Articles written by Wrangell Sentinel

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Borough smart to cut asking price for hospital

When you’re trying to sell an unlivable house that needs an awful lot of expensive work — a fixer-upper, as it’s politely called — you keep dropping the price until someone comes along who wants the property and can afford to completely...

 

Building repairs did not go away after voters said no

The almost-four-decade-old Wrangell Public Safety Building still needs millions of dollars of repairs due to water damage, rot and aging equipment. The fact that voters defeated a municipal bond issue last month to pay for those repairs doesn’t in...

 

Southeast pink salmon forecast for 2023 comes in at significantly lower harvest

State and federal fishery managers are forecasting a commercial harvest of about 19 million pink salmon in 2023 in Southeast Alaska, which would be a “significant drop” from the parent-year harvest of 48.5 million pinks in 2021, according to last...

 

Be patient while they count the votes

The election is over, thankfully. No more campaign calls, tweets, texts or flyers in the mail. The polls closed around the state at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and now all that remains is to wait for the count. Which will require patience. That doesn’t mean...

 

Dunleavy does not deserve another term

Gov. Mike Dunleavy cares about Alaska and wants good things for its citizens. But that doesn’t change the fact that he has done serious and likely permanent damage to the state ferry system; that he has not supported adequate school funding; that...

 

Ortiz does a good job

Four-term state House member Dan Ortiz deserves another two years representing Wrangell, Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island communities. He knows the district, knows the issues and has been persistent in his work in Juneau to ensure that his...

 

No on constitutional convention

Alaska’s constitution doesn’t need an overhaul, a new transmission or rewiring. It could use a tune-up to restrict campaign contributions from rich people, corporations and political action committees, and a new set of mud flaps to protect the...

 

Murkowski best choice to represent Alaska in Senate

Lisa Murkowski has represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate since December 2002. She has done it well and deserves another term. The fact that Murkowski, a lifelong Republican, has disagreed with her party at times, been at odds with former President...

 

Legislature and governor need to boost school funding

The Wrangell School District could face a financial squeeze in the next several years, forcing hard decisions over which programs get cut, what classes go away and how much staff is left. It’s not that the administration or staff did anything...

 

Assembly should speak up about needed building repairs

Wrangell voters last week defeated a proposed $8.5 million bond issue that would have paid for needed repairs at the almost 40-year-old Public Safety Building, which suffers from water damage, rot and other problems. Despite general grumpiness...

 

Former hospital property not getting any healthier

It’s been almost three years since SEARHC started its move out of the borough-owned hospital building on Bennett Street into new quarters. It’s been almost five months since the borough embarked on multiple efforts to sell the unused property. Si...

 

Vote yes on mill property

Wrangell should vote yes on Oct. 4, giving the borough permission to sell or lease the former 6-Mile sawmill property — if a private developer steps forward. This isn’t a final vote on a development plan, and any sale or lease would require...

 

Good move on ferry pricing

The Sentinel often criticizes state ferry system management for bad decisions. But now it’s time to praise them for a good decision. Dropping the “dynamic pricing” structure for ferry service this fall and winter, October through April, is the...

 

Big state payout depends on oil prices

Alaskans this week will start receiving their $3,284 payout from the state treasury, a combination of a large Permanent Fund dividend ($2,622) and a one-time bonus ($662) to help people pay higher energy costs. The payment is almost triple the size o...

 

Wrangell needs more than deepwater dock

The port commission last week declined to recommend that the borough lease a portion of its newly purchased property at the former 6-Mile sawmill site for use as a scrap metal recycling yard. It was nothing against the recycling business — Channel...

 

Property reassessment isn't about raising taxes

The borough assembly and staff spent a fair amount of time at last week’s assembly meeting, explaining the intent of a contract with an appraisal firm to reassess the value of all the property in town. Homes, businesses, industrial properties,...

 

Denying election results doesn't help the country

The 2020 presidential election is over. Multiple judges in multiple federal and state courts have ruled multiple times against frivolous claims of voter fraud, conspiracy, computer hacking and criminal intent. Courts, prosecutors, most members of...

 

Housing shortage will not fix itself

Wrangell residents, particularly new and would-be residents, are well familiar with the lack of housing options in town. Few homes for sale, few apartments for rent, and even fewer lots to build on. Sometimes, it feels like people would have better l...

 

Candidates needed for municipal offices

August is a time for fishing, the last of any gardening work and the enjoyment of harvesting the fruits (and vegetables) of that effort. It’s a time for home repairs, while there is still a plausible chance of dry weather to patch the roof,...

 

Petersburg assembly sets up task force to look at housing shortage

The Petersburg Borough Assembly voted 4-1 on Aug. 1 to establish a new task force to address the community’s housing crisis. Assemblymember Jeff Meucci said the task force would work with the assembly’s backing to look at housing needs in the...

 

Listen to the facts about building repairs

The process will stretch over the next couple of months, with a public hearing and a lot of public information, but it looks like the borough assembly will ask voters in the Oct. 4 municipal election to approve borrowing as much as $15 million for lo...

 

Financial help available for licensed child care providers

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, parents across Alaska are still struggling with long wait lists, high costs and limited capacity at child care centers. Federal grant funds administered by the state and a child care nonprofit are...

 

Borough should help with child care efforts

Few would dispute that Wrangell needs affordable, dependable child care services. The lack of child care keeps parents away from filling the long list of job vacancies around town and, when their kids are sick, can keep them away from the jobs they...

 

Property assessments worth a full review

Probably no one enjoys paying property taxes. It’s a big check, rather than a few dimes or dollars in sales taxes each time at the register. But it’s an essential part of the municipal budget, second only to sales taxes in bringing in revenue to...

 

Early voting opens Aug. 1 for special and primary elections

Early voting will open Aug. 1 for the Aug. 16 special election to fill the unexpired term of the late U.S. Rep. Don Young and the primary election, also Aug. 16, for governor, Legislature, U.S. Senate, and to select the top candidates for a full...

 

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