Alaska editorial: Share a bit: Dividends create an opportunity to donate

This editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

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.

Alaskans will receive about $600 million in dividends during the next few weeks. Of that, $2.2 million will go to various organizations.

The two numbers will never be close, but they should be closer.

Setting aside a portion of the annual dividend is easy when applying online. Plenty of Alaskans are doing well enough financially to donate through the “Pick. Click. Give.” system.

About 37,000 people used the donation system this year. Alaska has more than 700,000 residents, most of whom receive dividends. Again, those two numbers will never be close, but they should be closer.

Of course, even if one missed the opportunity to donate via the online system, both the opportunity and the obligation to donate to worthy causes in Alaska remain.

The money does, too. Dividends will arrive via auto-deposit on Thursday and checks will come within the next few weeks. If they haven’t done so already, Alaskans who can should share a bit of these bonuses with good causes and less fortunate Alaskans. They’re all around us.

The annual United Way of the Tanana Valley campaign is under way, for example. (Go to or call 452-7211.)

Local United Way campaigners want to raise $1.5 million for its 20 member organizations, which help with the variety of challenges that inevitably come upon families and individuals in our community.

That goal, just for the local area, is as much as the Pick. Click. Give. program collected statewide last year. Obviously, the needs in our community are much greater than the dividend donation program is addressing for the moment.

So when the dividend dollars arrive this year, see how much you can share. Do the same next year when applying for the dividend. It will make this community and Alaska a better place to live.


Wed, 02/22/2017 - 11:53

Stand with Alaskans and stand with Planned Parenthood

I appreciate Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s recent decision to support repealing the Trump administration’s global gag rule. The global gag rule bans federal money for overseas family planning programs if the programs also provide abortion, or provide information about abortion. The global gag rule puts thousands of lives at risk, and Murkowski has rightly recognized that. I praise Murkowski, and want her to know that Alaskans stand with her in supporting access to family planning services. This means that we support Planned Parenthood, and we hope she will stand with us in the coming weeks by refusing to vote for any changes to the Affordable Care Act that include defunding Planned Parenthood. Read more

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:42

Alaska editorial: The opioid issue

This editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

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Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:41

Expanding apprenticeship in rural Alaska

We are proud to announce a new statewide training initiative: the Alaska Maritime Apprenticeship Program. Over the past year, the Calista Corporation, in partnership with the state and federal government, has built a Registered Apprenticeship program to train Alaskans for careers on deck, in the engine room, and in the galley, earning both a salary and an industry-recognized credential. Working with a group of companies including Brice Marine and Yukon River Towing, we are expanding career and training opportunities for Alaskans in the maritime industry.

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Wed, 02/22/2017 - 08:40

Transboundary mining: Defending Alaska’s interests

It is a big week for Alaska’s capital city. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan are in town to address the Alaska State Legislature, the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) Board of Directors, and all Alaskans. There are a number of issues on which the state of Alaska, including our elected decision makers at both the state and federal levels, can show unity. One of those critical issues is asking the U.S. federal government to defend Alaskan interests in the Alaska-British Columbia (B.C.) transboundary mining issue.

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