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Alaska’s fiscal situation: Free ride is almost over

John Havelock’s analysis of our current situation in the Tuesday, Jan. 27 ADN is right on the money. We Alaskans have been riding the gravy train ever since the income tax was, in my opinion unwisely, repealed. Not only do we not pay neither a state income or sales tax, but we get free money every year just for existing and occupying space in Alaska. What a deal. But the free ride is about over, and it will soon be time to act like big boys and girls, and accept the responsibility of paying for the state services we receive: education, road maintenance, law enforcement, etc. Those who aren’t willing to do so are welcome to go somewhere else and see how they like it there....

Alaska Dispatch News

Science is under fire...

Bryan Box

Ever read something, have a snap judgment and then post a response on social media and have people disagree with you?

Oh, you don't have a Facebook or Twitter account. All right then. For those of us who do, it happens. You could post a picture of a pug puppy with the note "Cutest ever!" and someone will tell you pugs look like they ran into a brick wall and lab puppies are way cuter. Seriously. There's no way to fix everyone on the Internet, and you just have to let some things go.

I wrote, "Pete Kelly is an idiot. He's also a fiscal drunk. At a time our state is in deficit mode, he is buying pregnancy tests for women's restrooms in bars. Because. He. Doesn't. Get. It."...

Shannyn Moore

I was so grateful to hear President Obama include the significance of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Alaska Native people in his announcement of a wilderness recommendation to Congress but disappointed that the mainstream media has made very little mention of the Gwich'in perspective. This area is within our ancestral homelands. So to Gwich’in communities, this is not merely an environmental or conservation issue...

Princess Daazhraii Johnson

Alaska finds itself in the unenviable position of being a political pawn -- environmental sop, actually -- in a Barack Obama hustle that could devastate the state and deprive the nation of an inestimable energy bounty.

Because of Obama’s glaring disconnect with Alaska, it is no matter to him the state is poised at the edge of a steep fiscal cliff, no matter oil production is stagnant or that prices have plummeted. It is no matter Alaska depends on oil for 90 percent of its revenues, that half the state’s economy and a third of its jobs depend on oil, no matter it is facing a $3.5 billion deficit.

What matters to this guy is Democratic political fortunes in 2016, even if that means throwing Alaska under the bus...

Paul Jenkins

Like many Alaskans, I remember the excitement in the air when Alaska became the 49th state in the union in 1959. We had achieved our long-held dream of self-governance. Since that time, we have worked to become increasingly self-reliant, and to steward our resources for the long-term benefit of our people.

The Alaska Statehood Compact established the conditions for our entry. Through the Compact, Alaska was granted 103 million acres of public land -- less than one-third of our state’s landmass. The federal government reserved most of the remaining lands...

Gov. Bill Walker
Parenting column spot-on

E.J.R. David’s commentary (ADN, Jan. 24) should be required reading for all Alaska high school seniors, their parents and their teachers. Thank you, Dr. David, for your perspective and for reminding me again to be ever so thoughtful about how I communicate with my kids and the “advice” I provide them.

— David Wigglesworth Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

Like it or not (and almost half of voting Alaskans don’t like it all), legal marijuana is here for the foreseeable future.

To deal with it, we need a different approach. This is Alaska’s law, and we shouldn’t automatically follow what’s been done -- and is not working particularly well -- in Colorado.

The Legislature must maintain public safety, and at the same time it should try to adhere to the intent of voters who primarily wanted a legal source of tested and taxed marijuana. The trick is to figure out how...

Dean Guaneli

It was the evening before last year’s Super Bowl, and I was in Cordova, shooting pool at the Alaskan Hotel and Bar. I stepped up to the bar to order another whiskey ginger when an older man approached me, "Do you want to join the Super Bowl pool?’’ he asked. He had glasses and was of medium height, thin with a baseball cap and tan skin. He looked to be in his 60s.

"Ah," I said, "I would, but listen to this luck. My plane is leaving at kickoff! I’ll be in the air for most of the game!’’ Honestly, I was more upset about the missed cheese dip and hot wings than the football, but when the Seahawks played in the Super Bowl, even I had to make overtures toward giving a damn.

"Where are you heading?’’ he asked.

"Home, to Kodiak,’’ I responded...

Anjuli Grantham

There is a fierce debate going on in the North Pacific right now over halibut. At issue is low halibut biomass, impacts of halibut bycatch and the quota for the directed halibut fishery in the Bering Sea. The debate has sparked sharp rhetoric, lots of finger pointing and a mostly one-sided discussion about the issue...

Chris Woodley