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Letters to the Editor

Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Community needs to let Wal-Mart know its store would be welcome

We are all saddened on the loss of Kmart. Instead of crying we need to pick ourselves up and do something about it and bring in other businesses to replace it.

I'm sure the people of Kmart do not want to sit on unemployment very long if any time at all. Home Depot would be nice, but, myself, being a woman and renting, I personally will not be shopping there very much, if any. Target would be nice, but, get real, it would move to Anchorage years before considering coming here.

We have 132 people that are going to be without a job come March 14. There are not 132 jobs available to replace them.

Both mayors of Kenai and Soldotna need to do their jobs and entice new businesses to our area.

We all know Wal-Mart has bought property off of K-Beach Road. I would like to know why they're not doing anything with it? I've noticed flyers on some of the bulletin boards asking people to call Wal-Mart at 1-800-WALMART or go to its Web site at www.walmartstores.com. I like this idea and I have called. I would like others to do the same. Wal-Mart is inevitable. I would like to see it sooner than later.

I do not want my friends and neighbors to be on unemployment nor do I want to see them move away in order to survive.

S. Giles, Kenai

Kenai doesn't need vacant building; it needs Wal-Mart to fill the void

Now that Big Kmart is going out of business, I just read about "the wish list" and that Mayor John Williams may have Wall-Mart down here when Kmart closes.

He said "There isn't a lot the city can do right now, we have to wait and see what the people want."

Well, Mr. Williams, what can I do to help? We don't need another vacant store.

I hope the people of Kenai, Soldotna and other outlying areas say "Let's have Wall-Mart down here," instead of giving Anchorage our money.

In a few months I want to see a Wall-Mart here. How can I get started, about getting a Wall-Mart here?

Donald Tibbs, Kenai

New governor has vision to invest in Alaska, its people

Our new governor has said he is going to encourage the permanent fund board to invest more in Alaska and its citizens, then what has been done.

And that he will be choosing new members to that board shows that he is recognizing the good it would do for Alaska. That's important; without the use of that fund, what is left is just numbers on paper.

I applaud our new governor's vision!

I believe he will make a great governor.

Let's get behind him and make good things happen for Alaska and its citizens.

Ed Martin Sr., Soldotna

Decision to increase class size means less teachers, programs

The school board voted to increase the ratio of students to teachers by three on Nov. 18. This means classes in grades four through 12 will average 27 students. Your child may be lucky and have only 24 in his or her class. Or your child's class may have as many as 33.

This increase in class size was proposed as a way to cut the budget. It will mean more than 50 less teachers in the district. It will mean some programs are completely cut.

Please let the school board know that this is not what we intend for our children. Please attend the Feb. 3 school board meeting and tell the board now, before August.

Connie Ferguson, Sterling

This should be year legislators do what is right for Alaska

In the next 120 days, legislators will be accosted from every direction with requests to spend funds that we as a state do not have. We must end past legislative practices of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Peter is knocking at our door, and he wants his money now!

Many of the established bureaucrats tell us that we have a budget deficit. In reality, this is not true. What we have had is deficit spending! Total state spending is about $8 billion a year --$2 billion of which is used for the operating budget and $6 billion is used for "other spending" such as capital projects, nonessential spending bills, permanent fund dividends and supplemental appropriations.

Using departmental reviews, the governor can consolidate staff and services, streamline management positions and direct funding for appropriate programs. By elimination of "capital spending projects," we can save enough to finally begin repaying money borrowed from the Constitutional Budget Reserve. The Legislature has been using the CBR to balance past deficit budgets. The state Constitution clearly states this money must be repaid.

I would further recommend the governor direct his Department of Revenue to develop a budget which can be read by anyone. The current format is so convoluted that even CPAs have trouble sorting out the details. The state is using what are commonly called "generally accepted auditing standards," which are nothing more than Enron/Arthur Andersen-style smoke and mirrors accounting practices, not what the honest, hard-working people of Alaska deserve.

Citizen watchdog groups have formed which will keep an eye on each legislator's performance. They will report on introduced legislation, excessive spending practices, abuse of power and voting records. This information will be made available to all Alaskans at the following link: www.akvoters.org.

We must all work together and get this huge spending machine under control. Let's do it now before all our money is gone and better options are no longer available to us.

This year let's do what's right for Alaska, not the special interest groups. Thank you.

Malcolm G. McBride , Kenai

Taxpayers need to say 'Enough!' to taxes, 'Yes' to leaner government

The painful irony of your political cartoon (Opinion, Jan. 23) prompts this taxpayer to vent some frustrations at our nation's politicians, who appear more like royalty with each passing day. Editorials and articles on the same subject only deepen the disquieting concerns.

It's no fun to read, for instance, that Congress began its latest session by rolling back the ethics rules of 1995 that prohibited members of Congress from accepting all-expenses-paid vacations and other expensive gifts from lobbyists.

Then there's the news about the extravagant digs occupied by too many of our elected Congress folks, the pay raises they always manage to grab, no matter what. Their first priority after taking office seems to be raising funds to get re-elected.

Elected officials -- represented in the latest instance by the National Governors' Association -- lament that they've cut government every place they can, but still are facing huge deficits, and -- here we go -- they may have to raise taxes.

So, tax man to the rescue! He now is rubbing his anxious little hands together, drooling at the prospect of taxing yet another sector of the economy, the Internet sales market. Somewhere along the way, we the people need to cry, "Enough!" Please, politicians, try reining in your own big-spending addictions before your burden us with yet another tax.

Recently, Gov. Frank Murkowski challenged our state legislators to shrink the budget deficit by making the government smaller and leaner. Wasn't it refreshing to hear that kind of talk?

Will this happen? Not so, unless we longsuffering taxpayers demand as much.

Jackie Booth, Nikiski

Russian program should be seen as investment, not area to cut

I am writing in response to the proposed cut of the Russian program at Soldotna High School

and the Kenai Peninsula in general. I graduated from Soldotna High School in 1997. As a student at SoHi, I took Russian as my foreign language under Grigorii Vaisenberg.

After graduation, I continued my study of Russian at Vassar College in New York. My junior year was spent abroad in Yaroslavl, Russia, where I studied Russian and worked for an investment company. Following graduation at Vassar, I was offered a job at the Institute of the North, a political think tank founded by former Governor and Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel.

My employment at the Institute of the North has focused entirely on Russia. I work very closely with the governor and the Duma representative from the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Alaska's closest neighbor to the West. During the course of my employment, I have worked with the federal and state governments on issues related to the Russian Far East. Recently, I found out that I had been accepted to Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute, the premier university for Russian relations, where I will study for my doctorate in international relations.

I am only one of the Russian program's successful students. Had it not been for Mr. Vaisenberg and the Russian program, I would not be where I am today. To put it bluntly, cutting the Russian programs on the Kenai Peninsula would be a tragedy.

Oil and natural gas development in Russia is progressing to the point where Russian is now considered an "essential" language by the State Department of the United States. As we all know, the looming conflict in the Middle East has forced the United States to look for other sources of oil. Alaska companies are now being asked to participate in the development of Russian oil and gas since we are so close geographically. The opportunities for employment

and investment are endless.

Further, relations with Russia are a top priority of the new state administration, as was emphasized in Gov. Frank Murkowski's remarks at the inaugural balls in Anchorage.

I do not mean to discount the values of the other languages being offered. Spanish would help us if we lived in California or Texas. I want to emphasize the importance of learning the Russian language and culture as tool for economic growth and success in Alaska.

When colleagues ask me how I got into the field of Russian, I always point first to my high

school experience. Not only did we learn the Russian language, we learned about a culture that developed Alaska into what it is today. The name of my town, "Soldotna," comes from the

Russian word for soldier.

This program is too important to be cut merely to save money. Rather, it should be cultivated as an investment in the future of Alaska and Alaska's students.

Elizabeth Beiswenger, Institute of the North Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage

All letters to the editor should include the writer's name, phone number and address.

Community needs to let Wal-Mart know its store would be welcome

We are all saddened on the loss of Kmart. Instead of crying we need to pick ourselves up and do something about it and bring in other businesses to replace it.

I'm sure the people of Kmart do not want to sit on unemployment very long if any time at all. Home Depot would be nice, but, myself, being a woman and renting, I personally will not be shopping there very much, if any. Target would be nice, but, get real, it would move to Anchorage years before considering coming here.

We have 132 people that are going to be without a job come March 14. There are not 132 jobs available to replace them.

Both mayors of Kenai and Soldotna need to do their jobs and entice new businesses to our area.

We all know Wal-Mart has bought property off of K-Beach Road. I would like to know why they're not doing anything with it? I've noticed flyers on some of the bulletin boards asking people to call Wal-Mart at 1-800-WALMART or go to its Web site at www.walmartstores.com. I like this idea and I have called. I would like others to do the same. Wal-Mart is inevitable. I would like to see it sooner than later.

I do not want my friends and neighbors to be on unemployment nor do I want to see them move away in order to survive.

S. Giles, Kenai

Kenai doesn't need vacant building; it needs Wal-Mart to fill the void

Now that Big Kmart is going out of business, I just read about "the wish list" and that Mayor John Williams may have Wall-Mart down here when Kmart closes.

He said "There isn't a lot the city can do right now, we have to wait and see what the people want."

Well, Mr. Williams, what can I do to help? We don't need another vacant store.

I hope the people of Kenai, Soldotna and other outlying areas say "Let's have Wall-Mart down here," instead of giving Anchorage our money.

In a few months I want to see a Wall-Mart here. How can I get started, about getting a Wall-Mart here?

Donald Tibbs, Kenai

New governor has vision to invest in Alaska, its people

Our new governor has said he is going to encourage the permanent fund board to invest more in Alaska and its citizens, then what has been done.

And that he will be choosing new members to that board shows that he is recognizing the good it would do for Alaska. That's important; without the use of that fund, what is left is just numbers on paper.

I applaud our new governor's vision!

I believe he will make a great governor.

Let's get behind him and make good things happen for Alaska and its citizens.

Ed Martin Sr., Soldotna

Decision to increase class size means less teachers, programs

The school board voted to increase the ratio of students to teachers by three on Nov. 18. This means classes in grades four through 12 will average 27 students. Your child may be lucky and have only 24 in his or her class. Or your child's class may have as many as 33.

This increase in class size was proposed as a way to cut the budget. It will mean more than 50 less teachers in the district. It will mean some programs are completely cut.

Please let the school board know that this is not what we intend for our children. Please attend the Feb. 3 school board meeting and tell the board now, before August.

Connie Ferguson, Sterling

This should be year legislators do what is right for Alaska

In the next 120 days, legislators will be accosted from every direction with requests to spend funds that we as a state do not have. We must end past legislative practices of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Peter is knocking at our door, and he wants his money now!

Many of the established bureaucrats tell us that we have a budget deficit. In reality, this is not true. What we have had is deficit spending! Total state spending is about $8 billion a year --$2 billion of which is used for the operating budget and $6 billion is used for "other spending" such as capital projects, nonessential spending bills, permanent fund dividends and supplemental appropriations.

Using departmental reviews, the governor can consolidate staff and services, streamline management positions and direct funding for appropriate programs. By elimination of "capital spending projects," we can save enough to finally begin repaying money borrowed from the Constitutional Budget Reserve. The Legislature has been using the CBR to balance past deficit budgets. The state Constitution clearly states this money must be repaid.

I would further recommend the governor direct his Department of Revenue to develop a budget which can be read by anyone. The current format is so convoluted that even CPAs have trouble sorting out the details. The state is using what are commonly called "generally accepted auditing standards," which are nothing more than Enron/Arthur Andersen-style smoke and mirrors accounting practices, not what the honest, hard-working people of Alaska deserve.

Citizen watchdog groups have formed which will keep an eye on each legislator's performance. They will report on introduced legislation, excessive spending practices, abuse of power and voting records. This information will be made available to all Alaskans at the following link: www.akvoters.org.

We must all work together and get this huge spending machine under control. Let's do it now before all our money is gone and better options are no longer available to us.

This year let's do what's right for Alaska, not the special interest groups. Thank you.

Malcolm G. McBride , Kenai

Taxpayers need to say 'Enough!' to taxes, 'Yes' to leaner government

The painful irony of your political cartoon (Opinion, Jan. 23) prompts this taxpayer to vent some frustrations at our nation's politicians, who appear more like royalty with each passing day. Editorials and articles on the same subject only deepen the disquieting concerns.

It's no fun to read, for instance, that Congress began its latest session by rolling back the ethics rules of 1995 that prohibited members of Congress from accepting all-expenses-paid vacations and other expensive gifts from lobbyists.

Then there's the news about the extravagant digs occupied by too many of our elected Congress folks, the pay raises they always manage to grab, no matter what. Their first priority after taking office seems to be raising funds to get re-elected.

Elected officials -- represented in the latest instance by the National Governors' Association -- lament that they've cut government every place they can, but still are facing huge deficits, and -- here we go -- they may have to raise taxes.

So, tax man to the rescue! He now is rubbing his anxious little hands together, drooling at the prospect of taxing yet another sector of the economy, the Internet sales market. Somewhere along the way, we the people need to cry, "Enough!" Please, politicians, try reining in your own big-spending addictions before your burden us with yet another tax.

Recently, Gov. Frank Murkowski challenged our state legislators to shrink the budget deficit by making the government smaller and leaner. Wasn't it refreshing to hear that kind of talk?

Will this happen? Not so, unless we longsuffering taxpayers demand as much.

Jackie Booth, Nikiski

Russian program should be seen as investment, not area to cut

I am writing in response to the proposed cut of the Russian program at Soldotna High School

and the Kenai Peninsula in general. I graduated from Soldotna High School in 1997. As a student at SoHi, I took Russian as my foreign language under Grigorii Vaisenberg.

After graduation, I continued my study of Russian at Vassar College in New York. My junior year was spent abroad in Yaroslavl, Russia, where I studied Russian and worked for an investment company. Following graduation at Vassar, I was offered a job at the Institute of the North, a political think tank founded by former Governor and Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel.

My employment at the Institute of the North has focused entirely on Russia. I work very closely with the governor and the Duma representative from the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Alaska's closest neighbor to the West. During the course of my employment, I have worked with the federal and state governments on issues related to the Russian Far East. Recently, I found out that I had been accepted to Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute, the premier university for Russian relations, where I will study for my doctorate in international relations.

I am only one of the Russian program's successful students. Had it not been for Mr. Vaisenberg and the Russian program, I would not be where I am today. To put it bluntly, cutting the Russian programs on the Kenai Peninsula would be a tragedy.

Oil and natural gas development in Russia is progressing to the point where Russian is now considered an "essential" language by the State Department of the United States. As we all know, the looming conflict in the Middle East has forced the United States to look for other sources of oil. Alaska companies are now being asked to participate in the development of Russian oil and gas since we are so close geographically. The opportunities for employment

and investment are endless.

Further, relations with Russia are a top priority of the new state administration, as was emphasized in Gov. Frank Murkowski's remarks at the inaugural balls in Anchorage.

I do not mean to discount the values of the other languages being offered. Spanish would help us if we lived in California or Texas. I want to emphasize the importance of learning the Russian language and culture as tool for economic growth and success in Alaska.

When colleagues ask me how I got into the field of Russian, I always point first to my high

school experience. Not only did we learn the Russian language, we learned about a culture that developed Alaska into what it is today. The name of my town, "Soldotna," comes from the

Russian word for soldier.

This program is too important to be cut merely to save money. Rather, it should be cultivated as an investment in the future of Alaska and Alaska's students.

Elizabeth Beiswenger, Institute of the North Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage

All letters to the editor should include the writer's name, phone number and address.

HEAD: Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Community needs to let Wal-Mart know its store would be welcome

We are all saddened on the loss of Kmart. Instead of crying we need to pick ourselves up and do something about it and bring in other businesses to replace it.

I'm sure the people of Kmart do not want to sit on unemployment very long if any time at all. Home Depot would be nice, but, myself, being a woman and renting, I personally will not be shopping there very much, if any. Target would be nice, but, get real, it would move to Anchorage years before considering coming here.

We have 132 people that are going to be without a job come March 14. There are not 132 jobs available to replace them.

Both mayors of Kenai and Soldotna need to do their jobs and entice new businesses to our area.

We all know Wal-Mart has bought property off of K-Beach Road. I would like to know why they're not doing anything with it? I've noticed flyers on some of the bulletin boards asking people to call Wal-Mart at 1-800-WALMART or go to its Web site at www.walmartstores.com. I like this idea and I have called. I would like others to do the same. Wal-Mart is inevitable. I would like to see it sooner than later.

I do not want my friends and neighbors to be on unemployment nor do I want to see them move away in order to survive.

S. Giles, Kenai

Kenai doesn't need vacant building; it needs Wal-Mart to fill the void

Now that Big Kmart is going out of business, I just read about "the wish list" and that Mayor John Williams may have Wall-Mart down here when Kmart closes.

He said "There isn't a lot the city can do right now, we have to wait and see what the people want."

Well, Mr. Williams, what can I do to help? We don't need another vacant store.

I hope the people of Kenai, Soldotna and other outlying areas say "Let's have Wall-Mart down here," instead of giving Anchorage our money.

In a few months I want to see a Wall-Mart here. How can I get started, about getting a Wall-Mart here?

Donald Tibbs, Kenai

New governor has vision to invest in Alaska, its people

Our new governor has said he is going to encourage the permanent fund board to invest more in Alaska and its citizens, then what has been done.

And that he will be choosing new members to that board shows that he is recognizing the good it would do for Alaska. That's important; without the use of that fund, what is left is just numbers on paper.

I applaud our new governor's vision!

I believe he will make a great governor.

Let's get behind him and make good things happen for Alaska and its citizens.

Ed Martin Sr., Soldotna

Decision to increase class size means less teachers, programs

The school board voted to increase the ratio of students to teachers by three on Nov. 18. This means classes in grades four through 12 will average 27 students. Your child may be lucky and have only 24 in his or her class. Or your child's class may have as many as 33.

This increase in class size was proposed as a way to cut the budget. It will mean more than 50 less teachers in the district. It will mean some programs are completely cut.

Please let the school board know that this is not what we intend for our children. Please attend the Feb. 3 school board meeting and tell the board now, before August.

Connie Ferguson, Sterling

This should be year legislators do what is right for Alaska

In the next 120 days, legislators will be accosted from every direction with requests to spend funds that we as a state do not have. We must end past legislative practices of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Peter is knocking at our door, and he wants his money now!

Many of the established bureaucrats tell us that we have a budget deficit. In reality, this is not true. What we have had is deficit spending! Total state spending is about $8 billion a year --$2 billion of which is used for the operating budget and $6 billion is used for "other spending" such as capital projects, nonessential spending bills, permanent fund dividends and supplemental appropriations.

Using departmental reviews, the governor can consolidate staff and services, streamline management positions and direct funding for appropriate programs. By elimination of "capital spending projects," we can save enough to finally begin repaying money borrowed from the Constitutional Budget Reserve. The Legislature has been using the CBR to balance past deficit budgets. The state Constitution clearly states this money must be repaid.

I would further recommend the governor direct his Department of Revenue to develop a budget which can be read by anyone. The current format is so convoluted that even CPAs have trouble sorting out the details. The state is using what are commonly called "generally accepted auditing standards," which are nothing more than Enron/Arthur Andersen-style smoke and mirrors accounting practices, not what the honest, hard-working people of Alaska deserve.

Citizen watchdog groups have formed which will keep an eye on each legislator's performance. They will report on introduced legislation, excessive spending practices, abuse of power and voting records. This information will be made available to all Alaskans at the following link: www.akvoters.org.

We must all work together and get this huge spending machine under control. Let's do it now before all our money is gone and better options are no longer available to us.

This year let's do what's right for Alaska, not the special interest groups. Thank you.

Malcolm G. McBride , Kenai

Taxpayers need to say 'Enough!' to taxes, 'Yes' to leaner government

The painful irony of your political cartoon (Opinion, Jan. 23) prompts this taxpayer to vent some frustrations at our nation's politicians, who appear more like royalty with each passing day. Editorials and articles on the same subject only deepen the disquieting concerns.

It's no fun to read, for instance, that Congress began its latest session by rolling back the ethics rules of 1995 that prohibited members of Congress from accepting all-expenses-paid vacations and other expensive gifts from lobbyists.

Then there's the news about the extravagant digs occupied by too many of our elected Congress folks, the pay raises they always manage to grab, no matter what. Their first priority after taking office seems to be raising funds to get re-elected.

Elected officials -- represented in the latest instance by the National Governors' Association -- lament that they've cut government every place they can, but still are facing huge deficits, and -- here we go -- they may have to raise taxes.

So, tax man to the rescue! He now is rubbing his anxious little hands together, drooling at the prospect of taxing yet another sector of the economy, the Internet sales market. Somewhere along the way, we the people need to cry, "Enough!" Please, politicians, try reining in your own big-spending addictions before your burden us with yet another tax.

Recently, Gov. Frank Murkowski challenged our state legislators to shrink the budget deficit by making the government smaller and leaner. Wasn't it refreshing to hear that kind of talk?

Will this happen? Not so, unless we longsuffering taxpayers demand as much.

Jackie Booth, Nikiski

Russian program should be seen as investment, not area to cut

I am writing in response to the proposed cut of the Russian program at Soldotna High School

and the Kenai Peninsula in general. I graduated from Soldotna High School in 1997. As a student at SoHi, I took Russian as my foreign language under Grigorii Vaisenberg.

After graduation, I continued my study of Russian at Vassar College in New York. My junior year was spent abroad in Yaroslavl, Russia, where I studied Russian and worked for an investment company. Following graduation at Vassar, I was offered a job at the Institute of the North, a political think tank founded by former Governor and Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel.

My employment at the Institute of the North has focused entirely on Russia. I work very closely with the governor and the Duma representative from the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Alaska's closest neighbor to the West. During the course of my employment, I have worked with the federal and state governments on issues related to the Russian Far East. Recently, I found out that I had been accepted to Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute, the premier university for Russian relations, where I will study for my doctorate in international relations.

I am only one of the Russian program's successful students. Had it not been for Mr. Vaisenberg and the Russian program, I would not be where I am today. To put it bluntly, cutting the Russian programs on the Kenai Peninsula would be a tragedy.

Oil and natural gas development in Russia is progressing to the point where Russian is now considered an "essential" language by the State Department of the United States. As we all know, the looming conflict in the Middle East has forced the United States to look for other sources of oil. Alaska companies are now being asked to participate in the development of Russian oil and gas since we are so close geographically. The opportunities for employment

and investment are endless.

Further, relations with Russia are a top priority of the new state administration, as was emphasized in Gov. Frank Murkowski's remarks at the inaugural balls in Anchorage.

I do not mean to discount the values of the other languages being offered. Spanish would help us if we lived in California or Texas. I want to emphasize the importance of learning the Russian language and culture as tool for economic growth and success in Alaska.

When colleagues ask me how I got into the field of Russian, I always point first to my high

school experience. Not only did we learn the Russian language, we learned about a culture that developed Alaska into what it is today. The name of my town, "Soldotna," comes from the

Russian word for soldier.

This program is too important to be cut merely to save money. Rather, it should be cultivated as an investment in the future of Alaska and Alaska's students.

Elizabeth Beiswenger, Institute of the North Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage

All letters to the editor should include the writer's name, phone number and address.



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