Dipnet waste discussions encouraging

It’s encouraging to see the Kenai City Council’s efforts on the issue of dipnet waste in a recent workshop. An aggressive solution is needed to help with what has become a burden for our beaches to support.

Fish waste is a problem on numerous fronts — it’s not really pleasant, probably isn’t doing any good rotting in the sun on the beach and certainly isn’t deterring the massive seagull flock from swarming the area.

Plus, we think if you value something, you should keep it clean.

We’d give thumbs up to the city’s idea of adding Dumpsters on beaches and raking fish waste at low tide to have it swept out into the ocean where it supports the ecosystem. While we know it isn’t a complete fix to the problem, it’s a reasonable start.

Some residents were in favor of the option that would have dipnetters take their whole fish home with them. At first glance that sounds awfully nice, but on further consideration problems surface.

Many dipnetters from other areas of the state won’t want to haul all those fish home whole — too much bulk and mess. So if they can’t clean them on the beach they’ll do it somewhere else and it won’t be at home in Anchorage or Wasilla. Who in their right mind would haul a whole, slime-covered fish three or more hours home to have to deal with it there?

They are going to find the next easiest solution. That fish waste will end up dumped along the side of the highway, in local Dumpsters and pretty much anywhere that would be a worse place to put it than the beach. It doesn’t solve the problem; it just spreads it out.

And we don’t want a police state out on the beach. That’s no fun.

But maybe a few years of being proactive about the waste could change some attitudes. Clearly it has already begun working as evidenced by the council’s action and the community’s support.

The solution here is to make properly disposing of the waste as easy as possible.

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