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June 19, 2021

Headlines:

Minnery Misrepresents One Anchorage Fundraising

by Mel Green (Originally posted at Bent Alaska) Nearly 1,100 Alaskans — about 75% of contributors — have so far donated to One Anchorage, a March 7 press release announced. But it didn’t take long for anti-LGBT leader Jim Minnery to claim that “Outside Gay Rights Funds Bankroll Prop. 5 Supporters,” completely ignoring One Anchorage’s numerous in-state contributors. Minnery, president of the antigay/antitrans Alaska Family Council and chair of its associated 501(c)(4) advocacy organization Alaska Family Action, is also chair of the anti-Proposition 5 group “Protect Your Rights — Vote No on 5.”  Proposition 5, the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative,…

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Equal Rights on the Ballot – Community Leaders Stand Up for One Anchorage

Remember when Ordinance 64 came before the Assembly? It stated that the LGBT community should have basic equal rights when it comes to housing, education, employment and use of public facilities. Pretty basic stuff, right? Well, after almost 24 hours of public testimony (including testimony from people who didn’t even live in Anchorage, yet were bussed in from evangelical Wasilla churches), the Anchorage Assembly voted yes on the ordinance. And after weeks of debate, during what has been dubbed “The Summer of Hate”, Mayor Dan Sullivan had the hubris to circumvent the public process, and the vote of the Assembly….

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Oyster Roundup – Jail Break, Flaming Pants, and Commie Frog

~Thick and fast they came at last, and more, and more, and more! This is Alaska… A 30-year old man escaped from jail during a bathroom break in the remote Western Alaska village of Alakanuk. It’s been nine years since Kevin Patrick has escaped from the Alakanuk jail during a bathroom break. This time his arrest was for drunk driving. The last time it was for assaulting a police officer with a shovel. After the first jail break, he was caught and arrested by trooper Eric Spitzer in a now infamous case where Patrick sued the state for the trooper’s…

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Begich and Murkowski – Alaska’s Constitution-Optional Senators

Let’s play a little game. Imagine this scenario, and then tell me in what country this story takes place. You wake up and go to work. Maria, in the next cubicle over, isn’t there. And she isn’t there the next day. You and your coworkers come to find out that military officers knocked on her door in the middle of the night and took her away somewhere. She was suspected of being an enemy of the government – suspected of being a terrorist. No benchmark of proof was necessary. No presumption of innocence. The executive branch of the government gave…

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Back to the Sidewalk — Assemblyman Traini will introduce Repeal on Tuesday

(photo courtesy of Alaska Commons)By Linda Kellen Biegel A few days ago, Jeanne recounted the tale of Anchorage City Attorney, Dennis Wheeler and his role in the Mayor’s no-lying down/no-sitting sidewalk Ordinance. If you remember, Municipal Attorney Wheeler lied used “a poor choice of words” when he claimed the ordinance had been “run by” the Alaska ACLU to determine whether it was vulnerable to lawsuit. (As it turns out, “run by” is only a poor choice of words when it actually means “never spoke to the ACLU about it once.” It would only be an outright lie if…ummm when…uhhh…errr…well…back to our story…) Assemblyman…

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City Attorney Lies to Assembly Regarding Sidewalk Ordinance (Update – Repeal)

Mayor Dan Sullivan is no stranger to controversy. Whether it’s creating a paid position for his personal “party planner,” cashing an illegitimate $193,000 check for a non-existent life insurance policy, pink slipping employees Christmas week, collecting $12,000 for being “mayor elect” before he actually started doing his job,  vetoing an ordinance that would allow the LGBT community equal rights in housing and employment, disbanding vital firefighting services and axing public safety positions… I could go on. One controversy that’s been brewing since last summer has involved an ordinance that Mayor Sullivan has ushered through the Assembly. This particular ordinance is…

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Sidewalk Sitting Has New Appeal

By Shannyn Moore I’ve never wanted to sit on a sidewalk so badly in my life. This week, seven members of the Anchorage Assembly voted for Mayor Dan Sullivan’s ordinance to create sidewalk sitting hours and rules. Ernie Hall, who has talked about being independent of the mayor, once again, with his vote, proved he is a lockstep lapdog. The most surprising, and disappointing vote was Dick Traini’s. Traini most certainly is not the mayor’s lackey, but he voted like one. The rest — Debbie Ossiander, Chris Birch, Bill Starr, Jennifer Johnston and Adam Trombley — voted as expected, right…

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Twin Sons, Newt Gingrich & Dan Sullivan (New Sidewalk Ordinance–Public Testimony TONIGHT!)

by Linda Kellen Biegel (Homeless Anchorage protestor John Martin and his faithful friend) On the same day that the world is outraged by the pepper-spraying of peaceful UC Davis protestors, Newt Gingrich still manages to capture the attention of the media. Friday, his announcement of “extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America” which turn out to include a repeal of child labor laws. Then, as if trying to outdo himself, Newt decides to moralize at the country-wide Occupy Wall Street participants (the same ones who shout him down at his speeches) by telling them to…

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Party Planner Tries to Crash Alaska’s Filmmaking Party?

When I moved to Alaska more than twenty years ago, I was expecting something like the TV show Northern Exposure. I figured Alaskans would be really happy and proud that the show “put them on the map,” as it were.  Invariably, when I mentioned it to anyone who had been in Alaska for a while, I got a big fat eye roll. “Yeah, they film it in Washington. They don’t even film it here. And we don’t have crickets, and we don’t have raccoons, and it doesn’t get dark in June…” They would have a list of all the mistakes…

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Working Hard Representing… Who?

‘Tis the season for political fundraisers. Invitations come via email, and Facebook, and robocall, and some still even come the old fashioned way and arrive in the mailbox. Each invitation tries to sound a little exciting, a little different, a little “stand out from the crowd.” Well, this is one that definitely stood out. We’ve got two candidates – Neal Foster, and Donny Olson. They’re both from Nome, and they are both running for re-election to the state legislature – Foster in the House, and Olson in the Senate. Now, let’s put on our reading spectacles and have a careful…

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