Letters to the editor (5/22/12)

May 21, 2012 

State will pay price for veto of funds for substance abuse

I am concerned about Gov. Parnell's recent veto of some of the increased funding for substance abuse treatment. I know he is an advocate for the "Choose Respect" campaign to end sexual assaults and domestic violence. We know that substance abuse is a huge factor in these high rates of violence.

I'm not aware of the current amount of funding that is allocated to treatment programs, but we know there still aren't enough programs to meet the demand. Putting more funding into substance abuse treatment will save the state more money in the long run. Substance abuse effects the number of people incarcerated, children in state custody, uninsured people needing medical treatment, domestic violence shelters, the list could go on and on.

If anything, funding has not been adequate and needs to dramatically increase if we want to effectively reverse this ongoing problem that has been happening for decades. I beg Gov. Parnell and the Legislature to please not allow the cut in funding to happen in the future. People's lives depend on it.

-- Jessica Ullrich

Anchorage

Murkowski betrays voters

Today's Republican party isn't the party Lisa Murkowski joined. New party leadership doesn't support her. "Real" Republicans didn't vote for her. She isn't even welcome at Republican events unless she "behaves." Senator Murkowski won with the support of independents, but she still supports the party that rejected her by voting as Joe Miller would. And she will be in a primary again.

Murkowski has betrayed the voters that elected her. She voted for the "Blunt Amendment" which would have restricted women's access to contraceptives. She voted against an infrastructure bill that would have brought millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to Alaska (Ted Stevens must be rolling in his grave). These votes and others were required by Republican leaders whose stated goal is to destroy the Obama presidency, rather than solve our country's problems.

Alaska has more independent voters than all parties combined. The U.S. Senate has two Independents and it looks like Maine will elect a third. It's time that Murkowski left the Republican Party and started supporting the moderate voters that elected her.

-- John A. Farleigh

Anchorage

Bartender questions allowing smoking in private clubs

I read with interest the articles in the paper about the Eagles in Peters Creek trying to get smoking in private clubs.

Why should they have preference compared to privately owned bars? I have been a bartender for 30 some years in a privately owned bar in Eagle River. If we aren't allowed to smoke in the bar why should clubs be an exception?

Frankly, I am a smoker myself and was outraged when they banned smoking in bars, but I have discovered how refreshing it is to walk in the bar and it doesn't smell like stale smoke.

I have no problem with going outside to smoke a cigarette if I really feel I need one. Not smoking in bars has cut my smoking down considerably.

None of the other private clubs and bars seem to have a problem with it, why should the Eagles.

Our customers have been accustomed to not smoking in the bar, and they certainly aren't going to drive out to the Eagles, just so they can smoke in there.

I don't think members quit coming in because they couldn't smoke.

-- Norma Thomas

Eagle River

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