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Articles written by Larry Persily

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 By Larry Persily    News    January 6, 2022

State advertises for fill-in private ferry service;

With the Matanuska out of service longer than expected for more repair work, and the state uncertain whether it can bring an idled ferry out of a cost-saving lay-up, the Alaska Marine Highway System is seeking bids from private vessel operators to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    December 9, 2021

Alaska continues distributing pandemic aid to renters

The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. is continuing its monthslong program of sending out rental and utility assistance payments - including over $800,000 to households in the Petersburg Borough as of...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    December 9, 2021

State extends Kennicott schedule to cover for delayed Matanuska

For the second time in the past 30 days, the state has to shift around the two other ferries serving Southeast to cover for the Matanuska, which will stay in the Ketchikan shipyard longer than...

 

Guest Commentary

Sometimes, connecting the dots is the best way to learn. The first set of dots cost $87 million in federal pandemic aid money. That’s the price of the contract the state signed with an Atlanta-based for-profit health care staffing firm to provide...

 

Corroded steel delays Matanuska return by two weeks

WRANGELL — The 58-year-old state ferry Matanuska will spend an additional two weeks in a Ketchikan shipyard so that workers can repair and replace corroded steel discovered below deck. The Kennicott will help cover Southeast during the vessel’s...

 

Guest Editorial

Every kid should learn from their parents the modern way to avoid responsibility for misdeeds and missed homework. When you fail or do something stupid or dishonest or regretful, or just don’t like the way the world is spinning that day or how the...

 

Guest Editorial

It was the same day that Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the state would help hospitals cope with record numbers of COVID-19 patients by assisting with decisions to ration care, and the same day that the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink,...

 

Guest Editorial

The anti-vaccination politics rolling across the country — much like a pandemic — have gotten so bad that the Alaska state Senate could not even manage to pass a bill last Friday allowing more telemedicine without lawmakers amending it into a...

 

Legislators pass $1,100 PFD; governor wants more

Not content with the $1,100 Permanent Fund dividend adopted on the final day of the special legislative session that ended Tuesday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy hours later called lawmakers back for a fourth special session starting Oct. 1 to “get the rest...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    August 5, 2021

Replacement undersea power cable nears completion

The marine work is done and all that remains are the final shoreside connections and testing, and a new undersea power cable between Woronkofski and Vank islands will be ready to carry electricity....

 
 By Larry Persily    Opinion    July 29, 2021

Guest Commentary: Bad time to rewrite the state constitution

The list of escalating Alaska political divides is growing faster than skunk cabbage in a rainforest. And it smells just as bad. The line-up for the political fight scorecard seems endless: Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus...

 
 By Larry Persily    Opinion    July 8, 2021

Guest Commentary

WRANGELL - As of last week, employees, contractors and volunteers with the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, which operates in 19 communities, must show proof of vaccination against...

 
 By Larry Persily    Opinion    June 24, 2021

Guest Commentary: Alaskans share blame for state's fiscal mess

Blame legislators for overspending and underachieving at the underlying need for a long-term fiscal plan for the state - if it makes you feel better. They certainly have made some poor decisions. But...

 

Rental relief payments are going out

As of Wednesday morning, nearly half of the 118 Petersburg applications for financial help with rent and utilities had been approved or were pending a final decision, according to the state agency...

 
 By Larry Persily    Opinion    May 6, 2021

Guest Commentary: Release the brake on state motor fuel tax rate

The last time Alaska changed the state tax on motor fuel, gasoline cost about 36 cents a gallon at a Lower 48 pump, the average home price in the United States was $24,000, and the average price of a...

 

Guest Commentary: Lack of fiscal plan adds to Alaska's struggles

"Confidence in an economy matters," Dan Robinson, research chief at the state Department of Labor, told the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month. "There is an economic cost of not...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 25, 2021

Higher oil prices, federal aid ease state budget woes

Legislators started the session in January amid a shortage of revenues and debate whether the state could even afford a dividend this fall unless it exceeded its annual limited draw from the...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 18, 2021

Legislators, governor differ on ferry system advisory board

Gov. Mike Dunleavy wants to create a new state ferry system advisory board with one state official and 10 public members to replace an existing advisory panel, similar to a separate proposal from...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 18, 2021

State sells fast ferries to Spanish operator

After spending almost $1.1 million to keep the vessels out of service to save money and safely tied up the past several years, the state last week sold its two fast ferries - built at a combined cost...

 

Guest Editorial: Alaska needs to do better for ferry system

Predictability and dependability. More than anything else, that's what the communities served by the Alaska Marine Highway System need. The communities need to know the schedules further in advance...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 7, 2021

Another year of state ferry budget stress

WRANGELL - Between state budget cuts, a mainline vessel engine breakdown, a halt to port calls in Prince Rupert, B.C., and COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Alaska Marine Highway System has struggled...

 
 By Larry Persily    Opinion    June 6, 2019

Guest Commentary

Maybe the answer is fish. No, not the answer to what’s for dinner tonight. The answer to solving the increasingly acrimonious debate over the amount of this year’s Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. Figuring out how to share the investment earnings...

 

Commentary: Walker, Legislature cut dividends, the responsible thing to do

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is right. The Legislature and governor the past three years appropriated money for individual Permanent Fund dividends contrary to the 1982 formula in state statute. So what? They...

 

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