Wednesday, April 11, 2007

To Coin a Phrase or Quarter Comments

Sorry I've been so long in posting. My "alphabetical headache" turned into the real thing the last day of training. I came down with an ugly case of the creeping crud and haven't felt like doing much of anything except enduring my work days.

We Alaskans have an opportunity to comment on the design of the new Alaska Commemorative Quarter which will apparently go into circulation next year. We have four designs to choose from, and having sent my comments to the Alaskan Commemorative Coin Commission, I decided there is no reason to be shy, so I'll share them with you as well.

The picture below shows our choices:

My choice is the second in the row, "AK-2", and not just because it depicts a dog musher. I like the image because it reflects our honor and respect for cultural activities that are uniquely Alaskan. It's an "old school" image with the "new age" motto of "North to the Future", which in my mind acknowledges the fact that the future of American domestic energy and natural resources lies right up here with us. I also like that the image depicts both human and natural elements and depicts the human interacting with nature in a positive and enjoyable manner.

To my eye "AK-1" just sucks. Polar bears are found in such a tiny portion of Alaska that the coin seems to exclude much of the State. It just doesn't seem to represent much of what makes Alaska so unique in the world. AK-3 with the grizzly bear just seems rather cliche' to me. Neither of these two coins show a human element, and I really think that the spirit of Alaska involves humans just as much as it involves nature. AK-4, with the prospector, seems dated to my eye. Although it may reflect how Alaska once was, that time is past and it will never be again.

Of course that's only my opinion, and if I combine my opinion with four or those shiny new quarters I'll have enough to buy a cup of coffee or make a telephone call. Nonetheless, according to the History Channel, the life expectancy of a coin in circulation is about 30 years. I can only hope that when a kid is examining the Alaskan commemorative coin 30 years from now he will be able to get a hint of the feeling that makes Alaska so special.

You can express your own opinion where it counts. The Alaskan Commemorative Coin Commission is accepting public comment on-line through April 22nd. Just click here and tell the nice bureaucrats what you think.


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