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May 18, 2021

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Synthetic Cannabis

I was in an Anchorage Assembly meeting a few weeks ago, and the question came before the body – Should synthetic cannabinoids be illegal? I had never heard of “synthetic cannabinoids” and thought that this sounded like some kind of manufactured drug that had the same effect as marijuana. After a few questions, I found out that this stuff which looked a lot like cannabis was being marketed as “incense” under the name “Spice,” “K2” and others, and being sold over the counter in Anchorage. The Assembly voted to illegalize the substance and I thought at the time that I should…

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Will The AK Liquor Lobby Benefit From Its Investment In The AK Legislature? *UPDATE*

When the word “lobby” is used in Alaska, the first thing that logically springs to mind is Big Oil. However, there is a very powerful lobby which has reigned supreme in this state longer than the oil companies and it revolves around Alaska’s favorite drug-of-choice, alcohol. Why is the alcohol lobby so influential in Alaska? The first picture that comes to mind is that of Alaska’s early Wild West days, including the Gold Rush of the 1890s. Along with these hopeful gold miners came early entrepreneurs and colorful vice-peddlers who discovered a different kind of “gold mining” in the “Land…

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Coffey Stains Anchorage City Plan

It was a little before Mudflats’ time as a blog, but Anchorage residents may remember the best piece of political theater since… OK, it was the best ever.  It all had to do with a conversation between Assembly members Dan Coffey, and Bill Starr when we all got to eavesdrop on – how shall I put this – their “coarse language,” a scheme to force the Anchorage Police Department to approve a shooting range in Eagle River, and some illegal fund raising activities by a certain Mr. Dan Coffey. Alaskans fondly refer to this telephone call as “the butt dial.” …

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Anchorage School Board Wrap-up. Gains made.

~Linda Kellen Biegel testifies at the School Board meeting Thanks to all who showed up last night at the special meeting of the Anchorage School Board. The room was packed, and the public testimony was moving, and heartfelt, and practical. We put our money where our priorities are, and nobody wants to live in a city where the next generation is not a priority.  It was amazing to hear employees of the Anchorage School District talk about the job descriptions of positions that were on the chopping block, speaking up for people who have dedicated their lives to making a…

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Anchorage's City Budget – Where's the Outrage?

By Elstun Lauesen The Assembly Voted last night for the $435 M budget that cuts services and raises property taxes by half a mill. Basically, this budget was predicated on a set of assumptions that misrepresented facts of a greater magnitude than those alleged by Assemblymen Chris Birch, Dan Coffey and Bill Starr against then Mayor Mark Begich. We all remember the hand-wringing over the ‘overly optimistic’ assumption that set Starr into meltdown mode in early 2009. Alleging ‘criminal’ activities by the Begich administration, Starr made unauthorized visits to the FBI and Bond Council, in essence, trying to undermine the…

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Open Thread – Boys & Girls Club

Assembly members Elvi Gray-Jackson (center back row) and Paul Honeman (second from right) greet volunteers and attendees of the Anchorage Boys & Girls Club.  Many of those in attendance at last Tuesday’s Assembly meeting gave passionate, convincing and sincere testimony in support of keeping the 7% of their budget that Mayor Dan Sullivan has cut in his 2011 municipal budget. If you know the importance of the Boys & Girls Club in helping single parents, and giving kids some place safe and productive to go after school, tell your Assembly members to keep the money. An email sent to wwmas@muni.org…

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Anchorage Assembly Meeting 2011 Budget – What are People Saying? (Live blogging)

I’m here at the Assembly Chambers as public testimony is being taken on the Anchorage municipal budget. (See previous post)  I’ll try to hit the highlights for those of you who couldn’t make it.  There is a long line of people waiting to testify and the room is packed to standing room only. Guy in weird hat and American flag scarf thinks the mayor is doing a great job. Thinks the Assembly should buy their own lunch. Quoting from a book “citizens are a milk cow ready to give buckets of money… absurd taxes, bla bla bla.” 18th Century, Declaration…

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Time to Storm the Castle! Sullivan's Budget

OK, boys and girls.  The election is (almost) over and now it’s time to redirect our focus just a tad.  It’s kind of like when the dishwasher overflows, and the dog is barking to get in, and someone drops a glass…  Then when you finally get it all sorted out, you look over in the pantry and you see the five year old elbow deep in a bag of chocolate chips, with scared eyes and melted goo all over his face.  He thinks because you haven’t had time to pay attention during all the chaos, that he could just keep…

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Pop, Ooze, Dung, and the Alaska Personnel Board.

Lots of good stuff floating around the internets.  Here’s a little smorgasbord of tasty treats you may have missed. POP! Gubernatorial candidate Bob Poe wrote an excellent compass piece for the Anchorage Daily News that begins like this: I support equal rights for all people. And I support banning discrimination in Anchorage due solely to someone’s sexual orientation. I support a comprehensive equal rights ordinance because it’s the right thing to do, period. Sh. sh. shhh.  Listen.  Do you hear those faint little noises, like Pop Rocks?  Remember all those people in red shirts who testified at the Anchorage Assembly…

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1 – 2 – 3 … Jump! Entering the Blogosphere.

At Netroots Nation, I attended a lot of panel discussions because I thought they’d be valuable for me, and for Mudflats.  But there was one that I looked at and thought… I’m going to this one for YOU.  So many of you donated to make the trip possible, and voted for my scholarship, this was my way of saying thank you with some tangible information that will help you make change where you are, whether you’re  in Alaska or not. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start a local blog? Do you have a blog already…

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