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For five years as a volunteer I have followed the bizarre and changing plans for financing the Knik Arm Bridge. Through this process, I’ve become less concerned about the project’s huge price tag than a larger question: how can the state make better decisions?

I would suggest four steps.


We need more objective information from credible consultants and that information to be made public...

Jamie Kenworthy

Rep. Don Young claims that an uninformed Wasilla High School student had the “gall” to claim that suicide is a disease.

“Suicide is a mental illness, it’s not a disease. That’s number one,” Young told an audience at the Wasilla Senior Center the next day, defending his behavior during the school session.

“And then he had the gall to say that suicide is a disease. It is not a disease. It is an illness. A lot of times that illness should be recognized by a support group,” he said.

Young continued his diagnosis by linking suicide to government “largesse” in Alaska and made other comments that are far more dubious than the silly argument over illness and disease. This was not medical school. It was high school...

Dermot Cole
Estelle is good man and judge

I’ve known Judge William Estelle for years and have always been grateful for his honesty, hard work, sense of fairness, and understanding of the issues in our area. He is a person of integrity and has spent his career as a devoted public servant. Judge Estelle grew up in Alaska and has seen a great deal of change as our state has developed...

Alaska Dispatch News

Bill Walker left a few things out of the story during his stroll down memory lane.

In a recent opinion piece in these pages, he contrasted his own approach to LNG development with Governor Parnell’s . Despite conceding his long history of failure in attempting to commercialize North Slope gas, Walker claims he’d do better than Parnell by bringing transparency and collaboration to the table -- this from the man whose Alaska Gasline Port Authority keeps its agreements secret and whose approach to business centers more around the courtroom than the bargaining table...

Joe Balash

During campaign season at Alaska Native corporations you hear the slogan of “more dividends” in many board candidates’ speeches. Candidates promise “more dividends” and “larger dividends” when they talk to shareholders because many Alaska Native shareholders believe that the purpose of a Native corporation is to benefit its shareholders financially.

For these candidates and shareholders, large dividends are the definition of success. To them, a large dividend means the company is doing well and is fulfilling its purpose. Likewise, no dividend or a small dividend means the corporation is struggling and is failing.

Their definition doesn’t tell the real story. Financial benefits are important, but providing them does not show a Native corporation has succeeded...

Morgan X’agatkeen Howard

I have been a Republican for 50 years, spending about half of that time in public office. My service included four years in the Alaska House of Representative and 20 in the Senate, during which I served as House majority leader, Senate majority leader, and Senate president. I concluded my time in public office as Republican National Committeeman. As a legislator, I got to know Bill Walker, both as a strong advocate for an LNG project and as a municipal leader...

Rick Halford

Once there was fact, and then there was fiction, and finally along came something called reality TV to marry the two into some new, bastardized product one might just call bizzarotainment.

As first defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary , this was reality TV: "Television programming that features videos of actual occurrences (as a police chase, stunt, or natural disaster) -- often used attributively 'reality TV'."

At least that was the definition before reality TV journeyed to Alaska and went into the wild. Clearly the original definition is now outdated...

Craig Medred

What do 80 percent of women business owners in America have in common? They were Girl Scouts. That’s right, those entrepreneurs were once little salespeople practicing their accounting and marketing skills on Thin Mints and hungry grocery store customers.

The brilliance of after-school programs like the Girls Scouts of America lies in more than just the opportunity they provide kids to practice real-world skills. Research shows that kids who are connected to supportive adults and participate in organized activities are more likely to take care of their own health, build up savings, take on leadership roles, and are less likely to be involved in underage drinking, drug use, and violence...

Ciara Johnson

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of six Alaska Robotics News multimedia commentaries leading up to the 2014 general election. Look online for new videos each Monday and Thursday...

Pat Race,Alaska Robotics
Quarantine before travel

Before anyone can travel from West Africa to the U.S., including passengers from other countries who have been to West Africa recently, they should be required to enter a 21-day quarantine (the incubation period of Ebola), with documented proof that they completed the quarantine.

Taking the temperature of people traveling to the U.S. who might have Ebola, but do not yet show symptoms, is useless in stopping the spread of this disease to our country.

— Frank E. Baker Eagle River...

Alaska Dispatch News