Archive for the ‘Alaskan Issues’ Category

What a crazy and bizarre month it’s been. We’re down to the wire, and the candidates are starting to get loopy. I can’t tell if it’s election fever or some sort of Halloween candy-related hypomania. Here’s Joe Miller’s most recent ad:

He surely knows we’ve been calling Palin SWWNBN for years, right? [crickets]

And then there’s this mailer I got from Lisa Murkowski yesterday:

See Zombie Joe there on the right? Classic.

I got EIGHT mailers yesterday. Please, dear GOD make it stop.

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That’s all I can say. Check out this list of people coming to Senator Stevens’ funeral here in Anchorage tomorrow:

Expected Speakers (not in order of speaking):

* Vice President Joe Biden
* U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, President Pro Tempore (D-HI)
* U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader (R-KY)
* U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Expected Attendees:

* Vice President Joseph Biden

Former Senators

* Howard Baker R-TN
* Norm Coleman R-MN
* Alfonse D’Amato R-NY
* Dennis DeConcini D-AZ
* Peter Domenici R-NM
* Nancy Kassebaum R-KS
* Mack Mattingly R-GA
* Larry Pressler D-SD
* John Sununu R-NH

Current Senators

* Mark Begich D-AK
* Bob Bennett R-UT
* Kit Bond R-MO
* Thad Cochran R-MS
* Chris Dodd D-CT
* Orrin Hatch R-UT
* Daniel Inouye D-HI
* Mitch McConnell R-KY
* Lisa Murkowski R-AK
* Pat Roberts R-KS
* Arlen Specter D-PA


* Don Young R-AK
* Norm Dicks D-WA

Alaska Governors

* Sean Parnell
* Sarah Palin
* Frank Murkowski
* Tony Knowles
* Bill Sheffield

State House of Representatives

* Speaker Mike Chenault
* Bob Buch
* Harry Crawford
* Bryce Edgmon
* Anna Fairclough
* Max Gruenberg
* David Guttenberg
* Bob Herron
* Lindsey Holmes
* Kyle Johansen
* Craig Johnson
* Reggie Joule
* Scott Kawasaki
* Beth Kerttula
* Bob Lynn
* Charisse Millett
* Cathy Munoz
* Mark Neuman
* Pete Peterson
* Jay Ramras
* Woodie Salmon
* Bill Stoltz
* Bill Thomas
* Chris Tuck
* Tammie Wilson

State Senators

* Senate President Gary Stevens
* John Coghill
* Fred Dyson
* Dennis Egan
* Johnny Ellis
* Hollis French
* Lyman Hoffman
* Charlie Huggins
* Albert Kookesh
* Lesil McGuire
* Linda Menard
* Kevin Meyer
* Donny Olson
* Bert Stedman
* Joe Thomas
* Bill Wielechowski

Foreign Dignitaries and other Public Officials

* The Honorable Lu Wenxiang, Deputy Consul General of China in San Francisco
* The Honorable Zhang Hao, Vice Consul of China in San Francisco
* Princess Mahina Raputuki, Diplomat from Easter Island
* The Honorable Jennifer Loten, Consul of Canada in Anchorage
* The Honorable Sung-kyo Oh, Consul of the Republic of Korea
* The Honorable Hideo Fujita, Consul of Japan in Anchorage
* Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee

* Jack Potter, Postmaster General of the United States

Senior Generals representing every branch of the Armed Services.

From KTVA.com.

Apparently, people are going to be camping out in order to get into the service tomorrow. I will not be one of them.

Rest in peace, Senator Stevens. Thank you for everything you have done for Alaska. Your legacy will live forever.

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My family and I just got back from watching some of the Iditarod racers mush through town. Most of the pictures I took didn’t come out very well, but here are a few that did:

#13 Scott White, from Woodinville, Washington

A musher stopping to pick up a hot dog

Up close and personal with a very excited sled dog

Not all the animals at the race were dogs.

Some mushers were all about the crowd participation.

The Idita-riders seemed to be having the time of their lives.

We decided to go downtown to see the snow sculptures before heading home. I’ll post those pictures soon.

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Oh, crap.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A California publicist and two co-authors have terminated a book deal with a former aide of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

San Diego-based Releve Marketing and PR announced Tuesday it will no longer represent or co-author Frank Bailey’s upcoming book “Renegade: Sarah Palin’s Hatchet Man.”

Christiana Grace, company co-owner and one of the co-authors, says she can’t elaborate on the reasons for the termination. But she adds it was not a falling out with Bailey, her close friend since college.

Any conspiracy theorists out there want to take a guess at why this particular book was dropped? Not because of Bailey, so…

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When I first heard that Mark Begich would be holding a town hall meeting at Bartlett High School tonight, I figured I’d better stay as far away from that crazy as possible. Even though I want to support Senator Begich in the fight for health care, I knew that there would be a good turn-out of firearms from those either trying to make a point or those trying to intimidate.

A joint press release was just issued from the Anchorage Police Department and the Anchorage School District regarding the use of weapons in a school facility. The entire press release is reprinted below:

image001 image002

***Special Press Release***
Subject – Firearms on ASD School Grounds

Anchorage Police Department has received unconfirmed reports that some individuals have encouraged persons attending the Town Hall meeting scheduled for Sept. 25, 2009 at Bartlett High School to carry firearms in support of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. This is in violation of both Alaska Statutes and the United States Code whether or not school is in session. Neither Anchorage School District nor its Chief Administrative Officer (Superintendent) has granted permission for deadly or defensive weapons to be possessed on ASD grounds. Persons violating this law will be subject to immediate arrest. Please see the following statutes:

Alaska Statute 11.61.210. Misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree if the person
(7) other than a preschool, elementary, junior high, or secondary school student, knowingly possesses a deadly weapon or a defensive weapon, without the permission of the chief administrative officer of the school or district or the designee of the chief administrative officer, within the buildings of, on the grounds of, or on the school parking lot of a public or private preschool, elementary, junior high, or secondary school, on a school bus while being transported to or from school or a school-sponsored event, or while participating in a school-sponsored event, except that a person 21 years of age or older may possess
(A) a deadly weapon, other than a loaded firearm, in the trunk of a motor vehicle or encased in a closed container in a motor vehicle;
(B) a defensive weapon;
(d) Misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.

US Code Title 18 Part 1 chapter 44 § 930 (q) (2)
(A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm—
(i) on private property not part of school grounds;
(ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;
(iii) that is—
(I) not loaded; and
(II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;
(iv) by an individual for use in a program approved by a school in the school zone;
(v) by an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual;
(vi) by a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity; or
(vii) that is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school premises for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, if the entry on school premises is authorized by school authorities.


So take that, Mr. Joe Nut-Bag-Right-Wing-Freak-Show. Superintendent Comeau is comin’ ta getcha, so you best leave your gunz at home.

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Thanks, Sarah!

Outside the special session, Bob Lynn faces supporters of overturning Palin's veto.

Outside the special session, Bob Lynn faces supports of overturning Palin's veto.

Thanks to Sarah Palin who decided to quit her job last month, the Legislature called a special session and voted to overturn her veto of energy stimulus funds. We were the only state in the nation to refuse the funds. We also had a major crisis in bush Alaska last winter due to…energy costs (along with other factors).

If Sarah hadn’t resigned, there wouldn’t have been a special session to confirm her appointee of Lt. Governor, Craig Campbell, and the legislature wouldn’t have been able to accept the stimulus money. In this case, I think we owe Sarah a big THANK YOU and a hearty slap on the back. You done good, girl.

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The Tundra Drums is reporting that some federal stimulus money will be making its way to rural Alaskan villages to help replace honey buckets with flush toilets. In this day and age, no one should be using a honey bucket. When I lived in the village, I had a honey bucket for the first 4 1/2 years. Finally, in the last year of my time there, a flush toilet was installed in my house. We had a huge water tank in the bathroom that also ran to the kitchen so that we could have running water to wash our hands and cook with. It emptied into a bucket under the sink which we had to haul outside to dump, but hey, we weren’t complaining.

Using the honey bucket was gross enough, but having to empty it was worse. No one wanted to be the one to empty it, and once it got too full, well, you had a problem. Hauling a practically overflowing bucket of human waste on a sled in the middle of a blizzard down to the local “lagoon” was probably the worst part of living in the village. I cringe just thinking about it.

So, if nothing else good comes out of the stimulus package (and I know it will), at least there will be fewer people that have to make that weekly trip to the lagoon. Thank you, President Obama.


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Have you ever been under such stress that you didn’t realize how bad it was until it was over? The air clears, you can breathe deeply again and your shoulders slide down from their previous position somewhere around your ears.

That’s how I feel today. The nightmare is over, no matter what. The past ten months have been like no other. I can honestly say I’m a different person than I was then. Even if Sarah Palin is in the news every day from here until the end of time (like that would be any different than it is now, right?), it’s all going to be okay. I know she won’t be president, and now I know she won’t do any more damage to my beautiful state of Alaska.

I can move on to other things. I won’t have to cover Sarah Palin stories any more because I won’t feel like I have a responsibility to protect Alaska from her nonsense.

I can honestly say without hesitation that I. Don’t. Care. I don’t care why she resigned. I’m just glad she did. And for that, I will be forever grateful to whoever it was that convinced her it was a good idea. Thanks, Todd.

Ahhh, now to open up a bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and get my 4th of July on.

Happy Alaskan Independence Day, everyone!


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When I read the article entitled, “Troopers Investigate Reports of Illegal Subsistence Fishing” over at the Alaska Dispatch website, I was incredulous. Apparently, fishermen in Marshall have protested state-imposed fishing limits by catching fish outside of the two 18-hour periods per week. These limits were set by the state to protect the king salmon population, which was predicted to be low this year.

I understand the theory behind wildlife management, I do. But in these villages where a block of cheese costs over ten dollars and fresh produce is cause for celebration, fishing and hunting is survival. I lived in one of these villages for five years and I participated in several fishing and hunting excursions. I visited homes, I ate at potlucks. I’ve skinned a seal. I’ve seen how much the people who live there rely on the land. When the government tells Alaska Natives that they can’t go fishing or hunting so they can feed their family, well, just imagine the frustration and anger they must feel. So when Gary Folger, director of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, said “If, in fact, a protest fishery occurred, I am very disappointed,” it sounds more like an adult admonishing a child for getting peanut butter on the couch than a state official referring to people who need help feeding their families. And that’s exactly what this group of people are- in need of help.

So now the District Attorney’s office has a problem. The law states that these fishermen may face fines up to $5,000, up to one year in jail and/or their equipment seized. If they are fined, the State will have a hard time collecting that money. If the fishermen had $5,000, I doubt they would be fishing when they shouldn’t be. Putting them in jail will put their families at risk, as they will be absent and not able to collect food, water and firewood for the winter. If their equipment is seized, again they will not be able to care for their families. Remember, these fishermen are most likely collecting food not only for themselves and their wives and children, but also for their elderly parents. This is common practice in the village. All of the options available to the DA’s office are undesirable, for both the fishermen and the State.

Instead of prosecuting the fishermen, the Troopers should talk with them, find out their needs, and come up with a solution together. I doubt highly that the fishermen broke the law simply to protest the limits. I’m guessing that there is a deeper resentment here that needs to be dealt with. The fishermen and the State need to work together to solve the problem so that it doesn’t happen year after year. Let’s hope the State will be sensitive to the needs of its people instead of simply prosecuting them for their actions.

Salmon sun drying in Inuit Alaskan village(b)_500x500

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