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January 21, 2018

Sen. Murkowski, Stand True To Your Word

Many of us are counting the days down for America to be great again. I still haven’t heard an answer to the question of when it stopped being great, but being great sounds, well, great! So let’s do it. First things first. We have got to get rid of that health care disaster that has enslaved millions of Americans by creating access to a doctor. Enough! Because of Obamacare, college-age kids have been rafted up to their parents’ policies like parasites. Those pre-existing conditions — the warning flags to companies that don’t want your sick behind dragging down their profits…

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Luke Skywalker aka Mark Hamill Voices the Donald

Yesterday, Mark Hamill, known best for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films recorded himself reading one of President Elect Donald Trumps tweets. While he’s most famous as a Jedi, he also has voiced the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series (among others) – it was this character surprisingly that Hamill chose to read the Donald’s tweet in. Based on the fact that the tweet read “The Trumpster quote #1 #ANewJeersToast” we can only assume that there will be more.   The Trumpster quote #1#ANewJeersToast https://t.co/qZQEGU18r6 — Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 8, 2017  

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Bird of the Week – Canvasback

Canvasback, Airport Ponds, Fairbanks

Back when WC was working through waterfowl earlier in this series, he overlooked an uncommon but widely distributed duck, the Canvasback. The bird is hard to overlook; the drake’s red eye and canvas-white back are very distinctive. It’s also the largest of the diving ducks. The very long bill is equally distinctive; only the Northern Shoveler has a bigger bill. The Canvasback is closely related to and can hybridize with the somewhat similar Redhead. Which also occurs in Alaska but, alas, WC doesn’t have an Alaska photo of the species. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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Blackwater’s Erik Prince Has a Solution for the Refugee Crisis

The last thing the refugee crisis needs is Erik Prince. Last we heard from Erik Prince, he had set up sail for the new shores of Abu Dhabi, away from pesky congressional hearings about unlawful killings in Iraq, and close to the security-laden borderlands of the Horn of Africa. His new venture, Frontier Services Group, provides logistical and material support in conflict zones as well as aid delivery. We’d like to seize the opportunity of a new year to wish the former Blackwater CEO the best in his new endeavours. In an opinion-piece penned for the respectable Financial Times, the…

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The Weekend Off: News You Missed

Alaska ADN.com – Anchorage’s deadly year: With 34 homicide victims, violence hits home In 2016, some 34 people were killed by homicide in Anchorage. For many, it was the year the city’s violence hit home, even if they didn’t personally know any of the victims. The killings happened in nearly every corner of Anchorage: from an Eagle River apartment complex to Kempton Hills, a south-side subdivision best known for its great trick or treating and community wide garage sale. KTUU – Latest chapter in the opioid epidemic hits Alaska For the first time a powerful synthetic opioid, disguised as oxycodone has…

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Charlie Brooker’s 2016 News Wipe

Every year Black Mirror writer Charlie Brooker gives us a news summary program called “News Wipe.” News Wipe is a a take on the years news, it’s along the lines of The Daily Show, except it’s funnier. This year filled with celebrity deaths, terror attacks and the rise of the populist right across the Western world made it a bit more difficult to find humor but Brooker found a way. There will no doubt be some news that you don’t recognize as it’s British but by the end of the hour, I promise you’ll understand.

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Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

via GIPHY There have been plenty of years that people wanted to show the door, but 2016 seems to be in a class of its own. During a holiday gathering, friends and family chatted about the years events and the eldest attendee said, “Well, I’m sure other ’16 years were worse.” Looking it up was an attempt to make myself feel better. I’m ready to close out this miserable year. My best friend died and my country is beating the door down to fascism. I’m ready to get a restraining order against cancer. There’s a petition online asking for 2016…

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Bird of the Week – Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper, Cordova

If December 17’s Red-breasted Nuthatches usually climb down trees, Brown Creepers usually climb up. The cryptic coloration and very high-pitched vocalization on this species can make it tough to find. And populations have been greatly reduced by clear-cutting and removal of dead and dying trees, its preferred foraging area. The creeper uses its slender, decurved bill to capture invertebrates—mainly insects, spiders, and pseudoscorpions—from furrows in tree bark. It was not until 1879 that ornithologists discovered Brown Creeper’s unique habit of building a hammock-like nest behind a loosened flap of bark on a dead or dying tree. Those nests are incredibly hard to find. For more…

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Carl Johnson’s “Where Water is Gold” Book Launch Party

January 14th, 2017 – 6pm to 9:30pm – Taproot Book launch party for “Where Water is Gold: Life and Livelihood in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.” Presentations by Vic Fischer, Alaska Constitutional Convention Delegate, commercial fishermen, contributing writers, and photographer Carl Johnson.  [RSVP on Facebook] Join us for stories, photos, and video from people like commercial fishermen and homesteaders and enjoy a glimpse into this amazing region. Partake in some salmon from Bristol Bay! Partners in this event include the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and the National Parks Conservation Association. Proceeds from the event will go toward these organization’s efforts to protect the…

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Taking a Break From the News

The last thing you want to wake up and see on Christmas morning, even more than a hunk of coal in your stocking, is the news. Let’s take a break, shall we? I mean, I’ve been writing this column for seven Christmases now, and I think we know each other well enough to share a piece of coffee cake, or gingerbread pancakes and have these things be free of politics. (Are these pancakes GMO free? Is this maple syrup sustainably harvested from gay family-owned trees? Is this coffee cake made with fair trade coffee? Let’s leave these questions behind for…

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