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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...

 

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,...

 

Passion for writing brings new reporter to town

Correct spelling is the law for newspapers. Especially for unusual names. And especially for my first week on the job as the Sentinel's new reporter. I grew up in Salt Lake City, a fact which...

 

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,...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 
 By Marc Lutz    Opinion    August 3, 2022

A year in Wrangell reaffirms decision to start anew in Southeast

Each step was like planting my feet into water-soaked bath towels. Thirteen miles of nonstop sloshing in last Sunday’s BearFest half marathon could be viewed by some as not so fun. But for me, it was a chance to think about the past year. Most...

 

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...

 

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...

 

Biden needs to look to Alaska for oil and gas

After saying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a pariah for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Joe Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia to engage with the Arab world. I believe his priorities are out of touch with most...

 

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...

 

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...

 

Take elections seriously and vote next month

Alaskans in less than five weeks will elect the state’s first new member of the U.S. House in almost 50 years. Literally, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to choose who will represent the state as its lone member in the chamber. Voters on...

 

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....

 

Juneau resident warns: Be wary of too many cruise ships

Be careful what you wish for. I hope the large cruise ship operations never “discover” Wrangell. Downtown Juneau is like New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. Crowded and noisy, indiscriminate COVID spreaders. My downtown neighborhood is overrun by...

 

Old hospital's best use is as land for housing

No surprise, but the borough received no bids for the former hospital property. No one was willing to pay the $830,000 minimum price for the building, much of which is 55 years old. It’s not like there’s a lot of value to the building, unless a...

 

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...

 

Alaska Marine Highway return to Prince Rupert good for Southeast

The Alaska Department of Transportation last month reinstated state ferry service to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The relationship between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan is an important one, as they are sister cities. The ferry route brings strong...

 

Let's not let politics ruin the nation's holiday

The colonies — later to become states — figured out that the new nation would be stronger as one, uniting behind a common cause and set of laws. Sure, there were intense debates around the meeting rooms, differing factions and multiple...

 

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...

 
 By Nolan Klouda    Opinion    June 29, 2022

Alaska needs to work at reversing the outmigration

By Nolan Klouda Executive director University of Alaska Center for Economic Development Anchorage Your favorite restaurant has an hour wait, even though you see empty tables. Operating hours for small businesses are reduced despite long lines....

 

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...

 

Borough is checking off long-standing to-do list

The borough is making progress on its long and expensive to-do list. The decisions are not easy and several are costly. Many have been around a long time. That’s not because anyone did anything wrong. Rather, it takes time to confront hard decision...

 

Pies needed for annual teddy bear fundraiser

Did you know that when a child goes to the emergency room at our hospital or their family suffers a house fire or a boating accident, that they can be given a beautiful, comforting teddy bear to snuggle with? These bears are provided by the Beta...

 

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