Wrangell Sentinel -


Letters to the Editor


To the Editor:

I have been an electrician for over 30 years in the lower 48. I have also been a witness in the decline of America, by experts. Some of these experts claimed that ENRON was too big to fail. Others thought it was a good idea to ignore Bernie Madoff’s claims of near instant wealth, just trust your money to him.

Now we have SEAPA, an organization of experts (just wait they will tell you), trying to save you money. Let me tell you how they intend to do this. $500,000 of employment from this community gone. Ignoring OSHA laws like 1910.146 confined space entry and others. Ignoring state laws, some of which are 8 AAC 90.160 certificate of fitness for operators at power plant. The experts don’t know that a person needs this to work in a power generation plant that serves over 2,500 people, here in Alaska. They also want to ignore the contract with the IBEW Local 1547 a group of people certified and educated enough to keep your lights on safely and reliably.

SEAPA also wants to ignore the NEC, saying it’s not law. This is where they are correct, (got to give the expert at least one correct answer). The NEC is not law, it is Federal established practice. This means that you can take your hair dryer to Florida, dry your hair with it after the pool, by just plugging it into a receptacle. Our electric system is exactly the same from sea to shining sea.

The part of the NEC that speaks to SEAPA and is the thorn in their side is, Annex H (Administration) 80.13 – 80.13.5. This section speaks of the structure of a governing body for a utility. Paraphrasing in part that the people that make up this governing body shall come from a division of people, that through their professional experiences, common sense, and education will be diverse enough to prohibit salacious or erroneous acts.

This common practice has not been met by SEAPA; they are far too unified in their want. They want control, their offices, cars, houses, and big paychecks. They threaten higher electric rates unless you sacrifice your control to them, your jobs to them. Let’s save money, rid ourselves of the experts, keep our utilities in our hands, if we can’t do that we only have ourselves to blame.

In conclusion some observations: When a person feels the compulsion to tell you they are an expert they are misleading you, especially if they repeat the statement.

Kipha Valvoda


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