Had My Fill

I've been out for a bit. Not that I didn't have something to say, I just wanted to wait, read, and stew on our assemblies attempts to wrap up "attendance gate".
So here's my spin on this debacle.
I listened to the entire meeting last Thursday, Ishmael was right, mostly ho-hum business as usual, followed by the much anticipated subject at hand.
Sort of a let down. Two of the concerned/affronted parties were not in attendance for personal reasons and one showed up to face the music. Although Stutes excused herself from the debate/vote, she still managed to get a word or several in edgewise. Whereas I give her credit for attending, I must admit that ignoring the chair and proceeding on to defend her position is indicative of why she chose to sign on as a co-plaintiff in the suite against the borough.
Some of us may believe that the three assembly members who are requesting reimbursement only sought to protect themselves from personal liability and assume we should support that. However, the entire borough board did seek outside representation, nor did they sign on as co-plaintiffs in civil action against the very body they represent.
This case is far from over, further litigation is on the horizon. In my opinion the three assembly members that joined Mr. Stephens sought to insulate themselves from legal liability by joining the alleged affronted party. Then they expect us tax payers to pay for their current and future costs. I would have to ask that if the borough agreed to this would we not be paying Mr. Stephens fees also? After all he is a lawyer who is seeking payment for his services in the settlement of a case the three have co-filed in.
Perhaps our leadership is simply lending out the proverbial amount of rope that the suing assembly members will hang themselves with. Perhaps, given that a large section of the assembly is divided on this issue, they are simply at a loss as to what resolution to seek.
How about this? Don't make a decision.
Maybe it is time to hold a special election. Let us decide, let the supposedly wronged parties on the board,plead their case to the voters. Let the constituency decide if our tax dollars should pay and coddle members of the assembly for not accepting that the majority rules.
Yup, that's right, a truly public forum where we can hear their justifications and decide as a neighborhood, what we feel is right.
I heard a couple of comments from assembly members that night which spoke of the quickest & easiest solution to this problem. I would remind those who feel this way of my basic tenet in life.
The right thing to do is not always the easiest thing to do. It will not always be the popular thing to do; but it will always will be the right thing to do.
Enough squabbling, put it to a borough wide vote and let us decide.
Lastly, I have followed this closely and arrived at my own conclusion.
Whatever the outcome of this situation, eventually all three of the co-suing plaintiffs will come up for re-election. Regardless of my past votes, I will not vote for you to retain your seat. New members or old is irrelevant to me. You have shown true colors in this crisis and I will not choose to give you another chance to undermine the democratic process I believe in.
Sleep on that.


Assembly shennnagins

Gabby walked off the floor the other day. I have not always agreed with her , but I have always admired her stance on accountability & ethics. Hat's off to you Ms. Leadoux! Make a stand and make the status quo maintaining legislators think.
It is time our state woke up and realized that our elected officials are watched and held accountable.
I wish that Gabby could sit in tonight at our borough assembly meeting. There are rumors that the ending will be remarkable. The borough assembly will re-visit the motion to pay for attorney fees. These fees were accrued by assembly members who joined in Mel Stephens lawsuit against the borough.
The assembly members in the suite against our community are miffed. Miffed because, after voicing their opinions, they were out voted and hence forced to follow the democratic process we all adhere to.
My belief is this. Not only should we, as tax payers not fund their petty grievances, we demand a recall of any board member that chooses to sue the very governing board they sought seat on.
That and they should not be allowed a vote on any motion that is directly affected by the outcome.
'nuff said. I am off to listen to the meeting and see what happens.



Thanks to the weather lately, I have been able to shift out of 4-wheel drive. That is until I get to the former stoplight and the "Y" in the center of town.
What happened there? I see massively lifted 4X4's dodging prestigious potholes and traffic crawling around the frame altering terrain of what should be a relatively flat surface.
Once again our city management let a state funded off-island contractor slide by with substandard work.
I have heard from the city that the new lines were installed above the frost line. At what point did our local inspectors decide that they did not need to monitor and approve this work?
Sure a local contractor stepped in to "save the day" by applying asphalt in the areas that the state funded contractor did not. However; that pavement is failing rapidly. Perhaps the good will of the interceding local contractor should be tempered with with the fact the the asphalt applied was already deemed unacceptable by the state inspectors at a different project.
So what are we left to deal with?
This; poor work at a premium price. There are now lawsuits pending and local officials back pedaling. Where were our local inspectors and the city manager when the original work was accomplished?
Granted we cannot hold hired help directly accountable for their shortcomings and apathetic mentality. We can hold the elected officials whom they answer to accountable. In other words, if the elected assembly members do not hold our public officials accountable, then perhaps we should consider their accountability and their place on the assemblies.
Both assemblies should be addressing this issue, as it affects all residents of this island.
Maybe it is time to really consider unification of the city and borough government. Maybe then we could limit this blame game to the folks that could have made a difference.
Just a thought.
Read, ask hard questions and expect real answers, that will be what makes this island a government for the people.
Lastly: do a good thing tomorrow, and not for yourself.


15 Minutes

Well I made it back intact from my whirlwind tour of Los Angleez. Three days of; we got to get there, go here, and the unavoidable; how do we get there? Apparently the stereo typical Cally laid back lifestyle does not wash over onto the freeways. That experience can be as intense as your first run at Daytona or a stifling and frustrating as waiting in line at the supermarket “express” line.
I would liken the traffic to waiting in line at the latest Disney attraction, except when I got to front of the line; all I got was the opportunity to get in another line. Granted I could choose the soundtrack to my turtle race, but that was the only benefit.
Next challenge: Ask a Los Angelo for directions. Bare in mind I’m I guy who grew up in the, “you can’t get there from here” part of the world, so the friendly and detailed directions I received overjoyed me. However apparently, no matter where you are and where that is in relation to the place you are going, it will only take 15 minutes to get there. Maybe this was optimism, or perhaps some left over automatic response from some tribal memory. An ingrained answer based on the days when L.A. was less congested, and mom & dad had only one car in the driveway.
Perhaps it is a clever ploy to try and convince out-of-towner's that everything is so close and simple to get to they should move to this Mecca of autodrone and add to the emigrational influx that created the problem to begin with. Then once the republics tax base is secure, Guv Ahhnold can release several thousand more of his constituents with the instructions to head north by northeast and buy up property, creating little California-ish burgs and driving the locals out. All the while convincing state delegates the Ahhnold really is a republican and progressive. The fact that his wife is a prestigious Dem is irrelevant. We should re-write the constitution so that he can save the world, just like on T.V.
OOPS; slid right into that rant thing again. I am probably just another guy who has lived on an island for far too long. But then again...
Think about this, a few generations ago no one believed a catholic would ever be president. The next generation put former entertainers in congress, and in the oval office.
There has already been one feeble attempt to re-write the constitution, so that a foreign born born national can make a run at the crown. That time it was stymied. However; I got a feeling it will raise it's head again. Watch carefully my fellow constituents. It may appear as a rider on another bill and so, just sneak on through like a barn cat seeking warmth in the house on a winters night.
What’s next?
Piece by piece we have sold our economy to foreign markets and traded our American dream for the ease of a sound-byte laden and corporate driven government. Just add another 30 or so channels to the tube so we can sit on our apathetic butts and watch the great revolutionary dream of America be plea-bargained into a one world conglomerate that has no beliefs and no soul.
If my parents thought they faced difficult electoral decisions in the 60’s and 70’s it is only because they could not possibly imagine that the decisions we have faced over the past several elections were even possible. They did have an advantage, they read, discussed the issues, and asked hard questions.
We too have that; we just need to use it. Maybe that will be your one good thing today, asking the hard questions.
It’s up to you.



I am back to our wonderful little isle. We were down in L.A. for baby girls wedding.
The trip was an adventure, but I will go into that part of my journey later.
I was blessed to partake in my daughters wedding this past weekend, and while my fellow Kodiakians were being belabored by another winter storm, I was sucking up sunshine down south.
I will admit that I believed that by arriving late onto the scene I would escape the majority of the pre-wedding stress we all have heard about or experienced.
Wrong! My son and I hit the ground running. Fittings for suits, rehearsals, last minute arrangements and details all made me understand why folks drink so much at the reception.
It is a mixture of joy and relief. Joy in the union of two souls and relief that it is over combine into an adrenaline down spin that can only be celebrated with music, dancing, and one hell of a party.
I am happy to see that my daughter is part of a new family. I am doubly glad to know that the rest of our family is now part of that family also. This was not an experience of giving up a daughter for me. It was truly a joining of two families and I look forward to seeing them all again.
We all know that a marriage strengthens the love of two people. However; we can forget that the ceremony strengthens the families and the community that surrounds the couple. I spent the weekend in a place I have never been, but I was never apprehensive. How could I be? I was surrounded by people so full of love that no worry could overcome my joy. Three days submersed in so much happiness and understanding cleansed my jaded soul. No baby cried without being scooped up in the arms of a family member, no person stressed without being consoled. It was a weekend of introductions and joy.
To some this may seem like I met some California cult. It was not so. It was a time I was blessed to spend with honest hard working, family oriented, caring souls. They showed me that I do not have to live on an island in Alaska to know good people.
Thank you to all I met. I am better for having met you.
K. & J. made this possible, their love truly washed over onto so many, and changed their lives.
I never would have believed that I would look forward to seeing California again, but now I do.
I wane sentimental this rant, but it was a magical weekend. The folks I was fortunate to meet, and get to know, strengthened my beliefs.
Do the right thing, do a good thing, no matter how challenging, it will always be the right thing.
Do a good thing tomorrow.


I'm off!

Well judging from the lack of comments on my latest rants, I figure either every reader agrees with me, or there are no readers. I'm leaning towards the latter.
Thanks for the link Ish!
Anyways, I am off to sunny and smoggy L.A.
My baby girl is tying the knot.
It will be an eventful weekend for sure. My entire clan, although small, is as hard headed and passionate as I am. Should make for a great weekend.
I will also take this time to reflect and consider a new approach to my rants. My goal has been to awaken our community, and stimulate conversations. That is what will bring about change.
Besides, a few days in the biggest city in the U.S.A. will only make me appreciate our island all the more.
Have a great weekend!


Spinning down

The adrenaline rush is waning as I type.
I spent the afternoon at the Elks lodge watching, what I thought improbable, happen. The giants, overcame and became giant killers. Whereas I was disappointed that my home team did not re-write history, I was glad to see the underdog prevail. Talk about mixed emotions.
Hat's off to Tom Petty and the Heart breakers! I expected some hyped up glitz filled with greatest hits medleys. I was happy to see that they treated this event as another show and put out a short concert style performance that reminded us all what consummate musicians they are.
The Elks, Rotary, and our own KFL put on an amazing spread, and an excellent presentation of the game. It was my first visit to this event and it will not be my last.
That said: lets gear up for the next super event. Super Tuesday looms in our future. Which king/queen of sound bytes will prevail? I, for one, could never choose Hillary as our next. However; as far as the Dem's go, she at least occasionally says something with weight. She has beliefs, misplaced at times, but hard beliefs. She is facing an opponent that I would never choose for office. Obama speaks in metaphors. So much so that as he is winning the edge in the media wars, and he is doing so with out actually saying anything.
On the other side of the house, it is a crap shoot. I would choose the man with a record of building cross party bridges. A hero, because we need a hero right about now. This is a man who has overcome great odds, never wavered in his beliefs, and still understands that compromise, although a bitter pill, is necessary for the good of our nation. Right now McCain is the man for me. I would love to see a McCain/Paul ticket. I think that team might stir things up a bit, and I believe that is what this country and government needs.
Do not misunderstand this rant. I still believe that the best people suited for the oval office are not running. I simply offer my spin on the lesser of evils.
After all, isn't that what the past several elections have boiled down to? Not the best person available for the job, just the best choice on the ballot. Sad, but true.


What a day. Ground Hog day has come & gone.
Sure old Pete saw his shadow, but it is irrelevant to Alaska. Six more weeks of winter? Paleeze! We all know that only six more weeks would be a blessing. Imagine spring time in March, birds singing, children playing under warm, gentle sunshine. Oops, I digress,, besides if it was like that on our beloved rock, then everyone would move here.
'Nuff on that.
It is super week! Today is the super bowl. The most heavily gambled event in the sports year. The wire is abuzz with stats and predictions. Another aging, rehab graduate, gets a shot at showing the new generation who he used to be (I'm talking about the halftime show). You want to have some real fun? Let's put Tom Petty in the announcers booth for the game and see what happens. Does anyone remember Dennis Miller's short tour on Monday Night Football? To bad neither party was ready for the other, that was an interesting dynamic.
About the time the majority of our country sobers up we will slide right into Super Tuesday! Another media debacle, fueled by private interests; only the consequences of this sideshow will affect us far more than who walks off today with the trophy.
The trophy these power seekers are after will determine the fate of our nation for several years. Although I personally feel the prez is more figurehead and spokes person, (or should be), if democracy is run right. The power is/should be in the hands of congress and the senate, period. No more Caesars. We tell the hill what we want, they tell the Prez, the Prez kicks it around, goes back to the hill with a plan, they approve or disapprove according to our wishes.
Oops, stepped into a fantasy that is less likely to happen than that springtime in March thing, I started off with.
Back on track.
Listen to what the candidates are saying. Not what they are speaking, but what they are actually saying. Check their past, follow their dollars. Find out who they really work for. Do not let the media convince you that all the stars have lined up and now cast their gentle, beautiful light one particular candidate.
The caucuses were a good design in the beginning, but have been perverted into a tool that prevents any person who has not given into the two-party, outdated design of our nation; from having a say in the candidates progression towards the crown.
The minority will cull the herd of potentials and present two shiny prospects for our future. The also-rans and corporations will throw all their support into them , and any hope for a third party candidate will be smothered and steam rolled by war chests bulging with questionable funds. Ever look at how many major corporations donate to both parties or more than one candidate? I believe that is called hedging your bets.
Think about it and have a super week.



Just read KoKon's spin on the recent and horrific event that has led to the loss of a beloved member of our community.
I agree that this is a travesty and my heart and prayers go out to all who knew this man.
However; whereas Ishmael is correct in voicing his thoughts, there needs to be an understanding.
The KPD is not always correct. They do not always share the deep , dark secrets that entail an investigation of this magnitude.
I cannot say what happened that fateful night, most of our community cannot. if the KPD is not publishing the facts on a "play by play" basis, there is reason. Whoever did this heinous act, is still abroad.
It is easy to run with a knee jerk reaction to a crime such as this. Unfortunately the reality of this crime outweighs our personal desires. Sure we all desire an immediate solution, but the fact is it is not possible.
Chances are the assailant is either running or hiding. To much information, this early in the game, will only lead them to running further.
Let's let the KPD do their job, as immediate and brutal as the crime was, it will be diligence and patience that brings this criminal to justice.
If that sounds like I am "all about the man", then read my past rants. I stand on my original tenet.
My heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of Darrell. The loss of one is a loss of many.