Diatribe was totally out of line

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2006

This responds to the letter to the editor from Richard Rose, aka Richard Schmitz, on May 14. In his letter, "It's not all right to bad-mouth neighbors," he complains about an advertisement, and then he proceeds to bad-mouth his neighbors. He doesn't even acknowledge the irony.

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Not only is Mr. Schmitz's diatribe totally inappropriate, but his statements are so devoid of facts, they seem to be plagiarized directly from a Fox News Network program. Instead of making personalized attacks through this newspaper, how about making the case about why this dead-end road is a good idea?

I'll start the debate: In my view, the road is one of the biggest boondoggles and detractions from other important projects - from highways and ferries to education. The road has been foisted upon us by a Republican administration that is anything but Republican. This project is neither the product of local choice (Haines, Skagway and Juneau have all opposed it) nor fiscally conservative (costs to the state far exceed those for keeping the Alaska Marine Highway System in place), which are two often-repeated promises in the Republican mantra.

Schmitz's claim that the advertisement is the product of "a secretive and manipulative anti-development organization" is so absurd it's laughable. It is so secretive that a couple of clicks on the Internet and you find the names of the individuals to complain about. Also, what conspiracy? Every time there's opposition to something, it must be a conspiracy? The opposition is out in the open, making its case over the radio. That's hardly a conspiracy. That's part of democracy.

The opposition to the dead-end road comes from your neighbors, who are residents of Alaska. You may like to borrow media spin tactics from our governor and accuse everyone who is opposed to your ideas as being extreme extremists who are secret millionaires; they only operate on shoe-string budgets as a disguise. Or you can face the facts that the opposition is right here in your neighborhood, from concerned citizens who don't share the view that roads are the solution, and discuss the issues intelligently, without regressing into pointless personal attacks.

Demian Schane


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