Opinion

I think everyone has read the classic Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Those words ring as true today as when they were written in 1897. Last Friday at the tree lighting ceremony at Town Square Park, I found out there is a Mrs. Santa as well.

If there’s one thing I’m sure we can all agree on, it’s that there have been enough special legislative sessions this year!

At least the session that wound up Tuesday resulted in some important revisions to Alaska’s criminal justice reform effort. We passed Senate Bill 54 to fix some of the worst elements of Senate Bill 91, the big 2016 crime reform bill.

Your local Lions Clubs are four of over 45,700 Lions Clubs actively serving their communities in 210 countries and geographical areas of the world. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization. Its 1.4 million members are dedicated to bettering the quality of life for the handicapped, the poor, the sick and the aged. The motto of Lions Clubs International is “We Serve,” “Where there is a need there is a Lion,” and Lions live these mottos with enthusiasm.

We’re optimistic that our Alaska Legislature will be able to not only strengthen the course of criminal justice reform by passing SB 54, but also address our state’s fiscal crisis in the upcoming special session in Juneau. Here’s why:

Legislators and all Alaskans should be careful not to get so wrapped up in the ongoing debates over taxes, state spending and crime sprees, that we all miss the very real connection between our economy and the overall health of our state.

Over the past eight months, Star reporter Kirsten Swann has indeed been the star of our newsroom, so it’s with mixed feelings we announce her departure from the Star staff. While we’re sad to see her go, we can’t wait so see how far she takes her next opportunity.

There are several opinions on cleaning up your yard for fall or leaving the dying debris for the benefit nature providing a place for wildlife to hide and winter over. As we put our gardens to bed, we will look at both sides of the discussion and hopefully gleam the best from both trains of thought.

It’s bulb planting time in Alaska

Some call bulbs the complete plant. I like that description and when realized that these plants can survive through the miracle of adaptation to many different environments and especially ours I want to know more.

To the editor,

It is berry picking time in Alaska and the race is on to forage for your favorites and add to those special recipes of jams, jellies, pies, muffins, etc.

If you grow your own berries in your yard, they are ready now to pick. In sunny locations you may have been picking them for a while. Whether you pick them for your breakfast, or freeze for later use when you are not so busy, berries are delicious and worth the wait and space in your yard.

Concerned with the decrease of pollinators and amphibians, The National Garden Clubs reached out to their regions in a special two-year, (2017-19) presidential campaign called “Service in Action.” This project focuses on increasing awareness of the seriousness of the demise of pollinators and amphibians, in an attempt to encourage conservation and protection of these garden partners. We are asked to consider how, “the first bio indicators, amphibians and pollinators, by their presence, abundance or lack of, reveal the health of the surrounding ecosystems.”

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