They just don't get it
Voice of the Tundra
Recently the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General issued a scathing report on the bypass mail service in Alaska. The Inspector General has totally wrong, partially inaccurate and just plain uniformed reasons for eliminating bypass mail. However, the Postal Service Inspector General is not the only entity that just doesn’t get it. The recent media hype over the ice blocked fuel barge got national attention.
Well-meaning folks in the Lower-48 were concerned that pregnant women in Nome would be unable to get to the hospital due to speculated $9 per gallon fuel price. Some folds e-mailed “The Nugget” suggesting we tell folks to close off their north-facing rooms and insulate our homes. Alaskans know one can never have enough insulation. Others, including the USPS suggested that Alaskan build highways to the 80 percent of our communities that are off the road system so we could truck in our fuel. Can you hear the fiscal screams in Juneau and Washington? Sure, we’re going to build a highway over thousands of miles of marsh, tundra, mountain ranges and rivers. Then there are the bridges to build to our island communities, not to mention the National Park Service land and wilderness preserves. Let’s not even think about how we would keep these roads open in the winter. This is Alaska, not Florida.
We are the keepers of the Last Frontier and stewards of a wealth of minerals, petroleum, natural gas, wildlife and enough fish to feed the world. We are a state of strategic importance and we deserve to be provided the mandated USPS Universal Service. Those of us who reside in the 80 percent of Alaska’s off-road communities have our reasons for living here. Our isolation solidifies our sense of community and keeps the road-system crazies off our doorstep. We are strong, self-reliant and resourceful, and we don’t need to be treated like second-class Americans by Washington politicians and bureaucrats.
—Nancy McGuire, “The Nome Nugget”