Junkyard debate
by Ed Davis/Fairbanks
Oct 27, 2009 | 2351 views | 21 21 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In 2005, during the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly junkyard ordinance debate, I realized my home was potentially a “junkyard,” because of occasional stockpiles of building materials, two unused (but operating) vehicles and trailers for a snowmachine and a boat. Subsequently, I testified against any borough rule that would deem a residence like mine non-compliant.

According the News-Miner, Tammie Wilson claims the 2005 borough junkyard debate launched her political career. She expressed concern that the proposed junkyard rules would make her a violator, and infringe on her private property rights. During these borough meetings, Mrs. Wilson and I were political allies.

However, after visiting Mrs. Wilson’s campaign address and her Web site, I no longer support her interpretation of “private property rights.” Mrs. Wilson’s campaign plank extends far beyond what I view as reasonable.

I believe my private property rights allow me to build or store things on my land in a manner that does not undermine the value of my neighbors’ property or detract from the character of my neighborhood.

Would you welcome Mrs. Wilson as your neighbor if she relocated her campaign “headquarters” (and its “junkyard”) next door? Check out the following Web sites.

http://www.tammiewilson.org/issues.php , lists 889 Esro Road as Mrs. Wilson’s campaign address, and prominently proclaims that “I support the right of private property owners to utilize their land as they see fit without additional municipal regulations.”

• Google Earth, Google Maps and the Borough property assessor’s Web site provide satellite images from 2007 showing that Mrs. Wilson’s campaign “headquarters” had about 10 or 15 junk vehicles. On these Web sites search for “889 Esro Rd, Fairbanks, Alaska.”

• An Oct. 15, 2009, aerial photo shows Mrs. Wilson has greatly expanded her junkyard. It has at least 40 vehicles, along with numerous objects typical of junkyards. See http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/28251982.jpg. Should Mrs. Wilson’s monument to “private property rights” be cloned and dispersed throughout Fairbanks’ neighborhoods? You decide, then vote Tuesday.

Comments
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fairbanksvoter
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October 30, 2009


MIKE PRAX

LOOK WHAT CRAWLED OUT OF THE WOODPILE. MIKE PRAX WAS ONE OF THOSE ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO ATTENDED A SECRET MEETING WITH BONNIE WILLIAMS AND RICK SOLIE.

ILLEGAL MEETINGS ARE A SERIOUS VIOLATION OF PUBLIC TRUST. ISN'T IT INTERESTING THAT ONE WITH A SHADY PAST HAS ENDORSED ANOTHER PERSON WITH A SHADY PAST?

Mike Prax
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October 30, 2009
Mr. Burlington,

The author of the letter states that the photograph was taken on October 15th, 2009. This is 12 days after the result of the general election determined that Ms. Wilson would face Mr. Hopkins in a run-off election for the office of borough mayor.

The lack of foliage on the trees, the length of the shadows and their orientation to the road as well as the meteorological conditions prevalent at this time seem to confirm the author's statement.



We don't know the original motivation for taking that photograph, or for that matter, who took it or how the author acquired it. The author happens to be an acquaintance of mine, whom I still respect. His action is out of character, because I know that he is concerned about government encroaching on individual rights in is respectful toward his fellow human beings. As I recall, he did in fact offer testimony about the proposed junkyard ordinance that indicated that he and Ms. Wilson were aligned on the issue at that time.

Upon reflecting, I wish that I had waited a couple of hours to calm down before submitting my initial post because of the way that I phrased that post. I wouldn't be surprised if his association with others involved in the Democrat Party and with Mr. Hopkin's campaign caused him to get a little 'over zealous' and make a poor decision. I can certainly understand that happening.

Never the less, a personal attack of this nature is inappropriate, even in the context of this slime pit that the News Miner operates for the amusement of people with too much time on their hands. Going out of one's way to take an aerial photo of another's personal property or even accepting a photo taken for a different purpose and using it in this matter is a serious invasion of privacy. That - not one's opinion of what constitutes a 'junk-yard' - is the issue.

We really can't discern what is going on at that property from the photo, but even if we assume that it is a junk-yard, it appears from the photo that it is being operated in compliance with established borough codes. Even if it isn't within compliance, whatever appears to be going on doesn't appear to be harming anyone, and we're not aware of any complaints lodged against the owner, and even if there was a complaint lodged, 'it isn't any of my business', so there doesn't seem to be a valid reason to attract public attention to it other than to disparage their reputation and is therefore an abuse of our freedom to speak.

I'm glad that there's a 'spell-checker' on this site that allows us to correct those errors before submitting a post. I wish someone would develop a 'decorum checker' to help those of us who are too intimately involved in political campaigns.

I also hope that we will heed the admonition to 'prevent those who seek power from actually attaining' by voting for the candidate who is inclined to defend individual rights against collectivist encroachment. That candidate would be Tammie Wilson.

ALASKASTAR
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October 29, 2009
Tammie is so awesome! She seems like she should be family or something. You just know she would never thumb down her nose at you if you're poor or ugly or stupid. Which I'm not so I don't have those worries, but my house does get a bit messy from all the shopping I do.
PMcGraw
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October 29, 2009
This is precisely why I will vote for Tammie Wilson. As more people move North and would like Fairbanks to become more regulated the more we need to oppose them. Given the choice of an East Coast liberal and albeit new Alaskan the choice seems clear.

Pat
allhaileris
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October 29, 2009
Mr. Ed Davis/Fairbanks, the writer, is an Alyeska pipeline engineer, Democratic Committee member, and Ester dweller.

http://images.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?28932560358

http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/committees/fairbanks-versus-the-congressman-for-all-alaska-456293.asp?cycle=08

He gave more than $5000 last year to Democratic party candidates and causes. I'm sure there's more if one were to dig. All this serves to make Ed Davis' letter a lie, and him a liar...like he ever supported Wilson on anything...
diogenesFBKS
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October 28, 2009
Mike said:

"The very fact that proponents of government control are using Google earth to monitor citizens indicates the urgency of electing a mayor who wants less government control. Your vote for Tammie Wilson is important to stop government intrusion."

Another exhibit of a poor decision by the FDNM to destroy all the old accounts and make everyone register a new one resulting naturally in unforeseen collateral damage.

Some one has it in for Prax and is making him look foolish. How anyone could stop any entity or party from using Google without nationalizing the company and putting a stop to their satellite imagages or forbidding the use of their product is beyond me. It would be tyranny at it highest.

Mike, I would contact the FDNM asap and demand they remove this poseur's account.



TurkBurlington
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October 28, 2009
Proficient with widely available technology does not a proponent of big government control make.

Nice dodge though, Mike. Attempt, at least - sidestepping facts in a hotly contested campaign can be almost as hard as avoiding tetanus in a rusting hulk strewn front yard junkyard, no?

In the end, Mike, its not her pervasive uncleanliness that's offensive, it's her blatant self-serving hypocrisy. "Junkyards shouldn't be regulated" - well, of course not, she's a junker. "Nix property taxes" - starting with hers, obviously. "Cut wasteful Gub-ment expenses" - except HER pay check and, oh yes, she wants a raise. "Fire all the unprofessional, inefficient gub-ment sponge-types" - accept the only one on the entire staff we now have concret proof to wholly unprofessional, ineffectual, less that forthright: Her.

On and on and on.

Yes, Mike, I know you're supporting her 'cause you think, know, she's gonna be lookin' out for you and yours - hell, gonna hire you. But that's a bit selfish, isn't it Mike - stickin' it to the other 99,998 of us in the Borough so you and Tammie can look out for each other.

I always considered you more civic-minded than that, Mike...
Mike Prax
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October 28, 2009
The very fact that proponents of government control are using google earth to monitor citizens indicates the urgency of electing a mayor who wants less government control. Your vote for Tammie Wilson is important to stop government intrusion.

Mike
hrdharry
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October 28, 2009
Alot of people move to Alaska to get away from people who write letters like this one. I wonder if hes from California?
Theabowman
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October 28, 2009
Oh that is great! Have a junkyard, rent it to your kids and call yourself a property manager!

It sounds like her neighbors are not too happy. Interestingly,she voted against allowing the Dog's Bar to move to CHSR--I guess that one was a little too close to home for her and she listened to the adjacent landowners--she should listen to her neighbors and clear out the junk. Esro Rd is a nice residential area--not an area for a 40 hulk junkyard
akchic
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October 28, 2009
Just to clarify from comments below:

I live down the road from the junk yard. She does not reside there, her children do. Not sure if this is the rental place she refers to. If so, she rents to her kids.

Ms. Wilson didn't get my vote the first time around and she won't be getting it the second.

Go Luke!
dukit22
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October 28, 2009
Thank you. THANK you. THANK YOU.

Finally, someone else did their homework.

A Vote for Wilson = a vote for junkyards. Gross
anonymous
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October 28, 2009
Americaisgreat123
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October 28, 2009
How is whether Wilson has junk in her yard or not, an issue?

I'd rather have a mayor with a junkyard than a mayor like Luke Hopkins that implements a bag tax and a sales tax.
Fairbanksgas
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October 28, 2009
It looks like the left is getting pretty scared of loosing based upon their name calling and distraction from the real issues. I could care less if Tammie has a few extra vehicles on her property, that used be sign that you were a true Alaskan Sourdough. What I do care about is that Tammie will not be thinking of new ways for the borough to intrude upon my life and more importantly my money. She will limit the growth of this second class borough. I can not say the same for Luke 'Bag Tax' Hopkins.
AlaskaO
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October 28, 2009
Her place on ESSRO Rd. is a junk yard. I live just up the road from there and we had a neighbor with several junked cars in the yard, since they were renting all of us on the road called the owners who live out of state and eventually got them evicted. Junkyards have their place but not in residential areas.
Americaisgreat123
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October 28, 2009
Why is the News Miner publishing this level of spam? How creepy is it that this guy is going around trying to spy on people's address?

FYI, I think she's a North Pole resident. I'm not sure she lives at that Fairbanks address. Either way, I don't see why it matters. You can call her a "junkyard hillbilly" like a liberal without class, but unlike Luke Hopkins, she actually has a college degree!
TheBigDipper
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October 28, 2009
I've just finished reading about a half a dozen comments by downgoestammie. Where is the substance? Why should someone vote for Hopkins? Is name calling and tossing insults your idea of politics?

Many of the letter writers over the past couple of weeks have said that Mr. Hopkins' vast experience, both as a local resident and also as someone involved in local government, is the reason that you will vote for him. Is that your consistent measure of a candidate? Is that why you voted for John McCain, Ted Stevens, and Don Young last year? Or is longevity and experience only valuable for some candidates, namely liberals?

What will each candidate do if elected? Expand the budget, or reduce it? Restrict property rights, or allow people to use their own property? Kowtow to environmentalists, or take a stand against their authoritarianism? Those questions are more important than income and lifestyle.
Navin
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October 28, 2009
It just so happens that I am familiar with the property on Essro road. I bought a rare WWII military vehicle from the former owner a few years before the Wilsons bought the property. The knee-jerk anti-junkyard people try to paint all properties as the same and all cars as the same. That was the problem with the broad-brush zoning laws. A rural area is diffrent than a close-in residential subdivision. The Hopkins gang of simplistic thinkers doesn't appreciate differences, doesn't understand different lifestyles, and certainly wouldn't recognize a valuable antique car. To them, we should all be under the thumb of monolithic laws and regulations. All the more reason to vote for Tammie Wilson.
jbailey_justlee
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October 27, 2009
wow what a great reason to vote for wilson.

i come from the states and i really dislike having to get permission from the person across the street from me to be able to cut down a bush or even paint my house.

while living in oregon i was told i could not paint my house brown. they gave me a choice blue and with white trim or white and blue trim. so if she is going to block this kind of stuff i will vote for her.
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