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Jay Hammond is dead, and at least two of Alaska’s legislators are tired of hearing about the late Alaska governor and his views about the Alaska Permanent Fund and its dividend program.

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It's akin to whipsaw. The Democrats take one route. then the Republicans come along, reverse and take another one.

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Helen Francis Featherston, 73, died March 23, 2017, in Ketchikan.
Frances Elizabeth Sanderson, 82, died March 9, 2017, in Sitka.
Cesar Novelo Manalo, 69, died March 20, 2017, in Ketchikan.
7/8/2014
Land transfer needed

The feds should transfer land in Alaska to the state.

For Alaska to achieve this, it has kindred support in New Mexico and some other western states.

New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez is considering forming a statewide task force to look at the idea of that state accepting transfer of federal land. She wants to know the cost and the benefit in terms of jobs and the economy.

New Mexico expects it might be better able to address the threat of wildfires than the federal government. Martinez maintains the feds don't maintain the forests, allowing growth that creates fuel situations that spark fires.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert also is an advocate of the land-transfer idea.

The federal government owns much of the land across the West. That ownership limits economic development, and, as federal dollars decline, multiple uses of the land.

To solve the problem of being unable to afford maintaining its land, the federal government should offer the states and communities the opportunity to own and manage the land.

It might be the solution for the feds, Alaska and the West.