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Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012 12:00 am

Oct. 18, 2012

To the editor:

Last week, I attended the AARP candidate debate, and the more I consider some of the things Rep. Alan Dick said, the more concerned I am. While Rep. Dick is chairman of the House Education Committee, his vision does not seem to extend to the state as a whole. He was focused on the idea that we need more vocational education and not a range of educational options for Alaska students. Alaska needs quality education to lead students into a variety of professional and non-professional careers.

He is also vice-chairman of the House Health and Social Services Committee, and he viewed domestic violence as a village problem caused by a lack of parenting skills. Domestic violence is not only a problem among Alaska Natives. Clearly this simplification does not address the complexity of the issue. More importantly, such parochial attitudes do not well serve a state as diverse as ours.

Dick also said he felt no confidence in the Social Security system, so his only response was to apply as soon as he could.

I don’t expect legislators to be versed in all current research and statistical evidence, but his limited focus and vision are disturbing. I want legislators who can develop solutions. I find myself worried about the future of our state with lawmakers such as Alan Dick, and he will not get my vote.

James Ruppert


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