Questions about Chinese spy craft over Alaska
Also, happy birthday to the Gipper!
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It’s a gorgeous sunrise in Juneau. I hope it’s great wherever you are this morning.
A massive 7.8 earthquake has killed thousands in Turkey and Syria. In addition to the human catastrophe, there are other implications that are far-reaching. The Ceyhan oil terminal, which receives over 1 million barrels of oil per day for shipment, is 96 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, and oil shipments have been halted. A gas transmission line was damaged and the ports are also in bad shape in southern Turkey. The country has reached out to NATO for help and surely there will be more impacts felt from this quake in a strategic location in the Mediterranean regarding food supplies and shipments,
Inquiring minds want to know why the Department of Defense did not take out the Chinese airship when it invaded Alaska airspace. After all, we’ve got Fort Greely, Eielson Air Force Base, JBER, and Clear Air Force Station, with its early warning detection capabilities. Alaska seems like a great place to stop a spy balloon before it collects data across the entire country.
Evidently we aren’t the only ones wondering …
Sullivan wants to know: Why didn’t they shoot down spy craft over Alaska?
Sullivan is hoping for answers from the Biden Administration. Don’t expect a full explanation.
Bus drivers who endangered children in the Mat-Su get support of Rep. Mary Peltola
Alaska’s only member of Congress has taken sides in local labor issue between Teamsters and Durham Student Services. Peltola cheers one side of the dispute. Also, Peltola quotes Taylor Swift. Go big or go home.
This day’s birthdays
Ernest Gruening was born in New York City on Feb. 6, 1887. He was a Democrat who become territorial governor of Alaska and one of Alaska’s first two senators. Democrats were different back in those days.
(His grandson Win Gruening writes a column at Must Read Alaska.)
Ronald Reagan was born Feb. 6, 1911, some 14 years after Gruening made his grand entrance. Reagan died in 2004 at age 93, after living through the Mexican Border War, two World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the 9-11 attack on America by terrorists, and the beginning of the war on terror in Afghanistan.
Peltola votes with The Squad against ending the three-year national Covid emergency declaration
Peltola votes with the Democrats to keep the nation in a perpetual state of emergency. It’s unclear why she believes the emergency cannot end.
Banning book reading at school board meetings?
Some dirty books appear to be A-OK for elementary school libraries, but are way too salacious to read during a school board meeting. Here’s what you need to know about how books are curated in school libraries.
Di Grappa pulls out of District 4 Assembly race, leaving Rivera vs. Szanto for midtown
Although she missed the withdrawal deadline, Di Grappa is afforded some grace as the Anchorage Municipal Clerk took her name off the ballot. Thus she won’t take votes away from Rivera.
‘When you’re flying, you need 3 things: Altitude, air speed, and ideas’
Caught in a horizontal tornado, there was no certain way to stabilize the jet flying out of Juneau 30 years ago. It was a stroke of genius that saved the lives of dozens onboard. If you fly in and out of Juneau much, you won’t be able to put this story down.
The return of the Must Read Alaska Book Club
It’s been at three years since the MRAK book club appeared at the Must Read Alaska’s newsletter, but we meet again with our first book of the year by Noel Merrill Wien: “Born to Fly.”
Wien’s father, Noel Wien, was one of the first pilots to fly in Alaska (in a life full of aviation firsts). He flew the first round-trip flight between Asia and North America in 1929. His mother was instrumental in the founding and development of Wien Alaska Airlines, the second-oldest scheduled airline in the United States and territories.
Noel Merrill Wien died Jan. 8, 2023, at age 92. This is his memoir.
(If you have a book to suggest, send a note.)
Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of Judiciary, subpoenas Education, FBI
Was the Biden Administration trying to criminalize parents who were protesting critical race theory? Jim Jordan thinks Americans deserve an answer. Subpoenas were sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, and others.
‘Objectivity has got to go,’ and other advice from leaders of newsrooms
Leaders of the biggest news organizations have turned away from journalistic objectivity, claiming it is antithetical to a diversity of views in their newsrooms, according to a series of interviews conducted by two journalism scholars.
Tensions over pensions: HB 22 is fast-tracked but trips on its own schtick
Rep. Andy Josephson, being the lawyer and senior legislator, managed to bully this through a committee run by a freshman. But there is a big problem with the pension bill — it still has no fiscal note. Ooops.
Ruffridge declares he has a big caucus
He’s got 17 freshmen legislators in his caucus, he said. It’s so embarrassing for the Republicans. He’s trying to be the Eastman of the other side.
Republican Louise Stutes become whip for minority Democrats, as caucus puts Rep. Zack Fields in his place
After leading the Democrat-led majority for years as one of the original Musk Ox Caucus members in 2015-2016, this was no surprise.
Legislative bits and pieces
On Monday, Alaska House meets at 11 am, Alaska Senate meets at 11 am
On Tuesday, both bodies meet in joint session to hear U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan address the Legislature at 11 am
The updated staff list for legislators is at this link. It still needs work.
Downing: Will the Left ever allow copper mining in the U.S.A.?
No amount of magical thinking will make Congo’s copper mines a good thing. Suzanne Downing writes for the Daily Caller on Sundays.
Watch: Chinese spy balloon shot down over Atlantic after FAA marks Myrtle Beach as temporary flight restricted
Read the Department of Defense’s exact description of operation pop-goes-the-spy-balloon.
Democrats change their presidential calendar: New Hampshire is too white
They don’t like non-diverse New Hampshire getting to go first in the 2024 primary season, so they voted for South Carolina to go first next Feb. 3, but there is a hitch.
Robert Wall: Write in Wall for Kenai Borough mayor
Although Peter Micciche is a nice gentleman, he is not conservative and can’t be counted on for mayor, says write-in candidate Robert Wall.
Richard Derkevorkian: Vote for Peter Micciche for Kenai Borough mayor
Micciche is pro-business conservative. Don’t split the conservative vote with a write-in, Derkevorkian says. Vote for a known public servant.
Alexander Dolitsky: Roosevelt’s choice with Soviets — to help or not to help?
To help the Western Allies fight the Nazi war machine in Europe, in early 1941 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced in the Congress a Lend-Lease bill titled “An Act Further to Promote the Defense of the United States.”
The bill was intensely debated throughout the United States, with the most strident opposition coming from isolationists and anti-Roosevelt Republicans.
Downing: Magical thinking environmentalists want green toys, don’t want mining
Pebble is the most misunderstood and unloved mine proposal in America. But the question has to be asked: Does mining have a future in the green-energy America envisioned by environmentalists. An electric future requires mining. Environmentalists just cannot figure it out.
Win Gruening: Education funding is complicated, political
If we keep doing things the way they have always been done, we can’t expect anything to change.
Rep. Kevin McCabe: Defined benefit, golden handcuffs, and HB 22
The problem with a defined benefit plan is that the amount an employee is guaranteed for retirement has little relation to what the employee puts in.
Alexander Dolitsky: U.S. Lend-Lease aid to Soviet Union during WWII
On Aug. 23, 1939, the Soviet Union astounded the world by signing a non-aggression treaty with Nazi Germany. Part 1 of a series on the U.S. lend-lease to the Soviets during WWII, which has strange similarities to our lend-lease to Ukraine in 2023.
Ted Spraker: National Park Service rule on hunting — a big lie
The federal government is trying to apply “sport hunting” rules to Alaskans. The author is one of the top experts on hunting in Alaska and he calls BS on the NPS.
Price of Alaska oil: $76.90
Price of Henry Hub gas: $2.41
Alaska North Slope Production: 503,847
Permanent Fund (principal and earnings reserve): $79,132,900,000
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