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May 18, 2021

Park Service Gets it Wrong on Drone Law

When I worked as a canoe guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) about 20 years ago, I came to realize that the concept of “wilderness” was a subjective one. Everyone experiences wilderness and wildness in different ways, and their perspective of what constitutes wilderness is often connected to noise level. For example, certain border lakes in the BWCAW allow for the operation of 25 hp or less motors (while almost all of the 2,000 or so lakes prohibit any motorized craft). For some people, even that was too much; but for others, 25hp or less meant no…

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My Militia Weekend

Friday, June 20, 2014 17:00 hours Anchorage, Alaska The Holiday Station Superstore Paper towels! I knew I forgot something. The sales clerk tried to talk me into the “Buy Two, Get 50 Cents Off” Duck Dynasty lighters at the checkout, but I already had my ice breaker – a 1918 German Luger from World War I that my dad brought home from the war that followed. My strategy reminded me of when I went to France as a teenager and my host family kept wanting to barbecue everything all the time. Americans like barbecues, so we barbecue! You want to…

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Happy Weekend! (Easy on the cliff jumping.)

I hope you’re doing something fun this weekend. Here’s something on which yours truly will be taking a pass: a 600ft rope swing bungee jump into South Africa’s Magwa Falls gorge: [h/t Epic TV]

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Blimps in the Last Frontier!

Thursday, I attended the Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop
.  That’s right, the Blimp Convention! Earlier this year, I reported that a blimp was coming to Alaska this July for the first time since the 1920s. And not just any blimp – we’re talking the 200-foot long Skyship 600. Even though, to my disappointment, it was not coming up to give people rides, I had still planned on trying to blog the event and get some pictures if it came to Anchorage. Sadly, that never happened. But the dream is not dead, my friends. And there are many smart and motivated…

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Oyster Roundup – Lights, Fights, & That’s-Not-Rights

A half-dozen news bites from the week. Overheard Juicy Bits: A certain Alaska Republican Party Chairman and a certain Republican pollster were overheard at a certain eating establishment by a certain Mudflatter this week. Apparently, the former thinks Charisse Millet is “a twit” and candidate Bob Roses is a “yes man” who will do whatever he’s told. That’s what we need more of in Juneau – twits and sheep. Please feel free to vote for Patti Higgins and Bill Wielechowski. Convicted Militiaman Will Appeal: Coleman Barney, one of the three men found guilty in the summer’s Fairbanks militia trial will…

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Lost at Sea: The Man in the Fish Tote

By Tele Aadsen Friday, September 7th, is a bad day on the ocean. With the forecast calling for Southeast winds of 35 knots and 11-foot seas, the Nerka spends the morning trolling in the mouth of Gilmer Bay. We hadn’t expected to be fishing at all today. If we catch anything, we reason, they’ll be bonus fish, and we’ll already be safe in the harbor’s arms when the wind comes up. On Day 13 of a grueling trip, a relaxing afternoon on anchor sounds good. We eat lunch on the pick shortly after the wind bares its teeth, but any further thought…

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Voices from the Flats – Gus the Stud Muffin

By Wickersham’s Conscience WC’s house is the home to two owls, a Boreal Owl and a Great Grey Owl. They aren’t a huge inconvenience, once you get used to the frozen mice thawing in the refrigerator. But last night for Alaska Bird Observatory’s Owlapalooza, WC and Mrs. WC hosted two visiting owls from Anchorage, Gus the Great Horned Owl and Ghost, a Snowy Owl. Gus went into the deck owl mew. Ghost stayed in a kennel in the house. At about full darkness, Gus started calling. And called all night. About 1:00 AM, Gus started getting a response. In fact,…

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Governor Scott Walker Snubbed: Request for Rail Funds Denied, WI on Hook for $150 Million

By Patrick DePula   During his gubernatorial campaign, Governor Scott Walker consistently labeled the $800 million Wisconsin received in federal high speed rail funds as a waste of tax payer dollars, an Obama Administration boondoggle, and completely unnecessary.  Shortly after winning his election, he got his wish; US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood happily took back the money allotted to Wisconsin and redistributed it to other states who actually desired to enter the 21st century, provide transportation alternatives and create jobs.  Governor Walker then touted the loss of the money as a huge win for his administration, and the taxpayer. Fast forward a couple…

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Gate Raped

By Shannyn Moore We’re Alaskans. We fly. I don’t like it, but with 80 percent of our communities off the road system, flying is a necessary part of our lives. Last month, Rep. Sharon Cissna, a survivor of both physical abuse and breast cancer, refused an invasive TSA pat-down at SeaTac. Instead of flying, she returned to Juneau by ferry. I reported her story on my radio show with a lump in my throat. She’s an Alaska hero. I am not. I recently returned from Washington, D.C., where I’d celebrated Bristol Bay salmon, met Erin Brockovich, attended a reception with…

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Senator Mark Begich Fights for Flight

Alaska is different. It’s said a lot, and it’s true. Things that work in the contiguous 48 states don’t necessarily work here. The lack of understanding by those “Outside” of this phenomenon contributes to Alaskans’ slightly xenophobic, and more than slight libertarian bent. “Get off my tundra, you meddlesome kids.” Nothing defines Alaska quite so much as the gigantic size and small population. We are far flung, and disconnected. When 1500 miles separates two towns, it’s hard to remember you’re supposed to be in the same state. Alaska is larger than many countries, and pretty darn empty when it comes…

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