Here is a sampling of editorial opinions from Alaska newspapers:
April 19, 2013
Kodiak Daily Mirror: Don't veto any Kodiak projects
Beneath our feet is an amazing network of pipes, conduit and cables.
Buried under rock and dirt is the infrastructure that keeps modern life humming — our taps flow with clean water, our toilets flush, and our lights come on through the efforts of these hidden pipes and the people who maintain them.
In the city of Kodiak, we're fortunate that any problems with this infrastructure are rare. Unless something breaks, this infrastructure is out of mind as well as out of sight.
Our neighbors in Akhiok, Port Lions, Old Harbor and Ouzinkie are not as fortunate.
For the past few years, infrastructure has been on their minds.
In Akhiok, you can't safely drink from the tap.
In Ouzinkie, turning on the lights hasn't been a simple flick of the switch.
In Port Lions, the ferry can't always dock.
And in Old Harbor, catching your flight means waiting for the wind.
We have solutions for all of these problems. Ouzinkie could soon have drinkable water and Ouzinkie could again have reliable power.
Unfortunately, these solutions require money.
Kodiak's delegation to the Alaska Legislature, Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Alan Austerman, have successfully included money to fix these problems in the state budget, but it's out of their hands whether that money actually arrives in Kodiak.
The budget is in the hands of governor Sean Parnell, and with a simple mark of a pen, he could erase clean water and reliable power from the agenda.
Gov. Parnell has the power to veto any of the hundreds of projects contained within the state's budget, but for the sake of Kodiak's rural communities, we ask him to put away his pen.
Kodiak's legislators have been fiscally responsible — asking for needs, not wants — and many of our rural communities have been waiting for years for help to finish their projects.
We ask Gov. Parnell to send that help on its way and help Kodiak's rural communities put their infrastructure back where it belongs — out of mind.
April 23, 2013
Ketchikan Daily News: We can do better
Another Earth Day is under our belts and in Ketchikan, that means a whole lot of volunteers spent a whole lot of time cleaning up after the rest of us.
The yellow litter bags, stuffed to overflowing, line sections of the highway. One doer of goodness, willing to handle others' trash strewn carelessly over our island, reports the three most common items she found, repeatedly: Small (airplane-sale-sized) liquor bottles, packaging for cigarettes, and fast-food wrappings.
We love to thank our neighbors for helping out, but at some point, don't we all need to realize that we need to pay attention to what we do with stuff we've finished with?
We don't know a single person raised to think it's OK to toss stuff out the car window or onto the ground as we stroll along in a place that — when clean — bears a strong resemblance to some folks' idea of paradise. So a lot of this trash must come from "normal" folks, just like us.
Earth Day Monday was a good reminder about taking care of our planet, but also a reminder to clean up our own, individual act here in our slice of the Earth. Next year, let's use fewer of those yellow bags.