Voices

Odd dissent from Roberts

I am ecstatic that the Supreme Court has upheld marriage rights for gay folk and on solid grounds (the 14th Amendment). If two adults freely pledge their lives to each other, they are married and that marriage should be recognized.

But did Chief Justice Roberts in his dissent truly call this “disheartening” to “those who believe in a government of laws not of men?” Only yesterday he said that allowing Obamacare subsidies only for state-run exchanges also meant that subsidies would be allowed for federal exchanges because “the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading ...” Or , translated: “words don’t always mean what they say.”...

Alaska Dispatch News

The Legislature’s Alaska Arctic Policy Commission issued its Final Report and Implementation Plan in January 2015. During the ensuing session the Alaska Legislature created Arctic committees in the state House and Senate to help guide Gov. Bill Walker’s administration in enacting the plan and to continue tracking and formulating policy relating to the Arctic issues most important to Alaska...

Rep. Bob Herron

I’d like to be able to give you a neutral legal analysis of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that, just last week, declared all couples have the right to marry. But I can’t be neutral. This case affects me far too personally, in some ways I can’t even yet explain. Then again, as much as our legal system tries to reduce the human experience to recitations of logic and fact, ultimately, our laws are a reflection of so much more: our passions, our weaknesses, our worth...

Marcelle McDannel
Bait hunters stain legacy of fair-chase hunting

The June 23 article by ADN’s Beth Bragg reporting the killing over bait of two large Kenai Peninsula brown bears -- one reported to be a near-record animal near Clam Gulch -- was a sad example of how far the Alaska Board Of Game has descended into allowing such unethical hunting practices for harvesting trophy brown bears...

Alaska Dispatch News

Then-Gov. Wally Hickel described Alaska as an Owner State, with commonly owned land and resources to be developed for public benefit. His perspective was not confined to Alaska, however, and he took his message of the potential for northern prosperity around the world. For him, the Owner State could lift a people out of poverty.

In Alaska, the development of the Commons is not so simple, with intersecting sovereignty, governance and management regimes. The promise of prosperity has been tempered by the reality of a system designed not for effectiveness and cooperation, but focused on ownership in a singular interest. Those interests, whether federal, state or local, are not always in alignment -- and sometimes are in conflict...

Nils Andreassen

Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan have a bill to change Mount McKinley to Mount Denali. It has been Mount McKinley since 1896 when a miner successfully pushed for the mountain to be named after then President William McKinley of Ohio.

Renaming geographic features from their original indigenous names is an act of colonialism: it’s a topographic way of saying “we own you.” Colonial renaming began in 1648 when Simen Dezhnev became the first European to sight Alaska and Russians began referring to it as “Bolshiya Zemlia,” “the big land.” The report of Dezhnev’s sighting was buried in a drawer in Irkutsk, so it fell to Vitus Bering to get to apply the Unangan (Aleut) name Alyeska, or Alaska, also said to mean “the big land.”...

Alan Boraas

HAINES -- I spent May traveling, so June has been a catch-up month for cycling, walking the dog, gardening, family -- and lots of meetings. (I’m on the planning commission and the library, hospice and radio boards.)

At the moment, there are four toddling little girls 20 months to 5 years old, running in the back door with cups, filling them with water in the bathroom, and running out the front the door and pouring them in the yard. My kind houseguests, who arrived from Juneau a few hours ago and already have filled the holes in the end of the driveway, just asked what else they could do to help.

“Do you have a lawn mower?”...

Heather Lende

It's been quite a week for the country. The Supreme Court has, despite a few judges who are holdovers from the dark ages, ruled a few things right. Wahoo! Gay weddings and access to health care! Wait. The working poor and our LGBT brothers and sisters are considered "people" by the court? It's like they are corporations or something! Because I'm not able to express my thoughts about the recent racially motivated slaughter in South Carolina without a string of bleeps and asterisks, I thought I'd write about fishing issues --something safe from controversy (cough). This week a friend posted the latest derby leader in the Seward Halibut Derby. The current standing is 291 pounds of flat fish. His post included, "We should no longer condone keeping these huge fish....

Shannyn Moore

Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, "Laudato Si:On Care for Our Common Home," is aimed not just at the faithful, but at the whole world. It calls on the people of the world to recognize that the human-caused damage to our planet has reached such critical proportions it now requires decisive, cooperative action from the peoples of the world. Further, the pope believes the time has come to go beyond treating the symptoms to treating the disease: we need to become more proactive in the redevelopment of our world cultures such that caring for creation becomes intrinsic to all. He calls such an integrated way of life integral ecology, and he calls the world to something new: an ecological conversion....

Curt Karns

As a longtime resident, business owner and hunter in Cold Bay, I have a deep love and respect for the rich habitat and subsistence resources of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Its lagoons, eelgrass beds, wildlife and waterfowl are a priceless asset to the region.

Sadly, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and the people of King Cove are unyielding in their effort to force the construction of an unnecessary road that would cause permanent harm to Izembek, hurting the very species and habitat the refuge was created to protect...

Gary Ferguson