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Val Van Brocklin’s observations in “Fairbanks incident shows value of smart police with military gear” (ADN, Thursday) was much needed nourishment to the consumer of law enforcement news. Coverage in both the liberal and conservative media has been decidedly negative of late. This spreading negativity is only one symptom of a puzzling paradigm shift our profession is suffering under. We used to be the good guys people aspired to become. Now police academy attendance is at an all-time low, and there are openings in Alaska departments going unfilled. Our peak popularity followed the community policing movement of 30-some years ago. But unfortunately, community policing died an early death....

David Sexton

Let’s face it. We’re Alaskans. We don’t care what it is, where it comes from, what it smells like, how it affects our environment, our kids, or our future. We just care if it makes money.

Currently I’m living in Olympia, Washington, working, going to school, and shopping for “ legs of the stool ,” that popular metaphor for our state's economy. Having lived Outside from 2006 to 2009 and again for the past 8 months, I have some perspective. Blessed to live in one of the most progressive, innovative, forward-thinking states in the nation here, I am able to reflect on how far, and in how many ways, Alaska lags behind. In women’s rights, social issues, economic strategies, alternative energy, technology, creative leadership and guts...

Mara Machulsky

Civilization requires balancing the curtailment of one person’s freedoms with the protection of others and the greater good. When two people’s freedoms are mutually exclusive, civilization usually embraces the concept that the freedom to not be harmed by others takes precedence. Traffic laws, zoning ordinances and FAA regulations governing air travel are all examples of that priority. In fact, virtually all laws that allow a free society to rise above chaos, anarchy and brutishness are the results of a similar calculation...

Dr. Brian Moench
Give the gift of blood

Bob Scanlon’s article (ADN, Sept. 9) on the importance of donating blood should be a wake-up call for all healthy Alaskans able to donate blood. It is hard to imagine a greater generous gift to humanity that costs nothing more than a commitment of some of your time to provide lifesaving blood. Call 222-5630 for info on how you can donate.

— Terry Stimson Anchorage

NFL’s dance of denial ignores lies

Lost in the NFL and Ravens “leadership” denial dance is one little fact: Ray Rice … lied. Coach Harbaugh yesterday: “I hope the two of them ‘make it,’” and “We just saw the video — it changes everything.” In all the hemming and hawing from coach, not once did I hear, “I’m disappointed Ray lied to me.”...

Alaska Dispatch News

In a commentary in Alaska Dispatch News on Sept. 6, Thetus Smith is incensed that the University of Alaska Anchorage would ask for donations . I am not. My wife and I are regular donors to UAA and will continue to be. UAA had nothing to do with the regents' decision to give a bonus to President Gamble. UAA, in fact, is having to absorb a $7 million cut in their budget through no fault of their own. Her anger should be directed at the regents, appointed by the governor...

Omer Carey

I was born and raised in Alaska, and it’s been my home for over 60 years. I find the constant barrage of political ads claiming one candidate or another isn't really "Alaskan" silly.

As if the length of time one spent in Alaska determined that.

The legal definition of residency is pretty minimal. As I understand it, residency is primarily a function of intent. You can get a driver’s license and register to vote here almost immediately upon arrival and get a Permanent Fund dividend after one year...

Win Gruening

I recently sent some hiking photos to a friend in Washington state, who many years ago lived in Alaska. He emailed back in laudatory fashion, praising me as a “true Alaskan.” I responded by telling him there are as many types of Alaskan as there are opinions on salmon management or oil taxation. I added that to be a true Alaskan one needs to be a bit crazy, and in that case, he was a true Alaskan.

To the best of my knowledge, we’re the only state fixated on such a title, and on how long we’ve each lived here. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone in the contiguous 48 states use the phrase “a true Pennsylvanian” or “a true Oregonian,” or brag about how long they’ve resided in those locales...

Frank E. Baker

There it is in news photos and a YouTube video -- police on the streets of Fairbanks in a very military looking armored vehicle dealing with a suicidal citizen holed up in a car . Lt. Eric Jewkes, who led the tactical response team, was quoted as saying, "He wanted us to shoot him. That was part of his goal for an extended period of time. I think maybe we finally convinced him that that's not where we wanted to go, and he wasn't going to get us there."...

Val Van Brocklin
Carey’s comments disappointing

I almost always enjoy Paul Jenkins’ absurd rants — his article Sunday about the changed gubernatorial election dynamics did not disappoint...

Alaska Dispatch News

Historians, writers and others with a passion for Alaska history have been vigorously discussing the role of the Cold War in shaping the territory and later the state. I was born at the opening of the Cold War and experienced it from the perspective of a kid curious about the adult world.

My parents abandoned their trap line near Lake Minchumina and moved to Fairbanks in the fall of 1950 so I could begin school. Fabian and Mary believed my younger sister Kathleen and I deserved a proper education -- and to them home schooling by mail with a Calvert course was not a proper education...

Michael Carey

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