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Letters to the editor (8/10/12)

Where's the tea party outrage over $500 million for a road?

Where is the outrage from tea party activist, conservatives and other antigovernment (i.e., Republicans) folks over the proposal from the state to spend nearly $500 million to build an industrial road to Ambler that will only benefit for-profit mining companies?

If a venture is economically feasible then let industry take the risks and reap the rewards. That's the American, capitalistic free enterprise system, right? Our tax dollars should not be used to support private, for-profit development -- especially to the tune of half a billion dollars!

So, come on all you fiscal conservatives who love to hate the government, put your money where your mouth is and publicly demand a stop to this abuse of taxpayers' money.

-- Mark Miner


Palin beat out Romney in '08

With the political arena in full circus mode, I was thinking that it might be wise to point out that Mitt Romney was passed over for John McCain's running mate in the last election in favor of Sarah Palin. If Palin as the potential vice president four years ago made you gag then, imagine gagging on Romney as president this go around.

-- Matthew Tocchini


Tough-guy posturing does little in today's educational reality

If School Board member and state Senate candidate Don Smith opposes a program to feed poor children in the Anchorage School District because it "expands the entitlement mentality that we have in Alaska and our School District," will his next press release detail his opposition to the PFD and support for the establishment of sustainable tax policy in Alaska?

If he is worried that we are becoming Greece, does he favor a sensible combination of spending cuts coupled with revenues increases to reduce deficits and the national debt?

Of course he doesn't favor these things, as to be in favor of these things requires leadership, political courage, intellectual honesty and a fundamental sense of fairness.

The challenges we face as a community, state and nation can't be solved with tough-guy talk and policy aimed at further undermining the most vulnerable in our society -- they require more than Don Smith has to offer, so Midtown residents ought to draw the line in the sand at his candidacy.

-- Chris Tew


GOP would kill economy to deny Obama election

In 1982, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 11 percent. Under President Ronald Reagan, Democrats and Republicans put aside political bickering and passed a number of reform measures for the benefit of the nation. Taxes were cut, unemployment benefits were extended, Food Stamp benefits were extended, and the debt ceiling was raised. For the good of the country, the parties worked together. Two years later, the unemployment rate was down and the economy was humming. President Reagan was reelected in a landslide.

Republicans noticed the pattern. When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 on the heels of the worse economic crash in 75 years, they realized that if they worked together for the benefit of the nation, the economy may recover, but the president, like Reagan before him, would be easily reelected. So, from day one, the Republican leadership vowed to fight the president on everything, even to crash the economy, to prevent Obama's reelection.

-- Dale Richesin


Let police utilize their training

Stuart Thompson, in his Aug. 9 letter, states that martial arts training will allow police to take down a bat wielding aggressor. Surely, he must be joking.

It is sad and unfortunate that these events seem to be reoccurring in our community. However, there are consequences for people who attack police officers with deadly weapons. Following the first incident, there was public outcry that not all officers carry tasers. I agree completely that using a firearm should be the last resort. Now we have a situation where one was used and you say they are useless, take them down with your bare hands using "easily attained" martial arts skills?

Police tased the suspect without success and were forced to take the next step. If I were on the receiving end of that bat, I would certainly fear for my life as well. While I commend your own ninja skills, let's let officers do what they are trained to do.

-- Dyann VanDaff


Science is all about discourse

I have been following the EPA hearings about the Pebble mine proposal. The last day was to be a meeting between the independent scientists who did the peer review of the assessment and EPA staff to discuss weaknesses in the EPA's assessment and how it might be improved. The Pebble group objected to this exchange of scientific ideas. Politics won, so now the EPA cannot discuss it's own assessment paper with the scientists who reviewed it. This is idiotic. We need the best assessment of the risks of Pebble development possible. That is only possible if there is free discourse between the scientists involved.

Concurrently, the Pebble group has flown elders in from the villages around the Pebble prospect, put them up in downtown hotels, given them spending money, and is "educating" them about the Pebble mine and its effects. You can bet that the scientists and EPA who deal in science and facts rather than promises of optimal outcomes will not be speaking at that event either.

-- Allen Tigert