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Men omitted from Victimization Survey

I just looked at the Alaska Victimization Survey. No men were included. Why not? If you’re going to use a survey to determine political and legal policy then at least be fair and balanced about it.

— Leon Kitagawa Palmer

Candidates for president must answer tough questions about extremists

In response to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s comparison of union protesters to ISIS last week, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace was criticized Sunday for asking Walker a softball question (“Aren’t union protesters a lot different than ISIS?”).

This is what Wallace should have asked:

“What would a President Walker do in the following scenario?”...

Alaska Dispatch News

Any person who has followed the antics of House Speaker Mike Chenault and his sidekick Rep. Mike Hawker shouldn't be surprised by their latest effort to thwart the desire of Alaskans to get a gas line built.

On Monday they announced House Bill 132. This legislation is designed to tie the hands of Gov. Bill Walker. The bill limits Alaska involvement in a gas line project by ensuring that Alaska cannot be involved with a pipeline unless the project is uneconomic, or controlled by global corporations with projects that compete with the state...

Merrick Peirce

As a sophomore at the University of Alaska Anchorage, I feel privileged and proud to be a part of a student body, and faculty, dedicated to the success and growth of its students. I am a 19-year-old "traditional" student; I started at UAA immediately after high school and will have my Bachelor of Science in two years. I do not have children, nor am I studying child development. However, the news of Tanaina Child Development Center, based in my beloved university, being shut down and relocated has caused me great confusion...

Trina Musliu

A big German shepherd bounded excitedly through the snow, inches behind the racing hare.

The bunny scooted into a culvert under the highway with the dog hot on his trail. The showshoe hare fit; the dog did not. The bolts holding the culvert-marking stake snagged behind my shepherd's collar, and he was stuck. He was rammed in so tight, I couldn't get my hand in alongside his neck to free the collar from the bolt.

That dog, Collin, got me into more predicaments than I care to recall. He has been gone for 35 years and people still ask me if I still have “that big, black, German shepherd?” Dogs have a way of transcending time. They also will get you out of the house, out of your comfort zone and into the outdoors...

John Schandelmeier

In Alaska we don’t ever really get “spring”. We get vast puddles as everything melts, eventually revealing mushy, fragrant ground that’s been trapped under snow for months. Typically, break up happens in April and Alaskans like me, normally outdoorsy, seriously consider signing up for a gym or moving to Hawaii.

This year’s different. Break up seems to be happening in fits and starts. This means the snow conditions are poor in most places in and around Southcentral Alaska. Many people I know consider March to be one of the best months of the year since the sun is out later, but this year it’s harder to figure out exactly what to do with the extra daylight.

Cross-country skiing? Not much. Ice skating? Yes, but I’m kind of sick of that. Running? I am very sick of that...

Alli Harvey

A report from an Alaska village last week detailed a violent incident that included a man shooting four bullets into the wall next to where his sister was standing. She has two children whom he also threatened. Here’s the relevant paragraph:

“Jennings then held a .40-caliber handgun to the man’s head and threatened to kill him, troopers said. Jennings turned the gun on another occupant of the house, his sister, and told her he’d kill her and her two children if she called law enforcement, troopers said. Before he, Kelly and Jimmy fled, Jennings fired four rounds. The bullets struck a wall near his sister.”...

Elise Patkotak
Put legislators on Medicaid

It is my opinion that all the “compassionate” legislators who decided that poor people don’t need Medicaid, should give up their health insurance perks so that they can better understand the way it feels without health insurance.

— Rita Hatch Anchorage

‘Cat in the Hat’ would let teens get own library cards

A fun way to celebrate “Dr. Seuss Week” is by heading to the public library and picking out your favorite Seuss book. My 17-year-old daughter would have done that, but to my surprise and hers, she was denied a library card because she didn’t have a parent present, and she is under 18.

No library card, what can you mean?

Mom isn’t here, and you’re under 18!...

Alaska Dispatch News

We all know our state is facing a period of challenging public finances. At the same time, we know that continued, prudent investment in education of our people pays dividends in terms of our economy and our quality of life. When making tough choices in the days and months to come I encourage our leaders to continue to put education at the top of the list of priorities, and I encourage those who work in our education system to embrace innovative ideas that are responsive to the needs of our state...

Dr. James Johnsen
Murkowski vote puzzling

On her website, Sen. Lisa Murkowski says, for some reason in the third person, “Sen. Murkowski believes that climate change is a real threat that must be addressed.”

On the U.S. Senate floor last month, regarding an amendment that included the phrase “human activity significantly contributes to climate change,” she voted no, saying “I would suggest to colleagues that inclusion of that word (significant) is sufficient to merit a 'no’ vote at this time.”

So it’s a “real threat that must be addressed,” but human contribution to it is not “significant”? I’m sure the folks she visited in Kivalina last week would suggest it’s significant.

How, exactly, does she propose we address this threat if our own contributions are insignificant?...

Alaska Dispatch News

Over the years I have observed fewer and fewer kids playing outdoors in Anchorage and outlying areas. But it wasn’t until a business trip to west Chicago several years ago that something really struck home. It was a beautiful Sunday in May, and I spent the afternoon walking through vacant parks and baseball diamonds. These were real baseball diamonds with backstops, dug outs, smoothly-raked infields, mown grassy outfields and perimeter fences -- not the rough, gravel lots we played in as children in Seward.

But there was no one there. “Where are all the kids?” I almost uttered out loud.

When we were kids we would have thought we’d gone to heaven to have ball fields like this...

Frank E. Baker