Letters to the editor (8/1/12)

July 31, 2012 

Fixing the footpath to Flattop

This path is your path; this path is his path; this path is her path. Let's go easy on your path to the summit of Anchorage's crown jewel -- Flattop. Consider staying on the path and picking up the occasional piece of trash that drops out of one's pocket. And remind your buddies. It's your trail.

-- Steven J. Shamburek

Anchorage

Leave minerals in the ground, save world-class salmon run

I watched the "Frontline" documentary about the Pebble mine project. Interviews with Northern Dynasty representatives, Bristol Bay residents and fishermen agreed that salmon are the priority, that a mine shouldn't be built if it's incompatible with the environment. The company's statements failed to convince me the mine is adequately designed for the geologically sensitive, biologically significant location.

Despite extensive studies conducted by the Pebble Partnership, the data is unavailable for other organizations and agencies' analysis. We need judicious debate by the state and critical analysis of the data, not just the industry's interpretations, before Alaska gives the "go ahead." As the biologist in the film said, science is only science if it's peer-reviewed. The "standard industry practice" isn't acceptable in this case.

At risk are world-class salmon runs, exemplary models of a sustainable wild fishery, and many miles of protective streams for young salmon. Inaccessible Pebble science and the staggering magnitude of the project convince me we should leave the minerals in the ground, and give thanks for the magnificent wealth of salmon.

-- Brita Mjos

Anchorage

Airport taxicab stand not designed for convenience

On our eighth trip to Alaska in the last 10 years, we found ourselves this time, Saturday, July 14, in need of a cab after arriving in Anchorage. Whoever arranged the cab stand there should be 77 years old and have to struggle to the front of the line, another block down the street. We want to publicly thank the driver of the last cab in line, a Yellow Cab, No. 49, for gallantly taking our bags from us and escorting us to the assigned cab, and thank you, he would not accept a gratuity. Our hearts go out to those poor souls who must endure this treatment in cold, wintry weather. Please reconsider how unavailable the cabs are to incoming passengers. If we didn't love Alaska so, it would have left a sour taste for the rest of what was a fabulous trip. Thank you.

-- Dennis and Margaret Skoog

Milbank, S.D.

Employing youths in parks basically a great idea for all

I am writing this letter to address something that I have found to be a very beneficial to our community. Anchorage Parks and Recreation have implemented the YEP Program (Youth Employment in Parks) each summer over the last several years. I was part of the program's initial implementation and inaugural year. I have seen it continue to grow each year via Facebook and other social media. The YEP program, each summer, hires teenagers and provides them with summer employment. During this time it educates them on workplace safety, discipline and health (both community and individual). Currently, I am employed by the State of Alaska working for the Office of Children's Services. Due to the nature of my work, I come into contact with many adolescents who could benefit from more opportunities such as YEP. Even as YEP continues to grow, there are still many adolescents who do not get such an opportunity. I would like to see additional government programs (municipal and state) provide the same.

-- Clayton Weingartner

Anchorage

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