Voices

One hundred years ago Alaska was at a crossroads. It was a ward of the federal government.

Rich and powerful businessmen who lived outside the region were calling the shots economically and politically. Business was good. For the fat cats and their stockholders. But not necessarily for Alaskans.

Ultimately, Alaskans tired of the abuse and wrested control from the wealthy financiers and corporations. When becoming a territory of the United States had little effect, the territory became a state. Only then were Alaskans afforded a real opportunity to direct their own destinies...

Rick Sinnott

“Citizen ownership of the resources is essential,” Governor Hickel explained, “to ensure that the citizens – and not Multinational Corporations or an elite few – will benefit from the development of those resources.” This is the essence of Governor Hickel’s philosophy that Alaska should conduct itself as an ‘Owner State’...

Kate Troll

Nunavut is a wealthy region. With a GDP/capita of $53,506, if it were a country it would easily rank amongst the top ten richest – ahead even of Canada, which using the same formula has a GDP/capita of $47,605.

But of course, Nunavummiut themselves are not wealthy. They are more likely to live in poverty than any other Canadians, and have the lowest human development ranking in the country. This is because most of Nunavut’s income does not come from employment, profitable businesses or even resource development. It comes from the federal government...

Heather Exner-Pirot

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's administration is trying to get a leg up on development of the Northern Sea Route.

Last week, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev stated to RIA Novosti that the amount of state supervision and control over the Northern Sea Route was "not acceptable," especially in the eastern part. Most of the resources put into the route's infrastructure are funneled into the Murmansk-Dudinka-Krasnoyarsk transport corridors. Murmansk is the largest city in the Arctic, in the far west of Russia, while Dudinka is a port on the Yenisey River. Krasnoyarsk lies far inland, on the Lena River...

Mia Bennett

As an Alaska resident for the last 16 years, I have received my yearly Permanent Fund Dividend check, deposited it, and not given it much thought. Recently however, I have realized that the Alaska Permanent Fund is much more than just a dividend check and the corporation behind it.

The Alaska Permanent Fund was established in 1976 and is funded by a 25-percent tax on proceeds from the state’s oil and mineral development. These revenues are set aside in the Permanent Fund to continue benefitting current and future generations of Alaskans. Due to sound investment management, the fund has grown to nearly $41 billion in the last 36 years...

Trevor Allred

OPINION: If you hate the idea of billionaires and corporations trying to influence your vote, you're going to hate this Alaska election more than ever. At the same time, you need to know before going into the ballot box who's behind the biggest spending this election in Alaska, and whether their corporate interests are truly your interests. What do you think the chances are of that? As voters, we should be treated with honesty, not millions of dollars of emotional spin, with the lying, deep, ominous voices corporate ads will use to scare you into voting for the candidate they want...

Les Gara

OPINION: "The Storms of Denali" ought to blow somebody right out of a job at the University of Alaska Press. Not because it's a bad book. The reviews say it's OK. But because the University of Alaska Press seems to have forgotten the second word in its title: Alaska.

In a state chock-a-block full of writers and would-be-writers, the University of ALASKA press has decided to start publishing the works of Seattle authors. Better yet, it appears to have also farmed out the promotional work -- the good old PR effort -- to another Seattle outfit...

Craig Medred

OPINION: Alaska, the United States, and the world are finally giving America’s Arctic the attention it irrefutably deserves. This is due to Alaskans like the late Gov. Walter Hickel; Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell; former North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta; U.S. Arctic Research Commission Chair Fran Ulmer; Nils Andreassen of the Institute of the North; Rep. Reggie Joule; Sen. Lesil McGuire; Dr. Lawson Brigham and Dr. Mark Myers of UAF; and many, many others including the unabashed Arctic champion and enthusiastic founder of the Arctic Imperative Summit, Alice Rogoff...

Bob Herron

It may seem hard to imagine now, especially for the younger generation in Alaska, but there was a time, just a few decades ago, when electricity did not exist in any meaningful, widely accessible way in rural villages.

The first major effort at electrifying rural communities took the form of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) in 1968. Prior to that date electricity was often supplied only to a select few buildings such as schools and churches by means of a small gas-powered generator or rudimentary wind turbine...

Ross Coen

Robert Reich was in town recently speaking at the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation annual economic forecast luncheon . I have to say AEDC does a great job getting world class speakers and provides helpful updates on economic trends in Anchorage -- among other things. I guess that’s why 1,300 people attended the lunch at the Dena’ina Center...

Jeff Pantages