Opinion / Publisher's Column

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Alaska needs to do more to attract new residents

More people moved out of Alaska than moved in every year between 2015 and 2021. If not for a healthy birth rate, the state population would have shrunk even more than it did. Wrangell has steadily lost population over the past 20 years, with the...

 

Palin can't win, that's why she lost

Former governor, former vice presidential candidate and perpetual self-promoter Sarah Palin now believes the old ways are the best ways when it comes to elections. She was the first Alaskan to sign a petition last week to put a repeal of...

 

More to election numbers than just winners

The numbers are not final — that will not happen until the last votes are tallied and ranked-choice tabulations kick in Nov. 23 — but it appears that incumbent elected officials representing Alaska, and Wrangell, will stay on the job for another...

 

This much anger is not good for the country

Anger is threatening America. It comes from growing hostility over differences in politics, religion, race, education, personal choices and even the meaning of democracy. Anger that borders on hatred. It’s scary, and it’s dangerous. I’m...

 

Accuracy matters in communication

For the second time in my life, I almost walked into a women’s restroom. The first time was almost a decade ago. I was between flights at the Amsterdam airport. Tired after 10 hours nonstop in the air, a little disoriented and confused, and...

 

A voting lesson from 100 years ago

Alaskans will elect a U.S. senator, a member of the U.S. House, a governor and several dozen state legislators on Nov. 8. It’s an important vote, with real consequences for the nation, the state’s future, school funding, the ferry system, civil l...

 

Dividend politics not music to the ear

Regardless whether you like harp music, it’s soothing, relaxing, even peaceful. Which leads me to apologize for continuing to harp on Alaska’s Permanent Fund dividend politics, which are anything but musical. They’re more akin to the wordless...

 

Republican election deniers threaten democracy

It’s not a headline I take lightly, but it’s scary that almost 300 Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, House and key statewide offices around the country have denied or questioned the outcome of the last presidential election. Not on the basis...

 

The bigger problems are harder to solve

Wrangell is great at helping neighbors in need, at filling holiday food baskets and supporting student activities. The community excels at watching out for each other, watching over our elders and keeping watch over mariners. There are multiple...

 

Reason for concern over state finances

Workers, families and retirees are not the only Alaskans squeezed by inflation, rising interest rates and tumbling investments. The state is in the same tight spot. And it could get worse. The price for Alaska North Slope crude oil was down to...

 

They love their phones far too much

I promise, this will be the first and only column I write that makes fun of how people behave in Washington, D.C. Well, maybe I’ll write another one someday if I see something that is so silly it’s worth sharing with readers. OK, I guess then...

 

My job with the Sentinel will not change

Starting this week, I will be working as a policy adviser to Mary Peltola, Alaska’s newly elected congresswoman. I hadn’t planned on it, but she asked and I accepted. Fortunately, I saved my suits from when I worked in Washington, D.C., for the...

 

Just this one time for anonymous questions

Normally, I do not respond to anonymous questions. Most all newspapers, the Sentinel included, will not print anonymous letters. To do otherwise would allow people to take free shots at anyone they want, hiding from view and protecting their own...

 

Wrangell needs to think about its future

Given my aversion to long planning sessions, whiteboards with erasable markers and consensus building exercises, I can’t believe I am saying this: The town needs a plan for its economic future. A forum to start making that plan is a good...

 

Ferries should mean more to voters than PFD

People vote their pocketbook, or so the old adage says. And certainly more so in this year of high inflation, painful gas prices at the pump and fears of a global recession. It’s understandable that Wrangell voters will think about their household...

 

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,...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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....

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

Alaska cannot afford its expensive dreams

The weekend headline in Anchorage said an Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline project “could be closer than ever, Alaska politicians say.” The first clue was “Alaska politicians say.” No offense, but pinning your hopes on what...

 

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