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October 28, 2021


Alaska Disastas – A Thursday Triple Roundup

We’re staring at the end of the week, and up here in the North land, it’s just one disaster after another. They seem to come in all shapes and sizes, so let’s just roll up our sleeves and dig in.


The early spring, and warm temperatures have not come without a price.  Rapid melt on the Yukon River has caused a “breakup” like none in recorded history.  Huge, house-sized chunks of ice have ridden the rising floodwaters and  demolished the old village of Eagle.  The governor has made a disaster declaration which includes the drainages of the Yukon, Kuskokwim, Kobuk and Susitna rivers. Because of the flooding, the governor has also cancelled a trip to the East Coast where she was scheduled to attend a the White House Correspondent’s Dinner and then  an Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute event the following day in New York City.

But fear not, Alaska’s First Dude, Todd Palin himself, will attend the dinner as a guest of Fox News, and will also fill in for the governor at the seafood event.  He’s acting like the  “shadow governor” no more.  Now he’s out in the sunshine.


The rumblings and grumblings at Mt. Redoubt continue.  A lava dome is growing steadily, promising at some point we’ll have another explosion.  We don’t know when, but we know it’s coming sometime.  We’ve just handed out a jackpot worth $283,723 in the Nenana Ice Classic, where speculators choose the day and time they think the ice will go out on the Tanana River.  Maybe we need a Redoubt Magma Classic.  Any takers?  Wonder if we could find anyone to go set up the tripod….hmmmm….


Ah yes.  What disaster recap would be complete without the PR disaster of a huge surreal teenage birth control debate being waged on national television between the governor’s daughter and Alaska’s First Dude on one side, and the guy who made the governor a grandmother on the other.   We wonder at times if the rest of the country finds this airing of the Palin family’s laundry, and the unlikely celebrity of these two Alaskan teenagers as surreal as we do.  When will it end?

The intellectually inconsistent labyrinthine message coming from Bristol is, “Look at my adorable baby.  Without him I wouldn’t be here on national TV, which is pretty cool.  But don’t do what I did.  Just say no.  Even though it didn’t work for me and I know it’s not realistic.  Do it anyway.  Don’t make my mistake.  And the cute baby is not a mistake, he’s the love of my life and I wouldn’t give him up for anything.  But I wish I had waited to have him.  Even though it wouldn’t have been HIM…but you know what I mean.  Some other future baby.  But isn’t he just the sweetest thing?  I love being his mom.  But you don’t want one of these, trust me.”   Part of the reason this doesn’t work is just the nature of the predicament.  You’re in a losing argument if you sit in the spotlight, pretty and coiffed, and show off your adorable baby on national TV while trying to convince all the cooing hormonal teenage girls that this is a bad idea.

The surprisingly common sense message from Levi Johnston, the estranged father of the baby and former fiancee of the governor’s daughter is, “Abstinence is a great idea, but I also think you need to enforce, you know, condoms and birth control and other things like that to have safe sex. I don’t just think telling young kids, ‘You can’t have sex,’ it’s not going to work.”

Other than the fact that it left us all scratching our heads and wondering who or what organization is going to do the “condom enforcing” the birth control idea makes more sense than asking teens to ignore their hormone bathed brains and  “Just Say No.”



53 Responses to “Alaska Disastas – A Thursday Triple Roundup”
  1. northofdenali says:

    I know the Red Cross in Fairbanks is accepting donations for Eagle; as the flooding in Ft. Yukon and Circle hasn’t been fully addressed, their needs aren’t well known at this time. Everts Air (a local air freight/fuel company) is donating planes/pilots/crew to get the goods up to Eagle and just did a 10,500 pound drop yesterday.

    Unlike Sarah, who flew over, then flew home.

    The Fairbanks Red Cross can be reached at (907) 456-5937; our State Homeland Security Department is also on the ground, coordinating from Anchorage (907) 428-7286.

    Eagle has lost EVERYTHING from the clinic and post office to numerous homes; their fuel tanks are full of water, and the fishing season isn’t looking good this year. Whatever anyone can do will probably be gratefully accepted.

  2. Alaska Pi says:

    Go to Fairbanks Daily News Miner link AKM has here under Alaskan Sites. There are a couple decent articles today about immediate needs assessments going on now in Eagle.
    And yes- the state has plans in place…
    News organizations don’t seem to… news is the tough one…
    Waiting to hear and hoping it will be practical news…

  3. rebekkah says:

    Am finding it strange about the mixed info from State officials, waiting until they assess full damage, or wait until the flooding has stopped… – are flood victims getting present help they need now? I come from a flood zone, and every year spring run-off would flood embankments, ruin homes, basements, and I believe there were always shelters, and emergency plans in place before the actual event. Doesn’t the State of Alaska have a Pro-active emergency flood relief program, knowing the River can be a threat every year?

  4. just sayin' says:

    Sex ed…after puberty…We are mammals, as as the male of the species is always ready to breed, the female usually has a window every month when the urge to procreate will take over the brain (look at any mammal in estrus)…this needs to be acknowleged as a real force of nature, no amount of religion, school or parenting can stop that urge…but personal responsibility and knowledge of this biological need should lead to preventive measures until a youth is mature enough to handle the pressure and responsibilites of parenthood…this is reality, this is nature…but we have brains too… there would be no need for abortion if there was an educated and responsible population out there, who understood biological science and the workings of their own bodies…

  5. Jenn says:

    You can’t expect married people who are in love to always practice monogamy. Why teenagers who are rule breakers anyway?

  6. karen marie says:

    what knocked me off the couch watching bristol palin was her saying, when asked about levi, “i’m not here to talk about my personal life.”

    last time i checked, putting your behavior up as an example of how not to comport yourself definitely qualifies as talking about your personal life.

    she looked like todd’s prisoner. it was so creepy when she would turn to look at him and sort of smile.

  7. NY Dem says:

    May 7th, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    I wonder what is the REAL reason Palin is punting on the Correspondents dinner,


    Perhaps she “punted” because she can no longer slip the “free travel’ vouchers past anyone anymore ! If the bloggers in their pajamas hadn’t nailed her on all the free travel for her and her family at Alaska’s expense, believe you me, she and Piper and the whole clan would have been on an airplane to DC for ANOTHER free vacation in a heartbeat !

  8. petepeta says:

    Is first dud stopping at the Arctic Cat factory while he is outside? Why does he represent Alaska and not Lt Governor whats his name pretty boy?

  9. Polly says:

    34 IsyFleur — What you wrote is beautiful.

  10. the problem child IS MY NAME says:

    It seems odd to me that the rapid freezing of water does not constitute an emergency, but the rapid thawing of water does. The rapid accumulation of water in frozen form, assisted by gravity, such that it shuts down a power station apparently does not either.

    I hope the Legislature will consider amending the disaster law to deal with water in all its forms.

  11. Rainkiss says:

    Anybody know who paid for the plane tickets to send Todd and Bristol winging to the East Coast?

  12. InJuneau says:

    I think that KTUU was going to have links/information in their Web Links section on how to help (maybe). It’s worth checking out.

    OK, maybe not… (I just checked), but you might try contacting the Cook Inlet Tribal folks. Here is info from a KTUU story : Donations can be dropped off at the Cook Inlet Tribal Council building at 3600 San Jeronimo Drive from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    Here’s their web address, where you can find contact info:

  13. Wurzelhexli says:

    Why is she waiting for the breakup of the ice floats like they did in North Dakota?
    Why doesn’t she ask for help in breaking them up, and, more importantly, for immediate help to the affected citizens?

    GINO *NOT* leaving the state for SEVERAL BIG photo ops sounds fishy to me…

  14. Alaska Pi says:

    38 Physicsmom Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 10:30 PM
    Thanks for the info Alaska Pi. I’m willing to give GINO props for doing the right thing *this* time, but I can still question her motives, right?
    I think it’s illegal NOT to question her motives…
    Or should be.

  15. Alaska Pi says:

    @37 pearl89
    – If you go back to the story in adn AKM has linked in post , some aid has already come into Eagle. National Park staff have apparently gotten 2 drops in.

    The hardest part of this will be getting news. nswfm CA has been checking the Fairbanks paper online- good idea cuz is close, by Alaska standards, to Eagle. There are other affected areas but little news…

    nswfm CA- I’ve done flood more than once , earthquake more than 10 times, roof blown off in 120 mph winds once… None are fun but it’s the idea of an up close volcano which scares the socks off me! Those folks around Redoubt in this current active phase are tougher than me!

  16. Physicsmom says:

    Thanks for the info Alaska Pi. I’m willing to give GINO props for doing the right thing *this* time, but I can still question her motives, right?

    Ditto to pearl89 – let us know if we anonymous bloggers can help in any way.

  17. pearl89 says:

    How long does the spring flood season last in AK? Can the people of Eagle wait weeks for disaster relief? Is there some reason she doesn’t make a request to the feds now? I don’t how these things work, but if the house is burning do you wait until it’s totally burned down before calling the fire department?

    She made a declaration so it would be easier to ask for federal help after the spring flood season is over. It seems to me that the people effected by the ice floe season need all the help they can get asap (if not sooner).

    Please let us know if there anything us pajama wearing bloggers can do to help those effected.

  18. nswfm CA says:

    AK pi, loved the visual of the blackberries. I was over at the Fairbanks paper’s site and in the comments wasn’t sure if they wanted help or wanted us to stay out of it. Sorry about the current hardship. It must be awful to have that happen while you are asleep. (Been through earthquakes, fires and 9/11, no flood)

  19. Alaska Pi says:

    “… I also heard very cogent arguments that the winter problems were also the results of natural disasters: fishing shortages, early freeze causing inability of fuel to get to the villages, etc. GINO chose not to invoke the “natural disaster” designation…”
    Poor fishing and early freezeup do not qualify as natural disasters is Alaska law. The same law provides for ECONOMIC disaster but some changes after 1998 made it largely useless for this past winter’s scenario. The ghastly gov WAS correct saying no disaster could be certified under Alaska statute, even though the situation was an obvious economic disaster.

    All that being said, we know that much suffering by our neighbors could have been avoided had the ghastly gov been paying attention.

    The gov ignored the early warnings – clear back to fish forecast in May. She rode roughshod over the Legs who wanted to provide some kind of energy assistance for the bush in August to push her own $1200 energy- rebate thingy and enough of the Legs went along with it.
    By October , when early freezeup affected fuel deliveries, we all know the ghastly gov was off tooting around the country pretending she could run for VP and discharge her executive duties to Alaska via blackberry. I don’t know how blackberries work but I think she was making contact with aliens on hers cuz we pretty much got ignored… especially our neighbors in Western Alaska .

    Yes, a creative governor could have come up with ways to meet the needs of constituents in dire straits in January but even more importantly, a plain old boring hack-type, who was paying attention, could have cobbled together something useful by Sept or Oct before things got so tough for folks.

    We don’t know enough yet about the areas affected now, by break-up flooding, how bad things are , but I’m glad this declaration was made.
    It doesn’t matter that it was the ghastly gov who made it.
    I’m even more glad it is the folks from AK Homeland Security Div who will be the real eyes and feet on the ground to start getting help to our neighbors along the rivers…

  20. IsyFleur says:

    The GOP does not understand love. All love is sacred. Physical love is not separate from spiritual and intellectual love; these are all parts of the same essential Divine love.

    Despite our society’s arbitrary rules about the age at which is is acceptable for a woman to bear a child and become a mother, there is no biological reason why a 17 year old should not have a baby. And paradoxically, this is precisely what Bristol demonstrates: there she is, the happy beautiful mother of an adorable baby boy.

    Except, of course, that instead of the baby’s father by her side, there is her father – who himself conceived Bristol’s older brother out of wedlock – explaining the baby is a mistake. Even as Levi is on another show saying how much he loves and respects Bristol’s father. So in a way, she glorifies teen-motherhood while vilifying teen-fatherhood.

    Now of course, there are many valid practical reasons why it is better to wait until you are married and all that to have children – although really, the high rate of divorce somewhat negates most of them.

    But in the end, Bristol and Levi loved each other, and their baby is the fruit of their love. And so it is not only disturbingly voyeuristic and hypocritical, but it is sacrilegious of Bristol Palin to sit in front of a camera with the baby on her lap and her father by her side, denigrating the love she had for the baby’s father.

  21. seattlefan says:

    Flood and Fire…My thoughts, heartfelt prayers and best wishes are with all those involved. I have never been in a flood, but have been through the Northridge Earthquake, and now live at the base of an active volcano. I know what it is like to be in the midst of a natural disaster. Stay safe and stay calm. I’ve not yet experienced the volcano “thing”, but have certainly been through a 6.8 earthquake. From what I have read of the ice flows and the flooding of the interior, it is awful! I will be looking to see how I can help. Any links here????

    As far as Frivolity goes, the whole thing makes me sad for the child who is at the center of the whole circus. This poor kid hasn’t a clue as to how he is being played. I just hope he is being cared for and loved. It seems his mother is loving and caring. Bless his heart! As for the rest of the story, I hope it stays out of the news from now on. I recall a few months ago all politicians said family was off limits. I oppose Sarah Palin and her endeavors, and I hate that she has put her family in the forefront. She has broken the golden rule. By putting them “out there” she has actually made them fodder for the press. She should be ashamed.

  22. Wolfe Tone says:

    If you substitute “reinforce” for “enforce” in Levi’s response, it then makes perfect sense.
    I’m thinking that’s the word he was looking for.
    He’s still pretty new at this TV celebrity thang.
    Just sayin’.

  23. Jason in Oakland says:

    Sarah and Todd=boring.
    Mt. Redoubt=interesting.

  24. Lee323 says:

    Floods, Fires, Frivolity…….when are the swarms of locusts making their appearance? Alaska has become a veritable passion play of the Book of Revelations! Now, if only we could have some revelations on all those private emails on state business that the courts have ordered Sarah to turn over. Perhaps we might enjoy the “end times” of Sister Sarah if they’re ever made public…

    I suspect that the only ones completely happy with B. Palin’s “intellectually inconsistent labyrinthine message” ( love that phrase! ) are her mother and her supporters who were the only ones who were completely unhappy with her previous statement (“Abstinence is unrealistic” ) to Greta VS.

    As long as SP continues to use her children as operatives in the “Sarah’s Personal Ambition and Self-Aggrandizement Campaign,” the public will continue to hear “intellectually inconsistent labyrinthine messages” from those operatives, as we saw from Bristol.

  25. Physicsmom says:

    Thanks, TRRH, I understand that, but I also heard very cogent arguments that the winter problems were also the results of natural disasters: fishing shortages, early freeze causing inability of fuel to get to the villages, etc. GINO chose not to invoke the “natural disaster” designation and thus forewent (is that a word?) Federal assistance. If she had done so, she would have had access to the State plane to help deliver supplies and gotten much more for the villagers than Rev. Franklin was able to pony up. I realize it’s not a “traditional” disaster, but a creative Governor would have thought outside of the box to get help for her constituents.

  26. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Well there is a difference in this flooding compared to Katrina. Millions of people were effected by that debacle, maybe at the most 50,000 thousand people are effected by this flooding. If that many, and the distances that are in play here are actually a thousand miles or so and that’s just the Yukon not even the other rivers that are flooding right now. like the Kuskokwuim, and Copper Rivers.
    But I do wonder how much the pipeline has a play in this Palin action. I have heard nothing about the Yukon River Bridge being in any danger at this time.

  27. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    What is important to understand about the flooding is that these communities are not easy to get to there lives revolve around the rivers they live near. Getting help and supplies to some of the communities is going to be very difficult.
    I am guessing the reason that a disaster was declared when none was declared for the villages suffering so greatly this winter is the flood it’s self. when a disaster is declared from natural emergency I believe that it is possible that is where FEMA or Homeland security steps in (with funds) compared to a more economic disaster.

  28. EyeOnYou says:

    BPOINT Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 7:37 PM
    NYC Teens Chide Palin’s Abstinence Call
    Students Say Bristol Palin is ‘Hypocrite,’ a ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Hasn’t Been in Our Shoes’


    LOVIN’ IT!!! Some of those comments are PRICELESS!

    ***It’s a big flop,” said Jerry Kowal, a senior at Solomon Schecter High School in Hartsdale, N.Y., referring to Palin’s campaign to get teens to abstain from sex. “I don’t think it’s her real opinion,” the 17-year-old told “She’s just trying to help her mother. She said it herself that abstinence education doesn’t work. ***

    ***”I don’t get it,” said Raina Brot, 15, from the Beacon School in Manhattan. “She’s being kind of a hypocrite.” ***

    ***”I saw [Bristol Palin] on TV and how hard it was on her with her mother in the spotlight,” said Mignonette Brathwaite, Ocean’s 15-year-old classmate. “She knows her mother is worried about her political campaign. She wouldn’t want her to mess up her image.” ***

    Out of the mouths of babes! Amazing that these kids, kids mind you, get it! They grasp this better than the adults who seem to think that Bristol doing this kind of thing is a good idea.

    There is hope for our youth after all! 😉

  29. sauerkraut says:

    Hey Scorpie… how’s the draft stormy effort going down there? Should Vitter call on Palin for help to defuse his problem?

  30. sauerkraut says:

    n her Daily Beast column, Meghan McCain writes about Bristol Palin’s campaign for abstinence and how it relates to a general lack of honesty within the Republican party when it comes to safe sex.

    Meghan McCain is smarter than both parts of the GOP’s 2008 presidential ticket combined. And, I suspect, more honest.

  31. crystalwolf aka caligrl says:

    Bea Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    I wonder what is the REAL reason Palin is punting on the Correspondents dinner, ’cause we all know that her responsibilities as governor have never come first with GINO.
    My thoughts exactly! Don’t get me wrong I am very happy she is doing something like being a sitting governor and hopefully getting help for the people in the flooded area.
    But she has been really elusive as to where she is going, when and then flaking out at the last min citing some sort of family issue or AK emergency.
    Hey, when she was about to birth Trig she went for a speech…a little thing like labor didn’t deter her…why now??? WHY??
    Something is afoot. Last week Dennis Zaki running the SS palin/iceberg rumor…last week acting AK AG granting or allowing certain people to ask for immunity. Andree’s FOIA have been delayed and supposed to be ready by the end of the month (I think) maybe the shredder is workin’ overtime?
    She blew off the Alaska house (tomorrow) the Faux invt (sat) and GOPher thingy at “Dog killer” malek house on fri night. She is also blowing off the NRA on 5/13(I think) Did these people NOT check the “first family invited” box????
    Something’s UP! Fire up the popcorn makers!

  32. Scorpie says:

    ooops meant to say~she hasn’t said.

  33. Scorpie says:

    Being from Louisiana and from what i can see and read about them~~not much difference at all. Except, she has said “Doin’ a heck of a job Brownie”. (Brownie being the then director of FEMA)

  34. hindsite2020 says:

    In most states it’s the function of the LT. Guv to fill in for the Guv in social activitys. Wonder why the First Dude has more power than him?

  35. Bea says:

    I wonder what is the REAL reason Palin is punting on the Correspondents dinner, ’cause we all know that her responsibilities as governor have never come first with GINO.

    Maybe she was afraid to face the biting wit of Wanda Sykes, who I am SURE would have had some sharp barbs about La Palina in her monologue. I hope she still does. Be a shame to waste the comedy gold that is GINO just because she’s not there in person!

    And don’t you pity the First Dud’s poor tablemates? “I ride snow machines. I fish. Abstinence is best, even if no one in my actual family has ever tried it.” Then again, they’ll probably be Faux News guests as well, so perhaps their standards of witty table banter are a bit lower.

  36. Physicsmom says:

    Best wishes to those in the swath of the floods. The state doesn’t need any more disasters. Interesting how GINO has finally declared a state of emergency for that area, after going the entire winter refusing to do so. Apparently getting government assistance is now okay for AK. She is such a hypocrite.

    WRT Bristol, how is school going? Does she expect to actually graduate or sit for a GED? Also, I’ve heard/read conflicting stories about Track – did he graduate or do the GED thing too?

  37. Martha says:

    What is the difference between Palins’ reaction to the flooding in Alaska and G W Bushes’ reaction to Katrina?

  38. BPOINT says:

    NYC Teens Chide Palin’s Abstinence Call
    Students Say Bristol Palin is ‘Hypocrite,’ a ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Hasn’t Been in Our Shoes’

  39. Closet Mudpup says:

    It’s time for the annual icebreak pool here in Tucson as well, though the pot won’t come close to matching that of the Nenana Ice Classic. The ice here is different from Alaska ice, too. Santa Cruz River ice doesn’t break up until the temp hits 100°! (Sadly, that could happen within the next couple weeks.)

  40. austintx says:

    Gail Collins – NYT – Bristol……..last sentence is a killer.

  41. Martha says:

    This is worth a read folks, too funny!

    Bristol Palin Can See Unicorns From Her House

    OK, I have to ask: How on earth does Bristol Palin find time to fly around singing the praises of sexual abstinence, between pursuing that elusive high school diploma, and caring for the son she and Levi Johnston had as…well…teenagers not practicing sexual abstinence? And second of all, why is the daughter of Alaska’s increasingly unpopular governor still in the news at all?

    Michael RoweAuthor and Journalist
    Posted May 7, 2009 | 05:29 PM (EST)

  42. Alaska Pi says:

    Have had neighbors on the rivers in my thoughts the last few days.
    Detailed news about the the flooding is pretty skimpy to date-
    Glad to hear ice jam has broken up at Eagle… hoping everyone is ok.
    There were watches posted downriver last night…

    AKM- speaking of news… are the tanks at Drift River still full of mostly water… since alert is high for Redoubt?


  43. AlaskaDisasta says:

    Well – I’ll let it go that you’ve used my ‘handle’ :-((((((, but can someone please tell me why these people get so much media attention? It is beyond my ability to understand the interest in these dull and rather ignorant people. What’s with the insane fixation on (for lack of a better word) celebrities? Why is anyone even remotely interested in their sad little lives. Watching paint dry is much more exciting.

  44. MinNJ says:

    @Annie in NC

    Isn’t is just a shame! And when falling in love with their baby is not available to one of the parents, it hurts the child in the long run. Very sad.

  45. Fish HAwk Road Jody says:

    Evidently Meghan McCain sees Bristol and the baby saga in a less than flattering light.
    In her Daily Beast column, Meghan McCain writes about Bristol Palin’s campaign for abstinence and how it relates to a general lack of honesty within the Republican party when it comes to safe sex.

    I’m tired of the chillbilly tales and Bristol is the worst person to advocate for teen sex responsibility Having experienced her situation in my own family her message rings false. Plus it was weird seeing Todd hovering next to her on tv. Their soap opera needs to end.

  46. retfarc says:

    Seems funny to me that with Todds background in the AIP he could get clearance to this dinner??

    Praying for all the people in harms way with the flooding, hoping there are no lives lost and not too much property lost or damaged.

  47. MinNJ says:

    The seriousness of your flooding is horrifying. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected. I truly hope that help comes in the way that is best for all concerned. I will hope for every life.

  48. austintx says:

    YukonBushgrnma – I miss our chats in the am when everyone is sleeping. Hope you are ok.

  49. mudwoman says:

    What amazed me the most with the Today Show interview was how coached Todd and Bristol were. Did anyone notice that Todd did not actually answer any of the questions posed to him? He would pick one word within the question and talk about whatever he wanted related to the word but not address the actual question posed. Must have something to do with being a Palin – or, perhaps, he’s moving into the political world as well, thus the upcoming stand-in gig.

    To those of you dealing with the ice jams, floods, and the related fuel spills – hang in there and speak up for what you need to get through this.

  50. UgaVic says:

    The flooding is terrible. I hope help arrives or has arrived already.

    Scary as I am sure temperatures are still droppping below freezing at night.

    This is not a time get caught up in any politcal junk, just hope everyone who can is moving on it.

    I hope we do not hear of lives lost because of any delays!!

  51. BigPete says:


    Another intellectually inconsistent labyrinthine message is that Bristol is on tour to support her mother’s abstinence only political platform, although her mother was not exactly abstinent herself.

  52. Annie in NC says:

    Sad – I find it so sad that Bristol and Levi can’t just enjoy their baby in peace. This is such a great time as a parent – exhausting and scary, but you truly are falling in love over and over. Shame on Bristol’s parents! She will not thank them.

    Hang in there, Alaska. Summer’s coming!

  53. Deep Blue says:

    Todd Palin at the White House Dinner? I can’t wait to hear the late night jokes…

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