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Readers write: Letters to the editor, February 12, 2017

  • Author: Alaska Dispatch News
    | Opinion
  • Updated: February 10, 2017
  • Published February 10, 2017


Put snowplows on patrol cars

Our mayor gave us the choice of snowplows or police. I'm thinking we can have both by putting snowplows on police cars. Then, a higher crime rate would at least get our roads cleared faster with more officers speeding to crime scenes. Also, the troopers could use front-end loaders to block highways during high-speed pursuits. After quickly stopping the perpetrator (nobody's getting around a loader), they could clear a couple of cul-de-sacs on the way back to the station.

— David Kohler

Was DeVos move just for show?

Thanks to Sen. Murkowski, Betsy DeVos is now secretary of education. By the senator allowing DeVos' nomination out of committee she ensured DeVos' nomination would pass. Even though Sens. Murkowski and Collins voted against the confirmation it seems obvious they both had the blessings of the party as not one word was said against them for their votes. Any Republican breaking ranks in the past has, at the least, received a tongue lashing. Did their constituents just get a show?

— Michael McKinnon

Pebble propect has already
had its fair assessment

I am writing in regards to the article titled, "Pebble project deserves fair assessment" (ADN, Jan. 31). I don't believe the EPA was overreaching in its decision against the Pebble project. In fact, to the contrary, many residents including myself commemorated this decision with T-shirts and celebrated a victory for clean water and wild salmon.

Bristol Bay residents overwhelmingly oppose the Pebble mine with over 80 percent regional opposition, including Bristol Bay Native Corp., Bristol Bay Native Association (31 tribes), Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. (17 tribes), United Tribes of Bristol Bay (14 tribes), and Nunamta Aulukestai (14 Alaska Native village corporations). The state of Alaska still polls at 60 percent opposed to Pebble development and in 2014 voters approved raising restrictions on the permitting process. As a commercial fisherman, my livelihood depends on salmon entirely, and I am not willing to let the last great sockeye salmon fishery be ruined by corporate greed. As a 19-year-old, I have grown up with this fight, walking in rallies and speaking up since I can remember. I hope the next generation can have security in knowing we protected this priceless resource, and are able to fish the same waters my family has for more that 60 years. Alaskans don't want the Pebble mine.

— Harmony Wayner

Legislature needs ethics lesson

Why is our Legislature in Juneau acting like the former Corrupt Bastards Club? Do they still call themselves members, or is it just the way they act? They spend money for pleasure trips while the state says we must cut PFDs and tax people to pay for government. Legislators are asking the governor to cut all services to the bare bone.

How can solons who are retiring and who no longer serve the public be paid for trips to learn about government or trips to warm places during winter, send building supplies home with their baggage, and vote on bills involving their own investments and second jobs?

I'm asking the few honest persons left in elective government: Can't we sue them? They are stealing from us! Are they above the law? Doesn't the law say taking public money for personal use is stealing? If not, it should. Can't the Justice Department throw them in jail?

I suppose if we voters did get our backs up and throw them all out the next group would just pick up the old habits of making hay while the sun shines, shortly after they arrive.

It's really too bad that corruption is tolerated and practiced in our Legislature. What's the matter with our legal system? Afraid of adverse legislation? And what happened to ethics in government? Is it really as dead as it looks? New reality show: "Alaska's Legislature; Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel."

— Dick Palmatier

Self-righteous GOP wastes time going back to failed policies

"The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." (Genesis 2:15)

Why do Republican politicians put in place policies and people that allow, nay encourage companies to harm the environment?

The great economist Adam Smith taught that trade leads to prosperity. We are wealthy today because nations left behind the protectionist mercantile theory, which encouraged tariffs, and instead adapted global trade. Why are the Republican politicians arguing for going back to failed strategies? Why are they allowing the cronyism between politics and business that Smith warned against?

Despite decades of loudly proclaiming their being "more patriotic than thou," strong evidence of undue influence and unsettling support of Russia by our president, the GOP politicians in Washington D.C. seem to be blindly following the leadership of Trump without questioning the reasons or rightness of his actions.

Why? Perhaps these politicians have forgotten or lost sight of these guiding lights? In seeking votes they turned to simplistic populist rhetoric rather than real solutions? I think in actuality, it is because the media and their supporters find it more profitable to disseminate simplistic and partisan populist rhetoric rather than actual truthful and fair news and real solutions.

— Alex Koponen

Murkowski: Stop ACA repeal

I am grateful Sen. Lisa Murkowski signed onto the repeal of the global gag rule, a rule which unfairly cuts funding for family planning programs overseas. The religious objections by some should not take away the right of reproductive choice from others.

The next step is to protect Planned Parenthood if the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is successful. As a Catholic, I understand that the most effective way of reducing the number of abortions is to provide contraceptives and medically accurate sexual education. This way women have the power to get pregnant on their own terms.

Planned Parenthood is one of the few providers in Alaska where women can go for affordable contraceptives and reproductive health care.

I ask Murkowski to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and stand with Planned Parenthood and the many people who rely on their services.

— Christin Anderson

Trump will let our Earth die

The day Donald Trump walked into the White House, the U.S. lost its liberty in so many ways. One important development is denying public access to scientific knowledge. We, the people of the United States of America, have the right to know what is going on in our country. By taking the climate change page off of the "" website, Trump is hiding something. He is trying to hide how critically humans are affecting the earth and how badly the earth is being damaged. Trump told the U.S. he believes climate change is a "Chinese hoax" but how can he believe that when we see the effects of it every day?

The Earth's temperature is rising at an alarming rate. We do not get as much snow in Alaska as there used to be. The polar ice caps are melting, the ocean level is rising and polar bears are losing their habitat. Many animal species will be extinct, including us. We have a right to know what condition our Earth is in, as it is the only one we have. As the people who did this to the planet, we can also be the people to fix it. Some fossil fuel products can be replaced with hemp, and scientists are discovering more alternative energy options. It is our right to know how climate change is going to affect our grandchildren. It's our right to ask the government to work to stop this now, before it's too late. Or is already too late?

— Jordan Eastman
Dutch Harbor

Adrift in sea of Trumpian chaos

Thank you, Tom Nichols for "Keep a cooler watch, America; not every Trump move is an outrage"(ADN, Feb. 7).

You present a calm perspective in a sea of chaos.

— Cathy Guay

Trump picks and chooses nations based on his profit margin

Since 9/11 there have been 12 terrorists who conducted deadly attacks on the United States. Of those 12, none of them were from the countries on Donald Trump's ban-list for immigrants and refugees, which includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. The 12 terrorists were all American citizens or legal residents. Seven were native-born American citizens from Tennessee and Virginia. Three were African-American, two are from Russia, and some had heritage in Egypt, Kuwait, Pakistan and Afghanistan. None of those countries are on the travel ban list. Why not? None of the ban-list countries have committed deadly attacks on the United States. One thing all the majority Muslim countries that are not on the ban-list do have in common is Trump has a business relationship with them. This might just be a power play. I think this might also be a Muslim ban. He said he wanted to have religious test at our borders. Also, I think, he is trying to say white American Christians are better than other people. He is a very arrogant man.

— Jorge Alvarado
Dutch Harbor

Tyrants instill silence first

The first thing a would-be tyrant will do is discredit the media and intimidate journalists. Then they are silenced.

— Shirley Fraser

Shop Nordstrom, enrage Trump

Tweeting now: "Ladies of style and class listen up! You can now shop at Nordstrom and make a political statement at the same time.Just go to the Papa Knows Best section and tell 'em it's for something from the "Ivanka For Less" line.

— Kelli Mahoney

Delegation should lead inquiry into Putin-Trump alliance

U.S. intelligence agencies and even members of Russian intelligence agencies say Russia made significant attempts to sway the U.S. 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. This is a major international scandal that some have called cyberwarfare. However, the media attention and national outrage over this wrongdoing seems to have waned.

Just a brief recap of key events is troubling: Democratic and Republican National Committee emails were hacked, but only Democratic Committee emails were released by Russian agents through WikiLeaks; one of candidate Trump's close advisers and former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, had to be dismissed because of troubling Russian connections; newly confirmed secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had such close ties to Russia (largely based on Exxon Mobil's investments there) that he won the Order of Friendship award from the Russian government; reports attributed to a former British counterintelligence officer alleged there was contact between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Even more troubling is our president's unwillingness to say anything negative about Vladimir Putin, even going so far last week as to say Putin's practice of having his political enemies killed was not so different that what the U.S. government does.

I call on our congressional delegation, Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan and Rep. Young, to support the appointment of a bipartisan committee or an independent commission to investigate the involvement of Russia in our 2016 presidential election and current foreign policy.

— Linda Schandelmeier

Alaskans need ACA's benefits

Alaskans who care about access to quality health care are watching Sen. Lisa Murkowksi.

Medical care is expensive in Alaska. We have some of the highest health care costs in the nation. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more Alaskans have medical insurance. However, even many insured Alaskans rely on sliding-scale clinics to help them afford high deductibles and copays.

Congress is ready to repeal and replace the ACA, and part of that replacement may include defunding Planned Parenthood — one of only a handful of sliding-scale clinics in Fairbanks. This dangerous political move would hurt thousands of Alaskans who rely on affordable comprehensive health care from Planned Parenthood.

Murkowski has stood up for Planned Parenthood in the past, and she must do so again. We need Murkowski's leadership in protecting health care for all Alaskans. If defunding Planned Parenthood is included in the ACA replacement, Murkowski must stand with the 59 percent of Alaskans who support Planned Parenthood and vote against the replacement.

Alaskans need more access to affordable health care, not less.

— Rebecca Dunne

Murkowski's courageous stand does make difference

How does a politician win in this country? If he or she takes a stand against something, such as Murkowski did on the education secretary pick, they are then accused of making no difference in the outcome. They're damned if they do, and damned if they don't. You can certainly see why many well-qualified candidates won't run for office.

— Greg Svendsen

Neverthless, she must persist,
all the way to the White House

In the 1950s, television viewers entered the home of Ralph and Alice Kramden to watch "The Honeymooners." Many times, Ralph raised his fist towards his wife's face and said: "One of these days Alice — POW! Straight to the moon!," when she dared voice her opinion. The audience laughed. I did not. Where was the humor?

Now, fast forward to television a half-century later in another house: the U.S. Senate. I watched as Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell took his firm stand against Sen. Elizabeth Warren. When she had the audacity to speak her mind, McConnell had her silenced. After all, he reminded us, "she was warned … nevertheless she persisted."

Uh oh, watch out Warren. "One of these days. Elizabeth — POW! Straight to the White House!"

— Mary Navitsky

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