Reading the North

Let's Get It Right: Why We Need An Alaska Constitutional Convention

By John Havelcock (Alaska Legal Publishing Co., $22)

The blurb: Anchorage attorney and former attorney general John Havelcock suggests improvements and changes to the Alaska constitution to prevent gerrymandering and big-money election takeovers, bring stability to the Permanent Dividend Fund, combine the senators and representatives into one legislative body and more.

Excerpt: "The significance of the preamble is symbolic only. It has no legal effect. But it is a source of considerable, justifiable controversy for its no doubt innocently intended, symbolic insult to the First Alaskans. 'We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land...' Wait, is that all? Do we give no recognition to those who preceded the pioneers by thousands of years? Is this a celebration of colonial conquest? Maybe delegates from predominantly Alaska Native regions will come up with a better formula, but to give it a start, reflecting the ideas involved, try this: 'We the people of today's Alaska, acknowledging the foundation of respect for the land, the water and the creatures of this great land established by Alaska's First Peoples, recognizing the roots of liberty planted by America's Founding Fathers and remembering the contribution to Alaska statehood made by pioneer settlers of Alaska, being grateful to God and wishing to secure, and transmit to succeeding generations ... etc.' "

Panhandle Pilot: Twenty Years of Flying in Southeast Alaska

By Bob Adkins (Panhandle Publishing, $15)

The blurb: Bob Adkins moved to Alaska in 1964, and this book recounts his adventures hunting, fishing and flying over the Southeast portion of the state.

Excerpt: "Like so many other boys, I've been fascinated by flight for as long as I can remember. When I was still very small I used to stop dead in my tracks, along with every other kid in my neighborhood, and watch open mouthed every time an airplane went over our house. My first flight occurred when I was seven years old. My dad paid $5 for a half-hour scenic flight for the two of us over Benton Harbor, Michigan, the nearest town to our home with an airport. The airplane was a Piper of some sort, a PA-12 I think, because even today, over sixty years later, I can picture the fabric covering of the high wings and fuselage, one pilot's seat in front and two passenger seats in back. I still recall the thrill of leaving the ground and looking down at the roads, houses and cars below."

Compiled by Matt Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News

Compiled by Matt Sullivan