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June 24, 2021

Headlines:

Parnell Hides Medicaid Study

  Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. We all know that. But there’s a big community here that often gets overlooked. It encompasses 10,000 more people than the populations of either Fairbanks or Juneau. It has 36,000 more people than Homer. Eighty times the population of Aniak. And who populates this would-be second-largest community in Alaska? The 41,500 uninsured Alaskans who would benefit from a state expansion of Medicaid. Contrary to a popular stereotype, these are not people who loaf and live on the dole. For the most part, they are men and women who work hard for not…

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Negotiating With Healthcare Terrorists

We’re just a few days from launch for critical portions of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Republicans in Washington, D.C., are so freaked out they’ve taken the economy hostage and threatened to shoot it. Conservatives with “support the troops” on their car bumpers have no problem cutting off paychecks to soldiers in a doomed bid to “protect” Americans from affordable health care. I’ll bet the list of things they want before they’ll agree to pay the nation’s debts was made by cutting words out of magazines and pasting them on a piece of paper. In case I’m being too subtle, this…

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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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Crowdsourcing Success

Banking is based on the principle that the more you have, the more you can get. But we reversed the basic principle of banking, saying that if you have absolutely nothing, you are our most prominent client. – Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank. In the 1970’s, a newly independent nation was in the grips of economic and institutional crisis. An economist returned to his native country and became an Economics Professor in Bangladesh. He witnessed rampant poverty and desperation, and noted cruel private lending conditions. Two-thirds of the world’s population is deprived of services available from financial institutions, and bankers told…

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2012 Parting Shots

If you live in the Lower 48, you may be under the illusion that your state knows how to do “trashy” and “no way—that’s not for real!” It doesn’t. Not compared to Alaska. So sit back with some popcorn and check out the pros. Parenting Fail If you’re going to engage your own son in LSD-fueled hand-to-hand combat in the street over a woman (!), at least don’t do it in the nude. In Spenard, that makes you such a cliché. Poor Kids Get Baked Speaking of excessive nudity, House Finance Co-Chair Bill Stoltze refused to allow a vote on…

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Romney’s Entitlement Problem

In case you missed it, this week we had “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” The guy who made my coffee took it pretty seriously. He made more sense than the news I was trying to tune out. Guess what, America. Mitt Romney doesn’t like poor people. He says things with his inside voice — when he should really just zip it. He wears bronzer when he goes on Spanish TV. I’m pretty sure brown face won’t help him with the Hispanic demographic. His wife complained, “Stop it! This is hard.” Really, Ann? Is it as hard as having to sell…

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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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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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Help, Help! There’s an Elephant in My Uterus!

Alaska has become the latest state to fall victim to the Republican War on Women. It’s difficult to imagine today that Alaska was once at the forefront of women’s rights, and reproductive choice, but in 1913, the Alaska Territorial Legislature gave women the right to vote as its first official act.  In 1970, a successful state-wide grassroots movement to reform Alaska’s abortion law, made Alaska the third state in the country to make abortion legal and safe, three years before Roe v. Wade.  Alaska has a proud history of individual choice, privacy, and non-governmental interference in its citizens’ personal lives….

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Florida’s “Walking While Black” Shooting — Could It Happen In AK?

by Linda Kellen Biegel I’ve been waiting to see what crappy legislation (considered to be “a lesser of evils” by legislators who desperately want to trade for votes on their own bills, or shore up their second amendment credentials) would show up this session. Ding, ding, ding, ding…we have our winner! House Bill 80 has cropped-up as one with a long list of sponsors in both the House and the Senate. As we are told, HB 80 sailed through the House and now has “broad bi-partisan support” in the Senate. What is HB 80? It is another bill that has…

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