Voices

Publisher’s private dinner list should be available to public

Whenever the president has a sit-down meeting or participates in a think tank, it’s considered public information and the White House releases the list of participants. Dispatch Publisher Alice Rogoff hosted President Barack Obama in her home on Monday night, but has refused to release the list of attendees to this secret dinner. Rogoff would only say it was “not political” and “a chance for the president to have a conversation with a diverse group of Alaskans.” Certainly it is important for the president to hear from Alaskans as he is crafting policy that affects our state. Those policies are, by nature, political. Shouldn’t Alaskans know who is informing him on them and what special interests they represent?...

Alaska Dispatch News

Last year it didn’t snow much at my favorite ski hill, and to start this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, mushers and dogs were trucked north to Fairbanks. Alaskans aren’t sure whether the meeting of diplomats and climate scientists Secretary of State John Kerry convened here this week could possibly fix this coming winter’s weather (my money’s on no), but we are hopeful the first-ever visit to the Arctic by a commander-in-chief will result in practical improvements here -- and for the world -- anyway...

Mead Treadwell

President Barack Obama’s visit to Alaska was inspiring. I eagerly watched everything I could see online : The official restoration of the name Denali, his powerful words on the climate , his visits to Resurrection Bay, and his interaction with Alaska’s Native communities. I especially loved the Yup’ik dancing (and the president showing his moves )...

Mark Trahant

There was a time when about all one heard of Alaska history was the “neglect” thesis, the notion that the federal government did nothing with, for or about Alaska after the purchase. Though there were earlier versions, Ernest Gruening elaborated this idea in his 1954 ​"The State of Alaska," a contribution to the statehood campaign. Alaskans needed control of their own affairs, Gruening averred, because the government’s failure to nurture Alaska had inhibited its development, especially exploitation of its natural resources...

Steve Haycox

“Bearack Obama,” as one sign referred to him in Dillingham, has come and gone.

He may have pronounced “Kenai” with a short "e," but Obama communicated a clear and consistent message about melting glaciers and permafrost, increasing temperatures, and coastal erosion during his three days in Alaska...

Dermot Cole

Shawn, a chef (and expert punster), wonders whether Alaska cannabis regulators have considered his industry as they're setting the initial boundaries of the legal market.

“I would like to know how they plan to address edibles and establishments that sell them. Are they going to allow a restaurant or dinner club that is an adult atmosphere like a bar, 21 and over, to serve cannabis-infused foods? I'm a chef and I think that we should have opportunity to stake our claim in this 'budding' marijuana industry.”...

Scott Woodham
Engagement is the way forward

Kudos for Gov. Walker for accompanying the president on Air Force One. I’m glad one of our Alaska leaders chose to positively engage the president of the United States. The Alaska congressional delegation and Legislature might want to get a clue. Engagement can lead to better understanding of our beautiful and culturally rich state. — Kevin Harun Anchorage

Why all the fuss over naming?

Why all the fuss about changing the name of Mount McKinley to Mount Denali? Cape Canaveral went from its original moniker to Cape Kennedy and back again. It’s not like both these assassinated presidents aren’t being honored in many other ways. — Karen Ann DeLuca Alexandria, Virginia...

Alaska Dispatch News

As a world champion cross-country skier who excels in sprint events, I have an obsession with snow and speed. Downhill skiers fly by harnessing the raw power of gravity. Nordic sprinters go fast through sheer force of will. We fight gravity as much as harness it. Through the coordinated actions of arms, legs and mind, and by maximizing push and minimizing friction, we seek the infinite glide. Cross-country skiing is the mastery of the glide. To glide is to find that elusive, fleeting moment of inertia where we seemingly free ourselves from our bond with Earth. To glide is to fly on flat ground. To glide is to give in to the magical properties of snow...

Kikkan Randall

A lot has been said by many people about Shell’s Arctic drilling program but I have yet to see a real analysis of what it would mean for Alaska and our people.

Some have said: “Well, it is in federal waters so we won’t get anything out of it.” I just don’t believe that is true. Here are some of the direct benefits we will receive if Shell is successful in their endeavors.

The current throughput of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline is about 400,000 barrels a day and declining by about 5 percent a year. It has been estimated that below 200,000 barrels a day the pipeline will not be able to operate. A study by the Idaho National Energy Lab estimates that if this were to occur, we would strand at least 1 billion barrels of oil on the North Slope...

Paul Fuhs

One of the signs of real leadership is the ability to change course when it becomes clear a mistake has been made. One would hope, now that Judge Frank Pfiffner has been affirmed by the Alaska Supreme Court, that rather than wasting hundreds of thousands more of taxpayer’s dollars, in a time of budgetary crisis, the Legislative Council would drop its ill-considered litigation against Medicaid expansion. After reading the rejection grounds articulated in Pfiffner’s opinion, any litigant would hesitate before proceeding further. And it’s not like Pfiffner, appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell, is some kind of liberal...

John Havelock