5 Dead, 1 Missing Afters Planes Collide in Alaska

By NBC News. Five people are dead and one person is unaccounted for after two floatplanes carrying passengers from a cruise excursion collided mid-air in Alaska, according to the cruise line.

The two planes carried 14 passengers from the Royal Princess who were on a seven-day roundtrip cruise out of Vancouver, according to a statement Monday from Princess Cruises. The planes collided mid-air about 1 p.m. about eight nautical miles from Ketchikan, Alaska, at the southeastern end of the state,.

“We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those onboard the planes and their families,” the cruise company said. “Princess Cruises is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved.”

An Otter floatplane with 11 people onboard was returning from a Misty Fjords tour while a second Beaver floatplane carrying five people was on an independent tour. (Read more from “5 Dead, 1 Missing Afters Planes Collide in Alaska” HERE)

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Two Floatplanes Collide in Midair near Ketchikan, Alaska

By USA Today. Ten people are receiving treatment at Peace Health’s Ketchikan Medical Center. One person is in critical condition, three are in serious condition and six people are in fair condition, Peace Health Communications Director Beverly Mayhew told USA TODAY. . .

The crash happened amid flightseeing season, the Anchorage Daily News reported, and both planes involved are frequently flown by Alaska air taxi services.

A spokesperson for Taquan Air, which operated the plane carrying 11 people, said the company is cancelling flights while federal authorities investigate the incident. . .

Weather conditions at the time of the crash included high overcast skies with 9 mph southeast winds. (Read more from “Two Floatplanes Collide in Midair near Ketchikan, Alaska” HERE)

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Constitutional Crisis in the Making in Alaska?

Article 1, Section 22: The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed. The legislature shall implement this section. [Amended 1972]

So was the Alaska State Constitution amended. It had nothing to do with abortion, which had already been legalized in 1970 in our state. But it did have everything to do with traditional frontier attitudes seen in American culture regarding personal vice. But at the dawn of the computer age, the primary concern was to protect data mining of electronic legal, corporate, private, medical and commercial files.

Note the bold highlight, my own. Understanding that “privacy” was a nebulous term, the legislature would be empowered to define its limits.

Naturally, it has never done so, and abdicated the field to — who else? — the courts. If you believe that this section has protected your personal privacy in the Internet Age, you are living in a dream world. However, the Alaska Supreme Court has used it primarily to protect [you guessed it] abortion. It is why Planned Parenthood has identified Alaska as an “abortion safe state” in a post-Roe culture.

This needs to be addressed by an allegedly prolife Governor, Attorney General and members of the legislature.

THE NEWS: the Alaska State House of Representatives, due to the efforts of prolife members within the majority coalition (dominated by Democrats), surprisingly left out funding for abortion. The inside scoop was a mild raised eye-brow most by prolifers, who have figured with their knowledge of past events, that the Democrats let them have their way, being protected by court-ordered funding.

Court-ordered funding, you say? Just who holds the “power of the purse”? The courts or the legislature? It is an amazing usurpation (overthrow) of constitutional principles, which have never, repeat never, been defended by the legislature.

It is time that they do. A person could even be in favor of abortion and state funding thereof, yet understand the principle at stake to be a vital one. What’s next? Court-ordered subsidies for dairy farmers?

However, due to constitutional ignorance, reinforced not only by junior high civics, high school text books and law schools that promote Case Law above all others, most people believe that “The constitution means whatever the courts say it is.”

When … not “If” … the courts order the legislature to install abortion funding, the Governor and the legislature ought to defy it. Imagine a prolife committee chairman of Senate Finance violating not only his conscience but his oath to defend the state constitution. [Please note: His oath is not to defend the courts.]

Imagine a prolife AG going along with funding. Or an already-proven risk-taking and prolife Governor to sit idly by!

There is absolutely no mechanism to support the courts, except that of constitutional ignorance. Would state troopers arrest legislators? Who would order them? Would they stand in committee with a gun at their head or handcuffs ready to take them to jail?

The courts cannot do it. The legislative lawyers, who are part and parcel of this scam, are mere bureaucrats. Would the courts impeach the legislature or Governor and AG? They have no power to do so.

In truth, such an action by the courts would be an impeachable offense. But because the legislature has been a weak and compliant arm for many years now, such an action would be — Gasp! — controversial! The mainstream media would not like them, you see. Screeching feminists would be in their face and Democrats would get open play with pontificating nostrums about “the poor”.

Your mission, prolife Alaskans, is to:

POM, email, call your local legislator and tell them that any effort by the courts to order abortion funding is an impeachable offense. At the very least, they should call the courts’ bluff this time.

And then, amend Article 1, Sec. 22 to state: “The right to abortion is not recognized in this section.” It would be that simple.

Do this often: today, tomorrow, next week.

A unified prolife response to this is being planned.

May God help us, and beg His assistance in prayer.

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House Democrats Introduce Bill Forcing Schools to Allow Boys on Girls Sports Teams

A large number of Democrat politicians in Congress want to take away the power of local schools to make their own rules, regarding gender and sports. House Democrats overwhelmingly voted for a bill on Wednesday, that would force all schools to allow boys who claim to be transgender, to compete against natural-born female competitors.

All but one of the 235 members of the Democrat caucus along with two left-wing Republicans are co-sponsoring a bill they are calling the “Equality Act.” The bill would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to force schools to allow transgenders to play on school sports teams that correspond to their “chosen” gender. . .

Transgender “girls” competing against natural-born girls is an especially thorny issue that has riled schools across the country.

In Texas, for instance, Mack Beggs, a student from Euless, Texas, claims to be transitioning from female to male using doses of testosterone but has been allowed to compete against girls in school wrestling. Perhaps unsurprisingly, and to much criticism, Beggs has easily defeated every female competitor met on the mats.

In another case, a student born a male assuming the identity of a girl has beaten all female contestants in Track & Field competitions in Alaska. And in another incident, a student born male but claiming to be female has consistently beaten all female contestants in track events in a Connecticut high school district. (Read more from “House Democrats Introduce Bill Forcing Schools to Allow Boys on Girls Sports Teams” HERE)

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Melting Glaciers on Denali Will Unleash Tons of Human Poop

That’s the best advice for anyone climbing North America’s tallest mountain, Denali, which could be covered in 66 tons of poop as the glaciers melt away in the coming decades and perhaps much sooner — a process that’s speeding up thanks to climate change.

However, according to USA Today, for the first time, guide companies leading the 1,200 climbers who attempt the summit annually will voluntarily start to pack away and remove their human waste.

“Climbers and particularly guide services are really embracing the new policy and are even exceeding it. It has become kind of an informal badge of merit to carry off all your waste,” Michael Loso, a National Park Service glaciologist who’s been studying the problem of climber excrement on the mountain for close to a decade, told the newspaper. . .

USA Today reports that the frozen feces were first left in various snow pits on the Kahiltna glacier, but that over time the waste would resurface downstream on the glacier’s surface — where it would begin to melt. . .

“We have lost more glacier cover in the Alaskan national parks than there is area in the whole state of Rhode Island,” Loso told USA Today. “One of the consequences of warming temperatures is that the surface of the glacier is melting more quickly.” (Read more from “Melting Glaciers on Denali Will Unleash Tons of Human Poop” HERE)

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Poaching Footage Released of Father and Son in Alaska Killing Protected Bears

Video footage of an Alaskan father and son poaching and killing a hibernating mother bear and her two cubs in their den on Esther Island in Prince William Sound last April has been released to the public through the Humane Society.

Andrew and Owen Renner, who were fined and sentenced to three months in jail, thought they would escape punishment but their actions were being caught on camera, as the mother bear and her cubs were being filmed as part of a study by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Forest Service.

In the disturbing clip, which has since been viewed 140,000 times on Facebook, Owen, 18, and Andrew, 41, can be seen shooting into the den at the base of the tree, killing the mother bear before her shrieking cubs meet their untimely death. . .

Andrew was ultimately sentenced to three months in jail, while Owen received 30 days of suspended time for the offense. Each was ordered to pay $1,800 in restitution, with the elder Renner owing an additional $9,000 fine, the Anchorage Daily News reported at the time.

The elder Renner was convicted of eight counts related to the illegal killing and transporting of the bears, and the falsifying of the sealing certificate. His hunting license has been revoked for 10 years, while his son’s license has been suspended for two years, as per the Daily News. (Read more from “Poaching Footage Released of Father and Son in Alaska Killing Protected Bears” HERE)

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Alaska Man Can Use Hovercraft While Moose Hunting, Supreme Court Says

Justice’s on the nation’s highest court reportedly sided unanimously with an Alaskan moose hunter on Tuesday, overturning the rulings of lower courts in his battle with the National Park Service (NPS). . .

The Supreme Court’s ruling stemmed from a 2007 incident when Sturgeon, of Anchorage, Alaska, made use of a hovercraft while hunting moose along the state’s Nation River, which runs in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, The Associated Press reported.

But Sturgeon was reportedly notified by multiple Park Service rangers at the time that using the hovercraft was unlawful. The agency had banned hovercraft in other states.

In siding with Sturgeon, the Supreme Court said the agency was wrong in prohibiting the use of an amphibious vehicle on a river through a national preserve.

In their decision, Justices cited the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act that in 1980 set aside 162,500 square miles of land for preservation purposes, the outlet said. The law reportedly created 10 new national parks, preserves and monuments but said agency rules would not apply on state or private land within the conservation units that are not federally owned. (Read more from “Alaska Man Can Use Hovercraft While Moose Hunting, Supreme Court Says” HERE)

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A New Call for Investigating Suspected Soldier Suicides in Alaska

Three soldiers assigned to Fort Wainwright, Alaska, have died so far this year. One was found dead in his off-post home, another in his company arms room, and another died of his injuries a week after being found in his on-post home. . .

Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young has asked, in a letter to Army surgeon general Lt. Gen. Nadja West, to send a team to Wainwright to investigate deaths of soldiers.

“As the number of military suicides continues to climb in Alaska, it is clear that the battle is far from over,” he wrote in the letter dated Tuesday. “Therefore, I request that you send [an Army Medical Command] team to Fort Wainwright to examine the situation on the ground and provide us and the installation with solutions for a path forward.” . . .

Deaths at Wainwright this year that have been under investigation and unexplained include: Sgt. Jorden Williams, a working dog handler found dead in his off-post home in January; Spc. Ashvin Slaughter, whose body was discovered in his company arms room later that month; and Sgt. Brian Sawyer, who was discovered in his on-post home and transferred to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, before dying of his injuries.

Additionally, in September 2018, another Fort Wainwright soldier, Pvt. Mason Jeremiah Heimer, was found dead in his truck at a nearby campground parking lot, a week after he had gone missing. The following month, a Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier, Sgt. Andrew Washington was found dead in his Anchorage home. (Read more from “A New Call for Investigating Suspected Soldier Suicides in Alaska” HERE)

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Alaska’s Budget Crisis: We Can’t Just Kick the Can Down the Road

The last letter to the editor I wrote was on the general principle of the Governor coming forth with the budget that he had promised the people of Alaska. In this article I want to make some specific talking points on the budget itself. This of course is knowing that smart legislators will make some deals with the Governor and conservative colleagues to payout more money working with him to get the main pieces of legislation passed that are important to Alaskans and a sustainable future. The Governor has line-item veto authority, so the intended balance of our representative system will be in full force.

Let’s start with the University, which has proposed cuts of around 17% of its current budget. There have been third-party reports that have shown in the past that the University of Alaska system has much more middle and upper management than similar universities around the country. I went to the University for thirty years, some full-time, most part-time to acquire my degrees. Every year I was there the bureaucracy increased and there was always more paperwork and unnecessary process that had to be dealt with. It’s an interesting question as to whether creating more bureaucracy requires more rules and process to justify the jobs, or whether unnecessary rules and processes force the institution to hire more people to enforce them; either way it’s a vicious circle that never stops unless there is some economic pressure brought to bear.

I’ve learned over the years through my involvement and observation of government entities that they never get lean and efficient with budget pressures, they always spend what they are given, creating the structure to spend the money. Keep that in mind with ALL of the budget issues, that years of overspending has created inefficient entities that until now had no reason to restrain themselves. One practical example of what the university could do is to combine all the campuses into one. Not physically of course, but management-wise. Currently they duplicate a lot of management running each campus as an independent entity. This would be a great first step to becoming a more efficient university and would result in the end in better education as resources would be more focused on educating instead of managing. Another easy to implement step is to move some of the satellite campuses back to the community college model.

The K-12 system is another great example of inefficiency. Currently Prince of Wales Island has four school districts that encompass it. In Fairbanks, the place I have the numbers for, the school district over the last 28 years has decreased in student count, the number of teachers has stayed pretty flat, but staff has more than doubled, and administration has gone up over 40%. So it would be nice if they didn’t use teachers as weapons to try and get more money from the State. Please remember that large pot of money that the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has squirreled away, which came because we taxed more for them than they needed. They’re actually ashamed enough of their budgeting that they stopped the Fingertip Facts publication a few years ago that showed the public where the money came from and went in a nice simple layout. Last year they started giving the School Board an incomplete budget document, so that they don’t even have all the information they need.

There are many right now in the public sector hammering on the legislature to take most or all of Alaskan’s PFDs. Something you should know about is the presentation that economist Ed King gave to House Finance last week. He said if we didn’t cut spending and just used the POMV (Percent of Market Value) method and only paid dividends under $500, after two years the entire POMV will be entirely used by the increase that naturally occurs in the budget due to wage and other cost increases. The prior governor had attempted an income tax and found that at best it would bring in about $350 million, about a fifth of the deficit. The lesson to be learned here is that you can’t run away from the problem by taxing the PFD or any other tax, if you don’t decrease the budget you will never be sustainable. The last administration ignored that reality, and now the situation is a little more advanced. Wherever the legislature ends this year on the budget, they have to keep moving it downwards so we can one day have a sustainable budget.

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You’re welcome to use the byline: Lance Roberts is an engineer, born and raised in Fairbanks. He is a former member of the FNSB Assembly.

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The Most-Below-Average Temperatures Anywhere on Earth Are in the U.S. Right Now

If you think it’s cold for this time of year in the United States, you’re right. The most-below-average temperatures anywhere on Earth are in the U.S. right now.

The map … from the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine shows the departure from average temperature – that is, how far the temperature is above or below average – around the globe on Tuesday. Below-average temperatures are depicted by the blue and purple shadings, while above-average temperatures are depicted by the orange and red shadings. . .

The first five days of this month brought the coldest March outbreak in years, breaking daily records and a few monthly records in parts of the Northwest, Rockies, Plains and Midwest. . .

This arctic block has also been responsible for abnormally mild weather in parts of Alaska, including record warmth at America’s northernmost city, Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow. (Read more from “The Most-Below-Average Temperatures Anywhere on Earth Are in the U.S. Right Now” HERE)

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Murkowski Backs Bill to Undo Emergency Declaration

By Breitbart. Tuesday Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told reporters she would vote for the bill against President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration on the U.S. Mexico border. . .

A reporter asked, “Do you support terminating that, this resolution, to terminate the emergency declaration?”

Murkowski answered, “Yes, I will be.” (Read more from “Murkowski Backs Bill to Undo Emergency Declaration” HERE)

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Murkowski to Vote for Resolution Blocking Trump’s Emergency Declaration

By The Hill. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Tuesday that she will support a resolution blocking President Trump’s emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall. . .

The House is expected to pass a resolution of disapproval to block the national emergency declaration later Tuesday, kicking the vote to the Senate.

Democrats will need four Republicans to vote with them to pass the resolution through the Senate, where they need only a simple majority.

So far, three GOP senators are viewed as “yes” votes: Murkowski and Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Susan Collins (Maine).

Collins told reporters in Maine last week that she would support a clean resolution to block Trump’s emergency declaration. Tillis wrote in a Washington Post op-ed released on Monday night that he would also vote for the resolution. (Read more from “Murkowski to Vote for Resolution Blocking Trump’s Emergency Declaration” HERE)

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