Letters to the Editor

Roberson III has what it takes to lead

Of all the candidates running for USUAA (student government) president, John Roberson III is the most qualified. John has demonstrated over the past two years as a senator that he truly cares about the students at UAA. I have witnessed John participate in numerous events around UAA, including the amazing $20 ski trip to Alyeska that he alone organized. John was the only senator to stand up for UAA against the Coalition of Student Leaders when we needed leadership most. He was elected by fellow senators to be chairman of the Finance Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. Lastly, he is the UAA nominee for the Alaska Commission on Post-Secondary Education. Please join me in electing John Roberson III to become the next president of USUAA.

Peregrina Sanchez

Anchorage

Ulmer’s appointment doesn’t worry faculty

This letter is from UAA’s Governance Leaders with regard to the article “Hamilton appoints Fran Ulmer as interim chancellor” in your March 6 issue. We want to clarify some facts about the recent UAA Community Forum, held on March 1, and provide some background information.
We organized the public forum in order to answer questions that our community had about recent events at UAA. The group included faculty, staff and students, as well as some administrators from Statewide. Many questions were answered, some were not because they were unanswerable at this point, and many people voiced their opinions.

We are concerned that readers of this article will believe that we have concerns about Fran Ulmer’s position as interim chancellor. We do not. In fact, the Faculty Senate’s Executive Board endorsed Ulmer as one choice for interim when the group met with President Mark Hamilton. Further, one staff member voiced concern about her political background potentially causing UAA problems, which Scott Goldsmith, professor at ISER, put to rest when he said that her politics have caused no problems in her role as director of ISER. In addition, he mentioned that she has an excellent working relationship with Hamilton.

The overwhelming sense of the forum was one of optimistic commitment to progress and growth at UAA, which we believe Ulmer will greatly facilitate.

Thank you for keeping your readers informed during this important time at UAA.

Kim Stanford, UAA Assembly President/Classified Council President;
Bob Kizer, APT Council President;
Kerri Morris, UAA Faculty Senate President

Ban on smoking is political in nature

A few facts were used in this article that I would like to comment on, since I was the person who put this issue on the ballot (“Should smoking be allowed in Anchorage bars?” Feb. 20). Yes, Anchorage’s population is 275,000 people. The reason why 12,000 signatures is such a big deal is because only approximately 77,000 of the 275,000 people are registered to vote.
Furthermore, in an off-year assembly election, only about 41,000 people will go to the polls. So, to get 12,000 signers out of 41,000 potential voters is, in fact, significant. It shows that I only need to get roughly 8,000 more people to the polls and I will be able to have the issue repealed.

I also feel that there should be a story written about how our city government is trying to unfairly persuade people to vote no on this issue. This is a clear violation of the municipality’s own laws, yet they are publishing very biased material against us. Why would they do that, you ask? Only one answer comes to mind: They are scared that we will win the repeal.

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The final point I would like to make to you is this: If all the anti’s are truly concerned about the health risks, why did the Assembly not ban it in hotels? Are there special ventilation systems in hotel rooms that the general public does not know about? What is to stop two adult parents smoking like chimneys in a hotel rooms filled with four or five kids? Absolutely nothing! Yet the Assembly still thinks that’s OK. Let me tell you why: The Assembly wouldn’t have gotten the support from the Chamber of Commerce if they did not exempt hotel rooms. So basically, it’s not about public health, it’s about who has the most clout and the most power, and the higher paid lobbyists. These seem like the politicians we need in office running our great city, don’t you think?

Zach Keeton

Anchorage
Founder, Stomp the Ban

Frontman is the band

Much respect to every one involved in The Moon Knights (“Noisepop group may bow out after tour, record,” March 6). However, isn’t it fair to say that Lester is The Moon Knights in the same way Lemmy is Motorhead?

Isn’t Lester the founding father of The Moon Knights? Without the wonderful, talented members, the band would not exist. However, wouldn’t you agree that Lester is the glue that keeps the band together?
I believe in what Lester is trying to achieve, and I do believe as well that he will continue, such as my band has continued … once we left Alaska, thus giving the stage to someone new who has worked hard for it. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Andrew Reuscher

Portland, Ore.
Owner, Volatile Rock Records

Student leadership needs a change

It has come to my attention that there are non-SAE candidates for the presidential and vice presidential USUAA positions. Behnaaz Irani and John Roberson III are exactly what this university needs. They have proven themselves time and time again as senators, students and friends. The quality of character inherent within these two is indicative of the benefits this university will reap from having these two at the top of the USUAA echelon. In short, the combined character and work ethic of these two individuals is exactly the change needed around here. No hard feelings towards the other candidates, but it is time for leaders for a change.

Justin Dahlen
Anchorage

Irani is a qualified candidate for VP

I think Behnaaz Irani would make an excellent vice president. She has proven her ability as a student government official for the last five semesters, and she is an excellent student and has proven herself an excellent speaker by winning Top Speaker at the Cabin Fever Debates this spring.

Now, I don’t know about her running mate’s qualifications, but I know she could, would and should make an excellent VP of the student body government.

Daniel Allen
Anchorage