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April 20, 2021

Headlines:

Dumpster Fires & Middle School Spats -

Friday, April 16, 2021

Misfire and $$ Down the Toilet -

Friday, April 9, 2021

‘Where do they find these people?’ -

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

  • Dumpster Fires & Middle School Spats

    WAR OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOLERS   The Middle-School-style social media spat between anti-masker Sen. Lora Reinbold and the Governor’s office (in which they are both losing and that’s fine with us) has claimed a new victim. Former sycophantic right-wing radio hack, Dave Stieren, who is now making six figures working for the governor’s ham-fisted communications team has received a smack-down. Sen. Reinbold made a post on her official page complaining about the fact that she’d been fined $250 for taking her mask off during a meeting, and that therefore she was a victim of the “mask tyranny” being “pushed” by…

  • Misfire and $$ Down the Toilet

    SHOW ME THE MONEY It’s budget time in Juneau, and we’re looking at a strange set of circumstances that is complicating the process. Weirdly, it’s a giant influx of cash! You were not expecting that, were you? Joe Biden’s amazing American Rescue Plan means Alaska will receive about $1.1 billion, plus hundreds of millions more for education from K-UA, tribes and local governments, and infrastructure projects. You’ll recall Sen. Murkowski, Sen. Sullivan, and Rep. Young all voted against this bill. Guess they are not interested in bringing home the bacon anymore. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Now, the Alaska House and Senate must determine how to legally invest the money for the greater good of all Alaskans. Thankfully, there…

  • ‘Where do they find these people?’

    TODAY IS THE DAY! If you’re in the Anchorage Municipality, don’t say we didn’t tell you this one is important! You get to decide whether Anchorage has a responsible, decent mayor or a homophobic Alaska Family Council homeless-hating right winger. (yikes!) You also get to decide whether you get thoughtful, intelligent school board members, or ones who joke about corporal punishment and obsess about racism not existing on their social media posts. And if you’re in Midtown you get to pick between keeping Felix Rivera, a caring hard-working Assembly Chair, or letting a bunch of Q-azy, anti-masking, storm-the-Assembly-chambers wackos turn out to vote…

  • Bonfire of the Insanities

    “IT’S UNBELIEVABLE” This is perhaps the best way to sum up the confirmation hearing for Alaska’s third Attorney General under Gov. Mike Dunleavy held in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week – a post from the Chair herself. Reinbold, unsurprisingly, spent the bulk of the time complaining about having to follow rules, “drilling down” on the nominee’s opinion on separation of powers, the executive branch overreaching on civil liberties, and the governor’s mandates on “cloth face coverings” in government buildings. “As you know in the building we have negative tests but we still have to wear these,” she said. And…

  • Shenanigans & Malarkey

    No, it’s not a sketchy Irish law firm – it’s this week in the Alaska State Legislature. THE BUDGET LOOMS It’s that time in the legislative session, when all the budget subcommittees that take on little bite-sized pieces of the big budget and make recommendations, are starting to wind down. Soon all those little pieces will reconnect and we’ll be on to the next phase. But for right now, part of the draft budget includes a controversial line item we’ve been keeping our eye on.  Remember a few weeks ago when there was a hearing about the Dunleavy administration’s move…

Headlines

Speckled Chachalaca, Eastern Ecuador

Return of Bird of the Week: Speckled Chachalaca

Nov 7, 2020

Another “cha-cha” bird, this time a smaller member of the Chachalacas, the Speckled Chachalaca. Like a lot of the Cracids, it has consistently denied WC a clear photo opportunity. This species has a fairly wide distribution, from Columbia to Bolivia, along the eastern slopes of the Andes. It’s an easy bird to identify, with the characteristic speckles along the throat, expanding to scalloping on the chest. It has a strong, curved bill and a small dewlap in comparison to its cogeneors. It forages in groups of as many as six birds (possibly families?), eating fruits, flower buds and leaves. The…

Return of Bird of the Week: Chaco Chachalaca

Oct 31, 2020

Chaco Chachalaca, Panatnal, Brazil One of WC’s birding buddies call this genus of Cracids the “Cha-cha” birds. Chachalacas are cousins to the Currasows and Guans featured earlier. They generally tend to be a bit drabber than those cousins, but there are exceptions. Chaco Chachalacas are famous for their dawn chorus; this bird was vocalizing when WC got this shot. The male’s morning call is described as a “bink, ka chee chaw raw taw, chaw raw taw, chaw raw taw” and is very loud, audible for half a mile. You be the judge:

The Final Shenanigans Before Election Day

Oct 30, 2020

  DAVID NELSON (Yes, him again) So, hang on just a second… how long HAS David Nelson lived in the district he’s running in? Good question. The rules are very specific – you have to live in your district for a minimum of one year from when you file to run. Nelson filed on February 27, 2020, which means he had to have resided in HD15 since February 27, 2019. On his own Facebook page he says he moved to Muldoon when he got a job on JBER… in December, 2019. Here’s a handy infographic with images from his own…

Male Chestnut-bellied Guan, Pantanal, Brazil

Return of Bird of the Week: Chestnut-breasted Guan

Oct 24, 2020

This is a medium-sized guan, and in contrast to its tree-loving cousins, mostly forages on the ground. It’s the rarest Cracid – the family of Chachalacas, Guans and Currasows – that WC has photographed, and is likely globally threatened. Birds of the World (paywalled), one of the definitive sources of information on the 10,000 species of birds, says, “Comparatively little is known of the species’ natural history.” That’s an understatement. This species prefers the swampy forests and savannah of the Pantanal, the very large, seasonal swamp in eastern Bolivia and western Brazil, although smaller populations are found in central Brazil….

We Found the Worst Candidate in Alaska!

Oct 22, 2020

Goodness knows, Alaska is a veritable banquet table of bad Republican entrees this cycle. But we think we may have found the worst – the Jell-O salad with liverwurst of candidates. David Nelson May Be the Worst Candidate Ever Just have to say. This 23-year old recent Florida transplant, who has lived in the district the exact minimum amount of time necessary to run for office, is lacking in just about everything but gall. Let’s start here: Lying about military service The Official Election Pamphlet (OEP) is mailed out by the Division of Elections before every election and includes information…

Crested Guan, Costa Rica

Return of Bird of the Week: Crested Guan

Oct 17, 2020

Last week you met your first Guan, the Black Guan. This week it’s a close cousin, the Crested Guan, another arboreal Cracid. Crested Guan, Costa Rica The Crested Guan is much larger than the Black, and is one of the largest of its genus, coming in at more than two kilograms. The bright red dewlap, red legs, black body, white-scalloped chest feathers and brownish tail make it another very distinctive species. And noisiest: not only does it have a loud, repetitive honking call, when it flies from tree to tree its landing sounds like a train wreck. For a species…

Don Young Touts Phony “Most Effective” Rating

Oct 13, 2020

Amid the flurry of political ads this fall – mostly for Alaska’s hotly-contested federal races – one really stands out for anyone who’s more than an election season quarterback. And it is this: “Don Young was recently rated the most effective member of Congress.” Sorry if I made you spit your coffee. So, how does one achieve this coveted “most effective” rating when, like Don Young, one has not even passed one single bill last session, and barely managed to squeak one by in only the House? Good question. Apparently the measuring stick for this phony rating is that you…

Governor, Senator, & Republicans Caught in the Act

Oct 10, 2020

YOU DON’T WANNA BE LIKE MIKE It’s one thing when the “I wanna be like Trump” Governor decides (hours after telling Alaskans to mask up and keep their social bubble small) to show up at a swanky cocktail party fundraiser on the Anchorage Hillside. But it’s another level of irony to be outed by the bumbling ineptitude of your own propagandist. Dunleavy’s blogger, Suzanne Downing/Must Read Alaska, begins this weird video foray into the underground world of unsanitary Republican fundraisers by looking at the sunset and musing, “An orange, orange view for an orange president… although he looked a little…