Readers write: Letters to the editor, Aug. 15, 2014

Alaska Dispatch News
LETTERS: Readers sound off on a host of topics in the public eye: Sarah Palin and oil taxes, Tony Knowles and oil taxes, Kevin Banks and oil taxes, and, for a change of pace, compensation for Alaska's public servants. U.S. Post Office, Smithsonian National Postal Museum image

Vote yes; risk-taking is over

I agree with my friend Tony Knowles when he opines: “risk-takers deserve the rewards.”  I was here in the 1960s, and watched Atlantic-Richfield take great risks discovering oil at Prudhoe Bay. They’ve rightly been rewarded with billions of dollars in profits.

But who’s taking the great risks today?  BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon? By continuing to produce more oil from a field discovered more than 40 years ago?  I don’t think so. I’m voting yes on Ballot Measure 1 next Tuesday.

— Jack Roderick
Anchorage

Press for reform; vote yes 

I am convinced that most people on both sides of the SB 21 debate want the same thing: a healthy economy for Alaska that provides jobs and adequate funding for needs such as education. We disagree on how best to achieve this and the issue is very complicated. My takeaway from listening to speakers on both sides and reading many ADN articles is this: there are problems with both SB 21 and ACES. So ...

What happens  if the no side wins and SB 21 remains our oil taxation policy? That’s easy. We will live with SB 21 indefinitely into the future. There will be no incentive for the Legislature to correct the problems with SB 21. 

What happens if the yes side wins? Technically we go back to ACES and that may be the case for a year. But if the yes side wins there will be a great deal of pressure on the Legislature to come up with an improved tax policy that is a better balance between the interests of Alaska and the oil industry.

And if you missed Kevin Banks’ excellent commentary in the Tuesday’s ADN, please read it.

— Helen Nienhueser
Anchorage

McDannel shows arrogance

Ms. McDannel (Tuesday, ADN) suggests that state employees sacrifice pay and lavish holiday office parties for the privilege of serving the public and performing “meaningful work.” In making her case she shows an appalling lack of understanding, empathy, and respect for the public she claims to serve.

The regular Joe or Jane working person who changes her snow tires, bags her groceries, prepares her latte, sells her firewood, drives the taxi she takes home from the Christmas party, leads her yoga session, teaches her to play guitar, and cleans her carpets, in contrast to a state employee, typically has no job security, no paid vacation, no sick leave, no office holiday party, no retirement plan yet pays the same taxes and fees to support state services she does. Is their work not meaningful? Are they not providing an important public service?

 The out-of-touch, self-righteous arrogance her column displays is an embarrassment to the many hard-working state employees who do provide a useful public service. It is an insult to the rest of us working folks who do what we do for all sorts of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with the “lure of wealth.”

— John Clark
Anchorage

ACES was Palin’s baby

Of course Sarah Palin favors continuing ACES, it was her baby but I’m guessing it has more to do with her ego than Alaska’s economic future. Does “Taxed Enough Already” only apply to Sarah and her TEA party buddies? Or, perhaps she’s dropped the TEA party to become a Democrat. If not, she’s being hypocritical.

—  Jackie Brunton
Big Lake

Buyouts not warranted

I can see it now: hot cup of coffee, sipping it in the breakfast nook in a bay window. Dawn glimmers on the river sliding gently by your front yard, and early morning radio playing “Run River Run.” Oh, wave to your neighbors, all sitting on the top of their homes as they slide past your yard to relocate somewhere downstream. 

Even the oldest book on earth, the Bible, warns about building your house upon the sand. Even the uninformed would have looked intently at a river that meanders from side-to-side doing what rivers tend to do like making cut banks, carving new channels.

Now you want someone to pay you for your blunder of building on the sand with a raging river in your front yard. No wonder we have such a huge national debt. You can call this an act of God situation but you assumed that liability when you decided to build on the river. Don’t make us all pay for your poor judgement.

— Pat Wendt
Soldotna

Immigration is time bomb

Recently a number of letters and commentaries have objected to any suggestion that the children illegally crossing our southern borders need to be turned around and sent back to where they came from. We are told that these poor children need our assistance and support, and to refuse their plea for help is horribly selfish, unkind, anti-Christian and un-American.

What these good-intentioned writers don’t seem to realize is that this situation is a ticking time bomb that could destroy our nation. We’re not just talking about hundreds of children, we’re talking about a potentially immense snowball. Selfishness is sometimes required for survival. What we must constantly remind ourselves is that the world we now live in has become very small and connected due to modern electronic technology. When Obama announces before the cameras that the children of illegal aliens are not going to be sent back, the whole world hears that ... including a billion or more Third World poor and desperate people.

We must secure our borders and make it clear to the world that illegal immigration to the U.S. will not be allowed.

— Jim Lieb
Palmer

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter for consideration, email letters@adn.com, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity.