Voices

Last week, Gov. Bill Walker announced he would use his constitutional authority to expand Medicaid in Alaska. A lot of the debate has focused on how this will give more than 40,000 Alaskans access to health care, but there is another reason why I support the governor’s action. It’s good for business.

One of the things I experienced in my first session in Juneau was that a group of people could work together on a complex issue, listen to many points of view, and then come to a decision that most members of the group agreed with. On the House Health and Services Committee we were presented with the governor’s Medicaid expansion bill. Our committee listened to many hours of testimony from state agencies, experts, business leaders and the public...

Rep. Adam Wool

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is the crown jewel of the Anchorage park system, an 11-mile trail from downtown to Kincaid Park. The health of the Coastal Trail is a good measure of our success in reaching our goal of being the No. 1 city in America to live, work, and play. Developing Anchorage as a world-class winter city also means we need sensible, efficient ways to manage winter snowfall. To prevent contamination of our waterways, we need to improve the Kloep Snow Dump Facility, a large snow dump on airport land used by both the municipality and the state...

Rep. Matt Claman
Another round at the Boondoggle Bar

The visit to the Boondoggle Bar was enjoyable and enlightening (ADN, July 17). If Mr. Goodfellow can manage it, a series on visits to this fantastic bar might do us all good. — Don Neal Anchorage

GOP gets taste of their own medicine

Reading the story concerning Gov. Walker’s expansion of Medicaid (ADN, July 17) I found it ironic, even hypocritical that the Alaska Republican Party released the statement, “What Alaskans heard today was, ‘Damn the Legislature — full steam ahead.’ ” It was the Republican-controlled Legislature when in session that basically said, “Damn the will of the majority of Alaskans — full steam ahead.” Thank you, Gov. Walker. — Jay Lawrence Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

Recently, the Department of Defense officially announced its plans to cut 2,600 active duty personnel from JBER.

While we strongly disagree with the drawdown decision and acknowledge it will have negative economic impacts, we’re also confident that our community will respond and continue to grow. Response strategies are already being developed to mitigate the impacts, and an overall assessment shows that many projected economic losses are still speculative.

The cut translates into a loss of 1.7 percent of Anchorage’s payroll, but it may also mean greater workforce availability in Anchorage...

Bill Popp,Julie Saupe

On Friday night inside the Alaska Airlines Center, Mötley Crüe turned me into a 13-year old again. Standing in an arena that has been used as a prime example of excessive state spending in the face of impending fiscal crisis, for two hours of my life, none of that drama mattered. It was the late '80s again, and all that mattered was Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee and the glam rock of my youth.

As I walked out of the sparkling new arena, the old transposed with the new. Alaska is again facing a fiscal crisis, and change is going to have to come. Ironic that this is what was in my mind as I listened to one of my favorite band of the '80s in a brand new arena...

Mike Dingman

Sen. Lisa Murkowski gave a speech at the 6th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations in Washington, D.C...

Mia Bennett

When Donald Trump entered the presidential race, I reacted as many columnists did. We tried to suppress our glee. But he keeps crossing lines that make me feel as though the fun we’re having watching this blowhard is now tainted by the nasty, ugly content of his message and, perhaps even more troubling, the acceptance of that ugliness by way too many people...

Elise Patkotak
The past is never over

Those who shriek and flail in denial of any hint of ongoing American white supremacy were particularly shrill regarding my July 8 Confederate flag letter to the editor:

1. Jim Lieb rightly points out I’d lumped together both Union and Confederate dead in my Civil War body count -- I erred inadvertently. I misread the numbers...

Alaska Dispatch News
Mississippian offers option

As a native Mississippian and a graduate of Ole Miss, I can testify firsthand to the divisive nature the Confederate battle emblem can have on a community. I can also assure you not all Mississippians are proud of our state flag. However, we are unfortunately stuck with it only because our political leadership here lacks the moral courage and foresight to do what is right. The simple fact that Mississippians are arguing over a flag is evidence it divides us and something more unifying needs to be found...

Alaska Dispatch News

FAIRBANKS -- About once a year, as regular as the first Tuesday in October, Fairbanks voters face a ballot measure about whether wood smoke pollution is simply the price we pay for living in Interior Alaska or if the cost to human health warrants at least some local regulation.

For the sixth time since 2009, local voters are expected to weigh in on a pollution initiative this fall. It's championed by state Rep. Tammie Wilson, who wants to limit the Fairbanks North Star Borough's ability to do anything about wood smoke except to have people breathe it.

Divided views on the initiative will highlight the race for borough mayor, with Wilson and Assembly member Karl Kassel expected as the leading candidates...

Dermot Cole