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Wow! Another surprise! Is it magic? Or is it witchcraft?

The Anchorage School District announced Monday evening it had a $22 million surplus. According to some School Board members, it was a stunning revelation. They remember when, from February until late spring, the School District was running around waving its hands in the air: “The sky is falling, the sky is falling. We need more money to survive!” The usual panic and hyperbole. It happens every year. Notices go out that scads of teachers will have to be laid off. Class sizes doubled. Bus service junked. The usual morale building stuff...

Jim Babb
Streets need another cleaning

This year the city chose to clean the streets before the leaves fell. Now we have clogged gutters and drains. Standing water will freeze, be slippery and make a mess of spring breakup. Might they consider another street cleaning?

— Marilyn Asicksik Anchorage

Murkowski became a betrayer

I would like to thank Sean McGuire for his Nov. 18 commentary on Lisa Murkowski’s betrayal. I was one of those Alaskans who saved her bacon, under the deception that she would respect the interests of us non-Republican Alaskans and our Native citizens. The way she treated Mark Begich said it all.

I feel used and can’t wait to vote against Lisa in the next round.

— Marie Bair Anchorage...

Alaska Dispatch News

Having careened off the path with five straight losses and now scrambling to climb out of the ditch, the Seawolves find looming before them a guy wearing a mask and holding a big stick, and who does not really meet their current needs in an opponent.

When you are mired in the collective goal-scoring funk the Seawolves are enduring -- three goals in the last four games, for instance -- Mathias Dahlstrom is not a particularly encouraging sight.

Dahlstrom is the Northern Michigan goaltender UAA is likely to face in a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series that opens Friday night at Sullivan Arena...

Doyle Woody

This week, it’s the sea stars. All along the coast, millions of sea stars have been washing up dead , victims of a new virus in the marine ecosystem. What’s interesting, and rather scary, is that the virus seems to have been present for decades without causing much damage. Then, for reasons yet unknown to scientists, the virus mutated and became lethal...

Carey Restino

The kid who grew up eating moose meat in the shadow of his father's trap line is a senior citizen. He turned 70 on Nov. 17. He enjoys the geezer rate in museums, on buses and when ordering breakfast at Denny's Friday morning with graying friends.

I was born on a cold day near the end of a great war that reshaped the world. The local paper, announcing my birth, spelled "Carey" wrong but cheerfully noted the new parents were happy with their first baby and planned to keep the little guy. I am glad they did.

Looking backward, I feel a deep sense of gratitude. Not just for getting this far but for the people who were so good to me on the way. I wish I had sent more thank-you cards. Too many who deserved them are dead...

Michael Carey

As Alaskans and the rest of America emerge from their election bunkers and turn on their televisions again, we are faced with another pressing issue of lasting importance: making the Arctic a national and international priority in a manner that benefits those who live in the far north. Five months from now, in April 2015, the United States will assume the chair of the Arctic Council, the intergovernmental forum among the eight nations with territory inside the Arctic Circle that includes active participation of the Arctic indigenous groups, with "observer nations" that range from Italy to South Korea. Having the chair through 2017 means that the United States will have the opportunity to focus the world’s attention on our priorities for the Arctic...

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Watching Alaska politics, for me, has been like looking back in time. The animosity of state institutions toward Alaska Natives is all too familiar. It’s Arizona during the 1950s and 1960s. Or Washington state during the 1960s and 1970s. Or Montana just after the turn of the new century. Not that those states are perfect now. Far from it. But what’s reflected in Alaska is a list of official state acts that show contempt for Alaska Native concerns.

Alaska voters just flipped on the time machine and zoomed forward. Welcome to the 21st century, Alaska.

The story is both improbable and historic. The year started with a three-way race for governor...

Mark Trahant

Alaska must change in law how disabled psychiatric patients are protected in the complaint and appeal process. Up to 1970 many of Alaska’s disabled were given (in a sense, sold) to Morningside Psychiatric Hospital in Portland, Oregon, simply because the hospital gave the lowest bid to provide care. The Alaska government did not have a clue how many disabled patients were complaining and even more important, the nature of the complaints. The voices of the patients were never heard by the state. Not much has changed even today. And it has to change...

Faith Myers,Dorrance Collins

The election is over and the dust has settled.

I congratulate Dan Sullivan. He and I disagreed on many issues, but now he is senator and it is time to move forward to address Alaska’s needs.

It has been an enormous honor to serve Alaskans as your U.S. senator the last six years. From the Alaskans who left their homes to work in Washington, D.C., to the staff in my six Alaska offices, to the interns and volunteers, I consider my team the best in the nation.

Whatever our challenge, our goal always was finding a way to get to “yes” to resolve the problem...

Mark Begich
Get your history right: Grant didn’t own slaves

“Liberal revisionist history.” What a crock. I do believe that if the Republican masters did not publish talking points for their Republican “water boys,” they would all become mutes...

Alaska Dispatch News