What is wrong with introducing and enforcing prohibition? (Part 2)

Prohibition

1. The action of forbidding something, especially by law. •a law or regulation forbidding something.

2. The prevention by law of the manufacture and sale of alcohol, especially in the US between 1920 and 1933.

In the 1920’s through 1933, there was a movement to have “dry” communities, which we know was successful to an extent, despite the fight from saloon owners, alcohol producers, and such like.

When the law was passed, many obeyed. Chicago had an experience where the cops were wearing white gloves because the criminal activities had diminished big time.

That’s history in so many words.

But despite the prohibition, there are still the bootleggers, many elected officials were customers to the bootleggers. And I mean they still are. And of course, the producers and sellers.

Alcohol has been a destructive source to many native communities and of course, the big cities. The need for public safety in the villages predominately had to do with the influence of alcohol.

Millions, even billions have been spent to “fix” the effects of alcohol. The alcohol board provides the license to sell the alcohol, and then the city, or state, or the federal in turn taxes the sale of alcohol to fix the effects of the alcohol that created the problem in the first place by the alcohol.

The court system spends millions to make judgments for the cause and effects of the alcohol usage, because somebody made a decision that it is okay to sell.

An average of daily alcohol related crimes are by survey (not the actual) is 1,370 crimes per day. That’s around 500,000 annually. That’s not including the unreported crimes.

With all that said in a few words, in general, we can bring a question:

Is it PRE-MEDITATED destruction to our society by the breweries, distilleries, and homebrew bootleggers by producing and providing alcohol to children and to adults?

Is it PRE-MEDITATED chaos of our communities by the decision of the council making alcohol legal?

Is it PRE-MEDITATED … assault, pre-meditated… domestic violence, pre-meditated… child abuse, premeditated… rape, etc. by a person drinking the alcohol and acting on the assault, domestic violence, child abuse, rape, etc.

Is it PRE-MEDITATED murder when someone drinks and drives a vehicle and kills someone?

PREMEDITATED means – (of an action, especially a crime) thought out or planned beforehand.

These are serious questions. We know alcohol alters the person’s ability to think and operate when they drink, so with that knowledge, I repeat, with that knowledge, it must be PRE-MEDITATED. The person knows that this is what happens when they drink.

The seller is wanting to make a living, the outcome does not really matter, because their view is that it is the choice of the user. Which is true. But history shows us that love of money is the root of all evil.

PRE-MEDITATED crime is a serious accusation. But in all reality, we are just stating facts.

In closing of this chapter, I repeat the question, what is wrong with introducing and enforcing prohibition. This is not final! Thank you.

Andrew Boyscout

Chevak, AK

Alaska State Parks offers open space to meet COVID challenges

Those looking for a silver lining in the “summer of COVID” might find one in a variation on the old “good news/bad news” story. The bad news is, the tourist industry shutdown has kept most visitors away during our peak outdoor recreation season. The good news is that Alaskans have had the whole place to ourselves!

Many Alaskans finding themselves isolated, indoors, or unable to travel this year have found welcome relief in heading outdoors for safe, socially distant recreation in our great outdoors. They’ve been fortunate to discover, or rediscover, the common treasure we have in Alaska State Parks.

Alaska State Parks is a division of the Department of Natural Resources also known as the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. As stated by those who created the system 50 years ago, our mission is “to provide outdoor recreation opportunities and conserve and interpret natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people.”

Our 122 employees manage the nation’s largest state park system, which includes the nation’s biggest single state park (Wood-Tikchik State Park in Southwest Alaska); Denali State Park (which borders and complements the U.S. Park Service’s Denali National Park and Preserve); Chugach State Park (Anchorage’s backyard playground) and many smaller but no less-loved parks in every corner of the state. It encompasses hundreds of miles of trails, scores of campgrounds, boat launches and river boardwalks, and many other elements that make Alaska accessible to all.

This system has faced many challenges this year, some originating in COVID-19 and associated impacts, others rooted in ongoing longer-term issues such as earthquakes, flooding, coastal erosion, bark beetle infestation and excessive wildland fires. The division has also responded to the state’s fiscal challenges, by reducing its operating budget by 10 percent and enhancing revenues over the last five years to stabilize our finances.

As an agency that directly serves Alaskans, Alaska State Parks works hard to seek out, listen for and respond to suggestions and criticism, and works hard to be transparent about our challenges and how we strive to meet them.

The pandemic has disrupted life for many, and Alaska State Parks is no exception. The summer’s combination of more visitors and fewer staff has led some to some people experiencing limited or unavailable space at popular campgrounds, higher traffic on trails, or short-term overflowing of bathroom facilities and dumpsters.

Some on editorial pages or social media have recently complained that not every state park unit is in prime condition. A few have even insinuated that we’ve neglected remote spots favored by Alaskans in favor of others oriented toward commercial tourists. We have also heard thanks for quickly reopening some parks after removing beetle-killed tree hazards, and for opening others we feared might have to stay closed all summer.

When it comes to campground operations, we’ve faced national travel restrictions that kept away the visiting campground hosts and temporary workers who typically help us manage and monitor our parks each summer. We have responded by prioritizing the most popular sites, imposing temporary closures on others, and enlisting much-appreciated help from willing volunteers.

While it may have been easy in the past to blame “those darn Outsiders,” this summer’s shown that sometimes those abusing or trashing our parks are Alaskans themselves. We invite all who love our parks to help maintain them, either by joining organized volunteer maintenance and cleanup crews, or just carrying trash bags and picking up trash – including pet waste – while hiking or camping.

When it comes to maintaining park facilities, Alaska State Parks has for years tracked what’s become significant backlog of deferred maintenance needs, mostly attributable to aging infrastructure, years of constrained budgets and ever-increasing use. We’ve responded by prioritizing the most significant public health and safety issues, e.g. clean toilets, safe water and critical maintenance. We’ve also been creative in soliciting federal agencies, philanthropic organizations and volunteers for the money, resources and manpower necessary to provide park services at the highest level possible.

Park management has also reached out to both established and emerging user groups, to help us integrate their thoughts and concerns into our short- and long-term management plans through full public processes. And we have been brainstorming to seek innovative ways to help all Alaskans who benefit from parks, whether directly and indirectly, share the responsibility for supporting them.

Ask any Alaskan why they’re here, and one of their top reasons is probably the chance to live and play in our beautiful, clean natural environment. We at Alaska State Parks share this love for outdoor recreation; many of us have made it our life’s work. Our team will continue to work with the resources available to meet COVID-19 and all other challenges, and manage our parks for the use, enjoyment and welfare of all Alaskans.

Ricky Gease, Director

Alaska State Parks

Example: 9075434113

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