Story last updated at 12:28 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 2003

Longevity validity questioned
Thanks to modern medicine and better hygiene, Americans' life expectancy has risen to age 75 and older. Clearly, how are we supposed to continue paying $100- to $25- per-month in longevity bonuses to Alaska senior citizens, many who are living past their 70s, 80s and 90s? I would certainly appreciate a survey that establishes just how many and how long these senior citizens have lived in Alaska who are receiving Alaska longevity bonuses.

Let's consider that the longevity bonus was originally set up for Alaska pioneers who had worked long and hard, contributing to Alaska and remaining here. Is Alaska supposed to be a haven for free loaders, a come on to one and all or a money tree? Alaska is seen as the land of milk and honey by other states and the world over.

How can we reasonably afford this ad infinitum endlessly? Our economy has been hurting for years and is operating beyond our means. "You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip" goes the expression.

Now, how many people came to Alaska for the longevity bonuses or our Permanent Fund Dividend alone and nothing else? How many free lunches are we giving out to newcomers who do not care about Alaska and are here just for these freebies? To my family and to me, our longevity in Alaska is already a wonderful bonus!

Phillip and Yolanda Clary, Anchorage

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