Voices

Rick Sinnott has written several articles alerting us to the dangers of invasive weeds introduced by sloppy subcontractors supplying topsoil or compost on State of Alaska construction projects.

Quality topsoil or compost repels weeds while encouraging desired plants. Invasives are opportunistic and gain a foothold when the original thin layer of organic soil is removed, leaving mineral soils. Hydro-seeding is a temporary solution but will die back if the underlying dirt is inadequate to support vigorous growth of native and other desirable plants. That leaves the door open to aggressive invasives...

Pete Kinneen
Red Dog Mine exec points out errors in ‘The United States of subsidies’

I would like to take the opportunity to correct several major inaccuracies regarding Teck and the Red Dog Mine in Monday’s article from The Washington Post, “The United States of subsidies.” The article repeats flawed data provided by the organization Good Jobs First, which claimed that Teck had received $597 million in state government subsidies in Alaska. Good Jobs First has acknowledged this is not accurate, and it is being corrected on their website....

Alaska Dispatch News

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that American voters are incredibly smart and savvy. I know this after having spent decades in public service, both in our nation’s capital and in my beautiful home state of Wyoming. I also know this because poll after poll show voters comprehend how critical energy is to our economy.

Alaskans understand the importance of energy better than most. The oil and natural gas industry supports one-third of the state’s workers and provides a vast majority of the state’s budget. For those of us in the Lower 48, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System remains a vital part of our nation’s energy security, supplying about 500,000 barrels of oil each day to consumers on the West Coast...

Randall Luthi

Sen. Dan Sullivan has taken a lot of flak for his signing of Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran , and deservedly so. His signature not only contributed to a huge policy blunder, it has hurt the capacity of the U.S. government to conduct foreign policy down the road, regardless of who is in office...

Brett Scruton
Stand up for smoke-free workplaces

I’m writing in support of a statewide smoke-free workplace law for the great state of Alaska. I’ve lived in Anchorage for 28 years. I’m a mother and a grandmother. I volunteer with my church, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I help facilitate a book club at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. I care about my community the same way I care about my family. My Catholic upbringing has instilled in me a very deep sense of what social justice is. And I believe that, in a lot of ways, secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace is a social justice issue. Everyone, no matter their means, their employer, their way of life, has a basic right to breathe smoke-free air. Everyone deserves it. No one should be excluded....

Alaska Dispatch News

It’s always a sad day when a group of citizens has to sue their government because it has failed to enforce the laws, which is the case concerning the lawsuit that “targets federal approval of Mat-Su coal mine permits” (ADN, March 20).

A coalition of environmental groups is suing the Federal Office of Surface Mining because OSM has continued to allow the Alaska State Department of Natural Resources to honor a much out-of-date permit to mine coal at Wishbone Hill near Palmer. This permit is currently held by Usibelli, but the permit was first issued in 1991 to Idemitsu Alaska. Idemitsu failed to start mining, and they asked for and received an extension from DNR on Aug. 24, 1994...

Pete Praetorius

You might be wondering what Dan Coffey was thinking. Last week, KTVA reported that Coffey sent a letter to media outlets demanding that they not play a recording that was made of him talking to fellow Assembly member Bill Starr. However, he might welcome that distraction from a much more serious issue.

The recording, which is referred to in the letter his attorney sent to media outlets, is very damning. In the conversation he talks about giving donations to other candidates, saying he will “dole them out at $250 a pop.”...

Mike Dingman

Despite getting every immunization known to man and recommended for people of a certain age, I came down with a nasty bug and spent most of last week rewriting my will and deciding that life was not worth living if it included feeling so awful. Then I woke up one day and decided that maybe I did want to live. That morning the world seemed sunny and bright. That feeling of euphoria lasted right up until I saw the newspaper and read that the Republican Senate had released its proposed federal budget. Part of the spending package they proposed included defunding the Affordable Care Act...

Elise Patkotak

Spring is on the way. This is not normally when the avid hunter thinks of hunting moose. After all, snow remains on the ground, and all the drawing permits have been allocated. Instead, think of moose antlers.

Moose have antlers, not horns. Horns stay on and continue to grow year by year. Antlers fall off and start anew each spring. Moose antlers are actually one of the fastest growing substances in nature. A large moose antler can grow nearly an inch per day...

John Schandelmeier

Like many Alaskans, I often find myself nodding politely as people from other places describe why they love their home. As they talk, my mind wanders off and I picture a sunny flight over the Chugach range, an after-work hike with friends or a bright green aurora in the winter sky. No place compares to Alaska.

So it’s as surprising to me as anyone that I love Nevada. Nevada, of all places!...

Alli Harvey