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Praise Point Woronzof

Bree Kessler’s commentary, “Safeguard public space by using it” (ADN July 10), ended by referencing the American Planning Association’s designation of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail as one of the great public spaces in America. She asks, “What would the Coastal Trail be like, feel like, if we cut down some of its trees, took away its benches, built a gate blocking it off?”...

Alaska Dispatch News

During legislative deliberations, advocates of the Senate Bill 21 oil tax consistently used North Dakota as an example of the ideal tax regime that Alaska should emulate. We were told that because of North Dakota’s tax structure they are more competitive than Alaska resulting in huge increases in industry investment and rapid increases in production. If Alaska would just lower its tax to be more aligned with North Dakota, we would also benefit from rapid increases in investment and production.

However the oil boom in North Dakota, along with Texas, is a result of the advancement of fracking technology that releases hydrocarbons previously trapped in shale rock and the private land ownership of the surface and subsurface. This boom is not tax-driven...

Bert Stedman

There should be less money in politics.

That is a well-worn phrase that everybody seems to agree upon. Everybody but those who benefit, that is.

In the past few years, a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions have let loose the floodgates of election spending. Candidates can now receive almost unlimited campaign contributions from anywhere in the country, from super PACs, nonprofits and corporations, or just plain billionaires with agendas.

Alaska has been hit by the effects of this new political order in the current U.S. Senate race between Mark Begich and his presumptive Republican opponent. The airwaves are awash in millions of dollars of ads paid for by outside interests...

Sam Dunham

The bears of Anchorage are not our friends. Neither are they our enemies. They are more like sometimes entertaining, sometimes difficult neighbors.

One of the bears was shot and killed in the U-Med District last week. That she died -- and sadly, it was a sow with two cubs -- brought predictable reactions.

"How is is that we live in Alaska and Fish and Game can't find a place to relocate the entire family?'' asked Josiah Jones in the comments of the Alaska Dispatch News story on the shooting ...

Craig Medred
Kids are refugees, not illegal immigrants

ADN published a letter July 18 from Chris Lapp in regard to the children being detained at our border. He objected to referring to them as “migrants” and insisted they be called “illegal immigrants.” These children are refugees escaping from violent, unstable and poverty-stricken countries. Our nation has long prided herself on giving shelter to such people. They form the fabric of our culture. Even in Anchorage we have refugees from Asia, Africa and other places who we have successfully assimilated into our society...

Alaska Dispatch News

Even a cursory review of history reveals that prohibition is a failed policy. Whether it’s forbidding your teen from seeing the boy of her dreams or forbidding a nation to have a beer after work, the result is the same. The forbidden will somehow be accessed. All prohibition does is drive the behavior underground, thus making it that much harder to deal with the consequences.

America’s War on Drugs has been a colossal failure. Not only has it not even come close to achieving its stated goal, it has driven the issue so far underground that the only people who truly benefit from it at this point are the drug lords who live high off the tastes of America’s citizens...

Elise Patkotak

Much of the discussion surrounding our oil taxes is driven by emotion and ideology instead of facts. Most Alaskans want a vibrant oil industry that generates good paying jobs, keeps the oil flowing for years to come and provides Alaskans with a fair share of revenue. Here’s why voting to repeal SB 21 will jeopardize these goals...

Jonathan Katchen

On Aug. 19, Alaskans should vote “yes” on Ballot Measure 1 to repeal SB 21. SB 21 goes too far. It does not provide Alaskans with a fair division of our resource wealth or with a rational resource development policy...

Robin Brena

I sat and listened intently to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Make it Monday Forum debate on the legalization of marijuana at the Egan Center on Monday and I realized one thing – I don’t like debates.

That’s a pretty strong statement. See, I do like the idea of the discussion of ideas, presenting the pros on cons on a subject and then hashing all of those things out. Often this process leads to us learning more about a topic. We may think of some things that we had not already known, learn some unintended consequences and change our way of thinking or even solidify what we already believed.

The problem is, that’s not generally what happens...

Mike Dingman
Chain of command appreciated by vets

Veterans should be embarrassed, as I am, over the current Begich political ad gloating over his holding up an Air Force officer’s promotion to force a stationing decision within Alaska.

Any veteran has acquired an appreciation of the absolute importance of the military chain of command being able to make unrestricted strategic/stationing decisions in the context of their worldwide mission.

The Air Force installations in Alaska are here to support a critical U.S. mission, not some federal subsidy to create local employment for Begich constituents in the Interior.

— Thomas Petersen Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News