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July 28, 2021

Headlines:

Alaska GOP Goes Full Cannibal -

Friday, July 16, 2021

Shenanigans & a Secret Stalker! -

Friday, July 9, 2021

He’s Baaa-aaack! -

Friday, July 2, 2021

Time to Jump Back In

Dear Reader, When last I wrote you, we were still waiting on salmon runs, the Red Sox were coming on strong, and the country seemed a little less insane than it does now. Sadly, too many of us are still waiting on the fish to come or have been shut down because of depressed returns. The Red Sox are first in the league and breaking their own records every week, and for this I am grateful. I’ve spent a few days wearing rain gear — not to keep dry, but to keep the mosquitoes from sending me to town for…

Calling the Mosquito Fleet

My darling Alaskans, I am starting to feel like these columns I write are more like letters to the people and place I love. It is blowing sideways on the bay today and the snow, defying gravity and all rules, seems to be traveling upward while accumulating on the ground at the same time. My ermine friend is shrew hunting — which is my favorite thing about him — and has learned to do a trick or two for cheese bits. I’m watching with one eye the mushers vie for position in the Yukon Quest and with the other, the…

The Frozen Chosen – Alaska’s Three Electors

I keep hearing people say, “It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.” Is that supposed to make us feel better? Hey! I know you really feel uncertain and worried for the future of our democracy with the Russian hacking and whatnot, but don’t worry, it will get worse before it gets better. Who says that in your everyday life? Your oncologist? If your family, like ours, just had the 12 days of Christmas turned into 20 days of radiation, you know this is not a phrase your doctor uses. This week the Electoral College meets to cast…

GOP Parasite TransCanada Finally Shed

The divorce between Alaska and TransCanada became final this week. The Legislature voted to buy TransCanada’s share of a prospective natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. How the state ended up in that shotgun marriage is a lesson in corporate power and Republican legislators’ willingness to kowtow to it. Our story begins with Gov. Sarah Palin’s attempt to encourage a natural gas pipeline. It wasn’t a terrible idea to try to get an independent pipeline company directly involved in the project. When the Legislature passed the Alaska Natural Gasline Inducement Act in 2007, the idea was to incentivize a…

Gasline Secrets as Parnell Exits

Alaskans know about airplanes and flying. No other state’s residents fly as much as we do. So we know every plane really ought to have two wings. Same with birds. There are no halibut-style birds, with two wings on one side of their bodies. I find government works best with matching wings, one on the left, one on the right. For the last few years, we’ve been trying to fly the Spirit of Alaska with two right wings. As a result, our captain, co-pilot and the rest of the crew never really got us off the ground. They didn’t kill…

Marriage Equality Comes to Alaska!

It happened more quickly than most were expecting. Judge Timothy Burgess ruled Sunday afternoon that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The finding in the case Hamby v. Parnell read in part as follows: “The court finds that Alaska’s ban on same-sex marriage and refusal to recognize same sex marriages lawfully entered in other states is unconstitutional as a deprivation of basic due process and equal protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” The Hamby suit was filed in May by five same-sex couples – four of whom sought to have their marriages in other states…

The Silver Lining on Prop 1

Congratulations, Alaska! Thirty-one percent of registered voters decided for 100 percent of us what is “best for Alaska” in an election this week. Last week I knew we were in trouble when employees of oil companies were bussed to the early polls. Buses with gift baskets and snacks. Must be nice. The election worker balked when I asked for a Republican ballot. I smiled. I voted. Voting early on Tuesday, I drove into town and kept seeing signs made of bed sheets on the overpasses. One in particular got to me. It was the eight gold stars with “Vote Yes”…

Primary Post Mortem

Alaska’s primary election night is over, but the election itself is not quite done. About 14,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted, and the final results will not be known for days. That said, it will be a tough hill to climb for the passage of Ballot Measure 1, which would reinstate the ACES oil tax system put in place by former Governor Sarah Palin and a bipartisan coalition in the Alaska legislature. Sean Parnell, former ConocoPhillips lawyer and lobbyist, and Palin’s former Lt. Governor dismantled ACES with Senate Bill 21 which would give billions from Alaska’s treasury to the…

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

Alaska ADN – BP settles over Prudhoe Bay spills BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. has reached a proposed $450,000 settlement to resolve federal and state pollution violations in the Greater Prudhoe Bay unit. The settlement covers four oil discharges from BP-operated pipelines from 2007 to 2011. Juneau Empire – Authorities investigating whale, ferry collision KODIAK — Authorities were working Friday to determine if a 25-ton humpback whale died as the result of a collision with the state ferry Kennicott near Kodiak. Scientists believe the whale was alive when it was struck by the vessel. And Kate Wynne, a marine mammal specialist…

Parnell, Miller Fear Children… From Central America

Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell and US Senate Candidate Joe Miller are worried. Is it about the melting ice caps? No. Is it about the sexual assaults in the Alaska National Guard? No. (Clearly Sean’s not worried about that.) Is it about the Pebble Mine? Hell No. It’s about the children, but not just any children. ILLEGAL children coming to Alaska. Here’s a photo example of one of them. Parnell’s social media team posted this to his official page Saturday. “I have seen some alarming reports that the Obama administration is giving illegal aliens one-way tickets to Alaska. We are making contact with…