To the editor:

We bought property in Chickaloon 27 years ago and built a house. We raised our kids here and they planned to stay themselves.

Since the subdivision we live in was here long before we came and land had been subdivided elsewhere in Chickaloon, one could conclude that the state of Alaska believed it was suitable for a community to be established and people to live here permanently. That suggests to me that the state, or its entities, would not take any future actions that could endanger the lifestyles, health and small businesses that were encouraged to exist here.

My expectation of all government entities is that my welfare and that of my neighbors, as well as our children, will be the first priority when deciding whether or not mining or other such disruptive and potentially damaging enterprises wish to establish themselves in the midst of our communities, to our detriment. This state has, after all, encouraged our communities to develop here.

I consider this a breach of promise, bringing harm to myself and my neighbors through the well-recorded end results of coal mining to enrich foreign companies, that will then sell our resources to other foreign companies, is adding insult to injury.

I am left to wonder how Mental Health Land Trust rationalizes disrupting communities and lives as a reasonable trade for more money to (ostensibly) aid the mentally ill. The kind of distress and heartbreak this will cause for many of us is creating more mental stress, not resolving it, as I believed their primary purpose to be.

Please don’t tell me coal was here before us. Coal is not a person, and this exact argument was quickly discarded by the powers  that were when Native Americans had similar, and certainly more incontrovertible, reasons to make it. That sort of hypocrisy doesn’t play, and holding out the carrot of a few jobs that will most likely go to other people outside our community at the expense of our well being, not to mention our small businesses, doesn’t either.

Donna Braendel


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