Voices

Donlin Gold has been a hot topic of conversation given the recent release of the project’s draft environmental impact statement (EIS) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Much of the general public is becoming aware of the project and familiarizing themselves on its attributes for the first time. But for those who call the Yukon-Kuskokwim region home, and for Calista Corporation shareholders and descendants, Donlin Gold has been an ever-present entity, topic of conversation and ally for the past 20 years. As stewards of the land and owners of the resources, we do not take such a significant project lightly. Under the Alaska Natives Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), Calista is mandated to responsibly develop our shareholders’ natural resources to improve their socio-economic lives. Donlin...Andrew Guy
Leaders of the Alaska Senate know what we need to improve higher education: Get more concealed guns in the dorms and classrooms of the University of Alaska. According to Fairbanks Sen. Pete Kelly, the UA Board of Regents is infringing on the right of people to carry concealed firearms to chemistry labs, concerts, the library, basketball games and parties in the dorms. The state House, to its credit, has put aside all bills that don't deal directly with money matters, but not the Senate. This sideshow comes at a time when the Legislature is preparing to cut millions from the university budget, reducing academic programs and cutting jobs. Legislators refuse to say how big the cutbacks will be, but look for decreases that will degrade future opportunities for thousands. This is a critical...Dermot Cole
Fishing lives and fishing wives are set to be showcased for a national audience — one as a documentary and the other, on reality television. The first, an hour-long feature called “Last Man Fishing” , focuses on the lifestyles and challenges facing our nation’s small-scale fishermen. “We’re from Indiana and we realized there is a disconnect between the consumer and where their fish is coming from,” said JD Schuyler , who is co-producing the documentary with his wife, Kelley. “We want to bridge the gap of people appreciating seafood, while also understanding the struggles of the small-scale fishermen.” The Schuylers, who have long been involved with the sustainable foods movement, first made the connection with the fishermen/co-owners of Sitka Salmon Shares, a “boat-to-doorstep” seafood...Laine Welch
Rural Alaskans will suffer most if our PFD shrinks Wow! Another Native leader sells out and forgets the culture. Political and corporate leaders are willing to use the Permanent Fund to save the Alaska economy at the expense of rural Alaska. God save the culture bearers. — Fred Wemark Anchorage Wohlforth was right about Hanley and the eduction board Charles Wohlforth was spot on when he wrote his article on Education Commissioner Mike Hanley. Mr. Wohlforth tuned in immediately to what the real issue was with the commissioner: Sen. Mike Dunleavy and the State Board of Education leadership, Chair James Field and First Vice Chair (and chair heir apparent) Sue Hull. I can tell you from personal experience that if you cross Sen. Dunleavy, you can bet the axe will fall not far from where you...Alaska Dispatch News
It’s no secret that most of the politicians in Juneau look longingly at the Alaska Permanent Fund to solve the current budget crisis. That’s one reason Gov. Jay Hammond wanted a dividend. Defending the dividend means defending the fund. The reality is that politicians whose election campaigns are paid for by a wealthy few don’t represent the folks for whom the PFD is an important, even critical part of a family budget. At the same time, the people are persuaded to think the income tax is an abomination, even though it is the normal source for public income and expenditure throughout the United States and has no negative effect on a large majority of the population that pays little or none. Of course, the majority complain about the tricks and exemptions at the top. Fix those rather than...John Havelock
Clear the air for all Alaskans There has been a dark cloud looming over the people of Alaska for far too long. A cloud that could easily be lifted, but if it isn’t, it will continue to affect the well-being of thousands of Alaskans across the entire state. Only 50 percent of Alaskans are currently protected by smoke-free workplace laws. For over a decade, Anchorage community members have enjoyed the freedom of breathing clean air while they work. Areas in the Kenai Peninsula, Mat-Su, Fairbanks-North Star, and Kodiak boroughs though, do not have the same local health powers that Anchorage has to make comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws a reality for their residents. Senate Bill 1, currently before the Legislature, would protect all Alaskans from secondhand smoke and aerosols in the...Alaska Dispatch News
The Republicans who lead the Alaska Legislature are comfortable talking about the desire to “right-size government,” the ideal one-size-fits-all euphemism. Every time I hear those words I think of someone picking out a new pair of pants for the seat of government. Or the time my daughter Anne had to give up on getting a favorite couch into her apartment because she didn't have the right-size door for the right-size couch. Soon we'll be seeing red baseball caps emblazoned with “RIGHT-SIZE GOVERNMENT,” the best thing for the legislative fitting room since former House Speaker Pete Kott ordered hats for the various heads of the Corrupt Bastards Club. Just as some claimed the CBC was a harmless joke and others found proof of wrongdoing, Alaskans will never agree on the right size of...Dermot Cole
I found Beth Bragg’s article featuring University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball player Alysha Devine (Jan. 29) to be extremely disappointing because it was not about Devine as a person, scholar or athlete -- but about her hair. Out of approximately 30 sentences published, only two had substantive information (peppered with hair puns) about Devine’s playing career. The subject of the other 28 sentences was her hair. What made ADN think it was a good idea to publish an athlete profile solely about the athlete’s hair? I can’t presume to know what the author’s intentions were when this article was penned. Perhaps imagination ran short that day, or maybe just enough material to fill the page was needed. The author possibly thought that a news article about hair would be cute, funny,...Katina Ozrelic
The unanticipated strength of anger and resentment unleashed by the current presidential campaign raise ancient questions about the character of American democracy. The questions may seem new, but they go back to the nation’s beginnings. As imagined by the Founding Fathers, democracy depends on an informed and educated electorate, willing and able to make reasoned, careful judgments about the character and capability of the people they choose to represent their and the nation’s best interests. That electorate was likely a fantasy, one that never existed in their time, or ours. But it was the theoretical foundation of the system of government they fashioned. The founders were not enthusiastic about democracy. Most of them shared to some degree Hamilton’s belief that the common mass of...Steve Haycox
As a lover of wild places, I’ve thrived on Alaska’s wilderness over the past 40 years. Like thousands of others, I’m grateful for amazing places such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, and Prince William Sound. In these protected public lands we can all find beauty, open space, peace, wildlife, subsistence food, adventure, isolation, discovery, fascination, and inspiration. Prince William Sound embraces a wilderness that I’ve explored over the past few summers. While paddling up the magnificent College Fiord and camping near the face of Harvard Glacier, it’s hard to imagine that Anchorage is just an hour away. The Chugach Mountains form a spectacular rampart that separates an urban, noisy setting from a wild mosaic of thunderous...Debbie S. Miller