Williams a gentleman

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001

I thank Paulette Simpson for her comments on my "My Turn" criticizing Mr. Lew Williams of Ketchikan for his stance on developing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She said I was doing a great disservice to Juneau by personally attacking Mr. Williams. I thought about it, so on Aug. 9 I phoned Mr. Williams. He was very kind. He said he'd been in this business since 1946 and had a thick skin: "Don't worry about it," he told me.

I told him I never meant to be personal, but was responding to his belief that people belong to environmental groups to raise money. He said that's what he really believes; I told him that is pretty fascinating to me. He said that when he writes he puts it up for a week or two and then revisits so it's not personal. I thought it was good advice. We were both glad we live in a country where we can talk to each other and post our opinions.

Whether or not my accomplishments ever approach Mr. Williams', I aspire to always have the same cordiality and respect Mr. Williams showed me on the phone.

Richard Steele


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