The old year ended in Kodiak with something we hadn’t seen in, what feels like, a couple of winters: substantial snowfall ringing in a white Christmas and legit sledding and snowmen (and snowwomen and snowchildren — there’s a Star Wars prequel deep cut if anyone’s paying attention) between h…

By the time you’re reading this column, the US House of Representatives has likely voted to approve articles of impeachment. This has only been done three times in our nation’s history, so it almost seems like whatever remotely timely words I write about this week are kind of paltry in compa…

Many Alaskans this week have been talking about the miraculous rescue of a hiker buried underneath an avalanche on Flattop Mountain. Last Saturday, the lone hiker was suddenly caught in an avalanche that moved with such force that it tumbled the hiker around, burying him under several feet o…

Well, the inevitable arrived this week, and, no, I’m not talking about the next steps in the congressional impeachment inquiry (more on that later).

Before we talk about anything else, we need to talk about this guy who tried to smuggle $400,000 worth of heroin and meth—one the largest drug busts seen by the Kodiak Police Department—from Anchorage to Kodiak this week.

In past holiday editions, I’ve written etymology columns on food, presents, and other, more spiritual, words related to the upcoming holiday season.  This year, I thought we’d look at some of the more fantastic or magical parts of this, well, magical time of year.

Before I jump into the words emanating from the congressional impeachment hearings that will certainly dominate this week’s news cycle, I want to talk about balls.

The judiciary’s on the move as executive branches in Alaska and in Washington D.C. go toe-to-toe with citizen groups over various lawsuits, making headlines this week.

Another former state employee, a Fairbanks lawyer, added her name this week to the list of professionals suing the Dunleavy administration for wrongful termination. Kelly Parker, who was an assistant public advocate, refused to sign, what is being called, Dunleavy’s “loyalty pledge” that he …

If there is any word that we need to take a look at this week, it’s whistleblower, for what I think would be obvious reasons. Normally, if the term whistleblower is in the news, it’s soon overshadowed by the conspiracy or misconduct they sought to illuminate. 

The United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 certainly made the news cycle interesting this week, pitting young climate activists against global leaders who still mostly shrug at making any real commitments to addressing the effects at climate change. We saw this week that most of the count…

2nd Timothy 3:1-4 – “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers…

• Pete Muller, 50, of Ouzinkie, was issued a citation by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers Sept. 14 for obtaining a resident low income license when he did not meet the requirements to obtain one. Bail was set at $320.

Merriam-Webster, considered by many Americans to be the standard dictionary of American English, announced this week that they added over 530 new words and new meanings — that’s right: brand spanking new — to their dictionary. Some of these words and meanings are controversial, and some of t…

One word that has made the rounds over the past week was record, that is, scientists and meteorologists noting that the summer of 2019 was the hottest on record, which is something we can agree on here in Alaska. For instance, the entire continent of Africa experienced their hottest July on …

If you haven’t yet seen this record-breaking pumpkin at the Alaska State Fair, please, by all means, go see this pumpkin.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.