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Alaska Dispatch's Best of the Week: Feb. 16-22

Eric Christopher Adams

Alaska news week in review (02/16-02/22/2013)Extreme cold slows life down for the overwhelming majority of North Americans. Winter may even cancel school, work, social hour and worse, depending on where you live and how bad winter happens. But on America's Arctic frontier, it's the complete opposite: productivity peaks for Alaska, in many respects, during late February. Maybe it's the lengthier days. Or maybe we've just finally grown accustomed to winter life, finally, four months into the season.

The news certainly gets interesting as February wanes. Politics quickens: In Juneau, the Alaska Legislature is debating oil taxes, again, and lawmakers on both sides of the discussion are passionately making their cases. Read more about this year's chorus in support of cutting state taxes -- worth billions a year -- to oil companies pumping petroleum out of Alaska's oil patch. The opposition to such cuts isn't so much of a chorus as it is a whisper. But the wisdom of tax-cut opposition shouldn't be discounted just because it's a minority opinion. We've got all sides of the multidimensional story in our Politics section.

Longer winter days mean big news on the Iditarod Trail. Alaska's most celebrated sporting events are under way across the state's historic trail, which runs from the Kenai Peninsula through the state's gold mining ghost towns to the Bering Sea coast. Currently, athletes and adventures from around the world are competing or preparing for the Iditarod Trail, and no one covers the adventure quite like Alaska Dispatch.

Keep up: bookmark our Team & Trail blog and our Iditarod project. Follow Dispatch trail coverage on Twitter: the handle's @ADIditarod. You'll thank us later.

  1. 1 How science of Iditarod dogs saves soldiers' lives

    The canine athletes of Alaska's Iditarod sled-dog race are helping human military handlers unleash better bomb-sniffing K9 war fighters in Afghanistan.

  2. 2 Alaska oil tax debate revs up, with Parnell noticeably absent

    "Baby Face" Bill Wielochowski vs. "The Dapper Destroyer" Andrew Halcro: Two of Alaska's most visible politicians prepare to debate oil taxes while the governor plays hide-and-seek.

  3. 3 Fat bikes: Setting the record straight

    ANALYSIS: Who's doping over at Wired magazine, the editors? Writers? Everyone? There can be no other explanation for the wildly lost story about fat-tired bicycles it posted this week

  4. 4 Little tweaks have boosted pay for some Alaska lawmakers to $90,000 per year

    In the Alaska capital of Juneau a series of subtle changes has allowed state lawmakers to pocket an average of $80,000 a year, including per diem and expenses. No more do they complain about their pay. 

  5. 5 Zen and the art of surviving a plane crash in remote Alaskan wilderness

    How did a woman survive 49 days in the remote Alaskan wilderness, injured and with precious little food, after her single-engine Howard aircraft went down?

  6. 6 'Racing Beringia' plots an international path toward Iditarod

    A trio from Denmark, Russia and Norway have relocated to the mushing capital of Alaska, in Willow, in preparation for three grueling, long-distance sled dog races on two continents. And their adventure is the basis for a free education program used by teachers the world over.

  7. 7 Southwest Alaska needed jobs long before Pebble mine proposal

    OPINION: The potential economic boost that the proposed Pebble mine would provide is so appealing to people of Bristol Bay because the area's development powerhouses have been dropping the ball. 

  8. 8 Widow of Alaska Coast Guard station murder victim: 'I can go home'

    It's been an agonizing 10 months for Nicola Belisle since her husband was murdered on Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak. But with the arrest of James Wells on Friday, Nicola says she can finally return home.

  9. 9 Is latest Alaska gasline commitment another dog-and-pony show?

    Gov. Sean Parnell becomes the latest Alaska governor to call his (or her) developments toward a gasline "historic" but the federal coordinator for such a project wants permit applications before going so far.

  10. 10 Grassroots movement to recall West Anchorage Rep. Lindsey Holmes

    A group of constituents of Anchorage Rep. Lindsey Holmes -- who switched parties from Democrat to Republican just before the Legislature gaveled in to session -- is organized and intent to recall the once popular lawmaker.