Letters to the editor (5/18/12)

Leave breast-feeding decisions to the moms, not anyone else

The decision by Time magazine to feature a mother breast-feeding her 4-year-old son on the cover has naturally begun heated debate over attachment parenting and posed the question of exactly when should women stop breast-feeding their children.

Mitch Albom raises a good point (May 15). "Would the magazine have used her if she were 50 pounds overweight and had a funny nose and frizzy hair?" No, of course not! Was it an outrageous example of sensationalist journalism? Yes, absolutely!

However, Mitch failed to address another important issue. The choice to offer extended breast-feeding, the style of parenting a woman subscribes to and how she raises her child is an individual and personal choice. There are no rules governing when you stop breast-feeding, where the baby sleeps or if the baby "rides shotgun." If it works for the family and fosters well-adjusted, happy and confident children, then it automatically makes it right regardless of popular opinion.

I never ask myself how many people are still nursing their 4-year-olds, as it's none of my business.

-- Kris Parkinson


Bicyclists and drivers, please be aware of your surroundings

I was riding my scooter down the road when I heard a bunch of screams. I looked back and saw that a group of bicyclists who had been riding on the sidewalk had entered a side intersection at the same time as a large pickup -- guess who won?

Bicyclists, please be aware that if you are riding on the sidewalk, you are considered a pedestrian and must follow pedestrian rules. Don't enter an intersection without verifying that the vehicles entering the intersection (from any direction) have seen you. Wear HI-VIZ clothing along with your helmet.

Drivers, please be aware that bicyclists don't always realize you are there, or they think they have the right of way when they don't.

Everyone, please be aware of your surroundings, and please be cautious and courteous.

-- Annie Messer


Young teacher falls victim to governor's, mayor's biases

A few nights ago my daughter told me about the bright, young, enthusiastic teacher who was sent away from her school due to budget cuts orchestrated primarily by Sean Parnell and Dan Sullivan. Parnell, who says funding schools should not be an entitlement, evidently felt this young teacher was not entitled to believe in Alaska and her future here. Apparently, education does not have the high-priced lobbyists who lead our governor.

Dan Sullivan has invested heavily in pointing out the shortcomings of the School District. His corporate-funded "Education Summit" included his selection of original attendees, his selected experts and his selected pending final report members. Dan Sullivan is the least likely in town to understand and support positive programs for women and children. Dan cut school funding and pushed new cost demands on the School District budget. Funding that does not keep up with inflation cuts teachers and raises class sizes.

I moved to this state before big oil. We had the best schools in the nation; we believed in schools.

-- Rod McCoy