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Saturday, April 12, 2003

A sad story from Russia:
New York Times (Free registration required)

Fire and Silence: Children's Terror in Russia

MAKHACHKALA, Russia, April 12 — Sadness and silence hung heavily in the halls of the Children's General Hospital in this southern Russian city the day after the fire. Small groups of worried parents stood in shadowy corners of the worn lobby waiting for news of their children, who were hanging on to life after a night of terror.
The blaze, in the early morning hours on Thursday, tore through a boarding school for the deaf here where 166 students were housed in a second-floor dormitory.
The most seriously hurt are on the sixth floor of the hospital. The emergency ward was quiet but for the metronomic beeping of the electrocardiogram machine tracing the heartbeat of Ibragim Ramazanov, 13. His thin, bare arms lay straight along his sides like a soldier at attention. A breathing machine was hooked to his small face.
"His lungs, his trachea are severely burned," said Zainulabid Abidov, the head doctor in the emergency ward. "We might be losing him."
Arsen Gasanov, who was recovering in another ward with the less severely injured children, was luckier. He was still sleeping when the flames roared into the second-floor room he shared with 14 other boys. They could not hear the shouts of their teachers below or even the sound of the fire. In the dark they ran, frantically looking for a way out. The smallest ones curled up under their beds, hoping to hide from the fire. (more)
And now, on a lighter note, here's to hoping the troops got to keep some of the BOOTY they found HERE!

Safe House in 1960s Style: Troops Discover What They Call a Saddam Hideaway
By Chris Tomlinson Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 12, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The doors of the town house opened to reveal a playboy's fantasy straight from the 1960s: mirrored bedroom, lamps shaped like women, airbrushed paintings of a topless blonde woman and a mustached hero battling a crocodile.
Troops thought it was the home of Saddam Hussein's mistress, though on the wall and in the bedroom were photos of the Iraqi president and a woman who appeared to be his wife. The company commander suspected they had found one of the Iraqi leader's many safe houses.
"This must have been Saddam's love shack," said Sgt. Spencer Willardson of Logan, Utah. (more)
The Murkowski administration is facing its first real test of credibility with the Juneau press corps over the extreme downplay of the Governor's medivac flight ot Anchorage. Juneau reporters feel lied to, and rightly so. But they weren't the only ones deceived, so were the Alaskan people. When Chief of Staff Jim Clark came out with the initial statement late Wednesday afternoon which said the Governor had become dehydrated on the flight back to Juneau and was feeling "poorly," and that he was going to Anchorage for "routine medical tests," we all assumed Frank was dehydrated and feeling poorly.
I must ask though, where were the reporters when they got this statement? Did John Manly, the Governors Press Secretary take any questions when the statement was handed out? If so, what questions were asked? I can see several that begged asking.
Now, here's the kicker- when John Manly was told, Wednesday evening that the Governor had undergone angioplasty surgery, why didn't he make an effort to immediately notify the press of that fact? Why did he wait until Thursday morning?
We aren't dumping on Manly, though- these questions really must be answered by his boss, the Governor's Comunications Director Dennis Fradley and Chief of Staff Clark. Until some real answers are forthcoming about what truly appears to be a coverup concerning the Governors medical condition, a deliberate effort to mislead and deceive the press and the people, Dennis Fradley is going to have a hard time communicating.

Here's the latest:

Murkowski condition a mystery to aides

By MIKE CHAMBERS, Associated Press Writer

JUNEAU (April 11, 8:00 p.m. ADT) - While Gov. Frank Murkowski was undergoing a medical procedure in Anchorage to open a blocked coronary artery, most in his Juneau office were unaware of the seriousness of the condition, said his press secretary.
Prior to the 20-minute procedure, only chief of staff Jim Clark was informed that a cardiologist was about to perform angioplasty on the governor to clear an artery that was between 95 and 98 percent blocked, said press secretary John Manly.
"At the time he went up there, we didn't know he was going to have that procedure," Manly said, defending the administration's handling of the event.
The administration had issued a statement Wednesday saying the 70-year-old governor was flying to Providence Alaska Medical Center for routine tests after complaining of being dehydrated. ... Manly said the administration informed the public about what they knew at the time of the governor's flight and he didn't see any problem with the choices they made at the time.
"I suppose it would have looked a little strange for us to say he went up for some routine tests and report something else (later). But I think you have to distinguish between reporting what we know and speculating on what we don't know," Manly said.

Federal bird hunting rules won't fly, state agency says
FISH AND GAME: Traditional spring hunt violates Alaska Constitution.

(Published: April 12, 2003)

Anchorage Daily News
Subsistence bird hunters in Western Alaska looking forward to new federal regulations that legalize their traditional hunts will still have to look over their shoulders when geese, ducks and other migratory birds arrive this spring.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials surprised many hunters this week by saying the new federal rules violate the state constitution, which mandates equal access to wildlife for all Alaskans. That means Western Alaskans can hunt legally on federal lands, but not on state land, private land or navigable rivers.
The distinction is important because as much as 90 percent of the birds taken in areas such as the Yukon-Kuskowkim Delta are taken on nonfederal land, federal officials said.
But while game wardens say they won't bust hunters on state land except for the most egregious violations, many hunters are disturbed by the announcement. The new conflict in subsistence regulations exacerbates the urban-rural divide, several rural residents said, and creates another set of confusing regulations between state and federal lands, according to managers.
"I'm just disappointed that after all the work a whole bunch of us put into moving this matter forward, it seems like we've run into a philosophical conflict," said Ralph Andersen, vice chairman of the newly created Alaska Migratory Bird Co-management Council.(more)

Friday, April 11, 2003

Now, THAT'S terrorism...
Or does he just need some attention?

Rapper Snoop Dogg Unscathed as Bullets Fly in L.A.
Fri April 11, 2003 03:25 PM ET

By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A gunman in a speeding car opened fire on a motorcade carrying "gangsta" rapper Snoop Dogg and his bodyguards, slightly injuring one person and leaving police on Friday with few clues as to who might be shooting at one of rap's biggest stars.
The sometimes controversial 31-year-old rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was questioned by Los Angeles police detectives after the Thursday night shooting, an LAPD spokesman said, but was unable to shed much light on the incident.
"We talked to him last night and he was very cooperative," Sgt. John Pasquariello said. "He just doesn't know a lot."
Broadus was riding in a motorcade of five vehicles with eight armed bodyguards -- most of them off-duty police officers -- when one of three men in another car fired multiple rounds from a semi-automatic handgun, Pasquariello said. (more)

Seems ol' Fidel doesn't want to waste the good Cuban peoples money on long, drawn out appeals of capital cases.

Cuba Executes Men Charged in Hijacking
HAVANA (AP) - Three men charged with terrorism in last month's hijacking of a passenger ferry were executed Friday after summary trials this week, the government reported.
The men were prosecuted in summary trials for "very grave acts of terrorism'' on Tuesday and given several days to appeal the sentences, said a statement read on state television.
The death penalty sentence was upheld both by Cuba's Supreme Tribunal and the ruling Council of State and "at dawn today the sanctions were applied", said the statement. (more)

Well, Cuba IS in the south, isn't it"

Here is the longer wire version of the story.

The next time Senator Robin Taylor gets in to mood to push for the death penalty in Alaska, maybe he should have a field
hearing in Havana. Looks like Castro is more of a Republican than we ever imagined!

Steven Den Beste's USS Clueless today posts a very cogent analysis of the results of the US and British campaign for the liberation of the Iraqi people. Among other things, he points up the emergent trend in the US Military to adapt to the environment rather than being straightjacketed into military doctrines which, at their worst, can result in the creation of force structures solely dependent on guidance from the nether reaches of command (say. like the Iraqi "army" or the old Soviet-style forces). If you have any interest at all in military theory or practice, I recommend this piece.
But Colonel, Sir, we ARE disarming him!

"I wish I had never seen this," said Capt. Chris Carter of Watkinsville, Ga. "I'll never be able to look at my gun collection the same way again."

U.S. Troops Discover Odai Hussein's Weapons Cache in Central Baghdad
By Chris Tomlinson Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 11, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. troops walked into a two-story house in an enclave of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party on Friday and discovered boxes of Italian pistols, Soviet-era Kalashnikovs and American-made rifles still wrapped in plastic, along with an inventory that said they belonged to the president's son, Odai.
A log book in the Baghdad house had a page that read "Odai Hussein's Weapons Store." U.S. soldiers pocketed pistols and knives they said were rare collectibles until they were told to put the weapons back.(more)

Heck, they Boy's brought home TANKS, fer cryin' out loud, from The Big One....

Trust me- do the free registration and get a New York Times account, if only to read this Op Ed piece by CNN Chief News Executive Eason Jordan. In it, Jordan "bares his soul," as it were on the topic of newsgathering in Iraq under the late Baathist regime. CNN knew how wicked and grisly the statue guy was, they were just too intimidated to say anything.
The News We Kept to Ourselves
Governor undergoes surgery to open blocked artery
ANGIOPLASTY: Murkowski is expected to leave hospital today.

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: April 11, 2003)
Bill Sheffield says HE went jogging after HIS angio!
Togiak rallies behind its soldiers, Keefa and Sama
CARE PACKAGES: Proud village listens for news, readies shipment of keningyuk and baby wipes.

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: April 11, 2003)

With two native sons serving in Iraq, the Bristol Bay village of Togiak is sending what it can to make them comfortable -- letters, baby wipes, dried fish.
But the akutaq will have to wait until Cpl. Mariano Peters and Pvt. Everett Arnariak return home to the village of 800. Village elders had asked if they might send the popular Yup'ik dessert -- a mixture of Crisco, sugar and berries -- to their kin, said Kristy Kritz, who is coordinating a care package effort for Togiak Traditional Council.
No, she told them, but bring dried salmon and herring or the spicy jerked meat known as keningyuk, whether it's moose, caribou or seal.
"It would probably make them feel closer to home, eating their own food," Kritz said by telephone from the village earlier this week. "It's important they know we're thinking about them and how much Togiak cares for both of them."
Peters and Arnariak are among the many dozens of Alaskans in the military now deployed to Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. They're from cities, towns and villages across the state. Chevak, a Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta village, also has two young men in the theater. (more)

Thursday, April 10, 2003

from Indian Country Today:
Navy plane decorated with Native tradition
Offical word:
Murkowski Undergoes Angioplasty for Blocked Artery

April 9, 2003

(Juneau) – Following a battery of tests which confirmed that he had a blocked artery, Governor Frank H. Murkowski last evening was given an angioplasty, a medical procedure to open the flow of blood through the artery. A stent was then inserted to keep the walls of the blood vessel open. The procedure lasted about 20 minutes. He was alert after the procedure and visited with family. Murkowski rested comfortably at Providence Alaska Medical Center throughout the night. He is expected to be discharged in the very near future.

Governor Bill Sheffield underwent an angioplasty during his term of office.

Murkowski was flown to Anchorage from Juneau’s Bartlett Regional Hospital, where he had checked himself in yesterday afternoon, feeling dehydrated and generally tired. He was transferred from Bartlett to Providence by medical flight, checking into Providence at about 7:25 p.m.

Murkowski said he appreciates the outpouring of concern Alaskans have shown over his medical condition and that he hopes to be back to work soon. He said he is looking forward to working with the Legislature next week to get his budget passed.

Murkowski also said he is inspired by the progress being made on the natural gas pipeline project in Congress, where critical provisions have been approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“The incentive package is coming together nicely,” Murkowski said. “The committee has agreed to an 80 percent guarantee for the loans to build the gas pipeline. This provision, coupled with the commodity risk provision and the accelerated depreciation, approved by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on April 2nd, and the Stranded Gas Act bill which we signed on Monday, will assist in moving along the gasline project. I look forward to active negotiations with the sponsor group in the very near future.”


Contact: John Manly, Press Secretary, 465-3995
War, shmoor, this is the IMPORTANT news!

Alaska AP News
Geese arrive earlier than expected in Fairbanks

The Associated Press

FAIRBANKS (April 10, 8:40 a.m. ADT) - Just one day after a dozen geese touched down in Delta Junction, six birds landed Wednesday at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks, surprising some locals who say they arrived sooner than expected.
In fact, the geese got there well ahead of Kiwanis Club members, who planned to spread tons of barley on the fields for them Thursday night.
The birds seemed content to waddle around the partially plowed field Wednesday, climbing an occasional snowbank and pecking at freeze-dried barley in the dirt.
The first geese of the season were reported in Delta Junction on Tuesday and it usually takes about a week for the birds to make it to Fairbanks.
The average arrival of the first geese in Fairbanks, according to records dating back to 1976, is April 14 and the earliest arrival is April 5. Last year, the first geese at Creamer's Field weren't spotted until April 18, thanks in large part to a mid-April snowstorm that delayed migration.(more)


I thought cows and cats were supposed to be content. Geese are supposed to happy not to have to follow that loudmouth up front till fall.
Murkowski has surgery to open blocked heart artery

The Associated Press

JUNEAU (April 10, 12:00 p.m. ADT) - Gov. Frank Murkowski underwent surgery Wednesday night in Anchorage to open a blocked heart artery.
Press Secretary John Manly said doctors at Providence Alaska Medical Center performed angioplasty, a procedure to open the flow of blood through an artery. The procedure helps restore normal blood flow to the heart. A stent was inserted to keep the walls of the blood vessel open.
Manly said the governor was alert after the 20-minute procedure and rested comfortably through the night. He did not know when the governor would be out of the hospital.
Hospital spokeswoman Karina Jennings said Murkowski was in good condition Thursday morning.
Murkowski, 70, was flown to Anchorage, arriving about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, after first seeking medical help at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.
His chief of staff, Jim Clark, issued a news release about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, saying the governor was flying to Anchorage for routine medical tests. Clark said the governor was dehydrated after several days of travel throughout Alaska.
He said doctors in Juneau found nothing wrong with him, but referred him to Providence "just to be safe." Clark was not available for further questions Wednesday.
Manly said he was not told until 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, after the procedure was over, that the governor's illness was more serious.
"The governor did have something a little more wrong with him than just being dehydrated last night," Manly said at a 9:30 a.m. news conference Thursday.
The governor has been on a low-carbohydrate diet, made famous by its promoter Dr. Robert Atkins, since early March. He said last week that he had lost 14 pounds since he began the diet.

Well, Belay My Last!
Here's last night's official statement on Frank:
Governor Will Fly to Anchorage for Medical Tests

April 9, 2003
No. 03-080

(Juneau) - Governor Frank H. Murkowski will this evening fly to Anchorage for some routine medical tests as a result of becoming dehydrated over the last few days. His Chief of Staff, Jim Clark, released the following statement:

"The Governor is headed to Anchorage for some routine medical tests, on the advice of doctors here in Juneau. He got dehydrated on his flight back from Fairbanks last night, the fifth day a major speaking tour of Anchorage, Fairbanks and Kaktovik. He felt poorly this morning and decided he should see a doctor, which he did. The doctors here did not find anything wrong, and have referred him to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, just to be safe. He will be flying on a Life Flight because he is the Governor.
"We expect the Governor to resume his schedule soon. Meanwhile, we are carrying on business as usual in the Governor's Office."
Contact: John Manly, Press Secretary, 465-3995

"Life Flight" is Providence Hospital's medivac plane. So, the Governor was medivaced because the Juneau doctors "did not find anything wrong and referred him to Providence...just to be safe." First class on the evening jet would have been just as comfortable and as quick for getting to Anchorage. Dehydration is a medical condition, which generally can be easily treated, even in Juneau. So, should we be reading between the lines?
As of this posting we don't see any condition updates on either the wire or the Governors website.
Iranian girl:

Thursday, April 10, 2003
After a while I posted a note in windsofchange; here it is :
Iranian Media & News of War...
"In this situation that world is talking about happiness of Iraqis & reports from Iraq, the reaction of Iran mass media to the fall of Saddam is interesting, Iran TV channels that used to follow news of War how they wanted & also were proud that at least for the first time some other medias in the world are against US, now are in a hard situation & try to do anything to don't show the happiness of Iraqis & celebrations in Baghdad...
It is really funny for me, switching to News channel of Iran just after watching BBC & hearing other news; they just mention the celebrations as they are American soldiers who are happy not Iraqis & Iraqis are really angry with US; & when they don’t find any better subject to lie about, they start to talk about US crimes or try to prove that this war was just a collusion...
Anyways, no matter what they do, all of us know that their time is over too & they can not fool people with wrong news & reports any more."
posted by Iranian girl at 12:48 AM
I hope she's right!
And the airborne assualt on Alaska begins!

First geese of spring invade Delta Junction farm
HARBINGER: Arrival means Fairbanks refuge sightings aren't far off.

The Associated Press
(Published: April 10, 2003)
FAIRBANKS -- The first Canada geese of the season have landed in Delta Junction.
A small flock landed on a farm Tuesday morning, signaling the springtime arrival of hordes of geese soon to follow at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks.
About a dozen geese touched down at Misty Mountain Farm and began pecking grain out of the cow manure.
"They landed right in the pasture with the cows," farm owner Scott Miller told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "I was out checking the cows, and they came in and landed. I said, 'Look at that, the first geese of the season.' "
It should only be a week or so before the first travelers touch down at Creamer's Field, said refuge manager John Wright of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Butch the Bear reminds us that he prefers to eat out of dumpsters and dog dishes.
What does it say about Human Beings (yes, us) that when large groups of (us) are sudenly and without apparent obligation to the liberators freed from oppression the response is universal in nature? Whether it was a dozen or a few hundred or a thousand Iraqi's on tee vee pulling down statues, it is evident that the people of that Middle East country have been well aware of what the Baathist regime was doing to them, and THEY DIDN'T LIKE IT. Nor did the French like the opppression oif the Nazi's. Every time people are freed, they celebrate. Why is that, do you suppose?
Fretting about the future, lost liberty
By Declan McCullagh
April 7, 2003, 5:45 AM PT

NEW YORK--About 250 activists gathered here last week to mourn lost Internet liberty and worry about what the future may hold.
At the 13th annual Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP) conference, attendees fretted about shrinking privacy, growing online censorship, and their reduced ability to make "fair use" of music, video and software girded with anticopying technologies. Events included panels with titles such as "Terrorizing Rights" and enthusiastic condemnations of corporate miscreants. Anger and alarm characterized the mood.
What many CFPers failed to recognize, however, is the tremendous difference between actions by governments and those undertaken by corporations. I've seen this view among other technologists as well, and it's based on a misconception that's commonplace.

Story from c-net news, link contributed by Elstun

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Damn good wrap up of wire and broadcast stuff about Iraq on Ken Layne's website. Go there and read it!
That Cheney, what a joker!
"Vice President Dick Cheney, meanwhile, told the American Society of Newspaper editors that press criticism of war plans had been off the mark, calling the chorus of second-guessers "retired military officers embedded in TV studios."
Read it here in a Washington Times story about tee-vee hairdo (oops, I mean news anchor) reaction to the sucessful invasion of Baghdad.
News anchors glum amid Iraqi jubilation
By Jennifer Harper
Hmmmmm.......Been trying to make the stats package work, reloaded the script and lo and behold, our first recorded Google referral. :-)
Cuba Says Crackdown on Opposition Necessary to Protect Socialist System
By Anita Snow Associated Press Writer
Published: Apr 10, 2003
HAVANA (AP) - Cuba defended the quick trials and heavy sentences given to 75 dissidents this week, saying increased hostility from Washington forced it to protect itself from a U.S.-backed opposition working to undermine the island's socialist system.

Like Butch the Bear said, "Whatever..." I am sure the undercover agents of the state, posed as journalists, are feeling mighty proud of their contribution to the revolution. I for one will be interested to see how this plays with the more "liberal" voices of Democracy here in the on-line universe.
E-mail harassment bill passes Senate
JUNEAU (April 9, 12:45 p.m. ADT) - Sending harassing electronic mail would be a crime under a bill that passed the Senate on Wednesday

Passed the house already, off to the Gov.
No, we don't have pick-up rights but we're gonna run this one anyway:

Murkowski flown to Anchorage hospital
The Associated Press

JUNEAU (April 9, 8:40 p.m. ADT) - Gov. Frank Murkowski was flown to an Anchorage hospital for evaluation Wednesday night after apparently suffering dehydration, his office said.
Murkowski, 70, became dehydrated during a return flight from Fairbanks to Juneau on Tuesday, the fifth day of a speaking tour around the state, said a press statement issued Wednesday.
The governor was taken to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage on a medical flight on the advice of doctors in Juneau, said the statement issued by Jim Clark, his chief of staff.
"The doctors here (in Juneau) did not find anything wrong, and have referred him to Providence hospital in Anchorage, just to be safe," Clark said in the statement. "He will be flying on a Life Flight because he is the governor."
Murkowski was admitted to the hospital and was expected to undergo "routine medical tests," a spokesman said.
The governor has been on a low-carbohydrate diet, made famous by its promoter Dr. Robert Atkins, since early March. He said last week that he had lost 14 pounds since he began the diet. Murkowski's spokesman John Manly said he's not aware of the governor having any medical problems.

If I was a journalism professor- in college or even a teacher in high school, I think I'd make my students blog. Every day. Online. It's a lot different from the fairly traditional classroom exercises that students are used to, and far different even from the publication of a weekly or monthly rag. By making them blog, they would face daily deadline pressure, strive for accuracy and style and, hopefully, get the big needle of ink in their veins. Maybe it already happens, and if it does, great. I can say that I would be delighted to read blogs from rural Alaska schools (hint, hint) and I know how posiitve an experience it would be for the kids. OK, enough thinking for tonight....lets go find some news for this sucker.
Where the heck was the internet today? It seems to be back now. Backhoe accident in mid-America, perhaps? We're trying to find out.
Alaska's most popular website, bigger and better than ever! 4500 additional listings, for your perusing pleasure!
Sex Offender Registration Homepage
Theres really nothing quite as beautiful as morning here in Hooper Bay. The sea ice is up close, the sky is clear as clear can be. The sun is just coming up, giving everything that clean, gentle light of day that will soon enough be replaced by harsh reflection of the snow. The warm. blue hue of morning is balanced by a light pink and everything looks calm and quiet.
Here's what Iranian girl says:

Wednesday, April 09, 2003
The tyrant, is finished
_ Baghdad's Saddam City cheers end of 'tyrant'
_ Most Iraqi troops in Baghdad giving up
Good bye to cruel Saddam & his disgusting government!!!
I think at the time, we Iranians can understand the great feeling of Iraqis more than others in the world; there is something in this victory that belongs to us too...
posted by Iranian girl at 4:24 AM

Monday, April 07, 2003
I didn't go to school; this morning when I woke up, I was feeling really bad & even couldn't stand up, so decided to go a bit later but I didn't get better & preferred to stay at home.
Now I am better, & really proud that at the time instead of being in Math class, I'm web-surfing & blogging...Actually I think reading the news of war did me good; you know, many ones predict that when the army seize the control of Iraq & Saddam completely, Iranians will com to street celebrating to show their happiness of the end of Saddam's government & somehow say that they hate dictators in anyway....that would be nice, actually a welcome to changes in our own country...
posted by Iranian girl at 2:52 AM
ANWR drilling foe in House takes heat for no-show
MARKEY: Massachusetts Democrat has never visited Arctic, forgoes Kaktovik trip.
Anchorage Daily News

A short, but telling piece check-full of silly Ed Markey quotes. He thought the USAF Special Air Mission (The 89th Airlift at Andrews AFB, the server of which is refusing connections this morning) was too busy flying it's executive aircraft in Iraq to haul a few Congressmen to the North Slope, so he sat the trip out. His reply to the aggressive Washington press corps on why he's never been to the cathedral called ANWR: "I have never been to Yosemite, and I have never been to Yellowstone," Markey said. "I don't think that anyone who is an environmentalist should have to apologize because they ... can't possibly, logistically, visit every single location in America they believe should retain its pristine natural condition."
Yeah, Ed, Whatevah.

I will give him this much, though- he does have a good webpage.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Iraqis Return to Secet Police Jail, Say Police Tortured Inmates for Decades
I hope he's dead.
Saddam: DEAD or ALIVE?
Targeting environmental suits proves challenging
By CATHY BROWN, Associated Press Writer

From Native American Times:Military Personnel Confirm Hopi Soldier Killed in Action

From Indian Country Today First U.S. woman soldier’s death rocks her reservation hometown
No Clem Tillion quotes here. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has FINALLY, after how many years, adopted a "Comprehenisve Rationalization" (read "limited entry") plan for the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. I remember standing next to crab lobbyist Arnie Thompson of the Alaska Crab Coalition when the NPFMC gave a CDQ's a slice of the lucrative crab fishery. It's interesting that Council Chairman David Benton says nowhere in the story that the plan is good for the crabs!
Baghdad's Palestine Hotel Is Struck by U.S. Forces; Five Journalists Injured
Maybe they thought Peter Arnett was staying there...
Panda Pair Stops in ANC
Gangs of surly black bear roamed the outer perimeter of Ted Stevens International Airport early yesterday morning hoping to catch a glimpse, or at least a whiff of international celebrity Ya Ya, as she and her escort Le Le stopped at the Air Crossroads of the World for fresh water and bamboo shoots. "I'd like some of that 'fresh,' " said one of the bruins as he eyed the panda festooned MD-11 on the Fed Ex ramp ramp through the wire fence. Calling himself "Butch," and refusing to name a home den, the middle aged blackie decried increased security at the airport. "It just took a few idiot humans to ruin it for the rest of us," he said. Butch emited a low, warning growl as a couple of younger of his species approached. "Damn kids, if I don't get a shot they sure as heck don't," he said. Asked what he would do if he was able to get anywhere within a mile or so of the aircraft Butch just smiled. Reminded that the female Giant Panda was accompanied by an older male, Butch just snorted. "Yeah, whatever. I live in Anchorage, Alaska. I eat out of dumpsters and dog bowls. You think some leaf-muncher two-tone is gonna stop me?" We could hear the engines on the jet wind up for the last leg of the journey to the home of Elvis . Butch took one last, wistful sniff of the air, and padded off into the bushes, but not before leaving a small trace of his presence, right at your reporters feet.
Murkowski defends plan for taxes and cuts
STATEWIDE: The governor and his staff go on the road with his budget proposals.

FRANK TO ANCHORAGE CHAMBER: RAMPART ROAD NEEDED "VENUE," $25 MILLION IN SCHOOL CUTS STILL WANTED- This morning Anchorage Daily News reporter Ben Spiess reports on Frank's address to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the follow-up Q&A session. While lacking the sort of detail Your Good Morning Newspaper finds it self constrained to provide nevertheless there are enough tidbits to make this boy wish he had been there.

Monday, April 07, 2003

United Press International is reporting that the Centers for Disease Control considers SARS a high-potential public health threat. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is quoted as telling Congress "we have to take this very, very seriously."
Meanwhile, Frank sez “I want to take this time to assure Alaskans that there have not been any reported or suspected cases of SARS in Alaska to date. State health officials are expediting all Center for Disease Control (CDC) health advisories to Alaska health care workers. This is being done so symptoms can be recognized quickly and reported back to state epidemiologists and the CDC.
“Currently the Anchorage CDC staff and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office meet all incoming passenger flights at the Anchorage International Airport originating from affected areas in Asia. All passengers from these flights get a CDC information card explaining the situation to them .
“We are prepared and the Alaska Division of Public Health has an action plan to coordinate all agencies’ actions in the event of a suspected SARS case in Alaska. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep the public informed.”
LMAO- The kids thought I was having a coronary, I laughed so hard tonight when I heard Steve Heimel give the Alaska News Nightly musical credit as the Dixie Chicks.
In case you missed it, here's a link to Senator Ted Stevens' Address to the Legislature
So, you want to be an A-10 Thunderbolt pilot?
From the "We Love Librarians" dept. and the New York Times (free registration required)

Librarians Use Shredder to Show Opposition to New F.B.I. Powers

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., April 4 — The humming noise from a back room of the central library here today was the sound of Barbara Gail Snider, a librarian, at work. Her hands stuffed with wads of paper, Ms. Snider was feeding a small shredding machine mounted on a plastic wastebasket.
First to be sliced by the electronic teeth were several pink sheets with handwritten requests to the reference desk. One asked for the origin of the expression "to cost an arm and a leg." Another sought the address of a collection agency.
Next to go were the logs of people who had signed up to use the library's Internet computer stations. Bill L., Mike B., Rolando, Steve and Patrick were all shredded into white paper spaghetti.
"It used to be a librarian would be pictured with a book," said Ms. Snider, the branch manager, slightly exasperated as she hunched over the wastebasket. "Now it is a librarian with a shredder."(more)

Soldiers shocked at catalogues of death
Frank on pull-tab players:
"It's my experience that they really don't spend an awful lot of time figuring the odds. If they did, they wouldn't play them at all," the governor says in this story reported on the Anchorage Daily News Alaska AP Wire.

sez the story..."Currently, there's no cap on prize money. Pull tabs on average pay out 78 percent of their gross receipts to winners, according to the state Department of Revenue. Murkowski originally had proposed capping that at 72 percent and now wants it capped at 68 percent.
If the Legislature goes along, the state would get $22.4 million in taxes and fees, compared to $2 million under the current arrangement. Charities also would get more, $31.3 million compared to $23.3 million, if the same number of pull tabs is bought."
"The plan would restore about $1.3 million in state grants for private agencies in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Murkowski said. It also would set aside some $6 million for increased state employee health costs."

Hmmmmm......How much will local operators, Cities and Tribal governments for instance, be losing under this proposal? And, aren't employee health costs a collective bargaining issue? Darn right people will quit playing rippies.

Alaskans At War
Thanks to Max at the Library for pointing this one out!
Now, we're recording traffic stats (hopefully........)
Yes, dear readers, it WAS in Fairbanks.

Doggone cottonwood trees anyways...
Good news (in a few years) for Hemingway fans in this morning's New York Times (free registration required)
Hemingway's Letters to Dietrich Are Given to Library

"My dearest Marlene: I write this early in the morning, the hour that poor people and soldiers and sailors wake from habit, to send you small letter for if you are lonely or anything."
The letter was addressed to Marlene Dietrich and written by Ernest Hemingway, one of many he sent to her over their decades of friendship, often affecting the voice of one for whom English was a second language. Now 30 of these letters have been donated to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, a gift to be announced today. The letters, never made public, will remain sealed for four years, according to the wishes of Dietrich's heirs.
"We didn't know the collection existed," said Deborah Leff, director of the Kennedy Library.
Brief samples of the letters, provided to The New York Times, offer an intimate glimpse into a n abiding friendship between two cultural legends of the 20th century that until now was understood in only limited detail. Though the letters are deeply affectionate and Dietrich and Hemingway were both sex symbols for their generation — he the literary lion, she the silver-screen siren — their descendants maintain the relationship was entirely platonic...."
Speaking of "mental illness..."
Now, if I can just figure out how to surgically remove a posting where I have apparently mucked-up the html enough to eliminate the "edit" link in my posting window! Obviously, the top version of the preceding story is the one to hit links in.
When I was a student at UAF, back when the sign out front simply read "University of Alaska," one of my professors showed us an old television documentary about psychiatric drugs. Pretty frightening stuff, seeing the overall impact the treatments had one some people. Granted, there were a few instances of people being institutionalized as mentally is for nothing more profound than mild retardation or simply being themselves. One case I always remember was an elderly black man with horrible trembling and a near inability to speak. He had been under treatment with psychatric drugs for decades and his physical manifestations were due, in entire part, to the results of the drugs he was prescribed his while life. It turns out that he never did have any mental illness of any kind. This morning's Anchorage Daily News has a story about a woman fighting the Alaska Psychatric Institute over her medication regime. Granted, from the story one would conclude she has problems. However, it does raise questions about the overall treatment and care regime in place at API and how the State of Alaska deals directly with chronically mentally ill Alaskans. Read it here.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

from todays New York Times (free registration required):
Domestic Security: The Line Starts Here
Beyond Washington, state and local governments face similar huge demands to increase security spending, as does private industry, which is confronted with billions of dollars a year in new security costs, especially for companies considered likely terrorist targets, like airlines, chemical manufacturers and nuclear power generators.

"The money is just beginning to flow," said Bruce Aitken, a Washington lawyer and lobbyist who is president of the Homeland Security Industries Association, a trade group that has signed up more than 100 companies as members since it was incorporated in July. They include the giant government contractors Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Bechtel and Fluor.

"We think that the United States is extremely vulnerable to terrorist attack," said Mr. Aitken, who is about to announce the establishment of a political action committee to promote the industry's interests on the campaign trail. "We've got a lot of weak links, and it's going to take a lot of money to get that changed."

What was it Ike said about the Military-Industrial Complex?????
From the "Cleanliness is Next to Godliness" dept. comes an update on the Bethel Laundromat. Leased by the City in a noble experiment in privatization, the machinery has been breaking down ever since the change in operators. The saga continues with an increase in rates. Although the majority of the washers are out of service, our correspondent in Bethel reports "the only thing they fixed is the price."