Letters to the Editor

Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2002

Teacher retirements a loss to schools and the community

It is with a great deal of respect and also great sadness that I learned over Easter of the pending retirements of two great educators, Terry McBee and Dave Schmidt, with whom I worked in the early 1980s while teaching at Soldotna Junior High.

The young people of the Soldotna area and the entire community will be the losers with the departure of these two "teachers" of art and music.

Both of these men have dedicated their professional lives to making our area a much better place to live, and area citizens have had their lives significantly expanded because of their commitment to our young people.

In conversations I had with Terry McBee and Dave Schmidt this weekend, it is obvious that the decisions were not easy ones. Both of these men have given countless "extra" hours to the pursuit of educating their students. They have both gone the extra miles, and I will miss their influence and capacity for caring for kids.

David Carey

Skyview High School teacher

Soldotna mayor

Legislature 'brutally insensitive' for proposing cuts to social services

The April 7 Clarion held a wealth of information that cannot go without comment.

First of all, anyone who read your front page lead article -- "Social services cuts painful" -- would know we Alaskans have some very critical places to be focusing our attention, our money and our compassion. It is very upsetting -- if not hard to believe -- that our Legislature could be as brutally insensitive as that article suggests. Yet, sadly, that seems to be the case.

I hope that citizens who care about the most vulnerable among us -- the sick, the young, the elderly and the disabled -- will let their legislators know that this kind of "budget balancing" is totally unacceptable to people who truly care about the quality of life in Alaska for all our citizens.

Secondly, thank you for your thoughtful editorial, "Pork project leaves too many questions unanswered." I agree with your opinion. There is very little if anything to support the claims made by the promoters. Why would we want to introduce, much less subsidize with public money, a mega-polluter industry that could irreparably harm our present natural resources, especially in the areas of wildlife and fishing?

Your editorial succinctly points out the dangers to our quality of life here on the peninsula. These factory farming industries have a well-established and extremely poor track record in the Lower 48 in areas of animal abuse and dangerously unsanitary slaughterhouse practices.

Do we really want to add Alaska to that long and tragic list?

Thank you for calling people's attention to the need for much discussion and the search for honest answers.

Dale Kelley


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