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April 18, 2015

Photos: The NRA Takes Nashville

(Photo: J Devon)

Three days in the center of gun country celebrating the Second Amendment – we saw big rifles, small handguns, Presidential candidates and so much more. Here’s a selection of photos from myself and Jeanne Devon of our time at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting – this year in Nashville, Tennessee.      

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Anchorage Secessionist Wants to be its Mayor

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I’ve been lucky enough to reside in several parts of Alaska. When I lived in Fairbanks, I heard constantly how Fairbanksans were “real Alaskans” and people in Anchorage couldn’t handle a real winter. Anchorage, on the other hand, barely acknowledges the existence of Fairbanks — you mean that little town with ridiculous weather and bad air? Southeast Alaska is viewed as North Seattle. And Kodiak is a rock with rockets — more Pacific island than piece of Alaska. But the real “us and them” is between residents of the Mat-Su Borough and Anchorage. That rivalry has barbs. I’m not sure…

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NRA Leaders Speechify – Aloha Akhbar?!

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks at the NRA Leadership Forum in Nashville.

For a weekend conference designed to celebrate and protect Americans’ second amendment rights, the Leadership Conference at the annual convention of the National Rifle Association sounded a whole lot more like a fire and brimstone tent revival to quash the political aspirations of future Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana “The leader of the vast left wing conspiracy will be announcing her candidacy,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, during an unscheduled moment with the press before the event started. Jindal described this event in vague terms as an unholy alliance between big business and the Hollywood elite….

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Bird of the Week – American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow, Denali Highway, Alaska

The American Tree Sparrow is mis-named. It breeds in Alaska and Canada, north of the treeline, far from trees. Early European settlers thought it looked like the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, an unrelated species, and the name stuck. The handsome, brown-capped little sparrow breeds in alpine habitats across Alaska, between the Brooks Range and the Coastal Range. This is one of the smaller Alaska sparrows, best seen in spring when the male perches on top of low bushes, singing to establish his territory and  to find a mate. Camera geek stuff: f4, 1/250, ISO200. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather…

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Bird of the Week – Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow, Copper River Delta, Alaska

The Song Sparrow is one of the most diverse and widespread songbirds in North America, with 24 diagnosable subspecies (52 named) breeding from Newfoundland to the Aleutian islands here in Alaska and south to central Mexico. Coastal southcentral Alaska is the northerly limit of its breeding range. Individuals vary 150% in body mass over this range—the largest subspecies breed in beach grass in the Aleutians, the smallest in California salt marshes. The species commonly seen in mainland Alaska is at the larger end of the size spectrum. While the species generally winters in the western states, birds regularly over-winter in southeastern Alaska…

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The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN – Sudanese refugees living in Anchorage have vehicles vandalized Mohammed Hano and Mbarek Suleiman, refugees from a violent conflict in a distant African country who now live in Anchorage, say they woke Sunday morning to find their cars covered in messages telling them to leave the place that was supposed to be their final, safe home. The Week – Baked Alaska EARLIER THIS WINTER, Monica Zappa packed up her crew of Alaskan sled dogs and headed south, in search of snow. “We haven’t been able to train where we live for two months,” she told me. Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, which Zappa…

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Bird of the Week – Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Spring Migration, Delta Barley Project

By far the most common warbler in the boreal forest, the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the “Butter-Butt,” prefers the canopy, the tops of trees. As a result, it’s probably the most common cause of “birder’s neck,” neck strain from looking straight overhead. The species winters in the southern United States and Central America. The Yellow-rumped Warbler has two different forms: the Audubon’s and the Myrtle. They were once thought be be separate species, but were “lumped” into a single species a little while back. Alaska sees the Myrtle Warbler form. Camera geek stuff: f8, 1/640, ISO6400. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen…

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Quiet, 26 Years After the Spill

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Several years ago Shannyn Moore, Jeanne Devon and I went out to Prince William Sound [read the post from Jeanne Devon] on an assignment from BBC World Service. We were sent for the odd request that could only come from a international news agency like the BBC… gather sound. They didn’t need video, or pictures, just sound. BBC had certainly been there before and had much in their catalogue to make it sound like their reporter was in Alaska – but they were looking for sound from right then. It was July 4th weekend so instead of BBQ and beer the…

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The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska KTVA – Anchorage mayoral candidate threatens to sue media Mayoral candidate Dan Coffey has stated he doesn’t want the public to hear a private conversation he had with current Anchorage Assembly member Bill Starr back in 2008. The conversation with Starr was recorded onto an answering machine. ADN – State sells $4 billion in stocks because it may need the cash before long The state is liquidating about $4 billion of long-term investments in stocks because it may need the money soon and can’t afford the risk of a market decline. The need to draw billions from the Constitutional Budget…

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Coffey Tape Reveals Illegal Donations (AUDIO)

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The following is a press release from Michigan public radio reporter, and former Anchorage radio personality Aaron Selbig. The audio tape is the subject of this week’s Alaska Dispatch News, and Mudflats column by Shannyn Moore. Her commentary can be found HERE. *** The audiotape of former Anchorage Assembly members Dan Coffey and Bill Starr discussing illegal campaign contributions first aired February 26, 2008 on the Aaron Selbig Show on KUDO 1080AM. It was later replayed by KUDO hosts Camille Conte and Shannyn Moore. The tape came to Selbig after it was recorded on the home answering machine of former…

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