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Articles written by Larry Persily Publisher

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Reason for concern over state finances

Workers, families and retirees are not the only Alaskans squeezed by inflation, rising interest rates and tumbling investments. The state is in the same tight spot. And it could get worse. The price for Alaska North Slope crude oil was down to...

 

They love their phones far too much

I promise, this will be the first and only column I write that makes fun of how people behave in Washington, D.C. Well, maybe I’ll write another one someday if I see something that is so silly it’s worth sharing with readers. OK, I guess then...

 

My job with the Sentinel will not change

Starting this week, I will be working as a policy adviser to Mary Peltola, Alaska’s newly elected congresswoman. I hadn’t planned on it, but she asked and I accepted. Fortunately, I saved my suits from when I worked in Washington, D.C., for the...

 

Just this one time for anonymous questions

Normally, I do not respond to anonymous questions. Most all newspapers, the Sentinel included, will not print anonymous letters. To do otherwise would allow people to take free shots at anyone they want, hiding from view and protecting their own...

 

Wrangell needs to think about its future

Given my aversion to long planning sessions, whiteboards with erasable markers and consensus building exercises, I can’t believe I am saying this: The town needs a plan for its economic future. A forum to start making that plan is a good...

 

Ferries should mean more to voters than PFD

People vote their pocketbook, or so the old adage says. And certainly more so in this year of high inflation, painful gas prices at the pump and fears of a global recession. It’s understandable that Wrangell voters will think about their household...

 

Wrong reasons to rewrite the constitution

Lust for a supersize Alaska Permanent Fund dividend and giving the government a larger role in dictating personal choices are about as miserable a pair of reasons for rewriting the state constitution as imaginable. Problem is, they are not imagined,...

 

We're here to help tell everyone's stories

Of course the Sentinel wants to tell stories about what’s going on in town, what’s happened, what’s coming up, what government and businesses are doing that interests or may affect people. The staff depends on the community to share...

 

Political blame game doesn't do any good

As American households strain under the weight of high gasoline prices, as cities and school districts look for extra money in their budgets to cover the cost of heating fuel, and as everyone is paying more to get everything delivered by...

 

Checks get bigger with unlimited campaign donations

Inflation smacks drivers in the wallet when they fill up the tank, punches shoppers in the stomach when they load up a grocery cart, and brings travelers down to Earth when they want to buy an airline ticket. The public complains loudly about rising...

 

Congress should extend health insurance subsidies

Some argue that the federal government paid out far too much money to too many people under the headline of “pandemic relief aid.” The list includes up to $3,200 per person in cash, expanded and extended unemployment and food stamp benefits, chil...

 

Bouncy year ahead for state revenues

“Bouncy” sounds less dramatic than “volatile,” and certainly less depressing than “money-losing.” And it’s not nearly as scary as “billion-dollar bust.” But bouncy is an appropriate word for forecasting state earnings this year....

 

Riverboat tours are Wrangell's economic future

Riverboats have operated on the Stikine since the gold rush days of the 1860s and 1870s. The commerce was a big part of Wrangell’s economy in those days, with a long history of family-owned businesses moving people and freight up and down the...

 

Suspending gas tax doesn't deserve any mileage

Election-year politics have a way of bringing bad ideas to the top — when they belong at the bottom of the settling pond. Yes, fuel prices are high, painfully so in many communities and particularly so for people and businesses that have no choice...

 

Losing money is a lesson worth remembering

Legislators, the governor, members of the public — and most certainly candidates in this year’s state elections — should be paying attention to stocks, bonds, real estate and other investments. Energy prices are fueling high inflation; stock ma...

 

Alaska cannot afford its expensive dreams

The weekend headline in Anchorage said an Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline project “could be closer than ever, Alaska politicians say.” The first clue was “Alaska politicians say.” No offense, but pinning your hopes on what...

 

A lot of different reporters write the news

Most of the bylines you read in the Sentinel each week are names you probably recognize. Marc Lutz and Sarah Aslam work out of the newspaper office on Front Street and attend meetings and events around town. Amber Armstrong manages the community...

 

Age limit a good start for response to school killings

Former President Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other elected so-called leaders say the answer to protecting innocent students and teachers from attack is to turn schools into fortresses. High perimeter fencing, every entrance door locked but...

 

Were schools as important as the dividend

The Legislature adjourned on time last week, a nice change from past special sessions that got in the way of summer fishing, watching baseball, eating anything off the grill (except eggplant) and sitting outdoors in the sun doing nothing. Lawmakers...

 

Candidates should talk about the real issues

The community’s future depends on adequate, affordable housing, and the same for child care services. Without both, Wrangell will find it difficult to keep the businesses, jobs, school enrollment and services it has, much less grow. You could say...

 

State budget as much about saving as spending

The Legislature is working toward the largest capital budget in a long time. Municipalities are hearing “yes” instead of years of “no” to some of their public works funding requests. In addition, more state money is headed to schools. And Ala...

 

It's hard to count to 11 in the Senate

The Permanent Fund dividend ranks among the most divisive issues in Alaska politics, along with such longstanding battles as oil taxes, salmon fisheries catch allocations and subsistence rights. Sadly, the dividend has grown in political importance...

 

The time-out is not up for bad behavior

This isn’t about a time-out for misbehaving children; it’s about adults who behave as children, or worse. The federal law requiring face masks on airplanes is no longer in effect. That means big changes for flyers. For travelers who had grown tir...

 

Palin does not belong in Congress

Just when we thought Alaska politics couldn’t get any sillier, we now have so many candidates running for Congress that debate organizers will need to borrow the microphones from all the karaoke bars in the state to accommodate everyone on the...

 

Sentinel succeeds as a newspaper, which is what matters

Awards are always appreciated, and thank you to the chamber members who honored the Sentinel as the business of the year, announced at the annual dinner last Saturday. I’d like to dream that the award means everyone agrees with every opinion I have...

 

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