Voices

DILLINGHAM -- I spent more than half a century being inoculated by Kenai Peninsula insects, so when I was warned, prior to moving to Dillingham, that Bristol Bay bugs swarmed thick and fierce, I thought, “We’ll see. We’ll see.”

After all, some Junes on the Kenai unleashed a veritable contagion of wings. Even a rousing bath in DEET failed to keep all of the needle-bearing invaders at bay.

Driving on the flats outside of Sterling during a particularly notorious outbreak, I once considered simply peeing my pants rather than braving the bug-filled alders...

Clark Fair
When will we stop erasing mementos of Confederacy?

Since the South Carolina church shooting there has been an unending push to remove or ban all Confederate flags from government buildings, stores, online sales and even from long-standing state flags like that of the great state of Mississippi. The origin of this push for removal and banning is the belief by many, not all, that the Confederate flag ONLY represents the oppression and enslavement of black Americans. I certainly cannot and will not attempt to alter their beliefs, nor should they attempt to change the beliefs of the many who view the Confederate flag in other terms. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs...

Alaska Dispatch News

The oil industry can't be blamed for avoiding taxes. It’s the American way. But if the Alaskan public is not to be spun around a cylinder on a spiral ridge by artful corporate tax dodgers, the technically educated in the state government and their community colleagues had better pencil down hard...

John Havelock

It's not often that I read letters to the editor about my columns, but this week was just too good. The president of a oil industry support group -- read cheerleader and chief for the rah rah petro club - called my column from a few weeks ago "nonsensical gibberish." Sorry, that just made me laugh again. If my writing is so nonsensical then why do they have to send out a hired gun to say so. I mean, really dear reader, you'd know gibberish if you read it. Right? Just so we're clear. I am as anti oil drilling as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are against cars. Notice there isn't an organization fighting safety features in cars. Maybe Ms....

Shannyn Moore

When good sense overcomes the nincompoopery of politically correct cultural cleansing in the name of “diversity,” it is, well, heartening. Take the flag fiasco at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, for instance...

Paul Jenkins
Elodea alert for Interior’s Blair Lakes

I read the July 10 ADN article: “Aviation pilots push for weedkiller to combat Lake Hood’s plane-fouling plants” by Zaz Hollander, and realized the plant is in the Interior, just southeast of Fairbanks in the Blair Lakes (2AK1). I landed my floatplane there and noticed it was everywhere.

-- Ken Rodriguez Fairbanks...

Alaska Dispatch News

KENAI -- In her own gentle way, my wife asked if she should expect fish, or at least a fish story, when I returned.

I said that one led to the other.

For my first attempt at dipnetting along the mouth of the Kenai River last weekend, I didn’t quite know what to expect.

I have been to the Copper River many times over the years and have memorized the drill -- swirling waters, windblown sand and minutes or hours spent waiting for the pole to try to leap out of your hands...

Dermot Cole

Total Medicaid spending exceeded $1.6 billion in FY 2015 and will grow to $2.8 billion by 2025 -- even without expansion. Medicaid in its current form is unsustainable and is the biggest cost driver in state government. The governor should work for real reform instead of instituting Alaska's version of "Walkercare," which has the potential to sink the system we already have.

Good intentions aside, those who insist on expanding Medicaid willfully ignore the fatal flaws that make expansion an irrational decision at this time:

• The Medicaid system at current levels is so very broken that it simply cannot deliver anything that resembles quality health care to an expanded population...

Sen. Pete Kelly

Alaska Native villages endure some of the highest reported violent crime rates in the country, including domestic violence rates up to 12 times the U.S. average. This can be attributed to several factors, largely stemming from the nature of historic traumas caused by multiple waves of colonial efforts, that unfortunately, reverberate inter-generationally across Alaska Native communities. Alaska Native people and communities are working hard to change this and need genuine, respectful state partnership to continue to advance this critical work. To that end, there are a few important policy opportunities Gov. Bill Walker’s administration can take advantage of...

Liz Medicine Crow,Troy A. Eid
Sequestration prevents Arctic action

Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan seem to mention the Arctic every chance they get. However, both of them forget to mention the single policy that stands in the way of the U.S. becoming a real leader in the Arctic: sequestration. This policy is the tea party’s gift that keeps on giving. Born out of the debt-ceiling debacles, sequestration set rigid spending limits on government agencies. Like it or not, Alaska has always had strong ties to the federal government and its money. These spending limits, and the disappearance of earmarks, have left Alaska in a precarious place....

Alaska Dispatch News