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October 26, 2021

Headlines:

Anchorage Bans Plastic Bags

It’s been a process, let’s just say, as these things normally are. Should we ban those hideous one-use plastic grocery bags that end up clogging storm drains, wreaking havoc with water treatment facilities, getting stuck in trees and bushes, blowing across the road, and ending up in waterways and the ocean where they break down into the dreaded “microplastic” particles that get into the fish, and eventually us? Or should we just ban the really thin ones but not the medium ones or the thick ones? Or should we ban the thin, AND the medium? And on the public testimony…

Fred Dyson’s Alaska Winter Driving Safety

Special Guest Post from Assemblyman Fred Dyson (Eagle River) WHEN THE ROADS GET SLICK AND THE FOOLS ARE OUT DRIVING (ADVICE FROM AN OLD RACE CAR DRIVER) The first snowfall of the year brings a rash of ditch divers and car crashes.  My kids and I used to have a game of rating the wrecks when we drove between Eagle River and Anchorage.  The ditch divers, whom we scored as a 10, managed to cross four lanes of traffic, clear the guardrail, do a complete roll or summersault, and land on their wheels without hitting another car.  You can come up…

Sen. Kelly Gets His Way – Pregnancy Tests in Bars

Yes, Alaska Senator Pete Kelly is getting his way. As the Anchorage Daily News reported back in March, Pete Kelly of Fairbanks wanted to distribute pregnancy tests in bar bathrooms. In case you forgot watch the video below for a reminder – The pregnancy test questions start at about 1 min into the video. Q. The idea is to make pregnancy tests available for free?  A. You grab one. Literally, you can go into the bathroom at the bar and test. So if you’re drinking, you’re out at the big birthday celebration and you’re like, ‘Gee, I wonder if I …?’…

Social Media Wins & Fails of AK Politicos

ANCHORAGE, AK— There are two types of Facebook stati: those providing the reader with value of some sort—informational, cautionary, or even just escapist entertainment value—and those benefitting only the writer: appeals for sympathy or money, self-congratulatory piety, boastful one-upsmanship, you know all the flavors. The second type is never in short supply, but here are three examples of effective social media use by public officials which—while of benefit to constituents and the public, indeed for that very reason—will also pay dividends when the candidate makes an ask around campaign time. The Feedback Loop Fairbanks Rep. Scott Kawasaki’s approach highlights an…

Contraception’s Bang for the Buck

JUNEAU, AK—Opposition to abortion rights has been the political hallmark of Alaska State Senator Fred Dyson (R-Eagle River). He is also, as these ironies invariably go, opposed to expanding contraceptive access. “By and large, sexual activity is recreation,” the senator intoned today during floor debate on SB49. “The state shouldn’t finance other people’s recreation.” Does the senator favor elimination of all state parks? What of the Department of Fish & Game—some of which relates to subsistence, but which also serves recreational endeavors? Is he aware that it is public, state-financed roads taking us to our state’s ski resorts, or does he imagine…

Heeeere’s the Kickoff! Let the Session Begin!

They’re back! Those wacky kids at Alaska Robotics are in Juneau to call the legislative session play by play. Grab a bag of peanuts and a beer, and enjoy. Also, be sure to “like” Alaska Robotics on Facebook! And mind the drones!

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…

Pozonsky-gate. The Plot Thickens.

But wait, there’s more! Not only did the hiring scandal of former Pennsylvania Judge Paul Pozonsky into the Parnell administration touch strange corners of Alaska politics, it seems that the Judge’s checkered history in Pennsylvania is not just limited to destruction of evidence in 17 drug cases, but it now appears he’s been doing some inappropriate favors for frackers in the name of keeping information from the press and the public by inappropriately sealing records. Are we shocked? No, we are not. Alaska politics are such that it takes a lot to consider something scandalous, let alone a soap opera….

Pozonsky-Gate Demands Answers

I hate messy breakups, and boy did we have one this week. Former Pennsylvania Judge Paul Pozonsky resigned as a workers’ compensation hearing officer for the State of Alaska Thursday, just days after I started asking exactly how he got hired. Pozonsky apparently got the job after a closed application process was reopened just long enough for him to apply. For some reason, the fact that the former judge was under investigation by a Pennsylvania grand jury for ordering the destruction of evidence in 17 court cases, and that he resigned from the job last June after being stripped of…

Parnell Hiring Scandal leads back to Dyson, Kopp, Palin

Chuck Kopp, Chief of Staff to Republican State Senator Fred Dyson, and a two-week Palin administration official, dismissed over a sex scandal is now at the center of another firestorm – the controversial hiring of his brother-in-law Paul Pozonsky by the Parnell administration. Pozonsky, a Pennsylvania judge under investigation for destroying evidence (including crack cocaine and cash) in 17 criminal cases was hired by the Parnell administration as an Alaska hearings officer. He was given the job despite his late application, the fact that the current investigation has stripped him of his ability to hear cases, and that he was…