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May 9, 2021

Alaska’s Fiscal False Choice – Don’t swallow it!

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Babcock/Dunleavy Administration Open up! FALSE CHOICES ARE YUCKY In case you haven’t noticed, Republicans are holding your nose and trying to shove a spoonful of false choice down your throat. And the false choice goes like this: Would you rather have: A full PFD, and a state with sub-par education, a crippled university, devastated health care and no viable transportation in southeast Alaska, OR A state you want to live in, and give up part of your PFD. But imagine if you will, a different choice, perhaps something like this: Would you rather…

Election Good News!

Yes. Election. Good. News. Let’s just sit with that for a moment. As always, there are the last ballots to be counted, and write-in votes to be scrutinized, but here’s where we stand so far: Bettye Davis for School Board handed Don Smith his walking papers (and his rear end) with a decisive 54-45 victory for the seat Smith currently occupies. Bettye is amazing in her own right, but Don Smith’s latest shenanigans and nastiness didn’t help his cause. Davis recently lost her established State Senate seat after Republican redistricting sliced up her former district. It’s good to have her…

Corrupt Bastard Comes to School Board **VIDEO UPDATE**

UPDATE: Mr. Corkran withdrew his name for consideration on Sunday afternoon. On Monday, Thomas P. Corkran will be sworn in as a School Board member. He was selected by the Anchorage School Board after four rounds of voting to fill the seat vacated by Gretchen Guess. The board had boiled the candidates down to two, and selected Corkran over the CEO of Avant-Garde Learning Alliance, Kameron Perez-Verdia. There were 41 applications: why did they pick this guy? Do our School Board members know how to Google? I’m hoping the answer is no. Why? Because the alternative is spooky.   Mr….

The Cost of Doing More

By Jeff Friedman The Anchorage School Board has passed its budget, and the state legislature will soon be voting on school funding. It is that time of year when people like to ask “why is education so expensive?” As a parent and school board member, I have been active in education issues at the school, district, state, and national level for nearly 20 years. Like most of you, I also went to school myself as a child. Of course, that was nearly 40 years ago, and a few things have changed since then. When I was in school, algebra was…

School Board Candidate Wants to Outsource Orchestra Program? **UPDATE**

By Linda Kellen Biegel Observant earwigs noticed a little story in  last Sunday’s Alaska Ear talking about a rather big boo boo perpetrated by the Municipal Clerk’s Office. That office works with the Anchorage Assembly and directly for the Chair, Debbie Ossiander. (She’s one of the Mayor’s “yes” men/women on the Assembly…the group I’ve nicknamed “Team Sully.”) WHAT’S IN A NAME … The muni clerk’s office is apparently confused about which of Starr Marsett’s names is her first name. Looks like it guessed, and got it wrong — at least on the ballot Ear got: Marsett is a candidate for School Board….

Saving Sixth Grade Music in the Anchorage School District **UPDATED**

by Linda Kellen Biegel 2010 Hanshew Middle School Band Not many people in political circles know that I credit music with saving my life. I started playing the piano when I was six-years-old. I often kicked and screamed about practicing, but my mother was determined and I continued through my entire school career. In sixth grade, I discovered the snare drum and concert band. I absolutely loved playing music with a group. That was around the time that I discovered that music was an escape from the insanity of my life at home. Unfortunately in high school, I discovered that…

APOC Ruling Assigns Large Penalty to Bob Griffin for Multiple Campaign Violations

by Linda Kellen Biegel Last week, I listened-in on an Alaska Public Offices Commission hearing regarding an old friend of ours here at Mudflats, Mr. Bob Griffin. You remember Bob: — In April 2011, he ran on his status as a veteran and a pilot in order to win a seat the Anchorage School Board (he lost), in a campaign best-known for the accusations of illegal yard signs. He was also one of Mayor Sullivan’s chosen-ones in that campaign, receiving donations from the both the Mayor and his wife. — In May 2011, Mr. Griffin showed some questionable judgement through…

“Superintendent” Sullivan’s Education Summit — What is the Goal?

In a previous post on the “Anti-Public Education Agenda”, we discussed how corporations and right-wing radicals were driving the “school choice” and education reform movements nationally and statewide. However, no one has played politics in this arena quite the way that Mayor Dan Sullivan has here in Anchorage: — Since the early days of his Mayorship, Dan Sullivan began waging an all-out war against public employees …especially those who are unionized. — Throughout his term, Sullivan has continued a pattern of putting hand-picked highly-partisan candidates in major appointments and to outwardly support them in supposed non-partisan races against people who…

Anchorage School Board Wrap-up. Gains made.

~Linda Kellen Biegel testifies at the School Board meeting Thanks to all who showed up last night at the special meeting of the Anchorage School Board. The room was packed, and the public testimony was moving, and heartfelt, and practical. We put our money where our priorities are, and nobody wants to live in a city where the next generation is not a priority.  It was amazing to hear employees of the Anchorage School District talk about the job descriptions of positions that were on the chopping block, speaking up for people who have dedicated their lives to making a…

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…