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September 26, 2021

Headlines:

Parnell Goes ‘Christie’ – Shakedown in Ketchikan

“Gov. Sean Parnell’s warning that he might shut off Ketchikan’s access to state construction funds in retaliation for its lawsuit challenging state education funding reverberated Friday as a kind of ‘Chris Christie’ moment.” That’s not me saying that. That’s Richard Mauer in the Anchorage Daily News. What makes Parnell’s Christie moment even more remarkable than even Chris Christie’s “Christie moment,” is that the statement you’re about to read didn’t come cloaked in speculation. Nobody wondered if Parnell knew about the shakedown. There are no subpoenas, or investigations. There is no in-depth political analysis or speculation about what the governor knew…

The Casualty in Alaska’s Culture War

  By Elstun Lauesen There is a culture war going on. And the epicenter of that culture war is right here in Alaska. It is outrageous in its brazenness and tragic in its effect. It is political in its tactic and economic in its objective. It is a classic tale of western frontier conquest. I am speaking, of course, of the war on the Native subsistence culture of Alaska. The passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980 linked federal land policy in Alaska to a subsistence use priority. Congress, in Title VIII of ANILCA, made…

Oyster Roundup – Bears, Bones and a Brrrricane!

~Thick and fast they came at last, and more, and more, and more! Enjoy today’s dose of random stuff on the half-shell! Links in the titles. Brrrrrricane Makes Landfall The Bering Sea megastorm that made landfall yesterday on the West Coast of Alaska did damage to buildings, caused massive erosion in some areas, and flooding in others. So far, thank goodness, there have been no reports of injury or loss of life. Hardy and sensible coastal Alaskans prepared well, and the Coast Guard rode out the storm with no distress calls to answer. The storm surge is expected to continue…

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…