The photo essay about spring bird arrivals on May 21 was wonderful. As someone who is not an avid birdwatcher, it was especially interesting seeing the photos of the new spring arrivals. Another example of how fortunate we are to have a local newspaper when so many around the country are closing.
It says a lot about what is happening in Juneau when the Legislature argues for three months about the budget, particularly the amount of the Permanent Fund dividend, but when forced into a special session, they are able to reach an agreement in just one day. Amazing!
Both op-ed pieces and letters to the editor show an engagement and consideration by individuals on numerous issues affecting people in our city and state.
The Legislature managed to get a few things done this session. Perhaps the most significant was the funding for education, although it was not enough and was only a one-year increase, which means a new bill for a permanent increase in the BSA will need to be passed next year. As the summary article in ADN May 25 pointed out, many of the important issues were not passed, and some did not even receive a hearing.
We must end the annual argument over the PFD. Either decide on a longterm calculation to be used each year, or else eliminate the PFD altogether. Getting rid of the PFD would be my preference and that of many I have talked to. It served its purpose well for many years, but now has become too contentious and holds up action on other important issues.
Another legislative issue that needs to change is the ability of one person, the committee chair, to hold a bill hostage, not allowing a hearing or a vote to pass it out of committee.
Mayor Dave Bronson’s actions have brought a rain of lawsuits and potential lawsuits down upon our fair city. We have the multimillion- dollar proposed settlement with Hickel contracting about the unauthorized work on the homeless shelter and the now-rejected $550,000 settlement with Amy Demboski. How many more to come? Is there a legal way to make Bronson pay for the claims rather than taxpayers being stuck with the bill? How much will this disastrous administration cost us, without accomplishing anything worthwhile?
Finally, I would like to see a proposal for how we can begin to stop the divisiveness that is occurring in our city, state, and country. It accomplishes nothing and prevents those we have hired to run our affairs from working together to find meaningful solutions.
— Jamelia Saied
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