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Prohibition to minors causes abuse

The problem with making alcohol, THC, etc. verboten to people under 21 or even 18 years old is that it causes our youths to obtain these goods illegally, consume them in secret, and abuse them irresponsibly to excess. In Argentina, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, and every other country in which I have lived, children are given half a glass of wine or beer with meals under supervision by their parents. In this way they learn how to enjoy alcohol responsibly with moderation, and they do not have the huge social addiction problems that Alaska has. Many Alaska villages have made their social addiction problems even worse by creating dry districts where alcohol is not allowed to be sold at all....

Alaska Dispatch News

Look, Matt Thomas is not in denial -- he knows this has been a miserable hockey season for UAA.

As the man in charge, he’s endured every second of it -- the current eight-game losing streak, the 12 losses in the last 14 games, holding down last place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, playoff hopes withering each weekend -- and it pains him.

“Mentally, it wears on you -- players and coaches,’’ Thomas said.

Still, you don’t get a lot of what-ifs from the Seawolves’ second-year bench boss. You don’t get too much about what are basically 10 one-goal losses, when empty-net goals are included in the equation. You don’t get excuses, nor should you, given a team that has lost 10-0 and 10-2, and twice been beaten 4-0...

Doyle Woody

Gov. Bill Walker, like other Republican and Democratic governors who have hopped on board, is right that accepting Medicaid expansion will save Alaska money and cut our budget deficit. Turning away an opportunity to get ill people medical care, and cut the budget at the same time would be a wasted opportunity.

Here’s a reality check as we look at budget cutting options. Given the fall in oil prices, the budget deficit is so large that you could fire every state employee, and still have a roughly $1.5 billion deficit. Cutting government waste alone won’t fix the budget gap, and we need to also take advantage of smart opportunities like this...

Rep. Les Gara

Americans have a culture of debt. We’ve been conditioned to think borrowing money is the most reasonable way to meet our needs. We finance our houses, cars, education, medical bills -- even our furniture. The concept of cash-only purchases is far removed from the current reality, and, for many of us, the idea of ever being “debt-free” is a laughable one.

It doesn’t have to be.

America Saves Week, which ends Saturday, is the perfect time to introduce Alaska Saves -- a local twist on a national initiative to help individuals and families dig themselves out of debt and create a culture of savings. It’s about “starting small and thinking big.” It’s about setting a goal and making a plan...

Larry Snider,Maureen Haggblom

Our Arctic neighbors -- Canada’s Yukon and the Northwest Territories and Denmark’s Greenland recently received control of land within their borders from national governments. In America’s big public land states, it could be our turn. Inspired by attempts by other Western states, House Speaker Mike Chenault and Reps. Craig Johnson, Wes Keller, Charisse Millett, Kurt Olson and Dave Talerico have introduced HB 115. Like laws passed or considered in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana, it demands Alaska own most federal land not now in national parks or military bases. The bill’s first hearing is Friday...

Mead Treadwell

“Anonymoose” wonders about a seeming contradiction in the implementation of the cultivation portion of the new laws allowing Alaskans over 21 to possess, use and grow cannabis.

The ballot initiative that became AS17.38 seems to say that each individual can have up to six plants (three flowering) for home cultivation, but the state is interpreting it as per household, not per individual.

“It seems unfair and illogical -- going against the spirit of the law,” Anonymoose says, “to limit an adult couple living together from combining their 'adult over 21 quota' of six plants to 12. The measure didn't say 'six plants per dwelling if shared by multiple over 21's,' but this is clearly how it's being seen by regulators.”...

Scott Woodham
Military costs add up

I see the sky is falling again. The conservative mantra is cut, cut, cut. We can’t afford Medicare, Social Security, health care and education. These programs suck up too much money. Right.

Now the DOD is proposing to reduce a minuscule part of their funding. Cutting personnel is what they are proposing and Alaska might have to lose some troops. You would think that the Chamber of Commerce was asked to drink the Jamestown Kool-Aid in the middle of the Dena’ina Center. I guess you can cut anything that wouldn’t hurt a businessman’s pocketbook. Twelve carrier battle groups, 1,000 various types of bases, spending five times more on our military than any other country; $3 billion to Israel, $3 billion to Egypt, etc...

Alaska Dispatch News

Fairbanks Sen. Pete Kelly wants to change the Alaska Constitution, specifically the section on judicial candidate appointment procedures. Senate Joint Resolution 3 will double the number of at-large, non-attorneys on the Alaska Judicial Council from three to six, but maintain the number of attorneys at three, and then require a majority vote to break a tie rather than vote from the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. Alaskans need to reject SJR 3...

Barbara McDaniel

The snow and ice has been melting, which makes it soggy and wet outside. On top of that falls a rare February rain washing away some of the doldrums of winter.

It makes for a good time to reflect. I was born and raised here in Anchorage and attended the same high school as my mother and her siblings. I love this city. The swell of pride that many feel when they see the red, white and blue of the American flag, I feel when I see eight stars of gold on a field of blue and the symbolic anchor of Anchorage.

Many have said lately that Alaska is in decline and that Anchorage is following suit. I disagree. Certainly, Anchorage isn’t the utopia that it could be and we have some things to work on, however, I believe the state of our city is strong...

Mike Dingman

In a commentary in the Alaska Dispatch News Feb. 7, headlined "Attorney doesn't tell the whole story," Val Van Brocklin criticizes two stories by Marcelle McDannel, a regular ADN contributor, regarding the role of "truth" at trial...

Darrel J. Gardner