Letters to the editor (4/30/12)

We're destroying city's character

Relocate all the moose in our city and along our roads, kill off all the bears, trap out all the beavers, cut down all the trees as they've done for the new UAA sports complex, and develop every square foot of the Anchorage Bowl.

What do we have? The Big Wild Life? No, we have Los Angeles in the cold. We are allowing Anchorage's character and ecosystems to be destroyed around us!

-- Thomas Eley


Build small pipeline to Fairbanks

The endless debate over a natural gas pipeline has focused on the wrong solutions. We already have a railroad running from Fairbanks to Anchorage that could easily carry liquefied natural gas. Instead of spending billions on a second pipeline paralleling the existing oil pipeline, we should be talking about building a small pipeline to Fairbanks that terminates in a liquefied natural gas plant to serve the Interior and whatever excess then exists could be transported south for use in Southcentral Alaska or be exported.

Why spend billions on a pipeline for markets that cannot be predicted when we can build something for much less to serve our own needs and create jobs in-state?

-- William Nye


'Mrs. Mac' inspired students

A good reason I and other students succeeded in school was because of "Mrs. Mac," Bettie McDonald. She was loved by many, as she inspired great enthusiasm and accomplishment, mainly through music.

She was a music teacher at East and Bartlett in the 1970s where I was one of her fortunate students. She expected the utmost from us, and her love of music infused inspiration, appreciation and self-discipline. Through much rehearsal our choir and musical performances created wonderful lifelong memories.

Mrs. Mac holds a special place in the hearts of many. She invested her life in those days helping students through education and even troublesome teenage times. Her dedication, understanding and even humor made many look forward to going to school. No doubt she is now singing in a heavenly choir. Mrs. Mac was a one- of-a-kind teacher and a great blessing to many.

-- Mike Harrington


Science on conception is sound; pro-abortion morality is shaky

Regarding Elise Patkotak's bigoted spew on conservatives and their alleged "war on women," (April 18) I will deal only with "what some call the shaky science" (her words) of when personhood begins. Shaky how? We've known the mechanics of conception since the 1850s. States then changed their abortion laws to prohibit abortion before "quickening" and the feminists of that period were fine with that. To quote Bernard Nathanson, M.D., once board member of the National Abortion Rights Action League, later pro-life activist, "We have seen the spark struck."

Nothing has changed. What has changed is some want abortions. Calling a baby a "mass of differentiated tissue" rather than a person makes those people feel better. That becomes science, the same science that says black folk are less evolved than white folk, the same science that says, "If someone says a Jew is a human being, I then reject that totally." (Goering, I think.)

Our science is sound: It's their morality that's shaky.

-- Pam Siegfried


Stevens article was old news

I felt that the article on Ted Stevens was in very poor taste ("Was Stevens guilty? Question likely won't be answered," April 22). The purpose seemed to be to try to smear his reputation. It was old news and dredged up allegations which he obviously could not respond to.

-- Stephen W. Jones


Reuben Anderson's Bible found

Dear Reuben Anderson,

I found your Bible today, the one your Grandmother Terrel gave you almost two years ago for getting straight A's in fourth grade. I saw it on top of a snowbank while I was picking up litter along the Sterling Highway a few miles north of Cooper Landing. I would like to get it back to you. I live in Moose Pass, and I am in the phone book.

-- Jeanne Follett

Moose Pass

Soccer headgear is worth it

Beth Bragg's excellent article on concussions in athletes isn't anything new. Apparently in 2005 the Federation Sports Committee didn't find evidence that full 90 headgear was beneficial to players. Really?

Some type of headgear in soccer should be either mandated by the National Soccer Association or demanded by parents of high school soccer players. The wearing of headgear won't prevent all concussions. If wearing headgear prevents one soccer athlete from the long-term repercussions of a concussion, would it not be worth it?

To those of you who may disagree, I say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

-- Margaret Hansen


Moose federation 'relocation' raises questions about intent

After reading the story on moose "relocation" in Thursday's paper I am concerned. When members of the scientific community are questioning this newly formed, somewhat unclear in purpose and seemingly substantially funded "federation," how are we the taxpayers to know what is going on?

I also have questions. Do urban roadways mean my street in South Anchorage? Do I have to try to explain to my grandchild who is looking out the window with me why a man is "killing" the little bull moose that we've been watching all winter nibbling on our shrubs and sleeping in our backyard?

Call it whatever politically correct term you want, "harvest," "tranquilize," "relocate" -- but certainly not "rescue," as the moose is being moved so if it survives someone in another part of Alaska can kill it. I think the people of urban Alaska need to be informed by the Division of Wildlife Conservation that granted this permit what to expect of this program.

-- Sylve Montalbo


Disgusted by gridlock in Juneau

I am absolutely disgusted with our state Legislature, and my disgust includes everyone from the governor to the most freshman of all legislators. It is beyond me how elected officials who are representing their constituents can be so ineffective.

I understand gridlock but this goes far beyond that. What's next from Juneau?

-- Hal Rohlman


Election reminder of California's

The recent Anchorage election is reminiscent of the California election of 2008 when voters soundly rejected gay marriage. Gay activists and liberal lawyers in that state decried the election and immediately began seeking a judge to declare "me no likey," thereby overturning the voters' decision.

This familiar California drama now seems to be playing out in Alaska's largest city. No wonder we call it "Los Anchorage."

-- August Cisar


Stand up to War on Women

There has been much talk in the news lately about the War on Women.

This month is the first anniversary of the vote in Congress to bar Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health care through federally funded programs. Since then we've seen an onslaught of attacks on women's rights to privacy and access to health care. Elected officials and candidates are condemning birth control, maligning the Girl Scouts, and an Alaska legislator even wanted to require women to have permission slips prior to medical procedures.

I believe that most Alaskans are fiercely protective of privacy rights and personal liberty. I hope everyone will remember these attacks in November. Meanwhile, we need to continue to stand up, speak out and fight back against any attempt to violate women's rights.

-- Diane E. Schenker


Corruption of power clouds redistricting and city election

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We see it in redistricting; we see it in the Anchorage election.

The court has ruled against the partisan redistricting board's plans twice now, and its solution? Run out the clock and impose the original, illegal plan. Some of us would like a redistricting master appointed by the court and to take this out of the board's hands. But the Republicans are betting that won't happen because courts are cautious.

Anchorage held a botched election. Some people were denied access to the polls, other duly registered voters denied an official ballot. An affidavit from a poll worker reports a cut seal on a voting machine, raising the potential of tampering. Voting machine "sleepovers" raise chain of custody issues. But the mayor and his rubber stamp Assembly want to certify this election and move on, so a compliant Elections Commission will help them do just that.

A Hall/Trombley supervised investigation is destined to find little because neither has the stomach for the job. These are dark times for Alaska and Anchorage.

-- Elstun Lauesen


State priorities questionable

I find it interesting that the state can find $1.5 million to support a private program of questionable merit to transport moose but has limited support to the university to the degree that it has to cut a Recreation and Activities program that provides an opportunity for dormitory-bound students to discover the environmental riches of Alaska. Shame on them.

-- Craig Ely


Rain gardens are good for city

This refers to Mr. Lowenfels' column printed on April 19.

I'm not much of a gardener but I was stunned to read of Jeff Lowenfels' disdain for the "craze" of creating rain gardens in Southcentral Alaska.

It is a fairly commonly held belief that organic gardening is good for the land. Well, I believe that rain gardens are good for our water. By diverting runoff from your roof into a garden filled with native plants you can play a significant part in filtering the water before it reaches our waterways.

Creating a rain garden in our side yard is on my spring to-do list. To find out more, check out the website of the Anchorage Rain Garden Program, www.anchorageraingardens.org, which notes that there are currently 89 rain gardens within the Municipality of Anchorage.

-- Sherri Douglas


Susitna dam is precarious

Who would deny that the Susitna dam is physically and geologically precarious? Alaska is a state of shakers -- recall a 1964 magnitude 9.2 in Southcentral Alaska. More recently, a mere 45 miles from the proposed site, the massive 7.9 Denali fault quake. Surely another will never occur?

Moreover, it would supply at inception only 25 percent of Railbelt energy. The difference, to cover ever-expanding Railbelt demand, must come from other sources, e.g., Cook Inlet gas and imminently achievable Alaska alternatives -- geothermal, tidal, wind, wave, biomass and energy conservation.

Can Alaska today knowingly commit billions of dollars, to the exclusion of proven ready alternatives, for such a questionable and precarious single project?

-- Peter Mjos