I recently had the privilege of reading William Suss' eye-opening letter on the scandal of Point Retreat Lighthouse.
(In his My Turn column, Mr. Suss filled his fellow Americans in on the fact that Sen. Ted Stevens is apparently considering transferring the lighthouse, 1,505 acres of land, and $300,000 from federal coffers to the local Alaska Lighthouse Association the organization in charge of Point Retreat Lighthouse restoration.)
Had it not been for his unbiased account of these underhanded dealings, we the people could have been taken for a ride by these unscrupulous lighthouse restorers. Everyone knows that the type of people who spend vast amounts of their own time and money restoring monuments to Alaska's past should be carefully monitored so as to keep the hanky-panky to a minimum. Maybe we should even consider putting together a watchdog group of some kind to keep these ne'er-do-wells in line!
After reading Mr. Suss' expos I am certain that the Alaska Lighthouse Association planned to steal federal lands and money from us taxpayers all along. Sure, it makes perfect sense. Here's how I figure they had it planned out. First, they wade through all the necessary forms and red tape to submit their plans to the federal government for the restoration of Point Retreat Lighthouse as a maritime museum for a lease period of 30 years. Once their plans are approved by the government, they begin their independent restoration of Point Retreat, relying on volunteer labor, their own money, and a few outside donations. And then all they have to do is wait for Ted Stevens, their lapdog, to just give the whole area to them when he comes running with those huge bags of federal cash. It's so simple yet so devious.
Take into account the fact that Mr. Suss hasn't seen but one boat docked at Point Retreat and you can understand why the Lighthouse Association hasn't done hardly any work up there aside from the power washing, repainting, brush clearing, trail blazing, rock moving, pipe laying, cistern cleaning, trash hauling, generator shed building, etc.). Those folks are just plain lazy.
But what I suppose most impresses me about Mr. Suss' work is his selflessness. The amazing amount of restraint it must have taken to display such a well-thought-out and yet neutral account of this injustice, even though his own application was rejected by the same governmental body that gave the nod to the Alaska Lighthouse Association, is a task that is simply above and beyond the call of duty.
We should all be ready to clamp down on any Alaskans who reclaim Alaskan land from the feds, thus depriving us of ... something.