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May 4, 2016

The Weekend Off – News You Missed


Alaska Christian Science Monitor – Using seawater for heating? Alaska aquarium takes the plunge. In another sign of the global shift from fossil fuels toward innovative clean energy solutions, an Alaska aquarium has switched to a heating system that runs on seawater. – How one woman is helping ‘climate refugees’ face realities of relocation When Anchorage immigration attorney Robin Bronen decided to pursue an advanced degree in climate change at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2007, she was most interested in what climate had done to her beloved Alaska landscape.  AP – Man dumps non-toxic green dye into Alaska creek…

Republicans-know-best Strategy Failing Alaska


A few months ago, I explained why the Republican majorities running the Alaska House and Senate would be wise to accept a Democratic offer to put aside party politics and work together as one big caucus of the whole to address our fiscal crisis. The last time we had a bipartisan Senate, it managed to come up with a fair oil tax structure, and put $16 billion in the bank. And thank God they did, because we’re living off that savings right now. But no, Republicans rejected bipartisanship and decided to go it alone. After their successful partisan gerrymandering of…

Open Thread: Game of Thrones, Arctic Style

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The Ocean Conservancy just dropped this stunning parody video to promote their new report on the effect drilling on the Arctic. It’s worth a watch and the report is of course, worth a read. I’ve been down with a mindblowing flu the last week, so I apologize for the lack of updates on the site – anything I would have written probably wouldn’t have made much sense anyway. So what have I missed Mudpuppies!?! What news have I missed in this 5 day feverish haze that I’ve been in…?

Mary Epperson Made Homer What It Is

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Originally Printed in the Anchorage Daily News Alaska has lost one of our best — I would venture to say our very best — this week. Mary Epperson passed away in Homer, surrounded by her family. She was 93. In 1954, Mary, her husband Jack and two children moved to Alaska. At her insistence they brought a piano with them. Their family settled on the Kenai Peninsula, and Mary set about making the community of Homer what it is today. This is no exaggeration, she literally made our little hamlet by the sea what it is. She was the city…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska – She died in an Anchorage jail while detoxing from heroin. Her family wants answers. Kellsie Green died in January, six days after she entered the Anchorage jail — 24 years old, weighing only about 80 pounds and about to embark on the brutal process of detoxing from a 4-gram-a-day heroin habit. – Analysis: 28 water systems in Alaska exceed EPA lead limit The only school in one of Alaska’s most eroded communities is among 28 public and private entities in the state whose water systems recently exceeded federal lead limits during the last three years. AK Public Radio…

More Guns, Less Budget in Juneau


Last month a woman took her own life on the steps of the Courthouse in Juneau. The Legislature went on lockdown — after ushering aides and press out of the room. As a result, the Legislature is considering new protocols to keep their own precious souls safe from any gun violence that might befall them while at work. I get it. The Capitol building is a no-gun zone. But what I find truly remarkable is that Sen. Pete Kelly will even go to work in a “gun-free zone.” According to the “logic” in his op-ed on SB 174, the Legislature…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

On the campaign trail - A Hillary supporter checks in on her child during a rally in Syracuse, NY

Alaska ADN – Rep. Don Young reveals his choice for president Rep. Don Young shared some frank thoughts about the Democratic presidential candidates — and Donald Trump — and revealed his presidential pick in an interview on “The Dave Stieren Show” this week. USA Today – Reports: Alaska Air close to deal to buy Virgin America Alaska Airlines is close to a deal to buy San Francisco-based Virgin America, according to multiple reports out Saturday. Juneau Empire – Pot initiative backer cites concern with Alaska smoking bill Public smoking restrictions that recently passed the Alaska Senate could hurt proposed cannabis cafes in…

Trump/Republicans Not Any Different on Abortion


Donald Trump has finally said something I believe. He’s since walked it back, but this week he said he believed women should be punished for abortions. He also said he didn’t think anything should happen to the man who impregnated the woman. That seems fair. Holy hell has torn loose. The anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights people came together in shock that the GOP presidential front runner would say such a thing. The anti-abortion surrogates hit the television circuit to say how much they loved women who consider abortion and would like to “take care of them” not punish them. Sen…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska – Disbelieved Fairbanks Four alibis show how anti-Native bias taints justice Eileen Whitmer knew Marvin Roberts wasn’t guilty of murder in 1997, because when the Fairbanks Four were supposedly on a rampage killing teenager John Hartman, Roberts was sitting at a table with her at a wedding reception. CNET – Oculus creator Palmer Luckey flies to Alaska to deliver first Rift VR headset to customer You order the Next Big Tech Gadget and lo and behold, the creator of the gizmo materializes at your office to hand you the device. Sounds like something out of virtual reality, right? Nope….

The Bible, False Prophets and Pete Kelly


Happy Easter to all those who celebrate this day. Polls show Alaska is one of the least religious states in the nation. That’s probably true for organized religion but I suspect most Alaskans are pretty spiritual people. It’s hard not to stand at the top of a mountain, in the middle of the wilderness or at the base of a glacier in Alaska and not believe in some higher force. When Sunday morning rolls around and my partner says, “You wanna go to church?” I will be on the boat halibut fishing pretty soon. If I were to generalize, I’d…