KODIAK — As I’m sitting down to write this column, we are heading into our second week of the Inlandboatmen’s Union strike, which has essentially shut down the Alaska Marine Highway System and stranded hundreds of Alaskans and tourists during the busiest travel season of the year.  Here in K…

KODIAK — I feel like I need to settle the discussion on the pronunciation of a certain word that has been roiling on the tongues of those concerned with funding for the University of Alaska.

KODIAK — As I am writing this column, the outcome of the manufactured budget crisis—and its impacts on our quality of life, the state’s core services, and our jobs, including mine—are still up in the air. Perhaps by the time this is published, we’ll have some answers, but the up-down vote on…

KODIAK — It’s good to be back at my writing desk this week. I took last week off from my column as two young actors, of whom I am proud to call their coach, had qualified for a national tournament, so I was with them. In the unbearable Texas heat. Ugh.

KODIAK — To help figure just what in the world we are going to do with the Permanent Fund Dividend this year, and perhaps for years to come, the Legislature formed a working group this week to do — I don’t know — something to make sure we pass a state budget this year.

The special session of the Alaska legislature drags on: no operating budget, no capital budget, pink slips being handed out. If a budget isn’t approved soon, Alaskans who rely on state payments to health care providers could be left in a lurch.

KODIAK — Let’s get strange this week because there were several news stories over the past few days reporting on some unusual phenomenon.

KODIAK — Springtime is typically a time of rejuvenation in Alaska: the sun is staying out longer, regional festivals — like Kodiak’s Crabfest — inject excitement (and tourist dollars) into small communities that expect a robust tourism season, and school graduation ceremonies inspire us.

KODIAK — The city of Larsen Bay got some good news this past week: the city of Kodiak is donating their old ambulance to the 100-person community on the west side of the island.

KODIAK — Earlier this week, an eagle crashed through a window of a Kodiak home — probably fleeing another eagle after fighting over some frozen halibut — and wreaked quite a bit of havoc inside the house. The story went viral locally, and has since been picked up by state news outlets.

KODIAK — Over the past year or so, I’ve fielded requests from readers to take a look at a certain word, but I’ve been holding off until a discussion of this word entered the public sphere in earnest.

KODIAK — When a North Pole high school student found herself in the girls’ bathroom blocked by several boys, who were trying to stage a strange protest against a transgendered male using the boys’ bathroom, she kicked one in the crotch.

KODIAK — In a first for the Gwich’in Tribe, the Gwich’in Steering Committee, which represents 15 Gwich’in communities across Alaska and Canada, this week formally rebuked a sitting member of the US Congress:  Rep. Don Young.

It looks like this week we are taking the column on the road.

KODIAK — Recently, we’ve become accustomed to a pretty wacky news cycle. The state budget and the governor’s appointments; the growing web of deceit and criminality among the federal executive branch and recent elections; and the slow-burning realization that Americans haven’t taken the offi…

KODIAK — As I’m writing this column, Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is testifying before a US House committee about the criminal behavior of the current Republican administration and Cohen’s own credibility. He is facing questions that strike at the core of his trustworthines…

KODIAK — There’s probably no wonder that, if there were such a prize, the word of the week would be emergency.

KODIAK — After weeks of anticipation, and, just like my college students, waiting until the last minute before the deadline to turn in their work, the governor finally submitted his amended budget to the legislature.

KODIAK — I learned this week that the north pole moves. That the magnetic north pole, the pole that the compass on your smartphone uses, is moving toward Russia at about 34 miles per year.

KODIAK — The federal government partial shutdown is over. Many Americans are breathing a sigh of relief (at least for the next three weeks), but back home in Alaska, these sighs of relief are being prodded with some interesting revelations in the brand-spanking new governor’s administration.

KODIAK — To be honest, I was kind of hoping that the word of the week would be hamberder, but let’s take a look at Gov. Dunleavy’s State of the State address instead. After all the hoopla over the Covington school fiasco and Buzzfeed/Mueller confusion over the weekend, in addition to the con…

KODIAK — This week, the top commander of the USCG delivered a letter to Coast Guard personnel saying that for the first time in US history, service members will not be paid.

While we all did our best to ring in the new year with as much joy that we could muster after a rough 2018, we woke up this week to find out that there has been some kind of data breach with the Permanent Fund Dividend application.

 It’s that time of year again to take a look at some of the “word of the year” selections made Worby word-related organizations. And, as true to form over these past few years, the winners are less about the most popular words of the year, and more about the words that describe the kind of l…

This week, the New York Supreme Court decided that the Trump Foundation, the president’s charitable organization led by Trump and his children, had broken the law on several occasions, serving as merely a “checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.”

Governor Mike Dunleavy’s inauguration on Dec. 3, while certainly a celebration for his family, friends and supporters, brought to light a growing problem in rural Alaska: overcrowding. 

KODIAK — Over the past year, I’ve had occasion to write about words associated with natural disasters. By and large, many of these words, such as tsunami and hurricane, had more, say, interesting origins as they came to English via colonists’ and explorers’ experiences of these events in dif…

KODIAK — Much of the national discourse about last week’s midterm elections hinged on whether or not the outcome was a “blue wave,” a Democrat-fueled referendum on the Republican administration.

KODIAK — I live for weeks like this election week, especially this election Tuesday. What a historic week, right? The first two Muslim women and the first Native American woman elected to Congress; amid record numbers of women being elected to public office.

The words this week just keep coming and coming. This was one of those weeks where I had already decided on which words I wanted to explore, and then, bam, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigns amid an incident that occurred earlier this week. As of this writing, the details of the “incident” are n…

What’s up with all the bears in town? An hour during any given day this week didn’t pass without either a Facebook explosion of bear wandering or an alert from the police that there’s a bear on a walkabout in a highly trafficked area.

KODIAK — Well, this has been quite a week for words, inspired by the national conversation in the wake of last week’s Kavanaugh SCOTUS hearings.

KODIAK — This week has been yet another example of me trying to write a column about words, and then something huge in the news happening as I write it, compelling me to substantially revise my draft.

KODIAK — Many Kodiakans this week are somewhat suspicious about the rocket launch a couple of weeks ago, commissioned by Astra Space, Inc., a secretive company based in California that appears to be working on some kind of systematic transportation to space for, as they say, “entrepreneurs a…

I’m spending a couple of weeks in Houston, taking care of some family business, and the buzz down here has been about two things – the current defending-champs Houston Astros’ win streak (snapped at 12 wins by Tampa Bay on Tuesday, a record for the club), and the Republican administration’s …