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 By Wrangell Sentinel    Opinion    May 25, 2022 

The Sentinel will endorse candidates

A newspaper’s job is to use its pages to inform, educate, even entertain readers. That includes sharing opinions, though hopefully those opinions are more often educational than entertaining. More specifically and relevant to this year’s...

 

Share your dividend wealth

The amount of this year’s Alaska Permanent Fund dividend was uncertain as of the Sentinel’s printing deadline Monday evening, but it is certain that the payments will total more than $1 billion above last year’s checks, maybe a lot more,...

 

Wrangell benefits from high oil prices

It’s looking increasingly hopeful that Wrangell will receive $4.1 million as a state grant toward a new water treatment plant. While not exactly a gift from heaven, it feels like a blessing nonetheless. Without the state funding for the...

 

The schools need more borough funding

Probably nothing is more important to the community than its school. Not just for educating students, but as a point of pride and center of activities, and a source of future workers needed to keep the town in business. Good schools also are an attra...

 

It all adds up to the same $2,600

With just a few weeks left in the legislative session, House and Senate budget writers appear to agree that $2,600 is a good number to put into the hands of Alaskans this fall. But how they get there is different. The House-passed version of the...

 

It's time to regulate and tax e-cigarettes

Amid all the legislative debate over the size of this year’s Permanent Fund dividend, the amount of state support for schools and loud pleas from communities across Alaska for more money for docks, sewage treatment plants, roads and building repair...

 

Campaign finance disclosure good for the public

A big part of a well-functioning democracy is running for office or, if you don’t want your name on the ballot, backing a candidate, taking a position on a ballot issue, and writing checks for the campaigns you support. Writing those checks to...

 

Far too much of a good thing

Maybe Alaskans were tired of hearing the all-too-familiar refrains: Good candidates don’t run for public office anymore; it’s too expensive; ill-mannered social media posts go after their families and disrupt their lives; voters are too easily...

 

Schools need more students and funding

Wrangell schools are not short of dedicated staff, engaged students or supportive parents. But what the district is short of — and getting shorter — are students and funding. That is a bad combination, putting stress on the schools as management...

 

Wrangell should show the state its numbers

Challenging the U.S. Census undercount for Wrangell would not change the numbers, but presenting the case to the state could be a profitable use of borough time. While the census count showed Wrangell dropped from 2,369 residents in 2010 to 2,127 in...

 

Children's services caseworker welcome addition to town

It's been too long, more than a decade, since a state Office of Children's Services caseworker has been assigned to Wrangell. Welcome back, we missed you. The borough and school district have been trying for years to get state officials to put back...

 

State misses the boat keeping proposals secret

There really isn’t a strong reason for the state to keep the proposals confidential until it closes a deal to sell — or give away — the state ferry Malaspina. The Department of Transportation promised exactly that when it advertised for offers...

 

Schools and students teaching and learning well

The face mask debate is over for now — hopefully for good, if the community can stay healthy — and annual budget deliberations are starting over how much the borough will contribute to education and how the school district will spend its local,...

 

Borough smart to think long-term

Sometimes, governments just have to take a chance. They need to ensure the pieces are in place for economic development of their community, even if that means spending money on the potential — not a guarantee — of building jobs in the future. In...

 

Wrangell needs child care services

Parents, community leaders, borough and tribal officials are talking about what can be done to help solve Wrangell’s lack of child care options. Valerie Massie, of the Wrangell Cooperative Association, said she and others at a recent meeting all...

 

The forest is not a personal junkyard

The U.S. Forest Service wants to clean up and resurface the parking area at Roosevelt Harbor. Not because the abandoned vehicles are unsightly, though many are getting wrapped around the axle with plant life. It’s because the oil, gasoline and...

 

Students learn benefits of grant writing

Grant writing skills can be almost as useful to learn in school these days as reading and writing, and certainly are invaluable for the arithmetic of classroom and community programs. Funding is available from multiple foundations, government agencie...

 

Help yourself to tests

The fire department and SEARHC are helping residents to stay healthy — or at least know when they are not healthy and should stay home for the protection of others in the community. Both are handing out free at-home COVID-19 test kits, as long as...

 

Election-year kindness helps the ferry system

It sure seems the Alaska Marine Highway System is feeling a lot more love these days. Could it be a fundamental shift in the governor’s attitude toward the coastal communities that depend on the admittedly heavily state-subsidized ferries (same as...

 

Ranked-choice voting rankles the right people

Those who don’t like Alaska’s new voting system have a couple of choices. They can go about their divisive path, appealing only to the far sides of issues, and hope that someday they can convince most voters that their way is the only way to...

 

No need to wait on this non-endorsement

The primary election for governor is less than seven months away, on Aug. 16, with the general election in November. And though it’s only the end of January, there is no need to delay this endorsement call: Wasilla Rep. Christopher Kurka is not who...

 

The assembly needs to be more careful

The borough assembly made a good choice in erasing the “interim” from Jeff Good’s title as borough manager. He has done a solid job since signing on Nov. 1 until the assembly could decide on a long-term hire. Stability and continuity are...

 

Legislators should focus on fiscal problems

Every year, before the Legislature convenes in Juneau, lawmakers submit their “pre-file bills,” a chance to tell the public which important issues they want to work on during the session. Just as cities and boroughs statewide submit their annual...

 

Southeast needs to protect its economy

The first cruise ships are less than four months away from pulling into Southeast Alaska ports. After a year of no ships in 2020, followed by a year of weak returns in 2021, the region is looking forward to a healthy number of cruise passengers this...

 

Give the holiday gift of a healthy life

If the almost 5.5 million deaths from COVID-19 worldwide seem remote and irrelevant in Wrangell; if you feel a safe distance from the 805,000 deaths across the United States; and if the 946 deaths reported in Alaska as of Monday don’t touch anyone...

 

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