Uncategorized

Michelle Putz promises to "put ideas into action"

SITKA, ALASKA

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Putz and her husband, Perry Edwards, have lived in Sitka for only five years, but it seems longer.

           

The couple works for the Forest Service, but that apparently is just a day job in a community ripe with opportunity for people willing to lend a hand.

 

“Perry and I both volunteer here at Raven Radio during the fund drives. I volunteered at the Raptor Center doing raptor rehab for a while. Was mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters for a year. And then as far as the Sitka Global Warming Group, I’ve been leading that group for the last two-and-a-half years. It was around before we came and before I started. We wanted to make it an active group, actually taking action instead of just feeling bad about something. My slogan is ‘Michelle puts…’ (because that’s how you say it, like a verb) ‘Michelle puts ideas into action.’ If someone were to ask me about that I’d point to my electric car, to the Green Business Awards that we did in 2010 and plan to do again next year. I’d point to the Climate Action Plan that I worked on as a volunteer leader. I try to get stuff done, whether it’s my personal life or work. A lot of times at work when they want something done they ask me to help.”

 

Putz has been both active and visible in the Sitka Global Warming Group. She paid around $4,000 to convert her Geo Metro from gas to electric. It’s the one in the 4th of July Parade painted as a snow leopard.

           

Putz was born outside of Chicago, and attended Ohio State University, where she earned a degree in Wildlife Biology.

           

She’s now a writer/editor for the Sitka Ranger District. She and her husband turned down positions in South Lake Tahoe to come to Sitka. She likes the town’s sense of community, and she believes the principles she’s cultivated as a volunteer and activist will translate well to assembly policy.

 

“I think everything relates to sustainability in town. We need to be looking at jobs that are sustainable. What does Sitka need? What do Sitkans need? What kinds of jobs could we bring here that would not require us to ship a lot of stuff in and ship a lot of stuff out? I think education’s a great sort of job to bring here because you bring people and you teach them something they can share with others. The internet’s going to be important for finding jobs here. I attend a lot of meetings in town and know what’s important, and I think I’m ready to take those issues on with an overall look: What can we do to make the whole town better with whatever choices we make?”

 

Putz believes that some choices should be left to the community. She doesn’t think the assembly needs to be beaten down by both sides of an issue, like whether to build a multi-purpose dock at Sawmill Cove. However, she is wary of taking Sitka too far in the direction of Juneau and Skagway when it comes to cruise ships.

 

“I think of cruise ship tourism – and all tourism – as the icing on the cake. The town of Sitka, the people, and some of the folks around in the region are the cake. You can have a lot of icing, you can have a little. You can live without it – but you don’t want to. You want that nice buttercream frosting. So, we need to encourage it, but we also need to realize that it may not be the best thing to base a lot of our economy on because we can’t control it as well as we’d like. If you can control it, you can make it a base. So icing, not cake.”

 

Putz says “renewable energy” is the business Southeast Alaska is in. She supports moving ahead on the Takatz Lake hydro project and the Southeast electrical intertie. She says she looks forward to the day when she can sell a kilowatt of power off her home’s solar panels “to Canada, or maybe Texas.”

           

Putz is vying for a three-year assembly term against incumbent Jack Ozment, former two-term assembly member Thor Christianson, and fellow political newcomer Terry Blake. Voters will fill two assembly seats during the municipal election on October 5th.

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Raven Radio plans to broadcast profiles of all the municipal candidates in the next few weeks.
© Copyright 1970, Raven Radio Foundation Inc.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Santa gig ‘a calling’ for Sitka’s librarian

Robb Farmer, as Santa, listens to a Christmas wish from his wife, Kathy.
Sitka library director Robb Farmer leads a double-life: By day a librarian, by night a trained Santa Claus. Farmer discusses his decision to attend Santa School, and his life over the last year assisting the real Santa Claus with his public appearances. Farmer is a 2005 graduate of the Charles W. Howard Santa School. Downloadable audio. more

Violinist headlines Sitka JazzFest! Feb 5 – 7

Jazz violinist Mads Toling is among the headliners at the 2015 Sitka JazzFest!
Sitka JazzFest! director Mike Kernin says this year's festival will feature Grammy-winning violinist Mads Toling, among its headliners. Also trumpeter Kenny Washington, vocalist Kenny Washington, and the Dewayne Pate trio. For a complete rundown of artists and performances, visit Sitka JazzFest! Downloadable audio. more