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When the Exxon Valdez “fetched up hard aground” on Bligh Reef in 1989, it was in the dark of night. A mighty storm was raging in Joe Hazelwood’s alcohol-fogged brain. There are many versions of a dark and stormy night, and they all involve risk, and risk prevention.

A crude oil tanker could be transiting Cook Inlet bound for Nikiski on a dark and stormy night. The tanker could lose power. The tanker could, with combined forces of wind and tide, be driven ashore and spring a serious leak...

Frank Mullen

On Monday night, a grand jury in Missouri decided to not indict a white police officer on murder charges for the death of a young black man in the Missouri town of Ferguson. This case is similar to the Trayvon Martin case in Florida a couple of years ago, when George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder.

One of the biggest differences between the two is that the Ferguson case didn’t even go to trial. One of the biggest similarities between them is that many folks throughout the country were disappointed, pained and troubled to realize that our justice system is deeply flawed, and that such injustices are a reflection of the deeply ingrained prejudice among those who hold power and privilege in our society...

E.J.R. David
Gruber revealed media’s true colors

The recent videotaped discussions of MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber revealed much more than his own chutzpah; it manifested but a microcosm of the mendacity that prevails in politics and the press. The once-vaunted fourth estate has long since lost its objectivity and leaped, not slid, into outright corruption (Note that it was a private citizen, not a “journalist” who uncovered the Gruber videos). The only upside to untruthfulness is its belated but growing exposure to the American public. Regular reasoned, well-documented conservative positions are ignored or summarily dismissed by the mainstream media — “Move on folks, nothing to see here. …”...

Alaska Dispatch News

The power went out at night earlier this week and I woke up when the low hum of the fridge stopped and the computer beeped, thinking I need to get it together for Thanksgiving and started making mental lists: Brine the turkey (at least it is thawed). Make that new wild rice and quinoa dish that cooks inside its own green pumpkin-like squash that I want to try because my friend Beth said it is really good, and I can make it a day ahead. Wash the napkins. Make sure there is a comfortable rocker for Eliza and baby James. (Yes, my daughter and her 1-month-old are coming from Juneau, so there will five children under four. Maybe I should just put a roll of paper towels on the table?)...

Heather Lende
No-visa arrivals old news

My undocumented ancestors came to America — without visas and against the wishes of the original inhabitants — from Norway and the Netherlands in 1849, from Germany in 1739 and from England in 1620 (also from Ireland sometime in the 1700s). How can I make it up to you whose ancestors came with visas?

— Rick Wicks Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

Transparency in government --It’s a concept we all hear every election cycle, so often that it has largely been dismissed as cliche. However, we recently saw what that could look like.

History was made last weekend, and we were all invited to a seat at the table. University of Alaska Anchorage classrooms, the Lucy Cuddy Center and the Alaska Airlines Center made up the backdrop for people from all over Alaska coming together to discuss what the face of Alaska is going to look like in the next four years...

Mike Dingman

Centuries ago, the Eskimo, Indian and Aleut people settled in the Bristol Bay region to access the incredible salmon runs that bless the region’s rivers and streams. Today the Yup’ik, Dena’ina and Sugpiaq who call Bristol Bay home, work together to both sustain our Native way of life and secure a better future for ourselves and generations to come. Because of this constant care and stewardship, Bristol Bay’s fisheries remain the envy of the world.

This Thanksgiving, we ask all Alaskans to take a moment to reflect on all of the God-given, abundant resources that bless our state, especially the unparalleled fishery that is Bristol Bay...

Jason Metrokin,Ralph Andersen

Writing a column about Bill Cosby as a probable serial rapist is not something I ever thought I’d be doing. I mean, we’re talking about Dr. Cliff Huxtable, the man who probably made President Barack Obama possible by making African-American men less scary and threatening to the nation at large. He was the first black man to star in a network TV drama ("I Spy") and the first one to show an educated black family with a professional mom and dad and a home life to which we could all relate. In fact, he showed it in such a normal light that most of us wished our family was like his. We wished our dad would talk to us like he talked to his kids. We wished our spouses would embrace us the way he embraced Clair. Now we’re finding out that behind that goofy grin of Dr....

Elise Patkotak

The mission of the Anchorage School District is to educate all students for success in life. I have committed to support this mission to the best of my ability and do so with the available resources and funds in an accountable and transparent manner.

The ASD budget development is a complex and layered public process. Independent audits are conducted annually evaluating financial and accounting practices, providing detailed information about district revenues and expenditures. In addition to these audits, we publically review and report our finances throughout the year...

Ed Graff
New players, new challenges

The best governor Alaska has had in over 20 years is defeated for re-election. Dan Sullivan defeats Mark Begich for U.S. Senate. The times they are a-changing.

In Anchorage the voters chose to let the municipal employee unions dictate what their property taxes will be. I hope they remember that when they get the bill. Gov.-elect Bill Walker now has the opportunity to show what he can do for Alaska. It will be a very interesting couple of years until 2016. Sen.-elect Sullivan has the opportunity to show Alaskans what he can do for us. I can only hope that he will represent us in the memory of Sen. Ted Stevens.

Once again Alaska faces a challenging future with unknown results. Welcome to our world.

— Bob Lewis Wasilla...

Alaska Dispatch News