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Capital projects 3/21/12

Palin summons lawmakers
to principal's office

GOV. SARAH PALIN certainly knows how to make friends and influence people.

Take, for instance, her reaction to the House and Senate’s votes to retain in the $4.3 billion supplemental budget about $70 million in capital projects that she vetoed from last year’s capital budget.

She asked lawmakers — some of the same ones, by the way, she threatened last year to campaign against if they did not support her oil tax increase — to take out the $70 million. She tried to bribe them . . .

Daily News 3/20/12

Obama sacrifices
grandmother for
political campaign

DO YOU think, after reading the full-page gush about Barack Obama on the Anchorage Daily News editorial page that the newspaper perhaps is toying with the notion of endorsing the senator for president?

Frankly, nothing would surprise us. The paper did, if you’ll recall, endorse Al Gore, and here, at one point, Ray Metcalfe.

This morning, it reprinted a pageful of Obama’s Tuesday speech . . .

Flagrant cowardice 3/20/12

Veterans Memorial
vandals break
a city's heart

IT IS HARD to find words describing the feelings of many veterans and others when they learned red paint had been poured on the Anchorage Veterans Memorial on the Delaney Park Strip, presumably to protest the Iraq war’s fifth anniversary.

The paint was poured on a statue of a World War II soldier, and stained the surrounding snow.

It is inconceivable and heart-breaking that somebody, anybody, could be cowardly enough . . .

Time running out 3/20/12

Murkowski says
get going on
gas pipeline

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI told Gov. Sarah Palin and the Legislature Tuesday to move quickly and get a gas pipeline project underway in the next few months.

After reciting a long and imposing list of the projects that will be competing for consumers in the nation's gas marketplace in the next few years, she said:

"I call on all sides — the state, North Slope leaseholders, pipeline companies and the federal agencies that oversee the loan guarantee — to come together to start this project now, this summer."

Though she didn't mention it, the fact is widely known . . .

Oil revenues 3/19/12

Alaska's "fair share"
isn't referring to you

YOU MUST be ecstatic to learn that Alaska’s revenues are expected to be in the neighborhood of $8.5 billion for this fiscal year, which ends in a few months. That is a lot of money.

Some 57 percent of that $8.5 billion, or $4.85 billion, comes from the state’s oil production tax. That’s on oil at $84.18 a barrel on average. In fiscal 2007, the amount netted from the tax was $2.2 billion, on oil averaging $61.63 a barrel.

If you will recall, the rallying call of Gov. Sarah Palin as she . . .

Capital projects 3/18/12

Legislature sends
vetoed capital projects
back to Palin 

WHEN THE STATE House approved a $4.3 billion supplemental budget which restored about $70 million in capital projects vetoed last year by Gov. Sarah Palin, it swatted the ball squarely into her court.

The measure won final House approval today in a 38-1 reconsideration vote, with Rep. Harry Crawford, D-Anchorage, voting no, and was sent to the Senate, where House changes were approved and the measure then was sent on to Palin.

To avoid such a showdown, a few days ago she offered what amounted to a bribe of $1 million to each House district to spend . . .

Most dangerous 3/18/12

Alaska attracting
criminal element

HERE’S SOME WONDERFUL advertising for our fair state: AOL Money and Finance rates Alaska as No. 8 of the nation’s most dangerous states.

Nevada was the most dangerous. New Hampshire was the safest.

“Alaska is plagued with having the highest number of rape cases. There could be a correlation with alcohol abuse, also known . . .

Red lights 3/18/12

Dallas turns off
speed cameras

IN CASE YOU are among those who actually believed those pressing for red light cameras were worried only about your safety, consider this: Dallas has shut off more than a quarter of its 62 cameras at busy intersections because they are not making enough money.

Dallas uses the cameras to monitor busy intersections, and it was expected they would bring in about $15 million, or more than twice the $6 million they actually netted the city. Now, add to that fewer red light runners and signs alerting motorists to the cameras, and the program is no longer a money-maker. In fact, there are worries . . .

Krauthammer 3/21/12
Make Home Better: Types Of Fashionable Hanging Door Beads

Obama's justifications of
pastor's comments are empty


WASHINGTON — The beauty of a speech is that you don't just give the answers, you provide your own questions. "Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes." So said Barack Obama, in his Philadelphia speech about his pastor, friend, mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.

mug shot

An interesting, if belated, admission. But the more important question is: which "controversial" remarks?

Wright's assertion from the pulpit that the U.S. government invented the HIV virus "as a means of genocide against people of color"? Wright's claim that America was morally responsible for 9/11 — "chickens coming home to roost" — because of, among other crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Obama says he missed church that day. Had he never heard about it?)

What about the charge that the U.S. government (of Franklin Roosevelt, mind you) knew about Pearl Harbor, but lied about it? Or that the government . . .

Jenkins 3/20/12

Traini case bad call by judge,
not judicial shenanigans


Here’s something unusual: It turns out that the judge who decreed Assemblyman Dick Traini could not run again for the Assembly was among a group of attorneys represented a few years back by the same lawyer representing the man who sued to kick Traini to the curb.

mug shot

Superior Court Judge William F. Morse, appointed to the bench in 2002 by Gov. Tony Knowles, ruled Monday that Traini could not run on the April 1 municipal ballot because he already has served two full terms and a partial third term — back when he replaced Kevin Meyer on the Assembly — and has served the three terms allowed.

The case is on appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear it on March 27, Traini’s birthday.

A lawyer hired by the city earlier had determined there was no problem because the third term was not a full one and, in fact, there is at least one other instance of an elected official being allowed to run for a third full term after serving a partial term.

The doctor who says he was just seeking a clarification of the law, Peter Mjos, was represented by lawyer Bruce Bookman. Mjos is a Democratic campaign contributor . . .

Brennan 3/19/12

Does Palin have chutzpah or hubris?


Alaska voters have mixed emotions about their governor. They like her but not what she does.

mug shot

We've long suspected that was the case. It was confirmed the other day by pollster Dave Dittman on the Dan Fagan radio show.

Apparently Gov. Sarah Palin does well in likability scoring but her job performance is something else again. Dittman declined to be too specific, but he confirmed her personal approval rating is still high — it's reported to be in the mid 80s — though her job approval rating is a lot lower.

The only number the polling guru mentioned, despite prodding from Fagan, was that only 56 percent of the public thinks the governor's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act can succeed. Since AGIA is supposedly the crowning achievement of Palin's administration — and the gas pipeline would be the cornerstone of the state's economy for the next generation or more — that lack of confidence in the AGIA approach is telling.

If 44 percent of the public thinks AGIA will flop — and Palin's plan will give $500 million in state money to the winner of the competition (presumably TransCanada) — the Legislature . . .

Lew Wms 3/18/12

Greens get away with lie campaign


With Panhandle neighbors like the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, capital-movers don't need advocates like Anchorage's Voice of the Times.

mug shot

The environmental organization last week urged Alaskans to write to the governor and the editors of Alaska newspapers opposing extending the highway out of Juneau. Instead, SEACC advocates spending the money on the Glenn-Seward Highway to Highway Connection (and) needed upgrades in the Mat-Su Borough. No mention of spending on Southeast road projects, even the proposed second Juneau-Douglas bridge.

That is only part of the assault on Alaska, especially Southeast. Alaska Wilderness Week was held in Washington, D.C. March 1-5, not in Alaska. It involved organizations that are anything but helpful to Alaska.

For 20 years the Alaska Coalition, composed of environmental groups lobbying on Alaska issues, have met in Washington for five days of activist training. Those attending spend two days manufacturing their views on Alaska and on how to lobby Congress. The next three days they practice what they preach.

It makes it tough for Alaskans, thousands of miles away, because most . . .

Walter Williams 3/17/12

The great corn and ethanol hoax


One of the many mandates of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls for oil companies to increase the amount of ethanol mixed with gasoline.

mug shot

President Bush said, during his 2006 State of the Union address, "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world."

Let's look at some of the "wonders" of ethanol as a replacement for gasoline.

Ethanol contains water that distillation cannot remove. As such, it can cause major damage to automobile engines not specifically designed to burn ethanol. The water content of ethanol also risks pipeline corrosion and thus must be shipped by truck, rail car or barge. These shipping methods are far more expensive than pipelines.

Ethanol is 20 to 30 percent less efficient than gasoline, making it more expensive per highway mile. It takes 450 pounds of corn to produce . . .

Tobin 3/16/12

The noise was deafening
on Good Friday 44 years ago


IT WAS MARCH 27 back then, 44 years ago. It was Good Friday, 1964, when one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded struck Southcentral Alaska. The actual anniversary of that day in history is next week — but Good Friday will be observed this week, and this Palm Sunday is an appropriate time to recall that awesome event to help those who were not here at the time understand the mighty force that nature can unleash without warning.

mug shot

THERE WAS NO visible sign that disaster was about to strike. In fact, 5:35 p.m. was an ordinary moment on the clock of a late March afternoon — with overcast skies and a smattering of light snow in the air in Anchorage. Sixty seconds later the world turned upside down. At 5:36 p.m. the first jolt smashed across the city. At Kodiak, at Seward, at Valdez and at coastal villages, the earth rocked. The sea rushed out and then swept back with gigantic seismic thunder.  Along the Seward Highway the land sagged and the highway split down the center line.

jelly under the Turnagain subdivision in West Anchorage, and homes shattered and fell toward . . .


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