Friday, March 26, 2010

Bad To The Bone: Borough Animal Control The Carey Adminisration Way

When Duane Bannock took over as Acting Chief of Staff, he promised that he was going to eliminate a position from the borough payroll.  Well, in what can only be a bone thrown to the ACT folks, the Carey administration, through Sue Wilcox, fired Ares, the search and rescue dog that CES has already spent over $10K on for training.  Technically, Ares works for the borough for free, but his handler, Dale Lawyer, a CES paramedic, is required by FSLA  (Fair Labor Standards Act) to receive 3.5 hours a week ($7400/year) for maintenance of rescue dogs. 

Part of Ares' duties  has been to go to schools and instruct kids what to do if they ever get lost.  The program has been very well-received.  

The Kenai has quite a bit of wilderness and it is reasonable to expect that eventually, some tourist, hunter, hiker, snowmachiner, skier or kid is going to get lost. $7400/year is small insurance that might help someone have a happy ending to a bad day.  Ares is also trained in avalanche rescue and we've been hammered with avalanches this year. 

Just one of the pay raises that Carey gave his staff would have more than covered the annual cost for Ares.

Who knows, maybe the dog pee'd on one of Dave's red, white and blue fire hydrants?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


There is SO much to write about, I just don't know where to start. I think I'll just post some questions that are a foggin-up my mind these days.

1) Why are some of those most vehemently opposed to the health care reform bill also the recipients of public-funded socialized medical insurance? If you work or have retired for the city, borough, state, feds, or if you're a veteran, a teacher or a senior on Medicare and are bitchin' about the bill, why is all right to subsidize you, but it is not OK to make sure all also have insurance?

2)Did Mike Chenault really work every day of the past year? He claimed per diem for them all. When he went on the all-expense-paid trip to China, did he also claim his per diem? Mike collected more money than any other legislator - nearly $90,000.  Really, he never went fishing, never went on a vacation, never took a day off...what dedication.  Considering what laws DO get passed, maybe he should think about taking a day or two off.

3)Sean Parnell recently went on a cruise ship convention junket to Florida and now wants to reduce the $50 tax that the cruise ship passengers pay to help mitigate the problems the hordes create in those port towns and to monitor the sewage and garbage the ships dump at, all one has to do is wine and dine the guv and he becomes a lapdog?

4)A couple of rich Texans want to put a coal mine right through the Chuitna River drainage across the inlet, and then sell the coal to China. And Mayor Dave thinks that this might be a good idea? So, we should destroy a healthy salmon stream for...?

5)Alaska Department of Fish and Game shoots collared wolves just outside of Denali National Park and kills off a pack that habituated the park. In a recent OpEd piece in the PC, Corey Rossi, writing as the assistant commissioner for AK Fish and Game, defends aerial hunting stating that it was designed to put more food on Alaskan tables. Why did he fail to mention that Board of Game also refused to prohibit Outside big game hunters from shooting moose in those same areas? If there so few moose for subsistence hunters that we have to shoot animal predators, why is there enough for rich dude predators from the lower 48 to come and take some too?

6)The same Corey Rossi was just appointed as the Alaska Director of State Wildlife Conservation. Turns out the man has no wildlife qualifications. He's not a college graduate and has had no training in that field. Well, he did take a biology course at a JuCo and he was once paid $11/hour to trap rats. Apparently the man is a personal friend of the Palins and had the assistant commissioner job created just for him (note to Tea Baggers, SP increased the size of gov't). A few people who have some real knowledge have raised a fuss (and read the ADN OpEd piece here). So, we are worried about our kids falling behind in math and science, so we put a political appointee with no credentials in a job where some education and understanding might be an asset? Those darn real scientists ruin everything.

I'm not out of questions, just out of time right now...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Praise the Lord, Pass the Ammo...and the Haldol

Here I am thinking I'm SOL in SOLdotna because of the suburban sprawl, strip malls, and the over-crowded chaos on the Kenai River.

But every time I pick up the PC, Norm Olson and Ray Southwell are putting on their Paul Revere tri-corners and spreading warnings about black helicopters, the feds, space aliens and the coming Armageddon. Along with Bob Bird, Schaeffer Cox and the 2nd Amendment Task Force, these two have been promoting the Alaska Citizens' Militia, their club of angry, gun-toting, mostly fat old white guys who don't want to pay taxes, but want their roads plowed.

Well, Bob is not fat and Schaeffer isn't old or fat, but angry he is. He was arrested last week for domestic violence. With their kid in the back seat of his rig, Mr. Cox tried to strangle his wife as they were driving to a show.

At least he wasn't texting.

Where did the militia last meet? In the taxpayer-funded auditorium at KCHS. I wonder why they don't support a capitalist local business? Well, I don't know of too many businesses who would want a crew of over-aged, locked-and-loaded paranoids hanging out on the premises. And besides, that crowd doesn't like to tip. Or pay for anything besides the latest armor-piercing ordinance.

But maybe these guys are on to something. Maybe we should be very afraid. And maybe these are the guys who will save us from the conspiracies that lurk behind every delusional thought they have.

So I did a quick search. The first click brought me to the New World Order's official web site. Yep, they recognize that Norm is their nemesis and Olson has repeatedly thwarted their plans for taking over the planet.

I'd like to direct Olson and Southwell to three more very imminent threats to Alaska and freedom: Canadian World Domination, The Evil League of Evil, and Terrorist Squirrels!

I know I'll feel a lot better knowing that the militia might focus on threats just as whacked as they are.

One reason the Kenai attracts the angry old white guys with guns who don't want to pay taxes is that we encourage them to move here. Yep, once you are 65, you get a $300,000 property tax exemption. Norm has 2 years to go before he gets to really whine about the taxes he is (not) paying, although he currently qualifies for a Nikiski senior tax break. I'm all for cutting slack to seniors who are in need - especially those who put their time in locally to build this community, but the break goes to anyone that qualifies for the PFD and it doesn't matter if one's annual income is $0 or a million bucks. So Norm, Ray and their ilk move up here and we all will subsidize their craziness.

In related breaking news, bigots from around the US are worried that the development of new racial slurs aren't keeping pace with the rise in mixed-race births. Read about it here.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Think About It: John Davis Doesn't Think

Radio Kenai's five stations dominate the local commercial airwaves. John Davis, the radio media magnate, has infused right-wing propaganda through most of the syndicated shows that he broadcasts. John, and his partner in opine, Joe Nicks, offer their own profundities in the Think About It series. At best, their ideas are insipid, but more often they are, in the satirical way Rush uses the word, retarded.

Let's look at a sampler of what they want you to think about.

Joe wants to keep anyone over 60 from running for political office. They're too out of touch with the youngsters. So no Bush I, Reagan, Ford, Eisenhower or Truman. I think we all would have preferred the old George over the youngster W.

He also wants to give one-time tax credits for those who quit smoking or enroll in weight-loss programs. Simple...or maybe just simple minded. Ok, so you quit smoking, take your tax write-off, and celebrate by lighting up? Is the gub'mint going to put their spies out to make sure you really quit? The same for weight loss credits. Does he want the Feds to come and weigh you to make sure? And if you gain the weight back, do you pay the credit back? If not, what's the point? This is how you propose we solve the health care issue? How about we give those ideas at least a couple minutes more thought Joe?

But it is Mr. Davis who really demonstrates what little thought he is capable of. John gussies his platitudes with faux-folksy tales of his past and equates old-time parental discipline as a sure way of getting the Feds back in line. Well, he's a little short on specifics, but those might confuse him. The government has chipped away at gun rights over the last 100 years. Well, we can't own atomic bombs, so I guess he's right. John, what specific laws are you talking about?

He also rails against the Patriot Act, just one of the many doublespeak laws passed in W's watch, but there are no specifics, just his cutesy musing wondering what type of soap the government will use on those who speak out. I don't think the government should do warrant-less phone taps on citizens, force librarians to turn over the titles of books that citizens check out and etc., but why does he complain now and why did he remain silent when some of those laws were passed and why the silence when W's justice department violated the existing rules on wiretapping and torture?

I did get a big laugh over his delineation of liberals and conservatives. A liberal vegetarian wants to outlaw meat. A liberal wants to surrender gracefully to Osama Bin Ladin. An atheistic liberal only wants to promote 'foreign' religions. A liberal person of color only sees himself as a victim.

John, if you need to believe all of this to feel good about your ignorance, that is your right. But if you call that thinking,maybe you should think again.

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