If science says risks are extreme, Pebble work shouldn't proceed
As usual, Paul Jenkins got it wrong ("Pebble fight is over federal control, not resources," Aug. 12). "Bureaucratic bullying" is not the issue. Jenkins correctly states that the Environmental Protection Agency has full authority under the federal Clean Water Act to review proposed projects that threaten water quality and prevent them from proceeding if the risks are too great. Thank goodness for that. And thank goodness for the fact that science trumps politics at the EPA.
Jenkins claims that Alaska's mine permitting process is "rigorous and thorough." In fact, it is not. Pro-Pebble forces know that federal standards are quite stringent but state permits for Pebble would be assured regardless of large-scale water quality degradation and salmon habitat destruction. That is why they so strongly oppose EPA's involvement.
If the best available science indicates that Pebble's risks to the environment are extreme and the project should not proceed, Alaskans should applaud that decision whether or not the federal government makes the final decision.
-- Vic Van Ballenberghe
Working together best approach
Re: Dawn Lowrey letter of Aug. 13.
Two wrongs don't make a right, nor do three.
ML&P was wrong to block her from your home.
She was wrong to risk damage to ML&P's work by driving over the new pavement.
The ML&P guy was wrong to yell at her.
What is right?
When the same thing happened to me, I parked my car near the "Street Closed" sign, got the attention of the workers and they assisted me to get to my home.
Simple. When we work together we can get a lot done.
-- Larry Schuller
Access limitations often dictate placement of city's Dumpsters
I was employed in the Anchorage refuse industry for over 30 years. Most of the Dumpsters on streets are there due to access limitations. Commercial refuse trucks are some of the heaviest in trucking and require adequate driveways. This makes moving Dumpsters costly.
The cost of enclosures also needs to include opening and closing of gates at the collection time. If collection crews are responsible for that, it would mean fewer containers serviced per day and the cost of workmen's comp rates would rise, as slips and falls are the largest contributors to injuries.
A truck needs to have the correct angle for lifting apparatus to reach the container. Sometimes, due to parked vehicles adjacent to enclosures or road conditions in winter such as icy ruts, the angle needs to be adjusted. The enclosure limits flexibility of operators to adjust angle. Enclosures themselves also degrade due to weathering and damage.
Dumpsters could be better maintained to address aesthetic issues. My employer always exchanged or painted containers when requested to do so.
-- Jim Mouery
Those Obama 'supporters' are trying to convince themselves
For a long time now, and more frequently as the election date nears, I have been reading letter after letter here espousing the qualities and so-called accomplishments of Obama and berating and denigrating Romney. I admit I occasionally read a letter praising Romney, though not near enough, which is to be expected in this liberal-run newspaper.
I believe most of the letters in favor of Obama are from ex-Obama 2008 supporters trying to convince themselves that they still should support him. They attempt this by writing about the nonexistent Obama accomplishments and lies about Romney's real ones.
As a conservative Republican this bothers me a bit until I realize that Alaska is a solid red state and no matter what the liberals do here, the state will still vote overwhelming for Romney. And then I smile.
-- Eric Olenick
Keep Dumpsters clean, painted and don't let garbage overflow
Dumpsters -- why the big concern now? They have been an eyesore for years. I think the No. 1 reason is that the tourists are seeing more of the Dumpsters overflowing and with gang signs on them. Kind of reminds them of L.A. (Los Anchorage; has a ring to it, doesn't it -- or should I say a bang). Not that we have that big of a problem with gangs, graffiti and territories, do we?
Just keep Dumpsters from overflowing, lids down and painted. Then enforce it and it will be fine. That is why we have community service enforcement cruising the hoods.
P.S. Please catch the jerks setting playgrounds on fire and fry their butts.
-- David Andrews
Bicyclists who ride in middle of street endanger selves, others
I have been a bicycle commuter since 1985 (I also drive). During that time I have never cycled in the middle of the road.
When on the streets, I ride on the edge or sidewalk. Why? It's a combination of common sense and the law. Common sense says that I am going to lose any vehicle encounter; I cannot sustain more than 15 mph, which means there will be an encounter.
Legally, you are not allowed to impede traffic and that is just what a cyclist who cannot maintain the speed limit does. Militant bikers insist that it's their right to ride in the middle of the street. It's not if they impede traffic. They endanger themselves and rest of us, bicyclists and drivers alike.
My riding style prevents conflict as much as possible. Cars doing the legal speed limit are not impeded, drivers are not ticked off (understandable, as I feel the same way when I am driving) and we all get to where we want to go.
-- Gregory Schmitz