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December 19, 2014

Former ADN Editor Speaks About Sale

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This is my edited version of a radio interview of me by Lori Townsend of the Alaska Public Radio Network. The original transcript made for pretty rough reading, so I edited and elaborated on the original transcript. That’s what follows. Even if you heard the original radio report, or read that transcript at APRN or in the Anchorage Press, I think you will find this more detailed and different enough to be worth reading. I hope so. Pat Dougherty Former Editor, Anchorage Daily News (1998-2014) It has been a little more than two weeks since the Alaska Dispatch took ownership of theAnchorage…

Parnell Goes ‘Christie’ – Shakedown in Ketchikan

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“Gov. Sean Parnell’s warning that he might shut off Ketchikan’s access to state construction funds in retaliation for its lawsuit challenging state education funding reverberated Friday as a kind of ‘Chris Christie’ moment.” That’s not me saying that. That’s Richard Mauer in the Anchorage Daily News. What makes Parnell’s Christie moment even more remarkable than even Chris Christie’s “Christie moment,” is that the statement you’re about to read didn’t come cloaked in speculation. Nobody wondered if Parnell knew about the shakedown. There are no subpoenas, or investigations. There is no in-depth political analysis or speculation about what the governor knew…

Mayor Sullivan’s Christmas Carol

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Dan Sullivan, especially during his tenure as Mayor of Anchorage, could arguably qualify as “Dickensian.” In the past, Sullivan has funneled funds to his “friend” the “Party Planner,” made sure he got paid before he started the job, and signed a Municipal check for his family trust through a fake “insurance policy.” And that was just the first year! Scrooge would be so proud! Since then, he’s helped gut the schools by slashing the budget, lowering the tax cap and charging exorbitant fees; and caused Municipal employees to abandon city service like passengers on the Titanic, through the anti-union and…

Alaskan Politicos Weigh In On Climate Change

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In an article today in the Anchorage Daily News written by Lisa Demer our outstanding representatives were reached for comment on several different questions pertaining to climate change. While none of them out right denied what 95% of scientists now agree on – that climate change is caused by man… they’re answers danced around the truth. Mike Chenault’s was my favorite. When asked by the ADN.  “Do you believe there is a human-caused element to climate change? House Speaker Mike Chenault slyly answered:  “I think that there is. To what extent there is, is the argument, I believe.” Ok, Mike….

Exclusive Exerpt: Pilgrim’s Wilderness

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Into the Wild meets Helter Skelter in this true story of a modern-day homesteading family in the deepest reaches of the Alaskan wilderness–and the chilling secrets of a maniacal, spellbinding patriarch who called himself Papa Pilgrim. Tom Kizzia was the perfect writer to tackle this fascinating, horrifying, and very human story that could have happened only in Alaska. His former work as a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News led him to travel extensively throughout Alaska, and to report on a family that would leave a lasting impression on his psyche. The result was his new book, Pilgrim’s Wilderness. Like many Alaskans, the…

Mayor Misrepresents Student Performance

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I look forward each week to Sunday’s Alaska Ear column in the Anchorage Daily News, as penned by formerly-anonymous reporter Sheila Toomey. For many years I considered it purely entertainment, until I got involved with the fetid swamp known as Alaska politics. It was then that I discovered the accuracy of The Omnicient Oriface’s information. So it was with great interest that I read this tidbit from Sunday’s column: “. . A couple of weeks ago earwigs reported our new school superintendent, Jim Browder, walked out in protest while Mayor Sullivan made a presentation at some big public meeting. The…

EXCLUSIVE: FBI Militia Informant Tells All

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Bill Fulton, undercover FBI informant in the “Alaska Militia Trial,” gave a lengthy interview to The Mudflats about his role in the case, and his controversial life in Anchorage before it was revealed. In this article, he shares his candid opinion about local Anchorage media, national progressive media, Joe Miller, and what they got wrong. Yours truly didn’t even escape entirely unscathed. Bill Fulton came to Alaska, the biggest small town in the world, and became instantly “known.” He owned a shop in Anchorage that was utterly unforgettable. A military supply store, which doubled as offices for a security company,…

The New ADN Paywall

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The publisher of the Anchorage Daily News has announced the paper will begin charging readers 80 bucks a year to access its website. In one respect, I’m quite sympathetic to the paper’s move. I support paying reporters, editors, photographers and others who allow a news organization to exist. Few of the folks who are howling, and  who feel entitled to the work of others for free, go to their own jobs without compensation. I believe an informed citizenry is crucial to a functioning democracy, and we had better ensure journalists continue to cover things like school board meetings, legislative hearings,…

‘Recess’ won’t set GOP-led House back

by Shannyn Moore ADN comment I remember sitting inside during recess in fourth grade. Mrs. Henwood, my favorite teacher ever, was tough as nails. Her sparkly glasses and no-nonsense teaching made me adore and fear her at the same time. My times-tables were giving me fits. “You don’t come to school for recess, Shannyn, you’re here to get your work done.” I learned more than my times-tables from her. Buckle down, get it done, then you play. When I’d passed all my timed tests she gave me a bag of jelly beans. I don’t like jelly beans, but it was…

Ethics Complaints and the Power of Precognition

The Daily News in an op-ed piece yesterday said something interesting. Alaska citizens have a right to file ethics complaints against their elected representatives. State law guarantees it. But when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points, they abuse that right — and may put it at risk. Score political points?  Abuse their rights as citizens?  Wow.  That’s a fairly strong accusation.  And it makes the assumption, of course, that the complaints are frivolous, and without merit.  It sounds like something we ought to know.  But how do we determine if the complaints are indeed frivolous?  Well, we could…