Every year, the holiday season comes at just the right time for Alaskans. Sunlight is sparse, temperatures are dropping and the chore of scraping ice off our windshield and windows seems never-ending. But it’s also the time of year we spend with family, friends and loved ones. Attending parties. Enjoying the last couple long weekends before a new year starts.
It’s the issue that never ends. It just goes on and on again. And the longer it continues, the more it impacts the McDonald Center. The controversy concerning what slice of the capital budget will fund the much-debated indoor tennis court facility failed to reach a consensus at the Dec. 2 Anchorage Assembly meeting.
The recent power play being used by Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is leaving Eagle River’s hockey community shorthanded. It’s no secret the aging Municipal ice rinks — the McDonald Center included — are in need of upgrades. All four are between 30 and 40 years old. For a rink, that’s well past the average lifespan of 20 to 25 years, according to Mac manager Reid McDonald.
Gov. Sean Parnell’s decision not to expand Medicaid and not accept millions of federal dollars to pay for it is shortsighted. His decision in 2010 to join with other Republican governors to overturn the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a money-wasting effort when the Supreme Court refused to find the ACA unconstitutional. In early 2011, Parnell refused to set up a statewide marketplace that would provide thousands of Alaskans easy access to affordable health insurance. Fortunately, the federal government will help Alaskans get that coverage anyway and for Alaskan women, this is critically important.
This week, you’ll see a new byline in the pages of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star. Cinthia Ritchie recently joined our team, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her.
A few weeks ago, I was leaving Eagle River High after covering a Veterans Day event. We had just gotten the first major snowfall of the season, and I stopped along Yosemite Drive to snap some photographs of the wintry scene.
On Nov. 20, U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and Rep. Don Young honored the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and 32 other tribes from across the country with the highest honor bestowed by Congress — the Congressional Gold Medal — for their critical service and unrecognized role as code talkers during both World Wars.
On Friday, Nov. 15, Gov. Sean Parnell announced he will not seek to expand Medicaid in his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. In a press release, Parnell cited the failure of the Affordable Care Act, “the enormous current and future Medicaid costs to Alaska and greater uncertainty about the federal government’s ability to pay its share” as reasons for his decision.