Please do not give puppies or kittens to children as gifts during the holiday seasonTo the editor:

Having been a dog rescue person here in Alaska for many years, I’d like to ask people to please, please don’t give puppies and kittens as presents, especially to children. Children simply can’t handle the responsibility so the little animals end up being taken to the local animal shelter (or worse yet, thrown out in the snow and cold when they accidentally make a mess on the floor.} I’ve read about kids wanting horses, and have no idea what a horse in Alaska requires. They end up tied to some tree on a five foot rope, with no shelter and no decent feed. I know that the people who need to read this the most, won’t. They’re not news readers. But I beg others to please keep your eyes and ears open, and when you see a box of free kittens or puppies, please let someone know, for instance the local shelters.

Lee Smith,

Wasilla

COVID-19’s impact on school childrenTo the editor:

I would like to draw attention to the impact of Covid-19 on school children globally. School closures worldwide affect children in both low and high-income countries. More than a billion children attend schools, and prior to covid, 338 million children relied on meals provided there. In 60 lower-income countries, 73 million children did not have access to school meals. In April of 2020, 370 million children were deprived of the meal security once provided by schools. When schools reopened, 150 million children were still without school meals. Malnutrition leads to poor cognition and hunger. It is a threat to growth, hunger, and economics (Philipp et al., n.d.). As a Borgen Project supporter, a nonprofit that works to make global poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy, I have been educated on how it improves global economic interest and advances its own when the United States offers aid to developing countries.

iNoelle Moritz,

Palmer

A letter to Senators Murkowski and Sullivan, and Representative YoungTo the editor:

Teamsters Local 959 wants to extend our most sincere gratitude to the Alaska delegation of Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Congressman Young for their work to pass The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The money coming back to Alaska will fund much needed improvements to roads, bridges, rail lines and most importantly, our ports.

Alaska will have access to $273 Billion over the next five years to rebuild Alaska’s highways and bridges. Repairs to the state’s road system will ensure future jobs and smoother travels across Alaska’s beautiful intrastate systems. It may not always seem like it, but summer road construction is a good thing for the state!

$5 billion will be allotted for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) Program to assist the Alaska Railroad with critical capital projects and rail safety technologies. The 656 miles of track that carries freight and passengers from the interior to south central and back will be able to make technological and safety improvements from the CRISI program.

The Port of Alaska has been in dire need of repairs and this infrastructure bill is the first step in getting those repairs on track. $2.25 billion for the Port Infrastructure Development Program which provides critical support to ports big and small throughout Alaska. We are optimistic that collaboration between the Mayors office, state officials in Juneau and the Governor will be able to work together to ensure the Port of Alaska is repaired to continue providing residents with out of state goods and necessities.

All this funding is instrumental to Alaska’s development and our path to a prosperous future. Thank you, Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Congressman Young, for putting Alaska first.

Sincerely,

Teamsters Local 959

To borrow a phrase from science fiction writer Robert Heinlein’s future histories

To the editor:

To borrow a phrase from science fiction writer Robert Heinlein’s future histories, America is entering an era we can call “the crazy years”. Absurdities and barely concealed pimping for commercial interests---using government and media powers over information---create this atmosphere. Opinions rule over fact. Feelings rule over reality. Benevolent experts (read aristocracy) rule over people “for their own good” because most people “aren’t mentally capable” of sensible thinking on serious issues. Yet wasn’t this one of the historical justifications for the Catholic Inquisition and slavery?

Consider. High school education makes us basic level scientists (why else teach scientific methodology fundamentals?). Yet we Americans are supposed to think the way “scientific” authorities tell us to. Even though dissent and different ideas have been the foundation for all scientific, medical, and political advances ever made by humanity, we are coerced to tolerate censorship and an elite enforcement of what’s “right information”. In the human marketplace of ideas, the confrontation of information with reality and consequences as observed by individuals has always helped workable truth get out. Always!

Consider. The destructiveness of one-size-fits-all medical treatment was exposed over two thousand years ago, and produced the Hippocratic Oath---taken to this day by conscientious doctors. Yet our governments try to use universal health mandates---founded on god-like judgment by officials (FDA, CDC) of death/injury risks vs. benefits to whole populations. This is instead of trained medical examination for each individual for treatment options and subsequent informed consent.

Consider. Humanity has spent centuries honing the use of evidence standards (like “beyond a reasonable doubt” and “clear and convincing”) in jury trials to gain better justice. Yet elements of American society are now ready to punish and use retaliatory violence---based on incited mob emotion and prejudice. It takes the courage of civilization to coerce the best out of our social institutions---with persistent use of rights, peaceful protest, and peaceful civil disobedience to abusive government.

Realize we are experiencing yet another periodic attack on civilization. The successful defense has always been the teaming of the powers of ethics with the powers of reason within individuals. Like each individual joining the power and discipline of the Commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (includes telling half-truths) with the power and discipline of the scientific method in his/her own mind. Civilization persists to the degree each individual carries the burden of maintaining it.

Stuart Thompson,

Wasilla

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