Voices

In the sun-dappled birch woods of Midtown Anchorage, on property owned by the University of Alaska Anchorage, a young, male bear lies buried in a shallow grave, a secret grave.

Headless, its four paws lopped off by a saw, the anonymous bear’s only crime was expressing interest in a flock of chickens in a Muldoon backyard. No chicken was unduly molested. Nevertheless, the chickens’ owner blasted the young black bear two or three times in the back with a semiautomatic handgun.

The shooter turned himself in and was released without charges. Once again, a publicly owned bear has proven to be much less valuable than a privately owned chicken.

The luckless victim is destined to be exhumed next October by a forensics anthropology class taught by Dr. Ryan Harrod...

Rick Sinnott

According to a recent study, Alaska is either in a recession or on the brink of one. It’s time for nonpartisan solutions, not time to play Russian roulette with the economy. Alaska will lose 4,000 jobs across the economy by September. Blocking a vote on a Medicaid expansion bill that’s passed in Democratic and Republican states and would create 4,000 Alaska jobs isn’t smart politics. The public supports it across party lines. But Republican legislative leaders decided to block this bill from House and Senate floor votes during 140 days of legislative session and special sessions...

Rep. Les Gara

Gov. Bill Walker had quite a week to start off his dog days of summer.

First, through a published notice rather than a public announcement, he quietly let medical workers know the state will not give inflation-indexed increases to Medicaid providers this year.

On Wednesday, that drew blood on the medical community, which will see a loss of more than $100 million -- an impact that will be felt sharply in the major medical hubs of the state, including Southcentral, Fairbanks, and Juneau. Hardest hit will be the small private practices with the least amount of cushion...

Suzanne Downing

A deal is a deal. Remember Democrats and union bosses seeking out television cameras and microphones to plaintively argue that as legislative Republicans wrestling with a $3.5 billion state budget deficit tried to cut state worker pay raises? A deal, they huffed, is a deal.

That was before their guy, Republican-cum-independent-cum-undeclared Gov. Bill Walker, ignored the GOP legislative majority’s wishes as he signed the $9.8 billion operations and capital budgets and capped $700 million in pending oil industry tax credits at $500 million He effectively vetoed $200 million Alaska owes the oil and gas industry, deferring payment until Alaska is good and ready...

Paul Jenkins

I try not to listen to talk radio. What once may have been "thought radio" has morphed into "hate talk." Far too much of the radio dial is occupied by angry old and young white men longing for the good ol’ days of the John Birch Society -- when women were in the kitchen and homosexuals were in the closet, where they belong. (Thank God for public radio.) Well, this last week was not a good one for those of the reactionary persuasion. Which means it was an especially bad week for a sane person to listen to talk radio. Unfortunately, I found myself in a place where the only broadcast I could get was talk radio. My exposure lasted only about five minutes, so I’m pretty sure the brain cells will grow back. One caller was confused....

Shannyn Moore
State and feds stomp on homeowners for bike path

The state and federal governments are big-footing all over a group of homeowners on the north side of Snug Harbor Road in Cooper Landing in order to put in a bike path. That path was originally supposed to be separated from the road, and to run along the south side where the land is mostly owned by the state and borough....

Alaska Dispatch News

It was disappointing and upsetting to see Gary Ferguson speak against our efforts to build a life-saving road between King Cove and the nearby Cold Bay airport ("Izembek road won’t help King Cove, will hurt refuge," June 27). It may be easy for him to pass judgment from his comfortable Anchorage home – a mere 20 minutes, by car, from the best hospital care in the state – but that hardly excuses his attempt to keep nearly 1,000 other Alaskans in harm’s way...

Henry Mack

I remember that day so well. My mind travels back so comfortably and quickly.

I was running and yelling and thoroughly enjoying afternoon recess at St. Francis of Assisi Grade School on Market Street in the heart of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Our school was surrounded by endless tree-lined streets filled with row houses and town houses. It was late in the fall but the day was warm and sunny. I was enjoying playing with my old chums from last year’s second grade. But now we were older and bigger third graders...

Francis Gallela

What’s in a flag? By the dawn’s early light, and even at night, flags, or banners, are almost everywhere these days. Auto dealerships. Fast food establishments. Fancy hotels. Even so, flags are at their most evocative and dramatic, their most emotive, as emblems of nations (past, present and potential) and ideologies (past and present)...

Ken Landfield

When Nelle called and asked me to make a potato salad for the annual Haines Volunteer Fire Department’s Fourth of July barbecue I said, you bet. Chuck, who is the chief, had already called to ask me to write the proclamation in honor of Fireman Al’s retirement. Al Badgely is our town’s only paid firefighter. He’s also the training officer and an EMT. He has taken care of us all for over 25 years...

Heather Lende