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Friday, January 28, 2022

Fill the Boot, and Boot the Mayor

Driving down Northern Lights Boulevard yesterday, through the heart of our municipality on a lovely Friday afternoon, I saw something that made me do a double-take. I saw… the enemy. Not MY enemy, mind you, but the declared enemy of our city’s mayor, Dan Sullivan. Second only to homeless people, the mayor has it in for this sinister duo of panhandling grifters. I speak, of course of… (scary organ chord)… firefighters, and sick children. (blood curdling scream)

Mayor Sullivan, and several members of the Anchorage Assembly did their darndest last year to quash the most profitable fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in Anchorage. It involves those mortal enemies of the city – firefighters – who dress in their scary firefighter suits and ask passing motorists to “fill the boot” by making donations to MDA.

The funds raised, which have topped $100,000 in the past, are used to help Alaskan families touched by Muscular Dystrophy to pay for things like doctor visits, medical exams, flu shots, wheelchair repairs, leg braces, and many other critical needs associated with this debilitating disease.

The mayor actually tried to illegalize this fund drive by claiming it violated the city’s Ethics Code. It didn’t. But unbelievably, three members of the Anchorage Assembly agreed with him. Take a bow Debbie Ossiander (Eagle River), Chris Birch (South Anchorage), and Jennifer Johnston (South Anchorage). You can be proud of your vote to deny sick children and their families critical services, and Anchorage’s dedicated first responders the opportunity to volunteer their help. Way to go. As a matter of fact, I think that should be the centerpiece of your upcoming reelection campaign literature.

Fortunately for everyone, the reasonable and compassionate members of the Assembly voted to overturn Sully’s veto, and once again this year, our brave firefighters held out the boot, and Anchorage residents stepped up to help their fellow humans in need. In addition to voting the right way, several Assembly members (Dick Traini, current mayoral candidate Paul Honeman, Patrick Flynn, and Elvi Gray-Jackson) assisted local firefighters and stood on street corners, meeting the public and helping kids.

This year, the Mudmobile happily put a $20 in the boot.

One Anchorage woman, a public employee who asked not to be identified due to fear of mayoral retribution, said “I dumped what money I had in my wallet into the boot and yelled ‘to Hell with Sullivan!’ The firefighter grinned at me and replied ‘yeah, we’ve been hearing that all day.'”

~Mayor Sullivan’s “Badge of Shame”



47 Responses to “Fill the Boot, and Boot the Mayor”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    Next time you have a fundraiser,invite the public to fill up hizzoner’s backside with their boots,for a small fee,of course.

  2. lacy lady says:

    I am having trouble getting on the web site also. Say’s that the “link” is broken.
    I get on through the “back-door”. I click on the M. Bachmann link, which takes me to the mudflats site, then click on “home”. Also most of the time, I can’t type my comment. I click on “submit comment”, then click on “back” and this lets me type in the space for “comment”.
    Otherwise, I am off the space.

  3. kettletop says:

    Okay, I’m sure the Mayor is a jerk, because I trust me my Mudflats.

    But, there is a similar fundraiser where I live where the firefighters stop traffic and collect into a boot for a good cause. I hate this practice with a passion. You see, I was on the way to the hospital to see my dad. He’s had another heart attack. I couldn’t get there quickly because the damn firefighters were stopping traffic. When I found out why they were congesting traffic so that I couldn’t be with my dad in his time of need, I could have beat that damn firefighter with his own boot. It was a horrendously frustrating and scarring event. Dad’s been gone for 16 years now and I still get tears in my eyes at the memory of that awful day.

    I resent coercion in all forms, whatever the good the cause may be. The ends does not justify the means.

  4. GoI3ig says:

    I noticed something driving around during “fill the boot.” The military firefighters from JBER, and the state firefighters from the airport each had trucks on display. They were real eye catchers that got people fired up to donate.

    Too bad that the grinch who stole Anchorage can’t figure that one out. Anything to punish the union workers I suppose.

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      Sully celebrates “Labor” Day, eh?

      Got the week-end off, there, Sully, and Monday, also, too?
      Thank the labor unions who came before us.

      Thank you to all my brothers and sisters, working, searching, retired.
      Yes We Can to Prosperity and Equality.

      *hopping off soapbox*

  5. BluJay says:

    Hey, why stop at firemen, let’s have cops fill the boot when they stop speeding motorists. How about the meter maid when there are expired meters. I think building inspectors could make a great haul when they are going around harassing the people that try to do the right thing and get a building permit for flushing the toilet. What I can’t figure out is why “Public servants” need a union when all they want to do is “serve the public!”

  6. merrycricket says:

    Our handsome, humour fire fighters will be out on Monday looking to get their boots filled with love offerings from passing motorists. How can I say no?

    I am still wondering where Sully’s bottom of Stoopid is. We haven’t seen it yet.

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      “…where Sully’s bottom of Stoopid is…”

      I think AKM answered that in response to Bob @6, there, merry cricket:
      “…he’s an asshat…”

      and my decades living among twelve year olds, also, too

      My “naughty” librarian is not Mrs. Todd Palin’s naughty librarian, eh?
      It’s not about Looking Naughty. (Seriously. Have you SEEN thatcrowwoman?!)

      It’s about playing with the nuances of the language
      and engaging folks in a bit of mischief, unexpected whimsy, and Library Joy.
      (ht to AKM’s “Museum Joy”)

      and to Sully, I say something rarely heard in my library
      (feel free to join in!):

      hahahahahacaw Caw CAW!

  7. GoI3ig says:

    Channel 2 news has taken a turn to the right with their new ownership. They featured Sully last night taking credit for the AFD fundraiser.

    They referred to the “new rules” only in passing. Why not state the truth and clearly mention that Sullivan will not allow on duty fundraising, or the use of the fire trucks that draw attention to those participating.

  8. DuckDriver says:

    Our local firefighters here in Utah do the same thing. When they walk down a line of cars stopped
    at a traffic light, nearly everyone contributes to the fund.

    Mayor Sullivan makes the Grinch look nice!


  9. Loves Rainbows says:

    Sully actually won this one, AKM. He changed the city’s personnel rules so that employees cannot raise money for non-profits while being paid. So yesterday’s firefighters were all actual volunteers- which makes their sizable haul for MDA that much more impressive! Hopefully the next mayor will undo those rules and let city employees get back to punching the clock for charity.

  10. Zyxomma says:

    I almost wrote something snarky about Sully putting out a fire, or saving a child’s life, or contributing to charity, but thought better of it.

    Anyone who’s on the road this weekend, stay safe!

  11. 1smartcanerican™ says:

    I sincerely hope that Sullivan is booted from office next election – and when would that be? He can join the SP Failed Again contingency and they can commiserate over the ‘rill ‘muricans who failed to elect/re-elect them. So sad 🙁 – not!

  12. benlomond2 says:

    hhhmmmm… Wonder if Mr. Provo and his tax exempt church housing made any donations…

  13. akglow says:

    Maybe it’s because these guys are “Union”, and we know how much the Mayor likes Unions.

  14. Must still be some problems with the site as I have to sign in to post a comment every time I check the Flats. Maybe its those durned Socialist firefighters that freak out the mayor that are messing with my mind. If no one starts a fire you don’t need firefighters and besides they prolly only work 9 months of the year and travel the world in style the rest of the time,just like teachers. That’s it. They are conspiring with teachers to start fires so they look indispensible. Why didn’t any one notice this before? Hell,the mayor’s buddy,the guy that spies on kids and school buses for the city should have seen this.

  15. Bob Benner says:

    Yes, instead of earning their Union wages fighting fires, we want our firefighters to earn their salaries, bennies, perks and entitlements by working for a private charity at the taxpayers expense… The charity would be better off by letting the firefighters sit at home and giving the paychecks the city has to fork over while they are out passing the boot to the charity… And yet Jeanne tries to portray this as meanness on they Mayors part… Of course, the fact that the Mayor isn’t a Democrat has absolutely NOTHING to do with it… I can’t figure out who are the bigger groupies.. Mudflatters or Palinbots…

    Anchorage firefighters were fully dressed out in their gear, and ready to go on a moment’s notice. And many more were volunteers. This event didn’t cost the city anything. And the mayoral election and Assembly seats are non-partisan. I don’t like Sullivan because he’s an asshat, not because he may be a Republican. AKM

    • slipstream says:

      Anchorage firefighters work twenty-four hour shifts. If there isn’t a fire during that shift — and there usually isn’t — they spend about eight hours in training, equipment maintenance, etc. They spend the other sixteen hours shopping, cooking, eating, showering, exercising, sleeping, watching TV, etc. — but always ready to scramble into the firetruck and roar off to a fire, or vehicle accident, or airplane crash, or medical emergency. Do you really think it’s better for them to watch “Friends” reruns than to stand on a street corner and help raise money for sick children? When they were doing the “Fill the Boot” campaign under Mayor Mystorm (a Republican) and Mayor Begich (a Democrat), the fire engine was nearby and their response time was actually faster than if they had been sitting around the station.

      And do you really want firefighters sitting at home when you have your next medical emergency, or do you want them feet away from the fire engines and listening to the dispatcher on their radios?

      • slipstream says:

        Oops. Spelling correction: Mayor Mystrom.

        And I forgot Mayor Wuerch — well, who wouldn’t? — also a Republican who supported firefighters raising money for the “Fill the Boot” campaign.

        It’s only Mayor Sullivan who is the grinch.

    • Would your faux outrage be assuaged if the firefighters were collecting monies for the Koch Bros. by strongarming residents while your house was burning? Maybe you figure their time would be better spent manicuring your lawn,afterall you pay their salaries. And what is it about charities and the spirit of giving back to the community that drives nutjobs crazy? Must be costing you some a few pennies because greed seems to be the only motivation for those of the conservative bent. It boggles my mind that there are people with your mindset. Go home and beat your dog,maybe you will feel better.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      LOL- I’d rather be a mudflatter groupie than a sour anti-public-employee soul.
      The endless gobbeldygook about how public employees are feeding at the trough may float your boat but it doesn’t float mine.
      Aside from the whining the poor taxpayer routine, what is your point?
      That public employees are the enemy?
      That public employees have benefits we have allowed big business to take from the rest of us so we should slap public employees down too?
      That the boost in morale this program gives public employees has no value? That the contact with community members it gives public employees who regularly see us only in terrible circumstances has no value?

      Slipstream has made the appropriate argument for accepting the time firefighters spend at this project within and without what taxpayers could be said to gain or lose here.

      • Bob Benner says:

        I don’t know of ANYONE who has ever made the argument that public service sector employees aren’t needed. However, I know of many of people who think SOME public service sector employees are overpaid, either in salaries or benefits or both. When it’s not possible to discuss whether too much is being spent on these jobs, without being labeled as someone who is an ANTI public employee soul or a public service sector employee hater is ludicrous. Yes, the firefighters may pass the boot, or fight the fire or save the kitty, but does that mean they deserve a 10 million dollars a year salary. No. I suggest 10 million dollars a year is too much. And someone else can argue 2 dollars an hour is not enough. But the amount that is reasonable cannot be determined without reasonable discussions. Name calling or labeling others as haters adds nothing to that discussion.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          You did not respond to any question except whether you are anti-public employee
          and I am not in a conversation with you about public employee compensation.

          I was however snapping back at your snap “I can’t figure out who are the bigger groupies.. Mudflatters or Palinbots’ Get off the hater and name calling bandwagon- I jumped up on it right beside you, neighbor , if at all.

        • benlomond2 says:

          🙂 could you point me in the direction of that $10 million dollar a year public sector job ? Only people I’ve heard of that pull that kind of Moola are Movie stars and CEO’s….. and there are a LOT more CEO’s getting it than movie Stars !

    • Alaska Pi says:

      The more I think about this the more it torches my shorts. The fundamental shift in philosophy in this country that all relationships we have with each other can and should be monetized above all other concerns has cost us more than anything else, including public pride and enjoyment of benefits from our public institutions and the people who work for us.
      You can pretend your concern is about what public employees are doing on our dime but it more appropriately resides in our much more general concern that we no longer matter except as temporary holders of those dimes.
      I share the concern deeply but do not buy that the answer is to keep up the monetizing and dehumanizing of our public interactions.

    • Bob Benner says:

      I have no problems with what volunteers do on their own time as long as it doesn’t create a safety hazard. I only have problems with those filling the boot on the taxpayers dime. If having our firefighters collecting for a private charity during their “working” hours is such a great idea, then they should be out on our street corners passing the boot 365 days a year, not just once a year. There are plenty of well deserving private charity’s that could use the money. The “non-partisan” assembly recognized that drivers giving donations to bums on street corners is dangerous to both the driver and the bums and passed a law to prevent passing motorists from giving them money from their cars. And yet we allow our firefighters to create the very same safety hazard because its for a “good” cause. There’s a reason the firefighters should be relaxing in the safety of the firehouse waiting to instantly respond to a fire call instead of being out in the middle of traffic waiting for that same call.

  16. leenie17 says:

    Sure, let’s take some of the bravest men and women we can find who risk their own lives to save others and prevent them from raising money to help children who are ill with a horrifying and potentially fatal disease. Has anyone ever checked to see if Sully actually has a heart beating in that sunken little chest?

    I’ve worked with kids with MD and seen the devastation that it causes to the entire family. I knew one set of brothers who both had it. The younger one watched his older brother go from ambulatory to crutches to wheelchair to power chair…and eventually die. And the worst of it was that he knew he was watching his own future.

    Sully is some piece of work and I’m so glad that some members of the Assembly were human and able to overturn his heartless decision.

    On a lighter note, I’d be happy to come to Alaska to fill the boot of the firefighter in the third picture…what a cutie! 😉 (I just loves me a man in uniform!)

    • Leenie girl,is the rut on in New Yawk?

      • leenie17 says:

        My kindergarteners may think I’m ancient but there’s still some life left in the old girl yet!

    • benlomond2 says:

      Dang, Leenie !!! Wonder if I can still fit in my Navy Blues ?!?! ( Nope,,, that 28″ waist is long gone ! 🙂 )

      • leenie17 says:

        Oooh…didn’t have much luck with Navy blues some years ago so I’m a little skittish where they’re concerned anyway! 😉

      • If memory serves,benlomond2,you were just shot out of the saddle without getting your foot in the stirrup. At least it was a nice,subtle rejection.

        • benlomond2 says:

          chortle….. considering my behavior while wearing Navy blues, I could have been the cause for her being skittish !!! I used to be quite a butterfly, going from flower to flower…. then I met Wife.. and here I am, 31 years later with the same lovely blossom ( good thing she doesn’t read this blog !)

          • leenie17 says:

            I seriously doubt that the sailor in question who caused me to be skittish around Navy blues could have been married to ANYONE for 31 years. Nor can I imagine anyone who could have the intestinal fortitude to be married to HIM for 31 years.

            Hence the reason * I * got smart and didn’t marry him! 😉

            Best wishes to the ‘lovely blossom’…who I suspect has enjoyed quite an adventure these last 31 years!

          • I had forgotten to offer you your choice of either congratulations for 31 years with the same Blossom or condolences for 31 years with same Blossom. I get confused sometimes. Really and truly too,still yet, congratulations for 31 years with the same Blossom and try for 31 more. Just remind me in another 31 years.

          • benlomond2 says:

            It’s been an adventure, that’s for sure !! She’s a woman of great fortitude to put up with me, that’s for sure !

  17. laurie says:

    Isn’t he a Christianist type. I thought they wanted the government out of the taking care of people who need help business because charity does it better.

  18. ks sunflower says:

    If Sully’s sullenness and lack of compassionate don’t get him voted out of office at the next election, I don’t know what will. What is wrong with the voters in Anchorage who keep him in office? Are they as small-minded and hard-hearted as he is? If I were basing my decision on where to live and work on the way the city is run, I’d never, ever pick Anchorage while he and his cronies are in power. I wonder how many people and businesses he has driven away.

  19. Nemodog says:

    When you stand against firefighters and sick children (and I have both in my family) you stand against the best of all of us. What a fool…

  20. Leota2 says:

    I mean really, WTH is wrong with Sullivan? He’s like Snidely Whiplash, only without the charm.
    And dare I say it? Evil . . . . .

    • Dagian says:

      Nah. Stupid is more dangerous than evil, every time. There’s so much more Stupid in the world.

      Obviously Stupid can make the world an even more difficult, uglier place though.

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