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The field for Anchorage's mayoral race seems to be set, assuming of course no 11th hour contenders throw their hat in the ring. Meanwhile, one candidate, Dan Coffey, seems unable to decide which side he was on regarding one of the most contentious issues the Anchorage Assembly has ever faced: AO 37.

AO 37, a 2013 ordinance, changed the rules regarding how the city manages its employees. Unions contended that it went too far and stripped them of crucial bargaining rights. Mayor Dan Sullivan, who has been an advocate of Dan Coffey’s mayoral campaign, said that it was an important step in curbing labor costs within the Municipality of Anchorage...

Mike Dingman

Learning what new and innovative things cities like Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle and perennial leader Portland are doing to be more bike-friendly is interesting to anyone that bikes. But what is more interesting are the new tales and stories coming out of other cities across the U.S. One of the latest cities to jump into the mix is the Steel City and my hometown. The Steel City? That’s right, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- a town that prides itself on being a hard-working, no-nonsense city...

Brian Litmans

In recent seasons, halibut users across the state have been tightening their belts. The biologists tell us that though the total number of halibut in Alaskan waters is at a very sustainable rate, those halibut are now growing more slowly than usual. Since halibut are regulated based upon the "Total number of pounds in the sea," instead of the "Total number of fish in the sea," the longline and charter fleets are facing allocation cutbacks. We've adjusted our businesses, our personal lives and those of our families to conserve in a time of resource decline...

David Bayes

I used to have big dogs that loved to walk. My three new ones came with a different idea about walking and the outside. They are little dogs. The girl won’t even go out for her bodily needs once it’s below 32 degrees. Both the boys love going out for about 10 to 20 seconds. Then they are done with the walk and it’s time to go get warm and get treats. I soon realized I needed something to substitute for the miles I was no longer walking. I got a stationary bike. And believe it or not, I use it every night. Finally, a piece of exercise equipment that isn’t a clothes deposit system in my living room...

Elise Patkotak

On Jan 21, Gov. Bill Walker called and told me that I would not be reappointed to the Board of Fisheries. I am OK with that decision as it is the governor’s prerogative to put his own people on Alaska’s boards and commissions. In fact even though my term would not be finished until June, I volunteered to step down early if it would help my replacement to get up to speed in preparation for next years challenging set of meetings. He quickly accepted my offer. Shortly after the call the governor appointed Roland Maw to replace me.

The reason expressed by the governor for not reappointing me was his dissatisfaction with the BOF when it did not interview and then submit Maw’s name to him as being qualified to serve as the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game...

Karl Johnstone

The 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge must continue to be excluded from wilderness designation. There is no need for additional wilderness designations in ANWR, given 92 percent of the refuge is already closed to development. Alaskans strongly oppose a wilderness designation on ANWR’s coastal plain. In fact, polls over the years have shown Alaskans consistently and overwhelmingly support oil exploration in the 1002 area. Every Alaska governor, Legislature, elected congressional representative and senator from Alaska have supported responsible development...

Jim Plaquet

Recent statements by Merrick Pierce ( ADN, Jan. 11 ), about Alaska’s fiscal situation are riddled with misinformation and strong opinions, creating substantial uncertainty to the industry that is the backbone of Alaska’s economy. Alaskans deserve the facts about the current tax structure including credits, the importance of fiscal stability to industry investments and the impact of falling prices. The place to start is with this essential fact: Had voters repealed SB 21 in August, and gone back to ACES, the state would be paying more in credits at these lower prices AND collecting less revenue. In other words, Alaska would be worse off this year under ACES...

Kara Moriarty

Gov. Bill Walker wisely introduced Alaskans to some of the grim realities of their future with his budget message of cuts, even in the sacred area of education where cuts mean increased social and economic liabilities down the road. But where were the tax increases? Put off for a year means a shorter political process in which the enemies of taxes, and they are many, can more successfully use the weapon of delay in our two-year legislative term.

Maybe he can deliver a general revenue address in due course including the required revision of oil and gas taxation still in the works...

John Havelock

Alaska has one of the most generous self-defense statutes in the country. According to our laws, you can kill someone who has threatened you with deadly force even if you could otherwise get away without further incident. There is no duty to retreat, not just at home but in any place you have a legal right to be. But if you’re not a police officer, do you know where you will end up if you kill someone in self-defense? On trial for murder...

Marcelle McDannel
Take action: Reduce halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea

I am a young commercial fisherman. I look to the future in the hopes that my livelihood will sustain me, my community and the generations to come. I write to you to take action in reducing halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea...

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