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Seventeen years ago, someone died high on a mountain south of the Alaska port city of Seward at the head of Resurrection Bay.

Alaska State Troopers report, however, they cannot say who they believe it was because of Department of Public Safety policies. Consequently, the man's name may never be known...

Craig Medred
Quick response shows dedication

Recently I emailed a comment on a pending ordinance to Anchorage Assembly members. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed that I received prompt replies from no less than six of them, Assembly members Traini, Flynn, Demboski, Evans, Gray-Jackson and Petersen. Each addressed the concern I raised. At a time of cynicism over public officials, it is worth recognizing such positive examples of dedicated, responsive service.

— Mark Worcester Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

Round Island is once again empty of humans, left to the walruses and other wildlife that make it their seasonal home. The last of the visitors who came to watch and photograph the island’s world-famous gathering of walruses left weeks ago, followed in early August by the state’s two-person monitoring team.

The question now is whether the Department of Fish and Game will station anyone at Round Island next summer or simply abandon its highly successful, decades-long program, as Division of Wildlife Conservation Director Doug Vincent-Lang seems intent on doing...

Bill Sherwonit

When you’re trying to get by on little more than $300,000 a year, it’s inevitable you’ll cut corners. Little details are bound to escape your attention, and who wouldn’t be distracted by the taunts and sneers of those who are paid more than you?

Surely this explains the wrong-footed rollout of University of Alaska President Patrick Gamble’s $320,000 retention bonus.

Reduced to its essentials, UA President Gamble has been offered a 50 percent raise for agreeing to stay on the job two more years...

Rick Goodfellow

One objective way to know if you’ve gotten a good deal is if those who offered it to you take the same deal for themselves.

In the last two legislative sessions, Fairbanks received a pair of “great” deals: one for an liquefied natural gas trucking and natural gas distribution project, and the other for the University of Alaska Fairbanks combined heat and power plant. Soon our community will get objective verification of that value characterization -- by seeing if Southcentral-based policymakers, who made much of how “great” a deal Fairbanks received in the funding packages for both projects, and used them to ding the Interior in broader budgeting, request the same “great” deal for their Port of Anchorage project...

Jomo Stewart
Gamble’s income surge a travesty

It is hard to imagine a better-expressed piece on the travesty of University of Alaska President Patrick Gamble’s recent “income surge,” than John Havelock’s commentary (Monday). How any competent group pretending to be a Board of Regents could justify this is beyond appalling. Who are these people? Oh yeah, they are all appointees of Sean Parnell. As an emeritus professor at UAF, I can only lower my head and sing a canticle of woe for my beloved university. This is beyond disgrace and below dishonor. It is a betrayal of everything a university should be: not greedy, not mercenary, not venal and grasping for money. A university must seek to open, wise, spreading curiosity, exemplifying the love of learning....

Alaska Dispatch News

Picture a ramshackle New Mexico ranch town during the Great Depression. Feeding your family was all you could do and there was never food to spare. My grandpa thought everyone was asleep when he put the two stray cats in a tow sack, tied the top and pushed the sack underwater with a stick. In the time it took to smoke a cigarette, the cats were dead. He pulled the sack from the wash tub and threw it into the burn barrel for Saturday’s fire.

My mother was watching. After grandpa went to work, mom pulled the sack out of the burn barrel to see if either of the cats was still alive. They weren’t but she noticed that both cats had vicious wounds about their heads and necks. While drowning, the cats savaged each other...

Eric Treider

I’d like to share with readers the University of Alaska Board of Regents’ thinking behind our decision to offer President Pat Gamble a new contract that contains a retention incentive.

The board’s action, by a 10-1 vote, was taken independently, with no interference from the governor or others, and after lengthy and serious consideration. The board believes UA is experiencing necessary transformation, and that it’s critical to retain the current president...

Pat Jacobson
Bikers, please alert walkers and joggers

One additional suggestion to cyclists that Don Neal did not mention in his ADN Friday list of common sense recommendations:

Always announce yourself at least 25 feet before reaching walkers and joggers traveling in the same direction as you on a trail or sidewalk — “Passing on your left!”

— Jim Lieb Palmer...

Alaska Dispatch News

DENALI HIGHWAY -- There is more than a tinge of red on the hills. Recreation vehicles towing multiple ATVs are on the roadway. These signs of fall follow a relatively cold summer. Spring came early, but fall has been hanging on since late July. Cold and wet weather have had a big effect on the local flora and fauna.

Blueberries were late. Paxson has better berries than usual, though they are spotty. Tangle Lakes is good. The Maclaren Valley is great as usual, though extremely slow in ripening. If you are coming to the Denali to pick berries, prepare for rainy days. Knee boots and good rain gear are a must...

John Schandelmeier