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Study Predicts Chance of 9+ Magnitude Mega-Earthquake in Alaska

There’s a nine percent chance a magnitude 9 or larger earthquake will strike the Aleutian Islands in the next 50 years. That is the prediction offered by scientists from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa — made with the help of a newly designed computer model.

Researchers say an earthquake of that size could send a mega-tsunami in the direction of the Hawaiian Islands.

The Aleutian Islands, which stretch toward Russia from the coast of Alaska, sit along a subduction zone at the convergence of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. Scientists say the chance of a dramatic slip along the fault lines that make up the subduction zone is significant.

They detailed the threat of a mega-earthquake in a new paper, published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth.

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” lead study author Rhett Butler, a geophysicist at the UHM School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, explained in a news release. “Having no recorded history of mega tsunamis in Hawai’i, and given the tsunami threat to Hawai’i, we devised a model for Magnitude 9 earthquake rates following upon the insightful work of David Burbidge and others.” (Read more from “Study Predicts Chance of 9+ Magnitude Mega-Earthquake in the Aleutians” please click HERE)

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Alaska’s Legalization of Pot Was Really About Commercialization

There was quite a myth going around in 2014 that Ballot Proposition #2 was only to legalize marijuana. In fact, as many people are finding out with over 50 zoning permits issued, it did little for legalization, it mostly was for commercialization. This has led to many establishments being proposed and approved in residential neighborhoods. A lot of those starting those business don’t seem to care about neighborhoods, or even borough and state rules.

Here’s some examples.

1) There is a cultivation operation being put in an adjacent lot to Camp Li-Wa, a Christian youth camp that has been here since statehood. That’s up for protest next Thursday night (23rd) at 7pm.

2) There is a retail establishment that got a borough zoning permit, but it is within the borough zoning buffers for schools next to the Sprucetree Montessori School. It is also within the state buffer distance from churches, being close to Immaculate Conception Church off Illinois.

3) There is a cultivation facility that got a conditional use permit from the planning commission, but it is in violation of state buffer distances from both a nearby church and a daycare that it’s only 50’ away from (and is right next to a residential neighborhood).

There have also been a few establishments that the Borough Assembly has voted down protests for that were in residential neighborhoods.

While there is a small window for people to protest and testify against these at the State and Borough level, it’s complicated to keep track of it all and to be able to testify on regulatory details, and comes with tight timeframes.

One common theme that has come out from talking to people is that while they wanted legalization or decriminalization, they had no idea that all these establishments would be so pervasive and in their neighborhoods.

Drug-Free Fairbanks has started a petition to create a ballot initiative to ban all marijuana establishments outside of the city boundaries. The logic is clear on this, in the cities there are local police forces that can maintain order and enforce the laws, outside of the city we only have the State Troopers who are spread pretty thin, and may not have the resources to do full-on drug investigations.

Also, a large amount of the residential neighborhoods outside of the cities have general use zoning, so they have virtually no protection from these facilities coming in and affecting their neighborhoods.

The sponsors of the petition have to gather 2000 signatures in about two weeks. No one who is a city resident can carry a petition or sign one, you have to live in the borough but outside of the cities. So they need all the help they can get from non-city residents to get petitions and get them signed. You can pick up the petitions at the Borough offices, 809 Pioneer Rd. After you gather signatures, and get your petition copy notarized you can call Drug-Free Fairbanks at 378-8229. You can also sign the petition at the Midnight Sun Festival, or call the above number to find somewhere you can sign. This is the one real chance you have to stop these establishments, and remember it doesn’t change the legalization status of marijuana, it just stops the pot shops from being next door.

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Exclusive: Here’s What Alaskan Mother Blames for Daughter’s Loss to Transgender Boy at Champion Track Meet

As widely reported by national outlets over the past several days, a “transgender” boy was allowed to compete in Alaska’s Girls State Championship track meet last week. He placed third at the meet, bumping Mat-Su resident Jennifer VanPelt’s daughter, Allison, from the medal platform.

In a subsequent exclusive interview with Restoring Liberty, Ms. VanPelt revealed that neither she nor her daughter knew that a boy had competed in the girls’ race until sometime later, after media reports came out about it. When they read the boy’s name – “Wangyot” – in one article, Ms. VanPelt exclaimed to her daughter, “Wait! He raced against you! He placed ahead of you, he knocked you out of medal contention!” Her daughter, once the implication of this sunk in, was “really upset.”

Ms. VanPelt told me that Allison “busts her butt seven days a week to train to be able to beat most of the females in this state,” but that she doesn’t “bust her butt to beat a guy [because] men are physically different than women. She can’t grow a bigger heart, or bigger lungs, or more muscle mass like a boy.”

Upset over the fact that her hard-working daughter had been cheated out of a medal, Ms. VanPelt engaged. Even though she does not consider herself politically active – and has been described as “an introvert who raises chickens in [her] backyard” – Ms. VanPelt made her opinion widely known on social media. Several national media groups picked up her comments and now she finds herself at the epicenter of this important issue.

As part of her effort to expose what happened here in Alaska, Ms. VanPelt looked into why the ASAA (Alaska State Athletic Association) is allowing boys to compete in female events. She learned that individual school districts are now given the choice as to whether boys may compete against girls. If a district allows it, the State’s athletic program will not challenge that decision.

Ms. VanPelt thinks this is crazy and so do “close to 9-out-of-10 people” she talks to about allowing boy athletes to compete against girls. She counts as her supporters not just conservatives but liberals, feminists, and members of the LGBT community.

Essentially, Ms. VanPelt says this all boils down to a new cultural norm: the “right as a transgender supersedes your right as a female.” And she’s none too pleased that Alaska political leaders are refusing to speak out against the ASAA’s misogynistic policy.

Ms. VanPelt thinks that “out-of-control political correctness” in the culprit: “we’ve been groomed as a society that we don’t want to hurt other peoples’ feelings, so we shouldn’t speak out about it. We should just keep quiet and turn our heads.”

In looking toward the future, Ms. VanPelt warns “today were dealing with one transgender, what happens when half the field [are transgender]?

To stop this from happening, Ms. VanPelt believes there need to be more people of courage willing to “step it up and say, yeah, this isn’t right, were starting to get out-of-control here.”

I agree. Alaskan leaders – political and religious – should be ashamed for staying silent. They should be embarrassed into action. But we should celebrate those like Jennifer VanPelt who are almost singlehandedly taking on the elites and trying to reverse their perverse agenda.

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

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Mother of Girl Who Lost Race to Transgender Athlete Speaks out — and She’s Furious

In May, an Alaska high school student became the first transgender athlete to compete individually for a high school state championship. As TheBlaze previously reported, Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, who was born male but identifies as female, qualified and competed in the Class 3A girls’ sprints at the Alaska state meet, taking home third place in the 200-meter dash (27.3 seconds) and fifth in the 100 (13.36 seconds).

Since the race, Wangyot’s story has made national headlines, earning the 18-year-old Haines High School athlete widespread praise for contributions to the LGBT movement.

But not everyone was celebrating the high schooler’s success. After the story was reported by KTVA-TV, Jennifer VanPelt, a mother of one of the girls who competed and lost, took to the comments section of the news station’s article.

After one commenter named Stephanie Leigh Golman Williams noted with frustration that a runner named Aurora Waclowski, who “has been top three since freshman” year, was knocked off the awards podium by a male-born runner, VanPelt clarified that it was actually her daughter, not Aurora, who was cut.

“Actually Aurora was still given an award for 4th and was able to still stand up on the awards podium. It was my daughter who finished 5th that missed out,” she wrote.

(Read more from “Mother of Girl Who Lost Race to Transgender Athlete Speaks out — and She’s Furious” HERE)

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Joe Miller Blasts Senator Sullivan for Betrayal of Conservative Values

Fairbanks, Alaska – The news of Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan’s endorsement of Lisa Murkowski’s re-election campaign versus former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan was met with strong condemnation from 2014 rival Joe Miller on Tuesday evening.

“From supporting Planned Parenthood’s federally funded abortions, to continuing Barack Obama’s illegal amnesty and funding Obamacare, Lisa Murkowski’s loyalty lies with DC cronies and political insiders rather than the people of Alaska.

“Senator Dan Sullivan’s endorsement of Lisa Murkowski is a betrayal of everything Alaska conservatives hold dear,” continued Miller. “Dan told us he was a conservative. He told us he shared our Tea Party values. He told us he was a fighter who would confront the Obama administration. Now he has endorsed one of Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s chief enablers.

“I think I owe Alaskans an apology for taking Dan at his word and supporting him in the 2014 general election.”

Just last month Senator Sullivan endorsed Alaska nemesis and ANWR development opponent John McCain’s re-election bid against strong free-market conservative Kelli Ward.

Joe Miller concluded: “This is a sad day for Alaska. Dan Sullivan needs to be reminded that we have enough talkers in the Senate. All talk, no action won’t cut it. Talk is cheap. Sadly, it appears Dan has abandoned Alaska conservatives for the DC Cartel.”

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HS Track Athlete Was Born Male but Identifies as Female — and and Turns in Quite the Run at Alaska State Championships

Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, who was born male but identifies as female, recently became the first transgender athlete to compete individually for a high school state championship, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

Wangyot, an 18-year-old senior at Haines High School, qualified and competed in the Class 3A girls’ sprints at the Alaska state meet, taking home third place in the 200-meter dash (27.3 seconds) and fifth in the 100 (13.36 seconds). Wangyot also played for the girls volleyball and basketball teams this past year, USA Today High School Sports said.

Wangyot’s participation didn’t come without controversy, as Alaska Family Action president Jim Minnery and supporters protested outside the event last Friday:

“We are here today as a voice from the community to ensure that female athletes are not denied the playing opportunities and scholarships otherwise available to them and to make the playing field even again,” Minnery said, according to the Dispatch News. “… Allowing students to play on teams of the opposite sex disproportionately impacts female students who will lose spots on track, soccer and volleyball teams to male students who identify as female.”

Fairbanks Hutchinson junior Saskia Harrison turned in a time of 14.11 seconds in the 100-meter dash, which wasn’t fast enough to make the cut — and she wasn’t particularly thrilled that Wangyot advanced. (Read more from “HS Track Athlete Was Born Male but Identifies as Female — and and Turns in Quite the Run at Alaska State Championships” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

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Police Investigate Aircraft Tire Slashings in Alaska

Authorities are investigating an overnight vandalism spree that left dozens of airplanes with slashed tires at a small airport in the Alaska’s largest city.

The flattened tires were discovered Thursday morning on 87 small planes at Merrill Field, on the edge of downtown Anchorage. Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said police are investigating the vandalism, but she had few details.

Footage from security cameras was being reviewed as part of the investigation, airfield manager Paul Bowers said. Merrill Field, home to about 830 aircraft, has more security cameras than any other general aviation airport in the state, he said. (Read more from “Police Investigate Aircraft Tire Slashings in Alaska” HERE)

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This Liberal GOP Senator Votes With Obama More Than Any Other up for Re-Election

Lisa Murkowski may not be a household name outside of her home state of Alaska, but she is known within the halls of the Senate for being among the most liberal lawmakers with an “R” by her name.

In 2010, she barely won re-election, taking a plurality of the votes in a three-way race, but Alaskan Republicans are watching with increasing angst, though some have given into resignation, as no viable conservative candidate has stepped forward to challenge her.

Roll Call reported that Murkowski in the last session of Congress was second only to Sen. Susan Collins of Maine among Republicans most likely to vote with President Obama, doing so 72 percent of the time.

Alaska’s senior senator scored below nearly all her Republican colleagues in the Heritage Action Scorecard of votes with 33 percent. The average for GOP senators was 59 percent, with Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio coming in at 100 and 90 percent, respectively. Murkowski also falls near the bottom of the American Conservative Union (the sponsor of CPAC) rating for all GOP senators (slightly above Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk), and was given an “F” grade by Conservative Review.

Yet Murkowski knows conservatism is still important to a significant percentage of the state’s Republican Party, so as in 2010, she is billing herself, incredulously, as “The Conservative Voice For Alaska.”

Make no mistake, there is a strong conservative base within the Last Frontier’s GOP, as evidenced in the presidential primary results earlier this spring. Cruz won the state in a upset, taking 36 percent of the vote, followed by Donald Trump with 33.5 percent, Rubio with 15 percent and Dr. Ben Carson with 11 percent. In other words, non-establishment Republicans accounted for at least 80 percent of the primary vote total in the state.

“People have been really grumbling about Murkowski,” since the 2010 race, said Bill Keller, who was the co-chairman of Cruz’s campaign in Alaska.

The Kenai Peninsula resident said the main thing that the senator has going for her, in the eyes of some Republican Party leaders in the state, is that she is the chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; however, that carries little weight with Keller.

Keller finds it unacceptable the manner in which she flouts the state party platform, which is pro-life, pro-family and anti-big government.

Among the votes she has taken that anger pro-life Alaskans are to fund Planned Parenthood, to affirm Roe v. Wade as the “law of the land” (in a sense of the Senate resolution), and to strike down the Mexico City policy (first instituted under Ronald Reagan), which barred federal dollars from being used to fund abortions overseas.

For Dave Bronson, who serves on the board of the Alaska Family Council, it is not just Murkowski’s liberal votes on social issues that upset him, it his her support of “fixing Obamacare.” He pointed to a recent op-ed penned by the senator for the Alaska Dispatch, in which she wrote, “I will not ease up on my efforts to fix this unworkable law.”

“’We need to repair this thing and make it workable for Alaska.’ That’s a real insight into her thinking,” Bronson said. “She thinks Obamacare is workable and fixable. To a social conservative, libertarian like me, the whole notion of it is repugnant … because it compels people to do certain things. She thinks, tinker on the edges and all of the sudden magically Obamacare will work.”

Her 2010 Republican challenger, Joe Miller, hit Murkowski on this very issue, charging that the senator’s mindset was entirely in the wrong place regarding Obamacare. He pointed to a statement she made to a local news outlet that year shortly after the controversial law’s passage, indicating it was a work in progress. “Repealing this is not the answer, in my opinion,” she said.

In a 2009 town hall in the public debate leading up to the law’s passage, the senator also tipped her hand, when she told the audience she would not rule government run healthcare. “We have government-run healthcare now,” adding, “What we have to have is a government-run plan that actually works.”

Bronson said that Obamacare is in fact failing Alaskans. Like residents in many other states, the exchange offers residents few choices, and the costs keep going up. UnitedHealth Group announced it was leaving the market. Humana recently announced plans to pull out too.

Bronson stated that he would like Miller to challenge Murkowski again, seeing him as one of the few with the statewide name recognition and the moxie to do it.

After defeating the incumbent Murkowski in the GOP primary in perhaps the greatest upset in the 2010 election cycle, the newcomer candidate faltered in the general election, losing narrowly as the senator waged a write-in effort (as an independent) to hold on to the seat held by her family since the early 1980s.

Miller decided to give it another try in 2014, running for the senate seat occupied by Democrat Mark Begich. Miller beat expectations in the primary, finishing ahead of then-Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, but losing to former Attorney General Dan Sullivan. The results were Sullivan 40 percent, Miller 32 percent and Treadwell 25 percent. Sullivan went on to topple Begich in the general election.

“In ’14, [Miller] ran an absolutely excellent campaign. As far as I can tell, not one misstep,” said Bronson.

Keller would also like to see Miller run, saying but for Treadwell being in the race playing the spoiler, he believes the decorated combat veteran would have won, despite being outspent over 10-to-1.

Judy Eledge, who serves on the board of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club and is a delegate to the national convention, thinks Miller could beat Murkowski again in a primary, and the senator knows it.

She said in some ways it is the “rematch that people have been waiting six years for.” Her only question is whether Miller could win in the general election. There, she is less sanguine, sensing Alaska is drifting left of center politically, based on recent state and local election results.

So far, the Democrats have not named a challenger to take on Murkowski. In Bronson’s estimation, they do not feel the need to, given the senator’s liberal voting record. Her 2010 plurality victory was fueled in fact by Democrat voters, who knew their candidate was not viable.

What does Miller himself himself think of taking on his old nemesis again? So far he has not ruled out the possibility. The filing deadline of June 1 is quickly approaching, with the election slated for Aug. 16. The West Point graduate defeated Murkowski the first time, announcing just four months from Election Day and starting with zero statewide name recognition. It is conceivable he could do it again with just short of three months, and an army of volunteers likely ready to stand up statewide.

Fairbanks Assemblyman Lance Roberts looks back at what Miller was able to accomplish in 2010 with a sense of wonder. “It is amazing to me that he did it in a short time, and he had not had a political office before,” he said. “He did a yeoman’s job.” However, Roberts also warned that this time around, Murkowski is doing everything she can to avoid a repeat of 2010.

If Miller decides to enter the race, it will be based on the principled belief that propelled him into the race in 2010: Politicians, regardless of family name or longstanding position, should not get a pass from answering to the voters for their record. And if anything in the case of Lisa Murkowski, that record in the ensuing six years has only become more liberal.

(For more from the author of “This Liberal GOP Senator Votes With Obama More Than Any Other up for Re-Election” please click HERE)

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Alaska Legislature Passes Important Parental Rights Bill

The Alaska Legislature just passed a major piece of legislation that recognizes parental rights in education including a parent’s right to opt their children out of standardized testing . . .

Some of the pertinent language:

(a) A local school board shall, in consultation with parents, teachers, and school administrators, adopt policies to promote the involvement of parents in the school district’s education program. The policies must include procedures

(1) recognizing the authority of a parent and allowing a parent to object to and withdraw the child from a standards-based assessment or test required by the state; . . .

This doesn’t change Alaska’s standards which are essentially Common Core, but this is a win for parents who were having issues opting their students out of assessments and certain classes, like sex ed. This is something all states should do if they haven’t already. While parents have a natural right to opt their children out of assessments it is so much easier when the government cooperates with parents rather than oppose them. (Read more from “Alaska Legislature Passes Important Parental Rights Bill” HERE)

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Palin Will Work to Defeat Ryan in Primary for Trump Stance

Sarah Palin will work to defeat House Speaker Paul Ryan by backing his primary opponent in Wisconsin, the former Alaska governor told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Palin said in an interview that airs Sunday on “State of the Union” that her decision was sparked by Ryan’s bombshell announcement to Tapper last week that he wasn’t yet ready to support Donald Trump, the Republican presumptive nominee. Palin endorsed Trump back in January.

“I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored,’ as in Eric Cantor,” Palin said, referring to the former Republican House majority leader who was ousted in a shocking upset in 2014 when challenger Dave Brat ran to his right in a Virginia primary. (Read more from “Palin Will Work to Defeat Ryan in Primary for Trump Stance” HERE)

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