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Voices

Alaska is in an energy crisis. Fairbanks and much of the Railbelt is heavily dependent on expensive heating fuel and virtually 100 percent of rural Alaska is dependent on diesel.

In January 2011, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell took a major step to address this by introducing legislation for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project, with a request of over $65 million and the authority to begin the permitting process, financial plan, and design and engineering. In April 2011, after many hearings and substantial public involvement, the Alaska Legislature overwhelmingly voted in favor of legislation necessary to move the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project forward...

Hugh Short

Americans have sadly become a people beset by fear, rendering dubious the phrase “home of the brave” in the national anthem.

It is not that we are no longer capable of individual acts of courage. We see plenty of bravery along swollen levees of the Mississippi River, in flood-ravaged Vermont, at bedsides in hospices, and among soldiers in Afghanistan.

But collectively, we seem to have become a people addicted to fear, whether it’s about our economy, our children on the way to school, or the weather...

Walter Rodgers

For nearly three years, I have been consumed with Sarah Palin while co-authoring Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years . Unfortunately, in this day and age, writing a thoroughly-researched yet controversial book doesn’t always end with the final chapter...

Ken Morris
TO: Winter CC: Ullr SUBJECT: The Inevitable

Dear Cold, Snow and Dark,

Well, it’s starting to become your time of year again across nearly all of Alaska. Daylight is contracting, first frosts have been recorded in most of the state. Puddles have started to ice over, and your snows are creeping down the mountains as birds leave and animals prepare to winter over. Your inevitable place in the cycle arises yet again...

Scott Woodham

On Oct. 2, hundreds of Christian pastors are expected to engage in a mass act of civil disobedience across the United States. From their Sunday pulpits, they plan to purposely violate a federal law by openly opposing or endorsing political candidates.

Why break the law on purpose?

These pastors, most of them evangelical, are part of an effort to bait the Internal Revenue Service into fining one of the churches or taking away its tax-exempt status. If the IRS takes the bait, then that case will be challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court in hopes of overturning the law...

Editorial Board

Of course outrage is natural when the truth finally sinks in.

A dam as stupefyingly massive as one to be built on the Susitna River will certainly cripple salmon runs and caribou stocks and the prime hunting and fishing lands from the Denali Highway south into the heart of the Susitna Valley.

But before and after anger at the sheer stupidity of how fast the Susitna Dam is proceeding lies a quiet discouragement that Our Elected Officials, with no public input, could have decided to build it at all. What'll they think up next? A Teflon-domed city with golf courses in the Alaska Range? (Former U.S. Senator from Alaska Mike Gravel did get significant funding for that one a generation ago. Alaskans stopped it.)...

Richard Leo

It is a common observation that American political discourse has become rife with hyperbole and hostility. Fierce partisans on both the left and right, not content to simply point out errors in each others' reasoning, frequently accuse each other of outright malevolence. This enraged tone is epitomized by the frequency with which policies and proposals are said to represent “wars” on various innocent sectors of society.

While the “war” metaphor may win media coverage and rile voters, it prevents Americans from having the type of debate that could lead to more effective responses to our society’s problems...

Jeremy Shapiro

The US Senate may have passed a stop-gap spending bill Monday night, averting government shut down, but the controversy over disaster relief funds that sparked this latest bout of congressional gridlock remains relevant.

A few weeks ago, on the heels of hurricane Irene and Texas wildfires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that it might not have funds to see it through the end of the fiscal year. In response, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor – who has since backpedaled from the statement – proposed that any new disaster relief funds must be offset by cuts elsewhere in the federal budget...

Donald E. Frey

President Obama has rolled out a tax initiative supposedly aimed at the wealthy, whose key feature is the "Buffet tax." But the details of his total package reveal that average, hardworking families are also affected. Mr. Obama's proposed limits to deductions and exclusions for families making $250,000 or more effectively raise taxes on families in areas with a high cost of living. And these households can hardly be considered wealthy...

Shannon Biggs

As the content director of the Arctic Imperative Summit, I had the opportunity to join elected leaders of the Alaska State Legislature, as well as representatives of industry, utility and renewable energy nonprofits, and economic development non-profits to learn how Norway manages its oil wealth during the week of Aug. 27, 2011, through Sept. 4, 2011, on a tour hosted by the Institute of the North.

Arriving in Oslo, compared to other nation’s capitals: London, Paris, and Washington D.C., the city seemed quite, quaint, and peaceful...

Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle

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