Here is a sampling of editorial opinions from Alaska newspapers:
June 20, 2013
Peninsula Clarion: The best projects are community projects
It's the people who live here that make our communities special, and a pair of recent grand unveilings serve to prove the point.
June 13, there was a ribbon cutting at the Nikiski Recreation Center to dedicate the new community-built playground there. The same day, an inaugural tournament was held to christen the new disc golf course at Tsalteshi Trails.
"It's things like this that make us a community," said Rep. Mike Chenault of Nikiski in remarks during the Nikiski playground ribbon cutting. "It gives us a reason to live here."
Some of the funding for the playground came from state grants, the rest was raised by the community, and volunteers were instrumental in construction of the project. The end result is a playground which reflects the community, and a project in which the community can take great pride.
Over in Soldotna, the River City Rotaract Club, a service organization for younger Rotarians, sponsored the inaugural Salmon Toss Disc Golf Tournament at the new course on Tsalteshi Trails. Twenty-five players participated in the tournament; even more have given the course a try this spring. Rotaract raised the funds to install the signs and baskets; the effort to further refine the course will continue.
Rotaract co-president Stephanie Musgrove told the Clarion that she was proud of the results, and that the course was "a really big project for our club size."
The River City course is Soldotna's first disc golf course. If it follows the trend of the disc golf courses in Kenai, it will get plenty of use. And again, it is a project of which the community can be proud.
The most vibrant communities are the ones in which members are willing to step up and contribute to projects for all to enjoy. We're glad we live in that kind of community here on the Kenai Peninsula.
June 24, 2013
Ketchikan Daily News: We all need it
It all comes down to what one Ketchikan City Council member said Thursday night: "I need that hospital."
We all do — the people of Ketchikan, Saxman, Metlakatla, Prince of Wales Island and beyond. And we need it to be a good hospital, with the highest quality of health care professionals.
Ketchikan Medical Center is just that, but it can't stay that way with antiquated space. At some point, doctors, nurses and everyone else we depend on to care for us and our loved ones throw up their arms and say they can't work without the right tools.
Thursday night, the Ketchikan City Council helped to give them the right tools, when it gave the nod to letting voters decide whether to issue $43 million in bonds for the hospital improvement project. City voters will vote yea or nay on Oct. 1.
The state — Gov. Sean Parnell and the Legislature both — already has stepped up. In a year of rightly tight capital spending, they nevertheless saw the need for the hospital improvements and allotted $15 million for the project. PeaceHealth has promised $8 million to equip the new space.
Now it will be time for Ketchikan voters to do the same. In addition to caring for the entire region's physical health, the hospital contributes vastly to our economic well-being, too.
The City Council did well to recognize that and make it possible for the good work to continue.
We applaud them.
It's our turn as voters next.