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Letters to the editor (7/26/09)

Licensed social workers are equipped to do assessments

In response to "Give local nurses the chance to meet community need" (July 20), by Sherri Poling, I contest the claim that social workers don't have the education, background and professionalism to complete the assessment for the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Program. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker would be required to perform these assessments. LCSWs have completed a master's of social work and pass an intensive and rigorous licensing program. Educated to perform biopsychosocial assessments, plan and implement appropriate treatment plans and refer community resources -- nothing an LCSW does can be classified as "substandard."

Nurse's aides aren't being requested to do assessments -- it's not in their scope of practice. They do provide an important link in the care continuum for Alaska seniors. To imply that seniors are going to suffer because another professional, other than a nurse, may perform the assessment for non-medical in home care is incredulous. Social work and nursing, each with their own distinctive and complementary skill sets, can work in collaboration to solve the issues the State of Alaska is now facing.

-- Theresa Bovey

Anchorage

EDITOR'S NOTE: Bovey is CEO of Trinion Quality Care Services, and a licensed social worker.

Lack of universal health care hurts average people

Fellow citizens: Please support universal health care. Millions of people fall into bankruptcy, losing their small businesses, livelihood, homes and increasingly their lives, because private insurance doesn't cover certain procedures and premiums are outrageously unaffordable.

If you believe it is "socialist" and will ruin small businesses, look around at businesses that have closed. Interview business owners. Ask your neighbors, who actually is insured? Private citizens are losing health insurance en mass.

Who is spreading the venom against universal heath care? Do they, or their spouses, work for the government enjoying the best coverage available -- paid for by taxpayers? Do they work in a high-paid medical, pharmaceutical, or insurance field, reaping huge financial rewards from our current failing system?

If all government employees had their current "socialized medicine" taken away today, certainly a new state-of-the art, progressive, economically viable, all-inclusive universal health care program would be emergency priority. Congress: Listen to the people. The time for universal health care has come!

-- Tracy Anna Bader

Anchorage

Jesus' message was unifying

I am deeply grieved by the argument that God would choose sides. I read people saying, "the Bible tells us so." Tells us what, exactly? To judge each other? But the modern Christian Bible is based on the life of Jesus, or the mantra, "WWJD."

How does one conceive that it's our place to cast judgment on each other and stick them into the "immoral" box of isolation? Wasn't Jesus the only man on the planet who would talk respectfully to the woman at the well and engage her as an equal? Didn't he talk the outcast out of a tree to see him as a whole person? Wouldn't these same people be denied what some are proposing is our God-given right to deny? Yet these "followers" want to segregate, demoralize, and devalue those in their own community, lining the streets like a red brick wall--wearing red! The most aggressive color our eyes can conceive!

It works. I'm seeing red.

-- Jamie McCloud

Homer

Thanks to workers who made Strawberry Road look great

We would like to thank the awesome men and women who worked for Wilder/Granite Construction Co. on redoing Strawberry Road. Never have we been involved with such nice, considerate and fun people. They went out of their way to make sure our lives were safe and bearable throughout the entire reconstruction.

The heavy equipment operators were very safety conscious and respectful of our property. It was amazing to watch them and understand what goes into building roads.

The Water/Wastewater Utility Inspector, Sid, was great in explaining what goes on under our roads. Matt, the Municipality Project Management Inspector did an excellent job of checking the road's progress daily. The Alaska Trailblazing men did an amazing job of landscaping and building the decorative brick walls.

The bike trail, streetlights, traffic light on Jewel Lake, and bus stops are very much appreciated. We can honestly say we will miss all of you. Thank you for making our neighborhood look wonderful.

-- Sally and Rodger Foraker

Anchorage

Stand against abortion means trying to shift people's hearts

In his July 20 letter ("What about rest of the story") Mr. Palmatier raised several questions regarding my stand on abortion. They beg for a clear definition of "pro-life." It means believing in allowing children to come into the world. Mr. Palmatier asked if I, as a pro-lifer, am against state-sponsored executions and pre-emptive wars. What does my view on these issues have to do with allowing children to be born? On second thought, abortion is pre-emptive war against children and government-funded abortion is state-sponsored execution. So, yes, I am against such things.

He asked how to punish those who commit abortion. It is the truth that there are consequences to immoral behavior whether or not government enforces them. And in the end, at judgment day, everyone will answer for what he has done. In the meantime, I seek a change in people's hearts; that they would value the lives of unborn children and not sacrifice them to the god of convenience or anything else.

-- Diane Gober

Eagle River

Signs prohibiting firearms do nothing to increase safety

At the entrance to the Loussac Library is a sign that prohibits firearms.

The stupidity of this is obvious.

1. If the firearm is concealed who will know it exists.

2. Only honest nonviolent people will obey the sign.

3. Persons wanting to kill people in the library will know that there will be no one with a gun to stop them until police finally arrive as was the case in the killing spree at the university in Virginia where concealed firearms were prohibited. A similar sign at the southwest entrance of the Sears Mall only prohibits "Concealed" firearms. It does not prohibit firearms that are not concealed. If an unarmed Sears Mall Rent-a-Cop deduces someone has a concealed firearm, what can/will s/he do? Note: On at least two occasions, I noticed people in the Wells Fargo Sears Mall Bank were carrying not-so-concealed handguns. They finished their business and left.

Under a sign next to a school that read, "Drug Free School," someone put a computer-generated sign that read "High Quality Pot $25/bag. Support local Businesses."

-- Michael Stoianoff

Anchorage

Obama dug himself a hole

As I watched President Obama respond to a reporter's question on his recent press conference regarding the incident involving his friend Professor Henry Louis Gates in Cambridge, Mass., I wondered how deep he was going to dig his hole. After saying he didn't have all the facts, he should have stopped there instead of adding that the police acted with stupidity. He didn't disappoint but continued on his diatribe, pitching shovel full after shovel full of racism against blacks and Hispanics in America.

I only hope the officers had their tape recorders activated at the scene to bring out all the "facts" that the president referred to. In fact the only complaint I have with the photo of the arrestee is that he was handcuffed in front instead of in back (officer safety issue).

-- Terry Games,

retired Anchorage police,

Anchorage

Congress tolerates some lies

Do you remember just last month when Republicans were protesting that the CIA would never lie to Congress, with CIA director Leon Panetta as their star witness? Except that they did lie, that's not what Panetta said, they were lying to Panetta at the very moment, and we just found out about that. Oh yes, we are so sure that this is coming out only now just to save Nancy Pelosi's reputation from right-wing slander.

Furthermore, isn't it curious that Congress can get all fired up about crucifying baseball players for lying to them about personal use of steroids, and yet committing war crimes somehow has not received as much attention yet? So as long as we indict Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens our democracy is secure. Are broken rules in baseball more important than democracy? Or just a distraction to make us take our eye off the ball?

-- T. Frank Box

Anchorage