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It used to be that you could support a family on a minimum wage salary. Today, a minimum wage worker has to make a choice every day: Buy a gallon of milk for the kids, or buy a gallon of gas to get to work.

The current national minimum wage, frozen at $7.25 per hour since 2009, simply hasn’t kept up with inflation. As a matter of fact, its purchasing power has declined by one-third since the 1960s, and it’s worth less today than it was in 1981. Bus fare has certainly gone up since 1981. Same with the price of a dozen eggs, or a week of child care. Landlords aren’t sending out rent decreases. And yet the value of the minimum wage is eroding...

Thomas E. Perez

There’s a game most of us play. It’s called “What Could Go Wrong?” You know, like, "I’m going to hand my 9-year-old an automatic weapon -- What Could Go Wrong?" Or, "Why not go bare-headed and drive a motorcycle really fast? What Could Go Wrong?" Then there is the always present, "Why don’t we build a giant mine at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon fishing run in the entire world? What Could Go Wrong?"

Many Alaskans have asked this question regarding the Pebble mine over the last decade. When the state government seemed to answer “nothing could go wrong,” tribes, fishermen and many others invited the Environmental Protection Agency to study and report...

Shannyn Moore

Whenever a child comes over for an afternoon of play these days, mothers not only have to ask about drop-off times and locations but also the question, “Does your child have any allergies I should know about.”

Allergies, especially among children, have become so widespread nowadays that coffee shops have to carry several types of milk, and many stores are offering gluten-free products to stave off the hungry eyes of those who avoid wheat at all costs...

Carey Restino

Now that the primary is over and Dan Sullivan is the Republican nominee running against Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, it’s time to closely examine his record on issues of import to Alaska Natives. The Native community has long assessed political candidates based on their positions on subsistence, tribal sovereignty, Indian child welfare and voting rights. In each of these areas, Dan Sullivan’s record is clear: He is a staunch opponent of Native rights...

Heather Kendall-Miller,Lloyd Miller
Warfare weakens economy

Some Republicans are demanding U.S. intervention to stop Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and military intervention to stop the “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria. These are the same people who, last year, demanded U.S. military intervention against the Assad regime in Syria, which would only have strengthened the Islamic State.

These “conservatives” complain about President Obama’s lack of strong and decisive leadership — like that of President G.W. Bush, who took us into Iraq without cause -- but they’ve done their best to undermine Obama’s presidency since Day One...

Alaska Dispatch News

McCARTHY -- The regular softball game between Team 1 and Team 2 began under a bruised sky in the already dimming light of mid-August. The spectacular, copper-filled mountains that lured miners into the Wrangells more than a century ago loomed over us as bat struck yellow ball with a metallic crack and yet another hit flew into bushes past third base. The batter took first base, according to local rules...

Nancy Lord

It is a hoot to watch the political left, always prowling for new boogeymen to hate for fundraising purposes, as it hustles to chase down fresh victims. Take, for instance, its ginned-up war on the conservative Koch brothers. It is even more fun, despite the leftʼs herculean efforts, when Alaskans stare blankly and ask: Who?

A recent headline in Alaska Dispatch News, “ New US Senate ads in Fairbanks invoke Koch brothers, but local resonance is unclear ,” indicates there is some of that disconnect going on in the City of Frozen Pipes...

Paul Jenkins

This week Alaskans saw their civil liberties wrecked on the rock of “political correctness” when Gov. Parnell vetoed Senate Bill 108. In this era of “group rights” at the expense of individual liberties, and the almost complete abandonment of our maxim of jurisprudence that we are to be considered “innocent until proven guilty,” it is still shocking to see this state administration kill the most significant civil liberties bill in a decade. Under existing law, there is no effective way for an innocent citizen to get their name off the public arrest record. Unfortunately, Parnell and his staff have not proposed any solution to this specific problem...

Sen. Fred Dyson
ADN forcing Koch down our throats

The front page below-the-fold article from Tuesday regarding TV political ads airing in Fairbanks sure supports the political chanting of the mantra of forcing Koch down our throats as frequently as possible until November. The group supported by the Koch brothers was characterized as an “outside group,” yet the outside group paying for the ad gets to be characterized as a “national firefighters union group” (whose name is?) How about mentioning where that funding stream came from as well, just to be fair...

Alaska Dispatch News

The young men and women of my generation -- the so-called “millenials” -- are turning away from electoral politics. Increasingly, they identify with neither party, and believe that who runs and wins elections makes little real difference. They are thus expected to sit out the midterm election.

The story of disaffected youth voting in low numbers is an old one, of course. The more worrying trend is the tendency that I see among the potential leaders of my generation -- both here in Alaska and in the Lower 48 -- to also reject the electoral process...

Forrest Dunbar

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