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May 26, 2017

Oil First, Kids Second

I suppose the saying “dance with the one who brought you” should be changed. “Dance with the one who bought you” is more apropos when watching the Republican Senate majority in Juneau. This week 13 lawmakers voted to drain every single dime out of the statutory budget reserve — also known as our savings account — to pay oil companies more money than the suggested maximum amount. Why? Well, it’s not really a very well-kept secret that come election time their coffers are stuffed from oily folks to make sure our rainy day funds will make the “transfer of wealth”…

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…

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…?

Quiet, 26 Years After the Spill

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Several years ago Shannyn Moore, Jeanne Devon and I went out to Prince William Sound [read the post from Jeanne Devon] on an assignment from BBC World Service. We were sent for the odd request that could only come from a international news agency like the BBC… gather sound. They didn’t need video, or pictures, just sound. BBC had certainly been there before and had much in their catalogue to make it sound like their reporter was in Alaska – but they were looking for sound from right then. It was July 4th weekend so instead of BBQ and beer the…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska NewsMiner.com – Legendary Alaska sprint musher George Attla dies George Attla Jr., unmatched sprint racing champion and one of Alaska’s most decorated mushers, died Sunday at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage at the age of 81. Washington Post – In EPA’s expected ‘veto’ of Pebble Mine in Alaska, foes see a vein of overreach Just north of Iliamna Lake in southwestern Alaska is an empty expanse of marsh and shrub that conceals one of the world’s great buried fortunes: A mile-thick layer of virgin ore said to contain at least 6.7 million pounds — or $120 billion worth —…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN – Tundra Green — an illustrated history of cannabis in Alaska On Feb. 24, the initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana passed by Alaska voters takes effect, adding another wrinkle to the unique history Alaska has with the plant. Here is an illustrated history of marijuana in Alaska. ADN – Alaska government spent nearly $28 million on database project scrapped before it was ever implemented The Alaska Department of Public Safety took 11 years and spent at least $27.9 million trying to replace the state’s aging criminal information database before the project was abandoned, derailed by problems with funding…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN – Begich unveils consulting firm, will work in aviation and health care Former Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said Saturday that he’d founded a consulting firm and would work for a health care trade organization and an Alaska airline, Grant Aviation.Begich, a one-term Democrat who last year lost his re-election bid to Republican Dan Sullivan, said in a press release that he’d been hired by the airline and by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. Juneau Empire – Female AKNG boss is one of few in country When Gov. Bill Walker announced Friday that retired U.S. Army…

Click Bishop Takes a Page from Palin – Reads Dr. Seuss

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Republican Senator Click Bishop, whose district covers land from Fairbanks to Valdez took a page from Sarah Palin and read a story by Dr. Seuss to the Alaska State Senate. Well, it wasn’t quite a Dr. Seuss original – more of a revision of Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham seen through the filter of government overreach. Unlike Half-Term Palin’s teleprompter read at CPAC last year (when she held the book as a prop), Click seems to have actually written the words down in a copy of Green Eggs and Ham. I’m hoping that he bought a new copy and didn’t ruin one of from his grandkids….

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN.com – Walker administration asks 9th Circuit to pause same-sex marriage appeal pending Supreme Court ruling News that the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the fate of same-sex marriages means Alaska is pressing pause on its ongoing challenge to the decision allowing marriage equality in the state. NPR.org – Welcome To Whittier, Alaska, A Community Under One Roof Whittier, Alaska, is a sleepy town on the west side of Prince William Sound, tucked between picturesque mountains. But if you’re picturing a small huddle of houses, think again. Instead, on the edge of town, there stands a 14-story building called Begich Towers…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN.COM – With more Alaska women incarcerated than ever, some moved to men’s jail The number of women incarcerated in Alaska is at an all-time high, with the sole women’s prison in the state overcrowded enough that the Department of Corrections is now housing female inmates at Anchorage’s jail for men. DailyMiner.com – Seven bills and resolutions so far head to Juneau from Interior Interior lawmakers had their names on seven of the 63 bills or resolutions pre-filed in the run up to the start of the 29th Alaska Legislature. Many of the Interior delegation bills included retreads of legislation or…