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The estimated length of the annual Crow Pass Crossing backcountry marathon, also known in this corner of the typing factory as the seventh circle of hell, apparently is a moving target.

Through 1999, the Alaska Runners Calendar proclaimed the race from the Crow Pass trail head near Girdwood to the Eagle River Nature Center covered 28 miles.

In 2000, that publication, no doubt informed by race officials who submit event details, reported Crow Pass to be a 26-miler.

The following year, 2001, the race was further diminished in the Runners Calendar to a 24-miler, a designation that endures.

Meanwhile, the race description on the Alaska Mountain Runners website lists the distance at a mere 22.5 miles...

Doyle Woody

Proponents of the old ACES oil tax system cite families, future and Alaska as trite reasons to reject Ballot Measure 1. On behalf of my own family, and Alaska State Chamber of Commerce members and I beg to differ.

There are literally hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of reasons to reject the referendum to repeal Alaska’s new oil tax system. Those reasons are individual Alaskans - old, young and still to come. It is about Alaska’s economic future – tomorrow, next year and 20 years from now. In this context, it makes perfect sense that oil tax repeal opponents are out-spending repeal supporters 100 to 1...

Rachael Petro

Approximately 57,000 Alaskans are foreign-born, about 7.5 percent of state population, and an additional estimated 5,000 Alaskans are "undocumented." The largest immigrant group in Alaska are Asians, the third largest racial group in the state after Whites and Natives. Approximately half of the Asian population in Alaska is Filipino (the other 12-plus Asian ethnic groups split the remaining half). Also, unlike most other states, where Mexicans make up the largest immigrant ethnic group, Filipinos are the largest immigrant ethnic group in Alaska, with the large-scale migration of Filipinos to the state beginning in the early 1900s when the Philippines was a U.S. colony. So, chances are that every Alaskan knows someone who is foreign-born, Filipino, or both...

E.J.R. David

Recently, Gov. Sean Parnell signed HB 385 into law. That bill directs the deposit of $3 billion from the state’s Constitutional Budget Reserve savings account (NOT the Permanent Fund) into the Public Employees' Retirement fund and the Teachers' Retirement fund. Regardless of one’s opinion on government employees' pension funds, the state has a constitutionally protected contractual obligation to these employees to fund their pension benefits...

Kathie Wasserman

It’s remarkable that though the oil industry is out-spending supporters of Ballot Measure 1 on the August primary ballot 100 to 1, the polls are showing support for the repeal three points up. It appears we are experiencing a backlash, directed against an industry that seems willing to bully and bludgeon Alaskans into accepting their agenda which is, mostly, lower taxes, which means more industry profit, and less revenue for the state...

Steve Haycox
Praise Point Woronzof

Bree Kessler’s commentary, “Safeguard public space by using it” (ADN July 10), ended by referencing the American Planning Association’s designation of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail as one of the great public spaces in America. She asks, “What would the Coastal Trail be like, feel like, if we cut down some of its trees, took away its benches, built a gate blocking it off?”...

Alaska Dispatch News

During legislative deliberations, advocates of the Senate Bill 21 oil tax consistently used North Dakota as an example of the ideal tax regime that Alaska should emulate. We were told that because of North Dakota’s tax structure they are more competitive than Alaska resulting in huge increases in industry investment and rapid increases in production. If Alaska would just lower its tax to be more aligned with North Dakota, we would also benefit from rapid increases in investment and production.

However the oil boom in North Dakota, along with Texas, is a result of the advancement of fracking technology that releases hydrocarbons previously trapped in shale rock and the private land ownership of the surface and subsurface. This boom is not tax-driven...

Bert Stedman

There should be less money in politics.

That is a well-worn phrase that everybody seems to agree upon. Everybody but those who benefit, that is.

In the past few years, a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions have let loose the floodgates of election spending. Candidates can now receive almost unlimited campaign contributions from anywhere in the country, from super PACs, nonprofits and corporations, or just plain billionaires with agendas.

Alaska has been hit by the effects of this new political order in the current U.S. Senate race between Mark Begich and his presumptive Republican opponent. The airwaves are awash in millions of dollars of ads paid for by outside interests...

Sam Dunham

The bears of Anchorage are not our friends. Neither are they our enemies. They are more like sometimes entertaining, sometimes difficult neighbors.

One of the bears was shot and killed in the U-Med District last week. That she died -- and sadly, it was a sow with two cubs -- brought predictable reactions.

"How is is that we live in Alaska and Fish and Game can't find a place to relocate the entire family?'' asked Josiah Jones in the comments of the Alaska Dispatch News story on the shooting ...

Craig Medred
Kids are refugees, not illegal immigrants

ADN published a letter July 18 from Chris Lapp in regard to the children being detained at our border. He objected to referring to them as “migrants” and insisted they be called “illegal immigrants.” These children are refugees escaping from violent, unstable and poverty-stricken countries. Our nation has long prided herself on giving shelter to such people. They form the fabric of our culture. Even in Anchorage we have refugees from Asia, Africa and other places who we have successfully assimilated into our society...

Alaska Dispatch News