AGDC picture confuses
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the message in the glossy Alaska Gasline Development Corp. publication included with Sunday's Anchorage Daily News isn't clear. It shows Alaskan and Chinese dignitaries smiling and shaking hands across the signing table for the pipeline agreement. Chinese President Xi Jinping in the background on the right is smiling and applauding. On the left is President Trump, with eyes closed and a frown. Is he … napping (It was a busy trip, after all), or unhappy ("I could have gotten a much better deal!"), or contemplating his next tweet (about how great the Chinese are)?
I'd like to know.
— Jon Sharpe
Sherwonit's data too narrow
RE: Bill Sherwonit's letter 'Grizzlies more deadly' (Dec. 4) responding to my letter 'Black bears kill more often' (Nov. 30): Science News "Beware of predatory male American black bears: Attack rates are rising with human population growth" (May 11, 2011), cites University of Calgary's Stephen Herrero as its source, stating "most fatal black bear attacks were predatory," etc. This is quite different than Sherwonit portraying black bears as soft and fuzzy while confining his data to Alaska, which is misleading as it is too narrow.
After two people were killed by black bears earlier this year, KTUU provided "North America's fatal bear attack map" compiled by Sidney Sullivan July 5, 2017, showing 25 human fatalities from black bears and 18 from brown between 2000-2017. And although Sherwonit maligns researcher Larry Kaniut, it's Kaniut who necessarily points out bear spray is not enough in a bear attack, while Herrero — who Sherwonit praises — advocates bear spray. Finally, Sherwonit wrote he didn't understand my Romy Schneider "La Califfa" YouTube video reference, but it was meant to complement Sherwonit's Nov. 28th commentary on Anchorage bear deaths as both evoke sadness over tragic death.
— Chris Deile
Tax bill was drafted in secret
John Klapproth (Letters, Dec. 5) repeats the canard about Obamacare not being thoroughly vetted before passage.
The current tax bill — in addition to its substantive problems (highly favoring the rich, reducing medical care for millions, blowing up the deficit) — was drafted in secret and had zero committee hearings.
Obamacare, by contrast, was drafted and debated openly for over a year, with numerous hearings where experts and others could voice their views.
What Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to was not that people didn't know what the bill said — it had been thoroughly vetted — but rather that, being long and complex, we'd have to see in practice how it all worked out, and undoubtedly there would be problems that would need to be fixed.
The current Congress has had that opportunity, and failed.
— Rick Wicks
Be wary of gas deal with China
On the last page of the Joint Development Agreement for Alaska LNG with China, the signatures of Bill Walker and Keith Meyer stand out clearly, while the signatures of those who signed for China Petrochemical Corp, CIC Capital Corp and the Bank of China are blocked out for privacy. Now, why is that? So much for transparency with China.
China is a dictatorship with no respect for the rule of law, transparency or an independent judiciary. China has no regard for human rights, labor rights, freedom of speech and religion, or environmental protection. Internet censorship is widespread.
A joint venture of this size with Chinese state entities that engage in these practices worries me. And the fact that it got a nod from Trump and China's unelected president Xi Jinping offers no consolation whatsoever.
Alaska needs to be wary … very wary.
— William M. Cox
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