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July 23, 2014

Oyster Roundup! Mush, Mountains & Miscreants

WALRUS john tenniel 3

 

~Thick and fast they came at last, and more, and more, and more!

We’ve got irons in the fire, and as one of our editors put it, “enough on our plates to feed a third world country.” So enjoy a platter of newsy sliders to tide you over until we get back into full swing this weekend.

Mush and Track

The Yukon Quest 1,000 mile international sled dog race starts on Saturday in Whitehorse, Yukon. It’s a tough field this year, and fans are gearing up for what should be an exciting competition. It will be easier to track your favorite musher and team with a little extra item that will be mounted on each sled – a small tracking device.

The trackers, which are mandatory gear for the 26 entrants in this year’s Quest, allow virtual spectators to follow sled dog teams on the Internet. While mushers are grinding their way through 1,000 miles of frigid trails starting Saturday, fans of the race can get an up-to-the minute update on the location of their favorite teams.

The Coffey Lobby

Oops. Looks like our old friend Dan Coffey had a bad week. Despite being hired as a lobbyist, portraying himself as a lobbyist, saying he was going to register as a lobbyist, and lobbying while being a lobbyer… Mr. Coffey not only failed to register as a lobbyist, he donated money to 20 legislative candidates, which is a no-no if you are a lobbyist. Then, in true Coffey style, he tried to worm his way out of an APOC fine by saying that he’d had less than 10 hours lobbying in a 30-day period, so he didn’t need to register. But he “forgot” to count all the lobbying apart from actual face-to-face meetings with legislators – not the time he spent with legislative staff members, or Parnell administration officials, and he didn’t include communications other than meetings. “Nice try,” said APOC and slapped him with a $12,000 fine. It could have been more than 3 times more. For all the details, click HERE.

 

What’s in a Name?

A lot, if you have skin in the game on the Mt. McKinley vs. Denali showdown. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has again proposed legislation to restore the continent’s tallest peak to its original Athabascan name “Denali,” which means “The Great One.” Nothing against President William McKinley, but as far as presidents go, he was hardly “The Great One.” He never even saw the peak which bears his name, and he wasn’t even the President when the mountain was renamed in his honor by a gold prospector, because McKinley championed the gold standard rather than silver. But many know the mountain only as McKinley, and Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio (birthplace of Wm. McKinley) has already introduced his own legislation to keep the name McKinley.

The state of Alaska changed the name of Mount McKinley to Denali in 1975. The Alaska Geographic Names Board maintains that Denali is the proper name for the mountain, while the federal Board of Geographic Names continues to uphold the name McKinley. The name of Mount McKinley National Park was changed to Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980. Alaskans and climbers call the mountain Denali.

Surf’s Up

It’s finally starting to make the news – tons of debris from the Japanese tsunami of 2011 is washing ashore on Alaska’s beaches. Alaska, with more coastline than the rest of the US combined, and with most beaches being remote and difficult to access, there are unique and overwhelming challenges.

Already, Gulf of Alaska Keeper is preparing for next summer’s cleanup. “It’s a pretty amazing sight when you go out to the coast and see nothing but Styrofoam as far as you can see,” he said.
Styrofoam poses a widespread threat to marine animals and birds who ingest the tiny particles. Styrofoam, normally accounting for about 5% of the marine debris washing ashore in Alaska, now accounts for 30%

GOP, Start Your Engines

Is it too early to start thinking about the Senate race of 2014? No, it is not. Speculating about who among the phalanx of salivating Republicans will throw their hat in the ring to run against incumbent Senator Mark Begich (D) is the topic of conversation over suds in our fair state.  And it looks like previous Republican nominee Joe Miller will be making his decision in the coming weeks. Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell has formed an exploratory committee, but said he won’t run if Sean Parnell decides not to go for another term as governor, and runs for the Senate instead.
“It’ll be the biggest race probably in Alaska history,” [Michael] Wenstrup [Head of the Alaska Democratic Party] said of the Senate bout next year. “We expect it to be similar to the race Sen. [Jon] Tester ran in Montana in 2012, with lots of outside money coming in and lots of negative attacks from these outside PACs targeting Sen. Begich. At the same time, we expect Sen. Begich to have a lot of support in the state.”

WAR MAD

One of the hallmarks of our tumultuous democracy is the peaceful transition of power from one leader to the next. You can always count on that. Except, of course, if you are the train wreck that is the Alaska Republican Party.
On Friday, the reigns are scheduled to be handed from the wily, clever, morally bankrupt veteran Randy Ruedrich to the OMG, WTF, inexperienced Tea Party guy Russ Millette, and his #2 in command Debbie Brown. The newcomers were installed in a coup of sorts when the Ron Paul crowd got more organized than what Sarah Palin used to call the “Good Old Boys Network.” Ruedrich is not happy with the voters’ choice, and is trying everything in his dastardly bag of tricks to make sure it doesn’t happen, including filing complaints.
Now, even Sarah Palin’s would-be-but-wasn’t Attorney General, Wayne Anthony Ross has gotten his tighty whities in a knot, and written a letter to members of the State Executive Committee stating that Ruedrich and the rest of the old guard “do not respect the rule of law” and are violating party rules. (This coming from the man who was doing Republican Party work from his computer at the Alaska Oio and Gas Conservation Commission, and received the then-biggest fine in the history of the Alaska Public Offices Commission.)
Ross says Ruedrich and others are trying to “sabotage the orderly transition” from Ruedrich to Russ Millette and Debbie Brown, who were elected as chairman and vice chairman last spring.

He said Ruedrich is trying to prevent Millette from taking over. Part of that effort, he alleges, are the complaints filed by the GOP against Millette and Brown trying to stop them from taking over. Ross said the complaints should be dismissed.

“The divisive actions of our current chairman and certain members of the SEC are causing grave harm to our beloved GOP,” Ross wrote. He said some members of the executive committee are “sowing the seeds of our party’s destruction.”

We can only hope.

Comments

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Comments
11 Responses to “Oyster Roundup! Mush, Mountains & Miscreants”
  1. Amzerzomo says:

    Ohioans should rename their own tallest mountain after McKinley, and let Alaska keep Denali: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_Hill_(Ohio) A whopping 1550 feet high!

  2. mike from iowa says:

    Must be an iowa thingy-every discussion on banning certain firearms is hijacked by anti-abortion thugs. Liberals are worried about a few victims of gun violence but don’t care about 40 million innocent babes slaughtered through abortions. Abortions,like guns,don’t kill people. People kill people. Last time I checked abortion was constitutional and legal. Slaughtering kids and others with assault weapons is neither. Compare apples to apples or go home,nutters!

  3. mike from iowa says:

    Would a Denali by any other name kill just as many hikers and climbers?

  4. wallflower says:

    I can’t imagine she would run for Senate. Not enough attention, and I think you actually have to show up there now and then. I’m thinking another attempt at a TV show.

    And can’t states name their own mountains? Alaskans don’t go to Ohio and try to name their mountains…. oh, wait…

  5. Zyxomma says:

    Denali it is. And yes, it is an acronym for Denial, which there’s way too much of in Alaska — kind of like the tsunami debris.

  6. UgaVic says:

    Well, well Mr Coffey…that is what you get when you pal around with others, Sullivan, who also doesn’t play by the rules either.

    I plan to include the state’s GOP in my night prayers and that WAR’s prediction so does happen:-)

    Hope we can do something about the debris. You would think you could walk our beaches and not see so much debris but I can personally tell you that is not so, even before this latest mess. Sad and more sad to think we are such a dirty entity to this earth!

  7. Moose Pucky says:

    Denali is Denali, legislation or no.

  8. mike from iowa says:

    Not that this matters……I had no idea Jim Nabors is gay.

    • benlomond2 says:

      well, you know…. it was that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy while he was in the Marines…. :)
      I always got a chuckle about the joke ” Sargent Carter, haow com Ah talk lak thes and Ah SING LIKE THIS!!!??! The guy has an AMAZING voice !!

  9. zyggy says:

    Missy Quittypants has nothin’ to do right now, maybe she’ll run for Senate. Now that would be interesting. Doesn’t matter if Alaska doesn’t want her. =) And if she won by some miracle, she could quit 2 years later to maintain her title of Quittypants.

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