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Letters to the editor (6/11/12)

Bible found in litter going home

I had little hope when I wrote in April that you would publish my letter because I realized it might open a Pandora's box of similar pleas.

You published my letter to Reuben, whose Bible I had found while picking up litter near Cooper Landing. His grandmother had given it to him for making straight A grades in fourth grade.

Today, after playing phone tag for a couple of weeks, I entrusted the much-the-worse-for-wear Bible to the USPS for delivery to Reuben near the southern part of the Kenai Peninsula.

Thank you for publishing the letter. We might be a big state, but it's still a small world.

-- Jeanne Follett

Moose Pass

Tax the rich at rates that President Reagan approved

We've been hearing from Republicans and tea-partiers for a long time that what our economy most needs is more confidence among the investing class -- otherwise rich investors will hold our government hostage -- and the best way to increase that confidence is to start reducing our deficits and pay down our debts.

Fine. And those best able to help us pay down our debts are those with the most money. So let the Bush tax cuts on the rich expire. Let tax rates on the rich go back to --- or at least toward -- where they were under the sainted Reagan.

And if that's not fair, let the Bush tax cuts on the middle class expire too -- and use the proceeds to re-hire teachers, fire fighters, librarians, etc., who've been laid off. That will put the money right back into the economy, while providing jobs and public services we need.

-- Rick Wicks


EPA Pebble draft a yellow light

Thanks to the EPA for honoring tribal requests and drafting a preliminary assessment. A few items from the executive summary: A mine in the Pebble deposit would "result in the loss of 87.5 to 141.4 km (55 to 87 miles), respectively, of possible spawning or rearing habitats for coho salmon, Chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden." Other impacts include reduced flow water "reducing the amount and quality of fish habitat" and the footprint of the mine causing "removal of 10.2 to 17.3 km2 (2,512 to 4,286 acres) of wetlands."

This is a draft and not a complete assessment, but it indicates some of the concerns EPA should address when the Pebble group submits its plan in the future. Yes, they have the right to submit a plan, but the State of Alaska and federal government must proceed carefully, following due process and scientific review. We can't afford destruction of natural habitat in the name of creating jobs.

-- Cheryl Lovegreen


Time to nationalize big oil, banks

In his letter , "Alaska on wrong end of trend" (June 6), Duane Christensen contends "fuel ... should be a utility, thereby giving some ... control over greed," and that regulation failed us.

Indeed, oil corporations have abused their power by slowing oil production and refining and holding this hostage to barter in exchange for more tax breaks and higher prices. Big oil and giant banks both have manipulated all Americans through our legislators at our expense.

I contend that they have lost their right to profit from us. It is time for us to stand up and nationalize big oil companies, refineries, and giant banks within the USA, and transform them into nonprofit government agencies to benefit the 99 percent of us for a change.

-- Dan Russell


Unions help nonmembers too

Around town, on the radio, I hear working people talking, saying they make between $10 and $25 an hour, generally, with no health insurance, saying how much they hate labor unions and vote against them. They reason that if there were no labor unions, then these union people would be reduced to the level of pay and benefits that they earn.

Personally, I think this conclusion is flawed. If there's anything to be learned from history, it is much more likely that both will see their benefits and wages reduced. I would suggest that with no unions, they are much more likely to find their labor and wage model in Southeast China. Guangzhou, perhaps.

-- Dwight McGee