Mines aren't models

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2005

In response to Jerry Madden's recent letter in the Empire, "a week ago Coeur Alaska spilled contaminants near the Kensington Mine. According to the Empire article that reported on the accident, this is Coeur's third spill since construction of the mine began in early July."

My priority is our clean bill of health. Many of our relatives who worked in the early days in Juneau mines were not so fortunate. They had nobody to support them and make sure they lived in a clean and safe environment.

We need to make our environment clean and healthy for our future children's children. We believe that you leave behind a legacy of whom you are and where you come from.

I want to leave a legacy for my children's children that Berners Bay remains pristine and enjoyable. It belongs to them, not the Coeur Mining or our local government. Berners Bay was and still is a "traditional" way of life for many of us who respect the land, waters, air, fish and foul inhabitants.

From the past history of mining, there is a 100 percent guarantee of spillage. Nothing is by accident. It happens.

No matter what Coeur Alaska says, I go by action, not by words. Words are cheap. You can say anything, but the outcome is the results.

I know that mining dumping will cause us to be sick from eating our own fish. This is not the legacy I want to leave behind with my children's children.

Juneau's was a mining town. We had families that lived and work the mine, so this is not new. Don't treat it as if we never had mining in this town.

We know the politics of what mining companies say and do. Let's be honest. When was the last time you saw a mining company keep a promise? Or should I say when was the last time you saw a mining company be a role model of keeping the waters, rivers, fishing grounds and air clean? Let's not forget the health and welfare of ourselves and our children who live here. I am selfish for good reasons; this one is a good thing.

Leimomi Matunding


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