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
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
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.
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
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.