Kudos to all who made their vote count

That’s better.

According to the unofficial results from Tuesday’s municipal election, voter turnout across the Kenai Peninsula Borough was 22.6 percent. With absentee and questioned ballots yet to be added, that number could even bump up a little higher.

Normally, in an election in which fewer than a quarter of the eligible voters cast a ballot wouldn’t generate too many positive comments. And it doesn’t come close to the 31 percent turnout for the 2011 municipal election, which featured a hotly contested race for borough mayor. But coming off last year’s municipal election in which voter turnout was just 16 percent, it’s a significant improvement.

We can find reasons for the low turnout last year — the municipal election was sandwiched between the state primary in late August and a general election in November that included a number of high-profile races.

However, this year’s municipal election also serves as an example of just how important every vote can be — in Kenai, candidates for mayor are waiting for absentee and questioned ballots to be counted as they were separated by just 32 votes on election night.

To everyone who took the time to learn about the candidates, study the issues and cast a vote, kudos on a job well done. An informed and engaged electorate is crucial to ensuring a responsive, accountable local government.

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

Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

Read more

Letters to the editor

Chuitna mine threatens Alaska way of life

Read more