Go Stars! Go Bulldogs!

High school football teams from Soldotna and Nikiski are headed to Chugiak this weekend for the ASAA First National Bowl — the state’s football championship games.

Nikiski will attempt to repeat as the small-schools state champion with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff against Eielson at Chugiak High School.

Following that game, Soldotna plays Homer for the medium-schools title, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

We wish both squads the best of luck. And we also send our congratulations, because win or lose on Saturday, we’re proud of what they’ve accomplished this season.

We’ve always said high school sports are as much about building character and learning life skills as they are about winning and losing. That’s why we’ve taken to calling them co-curricular rather than extra-curricular — sports and other activities do much to enhance and enrich a high school education.

But co-curriculars enhance more than just an individual’s education — they serve to build school spirit, and are a point of pride for our communities. Whether it’s success in the sports arena, a strong forensics team, or a great band concert or drama production, we take pride in seeing the talents of our community’s young adults find a place to shine.

We’d also like to take a moment to give a shout-out to the seniors on both squads, who have enjoyed quite a ride during their high school careers. Soldotna’s seniors include Reid Schmelzenbach, Hunter Hamrick, Troy Streiff, Cameron Grothe, John Alexander, Zane Miller, Jarret Urban, Noah Fowler, John Brown, Chet Henson, Gavin Larson, Connor Schoessler, and Travis Perkovich. Nikiski’s seniors are Stephen Hartley, Tristin Apted, Jesse Cobb, Devan Berry, Jesse Ross and Lincoln Johnson. Enjoy this last trip onto the gridiron — at the risk of waxing nostalgic, it is one of the most exciting times of your lives. When the final seconds have ticked off the clock, make sure you can leave the field with your heads held high, knowing you gave it all you had. We’re sure you’ll represent your schools and communities well.

So once more, with feeling: Go Stars! Go Bulldogs! We’re pulling for you!

More

What others say: Obama took right tack on Cuba

There’s no solution to the half-century old Cuba problem that will satisfy everyone, but we strongly believe President Obama made the right decision to end the troubled “wet foot, dry foot” policy.

Read more

What others say: Obama’s legacy a mixed one

President Barack Obama leaves office Friday after eight years as the most consequential Democrat to occupy the White House since Lyndon Johnson. And unlike that Texan, whose presidency was born in tragedy and ended in failure, Obama will not have the ghost of the Vietnam War haunting his days and eating his conscience as LBJ did all the remaining days of his life.

Read more

Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

Read more

Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

Read more