Letters to the Editor

Letter: Burden on elders

Thanks to Carol Scott for her letter regarding the rising cost of appropriate housing and care for Alaska seniors now seriously increased by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s actions. My mother came to Alaska in 1952. She worked well into her 70s, most of those years as a well-respected registered nurse, when doctors were few and far between. While working, she raised three daughters who live here today. She took care of herself, family, bills, taxes, health — all the things expected of a good citizen. Now she is almost 97, living at the Anchorage Pioneer Home.

My mother has no other financial options and due to her current physical limitations, no other physical options. The Pioneer Homes are not the best places in the world — lacking needed staff and expertise due to past budget constraints — but are adequate, especially with families’ support, to meet the needs.

The Pioneer Homes in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Palmer, Juneau and Sitka are full of real people with stories and histories like my mother’s. People who built this state from its beginnings when it was a territory. These people are real, our history. They deserve to live here, their home state, the state they love, in dignity, peace, and with respect. Instead from the state of Alaska, they received two page letters written in legal jargon placing fear and misunderstanding in the heart of all. Those letters, when deciphered, spelled out the ridiculous, mind-boggling increases in care now faced by senior people there.

Carol Scott really captured the reality that many longtime Alaskan people now find themselves in due to the governor. Yes, I too know that our state’s current financial crisis is not the fault of one governor or Legislature alone, but at the same time, it cannot be fixed by one or two years of vetoes or legislation that put people out of school, employment, health services and homes. That is why I support, and will continue to support as best I can, the Recall Dunleavy effort. No, this mess isn’t all his fault; I won’t be voting for my current legislators either, but it’s a good place to start cleaning up this mess we have labeled “state government.”

Has this man no conscience? No sense of moral decency? No ethics or sense of right and wrong? Turning a blind eye is no longer an option; we need change now, not in three years. God knows what would be left of our beautiful state and its people.

— Karen Avila-Lederhos


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