Opinion / Editorial

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The numbers are heading in the wrong direction

It’s impossible to miss the shortage of workers across Alaska, and certainly in Wrangell. Whether it’s the help wanted signs and advertisements, the social media posts or the cutback in hours and service, the staff shortages are obvious. And it...

 

It's the little budget items that can make a difference

The biggest headline in the borough’s draft budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 is the proposed 24% reduction in the property tax rate, though a substantial drop had been expected. This year’s comprehensive assessment review of every pie...

 

Borough makes right moves to deal with costly repairs

Every homeowner, car and boat owner knows that maintenance is expensive. It’s also necessary. Particularly so in Alaska, where the weather is unkind to most everything except solid rock, and even that can erode away given enough time. Maintenance i...

 

Legislature needs to finish its school work next year

The Legislature earned a passing grade for approving a substantial increase in state funding for public schools — the first since 2017. Think of it as a small gold star for effort, but they still will need to retake the class next year. Rather t...

 

High school graduates show us the way

The honesty of the younger generation reminds us of what is important in life. It should prompt everyone to pay attention to what teenagers say. It will be their community and their world, so their opinions matter. Wrangell High School seniors are...

 

Ukrainian software developer lands at Wrangell airport

Virtually that is, not literally. But maybe someday for real Oleh Shevchenko, the boss of Northern Sky Studio, a software development company based in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and his team recently created a computer-generated Wrangell airport add-on for...

 

Reelection isn't as important as making good decisions

No doubt elected officials want to win their next election. They want to continue working on the issues that matter to them and their constituents, including public services, spending and regulation. They want to keep the job. But, as parents tell...

 

Do it for those who live here and for visitors, too

Residents will have two opportunities in the next couple of weeks to pitch in, bend down, pick up, lift and carry in a collective effort to make the community cleaner and greener for the summer. The annual community events are a source of pride for r...

 

People need a reason to move to Alaska

A wise economist made the point last week that while it’s true more people have left Alaska each of the past 10 years than have moved here, the problem isn’t so much the departures as it is the drop in arrivals. Alaska has long had a high tur...

 

Fourth is about freedom, but it's not free

No question about it, Wrangell loves its Fourth of July celebration. Residents, families and visitors all gather downtown to watch and participate in the games and races, enjoy the food and, hopefully, some summer sunshine, though that is the least...

 

Borough takes right steps to keep utility funds healthy

Borough officials and elected assembly members are right: Wrangell’s municipally owned-and-operated utilities and services need to pay their own way. Not happy news for residents — but it’s honest news. For far too long, Wrangell has been overly depe...

 

Clean up after your dog

Some people let their dogs run loose, while others walk their dogs but don’t bother to pick up the piles. Regardless of which one was the culprit, the recent dog poop deposit at the museum totem is a new low for a highly visible problem. The d...

 

Alaska should stay with nationwide voter list accuracy effort

Keeping voter rolls accurate is a good thing. Even more so in recent years as far too many candidates question election results for their own political gains and far too many citizens have climbed on the bandwagon of doubt and suspicion. Why then...

 

Federal pandemic relief aid made big difference in Wrangell

Wrangell’s economy has been in decline since long before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted three years ago. But the economy — meaning jobs, businesses and families — would be a lot worse off if not for federal assistance. Oppose federal spending if yo...

 

Ferry system management missed the boat on hiring

It took a consultant’s report for the collective management of the Alaska Marine Highway System and state Department of Transportation to realize that of 250 job applicants over the past year, just four were hired to work on the ships. At that rate,...

 

State helps feed Alaskans, but it took too long

State officials have known for months that delays in processing applications for food stamp benefits were denying financial assistance to thousands of eligible households — including children — who needed help to afford three meals a day. There wer...

 

Our two legislators put schools first

Wrangell is fortunate its two state legislators know that a good education pays years more dividends for Alaskans than the short-term gain a larger PFD provides. They are on the long-term, good-thinking side of what is shaping up as a monumental...

 

Governor's wise move to help fill vacant state jobs

Gov. Mike Dunleavy made a smart decision last week when he issued an administrative order directing state personnel officials to review and change job requirements where appropriate so that applicants could more easily substitute “practical e...

 

Not a good sign for Alaska's future

Fewer Alaska high school graduates are qualifying for the state’s largest scholarship program; fewer who would qualify are bothering to participate in the program which requires that they attend college in Alaska; and more students who attend c...

 

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 sev...

 

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 a...

 

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 a...

 

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. And e...

 

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 leas...

 

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