Voices

Changes long overdue on dipnetting boat regulations

In his July 22 letter to the editor, Marv Greene was right in his assessment of the dangers of dipnetting from a boat on the Kenai River. More and more Alaskans are dipnetting every year. My friends and I have been dipnetting the Kenai River since the inception of that personal-use fishery. We have seen the fishery evolve from merely chaotic to deadly dangerous. Allowing boats of all sizes and horsepower to dipnet the Kenai River is a bad idea and it is getting worse as the numbers increase. Large jet-powered boats have no business in this fishery. They cannot maneuver well at slow speed and are a menace to all smaller boats....

Alaska Dispatch News

"Lots of cotton, lots of fish!" That's the old Bristol Bay, residents say. We could scoff at these old sayings, thinking "What in the world is the relationship of Alaska wild cotton to the sockeye run?" There should be no kinship between these two, but I still felt a little unease upon departing the jet in King Salmon and seeing almost no cotton on the drive to Naknek...

John Schandelmeier

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law as an amendment to the Social Security Act. Most people who will become eligible for Medicare this year were in high school when this legislation was authorized. Today’s seniors were young adults busy with their lives and families.

In 1965, almost half of those 65 and older had no health insurance, living in fear that the high cost of health care could propel them, and their families, into poverty. Today only two percent of seniors have no access to health insurance. This has led to a five-year increase in life expectancy for those over 65...

Susan Johnson,John T. Hammarlund

The upcoming international conference headlined by President Barack Obama presents an unprecedented opportunity for Alaska.

It wouldn’t hurt our congressional delegation to be gracious hosts.

Actually, it would help a lot, especially at a time when Alaska leaders hope to change federal policy on everything from the King Cove road to the proposed troop reductions at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, not to mention the demands of dealing with climate change in the Arctic...

Dermot Cole
Wretched flower thieves

What kind of lowlife can enjoy stolen flowers? Oh, of course, the same lowlife who would steal them in the first place. Three flower baskets were stolen off my fence and I understand how Ms. Gentry feels (Letters, July 25). I guess I’m supposed to be grateful to the thief because he only took three baskets instead of all 13. — Kathryn Coleman Eagle River...

Alaska Dispatch News

In his Alaska Dispatch News commentary (“ Alaska must do a thorough, independent review of oil tax regime ,” July 25), former Alaska Attorney General John Havelock suggests petroleum industry profits are unreasonably high now that the state has huge revenue shortfalls. The state’s current tax regime greatly remunerates oil and gas companies, while Alaskans are being deprived of important public services...

Jan Konigsberg

How can we expect people to pick themselves up when all we do is constantly keep them down by kicking them in the face?

In the 1970s and '80s we cultivated the “War on Drugs,” a comprehensive plan, including military operations and domestic public relations campaigns aimed at teaching our youth to “Just say no.”

Regardless of how you feel about the war on drugs and Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” campaign, the problem we have now is much more complex...

Mike Dingman

I write this in support and encouragement of the state of Alaska taking immediate action to secure a permanent no-take wildlife conservation easement on state lands surrounded by Denali National Park.

Gov. Bill Walker and Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten can help ensure long-term viability of park wildlife populations in a critical area for wolf viewing by facilitating an easement purchase by the U.S. Department of Interior. The easement could either be purchased directly or created through a transfer of an equal-value asset located elsewhere...

Michael Johnson

We frequently read about countries in which people walk for days to get to a polling booth and then risk death by actually voting. We’re awed by the courage it takes to vote under those conditions. Then we go back to our lattes and forget that in this country, we have basically thrown our voting privilege away by avoiding the voting booth in droves.

It sometimes seems the people who vote the least complain the most. Many justify not voting by saying no candidate pleases them completely. If they can’t have a perfect candidate, then they just won’t vote at all...

Elise Patkotak
Senators must take action

I voted for both Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan, thinking they were going to change the way business was done in D.C. But now I see Republican leaders are no less dishonest than what I thought the Democrats are. Last week Sen. Ted Cruz exposed the Republican leadership for what they are — dishonest. They lied!

Murkowski and Sullivan ran as conservative Republicans; now is the time to back up their words up with action. Stand up and support what Ted Cruz said and turn our party around. I am fed up with the Republican party bosses screwing me and this great country. Are Murkowski and Sullivan with the conservatives, or with the party bosses?

— Steve Epperheimer Kenai...

Alaska Dispatch News