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Voices

Dear Alaska and Oregon,

I hear you’ve both got marijuana legalization initiatives on your November ballots. You’re thinking about taking the plunge. For those of you still undecided, let me offer some neighborly advice.

Two years ago I was in your shoes. I lived in Washington state. I had two teenage kids. I hadn’t smoked a joint since college. I was leaning toward a no vote on Initiative 502, our marijuana proposition. Pot? Meh. I didn’t like it, didn’t use it, didn’t want my kids to have easier access to it...

Bruce Barcott

Hindsight is 20-20. As we apply it in our own lives, it often creates personal regret: “If only I knew then what I know now, I sure would have done things differently.” But, when it is misused in politics, well, hindsight is merciless and very unfair...

Kevin Clarkson

Each individual, tax-paying citizen is responsible for making our community safe -- municipal employees and elected officials are there to assist each citizen in staying safe in our vibrant, growing community. The mayor and Assembly are to provide the employees with the tools they need to do that. They provide the latest equipment, leadership and financial security that provide municipal employees with the ability to help all citizens stay safe. The citizen participates in this process by paying taxes, passing bonds and exercising their right to vote...

Ernie Hall

Attack ads bolstering Mark Begich’s quest to retain his Senate seat are enough to make any self-respecting snake blush. To endure them day-in and day-out without developing spiritual callouses, a person needs, as Hunter S. Thompson once put it, the soul of a lizard.

At least one of the ads -- vicious enough to make even the left gasp -- drew national ridicule and scorn. If you give them much credence you would have to believe Begich’s opponent, former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan, is the devil incarnate, that Alaska women are not very bright, and that they care only about abortion and free birth control. Heaven forbid they would worry about the economy, or jobs or national security issues. Begich apparently would leave all that heavy lifting to the menfolk...

Paul Jenkins

Editor's note: The following commentary was first published in the Anchorage Daily News on Aug. 12, 1986, under the title, "What good's a road when people can't bear to live." Its author resubmitted it after reading Harold Napoleon's Oct. 17 commentary and recent news items about Don Young's statements on suicide. He intends to raise questions about how much progress has been made to address this concern in the last 28 years...

Tim Troll

I was about 10 when I heard a sermon I will never forget. The speaker that day drew a few gasps from the congregation of the Homer Christian Church when he disagreed with a passage from the Bible. He quoted from 1 Corinthians, Ch. 13, the passage you often hear at weddings: "Faith, Hope and Love, the greatest of these is love." "That's not true," he said. "The greatest of these is hope." He explained that his father had committed suicide. There was no shortage of love in their family. His father had simply lost hope that the pain of his illness would ever be alleviated. It was too much to bear. Too bad Congressman Don Young wasn't sitting next to me that day almost 35 years ago....

Shannyn Moore

CHICKALOON -- The Chickaloon Trail sank into the muddy subsoil, its ruts deepened by more than a hundred years of use. Wagons once rolled here. Now the tracks were left by moose, four-wheelers hunting those moose and my kids' sopping sneakers. The path twisted along a route that only vaguely resembled the line on our map. We had to trust, like generations of travelers before, that it would get us where we needed to go. It used to be the only way...

Erin McKittrick

For 26 Septembers, I’ve hiked up streams littered with the corpses of dying humpback salmon. It is nothing new, nothing surprising, not the stench, not the gore, not the thrashing of black humpies plowing past their dead brethren to spawn and die. It is familiar; still, it is terrible and wild. Winged and furred predators gather at the mouths of streams to pounce, pluck, tear, rip and plunder the living, dying hordes. This September, it is just as terrible and wild as ever, but I gather in the scene with different eyes, the eyes of someone whose own demise is no longer an abstraction, the eyes of someone who has experienced the tears, rips and plunder of cancer treatment...

Eva Saulitis

NOME -- One hundred eighty-three, to be exact. Those are all the miles I’ve driven since arriving in Nome -- this town with three roads out and no roads in.

Three beautiful, somewhat-maintained roads. Do you ever just have the urge to blast some music and drive as far as you can, trying to get lost in your thoughts as your wheels get lost in the grooves of the road?...

Jenn Ruckel | KNOM
Instead of attacking Walker, thank him

My name is Dave Dengel, and I worked for the city of Valdez for 15 years. Seven of those years I served as the Valdez city manager. I worked closely with Bill Walker on many issues. One issue was the development of Alaska’s gas for the benefit of all Alaskans.

Bill was instrumental in the formation of the Alaska Gasline Port Authority. The port authority’s highest priority is to bring economical energy to Alaska by exporting excess gas to the Asian market. Bill’s work on the gas line has shown that the economics and the markets are there to develop our gas on terms favorable to Alaska as well as to the industry. Bill traveled to the Asian markets with his own funds to meet with the buyers of LNG...

Alaska Dispatch News

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