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October 17, 2017

Mudflats Goes Militia in Talkeetna

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Friday 13:00, Tesoro Station Mini-Mart, Talkeetna, Alaska The Tesoro gas station mini-mart in Wasilla does not carry potatoes. As a matter of fact, they do not carry produce of any kind. I am supposed provide dinner tonight for my little corner of the militia encampment. Yes, I’m going back again this year to the Alaska Prepper/Survivalist/Militia Rendezvous, and instead of PB&J like last time, I’ve got steak, and asparagus – but I left the potatoes sitting on the counter at home. After a couple laps up and down the tiny aisles, I have to make a call. The closest thing…

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Court Sees Value in Protecting Bristol Bay

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Before the Bristol Bay Forever Initiative was ever printed on statewide ballots, it had to defend a legal challenge from an individual named Richard Hughes, the Alaska Miners Association, and the Council of Alaska Producers. The Alaska Supreme Court issued an oral decision allowing that initiative to go to the ballot. Today, the Court issued a written order justifying its decision, Hughes v. Treadwell, Slip Op. No. 6981 (Alaska Supreme Court, Jan. 30, 2015). In order for a citizen ballot initiative to be valid in Alaska, it must avoid certain prohibited topics.  Under Article XI, section 7, it may not engage in an appropriation…

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John Oliver on The Salmon Cannon – ‘We Can Do Great Things’

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John Oliver on his always excellent HBO show, Last Week Tonight discovered a thing called ‘the salmon cannon.’ For those not in the salmon transportation industry it’s a “series of tubes” if you will, created by Whooshh (yes, whooshh) that allows salmon to be propelled over or around a dam. The system is currently being used in the Northwest where communities are trying to repopulate the blocked rivers that once held plentiful salmon runs. John Oliver creates his own and decides to shoot salmon across the TV world with some amazing cameos by actors, TV News broadcasters and one famous animated Dad. Mmmmm, salmon.

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The Naked Baker Must Go

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If you are a Mudflats reader, you know him as The Naked Baker. Bill Stoltze may have earned his moniker by his unfortunate hobby of baking cookies for charity auctions in the nude, but sadly this is not the most horrifying thing about this Alaska legislator. Stoltze figured heavily into the book I co-authored, “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin” (with Frank Bailey and Ken Morris, Simon & Schuster, 2011), for something worse. He was the force behind the coordination of the 2006 Sarah Palin for Governor campaign, and the Republican Governor’s Association then headed by Mitt Romney. Sounds important, like…

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Bristol Bay Debate Wednesday!

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Wednesday night is the last in the four part series of moderated debates on the ballot issues of the day. It will focus on Ballot Measure 4: An Act Providing for Protection of Bristol Bay Wild Salmon and Waters Within or Flowing into the Existing 1972 Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve. Thanks to Alaska Common ground for providing a forum for discussion about the SB21 oil tax, the minimum wage, the legalization of marijuana, and the protection of Bristol Bay. A Forum on Bristol Bay Forever Wednesday, August 13, 7 – 9 pm Wilda Marston Theatre, Loussac Library You can click…

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Brinkley Urges Obama to Stop Pebble Mine

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Presidential historian and author Douglas Brinkley urged President Obama to take decisive and swift executive action on preventing the massive Pebble Mine project in Alaska on NOW with Alex Wagner, Monday. Brinkley noted that many decisive presidential actions could be taken immediately as the Obama Whitehouse seeks to establish a legacy as the President’s second term marches on with Republicans in Congress showing no signs of letting up on blocking legislation. Historically, President Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any President since Grover Cleveland, and has been comparatively reluctant to exert Presidential authority. Brinkley was clear in his suggestion to the President…

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Donations Needed, Everywhere

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In a season dedicated to gratitude for what we have, please let’s not forget to share our abundance with those who have less. In Anchorage, Bean’s Café, a local non-profit dedicated to helping the hungry and homeless, is in need of donations of food items for Thanksgiving meals.  This year the organization will offer two dinners; The Children’s Lunchbox will sponsor a Community Fall Feast on Thursday, November 21 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Clark Middle School, 150 Bragaw Street; and Bean’s Café will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, November 28 beginning at Noon at the Café, located at 1101…

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Parnell Gets Fish Slapped

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When one grapples for a visual allegory of what happened to the Parnell administration this week, it’s hard to think of anything more appropriate than this: That’s Sean Parnell on the right, and the Anchorage Superior Court on the left. The Superior Court ruled that the constitutional rights of Alaskans have been violated by the current administration when Parnell & Co. refused to process a four-year-old application to reserve water in the Chuitna River watershed for wild salmon. “Today’s ruling is a victory for every Alaskan who wants to protect wild salmon and the Alaskan way of life,” said Ron…

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Salmonstock in Photos

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A few weeks ago I traveled down to Ninilchik, Alaska—population 883. The sleepy little hamlet saw it’s temporary ranks swell by more than six times, as thousands made the pilgrimage to SalmonStock III, a music festival celebrating the one things that all Alaskans love – wild fish. Even for those very few who don’t like fish and keep that horrible secret to themselves, fish drive the economy, tourism, support subsistence users, sport and commercial fishermen, and a culture that has existed here for thousands of years. In one way or another, Alaskans are bound up with fish. When fish prosper,…

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Inconvenient Private Sector Jobs

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Time to don your rain ponchos, because Republican heads are going to be exploding across the state. This is one of those times when philosophy and reality are on opposite sides, and the confused elephant brains of the majority of the GOP in Alaska are going to have to out themselves, or change sides. Ah, another inconvenient truth. ” Ready? Guess what industry is the largest private sector employer in the State of Alaska? Oil? <<<HOCKEY BUZZER NOISE>>> Mining? <<<REPEAT ABOVE>>> Nope, it’s fish. A recent report issued from the McDowell Group for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute reveals: The…

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