Friends of Mat-Su President Mike Chmielewski is trying to set up a forum at the FoMS annual meeting in March, with both author Nancy Lord and Mat-Su Borough mayor Talis Colberg presenting their sides of the issues surrounding the ongoing public debate on the status of Beluga whales in Cook Inlet and adjacent areas of Alaska.
Nancy Lord has written authoritatively about Belugas, in two books. In a January 25th op-ed in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Mayor Colberg misattributed Lord in this paragraph:
Nancy Lord, in her excellent book “Beluga Days” offers the observations that in 1995 there may have been as many as 1,150 belugas in Cook Inlet. By 1998 the estimate was 350. As Lord and others note, it is not exactly clear if the whales migrate out of the Inlet as other beluga populations or if they, as more recently asserted, constitute a truly local and independent group. If there is, for whatever reason, a magical line in Cook Inlet which belugas do not cross and the group is alone then they appear to be on the same trajectory as the dodo.
Hopefully, we can get this forum/debate to happen (I'm the outgoing Secretary of the FoMS Board, and am not standing for reelection to my seat because my distaste for what Colberg has become since 2006 - he eagerly implemented the most secretive state-level public information policy in recent U.S. history - will stand in the way of what FoMS must do. Sort of why I left my director's podium at the Mat-Su Community Band at the end of the 2006-2007 season. Sometimes, the Valley just plain sucks).
I doubt it will happen, though. As erudite as Talis is (the last time we had a comfortable discussion, he was picking up a book he had ordered from Fireside Books in Palmer on T'ang Dynasty poetry. In Chinese), when it comes to understanding human influence on the environment, and how we can develop our Alaska economy, he's very shallow. He should read this, for instance.
And Talis isn't about to put himself in front of a long Q & A session in front of a group that I helped this person to recently join.
If you want Talis to show up for this,
II. Shannyn Moore interviewed another of my very favorite Alaskans, Vic Fischer, last Thursday in a segment of Moore Up North that aired on KYES TV on Saturday. Shannyn asked Vic about Mike Chennault's bill in the Alaska Legislature to begin having capital punishment in Alaska. Here's the compelling, informative interview: