Who was watching children?
Watching the news on Channel 2 on Sept. 12 and listening to the story about the day care center, I heard that the toddler was without oxygen for minutes. So does that mean no one was outside with the children? And why wasn't anyone outside with them? Where were the workers to make sure no one was hurt while they played?
I did not hear anyone ask those questions. If you ask me, I think that day care center should be closed permanently.
-- Dani Soosuk
State could share $2 billion
Anchorage is working on cutting $30 million from the budget for 2013. This means laying off police, firemen, maintenance personnel, social service workers and so on in order to match these deep budget cuts. Anchorage will be on hard times with no end in sight.
The state wants to give up to $2 billion a year to the oil companies -- which are making record profits -- with no strings attached.
Couldn't the state help Anchorage in its time of need and give $30 million of the $2 billion that they are going to give the oil companies? If not, why not?
-- John Suter
Obama would inherit own mess
If Obama thinks that he inherited a mess in '08 think of the mess he will inherit if he is re-elected in November.
-- Bob Lewis
Bipartisan coalition accomplished energy rebates, revenue sharing
I saw the recent letter about the Fire Island wind project being an accomplishment of the Senate's bipartisan coalition. As an informed voter, I wouldn't want readers to think that is the only great thing they have accomplished.
The Senate bipartisan coalition restored municipal assistance and revenue sharing to keep property taxes down, they created the wildly popular and successful home energy rebate, and they forward funded K-12 education. They repaid all budget reserve accounts and saved $16 billion for a rainy day. Those are impressive accomplishments for Alaska.
It's proof that in spite of what the governor says, Republicans and Democrats working together is not the problem, it's the solution.
-- Cindy Lelake
Islamic leaders should spread messages of temperance, wisdom
In response to the article "Anti-American protests spread in Muslim world" posted on Sept. 14:
There are many things that should be said about the situation arising from the posting of the Anti-Muslim video "The Innocence of Muslims." What I would like to focus on, though, is the manner in which figureheads in Islamic countries are choosing to deal with the resulting events.
In the article, sources cite that Islamic sheiks and clerics are spreading a message to "defend their faith" and avenge the defamation of their prophet. Rather than attempting to calm and soothe their people, many are further agitating the situation by calling their congregations and subjects to arms. In such volatile times, the absolute last thing the world needs is cause for further division. We rely on clerics and local authorities to spread messages of wisdom and temperance.
If those sources are now shouting words of further instigation, many followers may be tempted into more violent action than they are naturally or spiritually inclined to do.
-- Arthur Rabago Jensen
Eating organic benefits not just you but wider community
The other day there was a news article about how eating organic doesn't make you live longer.
And I realized that eating organic is like getting vaccinated: It's not about you.
While I eat organic when it's reasonable/ possible, it may well be that it won't make a difference in my own personal cancer chances or my longevity. But I do it because it's better for the Earth, for the bugs and the bees and the salmon, for the Mississippi Delta that's being killed by pesticide runoff. It's not just about me.
When I talk to people about getting vaccinated (Tdap, flu shot, etc.) I try to make them understand it isn't just about keeping them healthy. It's so they won't spread something to others more vulnerable who will die. They often can only be convinced when there's someone in their own lives worth protecting, like a new grandbaby they want to keep healthy; then it makes sense.
Wash your hands, cough in your elbow, get vaccinated and eat that locally grown organic produce because it's about more than you.
-- Tina Tomsen
Where is the outrage?
Where is the moral outrage from moderate Muslims and imams? It makes it hard to believe they are not in tacit agreement with this violence.
-- Steven B. Tucker
Candidates for public office should disclose supporters
Why do candidates running for public office want to hide names of their supporters when they are funded by oil corporations? ("Senate candidate accused of improper disclosure," Sept. 13).
Isn't this the same Bob Bell who, when he was on the Board of Game, together with another BOG member, Cliff Judkins, and Corey Rossi, put pressure on Nome area wildlife biologist Tony Gorn to bend the rules so they could illegally claim a trophy from a musk-ox hunt in a subsistence-only area of the Seward Peninsula? (Alaska Dispatch Jan. 20, 2012)
Isn't this the same Bob Bell, who, when he was on the BOG, told a member of the public that if he hadn't seen a wolverine when hiking for 30 years in Chugach State Park what difference would it make if they were trapped?
Voters need to consider if this type of arrogance and unethical behavior displayed by Mr. Bell when he was on the BOG should be carried over to the Legislature.
-- Barbara Winkley
Maybe we need a 'voting app' to remind us on Election Day
Perhaps the real difference between the big two parties is that Democrats seem to win with relief and Republicans seem to win with relish.
"Whew, that's not going to be done to us for them" versus "Ah ha, now we can do this to them for us."
But the Beatles may have said it best all those years ago with, "I'm the tax man, and you're working for no one but me." Still, one should have a say in how those taxes are spent just as it seemed to be a good thing to have local input into coastal development in Alaska. Except as it turns out, only about 21 percent or so turn out to want to have a say in the matters at all. So which percentage of the 99 percent or 1 percent was it making the choice?
Maybe someone should Occupy Voting even if we might believe our votes count for no more than dust in the wind. Maybe there should be a "voting app" with a "remind me" beep.
-- Ken Green
Romney has revealed tax returns
Re: Letter from Stephen Paliwoda of Sept. 10 ("Romney won't reveal who he is").
First of all I believe that Gov. Mitt Romney did disclose his tax returns for the last two years and this is more than most of our public elected senators and representatives now serving in our nation's capital have done to date.
Secondly, you talk about specifics that Mr. Romney hasn't talked about if he were elected president but our present president, after almost four years, hasn't showed the American people one thing that he can take credit for other than the enormous national debt that we now have incurred.
Lastly this old veteran believes a vote for Mitt Romney this November will be getting rid of a "pig in a poke" that we've been saddled with since he took office in January 2009.
-- George A Wilkie
Allergy sufferer cannot afford multiple copays for treatment
Another great day for me within the health system. I am a chronic allergy and asthma sufferer. When my medications did not work for me, I decided to call the specialist at Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska for an appointment. When I called I found out I need a referral to be seen.
This will not work for me to pay 20 percent copay at an urgent care to go get a referral and pay another copay at the specialist. Why are things so complicated? I have a history of asthma and can provide previous prescription history to prove it. This is insane.
If I was poor I can have $0 copay on public assistance, but no, I work to pay large premiums, deductibles, and copays and pay for other doctor referrals.
I hope our next president addresses our health system. Some believe some type of insurance is better than none. To me this is arguable.
-- Angela Insaurralde
Sullivan uses rookie police as pawns in budget politics
What a shame the Sullivan administration chose to use the rookie police as pawns in his quest to make Mark Begich appear to be the villain in this budget shortfall. He hired these people knowing there would be a budget short fall and they might have to be laid off. Now all that training may be a gift -- to the Alaska State Troopers.
The mayor should shape up. It's not all about his career as a life politician.
-- Diana Bauman
Chicago teachers and parents demand better education policies
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now (Sept. 10) reports on the real problems in the Chicago schools under Rahm Emanuel's mayorship. The articles describe how Rahm and corporate executive officers established policies on the corporate model that are not in the best interests of students, teachers, and parents.
Having greatly benefited from our American public school system and the many dedicated teachers, administrators and parents, the GI bill, state universities and a life of learning, I have a responsibility to students and parents to tell you I like what I see being done by dedicated teachers, administrators and parents.
I do not like the direction being taken in our policies in the last 15 years. Amy Goodman's reports describe the oppressive nature of these policies and how they deny a rich education with justice and equality for all children.
Accordingly the news that Chicago's teachers, students and parents are asserting themselves, speaking out for better policies and rejecting the oppressive and I think destructive actions of Emanuel and his corporate buddies brings joy to my heart.
-- Hugh R. Hays