My Twitter Feed

October 16, 2021

Headlines:

Mayor Pulls Security AND Spit Guard -

Friday, October 8, 2021

GOP “leadership” & Alaska’s COVID catastrophe -

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Whole State Has Gone Mad – a Tour. -

Friday, August 27, 2021

Assembly Passes Anti-Labor Ordinance

I should have known things would go awry when Dan Coffey held the door for me as I entered the Assembly Chambers. Tuesday night was the vote on Ordinance 37, which will gut the collective bargaining rights of municipal workers, and introduce “managed competition.” There was a bunch of business before they got to the bill, but this was my favorite. Adam Trombley, the head of the Ethics and Elections Committee stated that the reason the committee had met only once since last year’s debacle of a Municipal election was that he “didn’t want to crowd the schedule at the…

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Hall Gets Flamed by Fire Department

A letter to Anchorage Assembly Chair Ernie Hall, from Tom Wescott, President of the Alaska Professional Firefighters about Ordinance 37, which is scheduled to be voted on by the Assembly on Tuesday, March 26. Mr. Hall is up for re-election on Tuesday, April 2. Hall is opposed by write-in candidate Nick Moe. Click HERE to learn what you can do to support Moe’s campaign, and to see if you are in the district. March 25, 2013 Chairman Hall, I am writing you to express my disgust in the role you have played in AO-37. As someone who assured our local…

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AO37:The Bill Remains the Same

Friday was billed as the last Working Group on Ordinance 37: “An Ordinance Amending Anchorage Municipal Code Chapter 3.70, Employee Relations, With Comprehensive Updates Securing Long Term Viability and Financial Stability of Employee and Labor Relations.” In other words, an ordinance established to decrease union contracts and establish a process called “managed competition” — a program through which it is easier to outsource various job functions within the Municipality. (See: “ALEC” legislation across the nation). In spite of efforts by Assembly Members Gray-Jackson, Traini, Flynn and Honeman to potentially scrap this ordinance and start over with employee and community participation,…

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The Many Faces of Ernie Hall

As Tuesday draws near, bringing with it the probable passage of Mayor Sullivan’s anti-labor “Employee Relations Act,” I still have a question for Assembly Chair Ernie Hall. Among the ardent supporters of Anchorage Ordinance 37, on which Chair Hall’s name is listed as the sponsor, are lawmakers who crusaded against unions during their campaigns. During his first run against Dick Traini, Andy Clary told a crowd that he felt limiting city contracts to the public sector was “wrong.” Back in 2010, he said: “I believe that excludes a whole crop of private contractors out there which, if we opened the…

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Nick Moe Takes On Ernie Hall

Candidate Nick Moe has launched an aggressive last-minute campaign against Anchorage Assemblyman Ernie Hall, whom many feel has betrayed his constituents, the city’s workforce including police and firefighters, and hundreds of Anchorage residents he cut off from testifying on the Mayor’s latest Ordinance. The minute the deadline to be on the ballot had passed, and Ernie Hall found out he was running without opposition in the April election for Anchorage Assembly he and Jennifer Johnston (also running unopposed) sponsored the anti-labor Ordinance 37. The Ordinance was designed to gut the collective bargaining rights of city workers, and introduce “managed competition.”…

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AO37 Testimony Ends, Vote May Be Delayed (VIDEO)

Last night was the last round of scheduled public testimony on Anchorage Ordinance 37,  which would take away the rights of municipal unions for binding arbitration, the right to strike, and would restrict annual raises. AO37 would also utilize managed competition to outsource city work done by public employees to private companies. For another five-hour session, city workers and supporters of labor stood on the podium and gave their three-minute testimony. Sadly, their opinions and experiences seemed less interesting to the Mayor than his manicure. Ultimately, police officers, firefighters, city employees, and concerned citizens were left standing in line to…

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Music in Our Schools (VIDEOS)

March has been officially designated  as Music In Our Schools Month, and music education has become the focus of schools across the nation. Music in Our Schools Month began in 1973, celebrated only in New York State, but has grown over the decades. In 1985 it became a month long celebration of music in schools. It reminds us of the importance of music education for all children, and that schools are the places where all children have access. It’s the time for music departments in schools to shine, and to share with students, faculty, families, and the community their beautiful…

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ACLU: Assembly Cannot End Testimony

Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska Foundation submitted a letter to Ernie Hall, Chairman of the Anchorage Assembly on Friday. Mittman cites the Municipal Charter,  Assembly Practice, and the rights inherent in public fora to state that any Anchorage citizens still waiting to testify on Ordinance 37 at the end of Monday’s meeting, must have the right to do so, and the Assembly must schedule another meeting for further public testimony. Hall had stated that testimony would be cut off at 11:00pm on Monday, regardless of whether citizens remained in line wishing to testify. Earlier in the…

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AO37 Testimony Still Going Strong

After 15 combined hours of testimony, the line of people waiting to address Assembly members stretched to the back of the room, and the auditorium was more than half full. It was 11:00 at night on a Wednesday. There is no doubt that the issue of Ordinance 37, which would radically alter the collective bargaining rights, and benefits of city workers, has hit Alaskans close to home. Longevity and performance bonuses, the right to strike, binding arbitration, and who exactly will decide the outcome of contract negotiations all hang in the balance. For the last week and a half, the…

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The Cost of Doing More

By Jeff Friedman The Anchorage School Board has passed its budget, and the state legislature will soon be voting on school funding. It is that time of year when people like to ask “why is education so expensive?” As a parent and school board member, I have been active in education issues at the school, district, state, and national level for nearly 20 years. Like most of you, I also went to school myself as a child. Of course, that was nearly 40 years ago, and a few things have changed since then. When I was in school, algebra was…

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