Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Seward's Gem Jewell's Folly

     If you grew up in Alaska when it was a territory and your father was a pioneer there of 50 years and buried in Petersburg, roots and attachment to the state run deep. Very upset to the article about the Department of Interior's refusal to allow a meager gravel trail from King Cove, year round fishing village of less than a 1,000 hardy souls, almost a majority of which are Aleuts, to Cold Bay so when King Cove is fogged in (some 100 or so days a year) in a medical emergency that person can be taken to an all weather airport at Cold Bay and flown out for life-saving treatment. Weighing the needs of humans against wildlife including caribou (who if the Department of Interior had any sense to know were not damaged by the construction of the TAPS Access Road which hauled tons of construction material and supplies needed to build an almost 1000 mile pipeline).
      Sally Jewell may have run REI and spent time in the outdoors but when it comes to who is a better steward of the environment, my money is on the Alaskans, especially the Aleuts.  Here is a link to the article that spawned my poem below. Small gravel trail, only an isolated 1000 Alaskans, but so typical of the Department of the Interior in particular and federal bureaucracy in general.  Just another terminal cancer affecting our economic way of life which will be in full EPA killing mode as the Keystone XL debate gears up. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/26/fed-government-to-alaskans-road-animals/
Seward's Gem Jewell's Folly
The reason Alaska was so eager to its orphan territory status leave
Was due in large part to the plantation mentality of DC its hardy souls wished to relieve
An absent, uncaring bunch of bureaucrats that had not the sense to come in out of the cold
But so quick to 4,000 miles away with edicts and regs to Alaskan way of life remold
No wonder the small number of pioneers fighting Mother Nature tooth and nail
Pursued the goal of end to territory status like Sir Gwain after the Holy Grail
After years of struggle but in a time where unlike now the color of a Senate seat
Might have doomed a Red leaning Alaska to a statehood defeat
The 49th star but burdened by the ownership of too much land by the Feds
At least as a state not a territory a chance to move forward, to move ahead
One would have thought with Alaska-like storms hitting D.C. again and again
Flights delayed, schools closed, roads in shambles, even Congress coming to an end
That a sense of understanding of the storm isolation even Alaskans will dread
Might free the Department of Interior from being chained to the environmentalists’ bed
King Cove is a village of almost a 1,000, in the Aleutian isles,
Trying for years to get Fed approval for a  one gravel trail of but 11 miles
To get to an all weather airport at Cold Bay when fog and snow blot out the sky
If you’re sick or injured and need medical help and must fly
If you cannot get to Cold Bay’s airport you will die
No trail, no road, fog bound, weather bound like going to the moon without a Saturn try
Not a subway at millions a mile or a car clogged four lane freeway of concrete
Why would the Interior Department all King Cove’s efforts defeat?
Sally Jewel, a naturalized Brit and Obama contributor, is the Department of Interior head
In a balance between wildlife and human life in her callous mind, guess who comes out ahead?
If you guessed grizzly, caribou or Pacific black brant, you win the prize
Sally Jewell listened to the animals only; she should be despised
She could not care less if some sick or injured Aleut fogged in, up and dies
Here is an idea that should come to this “Jewell” as a great surprise
Right now the only Jewells needed to be saved in the Blues’ Senate crown
Are seats, for Reid cannot suffer any Blue Senator being taken down
Jewell’s callousness and ego of the Feds for Alaska they always know best
Here is a way for Reid’s oppressive tenure as Majority Leader to arrest
Obama’s Jewell is what’s wrong with Interior and should back to REI be sent back
Begich is a Blue; regardless of his occasional Obama attacks
Post the faces or the names of the 20 Alaskans who fogged in with no road to Cold Bay
Could not fly out to care and did not live to see another day
Maybe a scale of named tombstones of the 20 on one side high in the air
On the ground, a black brant in nest far away, caribou next to TAPs, a Grizzly in his lair
What is happening to King Cove could happen to Craig, Niknet, Skagway, Port Lay
Or any other town or village against their wishes pushed into Interior’s harm way
Make the gravel trail an issue against Begich and the need to prevent another Aleut fogged in death
Reid, sensing a loss, will pounce on Jewell and Obama before you could take a second breath
If Begich somehow claims the credit and manages to avoid being thoroughly defeated
Lives saved in the future are true jewels so precious even if a Blue is not unseated.
If not, then Begich will become the Blues’ poster child
A Blue victim of federal bureaucracy unchecked, running wild.
© March 4, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet


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