Articles written by Larry Persily Publisher

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Imitation is not flattering, it's embarrassing

The Republican-controlled Alaska House of Representatives last Saturday did their best impersonation ever of the U.S. House, spending all day on legislation that will never make it into law. It was the same kind of political circus that the nation ha...

 

Alaska might as well embrace the past

One proposal to solve the impending energy shortage for Alaska’s population centers is to go back in time. To the 1970s, when coal was king in the U.S. The governor, legislators, municipal officials and business leaders are worried that the Railbelt...

 

No sense wasting time, except for politics

The state House needed an auctioneer last week. Instead, it wasted three hours in a meaningless bidding war as the Republican-led majority told Alaskans they cared far more than anyone else about supporting education and ensuring state-funded...

 

No need to amend the Alaska Constitution

Less than two years ago, Alaskans voted overwhelmingly against convening a constitutional convention to amend the state’s founding document. More than 70% of voters said no thanks, it’s a bad idea. It was the sixth time in a row, going back to 197...

 

Time to let younger people take the lead

Neither President Joe Biden, 81, nor former President Donald Trump, 77, is necessarily too old to be president. Their biggest flaws are not their ages, it’s that they are blocking and discouraging younger people from getting a chance to lead the c...

 

Alaska high schoolers are right to speak up

Who better to talk about education in Alaska than students. They could continue leaving it to school administrators, elected officials, their parents and teachers to speak for them, but that would be the easy way out. It’s also been unsuccessful. L...

 

Stop serving up PFD as a sugary dessert

Alaska faces a seriously long list of long-term serious problems. Our population is aging, people are not moving here fast enough to replace those who leave, too many employers lack enough workers to fully staff their operations, and the state’s f...

 

Tax credits no substitute for state responsibility

Tax credits have long been popular, growing more so every year. Supporters push them to provide government backing for new initiatives or ongoing programs, steering money to worthy causes — some unworthy ones, too — bypassing actual app...

 

It's always been free, now it's free to see

The Sentinel has never charged for listings in the community calendar, which has been displayed on Page 2 for years. Easy enough for print subscribers to open the paper and see what’s happening in town, whether public meetings, fundraisers, youth a...

 

Russia's loss could be Alaska's financial gain

Even in winter, there are hot opportunities. And since the state’s prospects for economic well-being are in short supply these days — like being short of buyers for Alaska salmon, running short of energy for Southcentral residents and bus...

 

Alaska needs to control its PFD politics

It was a perplexing week in the Legislature. While the Senate Finance Committee was reviewing honest numbers about real budget needs hitting up against the limit of available state revenues, the House was debating whether the exalted Permanent Fund...

 

Make all schools better, not just some

The governor’s growing obsession with charter schools is frightening for the future of public education in Alaska. He talks as if charter schools are by far the best answer to the state’s low student test scores. He has told Alaskans he would not...

 

Too risky for the state

The advice for Las Vegas gamblers is don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. It’s generally the same advice for investors: Don’t take more risk than you can afford, even when the riskier bets look like they could pay off the same as 21 at the b...

 

Don't empty the pocket that feeds us

Think of the state’s Constitutional Budget Reserve Fund as the rich uncle or rich aunt you can go to when you’re short of cash to pay bills and need a loan. But even that wealthy relative has a bottom to their pocket. Take too much out and that poc...

 

Alaska's attorney general working for the wrong state

The U.S.-Mexico border is a humanitarian disaster, with U.S. Border Patrol agents taking custody of upwards of 200,000 people a month trying to cross a line in the sand, river, desert shrubs or razor wire in search of a better life. The numbers are...

 

Story of Alaska's income tax like a soap opera

Just because few to none of Alaska’s elected officials are talking about bringing back the personal income tax is no reason to ignore its anniversary. OK, maybe it’s weird to celebrate your anniversary with an ex, but it’s different with the state in...

 

It's smart to try on different work shoes

This column has little to do with actual footwear — dress shoes if you have an office job, work boots if you’re a contractor, comfortable shoes if you’re on your feet all day or rubber boots if you work on a fishing boat. It’s about walking in thei...

 

Trump excels at something - being mean

Children are taught not to make fun of others, tease them or be mean. Parents, teachers, counselors, church leaders and community mentors such as Girl Scout and Little League volunteers work hard to explain why it’s hurtful to make fun of someone who...

 

AI is similar to a teenager, but costs more

There is at least one big similarity between artificial intelligence and teenagers. They both think they know everything. And now, an AI applications provider is promoting in its marketing material that it is just like a teenager. But first, a bit...

 

We less partisanship, not more

Partisan politics itself is not evil. Disruptive, yes. Phony, certainly. Shortsighted, no doubt about it. On its own, partisanship is a childish game played by adults who care more about headlines, fundraising and winning elections than anything...

 

PFD the center of governor's budget universe

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is starting his sixth year as the state’s top elected leader. Sadly, he’s not providing much fiscal leadership, other than beating the drums for his perpetual political bandwagon that trumpets the Permanent Fund dividend at the...

 

Elon Musk provides a megaphone for fraud

Elon Musk brought Tesla, SpaceX and Starlink to the world, which has mostly been good. He certainly is creative and extremely wealthy — gotta give him credit for that. Musk is brash and boastful, which has been obnoxious but mostly harmless. He a...

 

Maybe our politicians could learn from AI

All this talk about artificial intelligence is a bit unsettling. Sure, in time, it will bring a lot of good to the world, particularly in medicines, finding and treating cancers, improving weather forecasting, eliminating boring and repetitive work,...

 

Regional monitoring system needed for landslides

Southeast Alaska is known for rain, windstorms, mountainsides that loom above residential areas — and landslides that occur with increasing frequency. Sitka knows the risk, and the pain, losing three people in a 2015 landslide. Haines lost two p...

 

Annual PFD debate is similar to a food fight

I can be sentimental. Not often, but I’m working on it. I just need to figure out how to increase my sentimentality without decreasing my cynicism. Nostalgia is my favorite form of sentimentality. I enjoy recalling the more pleasant times before s...

 

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