Wrangell Sentinel -

Articles written by Larry Persily

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School finances need long-term answer

The staff, faculty and students at Wrangell’s three public schools work hard and believe in the importance of education. Parents help out with volunteer work, and the overall community pitches in, too. The borough this year is contributing the...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 25, 2023 

Ferry system says it has enough crew to run summer schedule

Other than still needing crew if it is to put the Hubbard into service for the first time since it was built a few years ago, the Alaska Marine Highway System believes it has enough staff to operate the confirmed runs of its proposed summer schedule...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 25, 2023 

Anan bears photographer wins national award

Juneau photographer Mark Kelley has been to Anan Wildlife Observatory 13 times, which turned out to be a lucky number for his portfolio of bear photos. A collection of his 10 favorite Anan photos...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 18, 2023

Matanuska out of service; Columbia coming back; no ferry until Feb. 17

The state ferry Matanuska will not return to service from its winter overhaul as scheduled next month and will require millions of dollars more of steel replacement work if it is ever to get back to work. In its place, the Alaska Marine Highway...

 

Governor's plan to unlock wealth could be a mirage

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who has made a political career out of promising more than the state can afford while never supporting taxes to pay the bills, has a new, almost magical plan to help cover his budget deficits. It’s all about collecting so much...

 

Alaskans heading south, which is not good

For the 10th year in a row, more Alaskans moved out last year than new residents moved in. That’s a draining fact, with no real plan to plug the leak. To confirm the Alaska Department of Labor’s statistics about population and persistent...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 4, 2023

Borough commits $2.2 million to develop residential subdivision

The borough’s target date is 2024 for the sale of the first 22 residential lots in the proposed subdivision of the former Wrangell Institute property upland from Shoemaker Bay. The assembly last month approved $2.2 million for installing utilities...

 

It's true, liars don't belong in public office

No doubt liars have served in public office ever since the first candidate printed a handbill and later evolved to taping a radio or TV commercial or clicking on social media. It’s as American as apple pie, and as dishonest as the pie stuffed with...

 

Nation needs to learn to work together, again

It’s been almost 40 years since I read “The Good War,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning history as told by more than 120 participants in World War II. They remembered the fighting, the injuries and deaths, the personal sacrifices at home and even the m...

 

It took me awhile to care about spelling

I was never a good student. I was easily distracted, especially in elementary and high school, and figured sentence construction, adverbs, adjectives and spelling were for the students who sat in the...

 

Alaska needs to accept that the world is changing

The world will continue to need liquid fuels refined from crude oil for decades. But it likely will need less in the decades ahead as it transitions to renewable energy sources in hopes of stemming the damages caused by a warming planet. Which means...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    December 7, 2022

Transboundary river protectors seek recognition by British Columbia

A Southeast advocacy group dedicated to protecting the transboundary rivers that flow from Canada through Alaska to the sea want the British Columbia government to work with Alaska Indigenous people on mine permits the same as tribal members on the...

 

Economic report says Wrangell's future could go either way

Readers can find both an optimistic view and gloomy numbers in the borough’s annual economic conditions report, issued last month. “With some of the lowest electrical rates in Alaska, the highest school district test scores, the potential to...

 

SEARHC plans COVID booster vaccination clinics for Dec. 9 and 16

Residents are invited to reserve a spot at the Wrangell Medical Center’s COVID-19 booster vaccination clinics planned for Dec. 9 and 16. Though infection rates in Wrangell and across Alaska have declined this fall, health officials are advising...

 

Alaska needs to do more to attract new residents

More people moved out of Alaska than moved in every year between 2015 and 2021. If not for a healthy birth rate, the state population would have shrunk even more than it did. Wrangell has steadily lost population over the past 20 years, with the...

 

School districts hope for more state funding next year

School districts statewide, including Wrangell, will be looking to the Legislature next year for an increase in state funding, but any boost in the state’s per-pupil formula likely will depend in large part on oil revenues and also Permanent Fund...

 

Palin can't win, that's why she lost

Former governor, former vice presidential candidate and perpetual self-promoter Sarah Palin now believes the old ways are the best ways when it comes to elections. She was the first Alaskan to sign a petition last week to put a repeal of...

 

More to election numbers than just winners

The numbers are not final — that will not happen until the last votes are tallied and ranked-choice tabulations kick in Nov. 23 — but it appears that incumbent elected officials representing Alaska, and Wrangell, will stay on the job for another...

 

Dunleavy, Tshibaka, Palin receive most votes in Wrangell

Wrangell voters cast their ballots to re-elect Gov. Mike Dunleavy and to toss out congressional incumbents Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Mary Peltola. While a majority of Alaskans also voted for Dunleavy, though by a slightly smaller margin than in...

 

This much anger is not good for the country

Anger is threatening America. It comes from growing hostility over differences in politics, religion, race, education, personal choices and even the meaning of democracy. Anger that borders on hatred. It’s scary, and it’s dangerous. I’m...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    November 2, 2022

Funding would be needed to bring back Inter-Island Ferry

Restoration of Inter-Island Ferry Authority service from Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island to Wrangell and Petersburg would take money. The service ended in 2008, and the two communities will talk about what it would take to bring back the run,...

 

Accuracy matters in communication

For the second time in my life, I almost walked into a women’s restroom. The first time was almost a decade ago. I was between flights at the Amsterdam airport. Tired after 10 hours nonstop in the air, a little disoriented and confused, and...

 

A voting lesson from 100 years ago

Alaskans will elect a U.S. senator, a member of the U.S. House, a governor and several dozen state legislators on Nov. 8. It’s an important vote, with real consequences for the nation, the state’s future, school funding, the ferry system, civil l...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 19, 2022

School enrollment moves up slightly to 266 students

School enrollment is heading in the right direction, but just slightly. After counting 257 students during the state-mandated annual tally last year, this year’s Wrangell enrollment count was at 266 as of last week, said Schools Superintendent...

 

Dividend politics not music to the ear

Regardless whether you like harp music, it’s soothing, relaxing, even peaceful. Which leads me to apologize for continuing to harp on Alaska’s Permanent Fund dividend politics, which are anything but musical. They’re more akin to the wordless...

 

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