Voices

LAKE CLARK -- Most of my adult life I’ve kept journals. Not so much as a way to get in touch with my inner child and ponder the vast complexity of the universe, but more to preserve memories. Most of my journals of crab fishing, guiding and doing the wilderness-subsistence-living thing here are just that. But I’ve discovered that naming batches of beer serves a similar purpose. And it’s more fun than asking Anne, while I’m on my way to retrieve a bottle of beer from the nearby babbling brook, “You want the old stuff or the new?”...

Steve Kahn
Mayoral candidate vibes

Coffey gives me the jitters. — Ken Flynn Anchorage

What child wants a test?

Really?! A mom asking her kids if they want to take a test? What kid wouldn’t say, “No”? Are parents rearing their children or are the children being allowed to run their parents? — Andrea Michl Palmer...

Alaska Dispatch News

She sat with me in the steam room at the Alaska Club, an angel of mercy that I couldn’t really see through eyes strained and space misty. Originally from a village in Western Alaska, she was no stranger to grief, and it showed in her compassion toward me. I had just come from across town, where I was collecting my son’s belongings at the place he had been staying. Two days after his death, his landlord called to say we owed them $1500. I didn’t know he was behind on rent...

Chantelle Pence

The annual legislative skits were this weekend in Juneau. That’s a big social event where legislative staff get together to make fun of their bosses. The 2015 Alaska Legislature is certainly a target-rich environment for parody.

For example, there was the amazing spectacle of Republican Sen. Peter Micciche grilling Attorney General Craig Richards about his “conflict of interest.” It happens that Micciche is an expert on conflict of interest. He’s the ConocoPhillips employee who helped write the oil tax bill: you know, the law expected to give ConocoPhillips tax breaks worth billions...

Shannyn Moore

The people of Bethel who advocated for the firing of their district attorney had a valid point about how their fellow citizens have been treated by the state: lumped together into one class of “criminals” deserving of the maximum jail term possible. But they focused their anger on a target too low in the state hierarchy. The Bethel district attorney, like every district attorney in this state, has been laboring under a bad policy decision made at the upper levels of the Department of Law during the Parnell Administration....

Marcelle McDannel

A little more than four years ago during a Senate election campaign, I wrote , “Joe Miller's political future in Alaska is, not to put too fine a point on it, deader than Alabama roadkill. Draw a chalk line around it and call somebody to clean it up. The worst part? Miller insists on killing it even deader.”

Things change, but at the time, that observation was spot on. Fast forward to today’s packed Anchorage mayoral contest, substitute Dan Coffey’s name for Miller’s and you have a good assessment of Coffey’s predicament as some view it nowadays...

Paul Jenkins
Kudos for great concert

Congratulations to the Anchorage Civic Orchestra, which performed an outstanding winter concert on Saturday, March 21, under the direction of Phil Munger. I have attended the concerts of this volunteer community orchestra for years and this concert was by far the best. Kudos also to Dr. Lee Wilkins from the University of Alaska Anchorage who served as concert master, played a heart-melting solo and gave a brief, informative talk about music in the early days of Anchorage. The collaboration between the UAA Sinfonia ensemble, UAA music professors and the Anchorage Civic Orchestra afforded us the chance to hear beautiful music...

Alaska Dispatch News

While the slogan of colonial expansion in America was John Soule’s “go west, young man” (later borrowed by Horace Greely), in Russia it was Peter the Great’s “go to the rising sun.” It was inevitable that east and west would meet at Alaska.

If President Vladimir Putin has his way, the geopolitical winds that swung from Moscow to Washington in 1867, will swing back toward Moscow in coming years and Alaska will once again be influenced by Russian dominance...

Alan Boraas

We want to work with our new governor to progress this great state forward, especially knowing the difficult times before us. We respect that he is our governor, duly elected by Alaskans, and we appreciate the respectful acknowledgement that we too are representatives duly elected by Alaskans. We all have Alaskans’ best interest at heart, and want a future of prosperity and opportunity in our state.

While we believe we share many of the same goals and values as the governor, we differ as to the approach to natural gas development that will deliver the greatest benefits to Alaskans...

Rep. Mike Chenault,Rep. Mike Hawker

The format of K-12 education is more than a century old. It dates to the era when employment meant farming. The summer break is intended to let children go home to help with the crops. Lost during the long break, as many studies have shown, is the retention of knowledge accumulated during the school year. The beginning of every school year is remedial learning. So, point one: the school year needs to be broken into more or less equal intervals, let’s say quarters, with three- to four-week breaks that allow children to engage in recreational or other activities...

John Havelock