Stranger's kindness appreciated
Driving through Burrito King on Thursday, I was amazed to discover that the gentleman in the car ahead had already paid for my food. Unknown to him, the large order of chicken soup was destined for a friend struggling to recover from recent heart surgery. Thank you, kind sir, your generosity really made my day and also uplifted my friend!
— C. Hooker
Jenkins' misguided compassion for the NRA is beyond the pale
After all these years Paul Jenkins got to me with, fittingly, his April 1 column. The poor dear is heartbroken, not at the 17 people killed at the high school in Parkland, Florida, not at American kids terrified to go to school. Nope, Paul spends his compassion for the Second Amendment in danger of being shredded by Florida teenagers and for the "emotionally disturbed" Nikolas Cruz.
What's next? Will Paul demand that the Florida kids show their compassion by reimbursing poor Mr. Cruz for the money he spent on buying an AR-15 and all those bullets?
— Geoff Kennedy
Why have 6-year capital plan if School Board won't follow it?
I've made some observations from the recently published statements by Anchorage School Board members.
Dave Donley's amendments — which failed — tried to reduce spending and prioritize classrooms while the other board members placed more importance on keeping administrators, specifically assistant principals, at schools that already have three or more.
The even more troubling issue is the board adopting a new six-year capital plan that, as Mr. Donley correctly pointed out, directly contradicts its own policy by prioritizing expensive school remodels over immediately needed deferred maintenance like leaky roofs and fire sprinklers. The only excuse provided for this can be summed up as, "We can change it later."
So why even bother to have a six-year plan if you announce you plan to not follow it?
I agree with Mr. Donley that the new plan would have a huge impact on property taxes while not properly addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance for our schools.
— Katherine Hicks
Jenkins' logic hard to argue with
For once, I find myself in complete agreement with Paul Jenkins.
In particular, I was awestruck by his observation in his most recent column that "it is insane to blame" guns for shooting deaths.
He is absolutely right.
To think that reducing the number of guns in circulation would reduce shooting deaths is as crazy as thinking that reducing the amount of opioids on the street would reduce overdose deaths. It's as crazy as thinking that reducing the number of cigarettes on the market would reduce lung-cancer deaths.
It is literally impossible to argue with the kind of logic employed by Paul Jenkins!
— Stan Jones
Undeveloped Anchorage Bowl area being managed for bears
Guess it's a new year and time for Rick Sinnott's annual lecture about Game Management Unit 14C bears (April 1 Commentary). After 15-plus years Sinnott can still find new ways of sending his message … this time relating some of the research findings on bear use and people use of Chugach State park and adjacent areas. As usual the message comes down to the importance of restricting and controlling human use. This time it's the bicyclists and their desire for more trails that have to be addressed. It's hard not to conclude that the undeveloped portion of the Anchorage Bowl is being primarily managed for bears and their well-being. Proposals to shift this management toward "people first" seem to go nowhere. Could there be another factor involved here? One has to wonder, especially after hearing about the time and money being spent on bear research in this tiny portion of Alaska. Fish and Game seems to remain fairly quiet on this subject.
— Jim Lieb
People would more likely use smaller bear-proof containers
Fish and Game and the city are always encouraging us to get bear-resistant garbage containers. The problem is that Waste Management's bear resistant containers only come in 96 gallon size. This is way too big and impractical for most residential needs. In our area, next to bear country, the regular 64 gallon containers seem to be the most popular. I'm sure most of us would like a bear-resistant 64 gallon container if it were available.
— Will Knoppe
Voter turnout was awesome
Great job Anchorage! I was extremely skeptical that our first "vote by mail" election would have the turnout it did. Overwhelming results proved my skeptical self wrong! Thanks to all 76,000 plus folks who took the time to vote in this election. As a longtime citizen of Anchorage, I personally thank each and every one of you.
— Donna K. Daniels
Lawmakers not likely to push for constitutional PFD change
Senator Coghill opined (ADN, 3/29/18) that "enshrining" the PFD in the Alaska constitution is a bad idea. That's true if you are an affluent Alaskan who believes the state's fiscal difficulties should be balanced on the backs of the poorest Alaskans. Our Supreme Court stated in the Wielechowski case "Absent another constitutional amendment, the Permanent Fund dividend program must compete for annual legislative funding just as other state programs." (page 23 of the opinion) Therefore, no matter what snake oil a legislator tries to peddle about protecting the PFD, it is worthless unless protected by a constitutional amendment.
SJR 9 (sponsored by Sen. Stedman and Sen. Begich) proposes a constitutional amendment where a percentage of market value draw of 41⁄2 percent would include 2 percent dedicated to the PFD. SJR 10 (sponsored by Sen. Begich) proposes a similar plan with a 5 percent draw which also appears to dedicate 2 percent to the PFD. For either proposal to be voted on by the people of Alaska, it must first be approved by a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate. Because a constitutional amendment would remove the PFD from legislative appropriation, do not expect the Legislature to push for a vote on the proposed constitutional amendments. To do so would mean that more affluent Alaskans might have to be taxed.
— William Maxey
Alaska legislators would be fired by now in the real world
What in the world is going on in Juneau? We tried changing some of the old guard, no difference. If it had taken me three years to solve a problem or get a job done, I would have been down the road so fast my ankles would smoke. Isn't there some kind of magic formula to turn legislators into ordinary people working for us instead of themselves?
— Jim Bell
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