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KOBUK RIVER -- Out along the rock bar, the current is deep and dark. My daughter, China, and I stand on the uneven rocks at the edge of the eddy, pulling our net ashore, unhurried, hoping for a tasty fish for dinner and no more. It's a tiny net compared to the nets I've been using on the coast lately, and the webbing is old, almost neon yellow...

Seth Kantner

SELDOVIA -- We don't talk as much about the normal rain. The wet slaps from salmonberry canes grown over the trail, soaking darkly through what should have been rain pants. The rotting black-red-moldy fruit that plops to the ground as I pass. The grit that splatters my coat and reminds me that my bike really ought to have a fender.

Temperatures rose and fell, the rain spattered and stopped and the clouds darkened and drifted. So we picked berries and peas, attached plywood to things in construction and hiked with the kids. In some approximation of raincoats. Or in soggy fleece and sundresses, stripped off in a muddy pile atop the boots at the door...

Erin McKittrick

Bill Walker is running as an Independent. Maybe he should change his affiliation to Amateur.

After an exuberant kickoff of his combined campaign with Democrat Byron Mallott, Walker made two unforced errors that raise questions about his political competence...

Michael Carey

“This culture of mistrust and failed leadership in the Guard ends now,” Gov. Parnell said.

It’s about damn time. There are a few victims -- both of rape and retaliation -- who wonder why it didn’t end when the governor first learned of it almost five years ago.

November 2010, the governor was made aware of the culture of victimization by the Adjutant General Thomas Katkus of the Alaska National Guard. Military officers had risked their careers to tell the governor personally that female soldiers had been sexually assaulted by other Guard members and that those assaults were not only not investigated, they were covered up by senior officers...

Shannyn Moore

FAIRBANKS— At first, I thought the press release must have come from the re-election campaign of Gov. Sean Parnell, or the campaign of GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan.

It was headlined, “ Alaska health insurance rates to increase substantially due to Obamacare .” The text said “historic rate increases” are in store because of same.

The press release reflects the long-established Parnell policy that the Affordable Care Act is making life worse in Alaska and the statements by Sullivan that he wants to repeal the law and allow “market forces” to cut costs...

Dermot Cole

Gov. Parnell’s veto of SB 108, which he describes as a “meat cleaver,” increases my concern as to his desire to protect our freedoms. Our forefathers did not cross the Atlantic to find soil for their plows, but liberty for their souls. Every Alaskan should take note of this governor’s view of their privacy and due process rights, and his distrust of our justice system...

Sen. Fred Dyson
Yearning for old-school life lessons

Just about every day or so there is news of a shooting, stabbing, abuse, violence, robbery, etc. Police are called and often their orders are not respected and they get blamed for police brutality.

I’m from the old school. Mothers were always home and parents taught their children from the cradle to adulthood to love thy neighbor and live in peace, honesty, truthfulness and to respect people and the law. Work hard, keep busy and make the parents proud.

If everyone would show respect and obey the law, “what a wonderful world this would be.”

— Jean Kaufman Anchorage

Get ready for Ebola vaccinations

Coming soon to a clinic near you … Mandatory Ebola vaccinations … Think I am wrong? Just wait …...

Alaska Dispatch News

Ray R. Brown's Aug. 26 response to Brant McGee's criticism of the Alaska Bar Association grievance and disciplinary process is riddled with misquotes, thinking errors, and what seems to be a pretty grandiose form of equivocation...

Jeffrey Todd Brown

Kudos to Rick Goodfellow and his tongue-in-cheek, right-on commentary about the University of Alaska president’s pay and benefits (ADN, Aug. 29).

The University of Alaska Anchorage has a lot of gall asking me, begging me to donate money to support it, a public institution. I already support it through my federal taxes and share of state revenue that fund the university system. UAA hits me up for pledges, donations -- even for a “legacy” donation from my so-called “estate.” (Just wait till you are 65 or better. You, too, will be made painfully aware of hovering vultures like UAA, which till then have little or no reason to contact you.)...

Thetus Smith

The Wilderness Act turned 50 this week in a state that has more wilderness today than it did 100 years ago. This strange dichotomy is cause for some contemplation.

I ran north from Minnesota in 1973, planning to escape into the wild. A summer of living largely on snowshoe hares and grayling quickly taught me life in the wilderness isn't an idyllic as it might look from the far-off perspective of comfortable civilization.

And so I spent a life on the edge of the wilderness, first in Fairbanks, then Juneau and finally Anchorage. Sometimes I still miss the Juneau years, spent on a sailboat that made wilderness unbelievably accessible...

Craig Medred