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Trident reopening welcome news for town

Wrangell has come up short in good economic news in recent years, what with business closures, the loss of Alaska Crossings a year ago, not-so-great salmon runs and crab harvests, rising consumer prices and worker shortages. So it was especially...

 

The Fourth of July depends on royalty

It’s ironic that Wrangell’s Fourth of July depends on the money raised by royalty candidates who sell raffle tickets, lunches, baked goods and a lot more so that the community can enjoy fireworks, street games and other events packed into...

 

The math is easy; the politics are hard

Getting caught between a rock and a hard place is easier. At least you can rent a backhoe and move the rock. Getting politically caught between more money for public schools and even more money for the Permanent Fund dividend will be the hardest plac...

 

Ortiz says school funding, child care and the state ferries are his priorities

The legislative session has begun, and I am back in Juneau working for you. As we dive into hearing proposed bills and dig into budget details, I want to share my priorities and remind you to reach out to me anytime. One of my biggest priorities...

 

Community council thanks Rushmore for her enthusiastic willingness to help

As Wrangell Tlingit and Haida Community Council president, I want to thank Carol Rushmore, the borough’s economic development director, and wish her the best for her retirement coming up in April. In January 2018, Tom Gillen Sr., our council...

 

Sen. Murkowski is right: Don't mess it up

Sen. Lisa Murkowski succeeded in convincing her colleagues that the Alaska Marine Highway System deserves more federal funding. The proof of her success in helping to write last year’s federal spending legislation is the $284 million in grants...

 

It's not our fault, but we seniors can help

Wrangell is getting older. Not just the town, but its residents. Which means its labor pool is getting older and leaving the workforce, with fewer younger people to fill job openings. The numbers are not good for businesses, the services they want...

 

Murkowski reminds Alaskans of congressional wins

Earlier this month, the 117th Congress formally adjourned, marking the close of a remarkably productive legislative stretch for Alaska. The past Congress was one of the best for our state in recent memory, and the bipartisan bills we passed will...

 

There is hope for redeveloping hospital property

A group of developers has offered the borough $350,000 for the former hospital property, which is $120,000 less than the new asking price and $480,000 less than the old asking price of last year. But what’s really new is that anyone is offering...

 

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...

 

Wrangell can use the year to prepare

A pair of Holland America cruise ships — each with capacity for more than 2,700 passengers and crew — are scheduled to call on Wrangell in 2024. Each will make one visit. Each visit will more than double the community’s population for the day....

 

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...

 
 By Marc Lutz    Opinion    January 18, 2023

Career talk leads to reflection on life in journalism

An old Staples printer paper box sat in front of me, spewing forth its contents. Instead of reams of 8.5-by-11 copy paper, old lifestyle sections, visitor guides, comics, real estate sections and business pages laid inside and scattered around the bo...

 

Federal aid can help the ferries, if the state uses it wisely

It’s past time for Southeast and coastal Alaska communities to be heard regarding the collapse of our ferry system. It’s time to more forcefully make our needs known by energizing the Southeast Conference, the Southeast Conference of Mayors and o...

 

The Legislature deserves your attention

There is more to state government in Alaska than just the amount of the annual Permanent Fund dividend. Though voters certainly might think otherwise, judging from the campaigns of many candidates in recent years. But the campaigns are over — at le...

 

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...

 

Taxing e-cigarettes is a healthy idea

Governments levy taxes to pay for community services, such as schools, police and road repairs. And to help pay the public treasury costs of what can be unhealthy personal choices, such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. The state and...

 

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...

 
 By Marc Lutz    Opinion    January 4, 2023

Unflattering photo leads to resolution for better judgment

I like to think I'm my own worst critic. Every word choice and every photo I run in print are reviewed, critiqued and deemed passable. For example, I rewrote this paragraph three times. When it comes...

 

Governor's proposed budget short on so many issues

Newly reelected Gov. Mike Dunleavy last week unveiled his proposed state spending plan for the next budget year. By far, the largest single expense in the entire state budget is the Permanent Fund dividend. The governor’s budget proposes no...

 

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...

 

'Tis not the season to wait for online orders

No doubt Wrangell businesses do not stock everything on your holiday shopping list, but they probably have something on hand for most everyone on your list. It’s just a matter of being adaptive, like when the barge is late and you have to change...

 

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...

 

Wrangell schools should end COVID travel testing policy

I am the parent of an upcoming graduating senior at Wrangell High School. This May, I will have had two kids successfully complete their primary and secondary education through the Wrangell public schools. As I write this letter, I aim not to be too...

 

Borough wants your ideas for former mill property

The borough has scheduled a public forum for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Nolan Center to discuss a $2.5 million question: What would the community like to see done with the 6-Mile sawmill property which the borough purchased this summer? Sell the 39...

 

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