Voices

Next week, the world will focus on Alaska. Leaders representing 20 nations will make their way to Anchorage for the Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER) conference. Arctic experts, many from Alaska, will discuss ways to deal with the environmental and operational challenges that climate change brings and the key policy issues, including emergency response and cold-weather home construction, that matter to the more than 4 million people who call the Arctic home...

Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr.

Climate change poses a tremendous risk to the food security of Alaska’s indigenous peoples, and changes in state and federal policies could go a long way toward mitigating that risk and averting a potential crisis.

Climate change has already impacted traditional food sources, and will likely create more disruption. Changing weather patterns have limited the ability to go hunting. Sea ice has diminished and become more unstable. Species of wildlife have changed their migration patterns. Melting permafrost is reshaping the environment. Changing ocean conditions and rising water temperatures are altering fish runs. Foraging locations continue to change or even diminish as forest fires become more widespread...

James Stotts

The China-U.S. relationship is a daily and recurring, sometimes dominant, news story. Select news has been positive and indicates close collaboration, such as the November 2014 joint announcement on climate and energy initiatives. Other news is more worrisome and ominous. Recent concerns for China’s actions in the South China Sea, cybersecurity, and devaluation of the yuan are serious matters of domestic and international security...

David Slayton,Lawson W. Brigham

“AKEngineer” is hoping for clarity on a source of confusion he or she discovered in close readings of the proposed regulations that will eventually shape Alaska's legal cannabis industry:

The ballot initiative specifically made it legal to give up to an ounce of marijuana to someone over 21. The proposed new regulations (appear to contradict the law and) make it illegal to give any amount “to a consumer” without purchasing a $5,000 license and going through a bureaucratic mess. Do regulations trump the law passed by the citizens? Or, if I give a friend a joint, is he/she not a "consumer"?...

Scott Woodham
Sullivan did not flip-flop on Law of Sea treaty as Cole contends

There were a number of problems with Dermot Cole’s recent column about Sen. Sullivan’s stance on the Law of the Sea treaty. First, the headline of Dermot’s piece claimed Sullivan “flip flopped” on his views on the treaty. The action that most Alaskans associate with the term flip-flop is when a politician runs on one thing, and then does the opposite once elected to office. That’s simply not true in Sullivan’s case. To the contrary, on the campaign trail, he said that he would oppose the treaty if the U.N. retained taxing authority over American businesses, and he’s made good on that campaign promise as Alaska’s senator....

Alaska Dispatch News

In less than a week, President Obama and a massive team of White House officials will touch down at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) for their first official visit to Alaska and the U.S. Arctic. With the rumor mill still churning, the only official word so far are stops in Anchorage, Seward, Dillingham and Kotzebue to discuss what the president has described as the greatest threat to national security – climate change. Some have called the visit historic – a moment to be celebrated and embraced – I, however, am far less optimistic, especially given the president’s recent track record in Alaska...

Rep. Don Young

As Alaskans, we take great pride in welcoming visitors to our beautiful state. That is especially true when our guest is the President of the United States.

When President Obama announced he would visit at the end of August, I thought of how exciting the experience would be for him -- of the breathtaking scenery he will see, of the spectacular wildlife he will encounter, and of the amazing people he will meet...

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Alaska has benefited from many presidential visits, and it’s always good to have the national spotlight shine on us. President Ronald Reagan’s visits were particularly memorable, given his keen appreciation for Alaska’s vast natural resources, and understanding of the federal government’s history of locking up those resources by taking Alaska lands.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” President Reagan said in a 1979 campaign stop, bemoaning federal land-grabs. “It's gotten to the point where a tourist who comes up here won't even be able to see this land.” And in 1983 when he was president, he spoke stirringly of the importance of Alaska’s natural resources during a visit. "Your state is a treasure trove of resources vital to our economy and to the well-being of every American.”...

Sen. Dan Sullivan

I worked in Alaska many years ago as a young attorney defending the forests, fisheries and other remarkable natural resources of the last frontier. The “termination dust” that fell every fall ahead of the deep freeze of winter made my job easier, providing an annual pause in development, with the cold winters that followed keeping the permafrost permanently frozen. Yet now, the vast and beautiful natural resources of Alaska and the broader Arctic region face their greatest threat of all: global warming...

Durwood Zaelke

For Alaskans, there is no good news out there on the economic front, it would seem. All the more reason to get serious about reforming our state’s fiscal system before a collapse of the state budget risks pushing the economy over the brink.

At the rate we’re burning though cash reserves that’s about three years away. Some good news, however, is we can avert this if we act soon. The tools readily at hand are using some of the Alaska Permanent Fund’s multibillion-dollar annual earnings and capping the annual citizen dividend, which by some estimates may exceed $2,000 this year...

Tim Bradner