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Letters to the editor (4/24/12)

Our state is failing our children, and consequently our future

"People are your greatest resource," Vincent Price told a large audience assembled for a Tundra Times banquet some 40 years ago here in Anchorage.

Not oil, not gold, or even fish. We people of this state are the state's most important resource.

But to those looking to make investments in our state, it would appear that our government thinks differently, according to an editorial by John Havelock. He cited Scott Minerd, who oversees investments of around $42 billion for Guggenheim Partners. He said, "Alaska is woefully underinvested in education . . . when people are looking around for sites for long-term investment, they look first at education, the infrastructure of the future."

I have taught school here in Alaska for 40 years; almost every year there has been a fight for school funding. And putting out that funding is so often left to the end of the session. The state constitution mandates that the state is responsible for funding our schools. Our state is failing our children and our future.

-- Dorothy Anderson


'Prosperity theology' a new battle

Prof. Allan Boraas introduces a new war ("Prosperity theology," April 14) to be included with the other wars on Wall Street, oil companies, race, women, etc., all of which are intended to deflect from a failing presidency. Capitalism in relation to religion arose through the total failure of communal socialism established in Plymouth in 1620 as chronicled by its first governor, William Bradford, in "Pilgrim Plantation." It's a good read except maybe at the University of Havana or its sister campus at Berkeley.

As for "what would Jesus do?": One could cite His parable of talents but, in truth, Jesus had as much interest in money as He had in politics.

It's getting increasingly tiresome, though, for tenured-to-the-eyeballs leftist professors enlightening us to the evils of the system they so prosper within. As for Prof. Boraas, perhaps a more worthwhile assignment would be to explain why college tuitions have increased 498 percent since 1986.

-- Mark Mendonsa


Spring concert a moving event

Yesterday afternoon I was privileged to hear the Alaska Chamber Singers 25th Anniversary concert celebrating spring in Alaska. What an astonishing listening experience!

Most impressive was Libby Larsen's "Alaska Spring," a set of five of Tom Sexton's poems, first read by Sexton, then set to Larsen's highly evocative score -- edgy dissonances melting into deep harmonic resolutions, tone-painting the restless, searching, impatient quality of Alaska's winter fading into the eager spring.

Congratulations to the conductor, the performers, and the composer for this deeply satisfying, moving concert.

-- Suzanne Miles

Eagle River

'Bully' a powerful, must-see film

This weekend I went and saw one of the most powerful and eye-opening movies that I have ever seen -- "Bully." As a parent and a teacher in the Anchorage School District I can only say that this is a must-see film for anyone who sits on the school board, is an administrator in the school district, teaches, is a parent and most of all is a student fifth-grade or older.

Yes, some of the language heard on the school bus is harsh, but the message in the film is clear: Most of the bullying in our schools goes on where teachers and administrators don't see it.

Seeing this movie and talking to your child about bullying is something every parent must do.

-- Joel Akers


Thanks and praise for Arctic Care

Kudos and "Quyan'naqpak!" to the U.S. military's 2012 "Arctic Care."

As a result of professional human medical diagnosis and referral by an Army Reserve doctor here in Unalakleet, I received treatment by a professional Naval Reserve gastro-enterologist and anesthetist for the required procedure at the NSHC Hospital in Nome.

My newly restarted sled dog team also received all their required shots and one of them that had been shot when I could not catch her had major surgery and received much-needed antibiotics and pain-relieving medications from professional veterinarians.

I want to publicly thank the Lower 48 civilian professionals for their Active Duty "Non-Combatant Deployment" to our regional villages and for the much-needed and appreciated professional health care during "Arctic Care - 2012"!

I respectfully thanked everyone involved and invited them back to watch the Iditarod sometime.

-- Sheldon I. Katchatag