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It is always fun to speculate what comes next in the political world. Today’s episode concerns former US Senator Mark Begich and what he is going to do next.

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Perhaps the new budget wars give us here in Alaska the opportunity to start deconstructing the education blob and replacing it with something more responsive to the needs of the parents, students and the working world our children (and ourselves) are having to deal with.

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Now that Alaskan commercial fishermen have opted out of the Board of Fish process and started managing their and other resources via lawsuits and ballot initiatives, it is not surprising that local sport fishermen are now starting to use that same technique on them.

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Governor Bill Walker issued an administrative order Friday, December 26, 2014 directing all state agencies to stop non-obligated spending on the following six projects: the Ambler Road, Juneau Access Road, Watana Dam, Kodiak Launch Project, Knik Arm Crossing, and the Alaska Stand-Alone Pipeline Project.

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There is a 200 mile proposed road in Alaska starting near Fairbanks and stretching west and north to give access to a mining district in the region. It is called the Ambler Road and is in the midst of route selection. There are few roads in that part of the state.

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One of the refrains we hear from the Walker-ites and on the talk shows these days is that the fiscal crunch puts “everything on the table.” I would submit that everything is most certainly not on the table, as decisions by the new Walker administration will be driven by their worldview and prejudices just like those before they came into town.

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Our “good friends” from NOAA (/sarc) in their effort to “assist” offshore oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic and Bering Seas designated over 350,000 square miles of Barents, Chukchi and Bering Seas as critical habitat for the protection of the threatened ringed seal.

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Sue Asplund of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association fired the next round of anti-development cage rattling on the editorial pages of the Dispatch Thursday, this one calling for cancelling oil and gas leases in Bristol Bay for all time. The excuse once again is any development will instantly and irrevocably destroy the fishery for all time.

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When we elect a lawyer as governor and they bring their fellow lawyers into the new government, one would logically question whose interests are being pursued? Those of the people of Alaska or those of the law firms employing those lawyers? This is the very essence of crony capitalism.

 

 

 

 

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Interesting election here in Alaska. All four of the democrat sponsored ballot initiatives passed. Three required a yes vote. One required a no vote. Unfortunately for the democrats, the positive outcomes on the initiatives did not drag their candidates across the finish line with them for the most part.

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Unlike bureaucracy the capital formation process necessary to both private and public endeavor is similar to walking a tightrope with no net. There is only ruin if the endeavor is not successful.

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The anti-mining beat goes on, this time in Southeast Alaska, where commercial fishermen and our close personal friends from Trout Unlimited and other greens are trying regulate into oblivion several new mines in British Columbia at the headwaters of several salmon rivers in Southeast.

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Laurie Hummel is married to an Alaska Army National Guard Colonel. You don’t get to that rank in what appears to be a dysfunctional, sick outfit without seeing, hearing and knowing things and either looking the other way or playing along. So Laurie, baby: What did you know? When did you know about it? And what did you do about it when you found out?

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Democrat candidate Bill Walker had himself a most interesting week this last one. Not only did he take mutually exclusive positions on budget cutting, but he covered up his own campaign incompetence with some good old Messenger Shooting.

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Democrats found themselves quite a candidate to run for House District 13 in East Anchorage. Laurie Hummel is a 30-year Army Colonel who is painting herself as the very picture of fiscal restraint. She claims to be running because the last Legislature and LeDoux in particular simply spent too much money.

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I have been scratching my head for a long time about the successful use of endless and fraudulent scaremongering by commercial fishermen, greens, other fishing groups whenever the resource development community wants to dig, cut, build, or otherwise rearrange the land and what is on it.

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Long time Democrat union hack (redundant) candidate Harry Crawford, fresh off raising your electric rates as a member of the Chugach Board of Directors is running for State Senate against incumbent Cathy Giessel.

 

 

 

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Young Alaskans voting for the minimum wage act a lot like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders, as they are going to get a most unpleasant surprise in the days, weeks, months and years to follow their vote in support of this initiative.

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Last Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court for the State of Alaska, Third Judicial District at Anchorage by one Steve Strait challenging a regulation written by LtGov Mead Treadwell allowing the so-called unity ticket to proceed in November’s election.

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So what happens when the second largest political party in the state pointedly disenfranchises some 52,000 of its primary voters for governor and 56,000 voters for LtGov? Surprisingly enough, we get a great round of applause, press conferences, smiling faces, positive media coverage, and happy union leaders.

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Interesting that state and national democrats have determined that conducting a war on mining via campaign ads, particularly targeting the proposed Pebble Mine is their ticket to electoral success this year.

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Energy projects are sized based on what market they supply. Typically, economics drive them to be as large as possible to meet the need. It is more expensive to construct, hook up and operate 10 or 20 10 MW electrical generators than it is to build a single plant capable of producing 100 – 200 MW, if for no other reason than we have to man and supply all those individual plants.

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Internal polling for the Mother Ship that is the Mark Begich for US Senate campaign must be showing things that are worrisome to our Boy Senator, as they ran a vicious and untrue ad blasting away at his Republican opponent Dan Sullivan last weekend.

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The following was submitted to Fish Alaska Magazine in response to an article in their Aug/Sept 2014 issue by Dave Atcheson, an author who works with Trout Unlimited. It was entitled “A Pebble Mine Update” and was printed on page 6 of the issue.

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The EPA announced proposed performance standards that must be met by the Pebble partnership should they proceed with a mine in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. This marks the first pre-emptive veto of mining here in Alaska by the EPA. Now that this precedent has been set, expect it to be vigorously used and abused by the EPA to shut down future mines throughout the rest of the U.S.

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