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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions


By Hannah Ramiskey


October 04, 2020
Sunday PM

Editor, Sitnews

During my forty-four years in Ketchikan I have read, or partially read, many opinion letters from Dave Hanger. Frequently he is mad because Alaska doesn’t receive enough money from oil companies.

However, last week he wrote a diatribe on the “Clueless Leslie Becker”. The piece was a new low for Mr. Hanger, especially his firm opinion that she is dumb and a right- wing religious kook. It’s a ridiculous observation by a man who has never spoken with Mrs. Becker, let alone met her in person.

In the four years I have known Leslie Becker I have never seen her with coiled snakes, goat sacrifices, nor eye of newt. She does say she’s a Christian Conservative Republican, which after your rant at the Borough Assembly meeting we both attended, I have come to think that maybe it’s just Christians in general who annoy the hell out of you.

In my discussions with Leslie I have learned that she does support the statue that defines the perimeters of the Perm Fund distribution----while understanding that the state has spent its portion of the fund and will have to take the individual side to pay the bills. Until the legislature is honest with the citizens about the severity of the budget deficit, and votes to change the statute, she will advocate for the current law. Speaking of which, you lambast her for supporting Governor Dunleavy – and mention your efforts to recall him. Many believe that Mike Dunleavy was brave enough to say, ‘the emperor has no clothes’, and handed the legislature a budget that certainly had the whole state up in arms about budget cuts. The problem is that he was giving us the true facts; with almost half the state budget going to education and Medicaid, and then covering current retirements jump it up to 66%--we all need to realize that funding ferries and Pioneer Homes is a pipedream. The other 34% cannot cover all other Alaskan government functions—like all personal, medical benefits, construction, roads, cost of running every dept- other than personnel, plus the previously mentioned ferries, Pioneer Homes, and also support for local communities. It’s a conversation she thinks we all need to have.

While she is honest about who she is, and feels that legislatures are obligated to follow state and federal laws, she is not prevaricating about who she is just to get elected. Unlike your candidate, who professed to be a Moderate Republican, who was running as an ‘Independent’. Therefore, no primary to deal with. He was elected and the first thing he did was join the Democratic caucus in the House. Oh wait, not just the caucus, but a binding Democratic caucus where he committed his future votes to the majority. His quote in the Daily News was, “Well, people can make of that what they will”. Many of us did.

You take her to task for not wanting to raise taxes on oil companies. I asked, she said that there is a world glut of oil, Alaska is expensive to drill in, the companies don’t break even until the price of oil rises above $42/ barrel. Lots of smart people in Ketchikan are saying to vote no on Proposition 1.

You accuse her of platitudes when she talks of fishing, mining, timber and therefore is a short timer who hasn’t a clue about Alaska. Maybe having new eyes and an enthusiastic representative to promote what Alaska has to offer is a good thing. Other than our natural resources, Southeast struggles, even with the cruise industry, which provides service jobs for most Ketchikan residents.

I cannot convince, nor want to argue about your cemented opinions, but to lash out at someone you personally have never met with the nasty accusations and assumptions you have made about Leslie Becker is just wrong and mean spirited.

Hannah Ramiskey
Ketchikan, Alaska




Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Received September 30, 2020 - Published October 04, 2020

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