SWEET – Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School students Karmen Kane, right, and Sophia Stark make chocolate-dipped strawberries Wednesday night during the Keet Family Night. Hundreds attended the event, which included a chili dinner, activities and heart-shaped cookies. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)


    Sitkans will make an important choice Tuesday in selecting our representative in the state House. In Bill Thomas we have a candidate well versed in the intricacies of legislative politics and well positioned to continue a leadership role in the House, where he has served as co-chairman of the powerful Finance Committee.
    Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, the challenger, is a newcomer to elective politics, and of course untried in the legislative arena. If seniority and experience were the only issues in this election, Mr. Thomas would be our choice, hands down.
    As it happens, Mr. Kreiss-Tomkins comes into the contest with a record of accomplishment in public service that would do credit to a candidate twice his age. Add to that his willingness to listen, his ability to work with others and his commitment to hard work in accomplishing his goals, and we have a candidate who we believe will be an influential spokesman for Sitka in the Legislature for years to come. He has our endorsement for election as our representative in House District 34.
    Sen. Bert Stedman has earned our respect for the way he has advocated a middle road on the issue of taxation of the oil industry in Alaska. Call him a policy wonk if you will, but it has been his ability to marshal the figures that has enabled him to head off the forces from within his own party that would grant concessions to the oil industry that clearly would not be in the best interest of the state.
    Sen. Stedman has used his position as co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee for the benefit of Sitka. He has our endorsement for re-election, and we look forward to his continued work on behalf of Sitka as a respected leader in the coming legislative session.
    There is a statewide bond issue on the ballot with money for a Sawmill Cove dock and a Katlian Bay Road. We’ll vote yes on the bonds.
    A little-noticed issue on the ballot is the question that simply asks: Shall there be a constitutional convention?
    The question is there because the Alaska Constitution requires the question to be put before the voters once every 10 years. There are no shortcomings in the constitution that would justify the extreme measure of opening up the whole document for changes. The only reasonable response to this question, we believe, is No.
    Sitkans will vote for a Congressman and for President. President Barack Obama has earned our endorsement for a new term. His accomplishments have been many, not least for putting the United States on the path to economic recovery after the disastrous eight-year administration of George W. Bush.
    We expect Sitka will be an island of Blue in the statewide sea of Red in the presidential vote, but we nonetheless believe it is worth making the effort to say that President Obama, and not Mitt Romney, represents the values most important to us in our daily lives.
    As for our Congressional representative, we are resigned to having Don Young in office another two years, and we wish him well.
    Whatever your views, we urge you to go to the polls and cast a ballot Tuesday.

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