My Twitter Feed

June 22, 2021

Headlines:

Governor Sean Parnell and House Forfeit Alaska Sovereignty

By Shannyn Moore I was 8 years old and Frank McMichael was the most curmudgeonly man I’d ever met. He was the first person I’d heard cuss. Oscar the Grouch had Frank McMichael eyebrows. Frank carried a .44 revolver. Instead of a mattress, he slept on stacks of cardboard. At the time, my family was new to setnet fishing. The best memories of my life were on the west side of Cook Inlet — living in a bunkhouse built of cannery crates, with Visqueen windows, an outhouse and a creek. Frank had moved to the west side after World War…

IMPORTANT: TODAY — Redistricting Plan Public Testimony in Anchorage!

Redistricting is going on across the country as a result of the 2010 Census. It is the single most important political event happening this year because these are the districts we’ll all be voting in for the next 10 years. Lucky us…the way that Alaska’s Board selection is set up gave us 4 Republicans out of 5 members this time! So, you can imagine how some of the proposed districts look. Example: in Board Option 2, Sen. Wielechowski’s District J moves from Muldoon, Mountain View and Wonder Park (traditionally more Progressive areas) farther north to the military base and Eagle…

Open Thread: What a 9.0 Earthquake Sounded Like in Alaska plus a Friday Summary of Events

National Oceanic and Aeronautics Organization (NOAA) does regular scientific research all over Alaska but especially in the wildlife and Arctic areas. They frequently use sophisticated underwater recording equipment to gather information on marine mammals: However, on March 11, 2011 off of the coast of the Aleutian Islands, they happened to catch the sound of something very different…the 9.0 Japanese earthquake. The sound underwater was absolutely facinating while at the same time it gave me goosebumps. It’s amazing to me how clearly it can be heard, though I have occasionally heard a rumble or kind of rushing sound just preceding several…

Where is the Knik Arm Bridge REALLY Going?

Remember the “Bridge to Nowhere?” Remember the project that was possibly the single biggest contributor to the tainting of the word “earmarks?” That famous title was actually a misnomer. It referred to two Alaska bridges, both funded through the same “earmark” at the time. The actual “Bridge to Nowhere” referred to the Gravina Island Bridge, which was a link from Ketchikan to the island that holds its airport. This was only accessible by ferry and small plane and when hundreds of thousands of visitors pour into Southeast Alaska during the summers, it becomes a problem. This was also the bridge…

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Synthetic Cannabis

I was in an Anchorage Assembly meeting a few weeks ago, and the question came before the body – Should synthetic cannabinoids be illegal? I had never heard of “synthetic cannabinoids” and thought that this sounded like some kind of manufactured drug that had the same effect as marijuana. After a few questions, I found out that this stuff which looked a lot like cannabis was being marketed as “incense” under the name “Spice,” “K2” and others, and being sold over the counter in Anchorage. The Assembly voted to illegalize the substance and I thought at the time that I should…

APOC Taking Public Testimony on Proposed Regulations Today! *UPDATE*

You may remember that earlier in the month, Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) held several days of workshops so that people could better understand the proposed changes being made to their regulations. The workshops went quite well (I attended them all by teleconference) and I was very pleased not only that APOC had them but that there also seemed to be so many participants. You now have the opportunity, Alaska, to weigh in on those changes. APOC is holding their regular meeting this week and tomorrow will be dedicated to these sections of regulations: 1) Lobbying and lobbyist, 2) Legislative…

Will The AK Liquor Lobby Benefit From Its Investment In The AK Legislature? *UPDATE*

When the word “lobby” is used in Alaska, the first thing that logically springs to mind is Big Oil. However, there is a very powerful lobby which has reigned supreme in this state longer than the oil companies and it revolves around Alaska’s favorite drug-of-choice, alcohol. Why is the alcohol lobby so influential in Alaska? The first picture that comes to mind is that of Alaska’s early Wild West days, including the Gold Rush of the 1890s. Along with these hopeful gold miners came early entrepreneurs and colorful vice-peddlers who discovered a different kind of “gold mining” in the “Land…

Muni Fees May Force School District Cuts *UPDATE*

My now-13-year-old daughter expressed a great deal of angst this past summer over attending middle school in a different school zone. She can be somewhat shy so my husband and I were a little concerned. As it turns out, my daughter is excelling in seventh grade! She has been on the honor roll both quarters, she’s in several accelerated classes, she’s doing really well as a clarinet player in the band (she has a solo in an upcoming performance) and she’s made some friends in the new school while still keeping up with her old friends. My husband and I…

Commissioners to APOC Staff: Try Again.

Some of you have been following the saga here on Mudflats about my APOC complaint against Alaska House District 5 Representative William Thomas, Jr. (R-Haines) and his re-election campaign. The complaint (plus amendment) deals with 17 ads placed and designed by campaign Deputy Treasurer James Studley and charged to various Haines businesses. My complaint asserts that they should be considered illegal campaign ads in total, either illegal in-kind contributions because some of them were paid for by corporations, or illegal independent expenditures because they were coordinated with Studley as well as others campaign staff. We left the story at the…

The APOC Hearing Has A Part Deux: The Deliberation

A week ago Friday, I testified at the hearing for my first APOC complaint–Kellen vs. Thomas et al. It seemed to go very well…better than I’d hoped.  I wasn’t planning on writing another post about it until there was a decision (I didn’t want to irritate the Commission until after they decided) but I also expected there would be one by now. To my surprise, we are still awaiting the “verdict” from the Commission.  This is amazing, as today was the end of their 10 days. I actually believe that this is a very good sign…they wouldn’t need this amount…