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I read Rob Skinner's recent My Turn (Aug. 17 Empire) with a bit of confusion and dismay regarding his attacks on Frankie Pillifant. As her supervisor at the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development, Division of Community and Business Development, his description does not fit the minerals development specialist I know. I wondered if there could be more than one Frankie!
Frankie's job is very pro-business as she actively works to encourage mineral development in Alaska, to grow the Alaska economy, and increase jobs and income for Alaskans. She is also quite effective in her work. It is my perception, however, that Frankie does not believe that development should occur at all costs that it should be environmentally sound, consistent with local values, and receive open public discussion and involvement. Now there may be people who disagree with that approach to development. But I think that Frankie is actually in good company in her beliefs. The last research I saw indicated that about 85 percent of Americans hold similar beliefs.
Ginny Fay, economist
Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development,
Division of Business Development