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Letters to the Editor

Readers write: Letters to the editor, July 19, 2017

  • Author: Alaska Dispatch News
    | Opinion
  • Updated: July 18, 2017
  • Published July 18, 2017


Triathlon coverage incomplete

I enjoyed your coverage of the extreme triathlon. My opinion is that in a race as tough as this one, and also a new race in its first year, you should've listed all the competitors who finished, not just the first 35. My son finished the race in position 42, but I can't cut out his name in print because it isn't there. Yet, you saw fit to publish the first 50 men and the first 50 women who did the little 5-K at the Bear Paw Festival. A 5-K usually takes less than 30 minutes. Every athlete who finished the extreme tri worked very hard at something that hasn't been done here before. All took over 11 hours to finish and required their own support teams. They deserved a better shoutout than you gave them.

Apparently, you newspaper people may not realize just how tough this race was. Out of the 308 who signed up, at least 114 didn't finish or didn't start. Fewer than 10 were still in their 20s. Many were in the their 30s and 40s. And there were several in their 50s. These people are all true athletes who deserved to have their names listed in your sad little newspaper.

— Vicki Williams

Pride, sense and the Bible

Common sense by definition is "your natural ability to make good judgments." I've been reading the back-and-forth between a few of the writers in Letters to the Editor, and one states he believes in God but says he's not going to allow the Bible to take precedence over his common sense. That "ability to make a good judgment" doesn't look very good right now. It seems pride is getting in the way again. Any chance we can humble ourselves a little bit? You are in my prayers.

— Rolf L. Bilet

Laugh of the week

I read last week where Mitch McConnell accused the Democrats of being obstructionist. Wow, and this from the leader of the Senate who said, "Our goal is to make Obama a one-term president" — and when the nation was mired in the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression.

That is a direct quote, and what it meant was that no matter how badly it damaged the country, they were going to vote against it.

Having watched this for a long time, I have reached a conclusion: Progressives (of which the Democratic Party is a subset but not the whole) are builders; they dream big. I don't say they are always right or realistic, but they do work to improve.

Republicans (which is now no more than a subset of the alt-right) just want to tear things down. They don't want to make it better. It's what's in it for them that counts.

There is more than one way to destroy our country. Colluding with the Russians is only one of them. Having as your goal to tear a president down is another.
I would suggest a look in the mirror for McConnell, but he only sees his own self-satisfied smirk and is content with the fact he is exempt from the mess he makes.
Me? In this case I think we should sit down and figure out what is in the best interest of the American people on health care, and that is a single-payer system of some sort. I am open to ideas. I don't want to throw millions off health care. Have to assume that makes me a progressive.

— Gregory Schmitz

Thanks for the news in print

Each day I appreciate getting the printed newspaper delivered to our home. I know the changing world of social media threatens the print version, so I appreciate your recent survey asking readers to help in determining how the paper will reduce in the future. I'm sorry the print media is suffering and I thank you for keeping our paper alive and with such high-quality news and Alaska stories. I also thank you for the excellent online coverage. I use that as well, but love having my morning tea with the paper spread out on my lap. The handheld devices just aren't the same. Wishing ADN success in holding onto the print version.

— Deanne Adams

Become more family-friendly;
ax articles from Outside

Alaskans, please communicate on Alaskan matters.

I am so saddened to see our newspaper literally disappear before our eyes. The almost daily shrinkage of its pages is indeed very disturbing. Do less and now even fewer people find it does not provide them with adequate information on local matters. This situation can be turned around.

If you will offer to print all letters and just delete expletives and print only clean, family-appropriate matters, your paper could again regain the respect it once held locally as the Anchorage Daily News.

Kindly cease publication of Outside articles under the above heading from John Kass of the Chicago Tribune; Megan McArdle of the Bloomberg View; Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post; Adm. William Gortney on defense matters; Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald, and Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post.

We do not need to read Outside trash. If we ever need to, it is available to us online or in print without you publishing their articles. Please spare us and save your own local publishing funds.

— John J. Kiernan

Give the homeless this hand up

Phil Medsker seemed to have had a great idea (Letters, June 27) for Anchorage or the state to acquire huge land lots near the Brother Francis Shelter and repurpose them for various types of homeless shelters, public toilets and storage units to be guarded by some on-site security arrangement. Perhaps throwing in some kind of day employment or short-term labor exchange would give people a chance to build up some personal net worth also. People may have problems that have led to homelessness, but they usually have skills and are willing to support themselves when given the opportunity.

— Ken Green
Cooper Landing

Medicare for some: Learning
a lesson from kidney dialysis

Perspective of a practicing physician:

1. Why must the government take over health care to provide for those in need?
Some people cannot afford food, so the government provides food stamps.
The government does not collectivize all the farms in the country and determine what should be grown, how much should be grown and what farmers will be paid for their crops.

Some people cannot afford cars, so the government provides public transportation.

The government does not tell the automakers what type of cars to build, how many to build and at what price they will be sold.

Some people cannot afford housing, so the government provides subsidies for housing.

The government does not confiscate houses and apartments and then redistribute them according to people's needs and impose rent control.
Why, then, does it feel it necessary to micromanage all of health care to provide for people who are currently unable to afford it?

2. Why don't we learn from how the government paid for renal dialysis?
When kidney dialysis was developed, it was too expensive for private insurance companies to cover. The federal government decided to cover it through the Medicare program. It did not demand that private insurance companies cover dialysis and raise the premiums to everyone to pay for the few needing the service. This is the model Washington should be pursuing: Let the federal government expand existing programs to cover the currently uninsured and leave the private sector alone. The private sector could be freed from regulations that drive up premiums. Then they could compete in the open market with better products — that compete in part on price.

The reason they don't do this is that it would require massive increases in taxes that they don't want to take the blame for. Instead, they redistribute wealth by having private companies raise premiums and deductibles (essentially a hidden tax).

Ultimately, under a single-payer system taxes will be raised dramatically. But since there will be nowhere else to go, citizens will have no choice but to pay the taxes and be subject to the onerous single-payer system.

Let the government pay for those in need and leave the rest of the citizens alone to benefit from the free-market system — just like with food, transportation and housing.

— Samuel L. Abbate, MD

Climate change and magazine

Alaska magazine's July/August issue is titled "Destination Kaktovik. Tourists Set Their Sights on Polar Bears." The article features Capt. Robert Thompson, who takes tourists out on his cabin boat to see the bears. These bears can no longer hunt seals from the sea ice because the ice has broken up, and are now rummaging on whale carcasses on the nearby spit. Thompson states, "The bears are here (in such numbers and for so long) because of climate change."
Scientists know that our burning of fossil fuels is contributing to climate change. Yet I recently discovered that I have to burn fossil fuels to buy Alaska magazine. It is not sold downtown, the only area of Anchorage geared to walking and biking. And where there are hundreds of tourists.

— Cynthia Wentworth

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

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