Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer in SOLdotna

Ahhh...the second of August and king fishing and dip netting are done for the season By the end of the day, the exodus of tourists and pukers (visitors from Anchorage) starts and we begin to slowly reclaim our town. But it's not like the old days before traffic lights and FM when SOLdotna really slowed down. I kinda miss those days.
I've been a blogging slacker these last few weeks. Too much fun to be had, fish to be caught and processed and too many chores to do on the home front. There certainly has been a few things to note on this site however.

Dip Netting
Fish allocation issues continue to divide the community. Commercial fishermen might have a legitimate point when they are closed down for escapement while the dip netters are allowed to continue to harvest fish.
21 reds swam into my dip net this season and I can easily defend this personal use fishery. But when I look around and see the waste and destruction more than a few dip-netters are a part of, I know that the process needs to be made a bit more responsible. Look for a post soon that will examine this issue in more detail.

Progress Days Parade
I am not a parade kinda person, but I make it a point to watch this one for the entertainment that the MC, Merrill Sikorski provides. Merrill thinks it is the duty of an MC to make funny and Merrill thinks he is a comedian and while he makes me laugh out loud, I am not laughing at his jokes. In the vernacular of the internet, I am LMAO at what he considers to be appropriate humor at this family function.

Classic Merrills from the past include informing Alan A of KDLL that he was dragging his pickle. As a young horsewoman from the rodeo went by, Merrill cautioned the crowd not to confuse pole racers to pole dancers. Who can forget the vulgar slang he used when he referred to classic mustang cars that drove by?

This year did not disappoint. As the wiener dogs marched by, Merril offered some double entendres. "We SOLdotnans are proud to show off our wieners" and "It just goes to show that size really doesn't matter". My favorite this year was when the race cars went by. A mini drag racer was on a trailer and there were two teen aged girls sitting on the trailer. Merrill announced that a mini drag racer and a mini drag queen were going by the reviewing stand.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Post-Palin Post

I usually let the other Alaskan bloggers take on Sarah Palin, and the news of her resignation this past weekend has certainly given them a lot to write about (see the sidebar on this site for links). She has blamed the bloggers for her decision and her accusations have made national and international news.

The only thing I am going to say is that after the presidential election, I wish she had simply went back to being the governor of Alaska and put any further aspirations aside for the time being. While I didn't agree with everything she did, I sort of liked the pre-Monegan/Troopergate/VP Palin.

Her decisions to grandstand, to make political points, to be absent from the state during crucial times in this last legislative session did not serve the citizens of Alaska. Her spins in defense of some questionable behavior have been unbecoming. During the national campaign, she demonstrated that she could dish it out, but that is just an invitation for others to do the same back. And I guess the ensuing criticism she received was too much for her to handle.

So Sarah, pick some salmon from your set net site, tend to your kids and family, get your life back. Take some time off and out of the spotlight. The best thing to do might be to find someone that you trust but that doesn't necessarily agree with you on everything. Get that person's advice and then sleep on any comments that you might otherwise impulsively have to say.

Seating Chart

Borough Mayor Dave Carey is making a list (and checking it a few times every week), of employees who are sitting down at their desks. Apparently this holdover from his teacher days, is his way of checking that borough employees are doing their job serving the citizens of the Kenai. So, if you are looking up a file, checking out a map, attending a meeting, of good heavens, using the restroom, your lack of dedication is noted.

No word if red licorice is given to those sitting at their desks.

The Fate of the Borough

Mike Nesper, the cub reporter for the PC, opened his article about tonight's assembly meeting with a bit of hyperbole and declared that our fate rested on if voters should decide if we want a manager or mayor.

Really - like, are we gonna die if we do something?

C'mon Mike. You're supposed to be a real reporter - just the facts, man. Leave the slant for us bloggers, the news comedians like Jon Stewart, or the propagandists like Fox News or Rush Limbaugh.

What's really the motivation behind this ordinance?

It's kinda funny that groups like ACT are so opposed to letting voters decide this issue especially when ACT was all about having a borough manager a couple of years ago. ACT has also been adamant that voters should decide things. For ACT and their ilk, it depends on which way the wind blows. If it is something they don't like, they declare the borough is thwarting the will of the people. If it is something they don't want, they are all about suppressing debate.

The vote will probably come down to Gary Knopp, who introduced the ordinance, but has shown that he will wilt under pressure. During the last assembly meeting, he changed his vote which originally supported an appeals process for borough department heads who sometimes get axed for only dubious reasons, and failed to support the override of Carey's veto that would have established a way for folks who are doing a good job to challenge politically motivated termination.

And maybe that's the reason to move to a manager form of government. The last few borough mayors have brought in their political cronies to do jobs that some are unqualified for - how does that make for better government?

Duane Bannock, the appointed head of the Spruce Bark Beetle program is the most blatant example of the Mayor Carey's cronyism. Duane, a car salesman, replaced a person fully qualified to run such a program, and by all accounts, the former head was doing a fine job. Duane then had the brass to speak up at last month's assembly meeting to voice his support for the mayor.

Of course he did - he owes his job to the mayor, what else is he going to say? It did come across as more than a bit self-serving.

Apparently there are 8 disgruntled former employees that may have been darn good workers who have been let go and replaced by folks not-so-qualified. Certainly, a new mayor should be able to bring in his/her own staff, but one might hope that politics would not interfere with competence.

I dunno, I sure would like to avoid the political grandstanding that the current mayor is so very good at. And why not just let the voters decide?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Kenai River Classic

The Kenai River Classic is happening this weekend and you may have noticed that this fishing derby gets listed under "The Bad" about SOLdotna.


In the past, the Classic was nothing more than a chance to get powerful lobbyists representing defense contractors and the oil companies together with influential state and national politicians to work their behind-the-scene magic and secure profits. Sure, some money was tossed back to the Kenai River Sportfishing Association under the guise of river conservation, but used for more river access (with some fishing platforms and bank preservation projects)and to fund KRSA's crusade against commercial fishing.

Uncle Ted is absent from this year's Classic - but Don "Mr Clean" Young heads up the celebrity draw. No word on the lobbyists attending this year.

It would be nice to see some transparent accounting of what actually transpires and where the money actually goes.

Large Visitor Globe