The State of Alaska Division of Elections has made audio versions of the November 4 ballot measures available in several Alaska Native languages: Central Yup'ik, Siberian Yup'ik, Inupiaq, Koyukon Athabascan and Gwich'in Athabascan. A written translation of the ballot is available in Yup'ik.
A partial judgement in a case against the State found in favor of plaintiffs who alleged that the State has not done enough in the past to provide translations of election information in advance so that voters can understand the issues appearing on the ballott.
As a result of the ruling, the State was required to advise the court of a plan for meeting those informational needs in a more substantive way.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has scheduled online presentations Tuesday and Wednesday, during which agency staff will provide an overview of the Proposed Determination on restrictions at the Pebble deposit area in Bristol Bay.
This event is an additional way of learning more about the document before the public input period ends on September 19.
For full details, visit EPA's Bristol Bay site.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it has received roughly 130,000 public comments on the Proposed Determination it released last month. This is in addition to testimony from nearly 300 people received during recent public meetings in Alaska.
Thousands of comments are coming in through mass-media campaigns run by advocacy groups on both sides of the issue, a trend that EPA is seeing more frequently, especially with social media making it easier for groups to get the word out.
This approach is what pushed the number of comments on EPA's Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment to historic proportions, at more than 1 million.
But according to a public comment tip sheet at regulations.gov, many in the public mistakenly believe that their submitted form letter constitutes a "vote" regarding the issues that concern them:
"Although public support or opposition may help guide important public policies, agencies make determinations for a proposed action based on sound reasoning and scientific evidence, not a majority of votes. A single, well-supported comment may carry more weight than a thousand form letters."
The convenience of supporting a position with the click of a button likely contributes to the popularity of the mass-media campaign.
However, a message that combines convenience with an individual message – either an addition
The public input period is open until 8 p.m. Alaska Time, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.
Check out these resources for more information:
"A single, well-supported comment may carry more weight than a thousand form letters." - "Tips for Submitting Effective Comments" at regulations.gov
The deadline for submitting comments on the EPA's Proposed Determination for restrictions in Bristol Bay is on September 19, 2014.
Questions the EPA has posed to readers:
About Pebble Watch
Pebble Watch is an impartial, educational and fact-based initiative of the BBNC Land Department to disseminate information regarding the proposed Pebble Mine project to BBNC shareholders and interested parties.