Opinion / Editorial

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It's a good idea and worth asking voters

Assembly members, the mayor and borough staff are right: It’s time to pay elected officials a reasonable amount for all the hours they put into the job. Yes, it’s a public service, but it’s still a job. The assembly meetings, the homework,...

 

There is some good news amid all the bad news

It’s a good time to take a break from distressing international conflicts and too many deaths, depressing national politics of too much dishonesty and too little compromise, and the difficult state politics of short-funded schools and public...

 

National group works with Forest Service for new cabins

Alaskans often like to complain — a lot, and loudly — about national groups sticking their noses and opinions into the workings of the 49th state. So, it’s only fair to extend a “thank you” when a national group puts up its money and time...

 

Public deserves a more believable story

It seems the governor’s office must like country music. Can’t argue with that choice. The lyrics speak of American dreams and heartbreaks. What makes the songs so popular is that they tell stories, believable or not, such as the famous line:...

 

Entire community should pay attention to school budget

Pick your cliché: Push comes to shove; between a rock and a hard place; money is tight; living within your means; don’t spend more than you can afford. Children need a quality education to succeed in life. Just because the cliches flow easily, don...

 

Ranked-choice rankles the losers

It’s becoming an increasingly common tactic for election losers to blame anyone but themselves. In Alaska, that means several of the recent losers and their supporters blame their defeat on ranked-choice voting, which took effect for the 2022...

 

Alaska lacks workers to meet jobs forecast

It’s certainly welcome news that analysts at the state Department of Labor forecast strong job growth in Alaska this year. They expect to see about 5,400 new jobs, a solid increase of almost 2% over last year. If the numbers come true, it would...

 

A new year's wish may come true

Wrangell could get off to a good start for 2024 if one of the three interested parties makes a reasonable offer to buy the borough-owned former hospital building, which has sat vacant for almost three years. Most any offer would be reasonable,...

 

Trident says Wrangell is 'solid' for next year

Even though Trident Seafoods reopened its Wrangell plant this summer after a three-year closure, many in town were nervous about the long-term prospects. Salmon prices were miserably low due to an oversupplied market from last year and foreign...

 

Hungry Alaskans deserve better

The director of the state agency that manages the food stamp program for tens of thousands of Alaskans says the staff is again overwhelmed with work, delaying benefits for thousands of households by months. That’s months without the food...

 

Businesses stepped up -remember that

Wrangell has proven its boundless resilience, compassion and generosity the past two weeks. Individuals have donated, volunteered, hauled, organized and pitched in seemingly 24 hours a day since the deadly landslide tested the community’s faith...

 

Memories are a source of solace and strength

Friendship and community support can comfort. Volunteers can collect food and money, provide housing, transportation and fuel. Relief and counseling organizations like churches, SEARHC, the Red Cross and state and federal agencies can help people...

 

A 50-50 split good answer for land sale

Often, the best decisions are a compromise. Which is exactly what borough staff is proposing for the sale of 20 lots next year at the Alder Top Village (Keishangita.’aan) subdivision at the site of the former Wrangell Institute boarding school....

 

Sad history is particularly important to remember

Certainly, people enjoy reminiscing about happy moments, inspiring stories, proud accomplishments and successful endeavors. History can be heartwarming and motivating. It can be exciting and fun. It also can be educational, particularly when the past...

 

Borough doing homework for important decisions

The public often gets frustrated at government planning, the pace of decision making and the meetings, reviews and studies that are part of the process. But making the right decisions takes time, and it sure beats hasty, ill-informed decisions....

 

The governor owes Alaskans an apology

Unconscionable. Indefensible. There are many words to describe the disrespect for the public and disregard for honest government by the actions of the governor’s office to block publication of a factual report on teacher salaries in Alaska. Even fo...

 

Community excels at giving and sharing

While it seems holiday advertising starts earlier and earlier (and earlier) every year — even further in advance than election campaign advertising, which is annoying enough — it’s not too early for the community to think about sharing this hol...

 

Expensive, yes, but it's necessary

It looks like it’s going to cost a little more than $23 million to improve and ensure Wrangell’s drinking water quality for years to come. The work will include construction of a new water treatment building, new filtration and disinfection...

 

Look local first before looking online

Wrangell’s sales tax revenues from online commerce continue to climb as more residents shop for more things online, and as more sellers follow the law and collect sales tax and send the money to the borough. As much as that’s good news for the...

 

School district reserves are a better answer this time

The expense of sending student athletes to state competition the past couple of years exceeded the amount in the Wrangell school district budget. Auditors this summer discovered that the state travel account was overdrawn by about $36,000. The...

 

Accessory rentals could help ease housing shortage

There is no single answer to Wrangell’s housing shortage. There is no magic 2-by-4 that borough officials can wave over the community to create new apartments and homes. Which means trying multiple small steps, such as accessory dwelling units....

 

Booster club a good idea for school sports expenses

The community already does a good job of pitching in, helping out and coming up with money for school sports activities. But rather than just doing it one sport, one event at a time, there is a proposal to reestablish a booster club for all school...

 

Medicaid coverage too important to lose needlessly

Several hundred Wrangell residents who receive Medicaid benefits should make sure the state has their current address and all the information needed to verify their eligibility. The state of Alaska — same as all the states — is reviewing its...

 

Wrangell does its best work with volunteers

Wrangell certainly has its challenges. Those include a shortage of housing and available workers, weather-damaged and age-worn public buildings that need millions of dollars in repairs, limited state ferry service that makes it hard to send out a...

 

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