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Letters to the editor (4/3/12)

Proposed road to Umiat makes a mess of caribou migration routes

Educating decision-makers in Juneau is important, especially about rural issues. I traveled with a great group from five different villages to do just that. The importance of caribou migration corridors is not just critical for survival but for traditional and cultural uses. The road to Umiat would destroy these needs and should not be developed.

The road would slash through caribou migration routes, but an effort to protect these animals has been born from strong North Slope villages. We recently brought tribal resolutions to Juneau showing the broad support against the road. This year another $10 million in state funds is designated in the capital budget for the Road to Umiat, but there are many other important needs for that money instead.

The people of the North Slope have raised their families for generations off the land and will continue to do so with a rich, vibrant and irreplaceable culture. Thank you to the people of Anaktuvuk Pass for taking a stand to protect your people and their way of life.

-- Rosemary Ahtuangaruak

Barrow

Bill providing for healthier meals for our students would benefit all

As a youth delegate for the 2012 Civics & Conservation Summit with Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, I became aware of Senate Bill 3.

Senate Bill 3 is an act to provide for a state match of federal funds for free or reduced price lunch and breakfast for Alaska students who qualify for these meals. This bill would provide healthier meals, which would have many benefits for the youth of our state. It has been shown that good nutrition improves test scores, as well as the overall health of children. It could also decrease school tardiness and absences, as well as crime rates.

At the moment, the bill is being held in the House Finance Committee -- and has been for more than a year. I know that this bill would be a great benefit for all of Alaska if it passed, and hopefully others will realize its benefits.

-- Paige Krichbaum, 16

Anchorage

Bad timing with our traffic lights hampers municipality businesses

Driving in Anchorage would be so much easier, the air so much cleaner, people's attitudes better if at least some of the traffic signals were synchronized. Until that effort is made I will stay out of Anchorage and spend my money online.

I have asked this same question many times in many cities and never had it answered: What is the purpose of keeping the signals timed so you stop at nearly every light?

So to all who own businesses there -- I'll spend in town again when it is not an utter exercise in madness to drive there. And madness it is when one enters town at 4:30 a.m., streets nearly deserted, only to be forced to stop at 11 of 13 lights to wait for absolutely nothing.

-- Will Brown

Chugiak

Join the fight against giving away our money to the oil companies

Yesterday Gov. Parnell said that we shouldn't lower taxes without pledges of new investment. Great. However, as I understand it, "pledges" are not legally binding, and there is no time frame for new investment.

A more disturbing quote comes from Senate Finance Committee Chair Bert Steadman regarding the progressivity clause in ACES. He is now agreeing that Alaska is taking too much when oil is high. It costs pretty much the same to get a barrel of oil to market if the price is $35/barrel as it does if the price is $125/barrel. The difference is greater profit for the oil companies and much higher costs for everyone else. Please consider signing my petition urging the Legislature to not give away money to the oil companies. Go to: http://signon.org/sign/dont-giveaway-alaskas-1 to read the petition and sign. Post on FB, email and call friends, anything you can do to help get the word.

-- Jamelia Saied

Anchorage

Dogs making racket at midnight

Thanks, neighbors! It is now midnight and I have to get up in five hours to go to work. Why not go to sleep? Because here (South Anchorage, near Campbell Lake) your damn dogs are yowling up a storm. Yapping, barking, howling, and running loose.

Does no one take responsibility for their pets anymore?

-- Trevor Grimes

Anchorage

Vote -- or stop the complaining

Voting is a fundamental right. It is important because voters determine our taxes, and our leaders. It's free, and it only takes a few minutes. If you don't vote, do you really have a right to complain about anything?

-- Bob Lewis

Anchorage