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June 16, 1978 - Image 14

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-06-16

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Page 14-Friday, June16, 1978-The Michigan Doily
Alaskans debate huge land sale
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - There's a largest state, more than twice as big as tracts would depend on the porations were set up to handle mon
debate raging in Alaska over a proposal Texas and 483 times the size of Rhode homesteader's length of residence in and land given Eskimos, Indians a
to give homesteaders 30'nillion acres of Island - less than one per cent of its Alaska. But opponents fear such Aleuts under the 1971 Alaska Nat
state-owned land - an area as large as land is in private hands. requirements could be knocked down in Claims Settlement Act.
Switzerland and Austria combined. the courts, opening the land to outsiders
With the Alaskan legislative session THAT'S WHY it took less than a mon- and speculators. STATE OFFICIALS say Beirn
expected to end by next week without th for Rep. Mike Beirne and his suppor- Gov. Jay Hammond, a homesteader initiative would mean an invasion
the representatives taking action to ters to gain twice as many signatures 20 years ago under a now-defunct Alaska's virgin wilderness by a swa
block or alter the initiative, it likely will as they needed to put to a vote the plan federal program, said the measure of speculators trampling on the tund
be on the ballot in November, allowing to give away the land in 20- to 160-acre could set off a land grab "that would Republican State Sen. Joe Orsini sa
land-hungry Alaskans their say. tracts. make the Oklahoma land-rush look like "I can see literally millions of peo
Despite Alaska's size - it's the Under the initiative, the size of the a Sunday school picnic." flocking up to get a hunk of that lane
can just picture the airplanes warm
THE PROPONENT Bierne says, up all over Alaska."
"This is the people's land and the state
merely holds this land in trust for the Robert LeResche, state natu
people. If we can't get the land through resources commissioner, conce
the governor and the Legislature, then Alaskans are frustrated over delay
we'll take it through the ballot process. land distribution. But he says the B
It's ours and by God, we want it." ne measure would be like "dividing
Beirne, an Anchorage Republican the state treasury among the stat
and a physician, also says the initiative residents.
will help stop the state's "drift toward
His backers compare the proposal to The land involved is conservativ
Californians' voting earlier this month estimated to be worth several bill
to cut property taxes. They say Califor- dollars. Developers say accessible la
nians saw a state budget surplus and sold in large blocks for residen
wondered why taxes were so high; development runs up to $3,000 an a
Alaskans see vast government-owned near Anchorage.
lands and ask, "Where's ours?"
In the 1880s, the opening of t
NINE TEEN years have passed since million acres attracted thousands
Alaska won statehood and a promised homesteaders to the Oklaho
settlement in which the state was to Territory. Backers of the Hei
receive 103 million acres of Alaska's initiative say that won't happen here.
total land area of 375 million acres.
So far the U.S. government has gran-
* ted the state two million acres. Only 1.1 - --
million acres, or .3 per cent of the state,
is in private ownership. Alaska's About one of every five state leg
AP Photo population is the smallest of any state, lators in the United States is
W hat's in a nam e? about 400,000 people, about half of attorney, and one out of every 20 is
whom live around Anchorage. the insurance business, according
Perhaps a haircut is a gamble at this Caesar's Palace in South Orange, New The U.S. owns 58.5 per cent of Alaska, a profile of state legislators compil
Jersey. But Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada isn't interested in cutting hair. the state 29 per cent and Alaska Native by the Insurance Information Ins
Shop owner Caesar Crimi is being sued by the Nevada establishment in an attempt Corporations 12 per cent. The cor- tute.
to make him change his shop's name.

d. I
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Open Friday 'tii 7:00
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Open Mon 8 Fri Nites 'til 8:30

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) - A
bloody gunbattle by students did not
deter preparations yesterday for a
historic visit by President Carter to
sign the Panama Canal treaties.
Heads of state from Mexico,
Venequela, Colombia, Costa Rica and
Jamaica will attend the signing today,
then join Carter later in a Central
American summit. More meetings
were set for Saturday. The topics were
not disclosed.
All indications were that the visit
would go ahead as planned despite
previous street demonstrations by
students opposing Carter's visit.
One White House official, who asked

precede Cc
not to be named, said calm was expec-
ted, and Pentagon spokesman Thomas
B. Ross said while the situation is being
watched "closely," troops in the Canal
Zone have not been placed on alert.
AT LEAST ONE student was killed
and nine others were wounded Wed-
nesday in a 3-hour battle at the Univer-
sity of Panama campus, authorities
said. The site was less than two blocks
from the hotel where Carter is to stay.
The newspaper La Estrella reported
three students were killed, but the
higher number could not be confirmed.
The university grounds were not en-
tered by armed troops in accordance

CALL 995-0232
Open from l ia.m. to 1 a.m.
FREEDEtLVERY from 4:30 p.m.
.r .n :.. . - _ . a

irter visit
with Latin American tradition, which
holds they are off-limits to the military.
But they did put a heavy cordon
around the hotel El Panama where Car-
ter and the other chiefs of state are
An opposition leader claimed the
National Guard removed 15 demon-
strators from a Catholic church near
the hotel late Wednesday, but it could
not be confirmed.
Royo announced on nationwide radio
yesterday that the university would be
closed indefinitely.
Witnesses said students favoring the
government of Brig. Gen. Omar
Torrijos broke into a meeting of leftist
students opposed to the Carter visit and
to the canal treaties, and gunfire erup-
Students and opposition groups claim
the canal treaties should be put to
Panama voters again because of
amendments made by the U.S. Senate.
Draft documents were approved in a
plebiscite here last year before the
Senate started debate on the treaties,
but the opposition is angry about the
wait until the year 2000 and over a
clause which allows Ameria to inter-
vene, if necessary, to keep the canal
Carter is to spend tonight at the hotel
after addressing a public rally in the
tity's Fifth 'df May 'Plaka. Torrijos,
Panama's rulesirsce 19Uinvited. the
nation's 1.8 million residents to attend.


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