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Articles written by Larry Persily Publisher

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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 The federal law requiring face masks on airplanes is no longer in effect.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...

 

The Sentinel is like Facebook, in print

I’m not anti-Facebook. Well, maybe a little, but more agnostic than antagonistic. I see its purpose and its benefits to connect people, providing something akin to a community bulletin board, a soapbox for ideas, a scrapbook for the town. Just beca...

 

It's not that hard, just different

This year’s switch to ranked-choice voting in Alaska is something new, maybe even surprisingly new for those who missed or forgot about the 2020 statewide ballot initiative that put forth the change. But new, while exciting for some people, can be...

 

High oil prices not a reason to boost profits

No, this column is not directed at oil producers. They are not the guilty party in this tale of cost escalation. Nor is this column about the many businesses around the world stressed by energy prices that have shot up faster and higher than...

 

Energy relief bidding could get out of hand

Many Alaskans will be hurting under $5-a-gallon gasoline, and rural residents who pay even higher prices will hurt even more. The state treasury, meanwhile, is flush with higher oil production tax and royalty checks, depositing tens of millions of...

 

High oil prices are Alaska's alcohol of choice

It’s not often you hear political debates that invoke religion and booze but have nothing to do with temperance, the social ills of alcohol or strict adherence to church teachings. In Alaska, those points are being offered in the context of the...

 

No beef with Prime, but it takes a choice cut

Look at the post office package shelves, the boxes left at people’s doors and the empties stuffed into the trash and it’s clear that Wrangell — just like the rest of the country — is primed to shop from Amazon. Free shipping is the biggest...

 

Consider yourself lucky you only lost one tire

If at first you don’t succeed, it’s not always better that you try, try again. But try, try again is what we do well in Alaska. Well, not so successfully, but we are consistent in trying the patience of common sense and fiscal restraint. For...

 

It's time more Republicans stood up to Trump

I don’t propose anyone take away the former president’s phones, his internet access, his rights to call outrageous press conferences or give loud speeches. I don’t suggest denying him the privilege to fleece supporters who want to click on his...

 

Pick a number, any number - just don't bet on it being right

Alaskans have been anguishing over the price of oil ever since 1977, when the first barrel of crude flowed down the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. That was the same year Elvis Presley died. And just as people have been speculating ever since about Elvis...

 

Being insightful not meant to incite

Word choice matters. Thinking through how others will read and perceive words is important, especially when sharing opinions. The Sentinel editorial last week is a case in point. My purpose in the editorial was that the borough assembly could have...

 

Write a letter, get a free Alaska calendar

Polite requests didn't work, so I'll try bribery. Not the illegal kind that infects corrupt nations and businesses, but the nice kind, sort of like how your parents offered you dessert if you finished...

 

Moose don't like winter any more than we do

The deep snow and strong winds are making the moose in Alaska’s Interior cranky. Who can blame them. More than four feet of snow fell in Fairbanks in December, with over six feet in Denali National Park. Moose have long, strong legs, but those...

 

Very different anniversaries this week

It’s helpful to remember the past, to learn from both the good and bad. Neither should be forgotten. Reliving the good can bring us joy and give us a chance to say thank you. Vowing never to repeat the really ugly moments can make us smarter and...

 

Children show adults the holiday spirit

Maybe we need to pay more attention to what kids are saying. Especially around the holidays, when adults can get wrapped up in ribbons and bows and sometimes forget it is the thought, not the gift that really matters. Youth and innocence make for...

 

What if Santa rode a state ferry instead of a sleigh

For the sake of this holiday political fable, let’s assume there is a Santa Claus and the all-knowing gift giver tracks your behavior 365 days a year, not just the month or so before Christmas — much like your phone, your web browsing history,...

 

COVID presents lesson in health care jobs

Sometimes, connecting the dots is the best way to learn. The first set of dots cost $87 million in federal pandemic aid money. That’s the price of the contract the state signed with an Atlanta-based for-profit health care staffing firm to provide...

 

Happy 119th birthday to the Sentinel

I don’t celebrate my own birthday — gave that up when I grew up and mom stopped giving me money to take all my friends bowling at Dom DeVito’s Lanes, where the bar was off-limits but it still felt cool to put our pop bottles in the same...

 

From the publisher: Governor can do more than 'seriously consider'

It was the same day that Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the state would help hospitals cope with record numbers of COVID-19 patients by assisting with decisions to ration care, and the same day that the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink,...

 

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