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February 23, 2017

Calling the Mosquito Fleet

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My darling Alaskans, I am starting to feel like these columns I write are more like letters to the people and place I love. It is blowing sideways on the bay today and the snow, defying gravity and all rules, seems to be traveling upward while accumulating on the ground at the same time. My ermine friend is shrew hunting — which is my favorite thing about him — and has learned to do a trick or two for cheese bits. I’m watching with one eye the mushers vie for position in the Yukon Quest and with the other, the…

Storm on the Horizon

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I said last week I would try to focus more on affairs of the state, you know, because the whole world has seemingly lost their collective minds. I’ve spent some time watching Gavel to Gavel and listening to assembly meetings so you don’t have to. It may seem like a small thing to many of you, but clearly you haven’t spent an hour screaming at your computer because of local political antics. You’re welcome. Pro tip: Be careful if you’re playing a drinking game that requires a shot when the words “body” or “member” are said. In the big square…

Make Alaska Great Again

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Maybe you were too busy this week trying to stay warm to follow the news much. There have been some new developments. I know. They almost got past me, you know with keeping the snow shoveled out of the outhouse and enough water melted to do a few dishes. I’m trying hard to keep up. A major oil discovery was announced this week! Wahoo! “Initial technical estimates indicate the discovery could have recoverable resource potential in excess of 300 million barrels of oil,” ConocoPhillips said. That’s awesome for all of Alaska, right? I mean, jobs, jobs, jobs and we can…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska Alaska Public Media: Alaska’s warming waters could slow coral growth, impacting fish The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said warming ocean temperatures, due to climate change, could slow the growth of some Alaska coral. In a study released Thursday, scientists warned about the potential impact to fish, which take refuge in thickets of coral. NY Times: A Rampage in Florida Shines a Light on Alaska A deadly shooting rampage at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport this month has focused attention on the interconnection of public safety and mental illness and raised questions, especially here in Alaska, about one of the thorniest…

For Good or Bad, Juneau Still Represents You

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Well, my darling Alaskans, we’ve made it through the holiday season and now a real cause for celebration is upon us – the 2017 legislative session! I know, after so many “special sessions” it’s hard to really feel like this one will be special without the title, but we can all hope. I’m encouraged by the newly formed House bipartisan coalition. You know, the grown-ups in Juneau, working together to work for all of us. What a concept. In reading through the prefiled bills, I’m reminded of the old quote about paving roads with good intentions. Truth be told, with…

The Weekend Off: News You Missed

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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…

Taking a Break From the News

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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…

The Weekend Off: News You Missed

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  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…

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…

Alaskan Gifts for Your Lower 48 Friends… ok, and for your Alaskan ones too

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It’s Cyber Monday – the digital version of the shopping we did before the weekend when we shopped ourselves silly on Black Friday. This list of #mustbuys are all Alaskan. From nature photographers like Carl Johnson to oyster farmers, Alaska is chock full of awesome gifts to give to your friends in and out of the 49th state. This cyber Monday, support local… your friends will thank you for it. Where Water is Gold – Carl Johnson Mudflats contributor, Carl Johnson, who has been documenting the communities that would be affected Pebble Mine for years published the gorgeous Where Water is…