Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Feb. 4, 2021.

Letters to the Editor

Vaccine is not just for ourselves

I just received my first COVID-19 vaccine. I’m thankful to get it and appreciate the health workers involved in keeping our community safe from the novel coronavirus.

I have talked to a few friends about getting the vaccine and am surprised that many have said that they didn’t intend to get the shots. Their reasoning seemed to be that they felt they were healthy enough to survive the virus.

The vaccine is not only intended to protect the recipient of the shot, but also protect any others who could become infected by a carrier of the disease. I have heard that it will take around 70% of the population to be inoculated before COVID-19 can be eliminated.

So please, get your vaccine shot as soon as it is available, not just to protect yourself, but also our community.

Bumppo Bremicker

Civility matters, but can someone fix the potholes?

After city leaders are finished congratulating themselves on their commitment to civility and working across “ideological and political lines,” will someone just fix the roads around here? These are well intentioned goals — both bringing civility and filling huge potholes around town. Most of us don’t even have the opportunity to be uncivil or civil in our second COVID-19 winter, but I have twice popped big trailers right off the hitch within city limits.

Buck Laukitis

Biden administration attacks Alaska’s oil industry

ell, that didn’t take long. In his first week in office, President Joe Biden announced a moratorium on all new leases for oil and gas production on federal land. Approximately two-thirds of the North Slope is in federal control in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The most recent discoveries of oil on the North Slope have come from federal leases Conoco operates in the eastern part of NPR-A. ANWR is unexplored but is the last best place to find oil on the North Slope.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are between 4.8 – 29.4 billion barrels of oil present in ANWR alone. Alaska just lost any chance at adding any oil production from new leases in NPR-A or ANWR to our state’s production. That will mean fewer good paying jobs on the slope, lower future tax revenues for the state, a negative impact on our state budget and a smaller PFD check size. The Biden administration is no friend to Alaskans.

Respectfully,

Greg Sarber

We really are blessed

A gentleman responded to a letter to editor I’d sent several weeks ago in which I thanked voters on the Kenai Peninsula Borough for voting to repeal Ordinance 2020-24 passed by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly but repealed by voters.

Because the ordinance was repealed, we, as I stated, are blessed because we’ve kept in place for our future an election process which encourages vote in person through reasonably convenient poling locations. In light of that, I want to express a heartfelt thank-you to the many volunteers who give of their time and energy on election days and beyond. We really are blessed because of you.

Election integrity must be maintained to the highest degree possible or voters will become discouraged in the process, no matter which voting method is used. If there’s a way to allow for more convenient voting without sacrificing integrity and access to the most secure method of voting, which is voting in person at polling locations, then perhaps there’d be some common interest.

Gentleman, I never stated vote in person was the most “efficient way to run an election.” I said it was the most secure method. Ordinance 2020-24 encouraged vote by mail while discouraging voting in person. Had the ordinance been allowed to stand, vote-in-person polling locations in Districts 29, 30, and 31 would’ve been reduced to potentially as few as five locations. My research indicates there were 25 polling locations that offered in-person voting for the borough election. Ordinance 2020-24 would’ve dramatically diminished convenient opportunity for the method of voting which offers the most secure option at this point.

Thanks again, volunteers.

Leonard Miller

Help save a life

Dear Alaska Senators,

A recent Anchorage Daily News article describes the lack of senior sitizens signing for the COVID-19 Vaccine. It gives theoretical reasons for the situation, but the reality is the initial strength of messaging and the confusion about appointment scheduling resulted in lower sign ups.

Moving forward, Dr. Anne Zink wants all to embrace this first week of February as “Seniors Week.” Promote Senior vaccinations. The ability to get appointments has been enhanced and seniors are ready.

Most legislators have responded that they would encourage seniors to be vaccinated.

There are a few who do not believe in vaccines and have not encouraged seniors to be vaccinated. This can result in “passive genocide” of Alaska’s senior population. There is nothing wrong with saving lives with safe vaccines. We ask all of you to put aside personal anti-vaccine bias and encourage senior citizen vaccination in your district.

If the encouragement of Alaska Legislators for senior vaccinations saves just one life in each, that is 60 Alaska lives that you’ve saved. And, by encouraging Seniors to be vaccinated, you will likely save many more.

Ninety-five years ago Alaskans were faced with another epidemic. Leonhard Seppala and other mushers raced vaccines from Nenana to Nome with dog teams — it worked and lives were saved by vaccinations. Now we are in the situation to do this again for Alaska.

Please join Dr. Zink, Seniors of Alaska and other organizations and encourage the seniors in your districts to get vaccinated against this terrible disease.

A well known quote from the Talmud is “a person who saves one life saves the entire world,”

Please be that person in 2021.

Thank you from the Team at Seniors of Alaska.

Peter Zuyus, Seniors of Alaska

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