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Letters to the Editor

Readers write: Letters to the editor, March 9, 2018

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
    | Opinion
  • Updated: March 8
  • Published March 8


Commentary on revitalizing downtown made sense

Allen Kemplen's commentary on Anchorage in the March 6 ADN edition was accurate. Whatever happened with all those trips taken by city authorities to view and learn about other northern region's urban planning? Were there no innovative initiatives that could be implemented here? All his points seemed to be well thought out and helped clarify the issues facing reviving downtown Anchorage to make it a destination for residents.

— Katherine West

Proposition 1 is ill-conceived and mean-spirited

Regarding Proposition 1, the Anchorage transgender bathroom bill: Some female-to-male transgender people I know look as masculine as any man.

Some of the male-to-female transgender people I know look as feminine as any woman. To completely enforce Proposition 1, EVERYONE using a public restroom would need to provide proof required by law. Proposition 1 specifies that proof to be in the form of a birth certificate. Birth certificates are very basic, widely varying documents — which would be very easy to fake.

The only way to be sure is to require EVERYONE to drop their pants and show their biological credentials before they could use a public restroom. Ridiculous? Of course — the point is that Proposition 1 is ill-conceived and mean-spirited humiliation.

— Tim Wargo

Kelly's commentary on Alaskans getting Medicaid was right on

Sen. Pete Kelly's commentary on Wednesday, "Alaskans who get Medicaid should be required to work or volunteer," was well written, very heartfelt, and really resonated with me. I completely agree with his take on people needing to belong, needing to feel dignified, and needing to feel as if they are part of something bigger than themselves. Regardless of what a small part of society may think, people who need assistance, who are down on their luck, and who are struggling just to make it day by day, are not looking for an endless handout; they are just wanting a "hand-up." They want someone to help them, help themselves. Kudos to you Pete Kelly and "ditto" to your commentary.

— Colleen Jepsen

Beth Bragg makes Alaska better

Thank you to veteran ADN sports writer-extraordinaire Beth Bragg, who continues to cover Alaska athletes and sporting events in sensitive, informative, and inspirational prose so we can all be proud of them. You've made Anchorage (actually the state) a better community for everyone, and few can rightfully claim that. Salud!

— Judith Meidinger

Prop. 11 just shifts tax burden

One of the few absolutes throughout time is that the Royal Treasury must be filled. The only variable with that is whose ox will be gored for that purpose. Proposition 11 on April's Anchorage municipal ballot will raise the residential property tax exemption from $20,000 to $50,000 if passed by voters.

Proposition 11 is being promoted as "property tax relief" but that clearly is not the case. Actually tax collections are not reduced but are just shifted to other properties. Further without a mirroring limitation on our mill rates Proposition 11 reveals itself to voters as nothing more than a cruel hoax.

There has been a lack of fiscal discussion concerning this issue. Toss in the 10 cent per gallon raise in the engine fuel tax that took effect March 1 and the math becomes ever more confusing. It is within that confusion where advocates of Proposition 11 are able to cover their tracks with nothing more than catchy phrases such as "property tax relief."

In August 2012 on a statewide election ballot voters approved the change to the relevant state statute to allow a local option to raise the residential property tax exemption from $20,000 to $50,000. Statewide that measure passed by 309 votes or a .26 percent margin out of 123,299 votes cast. However within the boundaries of the Municipality of Anchorage the issue failed by 1,644 votes. The official vote count was 25,814 no and 24,170 yes.

Everyone needs to contribute their share toward the costs of government services provided by the community in which they choose to reside. Otherwise people become anesthetized to the rising costs of government because they are not paying that "fair share" burden. Gimmicks like Proposition 11 hide the true costs of government from those whom government should serve.

We all want our taxes to go down. Ballot Proposition 11 is not the vehicle to accomplish that goal.

— Bob Maier

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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