Opinion / Editorial

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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...

 

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...

 

If not more ferries, at least more information

The Alaska Department of Transportation works hard to serve the public that uses the state’s airports and roads, but it is running at half-speed with public information about the ferry system. Management needs to steer itself toward a more open cha...

 

Political donations tell you something about candidates

It costs far too much to run a political campaign in this country and, sadly, Alaska is no exception. Donors contributed more than twice as much money to candidates in the race for U.S. Senate in Alaska in 2020 than bidders were willing to pay just...

 

It's only stolen if you don't vote

Despite repeated claims and allegations conjured up from the thin air of political dishonesty, there has never been any proof, no charges and convictions, no indictments for voter fraud that cost Donald Trump his reelection dream in the 2020 voting....

 

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...

 

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