LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ELECTION CONFUSION
Reading the last six paragraphs of the article in the ADN June 7 was rather alarming. There are 48 candidates in this special election, but we have been instructed from the very beginning of the process to wrap up our research and discussion and vote “as soon as possible,” for the convenience of the state Division of Elections. The deadlines for postmarking are not uniform, and there is apparently no website to figure out these deadlines. Despite everyone calling this an “all-mail election,” it turns out that we can vote in person. There are dozens of places to vote early, and some, but not all, will be open on Saturday itself.
Why not print the locations and hours for in-person voting along with the article itself? I know that People Mover is offering free rides on Saturday. People who don’t have a witness or are concerned that their ballots might get lost, or that they will miss the cut-off for postmarking, or that there might be an issue about their signatures, should know about their options — indeed, should have known about them weeks ago.
We are also told in the article that there are municipal drop boxes, but people should not use those. And yet, they apparently remain open, and confused voters are putting ballots in there. Why not close those boxes? Are there large signs telling people what their voting options are? If not, why not?
We just have to do better on elections.
— Doug Miller Anchorage
Regarding the recent opinion article, “Alaska has a crisis hiring and keeping competent state attorneys. Here’s how to fix it.” (June 6) I have a wonderful idea. Don’t ask state employees to resign!
Recall that in 2018, shortly after Gov. Mike Dunleavy was elected, he demanded an illegal loyalty pledge by asking many hundreds of state employees, including state attorneys, to turn in their resignations. This dimwitted move assuredly did nothing to improve morale among the underpaid and overworked state servants, and resulted in multiple expensive lawsuits.
— Scott Miller Anchorage
Recently I tested positive for COVID-19. I am 69 years old. I feel the Providence Health Care system failed me. I got my results too late to call my doctor’s office on a Friday. So I called in the morning, since they were open on Saturday. My call went to an answering service, which said sometimes they don’t take the phones off. The answering service took a message.
Not wanting to wait, I contacted urgent care, which my doctor recommended if they were not available. I was told I first had to be evaluated, which meant waiting for an appointment. I was blessed to have a neighbor who is a PA, who suggested I call for the monoclonal antibodies. I did this immediately when I got my results that night, and they responded within an hour or less. The lady who runs the program explained to me everything I needed to know and told me they were open Saturday. She took my name and said someone would call me back. They did the next morning and I got my treatment.
I never heard from my doctor’s office until 5:23 p.m. on Saturday. The nurse said the same thing: Go to urgent care. Urgent care closed at 7 p.m. Now, there is a timeline for the antibody treatment: the sooner the better. I was on top of it. Yet the doctor’s office seemed to not care, dumping me to urgent care instead of the doctor on call to write a prescription. A 10-minute virtual appointment would have been all it would have taken. I didn’t even get a phone call telling me they couldn’t see me until it was too late.
My neighbor was here for me, thank God. The staff and the women from the infusion center were there for me. These were the people who cared — not the ones I pay to see. I sincerely thanked them and was told they are closing due to lack of funding at the end of June. Yet our state is one of several that have high COVID rates now. This treatment helped me so much. I am asking others to talk to our senators or representatives to continue to fund this center. We need it now, since we can’t rely on the offices we pay for care.
— Barbara Barrett Anchorage
In a letter to the editor published on June 4, Ky Holland raised some legitimate concerns about the very real risk of wildfire on the Anchorage Hillside. I am writing to assure the public that the Anchorage Fire Department has plans in place and the means to notify the affected public of an emergency evacuation, should one be deemed necessary. At the time of the May 22 fire on Zircon Circle, the incident command team determined that a widespread emergency evacuation was not warranted.
Yes, our emergency personnel have been under a heightened state of alert, and thought this could have been the fire we have all been preparing for. Once on scene, however, the wildfire threat was quickly contained, negating the need for widespread evacuation. Anchorage Police Department officers went door-to-door among the homes in the immediate vicinity of the fire.
Had an emergency evacuation notice been ordered, Anchorage officials would have initiated an emergency alert to be sent to mobile devices within the affected area. This system, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, is issued by the National Weather Service. In addition, the message would have been broadcast over the familiar Emergency Alerting System. These systems are reserved for the most urgent emergencies and would be used in conjunction with door-to-door evacuation advisories.
I sincerely thank the public we serve for their vigilance and attentiveness to fire safety, especially during this time of elevated fire danger.
— Doug Schrage Chief, Anchorage Fire Department Anchorage