February 12, 2019 at 4:00 am

Letter: Compassion


I have no problem with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz working with the Anchorage Assembly and imposing an alcohol tax to help provide shelter and food for our city’s homeless population. I do not know of anyone who chooses to be homeless.

Homelessness is the result of an accumulation and spiral of many factors — loss of employment, loss of home in a disaster, health issues, no transportation, not being able to shower or even eat every day. Many of this city’s homeless population are veterans who served all of us and kept us safe. Before John Kiernan, as he stated in his recent letter, banishes anyone to the unforgiving quicksand of Cook Inlet, can he please do a feasibility study on the costs for a medical clinic, furnished housing, transportation, food, clothing, library, gym, swimming pool, grocery store, several greenhouses, a sewage plant, water plant, power plant, electrical grid source, communication towers and so forth?

Since this was his idea, I think Buldir Island would be a great place for him to charter a boat to so that he can conduct the feasibility study before an alcohol tax is imposed. I hope he realizes how totally incongruous his letter sounded to me.

First things first: Mr. Kiernan should show some respect and not call someone who is homeless a derelict street dweller — that could be him someday if his life fell apart faster than he could put it back together despite all of his best efforts. Secondly, allow Mayor Berkowitz and his team to work together with the various agencies on this issue. Mr. Kiernan can leave, but homelessness and the issues that come with it are not uniquely ours.

— Teresa Blakeslee


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