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Letters to the Editor

Readers write: Letters to the editor, February 4, 2018

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
    | Opinion
  • Updated: February 3, 2018
  • Published February 3, 2018


Offshore leasing process rushed

Early in January, the Interior Department released the draft of a 5-year plan to obtain "energy dominance" by calling for 19 lease sales off Alaska's coast. Previously, proposals of this nature would take several years of deliberation, including multiple public hearings. This process has been rushed through with only one public hearing for the entire state. Also concerning is the fact that the Interior Department is concurrently rolling back offshore drilling safety regulations.

Development of combustion energy is not clean, efficient, or sustainable. "Energy dominance" means leading the energy economy in future trends: clean, renewable energy. The U.S. is well behind several countries, especially Norway and China, in the technology of clean energy production. Trump's recent 30 percent tariff on solar panel imports will further decrease solar energy use in the U.S. Alaska has huge potential with wind, thermal, tidal and solar energy, to raise the U.S. to the trending energy production levels of China and Norway. The Interior Department's policies opening offshore drilling underscore an imprudent use of resources, and delay cutting-edge control of the economic sector. A thoughtful observer can see them for what they are: a cheap sell-off of resources for short-term profit.

— Catherine Coward

Oil industry hasn't carried state

Paul Jenkins' recent column (Jan. 28) is about the "Democrats … obsession with oil taxes" and "the political left's … hatred of the oil industry" — whatever that means — and the best example of the bad behavior he deplores is from Sarah Palin!?! Can't wait to see which "libtard" he comes up with as an example of a "deficit spender" in Congress. Paul Ryan? Hey, if the shoe fits …

Look, we've enjoyed fabulous wealth in this state — and we have wasted our fair share. But the concept of the oil industry "carrying the state on its back" is a crock. We have sold an asset that we own to companies large and small, and in the process they have enjoyed fabulous returns as well. They didn't put up high-rise office buildings on "spare change from the sofa cushions." And they wouldn't be here at all if the economics were not in their favor.

Sure, we've had a hard time coming up with a "clear and equitable" pricing structure, and sometimes the industry has heartburn, but the biggest factor in their participation is, and always will be, the price of oil on the open market.

— Jim Thiele

Proposition 1 is discriminatory

Soon, Anchorage will vote on Proposition 1, a ballot measure targeted at transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. I have four teenage girls, and I will absolutely be voting no on this proposition. My daughters and myself will be no safer if this proposition passed. There are already laws that protect us from the types of harm this bill's proponents use to justify their support. And, the safety of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals will be compromised if this proposition passes.

Not only does Prop. 1 not make us any safer, it's discriminatory. Anchorage is a warm and inviting place where people can be themselves. We accept differences and unique individuals every day. This proposition does not mesh with the Anchorage I know and love. It is not the message I want my daughters to hear from the people who surround them every day. I want them to be a part of a diverse society that does not discriminate.

Please join me in voting for safety and against discrimination. Vote No on Prop. 1.

— Bhree Roumagoux

We need fiscal plan, not PFD raid

It would be nice if our elected officials including representatives, senators and governor would come up with a fiscal plan that would include more than taking our savings account and Permanent Fund and not doing anything else.

The elected officials who choose to say we don't need to do anything need to retire from public life.

— Jim Bailey

Leadership lacking on budget

With less than a week to pass a budget for the remainder of 2018, our government is wasting time distracting from investigations on how the Russians are interfering in our elections.

A yearly budget should have been worked out last September instead of a chain of temporary continued resolutions handicapping our government programs, including our military's long-range planning. What will probably be presented on Feb. 8 is another CR kicking the can farther down the road.

Where is the leadership? Deficit spending with a solution of huge tax cuts. Ending DACA to provide pawns to promote a wall that needs to cover a distance greater than from Seattle to the North Slope. Mexico will pay for it. Maybe they will also rebuild our crumbling infrastructure since the current plan is to somehow do it with 13 cents on the dollar, which we don't really have without borrowing from China.

The leadership is watching cable TV, tweeting, off in Florida playing golf, telling everyone how great he is, and trying to lead our country as Putin does Russia. Meanwhile Congress is wondering what will get his signature if they pass some legislation. If this was only reality TV. I could turn it off, like I always did "The Apprentice."

— Tim Pritchett

Glad to see officer cleared

I write this to comment on ADN's Page 1 news story (Feb. 2) about a Seward police officer cleared in the death of a prisoner in custody. While very unfortunate for all involved, I along with countless others in law enforcement have had similar experiences in the past that are now only bad memories. It's good to see that justice prevails.

— Bob Barton

Take New York with grain of salt

Like others, I was confused by Jessica Pezak's recent commentary (Jan. 30) alleging Alaskans are intolerant toward "different" New Yorkers. In 50 years of living in seven Alaska communities, I never found any such attitudes. I can't say the same for Archie Bunkerville, where I was born and lived for 25 years. In the neighborhood next to mine a man was murdered when he responded to an ad for a used car. According to newspaper reports, someone decided being a black man in a white neighborhood was a capital offense. But the usual hatred of blacks, Jews and Hispanics wasn't enough for New Yorkers. They also despised darker-skinned descendants of Southern Europeans. An ad campaign by a local beer company celebrating ethnic diversity backfired. New Yorkers didn't want to drink the same beer as those #&*()%$!

Charles Wohlforth's recent column (Jan. 30) praising Manhattan residents as open-minded raised some valid points. But Manhattan is only one of five boroughs. Still, I remember a guy dressed in a flannel shirt showed up in a Manhattan office where the woman in charge was aghast over the "lumberjack."

Maybe New York has improved in the past 50 years. Maybe not. Take Donald Trump. Please.

— Geoff Kennedy

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, 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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