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I have had so many memorable experiences in Kodiak over the years. My first exposure to the incomparable smoked black cod on-a-stick was at Crab Fest in 2014. When I asked where to find it, I was told, “Pickled Willy’s, just look for the longest line.” I did, and it was amazing! 

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When I think of Alaska, two words immediately come to mind: innovation, and energy. Alaskans are by necessity often creative problem solvers, with a history of innovation deeply ingrained in our culture. 

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Alaskans are fundamentally aware of how the heavy hand of Washington bureaucrats negatively impacts the economy, our individual liberties and the sovereignty afforded to states under the 10th Amendment.

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Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard released a spending plan for the $429 million that Congress allocated to it through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In a welcome development for Alaska, Base Kodiak will receive nearly half of that total – $210 million – for key projects including …

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In the past two years, Alaskans have weathered the storm of the pandemic in a multitude of ways — by devoting countless hours of overtime to care for our loved ones, shifting to virtual platforms, adjusting to new family roles and dynamics, supporting communities with Alaskan-made goods, and…

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It’s no secret that this administration inherited a crime problem, and since day one we have made public safety our top priority to help bring down the abhorrent rates of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

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Instead of beating up the Legislature for failure to adopt a new dividend formula to replace the 40-year-old one we can no longer afford, we should be thanking them for passing another balanced budget that provides a reasonable dividend without resorting to further cuts to public services or…

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The late Governor Jay Hammond liked to dream big. He wanted to “transform oil wells pumping  oil for a finite period into money wells pumping money for infinity.” His dream came true. Because  of the Alaska Permanent Fund, Alaska is now the only State that earns much of its unrestricted  gen…

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With the last cruise ship of the season leaving Alaska waters, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would like to reflect on our oversight of these vessels and solicit your feedback.  Our goal is to give Alaskan residents the confidence that our environment will continue to be …

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As an emergency department physician, it saddens me but I have come to terms with the fact that some people get awful cancers. Or that car accidents can change a person’s life in a split second and trampolines cause the craziest fractures. What I have not been able to come to terms with is w…

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As the Alaska Marine Highway Work Group strides through August, I want to provide an update on what we have been doing, and where we are heading. Our meetings have been streamed live on Facebook, and recordings are available online at http://dot.alaska.gov/comm/amh-reshaping-workgroup/ if yo…

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Late on a cold Tuesday in January, a plane evacuating 201 Americans from Wuhan, China landed in Anchorage. Each passenger was screened for COVID-19 and sent on their way to California. 

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Our planet Earth has been having a hard time of it lately. But reflecting over the past 50 years since a small group of us put together the first organizational committee to honor Earth Day, I still feel hope that we may get through the mess we’ve created, if we work together.  

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The seafood industry is the third-largest economic driver in Alaska, and our top employer. Seafood harvested in Alaska’s waters accounts for more than 60 percent of the volume of all commercial fish caught in the U.S. and contributes 60,000 jobs and more than $5 billion to the Alaska economy…

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Elvis Presley, James Dean, Terry Haines; all rebels of their era.  This piece is a response to Terry’s guest opinion that appeared in the Dec. 6 edition of the Kodiak Daily Mirror.  There was considerable discussion at the Consolidation Committee meeting after his opinion was published. The …

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As the Kodiak Island Borough assembly begins efforts to consolidate the borough and city governments (but excluding the villages), their proposed game plan seems questionable. Consider the following:

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Every one of our citizens of a certain age (let’s just say it: seniors!) grew up with a knowledge of WWII. Each American family participated in the war: family members served, possibly sacrificed; sugar and gas rationing; victory gardens; war bonds. We did not feel the obligation to thank ou…

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This holiday season, Alaskans can have a renewed sense of hope for good jobs, larger paychecks, stronger growth, and enduring prosperity. The reason why is today’s passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which includes two historic opportunities for our state.

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It is deeply disappointing to see that the Alaska Dispatch News is so distracted by SCF’s exaggerated allegations that it missed the real story and has misled its readers in the process. ANTHC’s leadership struggled for years with the very questions that many readers are asking – is it possi…

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It has been awhile since my last letter, and I would like to update you on the Legislature’s progress over the past two special sessions. This was a contentious year in Juneau and a difficult time for all Alaskans as uncertainty loomed in the form of a potential government shutdown, job loss…

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As we approach the finish line, I want to keep you informed with our progress. Here is an update of where stand as our constitutional session reaches its deadline.

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Greetings from Juneau. The Legislature is in the second week of an extended session as the Senate and House work to resolve differences between the two versions of the Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget. Also still in the works are the FY18 capital budget, bills pertaining to a long-term fisc…

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HB 199, “The Wild Salmon Legacy Act,” is a bill I introduced that modernizes Alaska’s fish habitat protection and permitting law, which hasn’t been updated since statehood. 

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As we reach the halfway point of the 2017 legislative session, we wish to share some thoughts about this critical time that represents a truly defining moment in our state’s history. What we do or fail to do over the next few months will send ripples through the lives of Alaskans for generations.

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Hello from Juneau. About five weeks remain until the legislature’s scheduled adjournment on April 16. The Fiscal Year 2018 budget is the major topic in the Capitol. With a $3 billion dollar budget gap, and revenue from oil production – which funds more than 85 percent of our budget – project…

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I first met Bella Hammond when she came to Valdez in the 1970s to present a First Lady Volunteer Award. That was at the inception of this volunteer recognition initiative Mrs. Hammond started that has carried on through the decades. Since then hundreds of Alaskans have been honored for their…

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At this past Thursday’s borough assembly meeting, the assembly voted 4-3 to enact the opt out (slum) ordinance, a very controversial piece of legislation that has been debated since the middle of last year and now has an unsettled future.

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This past Thursday’s bough assembly meeting was a somewhat curious one insofar as consistency. Question: In a representative democracy such as ours, does this mean assembly members should vote based on their own views and opinions or that of their constituents?

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I encourage my fellow citizens to contact members of the borough assembly and urge the assembly to oppose the opt-out provision for building codes on single-family homes built outside city limits. While this measure was defeated at the assembly meeting on Feb. 2, it has been resurrected by a…

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Flying an airplane often has been characterized as hours of sheer boredom interrupted by moments of stark terror, which over-characterizes but otherwise is a reasonable representation of last Thursday’s Sturm und Drang borough assembly meeting.

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I’m proud of Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, and I plan to shake her hand when I next see her. Alaskans across the state are taking an interest, because, as the chair of the House Fisheries Committee, Rep. Stutes is committed to sustaining the salmon fisheries that are the essence of our belov…

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On Jan. 10, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., released his 2017 Wastebook Porkémon, which highlighted the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) and the recent contract with Missile Defense Agency as a waste of federal funding. It is my practice to not engage in public discourse with those who disr…

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This past week saw a further step in the Otmeloi paving project, a public meeting hosted by the borough manager’s office to endorse a tentative, new design by the state of Alaska. The meeting, like all meetings, had its plusses and minuses.

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This past Thursday’s borough assembly meeting had only one item on its agenda: a presentation and discussion of the borough’s (not city’s) Marijuana Task Force recommendations for setting up commercial marijuana businesses on Kodiak. Specific areas addressed in these recommendations included…