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Alaska is in the midst of a crisis. In fact, it has been for at least five decades now...

Brionne Elkins

As Bill Walker and Byron Mallott prepare to lead we Alaskans for the next four years, I humbly share my experience based on watching changes of administrations over the years, be it in Washington D.C., or in Alaska.

The honeymoon will be painfully short. And the window for the “Unity” ticket to make big change will only stretch slightly longer. So being decisive will be important for the Walker administration, from the first day, from the inaugural speech...

Alice Rogoff

Alaskans know about airplanes and flying. No other state’s residents fly as much as we do. So we know every plane really ought to have two wings. Same with birds. There are no halibut-style birds, with two wings on one side of their bodies. I find government works best with matching wings, one on the left, one on the right.

For the last few years, we've been trying to fly the Spirit of Alaska with two right wings. As a result, our captain, co-pilot and the rest of the crew never really got us off the ground. They didn’t kill us, they just spent most of their time just taxiing in the wrong direction. Now, at long last, we’ve got a chance to get airborne...

Shannyn Moore
Common sense needed

I would just like to comment upon and congratulate William Ehrens on his well-written opinion on the absurd controversy over prayer at wrestling events. Whatever happened to common sense and common courtesy. His analogy of dinner at a friend’s home who says a short prayer was spot on. Most of us would not refuse to participate. Too bad the folks in charge seemed to have lost this perspective.

— Tim Rittal Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

With dust from recent elections still clouding the air, many political junkies itching for fireworks -- and unwilling to quietly eat their popcorn and await the train wreck that is our new state government -- already are focusing on the 2016 Senate race. It has possibilities.

The big question seems moot: Sen. Lisa Murkowski almost certainly will seek re-election, barring her being squished by a meteor. Already she is rejiggering staff.

With a dozen years seniority and a new job as Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee boss, she is coming into her own. It takes forever for a senator to gain enough seniority and clout to do Alaska any good -- and she is about there. Think Ted Stevens...

Paul Jenkins

The revival of the virus responsible for the 1918 Spanish flu, the most devastating epidemic in world that left up to 40 million dead, was the end of a long journey for Johan Hultin. Hultin, 90, twice retrieved samples of the virus from the lungs of flu victims preserved by permafrost in an Alaska village. Molecular pathologists used the latter of those samples to reconstruct the virus and discover that it jumped from birds to humans.

Hultin visited the village of Brevig Mission, on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula, on two separate missions nearly a half-century apart. He wanted to find what he describes as “the most lethal organism in the history of man."...

Ned Rozell
White America paid a terrible price

I have wondered why there is such opposition to the proposition that the Civil War was fought to end slavery.

Whether it was or not, it did, ending with the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

But then it dawned on me: To accept that the Civil War ended slavery, one would have to admit that somewhere between 600,000 and 850,000, mostly white, boys and men died in that war and that some 500,000 were wounded, many grievously.

If one recognizes these deaths, then one has to admit that 149 years ago, white America paid a horrible price in blood for its slavery guilt debt.

White America has paid for slavery: No more treasure or guilt, or demons or self-hate, or fear of righteous retribution is required...

Alaska Dispatch News

Saturday Night Live used to have a great segment called "Really?" I actually said it out loud while reading the paper one morning this week: "Really?" The Anchorage School District, one month after announcing it was considering school closures, now has a substantial $22 million dollar budget surplus. What drunken sailor is at the helm of this ship?...

Suzanne Little

Very few organizations in the United States can persevere against a continuous onslaught from a nationally organized campaign by well-funded outside environmental organizations. Yet that is exactly what the remains of the Southeast Alaska timber industry have done. Our industry has been pummeled and beaten up and is hanging on by a thread, but in the spirit of a true Southeast Alaskan, it has endured. Lawsuit after lawsuit. Letter writing campaign after campaign -- in which unsuspecting nature lovers have been told that their pens and pocketbooks are responsible for saving the last remnants of wilderness in this world...

Shelly Wright

Fox News opinion commentators and other ultra-right-wing columnists are critical of Bruce Springsteen’s performance at the Concert for Valor held on the National Mall on the evening of Veterans Day. They label the songs of the Boss anti-military and anti-American.

They are wrong.

I was among the 300,000 or so people attending the show that featured Rihanna, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen and a bunch of people I had never heard of (although the young crowd around me obviously had). My space on the lawn was near the Washington Monument, just under a mile from the stage up near the Capitol. Three jumbo-screens back, the show was pretty good and the sound was excellent...

Alan Boraas