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May 9, 2021

Alcohol is Taxing Anchorage Resources

On Wednesday, February 4th , I will be celebrating 30 years of continuous sobriety/clean time. I know too well the toll that abusing alcohol and drugs takes on body, mind, employment, relationships…basically the addict’s entire life as well as the lives of family and friends. I am also what is called a dually-diagnosed addict so I understand from personal experience that mental illness is a terrible combination with addiction. During my teenage years, substances probably kept me from killing myself but, as is the nature of addiction, my substance abuse gradually turned on me until I was mentally, physically, emotionally…

A Present for Linda! (VIDEOS)

Please join me in wishing Linda Kellen Biegel a very happy birthday! Linda is one of the three managing editors here at the Mudflats, and probably the one that gets the least appreciation and understanding of exactly how much she does. Linda’s the one that sits through endless school board meetings, Assembly meetings, brainstorming meetings… She’s the one who volunteers to oversee vote counts, examines ballots, and watch polls. She’s our workhorse, our researcher who disappears, burrows to the center of the earth, and comes up with a carrot. She’s our APOC guru, our ethics expert, and the one who…

AO37:The Bill Remains the Same

Friday was billed as the last Working Group on Ordinance 37: “An Ordinance Amending Anchorage Municipal Code Chapter 3.70, Employee Relations, With Comprehensive Updates Securing Long Term Viability and Financial Stability of Employee and Labor Relations.” In other words, an ordinance established to decrease union contracts and establish a process called “managed competition” — a program through which it is easier to outsource various job functions within the Municipality. (See: “ALEC” legislation across the nation). In spite of efforts by Assembly Members Gray-Jackson, Traini, Flynn and Honeman to potentially scrap this ordinance and start over with employee and community participation,…

Tuesday Testimony for Ordinance 37?

Despite confusion from the Administration, Public Testimony on Anti-Worker Ordinance 37 is officially scheduled to start TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH sometime after 6:00 pm. This ordinance would freeze Muni employee pay and benefits forever, gut collective bargaining rights, and sets up “managed competition,” in which city employees would bid against private contractors for work. There has been conflicting information circulating about when public testimony is supposed to begin. Assembly Chair, Ernie Hall announced to a Working Group held last Friday between the Assembly and the unions that the testimony would begin on Wednesday, February 27th. Mayor Sullivan repeated that same announcement…

Mayor Misrepresents Student Performance

I look forward each week to Sunday’s Alaska Ear column in the Anchorage Daily News, as penned by formerly-anonymous reporter Sheila Toomey. For many years I considered it purely entertainment, until I got involved with the fetid swamp known as Alaska politics. It was then that I discovered the accuracy of The Omnicient Oriface’s information. So it was with great interest that I read this tidbit from Sunday’s column: “. . A couple of weeks ago earwigs reported our new school superintendent, Jim Browder, walked out in protest while Mayor Sullivan made a presentation at some big public meeting. The…

Is Pozonsky Eligible for AK Bar?

This past weekend, Shannyn Moore broke an important story in the Opnion Section of the Anchorage Daily News. She revealed that Governor Sean Parnell hired a new hearing officer for the Workers’ Compensation Board…Paul Pozonsky, a former judge from Pennsylvania. …a “former judge” who was stripped of his ability to hear criminal cases in Pennsylvania this past June and immediately resigned. Jeanne Devon followed-up with a fascinating back-story showing the family connections that give the Pozonsky’s influence over some of the most powerful individuals in Alaska, past and present. Both articles raise many questions as to the circumstances surrounding Mr….

Anchorage Redistricted with No Public Input

It was a big night at Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly Meeting. The Anchorage School District Budget was passed, as was both the Municipal Operating Budget and the Municipal Capital Budget. However, I was there for the item that was slipped in towards the end. It was the first, last and only public meeting dedicated to Municipal Reapportionment…another word for Redistricting. You may be surprised to hear that the Assembly has been working on Reapportionment at all. You are not alone. If you remember the gerrymandering farce known as the State Redistricting process, the public meetings went on for months before anything…

In My Alaska Garden: Eating the Harvest

Being sick for almost 5 weeks sucks. Thank goodness my family helped me with the hoop house. This week, I finally gave up and went to the doc for my antibiotic treatment. I’ve been on 3 days and while the cough hasn’t stopped and I still feel drained from that, I’m feeling a little better overall. Of course, it’s just in time to take care of Morrigan, who seems to have gotten a much lighter version…probably because she had her booster for Whooping Cough last year. Dang…I’m sounding like my grandma… The good news about this is I didn’t feel…

In My Alaska Garden: Eating Locally

There is no getting around it…Southcentral Alaska’s flora of both the edible and decorative variety is late this summer. My lilacs, though lovely this year, were about three weeks to a month later than usual. Many other folks made the same comment about the famous Anchorage downtown lilacs as well as the beautiful blooming apple and crabapple trees. Today, I received an interesting report. My friends went to their favorite Salmonberry-picking spot this weekend, the same time they do every year. (I cannot reveal the location upon threat of murder.) They were dismayed to discover that the plants are just…

Muni Played Favorites With Ballots (*Update*)

In last week’s installment of the Municipality of Anchorage’s continuing 2012 Election debacle, new Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones made a disturbing find while attempting to (quite literally) clean up the old Municipal Clerk’s mess…141 unaccounted-for ballots. This has led the trusty Election Commission to meet this coming Thursday and review the ballots they missed the first two times around. While all of that has been going on, members of our Recount Observation Team have continued to research and slowly pursue the auditing process the Municipality has refused to provide. …and it’s been free of charge… The latest bombshell was discovered…