The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter under 200 words for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com.
Ambler road is a dead end
The Bureau of Land Management is accepting scoping comments on the proposed road to Ambler until Jan. 31. Please send your comments to: blm_ak_akso_amblerroad_
firstname.lastname@example.org. This proposed road will leave the Prudhoe Bay haul road, near Coldfoot, and travel 211 miles across the southern flanks of the Brooks Range, crossing “The Boot” in the Gates of the Arctic National Preserve, near spectacular 14-mile-long Walker Lake. En route, it will cross 11 major rivers. Five of these are National Wild & Scenic Rivers inside the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Practically all of the villages along the route of this proposed road oppose it.
AIDEA, the state corporation proposing this road, has told these villages they will have to find their own funding to connect to this road — despite the fact that AIDEA and the state will guarantee the private funding for this industrial road that will be closed to the public.
Why is this the only remaining megaproject that Gov. Walker has not canceled? What affects will this road have on the caribou? What effect will acid mine drainage have on the fisheries? How will this road affect subsistence? Please submit your comments before Jan. 31.
— Ronald Yarnell
Keep an open mind about Trump
Suzanne Miles (Letters, Jan. 26) has made it clear with her “when Hades has ice caps” comment that her mind is closed to opinions she disagrees with. That is unfortunate. Dialogue and debate with a healthy dose of factual evidence is the path to the truth. Name-calling, unsupported accusations and unprovable predictions do nothing but inflame emotions.
As to her “discredit the FBI” statement, I think she is dead wrong. The FBI and Justice Department appear to have much to answer for, and the POTUS seems to be taking great pains not to interfere with Robert Mueller’s investigation. There may indeed be corruption in our government but I doubt that it begins with Donald J. Trump.
— Michael V. Lane
Protect the people’s dividend
As a hardworking Alaskan that loves this state and its precious resources, I take seriously the great heritage endowed by this land and the late Gov. Jay Hammond’s foresight. The great people of this land shall not be deprived of the Permanent Fund Dividends by theft, deception and greed.
It is a travesty of justice at the gravest level to steal from the citizens of Alaska.
Let’s put this issue to rest, amend our great state’s constitution to permanently protect the people’s dividend.
— Sybille Castro
Healing comes from heart, soul
In the mid-1990s, when I was involved full-time with traditional healing and traditional healers, a young woman from the media asked me if she could meet and talk with a real Native healer. A Northern Cheyenne “medicine man” happened to be in town and he said “bring her over.” She immediately pulled out a notebook and pen. The medicine man told her to put them away, and instead he lit sage and had her participate in a thousands-of-years-old Cheyenne ceremony. The reporter was confused and speechless, being unaccustomed to experiencing rather than reading or writing about traditional healing methods. I don’t think she got a lot out of that because he was teaching her something from and about the heart and soul, not the head.
Our most respected Alaska Native and American Indian healers will say you cannot learn about it from books or from reading about it. Healing ability comes through the healer from The Creator. I support and agree with everything Meda DeWitt so astutely pointed out in the recent ADN article. And, by the way, May Bernhardt in the accompanying photo is my aunt.
— A.M. Reimer, shareholder, Bering Straits Native Corporation
Keep dividend; tax out-of-towners
The PFD payments need to go back to their pre-Walker raid in terms of how dividends are paid out. That money has been a world more useful for myself and society in general than a little extra government ever has been. I say we tax the income of people who work here but have residences out of state instead.
— Brian Keith
POMV is way to go with the fund
What’s the purpose of the Alaska Permanent Fund?
It’s an investment fund that should provide some of the income necessary for government services and personal dividends.
Should the Permanent Fund dividend be capped, protected in the Alaska Constitution, or left to fluctuate depending on the market performance of the fund’s investments?
I believe it should fluctuate based on market performance. I’m fine with it being protected in the constitution as long as it is part of a percentage of market value (POMV) package.
Should lawmakers adopt a POMV yearly draw on the fund to provide for government services and the dividend, or leave the fund as is?
If lawmakers did approve the POMV structure, what should the split between government services and the dividends be?
Reasonable suggestions have ranged from 25/75 PFD-to-government split to a 33/67 split. I’m fine with either or something in between. Let negotiators figure that out. The finer details are less important than making this actually happen. I do not think the split should go beyond that range.
— Eric Troyer
No strong feelings about PFD
1. The Permanent Fund was set up to use as needed for a “rainy day” when oil revenues dropped in the state, as they have.
2. I have no great feeling about the capping. First, I would say no, yet if it’s what makes sense to lawmakers to satisfy those who want it, then yes cap it.
3. Yes to POMV.
4. No clue how to split it, 50/50 sounds good and would probably be acceptable to those who care.
5. In addition, I feel consideration should be made for folks who are residents with low income (that year), indigenous, or elder residents and make them the exception to the POMV. So maybe the split allows for paying them 100 percent of the dividend, but only based on income year by year.
P.S. I also support a state income tax and statewide sales tax.
— Debra Buzdor
Let Alaskans vote on the fund
This Legislature needs to back off trying to use more of the PFD earnings for government spending and enshrine it into the constitution so we don’t have this issue again. At least allow Alaskans to vote for their fund.
— Kevin Fortney
Don’t finance state with fund
The purpose of the Alaska Permanent Fund is to provide funds to the Alaskan citizens. The Permanent Fund dividend should not be capped but should be protected in the Alaska Constitution. Lawmakers should not use the Permanent Fund to provide for government services. POMV would be fine to provide for dividends. There should be no split for government services. Government services should be financed with an income tax and other taxes. Oil income and taxes already pay for most of our government services.
— Don Corey
Don’t strangle the golden goose
The Alaska Permanent Fund’s purpose is in its name: Fund Alaska permanently. Every generation is tempted take it from future generations. A sovereign wealth account is a privilege demanding responsibility. Let’s fortify it, protect it, and rely on it, so we’re not idiots who strangled a golden goose.
Let’s establish in the constitution that all state income (of any kind) and state expenditures (of any kind) are deposited to or withdrawn from the fund. Let’s further establish that no more than 3 percent of market value (POMV: averaged over 1-5 years) can be spent during the current fiscal year (all state capital, operating, debt-service, or other expenditures, including dividends, would be limited to this annual POMV). Current earnings would fortify it, the limited POMV would both protect it and provide reliable earnings.
By an annual popular vote, let’s also appropriate some (max 1.5% POMV) as dividends while the remainder is appropriated by the Legislature. The result will be early cuts, long term growth, and large contributions. Our annual 3 percent POMV will protect the fund for Alaska permanently (overcoming inflation/population growth). This assures government growth, and a limit for equal outcome and equal opportunity.
— Ben Morookian