Voices

Denali -- the tall one . The proper name has been restored. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell confirmed on Monday that the paperwork is signed and it’s official, Mt. McKinley is no more.

Ohio Republican Congressman Mike Turner was quoted in the Washington Post saying , "I'm sitting on Main Street in Dayton, Ohio. I can tell you, the residents of this city are furious." Ohio Republican and Speaker of the House John Boehner said he was “deeply disappointed” in the decision...

Mike Dingman
GLACIER conference shows we are awakening to change

My wife made a wonderful sorrel soup. I ate some in the back yard as I watched the frantic activity of the bee colonies. I say frantic because there is a turbulence there. Midsummer the bees hugged the sides of the boxes that house their queen and combs. Now they race far afield — even to the neighbor’s crab apple tree and flowers. Do they sense the coming of winter? Indeed, even as the sun bakes my face, the wind has a cold leading edge. This week we are contemplating our future in the face of human activity and its impact on our planet’s ecosystem. The urgency and alarm in President Barack Obama’s speech before the International GLACIER conference was not politics-as-usual....

Alaska Dispatch News

Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA), a law Congress passed in 1934, authorizes the secretary of the Department of Interior to acquire title to any land at any location for the purpose of providing land for Native Americans who are members of a “recognized Indian tribe now under federal jurisdiction,” as well as for individual Native Americans who are of “one-half or more Indian blood” (a race-based category that likely is unconstitutional). When the secretary acquires title, the land becomes “trust” land that is tantamount to an Indian reservation...

Donald Craig Mitchell

It was like walking into the junior high school cafeteria for the first time. I looked around, trying to see if there was someone I knew that I could sit next to. The room for "Alaska Forum 2015: A Summit on Shipping and Ports" (Aug. 23-25 in Anchorage) was so full there were people standing at the back. I wandered around to the side and sat in a lone empty chair, still looking...

Natalie Landreth

KOTZEBUE, Alaska — When President Obama flies north to this remote Inupiat Eskimo settlement on the Chukchi Sea on Wednesday, he should get a superb view of the sprawling Alaska Range along the way.

Amid ribs of glaciers snaking down from a spine of towering peaks stands Alaska’s crown jewel and North America’s highest peak, formerly known as Mount McKinley and which most Alaskans had long called “Denali” anyway — meaning “high” or “tall” in the Athabascan language. Obama made the name change official this week in Alaska.

As the president crosses the Arctic Circle, vast stretches of treeless tundra will dominate the coastal lowlands...

John Creed and Susan B. Andrews

Now that our historic presidential visit is just about over, we can focus on the important things in life. Important things like, Will it be warm enough to grill outside on Labor Day? And let’s be honest here. Alaskans have been known to grill in below zero weather so, absent torrential rains, I’m guessing most of us will celebrate the day with something charred on a grill.

According to a government website, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”...

Elise Patkotak

A year after my youth group from Tanana made the presentation at the 2014 Alaska Federation of Natives annual conference that went viral across Alaska and beyond , I asked the children, "What has changed since we walked on stage and brought forth the issues of child abuse, molesting, alcohol, drugs, losing hope, lack of family and suicide?"

They didn't answer right away. Then they slowly answered, “NOTHING!”...

Cynthia Erickson

With oil prices close to $50 per barrel, oil production taxes trickle into the state at close to a half-million dollars a day. Add in the rest of oil revenue and other taxes and the state is still withdrawing about $8.5 million a day from its savings.

While some legislators hope that this too will pass, the risk of postponing action is too great to ignore.

Siphoning billions from savings every year without developing a transition plan is reckless. It endangers the state’s bond rating , weakens investors' confidence and limits options for Alaska’s future on everything from the gas pipeline to schools and roads...

Dermot Cole

As anyone who lives in Alaska knows, a three-day whirlwind tour isn't enough time to learn a great deal about a state as vast and diversely populated as Alaska is. But every summer, visitors from around the world prove that it's enough to satisfy a life-long dream and gain some understanding. As of this writing, President Barack Obama is giving it a shot, and given the kind of itinerary possible for a sitting president, probably will fare better than most...

Alaska Dispatch News

Ahead of President Obama’s visit to Alaska, we asked Alaska Dispatch News readers to register their own thoughts on two questions. Answers ran the gamut, and there was so many of them that publishing a representative sample of the most notable responses will take more than one installment in print. A selection of the most instructive comments sent via social media have been collected in full online . Great thanks to readers for being so thoughtful and so frank. So, then, Alaska, what should the president know right up front if he wants to best understand this place and its people? And what do you hope he’ll learn during his visit?...

Alaska Dispatch News