Letters to the editor (2/1/09)

January 31, 2009 

Bush leaves a memorable legacy

Top 10 achievements of the Bush Administration:

10) Enabling tremendous breakthroughs in prosthetics technology.

9) Enriching the English language in ways that cannot be misunderestimated.

8) Providing tax cuts for billionaires and corporations that pay no taxes.

7) Energizing the outsourcing and layoffs industries.

6) Protecting America from New Zealand, Jamaica and Monaco terrorists.

5) Promoting individual initiative by forcing more and more parents to work two or three jobs.

4) Proving America's the land of opportunity where anyone -- regardless of race, creed or national origin -- can become rich by giving handouts to favored politicians.

3) Ending waterboarding torture by declaring waterboarding isn't torture.

2) Reducing the number of attacks on innocent Iraqis by reducing the number of innocent Iraqis.

1) Preventing a new ice age.

-- Geoff Kennedy

Anchorage

Time to let Sarah follow her heart

Free Sarah! Just like Maggie the elephant, it appears it's time to let our governor go. No longer should she be fettered by the chains of gubernatorial responsibilities when in her heart she longs to be with those of her own kind.

As painful as it was for us to lose our favorite pachyderm, we knew letting her go was the noble thing to do. Now Sarah's PAC is calling her, beckoning her to the land near the Potomac where she can fulfill her destiny. She needs to be with her conservative clan and we all know they certainly deserve her. I say let her go!

-- Gary Griffeth

Anchorage

Park needs to have a watchdog

I have been to the dog park on International Airport and Jewel Lake roads and loved it. However, the one time I went there my friend's car was broken into for the second time. When I called to report it, the police knew where I was before even telling them because "break-ins happen there all the time."

My question is, if this happens all the time and the police know that it does, then why isn't there a cop patrolling the area at all times or at least at the most common times (such as Saturdays and Sundays)? I love this dog park but can't take my dog back because of the danger that occurs there. I imagine the "excuse" by the APD is that they do not have the manpower, but I disagree. I'm sure they could afford to put one police officer at the dog park on International Airport Road, especially in this economy when people all over are looking for jobs.

My friend and I have not gone back. Please do something about this, as so many people in Anchorage are suffering because of the lazy criminals hanging around the dog park waiting to steal someone's purse.

-- Brittan Morris

Elmendorf AFB

Obama endorsements are implicit

The media has estimated that Barack Obama's unprecedented use of his BlackBerry device could be worth a $25 million to $50 million endorsement deal by the maker if he wasn't a public servant. Since he is, he cannot officially endorse products, but the popularity of the device has no doubt grown as result of his use. One question that was left out, however -- How much is he worth to the Marlboro Man?

-- Cameron McFarlane

Anchorage

High taxes damage Alaska tourism

As a travel agent, I have to constantly look at the value of a vacation for my clients. With some of the highest passenger taxes and fees for any destination, Alaska is pricing itself out of the tourism industry.

As a former resident of Alaska, I understand the devotion many people have to the environment. I also understand many Alaska residents do not look forward to the influx of summer cruise passengers. I hope, however, that these people do not encourage the high Alaska taxes to further their agendas.

I hope Royal Caribbean's redeployment serves as a catalyst for discussion about how Alaska feels about tourism. Good luck to you.

-- Brian Box

Cheyenne, Wyo.

Bell represents game all right, but only game that hunters want

Who does Bob Bell think he's kidding? Certainly not anyone who pays attention to Board of Game matters. In his recent Compass piece, Bell would like us to believe that as a member of the Game Board he represents Alaska's "game populations" (a good word choice given his utilitarian emphasis). Yet Bell's actions on the Board of Game make it clear he represents much different -- and narrower -- interests, namely those of hunters and trappers, particularly urban ones.

Bell's priorities are best exhibited by his stubborn determination to allow the trapping of wolverines in Chugach State Park, despite strong evidence (gathered by state biologists) that such trapping threatens the wolverine population. Bell also pushed for the hunting of trophy bulls in Chugach Park's Hillside area, again against the advice of Fish and Game staff (fortunately other board members opposed the hunt).

And he voted last year to allow the killing of any black bears in GMU 16 -- including females with cubs and even the cubs themselves -- in order to boost the moose population. In that case I suppose you could argue he's representing the interests of moose at the expense of bears. But he's really representing the interests of so-called "sport" hunters who want more opportunities to bag a moose.

Bell's priorities are an affront to Alaskans who do truly care about all wildlife species, not just the favored few desired by hunters and trappers.

-- Bill Sherwonit

Anchorage

Palin trip for herself, not Alaska

It's time for Gov. Sarah Palin to get a reality check. I just read the news release on the State of Alaska Web site about her nonpartisan trip to D.C. this weekend. Her trip is far from nonpartisan. Who is she trying to fool: us, or herself?

Her first night is going to be dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Fred Malek. Mr. Malek may have a lot of money, which I'm sure is quite enticing to our governor, but he has a very shady past (counting the number of Jews in the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Nixon).

She has accused Obama concerning the company he keeps; maybe she needs to take inventory of her relationships.

In the same news release it says that she is also going to D.C. to speak about Alaska's needs. She is going there to discuss her own needs.

If she doesn't want to be honest and represent us, then she should resign. I'm sure we can find a great replacement who's willing put our state back on the right course.

-- Kim Chatman

Eagle River

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