Please, Alaska, do not build the bridge to cross Knik Arm (“Bridge to … Somewhere?” July/Aug. 2011, Page 40). You might think you are building a routine bridge and developing some more land, but the impact on Anchorage will be devastating. Right now, Anchorage has a wide-open window onto the Alaskan wild and that is partly because, to the northwest we only see beautiful, wild, open land. If the land on the other side of the water is developed with apartment buildings, malls, traffic lights and businesses with their signs and banners, all the charm of Anchorage will be gone in a split second. We might as well all move to any of the thousands of mediocre, monotonous towns in the Lower 48.
Bridge is a Bad Idea
Having traveled through Alaska several times from Anchorage to Point Barrow and the Yukon border to St. Lawrence Island, I believe you have a most special part of the world. Alaska’s land areas and relative remoteness should be preserved at all costs. Building a $716 million dollar bridge across Knik Arm as a short cut to Wasilla, with a long-range plan to develop more suburban sprawl seems repugnant to me. But, as noted on the artist’s rendering of the bridge, the state agency responsible for it is quietly working to develop a financing scheme and, unfortunately, I’m sure they will find the money to do it.
—Roland W. Laramee
South Hadley, Mass.
A Solstice, not an Equinox
As Alaskans, I think we are more attuned to the seasons and fluctuations of the earth than most people. That’s why I was dismayed to read in Andy Hall’s “My View North” column (June 2011, Page 4) about the winter and summer equinox. An equinox occurs in the spring and fall, when light and dark are equal over the entire earth, but the correct terms for the shortest and longest days of the year are winter and summer solstice.
Susan, you’re correct and we made an error. — Editor.
Questioning the Facts
I was reading Rebecca Luczycki’s article in the July/August issue, “Just for the Halibut” (Page 50) and thinking that I wish people who write articles would get the facts straight. She states that the National Marine Fisheries Service recently reduced the number of halibut sport-fishing charter licenses it issues. This is the first year of charter halibut permit program, so how can they reduce something that has never been issued before? She also tells us that NMFS reduced the number of halibut each sport fisherman can take per day. They did not reduce the number of halibut a charter fisherman can keep, they reduced the size to 37 inches or less.
Mr. Brucker is correct that 2011 is the first year of the permit program, so the article more correctly should have stated that NMFS recently limited the number of halibut sport-fishing charters that may operate by instituting a permit process with a limited number of available permits. The mention in the article of reducing the number of halibut a sport fisherman may keep per day refers to a change instituted in 2009 for Area 2C (Southeast). The 37-inch maximum size restriction Mr. Brucker mentions was instituted in 2011 for Area 2C. Catch limits and other regulations vary across the state and are subject to change without notice so always check with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office in the area you plan to fish before heading out. — Editor.
A Role Model for All
I eagerly await our monthly Alaska magazine here in Maine and can’t wait to return to your wonderful state. As a retired middle/junior highschool teacher, I was more engrossed than usual when I read about Beverly Gurthler’s passing in the “End of the Trail,” (July/Aug. 2011, Page 78). What an amazing lady and role model for so many young Alaskans—and the rest of us! Nothing summed up her abilities more than the fact that she could double-clutch a truck. Bravo!
Magazine is a Tie to Home
Having been an Alaskan for 53 years, and having read your magazine since it was published in Ketchikan as The Alaska Sportsman, I wish to thank you for the continued good coverage of Alaska interests and stories. Having to leave home and move south due to illness, I have relied on your publication to supply some of the feeling and sights of this great state. Thank you again and keep up the good work.
Letter of the Month
Anonymous Gift was a Treasure
The June article regarding the Denali Road Lottery “Ticket to Paradise,” (Page 34) brought back wonderful memories. I had heard the buzz about the road lottery but never imagined I would have a chance to take part. Returning from a full day of hiking, I found under my windshield-wiper blade a note stating that the couple who had won the ticket could not use it and I should go, instead. I had met this couple on the park shuttle and told them I had driven from Florida. Their plans had changed the note said and, impressed by the long distance I had come; they decided to pass along their luck. Apparently I had the only 1977-seen-better-days van with a Florida license plate in the parking lot. I never had a chance to thank them since they didn’t leave any contact information. Maybe they will read this letter and know what a gift they gave me. I drove all the way to the end, took tons of photos, and stayed until the sun’s last rays had hit Mount McKinley. I will always treasure these memories, brought about by a couple’s thoughtfulness.
What a great story, Bettina! We are sending you The Cinnamon Mine: An Alaska Highway Childhood by Ellen Davignon as a thank-you. — Editor.