On commuter rail service
Gov. Walker had unveiled his capital priorities for FY 2018, and they included a proposal for commuter rail service between the Mat-Su area and Anchorage.
The bigger question to ask is how do you plan for the future to efficiently and effectively transport residents and visitors on the Glenn Highway. I would suggest that the governor's task force on the commuter rail service look at the following issues before they move forward with a plan:
1. Would the public and taxpayers be better served with dedicated bus/vanpool lanes or bus rapid transit to move people quickly between both communities?
2. Who would be the most logical provider of commuter rail service? The Alaska railroad, a private transportation provider or a public/private partnership.
3. How would you fund a commuter rail project? All transportation projects (including road construction and maintenance) need dedicated funding support.
I believe the questions above need to be raised and answered before you move forward with commuter rail service for Southcentral Alaska.
— David M. Levy
Children need health care
Not long ago, there was one thing we could all agree on: Children need health coverage.
Denali KidCare/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has received massive support from Democrats and Republicans throughout its 20-year history. Established in 1997, the program provides coverage to 9 million children from working class families.
This landmark program is now at risk because Congress failed to reauthorize it when it expired on Sept. 30. The short-term funding only delays the inevitable — children losing health coverage.
Without full authorization, millions of children across the nation are at risk of losing their health insurance. Right here in Alaska, approximately 16,000 children could lose health insurance. Alaska will run out of funds in April if Congress does not pass a bipartisan plan to fund CHIP.
Reauthorizing Denali KidCare/CHIP is a nonpartisan issue and if we select the 10-year authorization plan, we will have a $6 billion-dollar savings. We ask Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan to do what they do best — fight for Alaskans. We need them to fight for Alaska's children. Help build a bipartisan solution to fund Denali KidCare/CHIP to ensure this critical program to the health of Alaska's children continues.
— Trevor Storrs
Alaska Children's Trust
There are ways around Trump
Let's see if I have this right. The Democrats are the minority in the House and the Senate. The Republicans carry the vote but are worried about Trump vetoing legislation; therefore, they kowtow to Trump's wishes, whether good or bad for their constituents.
I wonder if anyone has given consideration to members of both parties having joint meetings, eventually agreeing to legislation that is enacted for the good of the country as a whole, not just the chosen few of either party. That agreement would be sealed with the vow by both parties to vote to override a presidential veto on these issues. It seems like this would relieve the Emperor of some of his responsibilities, so he could spend more time on the putting green and less time interfering with the legislative arm of our government.
— Dean Hill
Giessel's wrong on ANWR
Based on her recent op-ed ("Opening offshore U.S. to oil development is good news," Jan. 9), it is doubtful that Sen. Giessel has visited the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If she had, she would not have said that it is a landmass "… smaller than some of our country's airports …" since the 1002 area covers a lot of ground, about the size of two Rhode Islands (1.5 million acres). Even the largest airport in the world is only about 200,000 acres. Perhaps the senator was trying to reference the 2,000-acre development figure that was cited in the bill opening the Arctic refuge to drilling. The bill states that development in the 1002 area will be limited to a 2,000 acre footprint; however, even this 2,000-acre estimate is deceptive. It does not include the gravel mines, roads or pipelines (except for the footprint of the posts holding the pipeline in the air) that could pop up and sprawl across the 1.5 million acre 1002 area, a vast region that up until now has been open to the public.
— Nils Warnock
Keep 'Dreamers,' lose addicts
Let the 800,000 "Dreamers" stay. Deport the worthless drug addicts and dealers. Then they won't need to go far for their medication. But make sure you close the exit door in the "Wall" so they don't come back!
— Rolf L Bilet
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