Last week, I was blessed with the opportunity to speak at a Spartan Brigade redeployment ceremony for the second time in my career. I was the brigade commander and brought them home from a tough deployment to Iraq in 2006 and now could not have been prouder to welcome them home from Afghanistan as their commanding general.
Now that the book’s been written on the 2012 political season, lets hope the legislators heading to Juneau can finally get on the same page.
When the first European settlers arrived in North America more than 500 years ago, they dreamed of living in a place where freedom would be cherished and revered more than anywhere else in the world. When their descendents drafted our Constitution following the American Revolution, they laid out a system of governance in which this idea of freedom above all other things was set into law.
The recent sales trips to Asia by Alaska leaders gave Gov. Sean Parnell and Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan the chance to showcase the advantages of Alaska natural gas, but that promotional effort won’t be enough to get a pipeline from the North Slope. At some point, the administration must negotiate with the gas owners to create a tax plan. That’s how the state can truly make a difference.
The transportation needs of Chugiak-Eagle River should no longer take a back seat behind Anchorage priorities.
The online system through which people can donate Alaska Permanent Fund dividend funds to charities and nonprofit groups had another successful year, but it has plenty of room for growth.
We wish to express our deepest gratitude to the 3,500 men and women of the Army’s 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, which is currently in the process of redeploying to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson after a 10-month mission to Afghanistan. If it weren’t for these courageous “Spartans,” and the brave decision they made to serve in harm’s way, our nation would be a much more dangerous place.
When he was 72 years old, Dick Griffith spent 53 days walking and skiing 550 miles across the Arctic. When asked recently why he would risk extreme temperatures, polar bears, unstable sea ice and myriad other potential calamities that could befall such an expedition, the longtime Eagle River Nature Center volunteer and legendary adventurer just shrugged.
This is the day Alaskans crow about to their brethren in the Lower 48, trying to make them jealous that the government gives them money to just live here.
When this community was founded, rugged individuals had to wage daily battles for survival in a harsh, unforgiving land. Today, it doesn’t take much to remind us what life might have been like in those frontier times.