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Readers write: Letters to the editor, September 25, 2016

  • Author: Alaska Dispatch News
    | Opinion
  • Updated: September 24, 2016
  • Published September 24, 2016

Whole election is about greed

Victor Davis Hanson (ADN, Thursday) must be living in a different world of reality. His article about how we must be ready for war was interesting. He doesn't mention the U.S. has been at war for 15 years. Fully half of our budget goes to the Defense Department or to our "security agencies." The present administration is asking for $1 trillion to upgrade nuclear weapons. They want $80 billion for a new bomber. The F-35 is sucking up another $1 trillion — even the Pentagon analysts say it is overpriced and not ready for combat. We have 800 bases around the world and are mired in a foundering Middle East policy. The Congress and corporations will not stop until the country is completely bled dry. Greed will bring down the American Empire because that is what capitalism is.

This whole election for president is about greed. We have hit the bottom of the barrel in national politics with these candidates.

— Jay Cross
Big Lake

Kneelers: Get up and serve

Regarding athletes' flag protests — awareness has been achieved, now what do you intend to do?

How about donating time/money to inner city Boys and Girls Clubs, soup kitchens, food banks, job training, churches where dialogues can take place and needs articulated?

Time to move to the next step and the next step should be useful, measurable and real.

— Anne Masker
Eagle River

Be vigilant in caring for our neighbors like Hillside man

In light of the sad event of the man who barricaded himself and eventually lost his life, I'd like to propose a few ideas to prevent such a tragedy from reoccurring. How about having either an unofficial or even an official "Community Care" program?

Without being intrusive, caring can be shown in myriad ways. Invite an elderly person over for dinner. Ask if they need something from the store the next time you do a grocery run. Offer them flower seeds for their gardens, assistance with lawn care, a plate of brownies or a ticket to the movies with you and your family. Engage them in conversation to find out their interests, fears, concerns and try to incorporate that person into family or community events by inviting them along. Invite a loner to Thanksgiving dinner. If someone should suffer the loss of the death of a family member, bring them dinner. When I was a young girl and my mother died, the whole neighborhood organized among themselves to bring dinner to our family for an entire month.

Loneliness and a perceived lack of love are potential death sentences. My experience with Anchorage is that it is a community with a huge heart. I remember once that a minister stated: "Everyone needs something to do, something to hope for and someone to love." Sadly, the poor gentleman on the Hillside apparently lost his love, his purpose and his hope. Let us be more vigilant to the needs of others. Let it start with me.

— Barbara DuBois

Gillespie is newcomer who will energize state House

I've never been one who feels passionately about politics, especially on a local level. This campaign season has changed me. As a lifelong Republican-turned-Bernie Sanders-supporter, I have come to learn of the importance of being involved in politics on a local level if we are ever going to change the way Washington does things. With that in mind, I am excited that David Gillespie is running for the state House of Representatives in District 26.

I've known Gillespie as my father-in-law and I've known him for 16 years. In that time, I've learned he is an honest, hardworking, driven man, who gets the job done. He is passionate about seeing the right thing being done, for the right reasons. I very much appreciate that he is not a career politician and has joined the campaign late in the game. He sees a void in leadership and has stepped up to fill it. He is highly relatable, knows how hard it can be to make ends meet, how to set goals for the future, and how to work with others to resolve problems. He sincerely wants to improve the Alaskan life, now and for the future.

Gillespie loves Alaska! He loves his city, and he loves his community. Like many of us, he is frustrated with the status quo that has become the accepted norm in operating our government, which is what I believe we will get if his opponent is elected. I look forward to the November election, when I can vote for David Gillespie for state House. Please join me!

— Sarah K. Widdison

Coverage lacking for summit

This week, Anchorage was the host of the Adventure Travel World Summit.

This international tourism conference had a record attendance of 870 delegates from all over the world.

The conference was hosted by Visit Anchorage at the Dena'ina Convention Center. The majority of the delegates were owner-operators of adventure travel companies which is one of the fasted growing segments of the tourism industry.

The summit hosted many outstanding speakers and also had over 50 media representatives including USA Today, National Geographic and this was great public relations for Anchorage and Alaska.

Even though the tourist industry is a major part of Alaska's economy there was very little local news coverage on this important world tourism event.

Unfortunately, the Alaska news media's primary focus is on murders and shootouts in our community and not much on the positive impact of such a major adventure travel summit.

— Chris von Imhof

PFD double standard is sad

This is messed up. I work out of town just like the North Slopers, but in Russia. So I don't qualify for the PFD when I'm gone over 180 days. All my money goes to food and goods bought in Wasilla where my house is and family members. So when they start the state income tax back up, they better not ask me to pay income tax because for years, the PFD considers me a nonresident! The sad part about this is the politicians live in Washington and still get paid, a double standard.

— Bill Jurica

APD calls residents paranoid to justify its own inaction

Valley of the Moon residents' letter to the mayor focused on the recent surge in violent crime, which remains an active source of anxiety for our neighborhood. However, this message is limited to the issue of property crime, which was also referenced in the Aug. 30 letter.

ADN's recent article about property crime in Valley of the Moon repeats — and accepts — APD's incorrect position that reported property crime has been "relatively flat" since 2014. The actual statistics, which ADN helpfully reproduced in the article, show the opposite.

APD's statistics cover three years: 2014, 2015 and 2016 year-to-date. The "year-to-date" notation is key — it means the statistics compare the total number of crimes reported in all of 2014 and 2015 to the number reported in just the first 8.5 months of 2016.

The numbers are anything but flat. I'm no mathematician, but by my calculations, the numbers show property theft in North Star is up 30.8 percent since 2015 and
9 percent since 2014. Vehicle theft is up 466.7 percent since 2015 and 41.7 percent since 2014. 2016 has already had significantly more reports in two of APD's three property crime categories — and we're only 70 percent through the year, with a known underreporting problem.

I understand APD has higher priorities than investigating property crimes. But there are other ways it could be helping. It could launch a campaign encouraging people to report all crimes and explaining how to do so online or by phone, so police are aware of (and respond to) any patterns that emerge. It could retrain its dispatchers to be friendly, rather than dismissive and annoyed, when taking property crime calls. It could reach out and teach communities how to form their own patrols. APD is doing none of this. Instead, it is increasingly tight-lipped about its operations, and is even making matters worse by cautioning people to stay inside after dark, and sending anxiety-inducing warnings about the criminal danger that lurks in the approaching winter season.

If APD won't help, it could at least acknowledge we have a problem. Instead, it attempts to justify its own inaction by (incorrectly) calling us paranoid. This adds insult to injury, and further erodes the trust between APD and the public. We all expect — and deserve — better.

— Eva Gardner
Valley of the Moon neighborhood

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 under 200 words for consideration, email, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter to the editor constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Send longer works of opinion to