An engaged Alaskan democracy

Ex-commissioner calls for Alaska energy mega-projects analysis, and ‘call bluff’ on North Slope gasline

by Alex DeMarban – November 13, 2013 – Alaska Dispatch

With Alaska’s government now in the red but still blowing hundreds of millions of dollars on multiple energy mega-projects, it’s time for a comprehensive analysis of those projects to help Alaska leaders prioritize the public’s money and stop wasting money on pipe dreams.

That was the take-home message from Harry Noah, a former Alaska Department of Natural Resources commissioner under Gov. Wally Hickel, who spoke at a Commonwealth North discussion Wednesday about the blizzard of state-subsidized efforts — including everything from dueling pipeline proposals to a power-producing dam that, if built, would be the second largest in the country.

Nicholas Kristof: Oklahoma shows the way in early education

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF – November 11, 2013 – Anchorage Daily News

TULSA, Okla. — Liberals don’t expect Oklahoma to serve as a model of social policy. But, astonishingly, we can see in this reddest of red states a terrific example of what the United States can achieve in early education.

Every 4-year-old in Oklahoma gets free access to a year of high-quality prekindergarten. Even younger children from disadvantaged homes often get access to full-day, year-round nursery school, and some families get home visits to coach parents on reading and talking more to their children.