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Creating a healthy and safe environment inside the Alaska National Guard is an endeavor that should be free from political games.

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Alaska has plenty of laws and regulations to deal with mine development.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
5/15/2013
Seward's need

Just as Ketchikan likes the marine highway system to be based in Ketchikan, it recognizes the common sense in Seward seeking to be the homeport for the CDQ fishing ships.

Seward is a waterfront community with harbor space and expanding potential to accommodate ships of all sizes.

At present the Community Development Quota fleet docks in Seattle. Seattle isn't Alaska, where the fleet gathers millions of pounds of crab and groundfish each year.

Western Alaska's Coastal Villages Region Fund, the largest of the CDQ groups, has been evaluating Seward's harbor facilities. Seward would need additional moorage satisfactory for all weather conditions. But it is an ice-free port all year round in northern Alaska.

Seward also would bring the boats closer to the region fund's Anchorage headquarters, eliminating the need for the hours-long flights to Seattle.

This is an opportunity that Seward and the fleet view as realistic this decade. Not only harbor improvements, but sufficient businesses to support the industry would be needed. The fleet would support a lot of vendors.

Some vessels already contract with the City of Seward for moorage. Increasing those opportunities is a growing investment the city and the state have in that moorage.

Seward's economic future is in its waterfront. Seward is working to attract all sorts of marine industry, much like Ketchikan. This serves not just Seward but the whole state well. It not only homeports ships, but brings jobs to Alaska.

When it comes to the state's natural resources, the jobs associated with extracting them should be in Alaska and for Alaskans.

Afterall, CDQ is about providing jobs and building fisheries-based economies in Alaska.