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June 27, 2017

Alaska Needs a Hostage Negotiator

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Relationship counselors get a bad rap. Probably because it’s too late by the time one person insists it’s important to do. Oh, you go along, and at some point the therapist looks at you and rolls his eyes and tells you you’re nuts to stick around for more crazy town. OK, maybe that was just my experience, but it’s going to take more than a fancy talker with comfy sofas to help what’s going on in Juneau. They need a hostage negotiator. A terrorism expert. I’m talking Bruce Willis in “Die Hard” caliber. I’m sure some precious snowflake lawmaker is…

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Tiny Alaskan Island Has Awesome Amount of Pride

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Yes, I apologize for the click-baity headline. But it’s rare these days that I can share good news from Alaska… or for that matter anywhere in the US. This news comes from the tiny Alaskan island of Wrangell. For those unfamiliar with the ridiculously huge geography of Alaska – Wrangell is 1,073 miles from the states largest city, Anchorage – that of course includes at least one ferry ride with your car. The population of Wrangell, according to the 2010 census was 2,369. That didn’t stop it’s residents from making a great showing for their Pride this year. Thankfully a Wrangell resident,…

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Pink Slips for Alaskans, Green Ones for the Oil Companies

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“Stability. Under SB 21, there is certainty that tax rates won’t fluctuate wildly at higher prices like they did under the old tax law.” — Alaska Oil & Gas Association ” ‘A competitive, predictable and durable oil and gas fiscal environment will be required for a project of this unprecedented scale, complexity and cost to compete in global energy markets,’ Exxon said in a statement.” — Business Wire, 2013 “This activity is slowing the production decline with renewed ability to reverse the decline and increase production. This gives Alaska the opportunity for a sustainable, long-term economic future. It also keeps…

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Mission Accomplished: War on Energy Over

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Not since Moses, Aaron and Miriam fought the Egyptians for freedom of the Israelites have we found such a beautiful redemption story. Yes, the emancipation of slaves after a bloody civil war came close, but this is so much more inspiring. Our prayers and vigils for the gravely oppressed oil companies in Alaska have at last been answered. I guess tying all those black ribbons in the old spruce trees really helped. Like Moses coming down from Mount Sinai, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke came to Alaska and is going to make this state great for oil companies again….

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What AKM has Been Doing Lately – from the Mudflats to Tinseltown (I’m not kidding)

I have packed my swanky Hartmann valise; Tinsel Town here I come! And by “swanky Hartman valise” I mean that vinyl duffel bag I got at Costco in South Anchorage seven years ago.

Hello Mudflatters, it’s me! Those who have been here from the beginning know me as “AKMuckraker,” or AKM. Back when I started tapping out anonymous blog posts about Alaska politics from my living room overlooking the mudflats I didn’t put my name on anything because I didn’t figure anyone would be reading it, and wasn’t convinced anyone would care what I had to say anyway. Then insanity struck, and Alaska’s governor got tapped by John McCain to be his VP nominee. The proverbial moose nuggets hit the fan and my readership kept climbing until The Mudflats reached its peak of…

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Oil First, Kids Second

I suppose the saying “dance with the one who brought you” should be changed. “Dance with the one who bought you” is more apropos when watching the Republican Senate majority in Juneau. This week 13 lawmakers voted to drain every single dime out of the statutory budget reserve — also known as our savings account — to pay oil companies more money than the suggested maximum amount. Why? Well, it’s not really a very well-kept secret that come election time their coffers are stuffed from oily folks to make sure our rainy day funds will make the “transfer of wealth”…

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Good Grief, Wasilla – Stop Sending These People to Juneau

Photo: David Eastman's Facebook page

The spanking brand new senator from Wasilla, Republican David Wilson, slapped a journalist from this paper, Nat Herz. He seems nice. Apparently Wilson isn’t familiar with the First Amendment he swore to uphold. Part of it is pretty well known to most, but since it comes right before the Second Amendment, it’s easy to see how it gets glossed over in the race to “Yeah, guns!” Along with freedom of religion, used too often to discriminate, there is prohibition on infringing the freedom of the press. Guess what? If lawmakers could hit journalists and columnists in the face for writing things they…

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If McConnell wanted Dan Sullivan to have principles, he’d give him some.

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It’s no secret that I hold Alaska’s junior senator, Dan Sullivan, in low esteem. It’s a low esteem he has earned. For one thing, he’s a carpetbagger. Alaska was just a convenient horse for his raging ambition. He’s a political mercenary. I cannot understand the “charm” some Alaskans seem to see in him. If Dan cares about anything, it’s the elevation of Dan. Suffice it to say, my opinion of the junior senator was so low he needed to dig a hole to go lower. But this week, Sullivan, Mitch McConnell’s Mini-Me, broke out his shovel. Turns out he’s a…

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The Last Bird of the Week – Townsend’s Warbler

Townsend's Warbler, University Arboretum, Fairbanks

This is the last of Wickersham’s Conscience’s Birds of the Week. We’ve run through the last species WC photographed in Alaska. The total is 187, if anyone is curious. And for this last species, WC has saved the beautiful Townsend’s Warbler, Alaska’s prettiest warbler. That colorful, strongly marked face makes it easy to identify in the field. While this is a female, and less strongly marked, you can still see what a handsome warbler this is. You can see how much vivid the male’s coloration is in this photo from Anchorage. A beautiful bird, and a good place to wrap…

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ATL Chats w/ Alaskan Photog Carl Johnson

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This week we try something different. This week we’re going to spend out time interviewing just on panelists. This will be the beginning of a new interview series we’re trying out. For the first interview episode we talk to Alaskan nature photographer Carl Johnson. He’s been working on a long term book project Where Water Is Gold about the area would be effected by the creation of the Pebble Mine. A mine that would wipe out a shocking percentage of the worlds pacific salmon. That’s the kind of salmon that you actually want to eat. You can check out Carl’s stunning aurora photos and all his…

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