No overtime for legislators

Reading the paper the other day, I saw how our governor could save some money. The people working in the capital on the budget sure made a bunch of extra money on overtime. I think if they can’t get the job done in the allotted time, they shouldn’t get paid overtime. It should be on their own dime.

— James Christenson Willow...

Alaska Dispatch News

Summer recess can come none too soon for the U.S. Supreme Court—some of those folks clearly need a timeout.

The dissents of Justices Antonin Scalia and John Roberts to last week’s decision on the same-sex marriage for Obergefell v. Hodges removed any doubt these supposed judicial leaders of our society have fallen into "partisan rancor" that "impedes their ability to carry out their functions." Ironically, those are the words of Chief Justice Roberts describing the dysfunction of Congress in a speech in 2014...

Nancy Wainwright

This summer may kill us with kindness.

The anxiety started in May. The sun stayed out later and later. So did I. As I filled up my calendar with indoor work meetings and tasks, I wished I could create a daily block of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. dreariness followed by sudden and endless sunshine. I know that sun and warm weather is a precious resource in Alaska, and it’s wrong to squander it on a work day.

When sunshine hits and I am available, I take it. I don’t ask questions. I don’t think about whether I’m tired, sore, or fed. I just go and do stuff outside as long as the sunshine lasts...

Alli Harvey
Snide-meister in rare form on Sunday

This past Sunday (ADN, June 28) hyperventilating Paul Jenkins aimed his gloomy spotlight on President Obama for exaggerating a claim regarding gun violence in America. This criticism came from a master of hyperbole. But Jenkins’ description of the president as a “pimp” for gun control is unconscionable. Such a statement demeans the office of the U.S. president, it insults Mr. Obama, and it affirms Paul’s bigoted bloviator bona fides.

However, Jenkins thoughtfully asks in conclusion of his op-ed, “How do we stop malevolent hatred?” I suggest for starters the snide-meister stop promoting opinions that inspire extremist beliefs.

— Ken Flynn Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

June 5 was National Donut Day. So that makes it a better time than ever to talk about the so-called donut hole in the Arctic Ocean.

The donut hole consists of some 1.1 million square miles of typically ice-covered water. The area’s name derives from its shape, which looks like an oddly squished donut hole according to current exclusive economic zone boundaries, which are based on the 200 nautical mile limit...

Mia Bennett

Imagine being afraid to go to school each day because you will be taunted and harassed, made to feel unwelcome, even fear for your physical safety. You complained to your teacher or principal, who did nothing to help you. There was no clear law in place to protect you and no one seemed to care.

This story is all too familiar for many children, including here in Alaska, who are forced to start their school day filled with dread rather than hope.

We have a responsibility to ensure every student in our great state and across the country has access to a safe, discrimination-free education, where they can focus on learning regardless of who they are...

Arliss Sturgulewski

For those of us in favor of making health insurance accessible to as many people as possible, Gov. Bill Walker’s election was especially exciting. Expanding Medicaid to cover an additional 42,000 Alaskans was a central promise of his gubernatorial campaign, a campaign that netted him more than 4,600 votes over former Gov. Sean Parnell. Political mandates have been claimed with much less of a victory. When will that promise be fulfilled?

To be fair, this initial delay of Medicaid expansion is due to the governor’s willingness to attempt to work with the Legislature. The governor introduced Medicaid expansion on several occasions during the normal legislative session and again at the start of the special sessions...

Esther Kennedy

Last week was one heck of a week, wasn’t it? The Affordable Care Act got upheld, marriage equality was extended to all people in this country, Obama sang "Amazing Grace" a cappella and actually pulled it off, and Bristol Palin proved the efficacy of the abstinence program she advocated for so long as they were paying her a lot of money. Yep, what a way to begin the summer. Alaska’s fires stopped making national headlines. Our earthquake was lost in the fog of funerals. Even Donald Trump’s insane rantings couldn’t get him front page coverage in the face of such formidable other headlines...

Elise Patkotak

They say when one door closes another one opens. The question then remains -- what’s behind that door?

The unknown of the future can be very stressful, but it can also be very exciting.

Anchorage has come to that place today, on Ethan Berkowtiz’s inauguration day, in more than one way.

We now have a new mayor, but there are also more changes on the horizon. We often talk about this “crossroads” where the city, state, or nation is supposed to be. However, this is no longer the case. We have passed that crossroads. In many ways, we have decided as a nation and as a local community who we want to be...

Mike Dingman
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