridge would connect. To be fair this had been granted before she took office. The design was complete and bidding awarded to construct. The program showed aerial views and on the ground of the finished highway that she allowed to proceed. There is no traffic on it. There are fewer than 100 people on the island. Most are there to support the airstrip. The city of Ketchikan is on the coast next to mountains. The island I assume was the easiest flat land available. It takes a ten minute ferry boat ride to reach the airport. I have to assume most users are tourists or fisher people who are not on a tight time schedule. Even when the bridge is finished a car ride could not be less than ten minutes.
I visit Alaska at least twice per year. They still allow studs in snow tires which causes severe grooving. There are many gravel roads in this Wilderness State. My point being that a prudent caretaker of the public’s funds could put the 50 million dollars for needed road repair or paving.
I said I will take her at her word. She cannot now ask for federal dollars but with the windfall the State has enjoyed from the spike in oil revenues she will build the bridge with oil revenue.
Do you believe that this person should be given control over billions with this as an example of stewardship?

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
September 22, 2008

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