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My wife and I drove into Anchorage recently. As we were stopped at an intersection waiting for traffic, I looked around. Buy this! Buy that! Oh look; over here you can get a tasty fast-food burger. It brought my mind to a jarring halt. Where does that ground round come from anyway?

Some cow. Some cow born and raised with no option other than to grow big and fat as quickly as grass and grain could be pushed into him. When old enough, he likely went to a feedlot where he was fed corn and antibiotics so he could gain more weight (becoming fat that we throw away) before slaughter...

John Schandelmeier

The murder in Barrow last week is one of those horrible, horrible moments in time. Most of us can’t imagine walking into someone’s house and blasting a shotgun at another person’s face. So while psychologists may be able to help us understand the mind of someone who does, comprehension will never translate into any empathy. That action will always remain over a line the majority of us will never cross...

Elise Patkotak

Even the most relentlessly positive people in my life are showing signs of stress about this ripoff winter. Many of us wake up late and depressed, watching the daylight trickle down to solstice, marking a mid-point, while there is not enough snow on the ground to really play in.

Alaskans complain about making it through an intense winter only to get a lackluster summer, but right now I feel that winter isn’t doing its part. Alaska is a place, after all, of extremes, and you need one to balance the other...

Alli Harvey
Alpenglow kids make her day

A bazillion kudos to the Alpenglow Elementary School Choir and their music director for a heartwarming display of Christmas cheer. While checking out at a local store, I heard a group of children singing way over in a corner. Upon investigating, I found a group of kids singing their hearts out with an enthusiasm that touched my heart. Further questioning of parents provided me with information that indicated the group was also singing at various other locations all day providing warmth and good tidings to anyone within hearing distance...

Alaska Dispatch News

Dolly Farnsworth was one of those great ladies who bridged the transition from territorial Alaska to statehood, exemplifying the legendary character of the era. She helped to make it a dog-help-dog world, not dog-eat-dog.

Dolly came to Alaska in the late 1940s with fiancée Jack Farnsworth. They married at Fort Richardson and in 1948 they went down to the area where the City of Soldotna now thrives and homesteaded the location which became the intersection of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway...

John Havelock

As a lifelong Alaskan and five year Anchoragite, I was surprised and dismayed to hear that the Anchorage Assembly was considering an ordinance prohibiting the establishment of marijuana businesses. My schedule prevents me from attending the public hearing scheduled for Dec. 16, so I felt compelled to write this commentary...

Tim Hale

On Nov. 4, Alaskans voted in favor of Ballot Measure 2 -- an initiative to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. Most Anchorage voters thought that was the end of it, that the state would develop guidelines for the marijuana Industry and that a responsible, regulated industry would begin to replace the current marijuana black market. And that’s as it should have been.

Unfortunately, that’s not what is happening in Anchorage. On Nov. 18 – before the election results were even certified -- Assembly Member Amy Demboski proposed an ordinance (AO 2014-148 on the agenda for the Dec. 16 Assembly meeting) that would ban all commercial marijuana activities from the Municipality of Anchorage immediately...

Bruce Schulte

This week, one of the companies Shell Oil hired to drill in the Arctic in 2012 -- Noble Drilling -- was fined $12.2 million and plead guilty to eight felony offenses for environmental and safety violations aboard its vessels, most of which occurred when it was in Alaska. To those who followed Noble Drilling’s calamitous path through the state two years ago, the news that this company was guilty of gross negligence comes as little surprise. While much of the inner workings aboard the drill ships Noble Discoverer and the Shell-owned-but-Noble-managed Kulluk were hidden from the public eye, even the layperson on shore could see there were issues...

Carey Restino

UNALAKLEET -- On the days leading up to Christmas, mother enjoyed her time in the kitchen. “Ooh, what are you making?” I remember asking, hopeful.

“Fruitcake,” she replied.

“Why are you making that?” I asked, with a warm laugh but with conviction, too. “Nobody likes it!”

“People do. The Hinkeys like it,” she said, smiling. “They told me.”

“Liars,” I said, smiling back. “They don’t. They’re only being nice,” I quipped back with a giggle.

Understand I had the beautiful freedom to be honest with mother, and we enjoyed joking. And, oh my goodness, is she rubbing it in today...

Laureli Ivanoff
Let the sun set on daylight saving time, Gov. Walker

It was a delight to read Julie Wolfe’s letter “Anybody really know what time it is?” in last week’s ADN. Our new governor or any elected state senator or representative would be a real hero to abolish daylight saving time in Alaska. It has no place here, the land of the midnight sun. Nor is it necessary with worldwide Internet connections...

Alaska Dispatch News