Juneau's fortunate

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2004

As a former Juneau resident, I want to commend Juneau legislators for their efforts on behalf of all the community, especially for some of the seemingly overlooked folks: seniors, the disabled, and particularly the deaf community.

Last session, Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch met with seniors in an attempt to postpone the loss of the Longevity Bonus. He took legislation back to the floor which had the approval of senior groups with whom he had met. Not perfect, but if it had passed, seniors would have received money for some time, allowing them time to adjust to the loss. He has many times worked across party lines to find a solution that works for everyone. Recently, he also met with the deaf community and will continue to work on their concerns as well. As hearing people, we forget how difficult it can be for the deaf to be heard, and to hear.

Rep. Beth Kerttula wrote the original landmark bill which now controls the dumping of waste by tour ships. When legislators across the aisle decided to play around with it and make it their bill, instead of giving her credit for the work, she joined with them and was happy just to get the job done, thinking of her community first. She opens her doors to all people and also works with other legislators for consensus across party lines. She has special expertise on oil and gas issues which will be important for Juneau in future legislation in that area.

Sen. Kim Elton uses his experience to bring folks together and educate them on Juneau's needs. He also knows it is important for the Capital City to care about working for all Alaskans' interests as well as working across party lines. A graduate from our own University of Alaska Fairbanks, he is aware of Alaska's education possibilities and responsibilities. He sees the big picture and watches out for our future as well as the present. He stays in touch with the community through his enlightening newsletter which is available upon request. You will find him to be good listener when you call.

Representing Juneau requires delicate handling, which I have observed having relocated to Fairbanks to be near family. Juneau is fortunate to have just such qualified representation in office.

Doris Robbins


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