12.31.2008

IT'S A WRAP.


No I'm not quitting,(although there has been a trend for it this year.) Even though there are only a handful of fans out there, (and I think they are mostly relatives), I am going to keep slog/bogging for now. I mean it's a wrap for '08.
Yup 2008 is over folks, another year closer to the tricentennial, the International Stamp Show, the Ice Age, or Armageddon. You pick which one you are looking forward to the most.
SO HERE'S TO 2008
A year that started off with hopes of peace and success.
Came to an end in a bloody mess.
Tragedy, and scandals rammed down our throats,
until we lay gasping; bleeding like sacrificial goats.
As a country tired of war and worn down,
we rallied for two who sought the crown.
During the battle for our hearts and minds,
our economy slid into serious decline.
Both sides cried "It is not my fault!"
While corporate raiders emptied the vault.
Lustily gilding their silver linings,
ignoring us po' peasants whining.
They moved on, leaving in their wake,
company's seeking guv handouts to take.
Its all good, Obama gonna fix it all.
Like some Cinderella at the ball,
a wave of the wand and all will be better.
Never mind we are becoming the worlds largest debtor.
I'm tired of all the media crap, all hail '09!
Cause 08 is a wrap.
Peace ya'll
G.

12.26.2008

The perfect cure.


Being it is the holiday season, I have been coming across assorted remembrances of the famous furry trio known as The Chipmunks. In their day, they probably sold more albums than that other made-for TV band, The Monkees. Now they seem to pop up on numerous blogs. Shoot, even Gryphen wax's nostalgic over the annoying mini-mammals. Perhaps Elwood summed it up best, so check out his spin on the chalkboard scraping super group.
As for me? Well, many, many years ago in an effort to earn desperately needed cash I worked at a Santa's Village tourist trap back east.
For three years every Sat& Sun between Sept and Jan I worked for 9-10 hours a day.
The owner had only two Christmas albums in stock. A fifties rock collection and the Chipmunks. These were played in a continuous loop over the entire compound, imagine how challenging that was in the the days of vinyl.
It was not a bad gig, I met a lot of people, learned some skills, and got to play with many exotic animals. It was also where I got to meet my first Kodiak bear. His name was Billy and he was far from home.
The bad side is that 30 years later I would still flinch whenever I heard those warbling soprano's start up.
Now, what cured me of Eutamiasphobia?
I got to spend a large part of this summer with one of my granddaughters. When ever the Kodiak summer turned wet and wild we settled in with her small but well used favorite movie collection.
To my chagrin I discovered the chipmunk movie in the back of the pile.
It had been placed in the back by her mother, in hopes that it would not surface to often. Better to watch Monsters Inc. repetitively than one more run through those furry little sadistic singers.
Once Flower saw that DVD, the Chipmunk chant began. Gritting my teeth I placed it in the player. After all, how can you say no to a child as bright as any summer day? A child whose smile and scream of Pappy!, as I came through the door, would push all the dark and weary parts of my day away and replace them with light and joy.
Gritting my teeth, I placed the DVD in and sat back, secretly hoping that some defect would prevent it from playing. No such luck.
But luck has a funny way of turning out doesn't it?
Watching the movie was relatively painless. Watching Flower, watch the movie was priceless. Listening to her sing, quietly, along overcame years of self induced bias.
How do I know I am cured?
Last weekend I was part of the Santa drive-by out here in Flatville. As we cranked out the kiddy tunes over the P.A. there came up the inevitable "Christmas Time", by the trio.
Watching the joy of those kids as Santa stepped off the firetruck, and Alvin and the gang warbled, I did not flinch. In fact I smiled.
Thank you Flower. Thank you Alvin, Theodore, & Simon. You have taught this old Flatratter that the circle is truly round.
Peace ya'll

12.24.2008

365 vs 24/7


Merry Christmas ya'll.
Tonight, as we wrap up the final preparations for Christmas day, I am reminded of my mothers annual refrain.
Christmas is 365 days a year.
Every year I listened to that response, whenever I queried her for hints as to what I could give her. Now, I understand what she meant.
Folks, Christmas really should be 365 days a year. Not the gift giving, but the very spirit that fills the majority of us all tonight.
Think about it. When you were standing in line today, or waiting for that cherished parking spot, did you step back and relinquish your right, to a person you felt needed it more? Did you help that elderly person with their bags? Smile and talk to child you did not even know? Are you filled with a sense of benevolence that you cannot explain, but must act on? If nothing along those lines entered into your life in the past week, then stop reading right now and do some serious soul searching.
In today's society we are inundated with promises and quips of 24/7. That is not a realistic goal for the Christmas spirit, but 365 days is.
What if every one of us, once a day acted in a Christmas like manner? What if you avoided using the empty row of handicapped parking, even though it was only going to take a minute. What if you talked to that friend, just because, no holiday guilt involved? What if you simply understood, that the actions of that person,(that you don't know), might have reasons behind it that you are not aware of. In realizing that you act in forgiveness, rather than anger?
History has shown over and over again, amazing acts of peace and understanding on this night and tomorrow. Let that be our proof. Love and understanding not only work, it is in our very nature to seek. We find as much comfort in comforting as being comforted.
God so loved us he gave us his only son.
Tomorrow we shall celebrate the birth of a man. A man who is recognized by every major religion, discussed by theologians of every creed. A man who changed the world by teaching forgiveness and love.
Thank you Mom, you taught me many things. Most of all you taught me this,
Christmas is 365 days a year.
Do the right thing ya'll, just not for yourself.
Peace
Griff

12.11.2008

A great weekend


I had the privilege of coaching the St. Mary's Saints boys basketball team this season. The season culminates at the ACSAA tournament.
This year the tournament was intense. Every team fought hard for their place and I am grateful for the level of competition that was there.
The boys team played six games in two days, placing third out of 10 teams overall and securing a trophy. We lost our first game by one point and battled all the way back up to lose by five in the semi.
The girls team also finished 3rd overall, losing both their games in overtime!
My thanks to a team that never gave up. The Saints made their opponents pay for every inch of the court. They put the D in defense and gave 110%.
The hosts of the tourney were awesome, the players and coaches amazing. I am blessed to have have participated.
My gratitude goes out to all who made it possible. My personal gratitude goes to a team of young men that did not give up. They played until they could no longer play, overcoming injury and exhaustion.
My offensive/assistant coach, Culen, could not come over to Kenai, but his spirit and training was there. This young man was the conscience that got me to step up 3 years ago and coach this wonderful group of players. It was my last season with my son as assistant coach and I will miss that.
Thanks to Kenai Christian Church for giving us a place to stay.
Coach Dan; it was your first tourney and I pray it will not be the last. Reagan, Dorise, and Sam, thank you for all the hard work and support.
Shout out to Josh Lewis, the parents, and supporters, who in various ways made this trip possible.
As for me; well I am going to sit back and start getting ready for next season.
GO SAINTS!!!!

11.30.2008

OBAMAMANIA


A friend sent me an interesting clip from the net. Check it out.
I am grateful for a country that can overcome it's past and elect a candidate such as Barack Obama. As a child I remember the surprise when John Kennedy was elected. Listening to the adults discuss the future with him in office was enlightening. The adults of that day were not amazed that a man of Kennedy's political beliefs made the oval office. They were surprised that a catholic got voted in. Different days, different biases.
That said; president elect Obama has already boosted one small section of our economy.
Gun sales. The numbers are astonishing, some gun categories have reported a 400% increase in sales since November 2nd. Basically, in fear of losing their constitutional rights, thousands are beating down the doors of gun shops. Stocking up on weapons that they fear will be unavailable in the future.
Crazy paranoia of a bunch of gun nuts? Not likely. We've been there folks, during the Clinton administration we let our gun ownership rights be whittled away. We traded a misplaced desire for safety for the right to defend ourselves.
Did violent crime decrease? No it did not, in fact, in some areas it increased.
When the new legislation steps onto the floors of the senate and congress there will be agendas waiting to come to fruition. Do not blame the new president if you lose one of the rights our founding fathers thought so important that they made it a constitutional right.
It is the senate and congress that should truly represent our interests. this will only happen if we hold them accountable for their actions or inaction's. Our own inaction will be the tool those in office find most useful. Our apathy will provide fuel for their freight train.
Let gun control be, there are already enough laws on the books to keep honest folks honest. We don't need more laws, just enforce those already in place.
Let's focus on our nations real problems. Poverty, hunger, and education are what we, as a nation, need to fix.
Ask hard questions, demand real answers.
Peace Ya'll.

11.28.2008

Do ya think I'm that far off base?


My handful of readers may think that my stance on BLACK FRIDAY is just another disgruntled rant. Today, sadly, my point is made.
Check out this story on newsday.com.. The sad fact is that even after this horrific event occurred, shoppers were actually walking in and around the EMT's as they tried to save this poor mans life. I hope the savings were worth it.
Jdimytai Damour lost his life, under a stampede of shoppers who, truly, lost their sense of priorities.
Peace to you Mr. Damour, peace to your family.
Thanks to Ish for the link to the story.
Monday is Cyber Monday folks. The latest version of today's corporate driven shopping madness. Sit on your hands, send a message, do the right thing.
'Nuff said.
Peace ya'll
G.

Black Friday Redoux


I said it last year and I still believe it's true.
So click the title link and peruse my post from one year ago.
Do the right thing.
Peace ya'll
G.

11.27.2008

Thank you for today and every day.

Following on the path of the mighty Ishmael
My short list of thanks.
Thanks to Mom for having me.
Thanks to Mom for keeping me.
Thanks to Dad and both father-in laws, for teaching me.
Thanks to the two women in my life that brought my children into this world.
Thanks to my children for making my world beautiful.
Thanks to the wonderful people of this island for accepting me.
Thanks to all the soldiers around the world for keeping us safe.
Thanks to God for making all this possible.
If you get some down time, cruise the blogoshpere and check out what thanks are out there. You might be surprised at how much we all have in common.
Over at I Eat Gravel the president -elect speaks and an original poem follows. Good stuff.
As I leave for dinner I'll leave ya'll this.
From Tecumseh.
Give Thanks
When you arise in the morning,
give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength.
Give thanks for your food and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.

Peace ya'll

11.21.2008

A life well lived


In my last post, I dedicated my rant to John. John Strahle was my father-in-law, and he left this world Tuesday. Why would I dedicate such a rant to him?
Besides being a husband, father and grandfather he dedicated a large portion of his life to protecting the resources so many take for granted. A Korean war veteran, former fish and game officer, he ended up as a career agent for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Not the folks most of us deal with. He was an active investigator. The kind most folks do not encounter. Protecting the migrating whales from do-gooding green peace activists. Busting the folks trying to smuggle illegal and unsafe ocean species into an unsuspecting American marketplace.
That was his professional life.
I knew him as "Jack". A man who loved the life up here. A man whose name I could mention in several areas of the country and hit an accord with another agent. You see in my previous life, the agency I worked with interacted with the NMFS on a regular basis. We would fly them around and count on their expertise to recognize a vessel that broke the fisheries laws of our nation. Almost every time we hauled an agent, I could mention my father-in -law and the agent on board would know him, or know of him.
That was our professional overlap. In my personal life, John ended up in a place I never imagined would happen. I know that he had his misgivings when his baby daughter told him of her plans to marry a young Coastie. He gave me fair measure and trusted his baby girls judgement. Now, as a father of three girls married, I understand how difficult that can be.
Sixteen years ago and three years into our marriage, my father passed on. Over time John became the closest thing I had to a father. Many miles separated us, but our visits together were priceless. The conversations on the phone often helped me over the inevitable bumps in the road life provides.
I met you when I was sure that I was a grown man. I learned that I still had a fair amount of growing to do. Now, I still realize that I am not fully grown. I learned from you, that each stage in our lives teaches us more, and therefore we are forever growing. Thank you for that.
Thank you for your daughter; that I married. She is a blessing in my life. Our children are a blessing threefold.
Rest well, my friend you have earned it. You never met my father, or my first son. I hope they are there to greet you on your new journey. I will see you again.
Good night John, Dave S., Robin,Dave B. Dwayne, Tom, Tim, Dad, & Cory.
Peace Ya'll

11.19.2008

Sea Kittens



This one's for John.
Now that the political circus is winding down, I'd like to point out the latest lame attempt of one organization to alter the way we live.
That would be People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; PETA for short.
It would appear that they have recruited at least one web guru to help them start a new, insidious campaign.
Sea Kittens.
This new approach is comparing fish to the adorable kittens that so many homes have. The website offers stories, some cute, some horrifying, that try to show that fish are the same, and as loving as that fuzzy little kitten we have all had at one time.
It also is filled with medical reports showing that eating fish is not only morally wrong, but dangerously unhealthy.
Over the years, PETA has tried to convince us that eating any animal is wrong. The majority of us realize that this group is just slightly off center.
Now their approach has taken a new twist. In some lame attempt to shape future generations, they are targeting our children. I would go on, describing this web site, but you should see it for yourself to realize the potential it has.
Therefore; I offer PETA this.
Your facts are gleaned from thousands of studies that disagree with your stance. Granted, the beauty of the I-net is that you are capable of providing only the opinions that support your particular cause. I respect every individuals right to their beliefs and opinions. However; I draw the line at any attempt to recruit children in some lame hope that they will convert to your ideals.
That said.
YO PETA, put your money where your mouth is.
You want to save the planet by saving everything that breathes? Think about this.
Science has proven several times that plants respond to speech and music. Does that not insinuate a form of sentience? So the next time you're chomping down on that handful of sunflower seeds try not to choke on the hypocritical fact that you have devoured a beautiful and planet improving species.
Do you have a lawn? Do you realize that a lawn is an unnatural and hard to sustain environment for grass. Actually a lawn is the horticultural equivalent of a caged chicken farm. Never mind the horror of that mower you run across it every couple of weeks. Oh yeah, what about the thousands of species that contributed to the fuel, gas or electric, that powers that death machine.
So, now you can't or won't eat meat. If you're being just, you can't eat plants either. What's left?
Water, that's what.
Wait a minute, every drop of water is filled with living organisms from several phyla, so I guess that is out of the question also.
Here is my challenge then. Either be fair and just, thus protecting all living things, or accept your place in the food chain & accept the fact that Human Beings are omnivores.
If you choose the latter, then I won't have to worry about your whining histrionics. Should you choose the former; well then your generation will come to a slow lingering end.
BTW the next time you want to swim with the "Sea Kittens", may it be a beautiful tiger kitty. Tiger shark that is; and then you will realize your place in the food chain.
AAHH, I had me fill and run me rant.
I will explain why this one is for John later folks. Suffice to sat another great soul has moved on.
Do the right thing tomorrow, no matter how hard it is.
Peace Ya'll.
Griff

11.15.2008

What a great week.


I normally do not take any pleasure in another persons mistakes. However that is not the case when it comes to meteorologists and their shamanistic predictions. Over at the Devils Club and the mighty KoKon there is drooling and howling about the beautiful moon lit nights we have been experiencing. I could not agree more with their attitude.
This time of year it is the hunters moon I love, nights when a flashlight is a comfort, but not needed. The wilderness is at its most seductive beauty on nights like that. I am drawn, entranced, into the blue night of the snow reflecting the moons robust fullness.
It is no wonder that I have often compared my beautiful bride to the moon. Her beauty is the same gentle light that not only illuminates, but smooths and beautifies everything around her. I am drawn to her side, seduced over and over again, by her beauty.
Oh, but I wander. My better half is far away and I miss her. She has been down to the West Coast spending time with two of the daughters and welcoming the latest addition to our clan. Yup, as of Nov. 12th, we have a new Grandson. Korben Gabriel is his name and he is as beautiful as his mother. That brings our total grandchild count up to 4 and another is due any day now. So lets see, 4 kids, 4,(soon 5), grand kids, and we haven't even hit the big 50 yet! Maybe my family needs more hobbies.
BTW today is AMERICA RECYCLES DAY, so get out there and do it! Besides providing a great service, Rick down at threshold provides employment for a bunch of challenged folks, that might otherwise be sitting around. Did you know that two Saturdays ago the Saint Mary's Saints basketball teams had their annual Kodiak Clean up day? It is an annual event that raises money for the boys and girls teams to go to the ACSSA tournament. So about 25 kids got sponsors and in 3 hours picked up 140 bags of trash and 4 bags of recyclables for a total of 2620 lb.s of refuse. Not bad huh? Man I love those kids.
It's not to late to show your appreciation for these hard working 6,7, & 8th graders. Contact Saint Mary's school if you want to donate to the basketball traveling fund. My many thanks to all the sponsors and parents that helped out this year.
Found a great new website, if your interested in Native American history check this one out.
Summing up: Great weather, Veterans Day caught up with me old buds, new grandson, one night and one day out in the woods with the girls(our dogs).
What a great week. I am grateful.
Do the right thing ya'll, and not just for yourself.
Peace.

11.11.2008

Thank you

After reading the latest entry from Ish at the mighty KoKon, I happened on this at You Tube.
Wonderful.
Peace

Famous Veterans speak.


After reading an excellent piece over at T.K.P., I wanted to put some of my favorite quotes made by some famous Veterans. Some were republicans, some Democrats, and some whose only political affiliation was being American.
Here they are.
George Washington:
"Observe good faith and justice toward all nations.
Cultivate peace and harmony with all."
OR
"If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War."
Patrick Henry:
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
John Paul Jones:
"An honorable Peace is and always was my first wish! I can take no delight in the effusion of human Blood; but, if this War should continue, I wish to have the most active part in it."
Theodore Roosevelt:
"A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterward."
Dwight d. Eisenhower:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
Douglas MacArthur:
"I have known war as few men now living know it. It's very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes."
George Patton:
"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory."
Colin Powell:
"War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support."

There are a great many more great quotes out there. Read, Ask hard questions, and demand real answers.
Peace ya'll
G.

11.10.2008

A Day of Thanks


Tuesday, November 11th is Veterans day. It is also one of the few national holidays that has not been trivialized by morphing it into a 3 day weekend. It stands alone, as it should.
As a nation we have Memorial Day to honor those fallen in service to our country, in September we have Patriots day to remember those fallen on September 11, 2001. Both the victims of the attack and the public safety professionals & volunteers who gave their lives.
Veterans day is different folks, it is the chance we all have to give reverence and thanks to all who have served. This is your chance to thank a living individual who chose service above self. Take advantage of this!
Tomorrow, find a vet. Take the time to shake their hand and thank them. I am a veteran, but tomorrow I will take the time to find the vets that made my younger life safe and possible. I will thank them for that.
I am not talking about some long diatribe about why you are grateful.
Just shake their hand and say thank you. Believe me they will know what you are saying with a simple expression of thanks.
When tomorrow passes, remember that every time you stand for the national anthem, or pledge allegiance to our flag, you are fortifying the beliefs those vets chose to defend.
To defend our constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic, is the oath every one of those veterans took and lived.
'Nuff said. Take a moment tomorrow and be grateful.
Peace ya'll
Griff

11.02.2008

Now you can double wrap your fish!


Just kidding folks, there is a new paper 'round town and I love it.
The journalism class at our own KHS has started /revived the school paper. Hats off to the folks at the Mirror for printing it up. Sure this new paper probably is not going to put our beloved daily out of business, but in a one paper town any addition is welcome. Judging by the content and thickness of the Friday Mirror I think the interaction with youthful journalists might have revived some of that good old journalistic giddy-up we have needed.
The next edition of the Necessity is rumored to hit the street any day now. so give the kids a buck,(that's the going rate), and help support the newest endeavor of Ms. Heitman and her crew.
I listened to the debates thanks to our own KMXT, the other night. I think they were better than the nationals, maybe because I feel more affected by the local election than the national. Still, I need to ponder some more before I mark the block on Tuesday. These may be the toughest election decisions I have ever made. It makes me wish we could add "none of the above" as an actual choice. That we could get a Mulligan and maybe some candidates of substance would step forward.
Wanna have some fun? Monday night watch one of my favorite movies. It is called Wag the Dog, and is still so relevant today it is scary. If you do watch it make sure you read all the special info at the end.
Anyways folks, I really don't care if you agree with my choices or political views. Just get out there and vote! They have made it so accommodating this time, that I anticipate taxi service next time around. Oh, wait I think that was tried before and it ended badly for the candidate that provided the rides.
Do the right thing tomorrow folks, no matter how hard it may be.
Peace

10.25.2008

I gotta quit drinkin'


At the very least I need to stop drinking so much that I sleep through an entire season. That must be what happened, because what I had believed to be a weather anomaly last week, turned out to be winters onset. So using my amazing powers of deductive reasoning, I must conclude that I slept through autumn. Actually I must have Rumpelstiltskinned most of summer also. Global warming, my ass.
That said, I did in fact tip a few frosties last night. Val and the gang hosted a great fundraiser at the Rondy. They raised a fair amount for the injured Seth Freeman and band. For all of the crappy weather, insanely high fuel prices, and quirky politicians; you gotta love this place. I have lost track of the number of times our neighborhood has pulled together and thrown a fund raiser for some one fallen on hard times. I am blessed to live here.
Anyways, back to the party. The music was great. Mutinous and the crew kicked things off and then it evolved into a carousel style jam session. Various local artists would hop on stage and play with others, rotating and mixing it up.
I caught up with some old friends and made a few new ones. Only one downer the whole evening.
While I was sitting there planning our next duck hunt with a buddy, a couple of the younger patrons must have got confused about their location. In true Mecca style they threw each other on the floor and commenced to tussle. Then the rest of their buds had to crowd in to see if they were OK or offer words of encouragement.
Long story short, a couple of the local graybeards waded in with Val and drug the two bad boys out back. The music started back up and the refreshments flowed.
Here's a few tips for you youngun's when visiting at the Rondy.
1. Play Nice, folks in the Flats, (and most of Kodiak) have a live and let live
mentality.
2. Play nice, Flatters don't usually like violence, but are not afraid of using it
either.
3. Never start a fight with an old guy. If you win,(and that might be more
difficult than you realize) no one is impressed. If you do not win, well you
just got your ass kicked by an old guy. It's a lose -lose.
4. If all else fails and you completely lose your ability to react rationally
Return to the scene in a day or two, in the daytime, and apologize to the owner
and staff. Even if you did not start the fracas, it is the right thing to do.
So ends the sermon.
Tonite there is another fundraiser at my favorite hazard to navigation. Check out the poster at the mighty KoKon There is also an acoustic gig at the Rondy. So you might a s well start partying those winter blues away, after all Halloween is right around the corner.
Check out Devils Club his spin is a entertaining as usual.
Do the right thing today folks, no matter how hard it may be.
Peace Ya'll

10.18.2008

What assembly is this????


So there I was, in the garage, listening to the borough assembly meeting. A cold brewsky in one hand, and a handful of skepticism in the other.
Why the garage? The terrain of my compound makes reception a challenge, and I just didn't feel like sitting in the house listening to it on the 'puter, (I love the KMXT live streaming). Besides the kids gotta get his homework done. Oh yeah, if you do check out local radio on the web, click on the Donate button and help support the best media on the rock.
Is me or was that the shortest, most jovial borough assembly meeting in history? I actually had to double check the tuner to make sure I had not tuned into some other borough meeting. I felt like I was standing at the edge of a funeral party for the town bully. You know, where everyone stands around trying to say nice things about a person very few actually liked. I suppose it is never good to speak ill of the dead, or of the departed.
The high lights for me?
1. Apparently the ambulance Mel Stephens was chasing passed by the borough building, enabling him to drop by and put his 3 cents in. His gratitude for the departing assembly matters was tear jerking, (tears of mirth, that is). After all the pain you have suffered trying to hold the assembly accountable it is too bad your covert write-in campaign failed so miserably. I guess we'll have to listen to your comments from the floor for a while still.
2. The news that our community will be receiving a kickback from the 700 billion dollar bail-out. It could be as much as 400K for the next 3 years. Hopefully the assembly won't piss it away on studies and plans for the desperately needed borough administrative building. BTW, didn't I hear something about our school lunch program being short about 292K this year? Maybe they can trim some of the waste, as they are planning, and the assembly can now afford to fork over the rest. For that matter, why don't we invest some, and then give the rest to our school district?
3. Mr. Abell went out with some class and I really did like his suggestion that everyone should give public service a try. Thanks Tom, now move on and enjoy that lifetime of medical benefits you take as a parting gift.
4. Mr. Oswalt : that was the most eloquent & intelligent statement of your career and I will follow your lead.
With two legs of the triad removed, I am curious to see how the remainder will stand without their support. Its gonna be a fun winter, so pay attention folks. Ask hard questions, and demand real answers.
Peace
Griff

10.11.2008

Election aftermath.


Tuesday has passed and both props on the ballot didn't. Not a big surprise to this blogger.
Prop one would have shielded our local seat holders & seekers from public disclosure.
it seems the local neighborhood wants full disclosure from it's elected officials, and with all that is going on in the big ring, I was not surprised by the outcome.
I did read one thing in our local fishwrap that caught my attention. It was the comment from Betty Odell.
Her statement would lead the average citizen to believe, that out of respect, we should not expect disclosure from our local elected officials. Balderdash!
I, for one, do respect anyone bold enough to step up and represent our neighborhoods. Well Ms. Odell ; our nation was founded by a group of folks that did not "respect government". I think that our inherent ability to question government is what makes this nation what it is.
That said; the majority of our local elected officials are exempted from the requirement. I would recommend that Ms. Odell actually read the rules before she comments. I will never trade "respect" for carte blanche or accountability. The lawyers and doctors who cross the threshold that requires such disclosure are covered by client attorney privilege and HIPA. All they have to do is pursue the rights they and their clients are protected under. If Ms. Odell is not able to find the time to protect her interests, then perhaps she does not have the time to represent our community.
Prop 2 got voted down, not only because of the local economy. Granted it may have been a major factor, but that was not the only factor that turned voters away. In my opinion Prop 2 was a sirloin steak served with a side of horse manure. The 8.7 million tack-on for the addition of a borough facility and the destruction of the old did not belong on that proposition. Nice try though. If memory serves me, a short time ago the original pool vote involved water slides and other extravagant add-ons, we decide not necessary. The borough brought it back, in a more economical and practical presentation, and we voted it in. I am fairly certain that will be the case for our badly needed new high school. BTW Juneau is building a Shangri-La of a facility for a round 80 million.
As for the elections, well no real surprises there. Those that ran, for the most part, got voted in. I am glad to see that write in vote for borough assembly went to Dave Kaplan. Did anyone else notice the other three contenders? Yep, there was a Stephans. and a couple of Arndts in the mix. I am glad there was enough voter turn out to prevent that from happening.
Petal Ruch won a much deserved school board seat, and this voter believes she will bring a much needed new perspective to the board.
Lastly, HATS OFF to all who ran and doubly so to all who showed up to vote. The power of government truly rests in our hands.
Check out the KoKon, rumor has it the comments section is coming back, that and his spin on Uncle Ted vs. Hobo Jim is hilarious. The Kodiak Perspective is keeping us posted on his travels and is enlightening as usual.
As for me; I am off to the Rondy for a burger and a brew,(or two).
Do the right thing tomorrow ya'll, regardless of the effort.
Peace.

10.06.2008

Tuesday is the day!





That's all I got. Regardless of your opinion, just get out there and vote.
Peace Ya'll
Griff

10.05.2008

Drinkin' Coffee and Stumblin' About


So here I am sippin' some fine Java and stumblin' about the blogosphere. In my mourning quest to replace Art Vandelay I have started linking off my fellow bloggers and discoverin' some real winners.
Thanks to FlictheBic I have discovered Alaska Robotics, this a blog worth checkin', just make sure you click on the Sarah Palin bumper sticker.
Ish over at the KoKon has a excerpt from a great piece at the Rogue Wave. I sure do miss that ability to comment on Ish' stuff, although the latest entries seem tame when compared to the old, I figure he is still reeling from the after effects of his Palin/Vogue cover craziness. As a big believer the "in reap what you sow" approach to life, I wish the mighty Ishmael would shake it off and return to us with his usual wit, sarcasm, and candor.
Anyways, I reckon I should move on before I get to sloppily reminiscent. Point is I miss Art and Ish. So to all you readers & bloggers out there. Read, comment, ask hard questions. I truly believe the blogosphere could some day drive public opinion enough to help effect positive change in all our neighborhoods.
Do a good thing today ya'll; just not for yourself.
Peace

10.04.2008

What would Sarah Palin do?


Actually I don't care what she would do. I just wanted to see what effect that name in the title would have on my hit counter.
All funnin' aside, after reading the collection of letters in our local fishwrap I figure it is time to run my rant on the local elections.
There are several good arguments to the two main issues, and one one not so good. Apparently Tropical Storm Lorna swept through the Mirror again,(and I do hope all the editors are OK) waving her broom and spouting anti-immigrant propaganda. Fireweed has already skewered both the paper and the Arndt so I will only say this. If every PURE native Kodiakan met downtown and joined hands there would not be enough to cross the street. That said; I guess we are all immigrants or the children of, so get over it already Lorna. As for the "I walked 10 miles, uphill, both ways", mentality of your Alma Mater check out mine. I went to a school that covers 166 acres, and we did have classes on opposite ends of the farm, and I was never late, but often out of breath. It was great school called Essex Aggie and it had to add a new building, without stairs, so that those unfortunate students that were incapable of climbing stairs could attend class. Maybe Miss Lorna doesn't believe the physically challenged should attend public school, I don't know.
As upsetting as her entries are I must give credit where it is due. She is not afraid to put her name to her poison pen, and that's something.
Moving on.
Prop 1: The current state law does not really affect the majority of our local elected officials. They are exempt under current APOC rules and only have to fill out a very simple form, IE read, agree and sign, to achieve exemption. I am voting YES only because I do not want my name on the I-Net as a client of anyone who is not exempted and holds office. There are to many privacy issues wrapped up in state law for this blogger to be comfortable.
Prop 2:This is the hot one! I agree wholeheartedly that this community needs a new High School, for that matter we need a new middle school also. However, I must vote NO and here's why.
This proposition is poorly thought out and in typical borough fashion being rammed through at the last minute, mainly to avoid a special election later. I do not think that the $8,740,000 for the creation of a new administration building and the demolition of the old belong tacked onto this proposition. The need for a new school and a new borough building are completely separate issues and should be voted on accordingly. This is also exactly the wrong time to be asking the citizens to kick in more tax money. That extra $100.00 a month could push many families over the edge they are so precariously balanced on.
I heard the word "Conceptual" a lot at the last board meeting; so here's my concept. SELL LAND! let the borough sell twenty or so lots at 40K and the city finally give up some waterfront Near Island lots; say 5-10 at 80K and voila, new school money! Lets take it one step further. The city now donates 3 acres and we build a new high/middle school facility on Near Island. Build it with a communal cafeteria separating the two. Let the residents at the new senior center come for lunch and interact with the students , creating a kind of mentoring atmosphere that enriches both generations alike. Perhaps even institute and after school grandparent club for the students.
Old school complex gets converted into a borough/city administrative building also possibly housing the library & cop shop and the auditorium becomes a community arts center. The old borough building is converted into guest lodging for visiting students, artists, and dignitaries. How's that for conceptual?
So Yes on Prop 1 and NO on prop 2.
Vacancies I am allowed to vote on:
First, remember you can write in any candidate for any vacancy, they do not have to "declare" to be voted in.
Borough Assembly : Three seats open my vote is
Sue Jeffrey because she has proven to me that she actually listens to the neighborhood when she vote.
I am WRITING IN Rick Pillans and Dave Kaplan because they will bring new and positive view to the assembly.
School Board; two three year seats and one , one year seat.
My picks are:
Peggy Rauwolf- in her short tenure she has done well and earned a chance to continue on.
I am WRITING IN Petal Ruch and Jeryl Lampl, they both have a vested interest in our schools and our students.
Womans Bay service board, three open seats for three years.
My picks are:
Dave Heuman, as a member of the advisory council out here he has shown the clear thinking and fair-mindedness that I like in an elected official.
John Isadore, he is seeking a second term and after watching him work for the past three years, I would like to see him there for another three.
My third pick, that's a tough one.
I am WRITING IN a new resident out here. His name is Bert Ensley. He has shown an interest in the service board activities and what better way to learn the system than from the inside? He is a smart and practical person who would benefit our neighborhood.
It is not important if you agree with my votes. What is important is that you vote.
That's all folks. I have run my rant and bloodied my two typing fingers long enough.
Do the right thing ya'll; no matter how hard it might be.

9.27.2008

Stepping up.


It looks like the previously empty seat on the KIB school board has now made that contest the most interesting this election.
Jerel Lampl, Petal Ruch, and Jana Turvey have all thrown their hats in the ring. Way to step up folks! In all this political excitement I would remind the handful of visitors to this blog that there are not just three candidates for one seat, but using the true power of write-in capability there could be five seekers of three vacancies.
Let's have a debate! With all the controversy of the proposal for a new school on the ballot, lets hear what they have to say in a public forum!
My initial spin on the new candidates is this.
Petal is an excellent choice so far. Her interview showed some clear headed thinking about the new school issue and she has the interactive background,"where the rubber hits the road".
Jerel also shows some levelheadedness about the new school business, and I appreciate any one who realizes that public service is as important to your family as to your community.
Jana, ah Jana, you started off pretty good for this Kodiakan. I appreciate anyone who has grown up here and stayed to better our community. However, once I heard your spin on a new school and it ended with "regardless of the cost", you struck out with this voter. That spend now, worry later mentality is what helped this nation get into the economic pickle it is in. I cannot in good conscience vote for any candidate who shows even an inkling of financial recklessness or naivete.
So here are my picks so far; Peggy for one three year seat, Write in Petal for the other one, and write in Jerel for the one year and let him get his feet wet.
That's it folks probably not what some would think of, but then again sometimes you gotta step outta da box to see inside.
Last notes;
Ish' ramblings over at the mighty KoKon are great as usual. Although the pic of the bear pawed outhouse is actually in A-town. MY BAD, THE OUTHOUSE IN QUESTION IS ACTUALLY AT THE BUSKIN BEACH. THANKS TO THE INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS OF ISH, I STAND CORRECTED! I am still unable to leave comments at the most prestigious blog in the north. Whatup with that?
K.P. is off on a little trip and dagriff wishes him safe journey.
There is always good stuff a the gravel eaters
place
so check that out also.
Lastly; I will leave ya'll with this to think on.
NO ONE has openly declared as a write-in hopeful for the, less than advertised, vacant seat on the borough assembly. That does not mean that there are not quiet little "among friends" campaigns taking place. Think about all the trouble makers and money seekers that have clogged up our assembly meetings over the past year. I would bet that there is an Arndt, Stevens, Oswalt, or even an Abell quietly gathering support. Think on that Kodiak and be scared, very scared.
Do a good thing today folks, just do it for somebody else.
Peace
G.

9.18.2008

Shifting focus

The media has turned the current presidential race into a real circus. They are scrambling to find any info or dirt they can on a VP hopeful from a place that the majority of the nation knows nothing about.
Let's shift focus folks.
Granted the prez's election is looming over our heads, but the real issue at hand is our own current election ballot. Perhaps we should take a break from the national circus and focus on the local and immediate business of our local ballot.
There are several seats left undeclared on the ballot. This means we must seriously consider write in potentials.
Reviewing the election pamphlet I came across a possible discrepancy. The pamphlet only listed two vacant seats on the borough assembly. I could be wrong, but I thought there were three open seats. Think about that before you head to the polls. Your write-ins could make a serious impact on our neighborhood.
There are numerous open spots on the ballot, talk to your neighbors, seek to find the person you think will have a positive impact on the various boards that have vacant seats.
I have had a small amount of time to talk to my neighbors this week, but I have come up with one write-in I would endorse.
I believe that adding Petal Ruch to the members of the school board would be a positive change in our community. she has long supported the arts in our schools, she has brought state and national recognition to our students who strive, under her tutelage. Thanks to her efforts Kodiak is becoming known for producing superior artists.
I will be writing Petal Ruch in as my choice for school board.
That said; who do you know that would be a positive addition to any of the seats currently available on the ballot?
If we do not seek and gain folks on our local boards and committees, we will not gain the representation we need.
Extrapolate that; if our local government truly represents the neighborhood, then at state level we will have the voice we need to enact change. Carry that further and, as a state, we will have a representative voice at the federal levels.
I might seem altruistic but, is this not the very foundation our nation was built upon?
That is my rant tonight, and I am spent.
Welcome back to the Kodiak Perspective!
Peace Ya'll
Griff

9.13.2008

TODAY WE CELEBRATE


I got back from from A-town last night. It was a short but interesting trip.
I read a bunch of local news and sat around listening to a lot of Palin chatter.
I get the feeling the she will not carry her home state this November. Just a hunch, but more on that later.
Today we will celebrate the life of a friend. At 400pm we will gather at Holiday beach & begin a Surfers wake for Dave Skimin. It will be a traditional paddle out ceremony beginning at 600pm. The exact same thing will take place at the same time on Sunset beach in Hawaii.
After the paddle out it will be a potluck/barbecue, music, stories, and the celebration of a life well lived.
This is a "weather irrelevant" get together; so suit up, grab your board, kayak, dingy, or just come on out and celebrate with us.
Peace ya'll
Griff

9.11.2008

Patriots Day


I do not have much to say on this day of remembrance. I believe we all remember exactly where we were when we heard the news in 2001.
Do we remember the promises we made ourselves and our children over the following days? Have we forgotten the desire to make our lives and the lives of our friends and families better and more meaningful? How about that immense wave of patriotism that swept the nation? Will you be flying your American Flag today?
This year is a major turning point for our nation, but today set aside all that petty BS of politics, avoid the spin of the corporate driven government; instead reflect and remember. Remember those we have lost, those who are now spread across the planet, fighting, teaching, and saving the world.
A lot of people have paid the ultimate price for our nation, and a lot more will do so in the future.
So today, put aside all else and just be an American and proud.
Peace to you all and god rest and keep the fallen.
Do the right thing today folks, but not for yourself.

Please check out the incredible photo essay by James Nachtwhey it is awesome

9.06.2008

Less heroes in the world.


Please follow the link off the title.
There are three less heroes in this world today, possibly four.
By now I am sure that our beloved island is well aware of the tragic loss of the Coast Guard helicopter crew in Hawaii.
As a former USCG flyer I am saddened by any loss in our community, but the sorrow is always ten fold when someone I know is involved.
My friend, Dave Skimin will not be returning to Kodiak anymore. Being stationed with Dave and working with him was always a pleasure. Playing with him after hours even more so. His love and zest for life's adventures, coupled with his amazing ability to accept life's hurdles was inspirational.
I will always remember the excitement and fervor in his voice as he described surfing our beaches, building a new board, or just the latest camping adventure. I will admit that when he opened the surf shop here I was skeptical, and I told him so. But, with his normal zeal and love of the sport he made it happen. I have always believed that he was one of the the driving forces that put Kodiak surfing on the map.
Working with Dave was fun, many nights ,as we tried to fix this or that, we would discuss anything from sports to politics. He was never reticent when voicing his opinion, yet always opened minded and considerate when listening to the other side.
Last night I sat in the garage, listening to the radio, and mourning the loss of a friend, I realized that there were many people worldwide doing the same thing.
I stood up and said a prayer, I asked for god rest and god bless for the crew lost, I prayed for strength and good fortune for the missing pilot. I also prayed for strength for those the heroes lest behind. Then I thanked God for bringing me home all those times before.
When my prayers were finished the song on the radio shifted to an old Byrds tune. I heard Turn, Turn, Turn drift across the garage. For those that do not know, that popular song is almost direct quotation of scripture. I am not a big believer in coincidence, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason, so did Dave, I heard him say it many times.
My thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of Andrew, David , and Joshua, they are heroes and so are you.
I could go on, but then again; I can't.
I have written this before, it bears repeating.
Treat every conversation as if it is the last time you will talk to that person; it may very well be.
This weekend I will be calling my old flyin' buddies and checking in, as will many other Coasties I am sure.
Next week, I am taking a six-pack and driving out to Pasagshak, just to watch the waves.
Good night Doc, Duane, Matt, Dave B., Robin, and Mr. Skimin. You are missed.
Peace ya'll
Griff
PS Check out the list of USCG aviators that did not come home.

9.01.2008

SOMEBODY STOP ART VANDELAY!


Breaking news over at Al-Anon. It seems Art has decided to leave the blogoshpere.
Check in and voice your support and wish him well.
I for one, will miss his wit and honesty.
Good luck and peace Art.
Griff

Remember why you are not working today.....


Good morning ya'll,
Check out the link from the title, definitely worth a read.
Both the KoKon and Al-Anon have promised a day without "you know who". I hope that does not mean they will take the day off entirely, but if they do it's a fair trade off.
I have tried to celebrate every holiday on this blog by reminding myself ( and hopefully others) of the importance of that particular day.
Start with this:
Samuel Gompers on Labor Day
Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.
Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor.

Labor day is my day, it is your day, it is also a day to thank all the folks , who by doing their job, allow you to do your job. From the kids pumping out fast food, to the highway workers, rescue personnel, and law enforcement agencies that keep us relatively safe; I say Thank you!
So to you all, Happy Labor Day, enjoy it. Appreciate the bloodied noses of the unions that made it possible, appreciate your neighbors and coworkers who every single day make this nation the power that it is. And lastly, appreciate yourself, for what you do is just as important as the other person.
Peace,
Griff

8.30.2008

Rungs in the ladder.


Well, I used to say that nothing in politics surprises me. However;my surprise at the current entry into the circus is conflicted. I am not sure which is the greater upset for me, that Sarah was picked, or that she accepted.
I mean, I actually believed that she had our states best interest in heart when I voted for her. I understood she was ambitious and could be a tough as nails when needed, thats what I liked.
The blogs are alive with rosy and not so; spins on this turn of events. Terry over at Rogue Wave is definitely not happy. The Devils Club has an excellent post as does Fireweed at Arctic Brainfreeze. Art Vandelay has written volumes and I am not sure if he is caught up in the Palin glamor or not. I do know that Ish over at the KoKon is , but he always has been.
My spin is this. This is a time when our state needs strong, honest leadership. There is a lot coming down the pike and we Alaskans need a good leader at the wheel. We had that and now we are losing it. We are facing the very real possibility of needing to find a new governor and Lt. governor in the middle of a critical period for this state.
So now what? Do we sit back and hope they don't make the cut, then welcome them home with gratitude and fervor? I say NO! I don't give a rat's ass about all the good they will do for our state in their new positions. Sure, Sean could end up in a role where he could make a difference, but Sarah? Face it folks the VP has a lot less influence than a congressman or senator down in D.C.
The right thing to do was for Palin to put a check on her avaricious political ambitions, let Sean make a run at it, and look out for us. Whose gonna mind the store while these two wannabe's are on the campaign trail? The next few months of campaigning will absorb the majority of their time and leave little left over for the state they purported to love.
Face it folks, we were just rungs on Sarah's ladder to somewhere else. As for Sean, well I think your move , at the time made sense, but now you have been overshadowed by the Palinator.
Too bad, your new job would have had direct impact on the policies that affect out great state, not so much for your bosses. Maybe Sarah has already written your chances off and figures you can run things in her absence, maybe she doesn't care either way.
How about this? Sarah step down as governor now, and focus on the next achievement in your life. Let Sean step up and do his best. If you don't make it to VP then you can come home and wait for the next election round to regain your seat in Juneau. Or are you a "cake and eat it too" girl?
My feelings om Ms. Palin,s attitude are easily summed up by quoting the title of one of my favorite books,(by Douglas Adams), "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish".
I will post more later on our neighborhoods politics, but for now I am heading out into the sun and bake of this dirty, used feeling I am left with.
Do the right thing ya'll, even when it ain't easy.
Peace
Griff

8.24.2008

Tourists



Ok this is what the bears chillin' out in the Flats look like.
So now every time you get the urge to sprint out here and block the highway while you take pictures, or risk the lives of your families as they run back and forth across the road,(the speed limit is 55 BTW), just look at these and stay home!
Better yet, print these, and put them in your pocket. That way you can gaze in wonder at the magnificent beasts while you wait in line at the KFC/Taco Bell thing.
If you insist on driving out to watch the critters at least park in the parking areas and when your done mosey down the road and throw some of that town money around at Java Flats or the Rondy.
Sorry if I sound a little put off, but some of us actually live out here and have places to go and things to do. Sitting around while the person in front of you stops their car in the middle of the road to chat about the cute little omnivores, gets old after three or four times.
Oh yeah, theres a new Island blogger on the scene, check out Fireweed.
Drive sensible ya'll and think about the other person.
Peace
Griff

8.23.2008

I started the day off in a good mood, but...........



What the hell?
Do those literary geniuses at our local fishwrap ever proof read anything Lorna writes? I have never agreed with the Arndt matriarchs style of prose and she is certainly entitled to an opinion, but for a public forum to print her scything commentary every time she submits it is irresponsible; at best.
I can see it now. Tropical storm Lorna enters the senior editors office with her latest offering to the opinion section. She sets it down and, shaking her poison pen in the editors face , threatens to reveal one of the deep dark secrets she has if they don't print her latest tirade. The associate editors stand ,trembling in the corner, for fear of attracting her attention.
OK; probably not true, but what else could possibly explain the fact that everything she writes ends up in print? The editor of the Mirror screens a lot of good material out of the opinion section, so well in fact the majority of us have quit trying and now have blogs with which to rant.
Disagree? Think about this, our community and our country are in the middle of political changes, economic turmoil, and BTY we are at war. So what is the thought provoking poll in the latest edition? It concerns cosmetic surgery.
I challenge the mirror; if ya'll can't rub your collective brain cells together long enough to actually give off a creative spark and ask questions that matter, then add another choice to the poll. Let the answers include a face lift for the Kodiak Daily (oneway) Mirror.
Perhaps that answer scares you more than the disapproval of Mrs. Arndt.
For my handful of faithful readers, I would apologize for sounding pissed off, but I am.
Ish and Art V.; keep it up I love your stuff.
Ask hard questions, and expect real answers.
Peace ya'll
Griff

8.17.2008

Where does the time go?


This pic is for Art V.

15 days since my last post? That also means 15 days since I have visited the varied blogs I enjoy so much.
Yup, I was on the road again and I am happy to be back. As I traveled about our state I was amazed at two things. The amount of former Kodiakans I ran into and the number of mainlanders who had wonderful comments about our little isle.
Living here I should not be amazed at any positive commentary, it was just surprising to run into so many people who have been here. I am grateful for both the comments and the fact that they all didn't move over here.
I got to fly on what of the new micro planes that ERA purchased, and while I appreciate the nostalgic feeling that flying with my knees around my chin and looking over the pilots shoulder, for the price of the ticket a little leg room and a snack would have been nice. As for snacks; I flew over on the jet, in the afternoon, and all they offered was a water, orange juice, and a teeny bag containing about five micro-pretzels. What's up with that? I hope the three dollars they saved on that flight gives them a comfortable buffer zone to pad the millions they have made this season.
Good news is that after I got of the flight my bags were actually already on the turnstile. Although this was probably due to the extra time it takes for the copilot/flight attendant to help revive the several passengers who knocked themselves unconscious when they foolishly tried to stand upright, it was nice to have my luggage waiting on me for a change.
So next, after assuring my wife that my knee would eventually straighten out, we headed out the the Flats; Java Flats that is, for a great Cup o' Joe and the best Breakfast Burrito I have ever had.
Anyways, it is good to be home and catch up on whats been going on. The Kokon has been keeping on top of things and BTY Ish, Congrats on the 100,000 hits! Mr. Vandelay over at Al-Anon has been keeping busy and is still a pleasure to peruse.
I must catch up on all the intrigue and shenanigans that have taken place in my absence, but i did hear that there some new assembly candidates in the wings.
Feel free to quote me on this.
I WILL VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE THAT OPPOSES OSWALT OR ABELL.
Providing they are not a felon, pedophile, religious extremest, or related to the any member of the triad.
Do a good thing today folks;, but not for yourself.
Peace
Griff

8.02.2008

What are you gonnna settle for?


I love election years!
I would like to say all the current political intrigue surprises me, but it doesn't. Teflon Ted is under the spotlight, The Don is circling his wagons, Saucy Sarah is getting her first taste of public disapproval and the borough has settled with that miscreant trio of dissidents.
I might not like the idea of the borough settlement much, but it does make financial sense. By my calculations the total cost of this adventure has cost the tax payers over six figures. Best to end it now and save our money.
As for Ted, Don , and Sarah, I am holding my judgments for later. I urge all my fellow citizens to do the same.
Never forget that the majority of this country does not understand the causes and problems of our great state. There is also a certain amount resentment harbored towards a state that many see as abundant in resources, scenery, and capital funding wind falls. Couple that with a population that loves a good media blitz as much as the Romans loved the coliseum and there is bound to a lot of negative press.
What I am saying is this. Do not let media hype convince you of what is right or wrong. Listen to both sides, seek to find the middle, (where the truth usually hides), and draw your own conclusions.
I am not a huge fan of Ted or Don anymore. However, I am not convinced that they are guilty of any more than any one of their mud slinging colleagues are.
This year we must make some serious decisions at the polls. Are you going to vote your conscience, are you going to vote your party line, or are you going to vote the path of least resistance?
This year we must decide if all the good that the incumbents have brought to our state is outweighed by their controversial and possibly criminal behavior. Like it or not, their actions reflect on the ethics and moral image of all Alaskans. Face it if you run on a program of moral and ethical superiority then you will be held to the standards you tout. If not, well I think President Clinton showed us the other side of that coin.
Locally we will have the power to remove two of the money seeking dissidents from the assembly by not voting for them, but will you have the conviction to do so? Will it be easier to vote the status quo, or even not vote at all?
I mean if the the mail shows up, and the trash gets picked up then the majority of the populace seems to settle for who ever the rest of us vote in. Sad but true. It is Apathy, not terrorists, or the economy that is eating away the foundation of our great nation.
So I guess the question is this. When you step into the voting booth this fall, what are you gonna settle for?
I will end this rant with my favorite e-mail quote of the week
The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in courthouse........
You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians --
it creates a hostile work environment.
Peace
Griff

7.26.2008

All things new


I linked into a new Kodiak blogger thanks to Ish at the KoKon. Its called the Devils Club advocate and its worth a read over.
The advocates latest post discusses the the ways things used to be on our island, nostalgic and historic.
It got me to thinking about all the cool new things around here, lately.
Oh sure we all are waiting for the fiesta le grande when Dan's new joint opens, but how about Gwen's place?
Also there is a great new place out here in the Flats. It's called Java Flats and it is this ratters new fave. They open at 530 in the mourning, serve excellent coffee and homemade breakfast burritos, and bagels with hand blended/flavored cream cheese. They also offer an eclectic lunch menu filled with amazing salads combining fruit, nuts, and veggies. They also offer up some pretty tasty sandwiches, shakes, and smoothies to boot. Check them out, just past the mini AC and just before the Rondy.
We have a new boat in town which means more customers, more tenants, and more talent for our various groups in the community. We are also now an official Coast Guard City; not really sure what that means, but I do know there is only a few in the nation.
Lastly, did you see the Clarkster step up to the plate with his huge front page article? Excellent story Derek, keep up the good work.
So some change is good,maybe on that note we will see some positive changes on the assembly this fall; but I digress...........................

7.19.2008

Nothing in Particular

WOW! has it really been that long since my last post? I guess I am filled with summer time projects.
I have been researching the state web trying to get some facts on lawsuits against the borough, painful at best. FYI, you can't get anything more current than March at this time.
I am still waiting patiently for some citizen to lay that recall petition on the table. I don't think it's gonna happen. sure, I could do it, but would negate the main purpose behind my rants. I was hoping that someone on our beloved island would jump in and feel the power of participation. We all want to change the world; but it needs to start in the neighborhood. With the prez' elections looming in the future, how can we enable change if we cannot enact change in our own town?
Ah; enough of this obviously dead horse.
What has happened that has warmed my heart?
The local fish wrap
has highlighted troop 626 for building bridges. The local gathering last weekend pulling invasive weeds on Near island, Friday there was an actual sports piece on a local boy doin' it right! Steven Pillans is tearing up the tracks all around the state. I have had the pleasure of watching this young man race for several years. Stay strong Steven! You are showing this state that Kodiak has more to offer than most thought.
Lastly, get out tonite and help celebrate the anniversary of biggest hazard to navigation in Kodiak. McSkank and the crew will be ripping it out at Tony's. Personally this is my favorite local band and one of my favorite watering holes.
Me; I am going to spend some time teaching my granddaughter to fish over the next couple of weeks, so I'll check in when I can.
keep up the good work Ishmael, I love the KoKon.
Peace
Griff

7.04.2008

Enjoy Independance Day


There is much on my mind today.
Mostly though, I am grateful.
Thank you to those who serve, have served, and to those who have payed the ultimate price for us all.
Thank You Daytona Karl for this video.
Peace
Griff

6.24.2008

Disillusioned

I am back to our beloved isle. I took a business / fun trip to the A-town.
Once business was outta the way I manged to get the wife over and we enjoyed a great weekend. We spent the solstice at our good friends housewarming/barbecue and caught up with some old friends. I also got to meet some new folks that I hope to see again.
I was lucky enough to take my buddy's '78 R60 for a spin in the hills and enjoy some good ole riding time on the bike.
So now I am back. I had hoped that one disillusioned voter would start the recall petition while I was gone. I have not been able to locate one, so if anyone knows where it is at, please clue me in so that I might sign on.
I have had several comments, since my last post, on "throwing my hat in the ring". News flash folks; my hat has been in the ring for some time now. I do serve in an elected position and several other volunteer positions.
The point I have been trying to get across is this: community involvement. The government that serves us is only as good as we citizens expect. Sure, we can bitch & moan all we like. That is the beauty of our constitution. The downside is that the only change enacted is enacted by the voters.
Plain & simple; if we do not step up, then we get what we asked for. The question is this: are you willing to accept the actions of our government when it listens? If only a handful of voters speak up then the government will only listen to that handful. Do not be shy, we all have the right to speak. Unfortunately, the professional politicians, and gold diggers are using this option.
Sure, I could start that petition tomorrow; but so could anyone else. That's my point. Maybe today you will call in and voice your disappointment, desire, or outrage; maybe not. This I know, if the voters do not change the way they approach the issues, do not expect elected officials to act as if public desire matters, if you are not willing to speak up.
Please, let democracy rule once again.
I will not start this petition, perhaps I will step up to fill a seat, perhaps not.
Personally the time is not good for me. I would reconsider if if I thought that the neighborhood was willing to become an active part of the process.
When i cautioned the assembly to "reap what you sow', I realized that it is a double edged sword.
Not only do we reap, we also starve for lack of planting. There is a reason change is often begun in a "Grass roots" movement. The seeds of dissension are started in the neighborhood.
Perhaps I am currently disillusioned.
If anyone out there actually believes their voice, their vote does not matter than I would remind them of this.
In the 1700 hundreds a handful of neighborhoods overturned the strongest nation in the world. In doing so they set a precedent that has continued to change nations worldwide.
I have run my rant, and I am spent.
Peace
Griff

6.14.2008

Local news catches up with the public.

Believe it or not, our local news hounds have actually caught up with local opinion and starting addressing this island's swelling tide of ire.
Friday's fish wrap has not one, but two items concerning the great borough assembly debacle.
This weeks poll asks about the recall. Some , all, or none are the choices. There is currently a small lead in the "all" over the "some" bracket, but "none" is far behind.
Then there is a wonderful opinion article co-written by the three main powers at the Mirror. Basically it starts with a short, sparse history of what led us into this quagmire, and follows with some surprisingly honest thoughts on the matter. I love the challenge to "put your name on the ballot". Although I do not agree with the opinion, this may be one of the best pieces that has been printed for some time. There weren't any misspellings either!
After doing some research and making some calls I have some thoughts on a good way to clean this mess up. If you call 486-9310 you will talk to a very nice borough clerk and then she will e-mail you the recall paperwork and rules. Very informative stuff. Next you can go to the Borough web site and peruse the records. I chose to look for any worthwhile resolutions or ordinances that were introduced by one of the three dissenters. It was a lot of clicking and reading, but no real results. I did not come across anything introduced by one of the three that did not appear to benefit the triad in some way.. but please, look at it and judge for yourself.
So here's the deal. Oswalt,Abell, and Jeffrey cannot be recalled because there is less than 180 days left in their term. That means if we recall the entire assembly then those three will remain. Not enough to vote as the quorum would not exist. Not really an effective approach.
How about this folks?
Let the election this fall weed out the money seekers. If they have reached their magical ten year mark they will walk away with medical benefits for life, which was at least one of the the triads goal anyways.
Sure that irks me a little, but hell I help pay retirement checks to a few ex- presidents, senators, and congressman I don't much care for also.
So lets recall the last remaining member of the triad before she can do any more harm. I have no sympathy for the "I'm just the poor new girl who got misled" defense.
By recalling this assembly member we would also be sending a message to the remaining members. A clear message that we will not tolerate any elected official who takes punitive action against our neighborhoods democratic process. It will also send a similar message to any seat seekers who have any other goals other than honest public service.
In my conversations at the borough building I got some good news. Now when you call the assembly number it actually goes to six, count 'em, SIX lines. Lets burn 'em up at the next meeting. Rant and rave for your 2 minutes and tell the assembly what you really think about this. Maybe the triad will resign rather than take any more taunting from the public. Actually I kinda like that idea, sometimes falling on your own sword is the honorable thing to do.
Thats all I got for now. Tonight I'm gonna watch a little Monty Python. I will probably replay the little Frenchman saying "go away or I shall taunt you some more" a few times and laugh into a cold glass of my favorite local brew.
Peace
Griff

6.09.2008

ARRGH!!!!

I hope that the three readers of my rant will forgive my absence. After reading the headlines and checking in at the KoKon I felt it necessary to consult my lawyer prior to any further entries. I had reason to be cautious as apparently you can now be sued over a difference of opinion or worse yet, taunting.
"This will be remembered", was that not the quote from the dubious Reed Oswalt at the last meeting? I considered that a veiled threat, and it proved true. No matter what the outcome we voters can look forward to one thing. This fall Abell and Oswalt's seats will be on the ballot. Never,ever forget that.
Is anyone going to pursue the legality of the resolution that Jerome Selby vetoed? I mean if an assembly member can introduce, vote and bully through a resolution that pays borough funds directly to them, is that not the epitome of CONFLICT of INTEREST? That lame attempt at rewriting the definition of ethical is no different than me getting on the board and voting on a resolution that makes my house tax exempt.
In case one of the triad is reading this, I'll make it simple. It is OK to put a resolution on the table, even if it benefits you personally. It is NOT Ok to vote on any resolution ,ordinance, or amendment thereof, which directly benefits you personally or financially.
If the resolution cannot be voted on due to the fact that the assembly is split, it should go to a general public vote or die on the floor.
Heres a thought, and forgive me if it sounds redundant, but I have said it before.
RECALL the entire board. Let those still interested run again and we can vote this fall on the ones we deem worthy. Now this radical approach at cleaning the kitchen will only work right if two things happen.
We ,as a neighborhood must go down to the clerks office and start filling out the recall paperwork. Then we must follow up by listening to the seat seekers this fall and VOTING. That's right if you don't vote and someone slides on in with the apathy vote, then we get what we deserve.
Thats all I have for now. Today I will be at the borough building getting information and starting the paperwork to clean up the cesspool that our assembly has become.
If this lawsuit wins out and our entire community is punished for the hurt pride of a few dissident elected officials, then we should consider a few lawsuits of our own.
1. Copy write infringement for rewriting Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedure.
2. Pain & suffering for being forced to listen to the triads whining and drivel over
over the past several months.
3. Fraud, after all did not the three dissenters run for office under the pretense
of "for the good of the community"?
4. Lastly, damages caused as a direct result of non-consensual sex. After all, if we
have to pay these bullies, that is what is happening to our community.
This may seem far fetched, but really, this entire sideshow has been from the beginning.
Stay strong Chris,Pat,Sue, and Jerome, you are on the right path. While you walk that path, do us a favor. When you come across Jerrol sitting on that fence, either pull him onto the right path of knock him over to the other side where he belongs.
Peace
Griff