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Thumbs down to state Rep. Lora Reinbold’s awkwardly worded “rally the troops” mass email, which, in the process of giving out a phone number for like-minded politicians and activists to distribute in hopes of generating telephonic testimony against proposed Medicaid expansion, blundered into something more sinister than she perhaps intended.

We might not be Ketchikan Community Concert Band's biggest fan, but we're at the top of the list.

Leonard Oswald Olsen, 92, died March 31, 2015, in Seattle.
Label Frankenfish

Frankenfish shouldn't be approved by the FDA, but, if the administration is bull-headed about it, it should require labeling to alert the consuming public.

The Senate Appropriations Committee OK'd a Sen. Lisa Murkowski amendment that would require the labeling; it will be included in the Senate version of the 2015 Department of Agriculture spending bill.

Murkowski, like most Alaskans, is opposed to introducing genetically engineered salmon into the nation's food supply.

"Why would we be messing with Mother Nature like this?" Murkowski asked her Senate colleagues before the vote on the amendment. "Why would we put so much at risk? Why would we invent a species that will outgrow our healthy natural stocks? This Frankenfish experiment puts at risk the health of our fisheries not only in Alaska, but our fisheries nationwide. I don't even think we should call this science experiment a salmon at all."

That sums it up. Frankenfish put Alaska's wild fish stocks at risk. Once genetically engineered fish breed with the wild, it won't be possible to return to the pre-Frankenfish quality. The wild stocks would be contaminated forever, and pure, natural salmon would be a memory.

The wildly successful salmon industry would experience the repercussions. As would Alaska.

Alaskans oppose the FDA approval of Frankenfish, but if it proceeds that way, then Murkowski hopes to require that the administration label it accurately, letting the consumers make their choice between engineered salmon or wild salmon.

That's not the safety net Alaskans prefer, but it is more than nothing.