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July 12, 2024

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No Time for Tuckerman -

Thursday, August 3, 2023

The Quitter Returns! -

Monday, March 21, 2022

Putting the goober in gubernatorial -

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Good We Can Do

Media saturation and outrage fatigue. That’s the kind of week it’s been. There were so many stories — from all over the country and world in such terrible detail. There seemed nothing to do but watch as horror after horror unfolded. When was the last time I heard “Breaking: Good News?” As summer draws near, we watched the U.S. Senate — including both of our senators — fail the victims of past and future gun massacres. On Patriot’s Day blood spilled on the streets of Boston, limbs lost, lives lost. We saw a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in…

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ACLU Investigates Censorship in Juneau

Last week, on two consecutive days, an assortment of government vans from at least two different entities, parked in front of the Capitol building in Juneau, blocking protesters who had come with signs to demonstrate. The protesters had been clearly visible from certain offices in the Capitol. Joe Miller’s blog describes the situation as reported by en eyewitness: “The trucks were parked across the street from the capital building, in the “active loading and unloading zone” and in the road congesting traffic, obviously in answer to a command to block the protesters. There were witnesses at the protest who heard…

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Giessel Says Scrutinize Foreign Students

Looks like another piece of legislation is coming from the Xenophobe caucus. Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anch) has proposed HB1, which will basically turn the DMV into a branch of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and require extra work for multiple state agencies who will now have to process drivers licenses more frequently, attempt to know law that is not their job; and create a bunch of hassle for foreign students in our university system. Yes, this isn’t just any nefarious terrorist threat, this is students. Let’s hear from Cathy Giessel (R-Anch/Turnagain), who proudly never had any of her children in…

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Murkowski Disingenuous Says NARF

Natalie Landreth is a senior staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) in Anchorage, Alaska. Founded in 1970, NARF is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.     By Natalie Landreth Last Thursday, March 7, President Obama signed into law the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Nationwide, many celebrated the new provisions allowing tribal governments to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault. It was a long overdue fix for a jurisdictional loophole. Absent from the press coverage…

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AO37 Testimony Ends, Vote May Be Delayed (VIDEO)

Last night was the last round of scheduled public testimony on Anchorage Ordinance 37,  which would take away the rights of municipal unions for binding arbitration, the right to strike, and would restrict annual raises. AO37 would also utilize managed competition to outsource city work done by public employees to private companies. For another five-hour session, city workers and supporters of labor stood on the podium and gave their three-minute testimony. Sadly, their opinions and experiences seemed less interesting to the Mayor than his manicure. Ultimately, police officers, firefighters, city employees, and concerned citizens were left standing in line to…

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Begich to Reintroduce Safe Villages Act

In the wake of revelations about specific amendments added by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to the Violence Against Women Act, passed by Congress last week, Senator Mark Begich will seek to reintroduce a relevant bill. His legislation would remove inequities that leave Alaska Native women vulnerable and unable to pursue justice for domestic violence and sexual assault cases on the same measure as tribal women in the Lower 48 states, who can legally address these issues in tribal court when the offender is non-Native. Natalie Landreth, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund explains: “We are tired of the separate…

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Murkowski Responds to Accusations

Sunday afternoon Senator Lisa Murkowski borrowed a move from Sarah Palin and responded on her Facebook page to an article I wrote yesterday which first appeared in The Anchorage Daily News, and on The Mudflats. “It’s incredibly important to clear up the confusion created by Shannyn Moore’s piece today — and I want Alaskans to hear it directly from me. The amendment she misconstrued focused on tribal jurisdiction over non-Natives who are accused of domestic or sexual assault on reservation land. Of Alaska’s 229 federally-recognized tribes, Alaska only has one reservation: Metlakatla. My amendment was introduced to spell out in…

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ACLU: Assembly Cannot End Testimony

Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska Foundation submitted a letter to Ernie Hall, Chairman of the Anchorage Assembly on Friday. Mittman cites the Municipal Charter,  Assembly Practice, and the rights inherent in public fora to state that any Anchorage citizens still waiting to testify on Ordinance 37 at the end of Monday’s meeting, must have the right to do so, and the Assembly must schedule another meeting for further public testimony. Hall had stated that testimony would be cut off at 11:00pm on Monday, regardless of whether citizens remained in line wishing to testify. Earlier in the…

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AO37 Testimony Still Going Strong

After 15 combined hours of testimony, the line of people waiting to address Assembly members stretched to the back of the room, and the auditorium was more than half full. It was 11:00 at night on a Wednesday. There is no doubt that the issue of Ordinance 37, which would radically alter the collective bargaining rights, and benefits of city workers, has hit Alaskans close to home. Longevity and performance bonuses, the right to strike, binding arbitration, and who exactly will decide the outcome of contract negotiations all hang in the balance. For the last week and a half, the…

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HB69: A National Disgrace

The most controversial bill in recent Alaska history – and beyond – might be this session’s House Bill 69, sponsored by Speaker Mike Chenault. This House legislation was advertised as a declaration of state sovereignty as it related to owning firearms in Alaska. But that was more of a side note to the actual threat the language of the bill presents. HB69 includes provocative language stipulating that state authorities could, should the bill pass, arrest federal agents who attempted to enforce federal law regarding gun regulations. For instance, if Washington DC passed a law tomorrow stating that high capacity ammo clips are…

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