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May 16, 2021

Coghill Breaks Crayons Over Mandatory Release

It’s always fun when committee meetings become not mind-numbingly dull. For every bazillion hours that make you wish you were watching paint dry, there’s a precious moment of drama. And if you’re lucky, you even get crayon-breaking and a tantrum. Behold today’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, and its Chair, Senator John Coghill (R-North Pole). The omnibus crime bill (SB91) was passed a couple years ago, and since then all the inevitable bugs and problems found in a gigantic bill are being worked out. SB150 is one of those mechanisms meant to deal with the pre-trial portion of the bill. One…

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Transparency? You can’t HANDLE transparency.

Let’s talk about why some Republican Senators actually said right out loud that the public should be kept in the dark about ethical issues surrounding legislators who may be voting despite a declared conflict of interest. Let’s just say for a minute that you work for a candy manufacturer. Pick your favorite. Mine is Butterfinger, so we’ll use that here. So, there’s a big Butterfinger factory somewhere in Alaska, and you work there. And let’s also say you’re a member of the Alaska legislature – a senator. Butterfinger is happy to let you work 7 or 8 months of the…

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Voters Duped by Pot Initiative Says GOP Senator

Monday, the Alaska House of Representatives voted to legalize the farming of industrial hemp (the kind that doesn’t get you high). The Senate passed the vote unanimously but only after Sen. Johnny Ellis, the Democrat at the helm retired and gave the bill to a Republican to carry. Because anyone knows that good ideas can NEVER EVER come from Democrats. And by gum, we’d rather stop entrepreneurs from launching new businesses, and stonewall local farmers, let great legislation wither and die in committee, and fold our arms in the corner than give credit where credit is due. Things I learned in…

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UPDATE: HE’S GONE! Meet the New Republican Senator from the Mat-Su!

  As Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) steps down from the state senate to run for Governor, Gov. Bill Walker was tasked with choosing one of three possible replacements to fill out Dunleavy’s term. Walker opted to choose from outside the shallow pool of nominees from the Mat-Su Republican Party’s options, and appointed Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Randall Kowalke. The fabulously-coiffed Kowalke was at least an already-elected official in some capacity. Walker took a risk by choosing from outside the list, and quickly felt the wrath. The arguments on the surface were difficult to discount. It’s the normal custom of the Party to…

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Anti-Net Neutrality? Follow the Money.

It’s time for a field trip! Before we take a special excursion to the Political Olympics today, let’s try a little experiment. Listen carefully. “Net neutrality.” Did your eyes glaze over? Are you checking your phone? Hey, you in the back of the bus – eyes forward! It’s a problem. And I’m going to resist the temptation to slip into wonkiness and lose you. Because it’s too important of an issue to lose you and there are plenty of places you can go if you want to get into the weeds of net neutrality. The bottom line is that your…

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Rev. Undra Parker Needs a Lesson in Christianity. STAT.

Well, I was hoping it would be at least a decade before Anchorage revisited the hate-mongering politics against our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Sadly, it’s come sooner. Anchorage voters are asked once again to declare if they are homophobic or not on the upcoming ballot. Should we have cops at public bathrooms to ask for people’s birth certificates, so they can determine if the declared sex lines up with a matching genital inspection? Side note, who wants that job? (And if they do want it they probably shouldn’t get it.) A few years ago I witnessed something remarkable during Assembly…

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Return of Bird of the Week: Barred Owl

Barred Owl, Bois, Idaho

Maybe WC should call this a Bard Owl: it was photographed on the grounds of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise, yesterday. Bad puns aside, this species is rare in southeastern Idaho. And controversial. Range expansion into the Pacific Northwest has brought the Barred Owl into contact with the closely related cousin, the Spotted Owl. The more aggressive Barred Owl has been known to displace and even hybridize with the Spotted Owl, a further threat to that already endangered species. This is North America’s third largest owl by size, smaller than the Great Grey Owl and Great-horned Owl. It’s a generalist…

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Why Alaskans Hate the Government

You know that old song from the 70s, “If you can’t report on the governmental body you know, report on the governmental body you’re with.” Or something like that. Anyway, I’m here, so… DATELINE: DELTA JUNCTION, ALASKA – Somewhere south of the Granite Mountains, somewhere east of Fairbanks, west of the Canadian border, and squarely in the middle of what most Americans would call “nowhere.” The current temperature is about -20F with the wind chill factor. I don’t even know what it is without the wind chill factor because frankly, here, it doesn’t matter. Wind chill factor is everything. The…

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Happy Birthday to the father of Alaska statehood & why Trump would hate him

Happy birthday to the father of Alaska statehood… and here’s why Trump would hate him. The list is long. When you think of Alaska, you probably think the reddest of the red – half-term governor Sarah Palin, almost-US-Senator Joe Miller, and the longest serving member of the House of Representatives (which I still cannot explain to anyone who asks) Don Young. But I like to remember when we had someone else with different ideas at the helm. He was the 7th Territorial Governor, and one of the two first U.S. Senators from the brand new state of Alaska – Ernest…

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Two cents a bullet. Are you in?

There are still active GoFundMe pages for victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting. Yes, still. More than 500 people were hit with bullets that day. Fifty-eight died. Many of those who survived the shooting are just trying to figure out how to pay their bills. Some are trying to learn to walk. Feed themselves. They will never be OK. This past week there were three school shootings in America. Maybe you missed them since they don’t make headline news very often. It’s just part of the risk we endure with all this freedom. People are donating money to pay…

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