With President Obama planning to speak at the U.S. State Department Conference on Global Leadership (GLACIER) in Anchorage, and Arctic foreign ministers and key non-Arctic representatives planning to attend, it appears that America’s top leadership is moving Arctic issues to a place of greater prominence in American foreign policy...

David N. Biette,Anita L. Parlow

It takes a little effort to become a registered voter in Alaska. A new initiative would reverse the system so it would take a little effort to become ineligible to vote.

We would replace our “opt-in” system with an “opt-out” approach, potentially adding tens of thousands of names to the voter rolls. ...

Dermot Cole
Young’s GMO labeling vote is unacceptable

We are to believe Don Young did not know what he was voting on when voting on HB 215, the act on GMO labeling (he voted yes, but wanted to vote no?) Maybe the truth is he was voting the party (lobbyists’) line. I would like to say neither answer is acceptable. Past time for Don to go. — Fred Ferriera Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

If there was an Alaska Journalism Hall of Fame, Stan Abbott would surely be selected on the first ballot.

Stan died July 27 near Detroit, Mich., thousands of miles and decades removed from Alaska, but his imprint on the state will endure. His career highlights and other accomplishments are well highlighted by his obituary and other remembrances, but I’d like to make sure the often-invisible Stan Abbott is remembered as well...

Howard Weaver

This week I found myself in an unusual position. A campfire. Okay, it isn't unusual to be at a campfire this time of year, but for me to be the "moderate" in a conversation about women's reproductive rights was a first.

One older woman, religiously devout, and another an ER nurse from the South. Campfire Cage Match.

Oh, I'm not unbiased. I have never wavered in my support of women's choice. Chances are, women who don't want to be mothers won't be good parents. It's really that simple. Being a mom is hard...

Shannyn Moore

Gov. Bill Walker’s dogged effort to unilaterally expand Alaska’s Cadillac-class Medicaid program -- despite the Legislature’s reluctance -- is being peddled to Alaskans with a massive propaganda campaign replete with misleading information and outright fibs.

Worse, he plans to pull it off -- to join 29 other states and the District of Columbia in expanding Medicaid -- while wading in legal quicksand; by pretending he can accept federal money and tell lawmakers to butt out because he simply would be expanding an existing program. It is malarkey. That’s not me saying that; it’s the Supreme Court...

Paul Jenkins

Many pilots have written memoirs of their flying careers. Their collected works fill tall bookcases. Usually a pilot turned author, no matter how skilled in the cockpit, is a modest literary craftsmen. He or she can tell a story but cannot make it shine.

James Salter, who died in June at age 90, was an exception. Unlike most pilots, he was not a one-book man who crammed a lifetime between two covers. He quit flying in his prime to write fiction, nonfiction, and movie scripts and continued writing for half a century...

Michael Carey
Lowlife lifts free library

To the Anchorage lowlife who decided to take the bike trail “Little Free Library” the evening of July 23 — shame on you. I’m assuming sometime over your lifetime books have in some way hurt you and you are now getting even. For over a year neighbors, families, and bike trail users have enjoyed visiting the “Little Free Library” on the bike trail between the Alaska Native Hospital and Northern Lights. Now they’ll have to go a bit farther to trade out a new book. For those of you who have enjoyed stopping by, don’t despair, plans are underway to build another “Little Free Library” in the same location. After all as Ernest Hemingway said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” — Alice Knapp Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

The resumption of visa-free travel for Bering Strait Natives of Alaska and the Russian Far East, recently announced by the U.S. State Department, is a rare and tiny thaw in an otherwise frosty relationship between Russia and the West.

The challenge is whether enough affected indigenous peoples will put up with the hassle to visit each other, and whether citizen diplomats on both sides will seize this opportunity to again melt the “ice curtain” between the U.S. and Russia as we did three decades ago.

For thousands of years, Eskimos traveled freely in walrus-hide boats to harvest the region’s rich marine mammals and visit relatives on both sides. Even with some restrictions after the 1917 Russian Revolution, that travel continued largely unimpeded...

David Ramseur

When 20 or so 8, 9 and 10 year-olds came into my anthropology lab at Kenai Peninsula College to learn about sustainability, I knew I had to do something to get their attention. Brought by the Kenaitze Tribe and an Epscor/NSF Outreach science program, they gathered around me, polite and eager.

“Do you want to hear a stupid boy story?” I asked.

Of course they did. It was a scene that could have happened a thousand years ago, although then it would likely have been told quietly by an elder at night around a spruce fire. “Ki ch’qinaghełnik’en kił” the elder would begin, “Another stupid boy.”

Once there was a boy who would not learn from his elders. His parents and uncles and aunts tried to teach him but he would not learn...

Alan Boraas