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June 15, 2021

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The View from Juneau

An old saying goes something like this, “We hate in others what we hate in ourselves.” I don’t think I’ve seen a better example of that than this 28th legislative session. I flew to Juneau to watch the last days of the session for myself. Home in Anchorage, I spend a remarkable amount of time watching Gavel to Gavel – I even Tivo it. But the cameras don’t show what’s really going on in the Capitol, restaurants and bars; they don’t show the lobbyists following lawmakers into the bathroom or to the smoking porch. (I have to wonder whether the…

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Rep. Could Cash in from Bridge

A legislative audit recently revealed that Alaskans could be on the hook for up to $1.4 billion dollars as a result of insufficient projected toll revenue from the Knik Arm Bridge (aka KABATA, aka The Bridge from Hell). Not only that, but a land ownership analysis found that at least one state Representative in Juneau could stand to cash in from road construction to the area.  The family of Representative Lynn Gattis (R-Wasilla) just happens to own land adjacent to the Knik Arm Bridge approach in the Mat-Su Borough, and would see her land become much more valuable as a result of the…

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Feds Say the Oil and Gas Industry’s “White Whale” is Endangered

As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s all give a big helping of thanks (and an even bigger ladle of sarcasm gravy) to Sean Parnell for yet again wasting our money. Thanks, governor. Cook Inlet has a problem. It used to have a large, healthy population of beluga whales. The population of about 1,300 animals was large enough, even, to support subsistence hunting. But back in the 80s, something started to happen. The population of these magnificent creatures began to decline. In the early 90s, it was still possible to drive along the scenic Seward highway, south of Anchorage and spot what at…

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Oyster Roundup – Theft, Shakedown, Hot Sauce and More…

~Thick and fast they came at last, and more, and more, and more! [The Walrus and the Carptenter, Lewis Carroll] A half dozen on the half shell. Slurp ’em up! (Links in the titles) Rick Perry, Evangelical Economist Rick Perry thinks that God crashed the economy on purpose to teach us a lesson and return us to Biblical principles. I think that God inflicted Texas with Rick Perry for not allowing gay marriage. Rembrandt Returns! I have conflicting feelings about art theft. While I understand more the impulse and obsession to own great art, rather than simply a desire for…

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Treatment of Anchorage Community Leaders and Workers by the Sheraton is No Joke

It sounds like the beginning of a joke: A priest, an African American woman and a “union thug” walk in to the Sheraton… But, in reality, it’s no joke at all for the hard working hotel workers in Anchorage. First, a little background. Currently, two hotels in Anchorage are under boycott – The Anchorage Hilton and The Anchorage Sheraton. The simple reason is that their treatment of employees leaves a lot to be desired. There have even been huge rallies and demonstrations from the labor community, and concerned citizens from many areas in the community on behalf of these workers…

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Where is the Knik Arm Bridge REALLY Going?

Remember the “Bridge to Nowhere?” Remember the project that was possibly the single biggest contributor to the tainting of the word “earmarks?” That famous title was actually a misnomer. It referred to two Alaska bridges, both funded through the same “earmark” at the time. The actual “Bridge to Nowhere” referred to the Gravina Island Bridge, which was a link from Ketchikan to the island that holds its airport. This was only accessible by ferry and small plane and when hundreds of thousands of visitors pour into Southeast Alaska during the summers, it becomes a problem. This was also the bridge…

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