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May 16, 2022

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Friday, January 28, 2022

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Blimps in the Last Frontier!

Thursday, I attended the Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop
.  That’s right, the Blimp Convention! Earlier this year, I reported that a blimp was coming to Alaska this July for the first time since the 1920s. And not just any blimp – we’re talking the 200-foot long Skyship 600. Even though, to my disappointment, it was not coming up to give people rides, I had still planned on trying to blog the event and get some pictures if it came to Anchorage. Sadly, that never happened. But the dream is not dead, my friends. And there are many smart and motivated…

Why Your Well-Intended Comments Won’t Work

Editor’s Note: The deadline looms for submitting comments to the EPA about the proposed Pebble Mine. You may be thinking that you’ve already done that. But your comments may be off the mark. It’s not too late to save your opinion from the scrap heap. Here’s what you can do. And do it BEFORE SUNDAY! In the upcoming days, you will see a frantic flurry of e-blasts, Tweets and Facebook posts urging you to tell the EPA to stop the Pebble Mine, to “help save jobs” in the commercial fishing industry.  But these calls for action are not what the…

Pebble Mine – Got Plans?

What’s for dinner? “No plans.” Really? You sure have been looking at that menu a long time. “NO plans.” Um. Alright. “Stop asking me questions.” So no plans for dinner? “No. Absolutely not. But we’ll be feeding 2500 people dinner for five years. The tax and tip will be ballparked between $136 million and $180 million – and that would be on top of the $1.2 billion per year for groceries.” How do you know all the particulars with no plans for dinner? “Shut up. I said we don’t have a plan.” Really. That’s what the Pebble Partnership is telling…

Parnell – Dug in Like a Tick

Well, I’m surprised. Gov. Sean Parnell announced Friday that he will run for governor again. “Fantastic! I get to vote for Sean Parnell as governor again!” said no one within earshot of me ever. The anticipation of his announcement, and the speculation around it, was fierce. Would he give Mark Begich a run for his money for the U.S. Senate? Would he figure his work was done, having succeeded in passing a bill to give billions to oil companies for no guarantees, and just start picking out wallpaper for a K Street office? He’s dug in like a tick. I…

UPDATED: Massive Landslide at Bingham Mine – Is this what Pebble will bring?

UPDATE: Quoted from Dow Jones 4/16/2013 RIO Tinto has asked employees to take vacation or unpaid leave after a massive landslide at its Bingham Canyon mine in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley, one of the world’s largest copper producing mines. Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper unit said it has asked for workers to volunteer to take leave because the operation isn’t running at full capacity. “The slip has destroyed the main access decline into the pit, so a new decline will need to be constructed before mining can resume. We have no guidance from Rio on how long this will take, but…

Pebble Has Rocks in Head

Behold the latest gripe from the Pebble Partnership about the oh-so-restrictive permitting process required to put the largest open pit copper and gold mine on the planet at the headwaters of the planet’s largest wild salmon fishery. The project requires permits for lots of things. It pays to be assured someone knows what they’re doing when they have to build 700 foot tall earthen dams that will last forever in a highly active seismic zone, holding back giant lakes of poison from a thriving fishery. You know, stuff like that. Check out the latest. We know they’d like to compare…

Alaska’s Relationship of Convenience with EPA

Ever had a boss so hard to read you didn’t know if you were going to be fired or promoted? Mixed messages on a daily basis? It’s horrible. How are you supposed know what to do? A relationship in which you don’t know if you’ll be hit or hugged is much worse. “Can’t you just be a jerk all the time? It would make things so much easier.” It’s the back and forth, the uncertainty that make these situations unbearable. That’s why I feel bad for the folks at the Environmental Protection Agency. Oh, before you start calling me a…

Open Letter to the Alaska Tea Party…and You

Dear Alaska Tea Party, A few years ago, Sarah Palin was asked which Founding Father was her favorite. She answered, “You know, well, all of them.” My favorite Founding Father was William Woodford. He fought alongside his friend George Washington in the French-Indian War. Afterwards, Woodford brokered a peace treaty between the Virginians and the Cherokee that was honored for over a decade. Woodford was a General, and before the Revolution started, he and Washington corresponded about the coming struggle. A letter lining out how to conduct troops was signed, “My compliments to Mrs. Woodford; and that every success may…

Foreign Interests Attack Alaska’s Voice

  Here it comes. We knew it would happen. Because it always does. This time, the Alaska citizens’ initiative that’s in the cross-hairs of multinational corporations is the August 28th Ballot Prop #2, which would bring back Alaskans’ ability to have input into decisions made regarding management of our coastline. Local input. Kind of a no-brainer. Coastal Zone management worked fine for decades, but recently the Parnell administration and big moneyed interests let it go… Now, we have no say, even though we have more coastline than the rest of the nation combined. It’s all up to the feds. Makes no…

Pebble Mine and History

Butte, Montana has a couple of distinguishing claims to fame; one controversial, the other, not so much.  What is controversial is that Butte boasts to being the headwaters of the Columbia River.  The Canadians and Wikipedia would sharply disagree, but state and federal government and non-profit websites point to Silver Bow Creek in Butte as the headwaters to the Clark Fork River, a “major headwaters stream” of the Columbia River.  Anyone who knows rivers knows that if you start with forks, you end up with the main body of the river sometime downhill. If you trace the Columbia River upstream from the Pacific Coast, you will…