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May 18, 2021

Laptops of Love!

Are you looking for a way to help kids that will fill you with the spirit of Christmas? Yes, you are. Today Rep. Les Gara and the foster care group, Facing Foster Care In Alaska (FFCA), are launching the third annual Laptops for Foster Youth Holiday Drive.  Over the past two years this drive has resulted in approximately 200 matches for youth in Alaska!  “Laptops are crucial to helping youth improve their chances of success in school, and establishing normalcy in very disrupted lives of youth who often have very few material possessions,” said Gara, a former foster youth whose father was killed…

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The Choices of Monsters

Born and raised in Alaska, Glen Klinkhart is a retired Anchorage Police Department Detective, a State Certified Police Officer, and Chief Executive Officer for DigitalSecurus, the largest Computer Security Firm in Alaska. He is also a father, lecturer, and author of  A CyberCop’s Guide to Internet Child Safety, and the upcoming Finding Bethany.     After the mall shooting in Oregon last week, my best friend asked me a question which weighed heavily on her mind, “Why? Why does someone do something horrible like this?” Needless to say, her question is now being asked by people all over the country,…

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Corrective Action?

          By Patrick Flynn Anchorage Assemblyman, Downtown District Everyone makes mistakes.  Indeed, if humans were on some sort of mistake quota system I’d likely be cadging ducats from friends in order to keep myself within limits.  And I’ll let someone else tell you about the “negative example” marketing plan once proffered on my behalf.  But the important thing about making mistakes is learning from them and doing better the next time. Which, of course, leads us to the Assembly’s badly bungled reapportionment process toward which my antipathy knows few bounds (examples here and here).  To summarize, three members met…

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Drummond. There Can Be Only One.

Well, this is a fine fix you’ve gotten us into, Harriet Drummond! One of our favorite Assembly members had the temerity to win the State House seat for her district. She also had the horrible lack of foresight to not stretch side to side until she divided like an amoeba in a spectacular display of binary fission, creating two Harriet Drumonds so both positions could be filled. More’s the pity. Now we have an issue – an empty Anchorage Assembly seat. By January 15, the first regular Assembly meeting of the new year, and until the next Municipal election (what…

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Anchorage Redistricted with No Public Input

It was a big night at Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly Meeting. The Anchorage School District Budget was passed, as was both the Municipal Operating Budget and the Municipal Capital Budget. However, I was there for the item that was slipped in towards the end. It was the first, last and only public meeting dedicated to Municipal Reapportionment…another word for Redistricting. You may be surprised to hear that the Assembly has been working on Reapportionment at all. You are not alone. If you remember the gerrymandering farce known as the State Redistricting process, the public meetings went on for months before anything…

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Back to the Sidewalk – Again!

The high drama of last summer’s sidewalk sitting may be back again in September. Mayor Dan Sullivan didn’t like that a homeless man protesting his draconian attitudes and policies toward the homeless was sitting outside City Hall on the sidewalk. He glowered out of his window in the tall tower, gazing to the sidewalk below and decided to bring the long arm of the law down upon the lowly “protester.” And then, to the mayor’s horror, he realized that there was actually no law prohibiting Anchorage residents from sitting on the sidewalk. It really hadn’t been an issue during the…

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Audit Committee To Discuss ABT Tax Report

On Sunday, July 15th, the Anchorage Daily News ran a comprehensive story by Richard Mauer. It discussed a determination made by municipal tax assessor Marty McGee regarding accusations that the Anchorage Baptist Temple had violated the law relating to specific tax-exempt properties belonging to the church. Mel Green at Bent Alaska gives us some background: “The issue was first reported in a story broken by Bent Alaska on August 29, 2011, based on court documents in the divorce trial of ABT pastor Jerry Prevo’s son Allen Prevo and Holly Jo Jaggers (who returned to her maiden name after the divorce),…

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In My Alaska Garden: Eating Locally

There is no getting around it…Southcentral Alaska’s flora of both the edible and decorative variety is late this summer. My lilacs, though lovely this year, were about three weeks to a month later than usual. Many other folks made the same comment about the famous Anchorage downtown lilacs as well as the beautiful blooming apple and crabapple trees. Today, I received an interesting report. My friends went to their favorite Salmonberry-picking spot this weekend, the same time they do every year. (I cannot reveal the location upon threat of murder.) They were dismayed to discover that the plants are just…

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Muni Played Favorites With Ballots (*Update*)

In last week’s installment of the Municipality of Anchorage’s continuing 2012 Election debacle, new Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones made a disturbing find while attempting to (quite literally) clean up the old Municipal Clerk’s mess…141 unaccounted-for ballots. This has led the trusty Election Commission to meet this coming Thursday and review the ballots they missed the first two times around. While all of that has been going on, members of our Recount Observation Team have continued to research and slowly pursue the auditing process the Municipality has refused to provide. …and it’s been free of charge… The latest bombshell was discovered…

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Uncounted Ballots: A New Can Of Worms

I’ll admit it…I’m tired of the Anchorage Municipal Election of 2012. It’s a kind of migraine-inducing, bone-aching, paralysis-producing exhaustion that I’ve rarely experienced. I know that’s how I felt after our team of 10 qualified voters and fabulous volunteer observers worked their butts off on the hand recount. The team “observed” and went above and beyond to report the issues and the craziness that happened during this hand recount. However, they did not stop there. The Team also poured (and continues to pour) time and energy into further investigation of the election issues in general, going way-beyond their “job description”…

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