What others say: Agreement between Fairbanks, railroad makes sense

It’s back to work for the Fairbanks City Council on Monday, and one of the items on the agenda is introduction of an agreement with the Alaska Railroad that will lead to the extension of a pedestrian/bike path on the north side of the Chena River.

A review of the proposal shows the terms to be reasonable. And the ultimate goal of a lengthy and continual path — the Chena River Walk — along nature’s centerpiece in the city is one that should have broad support.

The proposal in front of the council Monday night is for the approval of a land-use permit issued by the railroad for the creation of two segments of a path on railroad land on the north side of the Chena.

The segments total just more than one mile. The western segment would run from Peger Road to the existing footbridge that crosses the Chena at Pioneer Park. The segment east of that would run on the north side of the river opposite the baseball diamonds, the Fairbanks Curling Club and a residential area.

The city would be required, as part of the agreement, to purchase from the railroad the footbridge near Pioneer Park. The Fairbanks Metropolitan Area Transportation System Policy Committee has already provided $400,000 for that purpose.

The city also will be required to maintain the trail segments that cross railroad property.

A lot of work remains to be done — including the actual construction of the path and the building of two bridges to connect the eastern of the two segments under discussion with the existing path on the south side of the river.

The agreement with the railroad, including the required purchase of the bridge, becomes void if the city can’t find the funding to build the path by Jan. 31, 2019.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. A unified Chena River Walk would be a great asset for Fairbanks, not only for our annual influx of visitors but also for residents year-round. It’s good to see work on this project continuing.

— Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,

Jan. 4

More

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 22:53

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

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