Opinion

“Ker-thwap!”

I landed on my bum, and looked down to see my right leg pointed in an odd direction.

I think the only thought I could have after that, was, “I’m not going to get out of this that easy.”

In other words, when your legs are supposed to be pointing east, but one of them is pointing north, there’s no shaking it off and heading for home.

That was the beginning of my broken leg adventure, which of course, still continues. I hope to be back on both feet again soon, but the body needs time to heal.

As law enforcement officials, we earn public confidence not just by being professional, but by evolving and working smarter. That’s why we are encouraged by the smart justice reforms laid out in Senate Bill 91.

By advancing evidence-based reforms to the state’s systems for bail, sentencing, and community supervision, Senate Bill 91 aligns our justice system with the best knowledge in the field on what works to prevent crimes and change criminal offending behavior.

The Alaska Democratic Party might be a little less democratic if party delegates decide to adopt a rule change at their May meeting.

A spokesman told The Associated Press (last) week that the party will ask the state’s Division of Elections to implement a change that would allow independent candidates to run in the Democratic primary. The change would be in place for the 2016-17 election cycle, at which time party delegates would have to then renew it in 2018.

In deciding a lawsuit by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough over required local contributions to schools, an Alaska Supreme Court ruling dealt with one can of worms and left another wide open.

The suit, which alleged the state’s requirement for local governments to put up a portion of education funds violated the Alaska Constitution, was decided in the state’s favor, sparing Alaska’s government a judgment that would have exacerbated the budget crisis.

Let’s just pull the tooth and get it over with.

It’s that or continuing pain and crying over it. Plus, a delay in and a longer recovery.

That’s how we see the best way to approach the state budget deficit.

It begins at the top, with the Walker administration and the Legislature, and trickles down to all Alaskans.

It’s time to reduce spending, spend wisely and continue to save, too.

By now, most of you know we have a budget challenge: Over the past two years, Alaska’s oil revenue has plummeted by 88 percent, mainly due to a sharp drop in oil prices.

We’ve cut the budget from $8 billion in 2012 to $4.8 billion. Despite these reductions, our deficit amounts to more than half our annual budget.

When it comes to K-12 education, America’s parents want more choices.

In fact, almost two thirds of parents – 64 percent – say they wish they had more options for their children’s education.

In a society where Americans choose practically everything, from the brands of coffee they drink in the morning to the types of cars they drive, it is understandable that parents are demanding more of a say in where they send their children to school.

A few days ago it was Christmas morning. For many people, excitement and smells of a holiday feast filled the air. Gifts were nestled under the tree wrapped in brightly colored paper and bows.

Children were wide-eyed in awe of what was inside the box that had their name on it. Dazzling lights and sounds of jingle bells provided a backdrop to this much anticipated moment. It was a time for family and friends to come together, exchange gifts, feast, and for many to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Over the past several years there have been significant cost increases to building developers and owners in the Municipality of Anchorage. The costs associated with construction from Title 21 are significant. In addition, permit fees in Title 23 have increased over 400% in many instances and existing code discrepancies on reports have exploded in number.

Now the MOA Community Development Department Building Official has recently sent letters to building owners indicating that over 50% of them are not maintaining their building’s safely and will be subject to $300 per day fines.

Fixing the flawed No Child Left Behind Act, or NCLB, has been years in the making. This past week, we’ve reached a major milestone. On Thursday, the President signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, referred to as ESSA.

Congress passed NCLB in 2001, the year before I came to the U.S. Senate.

It was intended to help states identify and focus on the educational disparities among students and take steps to improve schools that did not serve students well. That was necessary. Despite its obvious flaws, NCLB had good intentions.

Pages