Letters to the editor (5/19/12)

Hey, cyclists: You too are required to obey traffic laws

Just a reminder to all you bike riders: Alaska bicycle laws require you to follow the same traffic laws as a motorized vehicle; you are to obey all traffic signs and signals just as if you were driving a car.

So please stop at the intersection of Blackberry and 88th Avenue. This is a four-way-stop intersection. Some of you zip right on through like you have the right of way when you don't. Please stop at the stop sign. Thank you. The life you save may be your own.

-- Nat Gardner


If US doesn't cut spending, we'll be facing harder times

As American citizens, we all have more "opportunity" to be successful in life than any other country, period! "Opportunity," however, should not and cannot be "guaranteed" with a handout from this government.

I read comments like the one made in the May 15 Letters to Editor, "We're better off than grim EU," in which the writer warns his audience of the "slash and burn economics" of the Republican Party in an effort to portray it as a steppingstone to the harsh austerity measures taking place in various countries within the EU.

Time out ... What part of years of overspending on vast social programs in the EU that has led to these austerity measures doesn't this writer understand?

If this country does not cut back on the same wasteful spending that put the EU in dire straits, we will all see what real "slash and burn" economics is all about. The Republicans are just trying trimming the fat at this point to avoid harsh austerity measures.

-- Preston Rudderow


Gov. Berkowitz would've known how to get the best for Alaska

Having just witnessed the oil tax debate burrow deeper into the abyss of petty and childish bickering between Sean Parnell and legislators, I can't help but lament Alaska's lost opportunity of putting Ethan Berkowitz at the helm in 2010 instead of Parnell.

Ethan's keen intellect, anchored by science and mind disciplined by years of reasoning and logic in his profession, and his genuine passion, love and hope for Alaska and its people evident in the manner he led as a legislator, would've raised the discussion and directed the process towards expertly crafted, negotiated resolutions and policies.

In its place, we got zilch from Parnell and legislators as they flex their false bravados to embarrassingly infantile and unbefitting levels.

Now, the unwitting masses endure the "bought and paid for" partisan rhetoric from candidates and special interests this campaign season.

It has to be said that it's a shame those people's juvenile, selfish rationales and biases got in the way of the chance to have put this oil tax issue behind us with Ethan as governor.

-- Andree McLeod


Coalition senators are lefties?

What has been passing for punditry lately absolutely astounds me. To characterize the work of the bipartisan Senate coalition as a product of a bunch of liberal lefties denies reality. To expect that Alaska actually gets some increased oil production before handing out hundreds of millions in tax reductions is prudent management of Alaska's resources and not to be dismissed as simply the misguided work of poor, ignorant Alaska politicians.

I know these folks. I have both worked with and fought with these guys. Maybe in some alternate universe Bert Stedman, Hollis French or, for that matter, Gary Stevens or Tom Wagoner could be called liberal but not in this world.

I applaud them for sticking to their guns and representing Alaskans. It is our oil and should not be sold for less than a fair and equitable return for all Alaskans.

-- Harry Crawford Jr.