Voices

Across the state, children are returning to school this month, shoes laced, lunch boxes in hand. But not in Bethel. There, a group of childhood vandals allegedly managed to inflict an extraordinary amount of damage on the school, tearing through the kindergarten classroom leaving a wake of destruction in their path.

The photos are disturbing. It’s hard for any parent of a 10-year-old to imagine a child doing that much damage intentionally. It goes way beyond childhood pranks. That level of destruction seems like it could only come from a place of rage...

Carey Restino
May Chenault, Meyer be quashed by courts

The leadership of the Alaska Legislature is at it again: railroading Alaskans and wasting money. Polls show the majority of Alaskans have enough information and want Medicaid expansion, and that the majority of legislators would vote for it. Instead of listening, the leadership quashes public input and quashed a floor vote on the governor’s Medicaid bills while attending expensive special sessions ($880,000 wasted). Now the Legislative Council (the same leadership again by the way), without public input, decides to sue the governor to the tune of $450,000. And in Sen. Meyer’s and Rep. Chenault’s Aug. 19 ADN opinion piece, they say they are now ready to listen to Alaskans, don’t have enough information, and want to uphold the legislative process....

Alaska Dispatch News

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan should reverse his stand on the Law of the Sea treaty. For guidance, he need look no further than the reasonable positions taken during the second Bush administration by a guy named Dan Sullivan.

Sullivan has used his first half-year in the Senate to explain why the U.S. needs to show leadership in the Arctic, build icebreakers, respond to the Russians and take an active role in deciding the future of the region...

Dermot Cole

As a contribution to Anchorage’s centennial summer, Cyrano’s Theater Co. is presenting 10 plays covering the 100 years of the centennial, 10 decades in 10 weeks. Last week was 1975 to 1985, a crucial period when city leaders, and ordinary folks, had to decide how to use the bonanza money generated by pipeline construction and the subsequent stream of oil tax dollars...

Steve Haycox

Any interest in saving money, improving Alaska's economy and addressing one of the biggest threats to our state, all at the same time? If we step up as Alaskans, we can do it all.

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was designed to strengthen the trend toward fast-growing clean energy and curb the pollution that is driving unprecedented climate change. In the final rules released last week, the compliance of power generation facilities in Alaska was deferred until an unspecified later date. While some politicians have applauded this decision, the exclusion of Alaska is a lost opportunity...

Polly Carr
Taxpayers are losers on SAP

Mayor Berkowitz is certainly justified in calling a “timeout” for the municipality’s SAP information technology project. When I read the muni’s project is $70 million over budget and at least three years behind schedule with a 40-person consulting team currently burning through $350,000 of budget a week I ask myself: “Can this really be accurate? Where were the practitioners of project management that allowed this to happen? What can be so complicated about the muni’s payroll and accounting system that could give rise to such an overrun?”

What is puzzling to me is the apparent lack of taxpayer outrage. Hopefully the mayor’s pause will give rise to sensible solutions to either get the project on track or scrap it altogether...

Alaska Dispatch News

Well, fit ‘em for halos and stand in awe.

Senate President Kevin Meyer and Speaker of the House Mike Chenault wrote the following stunning paragraph in their commentary (ADN, Aug. 19) explaining the Alaska Legislative Council’s decision to sue Gov. Bill Walker over Medicaid expansion:

“Today, Alaskans get to see a rare specimen: A creature commentators tell us has been extinct for generations. Not just one, but an entire group of elected officials standing up for what they believe is right, knowing full well it will not be popular.”...

Frank Gerjevic

My membership lapsed so I stopped by the Boondoggle Bar and Grill to renew.

All eyes were fixed on the custodian hanging a portrait of Gov. Bill Walker in the place of highest honor where we members grab our plates for the 24-hour buffet.

The club president glowed as the handyman proceeded to hang a blue and gold banner proclaiming, “Welcome back, Bill!”

“What’s going on?” I asked, completely bewildered. “The last I heard the governor was Andrewed.”

At the Boondoggle there’s no worse insult than being “Andrewed.” It’s a ritual which shames someone who has betrayed the town. It gets its name from Andrew Christiansen, the federal engineer who surveyed our streets and personally auctioned off the first lots back in 1915...

Rick Goodfellow

Over the past several months, I’ve spent time gawking at the time on my calendar set aside for training rides. I’m training for my first Ironman-distance triathlon and I’m expecting to clock about 40 hours of bike riding from August to October. As the cycling time has increased from two, to three, to six hours a pop, I’ve found myself wondering not just how I will manage the distance physically but also where should I go to train?

I've discovered the Anchorage I can experience on two wheels is even bigger than I thought and, thankfully, entertaining. New sights distract my mind from the effort.

Here are some of my new, or newly expanded, routes...

Alli Harvey

What do we really know about managing fish and game? Man has been actively attempting to fiddle with fish populations for well over a century. We have been manipulating game animals for our use for about the same length of time. Personally, I have been around for half of a hundred years and am not ashamed to admit that I know very little of the "how" part of wildlife management.

Salmon are near and dear to my heart. I have been a commercial fisherman for 45 years. There is a very good book written by David Montgomery called “The King of Fish: the Thousand Year Run of Salmon”. Montgomery outlines the repeat mistakes that industry, the public, and fishery managers have made over the years...

John Schandelmeier