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June 22, 2021

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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…

Alaska Politicians Uncovered!

If you are a person of symbology, a political mystic, or for any reason believe that anagrams have any kind of hidden meaning, then get out your crystal ball, light a bundle of sage, and wrap your head around these startling divinations. I took it upon myself to use a handy online anagram generator (or two) to share with you the deeper, sometimes darker, and often creepily accurate dimension of  (echoey deep voice—->) THE POLITICAL ANAGRAM. Let’s begin with the executive branch: Governor Sean R Parnell = Plane Snarler. Hmmm… I thought that was Sen. Lesil McGuire!      Lt….

The Legislative Session – A Review

The good news is that it’s over. We knew it would be bad, and it was worse. Now it just needs to be hauled out behind the shed, and put out of its misery. There is no candy coating a big pile of bear scat, so all we must do is march on. We’ve been told that THIS session just dealt with financial issues. So, now that we’re screwed in that department, next session we’re free to tackle the social issues. And if we all survive that, there’s a big fat election in 2014 that could wipe the slate clean…

The View from Juneau

An old saying goes something like this, “We hate in others what we hate in ourselves.” I don’t think I’ve seen a better example of that than this 28th legislative session. I flew to Juneau to watch the last days of the session for myself. Home in Anchorage, I spend a remarkable amount of time watching Gavel to Gavel – I even Tivo it. But the cameras don’t show what’s really going on in the Capitol, restaurants and bars; they don’t show the lobbyists following lawmakers into the bathroom or to the smoking porch. (I have to wonder whether the…

CT ‘Overreacted’ with ‘Draconian’ Gun Laws Says AK Lawmaker

On Sunday night, 60 Minutes featured an unforgettable interview with some of the family members of those killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. It’s been nearly four months since the unspeakable tragedy that left the nation in shock and mourning. This month, Connecticut passed a gun control law that expands background checks, and limits the number of rounds in ammunition magazines to 10. The families are now urging changes of a similar nature in Washington. This transcript begins at 4:57 in the clip. When asked what changes they would like to see, the following…

Gov. Debates Wielechowski!

This is the best thing I have seen in a very long time.

Rep. Olson: Exxon Got a Bad Rap

Last week Exxon went to Juneau. Not just to lobby, but to appear for questioning at a hearing. The company has long kept a low profile in Alaska. Why? Maybe because its front men would rather not run into any of those Alaskans who waited 20 years for their 10 cents on the dollar.   And what would legislators want to ask the company that sat on its Point Thompson leases for three decades — until the state finally tried to take them back? Maybe some tough questions about how to incentivize oil production, and what specific projects would come…

Tongue Depresser in Juneau

Republican fart jokes on the House floor? No prob. But let a Democrat show a little tongue, and the capital screeches to a halt. A crucially important presser was held in the Capitol yesterday. Sure there are bills regarding transportation, energy, oil taxes, finance, education, uteruses… But the Interior Alaska Delegation of the House had some super serious stuff that needed to be dealt with. In the Speaker’s Chambers, belonging at the moment to Mike Chenault, members of the press were gathered – statewide newspapers, TV stations, journals, the Associated Press – all to hear that Rep. Scott Kawasaki stuck…

Senate Votes to Give Big Oil Billions

Here’s your highlight reel from the Senate oil tax debate. Late Wednesday night the Alaska State Senate voted 11-9 to give billions from the state treasury to the oil industry. A 10-10 vote would have killed the bill. Amendments and debate took all day, and went well into the night. The bottom line is that the senate voted to give away the farm, in exchange for nothing. No increased promise of production, exploration, or jobs. It might incentivize them to do something though. Magically. If we’re lucky. That’s the argument of the 11 Senators who voted for this historically bad…

GOP’s Slash & Burn Values

“Family values.” It’s something we hear a lot around election season from the Republican Party. It’s code for “queers are bad and ladies are baby ovens.” It has nothing to do with healthy families. Case in point: This past week, the Republicans in the Alaska House of Representatives, on some sort of “look-how-fiscally-conservative-we-are” display, slashed and burned the state operating budget. The hypocrisy of their campaign stances comes into pure light when you see how they are spending our money. Pre-kindergarten education was slashed, as was funding for Best Beginnings early education and the Parents as Teachers program. A two-year…