Letters to the Editor

Readers write: Letters to the editor, Oct. 25, 2014

GOP couldn’t make ANWR happen

Dan Sullivan's attack ads against Mark Begich show his lack of understanding of Alaska's recent history. Sullivan claims Begich has had six years to get ANWR opened for oil drilling but has failed to do so. Does Sullivan understand that Alaska's all-Republican delegation from 1980 until 2008, Sens. Ted Stevens, Frank Murkowski and Congressman Don Young also failed? Ted Stevens was probably the single most powerful of all members of the Senate and he had three Republican administrations and 20 years out of 28 from 1980 until 2008 controlled by the GOP and he couldn't get it done. There was no Harry Reid to blame either, the Republicans controlled the Senate in parts of that time as well as the House.

So by Sullivan's standards, Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski, Don Young and Lisa Murkowski are all failures also.

Sullivan either lacks understanding of Alaska's recent history or is deliberately distorting Begich's record. Alaska is better off having a senator in each party rather than putting all our eggs in one GOP basket. Send Begich back to Washington and Sullivan back to Ohio.

Fred Klouda Jr.


Are local hospitals ready for Ebola?

Are there any emergency plans in Alaska health care systems? With the Ebola scare happening, it's good to know if the hospitals in Alaska have some sort of backup plan to assure we're ready.

Thomas Phillips



Foresight calls for funding vaccines

The U.S. government is currently scrambling to produce a vaccine against the Ebola virus, the funding having been cut by our Congress to do so years ago. In the future can we be more foresighted?

We can, by funding GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.

How many are aware that vaccines to prevent pneumonia and the deadly disease of diarrhea have been produced in the last few years? We now have the ability to prevent many children from dying, not only from these two big killers, but from measles, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.

The problem is, as always, allocating the funds to make the vaccines available where they are needed.

The illustration cannot be clearer: Had the funds been approved by our Congress and other governments, the magic of immunizations would have been available before the mortal sicknesses spread.

The more clear picture is of a mother carrying her dying child miles for the gift of a vaccination, or of a father burying his son for the lack of one.

In January of 2015, GAVI will be seeking $7.5 billion in order to vaccinate 300 million more children by 2020, which will save more than 5 million additional lives. The U.S. can do its part by contributing $1 billion over four years. Whoever our congressional representatives are come 2015, we can encourage them to support GAVI.

Mary Martin


Alaskans deserve adult congressman

It would seem that we Alaskans deserve a congressman we can trust to speak in an adult, professional manner to high school students.

Bette Seaman


Young believes he can do no wrong

I just finished reading Sen. Murkowski's comments this morning and her request that Don Young apologize for his insensitive remarks about suicide. It seems we live in a world where all you have to do is apologize and all is forgiven. Never mind the fact that this individual is not the least bit sorry for what he said, or the fact that he no doubt feels he did nothing wrong. In fact, it was the students at Wasilla High School who showed him disrespect, not the other way around.

I was raised that when you apologize for something you did, then there is remorse for it, that you deeply regret your actions and the harm caused to others. Don Young is so full of himself he thinks he can do no wrong, and worst of all, he honestly believes he is above the law. So if any form of apology crosses his lips, it is just that, lip service, nothing more.

Instead of asking for an apology, Sen. Murkowski should be requiring his immediate removal from his office. If he is re-elected this year it won't be due to me casting a vote in his direction, and those that do, well you have to look in the mirror every morning knowing you condone this type of stupidity.

Michael Day



Prehistoric evidence of Begich’s legacy

What did Mark Begich leave behind in Anchorage as mayor? Note the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature in Mountain View. Drive down Bragaw Streeet in Mountain View to see its beautiful dinosaur mural. Within its exhibit area is the only place in the state you can see a complete dinosaur skeleton. Thousands of school children have benefited from its educational activities and hands-on exhibits. Visitors have found it a great place to learn about Alaska's wildlife, fossils and glaciers.

When the museum was evicted from its home in Eagle River in 2001 it was homeless until Mayor Begich made the building available as part of the Mountain View Arts and Cultural District. It stands as a tribute to Begich and his efforts to make Anchorage a great city to live in. He's getting my vote.

Anne Pasch, professor emeritus

University of Alaska Anchorage


Buying the election with taxpayer dollars

Political ads have reached new lows. Young women demanding control of their birth control decisions but expecting taxpayers to pay for their choices. Mark Begich accusing Dan Sullivan's wealthy parents of buying the election for him while he and a HUD representative visit 15 villages and spread $8 million around. Dan Sullivan could very easily have taken a cushy job in the family business. Instead, he chose to serve his country in the military and in public office.

At least the Sullivans are using their own money. Mark Begich is trying to buy the election with my taxpayer dollars.


Arlene Carle


A bully by any other name

With all the current emphasis on the prevention of bullying, why do we put up with an elected official who uses the power of his office to bully high school students? I'm referring of course to Don Young. What is the matter with us? Why in the world do we continue to elect this bully?

Wayne Rush

Eagle River

Governor and first lady choose respect

I would like to say a word in support of Gov. Sean Parnell. As a person who is employed in a people-helping profession I have often spoken to women who have been victims of domestic violence or sexual assault and trafficking. This is a rampant evil in our state.

The governor and first lady have not just taken a public position on this issue through "Choose Respect," but behind the scenes they have been huge advocates for these victims. I have watched both of them demonstrate hearts that are broken when they hear stories of harm. Additionally, they have provided advocacy and removed barriers for victims to receive justice as well as resources.

Thank you both so much for using your public voice to promote respect and justice for women as well as your continued behind the scenes support for those who are trying to make a difference.

Sue Floyd


Family, friends can only do so much for suicidal

To all the family and friends of those who have committed suicide, I hope you know you did not have the power to get into that individual's mind and prevent that action. Telling a person who is depressed or otherwise mentally ill that the darkness they feel is just not real and that everything will be fine, is like telling someone in a dark room that it's brightly lit. It doesn't make sense. It isn't believable. The illness takes over and colors everything.

Professional treatment, medication and counseling all can help an ill person become well and think more rationally. Family and friends can love and support, but are never to blame.


Anne Galloway


Plenty of negative words to describe Don Young

I appreciate Connie Faipeas and Alex Koplin for writing my exact thoughts about Don Young. The words "bullying," "unbelievable," "out of touch," "gone way too far," "mean" and "insensitive" have described him for years. I would add: crude, selfish, unthinking, disrespectful (How could he call a student, speaking with heartfelt despair of a lost friend, disrespectful?), and prideful.

It is embarrassing to many Alaskans to still have Young in the House of Representatives, and truly unbelievable that many people still vote for him. Alaska desperately needs to replace Don Young.

Diane Crawford



Help arrest our downward slide and retire Young

I find it more than a little ironic that Don Young's latest profanity-laced harangue was on the subject of suicide. Bullying is often a factor in the suicide of a young person, and Young is a bully of the first order. He uses his office to both verbally and physically intimidate people he deems beneath his stature. We have witnessed his aggression — along with his frequent buffoonery — many times. Isn't that the classic definition of a bully?

I realize there are certain constituencies in Alaska who are grateful to him for his support and voting record; however, politicians, particularly national politicians, should be more than mere voting machines. We need statesmen and stateswomen who lead us towards Lincoln's "better angels of our nature," not examples of the lowest common denominator.

Toward reality-show behavior may be where our society is sinking, but perhaps by retiring Young we can arrest that slide just a bit.

John Fick


Is snow removal still a thing?

Does the Municipality of Anchorage no longer clear trails along streets after snowstorms? We got almost 7 inches snow here on the lower Hillside on Monday and the trail along Birch Road between Abbott and O'Malley has still not been cleared as of Friday. This is a trail used by a lot of Service High students and I've seen at least two fall on the ice.

E. L. Nickoloff


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