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January 23, 2018

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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Bird of the Week – Hairy Woodpecker

Male Hairy Woodpecker, Fairbanks

For Christmas Eve, we’ll have a bird with a splash of Christmas color, the male Hairy Woodpecker. Only the males have red on their heads; females are just black and white. The Hairy Woodpecker is Alaska’s largest woodpecker. They are sometimes difficult to find in the forest. Tracking them down by their drumming is the usual approach. But they are enthusiastic about suet feeders, especially in the interior. Hairys dig nest cavities in trees. Looks for piles of wood chips around the base of a tree. Once the eggs hatch, the kids are noisy and the nest is pretty easy…

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Warm Your Self Around the Trumpster Fire from Lady Parts Justice League

The Lady Parts Justice League and Revolution Messaging has made this yule log/dumpster fire for us to all warm ourselves around before the next year brings nuclear winter. While you still have some rights left – head over to LPJL’s donation site and kick them a couple bucks to keep the fire lit. If you’re in the Twin Cities area December 30th and 31st be sure to check out Lizz Winstead’s New Years Comedy show at The Cedar. 

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The Republican Sabotage of the Vote Recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin

By Greg Palast for Truthout Photo of Michigan ballot with bubble. (Image courtesy of Palast Investigative Fund, 2016)Before the Electoral College votes, they should know this. Michigan officials declared in late November that Trump won the state’s count by 10,704 votes. But hold on – a record 75,355 ballots were not counted. The uncounted ballots came mostly from Detroit and Flint, majority-Black cities that vote Democratic. According to the machines that read their ballots, these voters waited in line, sometimes for hours, yet did not choose a president. Really? This week, I drove through a snowstorm to Lansing to hear…

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The Weekend Off: News You Missed

  Alaska NYTimes- Polar Bears’ Path to Decline Runs Through Alaskan Village KAKTOVIK, Alaska — Come fall, polar bears are everywhere around this Arctic village, dozing on sand spits, roughhousing in the shallows, padding down the beach with cubs in tow and attracting hundreds of tourists who travel long distances to see them. ADN – Fire destroys building at Ice Alaska park in Fairbanks A large Fairbanks building was destroyed by an hourslong fire Friday morning, drawing dozens of firefighters but no reports of any injuries. Alaska Public Media – Fracking in Alaska: Who should weigh in? The state agency that oversees oil…

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The Frozen Chosen – Alaska’s Three Electors

I keep hearing people say, “It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.” Is that supposed to make us feel better? Hey! I know you really feel uncertain and worried for the future of our democracy with the Russian hacking and whatnot, but don’t worry, it will get worse before it gets better. Who says that in your everyday life? Your oncologist? If your family, like ours, just had the 12 days of Christmas turned into 20 days of radiation, you know this is not a phrase your doctor uses. This week the Electoral College meets to cast…

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Bird of the Week – Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch, Fairbanks

You usually hear the characteristic “tinhorn” yank yank call of the Red-breasted Nuthatch before you see the bird. This species famously climbs head downward on tree trunks, distinguishing itself from the much-drabber Brown Creeper, which climbs up. The species is found across the United States and Canada, wherever there are spruce of fir trees, its preferred habitat. In Alaska, it’s common in southcentral and southeast, but uncommon in the interior and accidental further north and west. Unlike chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches rarely use nest boxes or existing cavities. In the winter, they join mixed flocks to forage, and are enthusiastic visitors to birdfeeders….

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Palast Report for Democracy Now!: By Rejecting Recount, Is Michigan Covering up 75,000 Ballots Never Counted?

Officially, Donald Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes. But a record 75,335 votes were never counted. Most of these votes that went missing were in Detroit and Flint. How do you disappear 75,335 votes? I flew to Michigan to investigate.   Support the 2016 Stolen Election Investigation After investigating the REAL story of the recount, we stopped by the Department of Justice yesterday and handed them our Crosscheck petition, signed by 50,000 people. We have a lot more work to do and thankfully, our efforts are starting to get notice. We’re not done… Join us bySupporting the Stolen Election Investigation…

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Fake News Blight Hits Alaskan Family

“Be careful with your words.” That was something I heard Pop Moore often say while I was growing up. I guess that’s a saying we all hear often enough, but I wonder how many people really think about the weight of their words. With the flood of information and the ability to have a bazillion words at your fingertips at any second — thanks to our phones — maybe we feel deluged in our own language. Much has been written about Anchorage Assembly member Amy Demboski and her — at best — careless use of language this week in regard…

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Bird of the Week – Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Juneau, Alaska

This is a colorful cousin to the more common and familiar Black-capped Chickadee. This is a bird of the far west and southeast and southcentral Alaska. While it is less vocal than its cousins, like Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees, it nests in cavities and readily uses nest boxes. During winter, they forage in mixed-species flocks with other chickadees, primarily Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees, as well as other small birds such as Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Red-breasted Nuthatches. For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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