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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
December 09, 2020

Front Page Photo By SUSAN HOYT

Bubble Feeding
This Humpback Whale was a recent visitor to Ketchikan Harbor delighting many onlookers.
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Southeast Alaska: Corps moves into 22nd year of cleanup on tribal land in Southeast Alaska By RACHEL NAPOLITAN - Nestled 20 miles south of Ketchikan, Alaska, the Metlakatla Indian Community resides on Annette Island.  The tribe opted out of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act when Congress passed the legislation in 1971.

orps moves into 22nd year of cleanup on tribal land in Southeast Alaska

A community member peers into an abandoned military structure on Annette Island. Starting in 1940, the military and other federal agencies used the island for various purposes, leaving structures and debris behind as the land changed hands.
Photo courtesy USACE

Today the Annette Islands Reserve is the only Native American reservation in the state and the tribe lives among the remnants of past military and federal use of the land. Through the Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District and the Metlakatla Indian Community are working together to continue environmental cleanup efforts for the 22nd year.

Reachable only by a 15-minute floatplane or 45-minute ferry ride from Ketchikan, the Annette Island Landing Field Formerly Used Defense Site property covers approximately 12,783 acres on the southwest peninsula of Annette Island. 

Since October 2019, work by the tribe under the mitigation program has focused on three sites – an old fuel pipeline, an air warning center garrison and abandoned utility officer buildings.

“Based on funding, the tribe concentrates on a few projects each year,” said Craig Scola, project manager at USACE. “Under this year’s cooperative agreement, there is a half a million dollars of cleanup work happening.”

Each of the sites has a history starting with the military and subsequent use by other federal agencies interested in the island for various purposes.

The air warning center garrison was built using Quonset huts in 1942 to detect the sound of incoming airplanes. In 1949, the buildings’ metal roofs and wood floors were stripped for use at other locations while the remaining structural elements were left in place. Over time, trees and vegetation have overtaken the abandoned infrastructure as they slowly weathered. 

Work at the air warning center garrison in 2020 focuses on the removal of existing structures and remaining debris with similar work underway at the nearby abandoned utility officer buildings.

“When you go to these sites, you begin to see how the abandoned infrastructure is impacting native people,” Scola said. “For communities that focus on subsistence lifestyles, an old building can inhibit their ability to pick berries, harvest game, cultivate the land and impact their traditional way of life.”

This year also was a continuation of the removal of a fuel pipeline system. With around six miles of pipeline on the island, the extraction is done in sections as the pipeline weaves through a variety of terrains and areas of the island. Under the current cooperative agreement with the tribe, the goal is to remove 1,200 feet and then stack the metal in a holding area until it can be barged from the island.

“Little by little we are cleaning up their island,” said Robert Glascott, program manager at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District. “The program allows us to infuse money into rural communities with limited job opportunities, while the tribe cleans up Department of Defense impacts.”

The tribe relocated to Annette Island from Canada in 1887 after receiving the land from the U.S. government following a doctrinal dispute with church authorities in Metlakatla, British Columbia. 

Military interest and operations on Annette Island began in 1940 when the Metlakatla Indian Community entered into agreement with the U.S. government to allow for the construction and operation of the Annette Island Landing Field. Since then, facilities and uses of the island have changed numerous times among various federal agencies, with 90 sites and around 300 subsites identified for clean up since investigations began in 1990.

The Office for the Secretary of Defense oversees the Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program and considers human health and other factors, including impacts to traditional practices, subsistence activities and economic viability to prioritize funding under the mitigation program. Tribal communities work with the DoD on a government-to-government basis to determine the best ways to mitigate the environmental impacts and are involved from project design to cleanup efforts through cooperative agreements.

“The Metlakatla Indian Community can work almost 300 days a year whereas up north, tribes are often limited by weather to maybe 90 days,” Glascott said. “This provides employment almost all year; builds capacity, technical remediation skills and resilience; and puts dollars into rural communities that may not have many job opportunities.”

Since 1998, the mitigation program has funded cleanup on Annette Island with the Alaska District administering cooperating agreements for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. To date, funding has totaled around $10 million through 16 separate cooperative agreements. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Alaska: State of Alaska’s Online Voter Registration System victim of data exposure - The State of Alaska was the victim of data exposure by outside actors that targeted the Division of Elections Online Voter Registration System, which was built and maintained by an outside vendor and operated by the Division. Although some voters’ personal information was exposed, the Division has determined that no other elections systems or data were affected. The Division’s ballot tabulation systems, 2020 general election results, and voter database remain secure.

It was announced last week that Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer became aware of this incident on October 27, 2020, at which point the division immediately began working with our outside vendor to stop further exposure. Since the discovery, Division staff, working with the State Security Office, our vendors, and law enforcement, and a computer forensics firm have worked to determine the scope of the problem, secure databases and web applications, comply with state law regarding exposure of personal information records, and assist law enforcement with any investigation as needed. Working with the vendor, the division has determined that 113,000 potential voters’ personal information - such as birth dates and license numbers - was exposed.

“This was a very unfortunate discovery,” said Lieutenant Governor Meyer. “We have been working diligently to understand the situation and identify the extent of the exposure so that we can accurately inform the public and the affected individuals about what occurred. I have full confidence in the voting process and in the final 2020 election results. Our voting procedures, ballot tabulation systems and election review processes are not linked to the voter registration system that was compromised, and we have other safeguards that ensure every voter’s registration can be verified.”

When announced last week it was said that at this time, the Online Voter Registration System website is secure, fully functional, and the flaw has been remedied. The preliminary investigation indicates that although outside actors accessed voter registration information, the purpose of the unlawful access was to spread propaganda and shake voter confidence - not to impact the election results. Alaska’s voting process has received high ratings from a security perspective over the last decade because of the various safeguards, such as the use of a centralized voting system, having paper back-ups for all votes, independent verification and cross-checking of paper ballots and preliminary electronic results, audit of machine-counts of votes by hand-counts in a random sample of precincts, and observers being invited to watch both voting and vote-counting procedures. Alaska’s vote-counting equipment is not linked in any way to the Online Voter Registration System ensuring the ballot tabulation process remains completely secure. The Division of Elections firmly believes the integrity of the 2020 voting process was not compromised. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Alaska: Alaska prepares for distribution of federal COVID-19 vaccine allocation - The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) announced Monday they are continuing to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution throughout the state, with the first shipments of vaccine expected to arrive in Alaska within the next two weeks. The Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force is working with federal, state, Tribal and military partners to plan for Alaska’s vaccination needs. 

Timeline: Vaccine Authorizations and Approvals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled to meet on Dec. 10 (Pfizer) and Dec. 17 (Moderna) to publicly discuss the review of the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) applications for these two COVID-19 vaccines. An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to make a product available during a declared state of emergency under an expedited review process. 

First Vaccine Arrival

The first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in Alaska within the next two weeks. If the FDA authorizes a vaccine, the Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force will begin distributing the vaccine to Phase 1A COVID-19 vaccine providers in December and January. Phase 1A is the first group eligible to receive the vaccine and according to national guidelines will include health care personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff.

Regular shipments of vaccines are expected to continue throughout 2021. According the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), distributing vaccines across Alaska is a large, coordinated effort and the timeline will change based on input from state, Tribal, federal, military and community partners. 

According to current federal government estimates, Alaska’s initial allocations of vaccines could include: - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Governor Declares 2020 December Southeast Storms a Disaster; One for the Record Books
Posted and Edited by MARY KAUFFMAN
Storm Highlights - December 02, 2020

Southeast Alaska: Governor Declares 2020 December Southeast Storms a Disaster Posted and Edited by MARY KAUFFMAN - Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has signed the Disaster Declaration for the storm that caused damage in multiple communities in Southeast Alaska.

The Disaster Declaration activates the State of Alaska Public Assistance program which is designed to help communities, government organizations, and certain non-profits make repairs to utilities, public buildings, roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure damaged by the declared event. In addition, the Public Assistance Disaster Declaration will reimburse communities and agencies for eligible response costs associated with the disaster event.

The Disaster Declaration covers the entire Southeast Region stretching from Haines to Ketchikan. 

According to the U.S. National Weather Service Juneau, the December 02, 2020 storm was one for the record books. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Ketchikan: Investigation Finds Narcotics - During service of the Search Warrant at a Knudson Cove residence north of Ketchikan, Troopers located narcotics, drug paraphernalia and items linked to narcotics sales and distribution.  As a result of the investigation approximately 13.2 grams of methamphetamine, 1.15 grams of heroin, $1,329.00 US currency and a recovered stolen firearm were seized. 

On December 2, 2020, Alaska State Troopers with the assistance of Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Ketchikan Police Department and US Forest Service Law Enforcement responded to the residence in the Knudson Cove area for the service of a search warrant stemming from an investigation which began on November 30, 2020.

While on scene, 34-year-old Rusty Shull of Ketchikan was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant for his arrest.  The warrant stemmed from the earlier investigation.   - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Ketchikan: Man Armed with Axe and Knife Arrested - A report of a male armed with an axe and a knife chasing a female and others in the Vallenar View Trailer Park threatening and attempting to kill them brought Alaska State Troopers to the scene last week.

Upon arrival Troopers located the suspect, Calvin Edwards (24) at an adjacent trailer from where the incident was reported. Troopers also located the victim who had been able to escape Edwards and hide until Law Enforcement arrived. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020


Fish Factor: 2021 Outlook for Alaska Salmon Fairly Optimistic By LAINE WELCH - A lack of fish in the freezers is an encouraging sign for Alaska salmon as we head into the new year, driven by increasing customer demand. But headwinds from trade disputes and the Covid pandemic also loom large on the 2021 horizon.

Those are some prime takeaways shared by Mark Palmer, president and CEO of OBI Seafoods, and Allen Kimball, vice president of global operations and sales for Trident Seafoods.

“We don't see entering the 2021 season with any real big carryovers. And that's always one of the downsides as we head into a new season, if there's an abundance of two to four (pound) sockeyes or something. We've gone into seasons like that and it influences the new season pricing. But as we go into 2021, we should have a pretty clean slate and be ready to buy and ideally put it up in a better product form than we did this last year,” said Palmer, speaking at a webinar hosted by United Fishermen of Alaska. 

The Covid pandemic this year forced a shift from workers producing fresh salmon fillets to lower value canned and frozen fish when the labor force was reduced and costly restrictions were imposed on processing lines.

Kimball added that while he was “a little more conservative,” his outlook was fairly optimistic.

We don't have inventories around and we have good demand,” he said. “I think we're going to see a lot of adjustments and positive things in terms of the demand at retail and it's going to continue. And if we get this food service piece back to full giddy up, I think it's going to be quite good.”

Nationally, people are buying more seafood at grocery stores than ever before, added Palmer. And while lower in value, all that pack put up by Alaska processors fits the bill.

“The type of seafood they're buying is more canned and frozen products and that's where we've really seen some great market share gains,” he explained. “It's probably one of the best times to be a frozen seller and to get new value added products in the market.”

With Covid crippling the food service sector, Palmer said farmed fish has flooded into retail outlets and forced a downward press on salmon prices.

“These aquaculture produced salmon had a huge piece of the food service market and as that evaporated, they're still pulling fish out of the water. We've watched that industry go after the retail market more aggressively than they ever have. They've got the fish and they're going to find someplace to move it. We've watched prices go down, so we're slugging it out every day to keep our products on the shelf,” he said.

Roughly 75% of the world’s salmon is now farmed, added Kimball. But both men emphasized Alaska’s biggest market competition comes from Russia.

“When we're negotiating with some of our bigger export markets, whether it’s salmon or whitefish, all of these global markets influence that,” Palmer said. “For the last four years, Russia has had these huge production years on pink salmon and solid sockeye and chum production. That's what's really driven the market. Trying to put up product forms where we don't have to directly compete against Russia has been important.”

Both also bemoaned the trade imbalance that allows Russian-caught fish into U.S. markets while that country has not purchase a U.S. pound since 2014.

“Russia has open access to our markets with no restrictions. I just don't understand the fairness of this,” Palmer said. “We would rather just see open markets. We will compete against anyone, but if they're not going to give us access to their market, they shouldn't have unfettered access to ours.”

“If we can't sell our fish in Russia, they shouldn't be able to sell their fish in the United States,” echoed Kimball. “I think that's going to continue to be a battle. We'll have to see with the next administration how that's going to materialize. But I anticipate that we're going to have to be at the table really early and carefully to make sure that we get our voices heard in this particular issue.”

Both men said that dealing with trade wars and currency fluctuations over the past several years “has been a big nightmare.”

Tariff activity since 2018 on various fish ranges between 35% and 45% going into China, Kimball said, and a new 35% tariff has been imposed on Alaska salmon going to Europe stemming from a government dispute over airplane subsidies.

“It is going to have an effect on our ability to get wild salmon into the European Union. With that kind of tariff, it's going to make it pretty darn tough,” said Kimball. “But I would say that with many of these tariff challenges, what we've seen in China and other countries, the dynamics of this could change. So we're heavily working on this from a political position standpoint. But if this remains, there is no question it’s going to have a big influence on fish next year.”

The ongoing influence of the Covid pandemic also remains a question. Most seafood companies picked up the tab this year to charter planes to transport tens of thousands of processing workers, rent hotel rooms for 14-day quarantines, purchase testing and prevention equipment – costs not reimbursed by federal relief funds. More strict state requirements for preventive protocols are already extended into 2021.

“In fact, they’ve been expanded,” said Kimball. “We are all working with the state on surveying our community work forces and factories at places that operate year round, and we have to go to continuous monitoring of our employees there, including testing. So the handling of the workforce is getting more expensive, not less, as we head into 2021. It's just a big unknown at this point.” - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Cluster of Alaska islands could be single giant volcano

Cluster of Alaska islands could be single giant volcano
A vigorous steam plume rises from the summit of Mount Cleveland in the Islands of Four Mountains, Alaska, on Aug. 1, 2014.
Photo by John Lyons, USGS


Alaska: Cluster of Alaska islands could be single giant volcano By L.J. EVANS - A small group of volcanic islands in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands might be part of a single, undiscovered giant volcano, say scientists presenting their research this week at the 2020 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

If the researchers’ suspicions are correct, the newfound volcanic caldera would belong to the same category of volcanoes as the Yellowstone Caldera and others that have had super-eruptions with severe global consequences.

The Islands of the Four Mountains in the central Aleutians is a tight group of six stratovolcanoes named Carlisle, Cleveland, Herbert, Kagamil, Tana and Uliaga. Stratovolcanoes are what most people envision when they think of a volcano: a steep conical mountain with a banner of clouds and ash waving at the summit. They can have powerful eruptions, like that of Mount St. Helens in 1980, but these are dwarfed by far less frequent caldera-forming eruptions.

Researchers from a variety of institutions and disciplines have been studying Mount Cleveland, the most active volcano of the group. They are trying to understand the nature of the Islands of the Four Mountains. They have gathered multiple pieces of evidence showing that the islands could belong to one interconnected caldera.

Unlike stratovolcanoes, which tend to tap small to modestly sized reservoirs of magma, a caldera is created by tapping of a huge reservoir in the Earth’s crust. When the reservoir’s pressure exceeds the strength of the crust, gigantic amounts of lava and ash are released in a catastrophic episode of eruption.

Caldera-forming eruptions are the most explosive volcanic eruptions on Earth, and they often have had global effects. The ash and gas they put into the atmosphere can affect Earth’s climate, and even trigger social upheaval. For example, the eruption of an Aleutian volcano, Okmok, in the year B.C. 43 was recently implicated in the fall of the Roman Republic.

The proposed caldera underlying the Islands of the Four Mountains would be even larger than Okmok. If confirmed, it would become the first to be discovered in the Aleutians that is hidden underwater, said Diana Roman of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., one of the authors of the study.

“We’ve been scraping under the couch cushions for data,” said Roman, referring to the difficulty studying such a remote place. “But everything we look at lines up with caldera in this region.”

While conducting geological field work in the summers of 2014 and 2015 on Chuginadak Island, where Cleveland and Tana volcanoes are located, Pavel Izbekov from the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kirsten Nicolaysen from Whitman College and their colleagues kept finding interesting rocks. They looked like classic ignimbrites.

“Ignimbrites are products of very large, catastrophic caldera-forming events,” Izbekov said. “They are very different from typical products of small volcanic eruptions.”

Izbekov mentioned these observations last spring when John Power, a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey affiliated with UAF’s Alaska Volcano Observatory, shared the geophysical data from his group’s work at Mount Cleveland. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 08, 2020

Alaskan leads Arctic Report Card warning Arctic warming continues

Alaskan leads Arctic Report Card warning Arctic warming continues
Mendenhall Glacier in Southeast Alaska is one of the many Alaska glaciers contributing to the circumpolar ice loss highlighted in this year’s Arctic Report Card.
Photo by Molly Tankersley



Alaska: Alaskan leads Arctic Report Card warning Arctic warming continues By HEATHER MCFARLAND - “Warmer, less frozen and biologically changed.” This is the new tagline used to describe the Arctic in the 2020 Arctic Report Card released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

According to Rick Thoman, this year’s lead editor and a climate specialist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the report has told the same story for the past decade. Thoman is part of the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at UAF’s International Arctic Research Center.

The Arctic Report Card is produced annually to provide the latest information on all aspects of the Arctic environment. Since it is peer reviewed, clear, concise and extremely timely, the report has become the go-to place for scientists, media, decision-makers and the public to find reliable information.

This year’s report showed that although Alaskans experienced relatively normal conditions from October 2019 to September 2020, the Arctic as a whole saw the second-warmest October-to-September period since at least 1900. The heat was most apparent in Siberia, where tremendous warmth drove massive wildfires.

“What I think the Arctic Report Card is really good at, is showing that the big story is the same, but the regions differ [from year to year],” said Thoman.

As editor, Thoman coordinated submissions on temperature, snow, ice, vegetation, biology and other topics from 133 scientists in 15 countries. Many other Alaskans joined Thoman in the effort, including ten additional UAF scientists.

Alison York, a wildfire expert at the International Arctic Research Center, led the report’s wildfire section. She used her connections as coordinator of the Alaska Fire Science Consortium to assemble a circumpolar team of wildfire experts.

The team described the recent increase in wildfire activity in the Arctic. In 2018, Sweden saw an eight-fold increase in wildfire activity. The following year, the fire hotspot shifted to North America, where more than half the acres burned in the United States were in Alaska. This past summer, an area the size of Greece burned in Siberia.

“Over the past 20 years there has been an unusually large fire season or fire event somewhere in the circumpolar north almost every year,” said York. “It’s always somewhere.”

Gabriel Wolken, from the International Arctic Research Center and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, has contributed to the glaciers and ice caps section of the report card for over a decade. This year, his section highlighted the enormous glacier melt that occurred during 2018 and 2019, a continuing trend. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020


jpg Ben Edwards

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Managing Your Retirement Plan Under a New Employer Provided By Ben Edwards, AAMS® - Your employer-sponsored retirement plan is a valuable asset. But sometimes things happen that can affect the status of your plan. So, for example, if you work for a hospital that changes ownership, and you have been participating in a 403(b), 457(b) or 401(k) retirement plan, what should you do with it now?

Basically, you have four options:

• Cash out your plan. You can simply cash out your plan and take the money, but you’ll have to pay taxes on it, and possibly penalties as well. So, unless you really need the funds and you have no other alternative, you may want to avoid liquidating your account. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020
jpg Mary Lynne Dahl

MONEY MATTERS: PORTFOLIO REBALANCING AS A WINNING STRATEGY By Mary Lynne Dahl, Certified Financial Planner ™ - Investors who are more successful use tested and proven strategies to get better performance. One of those strategies, used by professional financial advisors as well as smart individuals, is called rebalancing. This strategy has long been shown to improve long term investment performance as well as reduce risk. It is related to the concept of diversification but is different in several ways. This article will explain the concept of rebalancing a portfolio.

First, understand that you need a goal for any portfolio. Let’s say that your goal is retirement, 10 years away, at which time your portfolio will need to provide you with income that will replace a specific percentage of your earned income from working. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020


JOE GUZZARDI: THAT TIME BASEBALL BARNSTORMED THE WORLD - On a frigid Chicago evening in January 1912, baseball potentates Charles Comiskey and John J. McGraw met at “Smiley” Mark Corbett’s East Side saloon.

Over whiskey poured neat, the two drafted an ambitious, but successful plan to take Major League Baseball on a worldwide tour.

Comiskey had been an above average 19th century player, but by 1912, he had become the founding, vastly wealthy owner of the Chicago White Sox. McGraw was widely acknowledged as the feisty genius who guided the New York Giants to ten National League pennants and three World Series triumphs. Less well-known is that McGraw, once a Baltimore Orioles and Giants third baseman, has a career on base percentage that ranks a solid third behind Ted Williams and Babe Ruth but ahead of Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

jpg Political Cartoon: COVID-19 Vaccines

Political Cartoon: COVID-19 Vaccines
By R.J. Matson ©2020, CQ Roll Call
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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Masks By Yolanda Sainz - In this day and age of Covid-19, most places have a mask mandate. The CDC recommends all people 2 years of age and older wear a mask in  public settings and when around people who don't live in their household. However, this is not the case at the Ketchikan International airport. 

It is a very small airport, with little to no ventilation. There is no consideration to the fact that long after an area is clear of people, small particles of the virus can linger in the air for minutes, up to hours, be inhaled and lead to infection. 

It is beyond careless that masks are not required for all entering the airport; including those who have disembarked the aircraft from areas with high cases of Covid-19. Passengers are required to wear a mask on the aircraft, but can take it off the moment they walk into the terminal.

Passengers arriving from southern destinations are required to have a covid test upon arrival or show proof of a negative test. There is little to no social distancing while they stand in line. Most people wear a mask, but some don’t.  - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Governor Dunleavy Makes Alaska a Hostile Place By Vince Beltrami - What would you say if your daughter, sister, or best friend confided she had received inappropriate text messages from a supervisor—comments on her appearance, invitations for late night drinks at his home, questions about whether her children slept in her bed? What if she received 558 such messages and they were accompanied by not just heart emojis but unwanted physical touch? What if she said she had repeatedly tried to brush off these advances (tactfully, because she couldn’t afford to lose her job) but the harassment continued? For months.

Your first reaction would likely be anger and very possibly fear for her safety. Then you would immediately urge her to notify her supervisor’s boss. This is exactly what an unnamed state worker did this spring when Governor Dunleavy’s former Attorney General Kevin Clarkson launched a barrage of texts, hair-stroking, hugs, and kisses. First, she approached the governor’s Chief of Staff, Ben Stevens, who told her to keep quiet. She had a meeting with Governor Dunleavy himself, too, after which he took no action. (Only after the story was reported this fall by local media did Clarkson resign.)

Unions have a name for the kind of willful neglect demonstrated by Governor Dunleavy and his top advisors: contributing to a hostile work environment. It didn’t surprise me that the governor was unmoved by his employee’s personal and professional suffering and the gross imbalances of power that eventually made her leave a job she needed and loved. After all, his tenure had been marked by a hostility so extreme that Alaskans are in the midst of an effort to recall him. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Electoral College By Joe Bialek - The debate has started again as to whether the US Constitution should be amended in order to change the presidential election process.  Some promote eliminating the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote for president while others believe the Electoral College should remain unchanged.  Just as compromise solved the initial problems of the framers so it is that compromise can solve this problem.

The solution is to change the electoral votes to electoral points and reward each candidate a percentage of points based on the percentage of popular votes received in each state. This would eliminate the “winner take all” system thus allowing for all the votes to count.  A voter is more apt to believe their vote counted when a percentage of popular votes are taken into account rather than the “all or nothing” system currently in existence.  Further, this new system would integrate the desire for a popular vote for president with the need for the individual states to determine who actually gets elected. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

Trump Is Sabotaging Our Country By Donald Moskowitz - Vindictive Trump attacked our country for not reelecting him. Trump lost his cases in the courts, and then the corrupt President tried to circumvent the will of the people by coercing Republican law makers in swing states to overturn the election and appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College. He has placed his self interest above the country's interests, and he is sabotaging Biden's incoming administration. Trump is trying to turn the civilian leadership in the Pentagon into a politicized organization by infiltrating highly political unqualified personnel, including former campaign staff, and this weakens our military posture.

By delaying Biden's transition team's access to our government agencies, including intelligence agencies, Trump  jeopardized our security in the world. Our adversaries, including Russia, China, North Korea and Iran were pleased with Trump's weakening of our deterrent capabilities.

Internally, Trump has done a terrible job combatting the coronavirus pandemic, and he is responsible for increasing hospitalizations and deaths. Trump is disrupting our economy by ending some key Federal Reserve loan programs on December 31, 2020. - More...
Wednesday AM - December 09, 2020

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