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More than four years ago, Alaska National Guard chaplains went directly to Gov. Sean Parnell to describe a culture of abuse and substantial deficiencies in the guard chain of command. Shortly thereafter, victims of sexual assaults began coming forward, some of them speaking directly with the governor's staff. By 2013, news outlets made the claims public and there was a growing crescendo of calls for the governor to take action on the systematic leadership failures occurring within the guard command structure...

Hollis French,Berta Gardner

With the frenzy surrounding announcement of a Bill Walker-Byron Mallott gubernatorial ticket -- some breathlessly call it “historic” -- you have to wade through a river of populist drivel to get to the meaty question: Who is Bill Walker?

Pardon me for noticing, but Walker -- a guy working hard to be everything to everybody, to be “inclusive” and “nonpartisan” -- is not who many Democrats may hope he is. There is somebody quite different wrapped in the Kool-Aid rhetoric...

Paul Jenkins

Sometimes the practice of journalism drives me crazy.

No one wants to look at a poll number, and say, well, the numbers show a candidate with a lead of 51 to 49 — so therefore the race is tied.

Tied? How can that be? Someone must be leading. Well, yeah, they are leading that poll. But it does not mean they are ahead...

Mark Trahant
Sullivan acting shifty

I have seen letters and opinion pieces complaining about Mark Begich’s ads about Dan Sullivan’s residency. I don’t think that the problem is Dan’s residency, but how he has filled out official government forms with at least three different dates of residency. The three were anywhere from one year to 10 years. I know that there is a lot of “When did you get here?” that goes around. For me it was August 1961. I think that most people know that information off the top of their head. Like marathon runners who said in reference to Paul Ryan shaving time off of his marathon run, “You just don’t forget that time.” So the question is more of why did Dan Sullivan put down three different answers?...

Alaska Dispatch News

Val Van Brocklin’s observations in “Fairbanks incident shows value of smart police with military gear” (ADN, Thursday) was much needed nourishment to the consumer of law enforcement news. Coverage in both the liberal and conservative media has been decidedly negative of late. This spreading negativity is only one symptom of a puzzling paradigm shift our profession is suffering under. We used to be the good guys people aspired to become. Now police academy attendance is at an all-time low, and there are openings in Alaska departments going unfilled. Our peak popularity followed the community policing movement of 30-some years ago. But unfortunately, community policing died an early death....

David Sexton

Let’s face it. We’re Alaskans. We don’t care what it is, where it comes from, what it smells like, how it affects our environment, our kids, or our future. We just care if it makes money.

Currently I’m living in Olympia, Washington, working, going to school, and shopping for “ legs of the stool ,” that popular metaphor for our state's economy. Having lived Outside from 2006 to 2009 and again for the past 8 months, I have some perspective. Blessed to live in one of the most progressive, innovative, forward-thinking states in the nation here, I am able to reflect on how far, and in how many ways, Alaska lags behind. In women’s rights, social issues, economic strategies, alternative energy, technology, creative leadership and guts...

Mara Machulsky

Civilization requires balancing the curtailment of one person’s freedoms with the protection of others and the greater good. When two people’s freedoms are mutually exclusive, civilization usually embraces the concept that the freedom to not be harmed by others takes precedence. Traffic laws, zoning ordinances and FAA regulations governing air travel are all examples of that priority. In fact, virtually all laws that allow a free society to rise above chaos, anarchy and brutishness are the results of a similar calculation...

Dr. Brian Moench
Give the gift of blood

Bob Scanlon’s article (ADN, Sept. 9) on the importance of donating blood should be a wake-up call for all healthy Alaskans able to donate blood. It is hard to imagine a greater generous gift to humanity that costs nothing more than a commitment of some of your time to provide lifesaving blood. Call 222-5630 for info on how you can donate.

— Terry Stimson Anchorage

NFL’s dance of denial ignores lies

Lost in the NFL and Ravens “leadership” denial dance is one little fact: Ray Rice … lied. Coach Harbaugh yesterday: “I hope the two of them ‘make it,’” and “We just saw the video — it changes everything.” In all the hemming and hawing from coach, not once did I hear, “I’m disappointed Ray lied to me.”...

Alaska Dispatch News

In a commentary in Alaska Dispatch News on Sept. 6, Thetus Smith is incensed that the University of Alaska Anchorage would ask for donations . I am not. My wife and I are regular donors to UAA and will continue to be. UAA had nothing to do with the regents' decision to give a bonus to President Gamble. UAA, in fact, is having to absorb a $7 million cut in their budget through no fault of their own. Her anger should be directed at the regents, appointed by the governor...

Omer Carey

I was born and raised in Alaska, and it’s been my home for over 60 years. I find the constant barrage of political ads claiming one candidate or another isn't really "Alaskan" silly.

As if the length of time one spent in Alaska determined that.

The legal definition of residency is pretty minimal. As I understand it, residency is primarily a function of intent. You can get a driver’s license and register to vote here almost immediately upon arrival and get a Permanent Fund dividend after one year...

Win Gruening

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