Vote 'yes' on Proposition 2
I encourage you to support reinstating the Alaska Coastal Management Program by voting "yes" on Proposition 2. A coastal management program gives locals a strong local voice about what the federal government is doing on our coast. We gave up that right when we lost our program in 2011. We need to get it back.
I worry when big oil and mining companies (mostly from outside Alaska) pour enormous amounts of money into an election. It makes me think that their campaign is all about buying our vote, and then doing what they want in Alaska without our say.
There's a reason every other coastal state has this program. It's because it elevates states' rights. This is the only law that requires the federal government to respond to the concerns of coastal states and their citizens. I will be voting "yes" on Aug. 28 and encourage people who care about a community voice to do the same.
-- Anne Lucas
Measures target voter fraud
If Jed Whittaker ("Is GOP stifling voter turnout," Aug. 15) isn't smart enough to properly fill out his questioned ballot, too bad. How about anyone just showing up and stating they are Jed Whittaker and requesting a ballot, but only filling in their name, no ID, nothing. Then you have truly lost your vote.
This is not some conspiracy to suppress voter turnout; it's simply the best effort to make sure everyone's vote is counted correctly and to prevent voter fraud.
As the 2008 election has so painfully proven, elections have consequences. We got stuck with Begich and Obama, and now have to undo the mess they have created with Obamacare. The largest tax increase in the history of the country, and the ultimate degradation of the best health care in the world.
-- Sam Albanese
Television stations owe us more
I think the TV channels are neglecting their obligations to their viewers. They accept paid-for political ads, mostly of a negative nature, and blithely go on their way making no comment. Their bow to what they like to call objective journalism is, rather, a neglect to do investigative reporting.
If the stations are willing to take the billions of dollars the political parties spend to tell half-truths and fully false statements about their opponents, then the TV talking heads owe us an investigation into the truth behind the slimming.
Where does the responsibility lie? We know the political ads are suspect but, if the stations can't give us the truth, why should we believe in, or even listen to, their half to one hour of blathering about the "news"?
One more example of how America is bought and paid for by the almighty dollar.
-- Dick Palmatier
Coral becomes new snail darter
And I thought I had heard everything! What sounds like the first salvo from environmentalists to throw some sort of body under the development truck has been fired! Now we can add "cold water coral," along with snail darters and spotted owls, to the list of critical creatures which need to be protected in the name of responsible environmental stewardship.
The guys who loaded the cannon for the first shot to preserve this previously unheard of species will now use that same old dependable tool -- don't do anything further offshore in the Arctic Ocean until we have had years to study the issue.
-- Dennis Lattery
City trash a depressing picture
Why is there so much trash on the streets of Anchorage? Does anyone care? Is there a rule that if you have a business in Anchorage you should keep it clean on the streets? Is there no enforcement of litter laws? Is there no public pride?
It's so depressing to drive around town and see such trash. Is there anyone who feels like I do? What can we do? We pick up trash all the time, it's overwhelming wherever we go.
-- Danny Smith
Punk band's conviction is just, though penalty may be harsh
I applaud Russian authorities for convicting "Pussy Riot" -- the very name suggesting sex and violence -- of committing a hate crime against religion. The all-girl punk band willfully, maliciously and blasphemously desecrated a Russian Orthodox Church.
Everyone has a right to freedom of expression. This includes those attending the religious service in question. Their rights were denied and violated by the surprise guerrilla invasion. Many of them -- especially the older and religiously devout -- may have been seriously traumatized for life by the devilish antics of these young, radical feminists.
I believe a two-year jail sentence is rather harsh for such a crime. I would rather have seen the girls forced to faithfully attend Holy Mass each day followed by an hour of Bible school -- perhaps for a year. Their punishment could be served in rehabilitation. If the girls were encouraged to understand religion a little more they might come to appreciate it more fully. Then their raw and wicked energy could be converted into a more positive and powerful force for good in this world.
-- Rick Martin
Seems that communities taking in no taxes become wards of state
A recent ADN article reveals that Holy Cross "paid the state more than $37,000 in penalties this summer for failing to provide worker's compensation insurance for city employees for more than two years."
A state website showing tax information lists the following for Holy Cross; sales tax: none, property tax: none, and special tax: none.
OK, so where did they get the $37,000 to pay the state if not from the government?
Delta Junction, which also shows as having no local taxes, has refused to organize for tax purposes. Gee, I wonder why? Perhaps the state constitution provides the answer in Article 10, Section 6: "The legislature shall provide for the performance of services it deems necessary or advisable in unorganized boroughs, allowing for maximum local participation and responsibility."
So if you don't collect any tax funds locally you become a ward of the Legislature. Could this be why we have annual state budgets in excess of $12 billion?
P.S. We don't need a Constitutional Convention do we?
-- Lynn Willis
A government? Or a TV program?
Whenever I think about regressive politicians like our governor I have to wonder if we have somehow been transported to an episode of the old TV show "The Twilight Zone." In our episode everything is reversed. Up is down. Day is night.
Just last legislative session we had a coalition from both parties that worked together for the people of Alaska. Now our governor is actively campaigning against members of the working group.
Sorry tea party, but Alaska deserves a government that is by the people, for the people, not a bunch of oil company employees shoveling money to the wealthiest corporations on the planet.
We can make a difference and sustain ourselves and our resources.
-- Stefanie Coppock
Candidate Geran Tarr is the best choice for District 17 House seat
I am writing to support Geran Tarr for District 17 House seat for Airport Heights, Russian Jack and Mountain View areas.
She has worked in education and public service, and has developed public policy and written legislation. She has a science background to enable her to better understand the many resource issues facing our state in the future. She will be able to hit the ground running when she arrives in Juneau.
She has coordinated our community council capital budget requests for the last several years, listening to citizens about what they want to see in areas such as pedestrian improvements, park projects, and public safety.
She is level-headed, dedicated to our community, and a great leader as well as team member. Geran Tarr is the clear choice for District 17 House seat.
-- Dawn Scott
Criticism of Romney 'gaffe' is sad
The brouhaha the media and political hacks created over Romney's so-called "gaffe" in London is sad. We are so used to weak, indecisive leaders who are clueless cowards and waffle over the simplest question that we don't recognize a true leader when we see one.
Romney has spent his life solving problems. He was asked about potential problems for the Olympics and his decision-making skills kicked in; he answered from personal experience and knowledge he had gained while in London. He wasn't criticizing; he was sharing his expertise. Unfortunately we are used to and even expect bombastic buffoons like Boris Johnson. Many people focus on the trivia because that is the highest level of their thinking ability. Sad.
-- Deborah Berry
Romney should open up on taxes
The problem with Romney just telling us about his tax rate is that it makes me wonder: Why should I believe him? However, if he did release his actual tax returns, then we common folk would know for absolute sure what the real facts are. I try hard not to be a skeptic, but I personally won't believe his purported tax rate, or anything else for that matter, until it is part of officially released information.
Why doesn't he just release this information? What is there that could be more damaging than suspicion and speculation about his not releasing them? What in the world could it be?
-- L.L. Raymond
Voters need comparison of new, old coastal management plan
Recent TV ads and news articles plus the State Ballot Measures Pamphlet tell us: A Coastal Zone Management Program was created in 1977, revised in 2003, and sunsetted in 2011 because the Legislature could not agree on details of a reauthorized program.
Proponents say the original program functioned well for 25 years ensuring local input into the federal permitting process, replacing litigation and confrontation with communication, while facilitating the permitting process.
Opponents do not seem to disagree with this description, but focus on this proposed replacement program being something radically different from what we used to have, capable of adversely affecting the opportunity for reasonable resource development in Alaska.
Have either the proponents or the opponents, or both, provided Alaskans with a thorough comparison of the original CZM plan and this proposed replacement, so we all can evaluate differences? How about the Anchorage Daily News. ... with the help of a state lawyer, I bet the right reporter could have this done and in the paper before Aug. 28 ?
-- Jim Lieb
Sam's Club will be missed
I was a bit saddened to hear that the Sams Club on Penland Drive will be closing when the new one is built. The people who work there are always very nice to me and the location is great. It's smaller than Costco and has a real nice feel to it. I will probably shop at the new one but will miss this one.
-- Cheryl Peavy