Speaking Canadian

Dear Editor,

I hope that the quotation in today’s front-page article on Alaska Day, to the effect that if it weren’t for Alaska Day we’d all now be speaking Russian, was intended as a bit of dramatic hyperbole, rather than as a comment on actual history.

The fact was that in the 1860s, Russia, for a number of good reasons, wanted to get shut of Alaska.

Essentially they had the choice of selling it to the United States, or risking having Britain seize it.

So, a much more plausible statement would be: “If it weren’t for Alaska Day, we would all be speaking Canadian right now.”

And wouldn’t even know what the words “government shutdown” meant . . .

William De Armond

Auke Bay

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Win Gruening: Homeless Not Helpless

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Some time ago, the snow was mounded everywhere, deep and wet. As I gazed from my window, contemplating shoveling, I saw a neighbor plowing out the nextdoor driveway and mailbox — and then chug over to our mailbox, and plow it out as well. Such a welcome and unrequested act of thoughtfulness, of kindness: it lifted my spirits!

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