I'm a life long Alaskan, too. And, ask anyone up here, Whittier is definitely known as a ghost town. Especially to those of us who live in Anchorage. It just is. period.
Also, While it is true Alaska doesn't have the surpluses it once did, the reasoning behind this is highly debated depending on ones politics. While one person (@tufsandtights) might think it's because of Parnell's taxes, the underlying reason for the shortfalls is a decline in production, high, high taxes for oil companies (even with the tax breaks) and no incentive to increase production or start new exploration. Alaska is now 4th in the US for production-and we have the ability to be first. North Dakota is killing us.
Also, Alaskans do receive a check each year from the government because of oil money-usually that's what people are citing when they talk about how "rich" we all are.
I loved this article, and I love my state; come visit everyone.