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Last year’s school bus stop near me was, frankly, a mess during the winter. Students and parents, literally, had to stand in the street. I’m sure it happened elsewhere too. The bus stop that I’m talking about is East 16th Avenue and Karluk Street.

The year before that, the bus stop was on the other side of East 16th Avenue at Medfra Street. It was a much safer stop. I’m wondering what winter will bring us. I hope a child doesn’t have to die because of the conditions.

— Dianna Hawn


I’ve heard little lately about Sen. Dan Sullivan’s new council for selecting Alaska federal judges. On Sept. 22, the ADN noted that Sen. Sullivan does not agree with the way Alaska judges are nominated for the federal court, so he has hand-picked a panel to advise him on selecting federal judges.

It looks like Sen. Sullivan is taking a page from Leonard Leo’s handbook on how to change federal courts to fit his political agenda. Mr. Leo is the Federalist Society gentleman who submitted a narrow list of vetted conservative judges to the former president to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, including Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, and who also gave us Judge Aileen Cannon, who is presiding over the Donald Trump classified-documents case in Florida, as well as Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Texas, who has repeatedly ruled against women’s reproductive health care.

Apparently Sen. Sullivan does not like the way Alaska nominations for federal judgeships are established: a list of nominees is vetted by the Alaska Bar Association, which polls bar members regarding the qualifications of those listed as potential federal judges.

It seems Sen. Sullivan is not interested in a pool of qualified attorneys that reflects a spectrum of experience and inclusion, regardless of political persuasion. He wants nominees whose politics mirror his, and disregards the legal abilities of those nominated. At least, that’s what it looks like what he wants.

— Louise Lazur


There is no economic return on the Ambler access road for mining companies without massive public subsidies from the state of Alaska.

Why should Alaskans finance an environmental disaster for the benefit of outside investors? This Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority boondoggle is far worse than the state turning the Richardson Highway into a mining road, because Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s mining road will be 95% financed by Lower 48 gas taxes.

— Frank Rast


The ADN editorial board’s Sunday opinion on police license plate readers — “What could go wrong?” — laid out exactly my thoughts and feelings when I read about this.

The Anchorage Police Department has failed — there is no other word for it — to follow the mandate that the public has laid out for it for years now with respect to body cameras, then ask to surveil us? More mass surveillance: Isn’t that the very definition of a police state? We already have the federal government illegally spying on us through the National Security Agency; I don’t want another layer of unconstitutional and unnecessary surveillance especially in light of the APD union not wanting us to surveil APD officers “protecting and serving.”

The argument goes like this: “But it will help is catch bad guys.” Yes, so do body cameras. The word “gall” comes to mind.

— Shawn O’Donnell


In our efforts to retain young people in Alaska, I keep wondering why we haven’t gone back to something that worked in the 1980s and ’90s: encourage people to stay with student loan forgiveness.

As I remember it, student loan repayment rates were reduced by a percentage every year the person stayed in Alaska and worked after graduation.

I went away to school, came back and got a job in Alaska to repay my loan. What a great incentive for me and for the state to stay here. No regrets!

Thirty-six years later I’m still here. Things have changed in Alaska substantially; I still I love this state and I wouldn’t live anywhere else.

I would like to see some percentages and success rates — or not — of that program. How successful was it? What was the default rate? How many people in the program stayed in state, and for how long?

We need to work together on Alaska’s mass-exodus problem. Whether you visit restaurants that close more often because they don’t have enough workers or visit other services with clearly marginal workers that haven’t been removed because it’s so hard to find a replacement, mass exodus in Alaska impacts all of us.

— Janus Nauman Reyes


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