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Is cutting done?

The head of the University of Alaska’s Institute for Social and Economic Research says it is time for talks to beging on what to do about an “enormous seismic shift” in state funding caused by plummeting oil prices. Gunnar Knapp says the realistic discussion should include taxes and using the Permanent Fund. He may be […]

Reality check

The state of Alaska, facing a $3.5 billion budget deficit brought on by plummeting oil prices and stagnant oil production, is in serious trouble. State budget analyst David Teal knows just how much trouble we are in. In Juneau, this week, Teal – the Alaska Legislature’s top budget expert – said Alaska could shutter every […]

Untested rape kits a serious problem

It is at best troubling – and at worst infuriating – that Alaska, perhaps the richest state in the union and boasting  shamefully its highest sexual assault rate, cannot track untested rape kits – and it is beyond good that legislators finally are turning their attention to the problem. Legislative researchers asked how many rape […]

A tale of two school districts

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board bit the bullet and cut 60.5 jobs and $11 million yesterday from its spending plan for the next fiscal year – though it did add a request for the borough Assembly to restore $7 million of it with local property taxes. By way of comparison, the Anchorage School District’s […]

School district mysteries

Does it bother anyone else that the Anchorage Assembly last night approved a $784 million budget for 2015-2016, a budget that added 64 teachers – and that it did so even as the state Legislature threatens to cut school bond reimbursements and every other penny it can, including about $12 million in district funding for […]

Second try

Gov. Bill Walker’s second try at filling a vacant Alaska Board of Fisheries seat is drawing attention – not all of it good. He appointed Robert Ruffner, the executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, to a seat, the Alaska Dispatch News reports, traditionally held by members sympathetic to sportfishing interests. It has been held […]

Khamenei to U.S.: Drop dead

If the world does not view the United States as a collection of boobs and knuckleheads, it would be some sort of a miracle. Take our close friend, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, for instance. A nice guy who just wants to incinerate Israel. While Secretary of State John Kerry and our supreme leader, Barack […]

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