Contributed by Kim Sollien Settlers Bay Coastal Park Fundraiser 8/10/2017 – 6:30PM Great Land Trust Settlers Bay Golf Course 7307 S Frontier Dr. Wasilla FREE Admission, Donations Acceptable The Great Land Trust (GLT) is excited to announce our newest public access project, the soon-to-be Settlers Bay Coastal Park. Adjacent to the Settlers Bay Golf Course, the 295-acre property includes forested uplands, wetlands, salmon streams, stunning views of the Chugach Mountains and access to Knik Arm. Once purchased, GLT will donate the land to the Mat-Su Borough to be managed for habitat and public recreation. “The wildlife, trails and open spaces are part of what makes living in the Mat-Su so incredibly special. Whether users choose to enjoy this park on skis, on foot, by bike, through binoculars or from the end of a fishing pole, this park will be a place for everyone,” said Kim Sollien, GLT’s Mat-Su program
director. “We are excited to be partnering with the Mat-Su Borough, private-funding partners and residents to create Alaska’s newest coastal park a place we can all enjoy year-round.”
Please contact Kim Sollien at ksollien@ greatlandtrust.org to RSVP for a tour, to attend the fundraiser or to get more information about this exciting project.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, GLT will be hosting tours, presentations and special events to introduce the community to this property, to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the purchase and to work together to create a shared vision for how this property is developed for recreation.
GLT is a non-profit dedicated to strategically conserving important lands and waters in Southcentral Alaska. GLT is committed to this work because we know that communities thrive when citizens have access to public lands and trails, when fish and wildlife have healthy habitats and when ecosystems are robust.
GLT is hosting two additional public tours of the property to introduce the community to this spectacular area. The public is welcome to join GLT on Wednesday, July 19th or Wednesday, September 13th at 5pm for a tour of the property. GLT is also hosting a fundraiser on Thursday, August 10th at 6:30pm at Settlers Bay Golf Course to raise the remaining $40,000 needed to purchase the property. This free, family-friendly event will offer snacks, drinks, live music and the opportunity help buy a coastal park.
Alaska. The event featured seven local skateboarders as young as eleven years old. Local children kicked off the competition with a scooter jam. Matt Edmondson of Eagle River, AK organized the event. “I got the idea when I took my kids to the skate park this spring. It was a great connection. I decided to add the (AK) Fathers’ Rights Movement because of my personal situation.”
Contributed by David Vesper, Alaska Fathers’ Rights Movement The Alaska Fathers’ Rights Movement sponsored the 2017 50/50 Grind Skateboard Competition on July 9th at the skateboard park in Wasilla,
Edmondson was one of three judges who scored a 10-point scale based on technique, style and use of the skate park. Soloman Harris took first place followed by Erin Hogan (2nd) and Uriah Martinez (3rd). Erin Hogan gave his 2nd place trophy to the youngest competitor, eleven year old Eli Stewart. “It’s about the kids,” he said. The smile on Eli’s face as he got in to the car with his mother said it all. When asked if he would come back next year, Eli emphatically said, “Yes.”
For more information about the Settlers Bay Coastal Park project, please visit GLT’s website at www.greatlandtrust.org
It was a family-oriented affair. Most of the spectators were children and a few parents. “My personal life has affected this because I found skating as an outlet and a way to free my mind. I know others feel this way too from the conversations I’ve had with others. The event was a major success. The weather showed up better than expected and people were ecstatic to have a local event,” remarked Edmonson. Edmondson’s need to free his mind was because of his personal situation. Involved in a child custody dispute, he supports the Fathers’ Rights Movement and looks to the organization as a positive outlet. The Fathers’ Rights Movement is a worldwide non-profit organization whose members, both men and women, support a cause of equal presumption of child custody as well
THE VFAA CELEBRATES 12 YEARS
page 9 of MAKE A SCENE MAGAZINE (inside)
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LOCAL BUSINESS Contributed by Randi Perlman Have you ever wanted to help your friends and neighbors by providing a vital service they all need? And have you ever dreamed of owning your own business? Well, here’s your opportunity to do both! After seven years of operation, Steve’s Toyostove Repair LLC is up for sale. Owned by Randi Perlman and Steve Totten, Steve’s Toyostove Repair has helped keep Alaskans warm and toasty over the years, including during last winter’s negative 40 degree temperatures, while celebrating our incredibly diverse and creative
community by providing wall space for the works of local artists, meeting space for various non-profit organizations and brainstorming space for countless causes and events. In addition to displaying toyostoves and other oil, gas and propane heaters, Steve’s Toyostove’s showroom floor has hosted deep, meaningful conversations on everything from hunting, fishing, boating and the weather to birds, recycling, religion and the arts, just to name a few. Randi and Steve, both long-time Valley residents, have welcomed one and all through the doors of their comfortable, homey shop at mile 3.4 Knik Goose Bay Road in Wasilla and provide invaluable information and education to their large customer
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base while helping them decide which heating system will work best for their needs. And now, they’d love to see the tradition of friendly, excellent customer service and deep community spirit continue with new owners committed to their own vision and traditions. Steve’s Toyostove Repair will remain open and will continue to serve the Valley’s heating needs while they search for the right fit for the next owner[s] of the business. If you are mechanically inclined, don’t mind getting your hands dirty, are driven to work hard, expand and excel and would like to turn your dream into reality, call 907.376.WARM . This is a true opportunity to be cool, stay warm and help others!
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Contributed by Heather A. Resz Exploring Disability Resources Expo 8/28/2017 – 12PM LINKS Mat-Su Alaska State Fair 2075 Glenn Hwy. Palmer FREE Event Be inspired by some of Alaska’s brightest stars at the Alaska State Fair on August 28th during the “Exploring Disability Resources Expo” from 12pm-5pm, in the Events Tent along the Yellow Trail. Organized by LINKS Mat-Su, the expo area features more than twenty vendors, including Access Alaska, Assistive Technology of Alaska, Austin’s Compassionate Exchange, Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Assets Alaska, Alzheimer’s Resource Center of Alaska, Coalition of Mat-Su Senior Centers, AARP, VA, Alaska Special Olympics, Hope Community Resources, Alaska Family Services, Catholic Social Services, Pioneers Homes, March of Dimes, Mat-Su Borough School District and the Disability Law Center. On the events stage at the oneday expo, find motivation in the determination of Alaska’s own Paralympian, X Games competitor and Arctic Man veteran, Andrew Kurka. He earned his first world championship title on the slopes of Tarvisio, Italy, where he finished first in the men’s downhill race at the World Para Alpine Championships this January. Kurka, a sit-skier from Palmer and Country Legends on-air host, also won a bronze medal in the super-G at the 2015 World Championships and a spot on the 2014 Paralympian. 2017 Burchell High School graduate, Abby Lampley, will co-host the stage with Kurka. Lampley had a hemispherectomy brain surgery when
Contributed by Nikki Lee, The Mug-Shot Saloon 8th Annual Big ‘M’ Memorial Benefit 8/19/2017 – 12PM The Mug-Shot Saloon 251 W Parks Hwy. Wasilla FREE Admission, Donations Accepted
The Mug-Shot Saloon and Big M Inc. are excited to announce our 8th Annual Big ‘M’ Memorial Benefit. It is to be held on August 19th, 2017 from 12pm-10pm at the Mug-Shot Saloon, located at 251 W. Parks Hwy. in Wasilla. This inspiring annual event was created in honor of Marilyn Anderson, commemorating her lifetime of commitment to helping her neighbors, friends and patrons in times of need. Joining forces with Valley businesses, entertainers, friends and patrons creates a powerful combination of resources,
she was four years old to stop the seizures that threatened her life. At the age of eighteen, Lampley became homeless after the family she was staying with kicked her out. She arrived at MY House in Wasilla homeless, with 7.5 high school credits and no job. With the supports and encouragement she found at MY House, Lampley got a job, enrolled in school, moved into her own apartment and graduated from Burchell High School in December 2016. She was invited to share her story with her classmates as a student speaker at Burchell High School’s graduation ceremony in May 2017. She was also a guest speaker at the 2017 Pediatric Epilepsy Conference and Family Reunion on July 5-8, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. The expo stage also will feature Alaska veteran performer, Hillary Saffran, and her new variety show, which showcases her talents as a musician, vocalist, storyteller and ventriloquist in the inspirational allages show, “Love You”.
The expo also includes a meet and greet event with Alaska’s Special Olympic Team. Meet the team and learn more about opportunities to participate as an athlete or volunteer with the program. Athletes also will share their personal stories about the power of hard work and keeping a positive attitude. Ever wondered who is riding around in that cool black and red Spider Man bus? Meet Austin Irvin and learn about the non-profit his family has started to help share medical equipment with others. Nine year old Austin survived a near-fatal car crash when he was five. Hear his story and learn how you can help Austin help others too. Capping the fun on August 28th is a special guest appearance by the Cabbage Fairies. Meet the Alaska State Fair’s unofficial ambassadors and pose for photos – and maybe score one of their collectable green feathers - with the First Ladies of Alaska Gardening! The Alaska State Fair in Palmer opens at 12pm on weekdays, August 24th-September 4th, and at 10am on weekends.
Laugh along with Hillary and Tina the Teenager as they explore themes of self-esteem and acceptance.
For more information and tickets, visit http://bit.ly/29Py4KJ
generosity and enthusiasm, which has proven to generate amazing results at previous events.
whatever way we can. The Big ‘M’ Memorial Benefit is an all-day event which attracts hundreds of people each year. In 2016, our fundraising efforts raised over $20,000; the money of which was donated to local Valley residents, Lisa and Timothy Toothaker, a mother and son both battling stage 4 cancer. This all-day event will include a multiprize raffle, live and silent auctions, live music on an outdoor stage and acoustic acts on our indoor stage, a vendor area, a potluck style meal and a dunk tank There will also be a fullysupervised kids’ area complete with a bounce house, face painting and carnival style games!
The proceeds of this year’s event will be donated to the family of 13-yearold local resident, Lucas Dinsmore. Lucas was diagnosed with lymphoma at the young age of five, and after an extensive hospitalization combined with chemotherapy, was successful in beating the disease. He remained
healthy for seven years. Sadly in 2016, he was diagnosed again with lymphoma. Not a relapse; he now has a completely new cancer growing. Lucas’s father, T.J., is a single parent to Lucas and younger brother, Connall. The Dinsmore family are no strangers to cancer. Not only has Lucas had two unthinkable diagnoses, but T.J.’s oldest son, Garrett, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004 (at age 3) and heartbreakingly passed away as a result. We hope to raise money to assist the Dinsmore family in
Our intent is to reach a wide variety of people - artists, musicians, all types of vendors, politicians, organizations, community groups, persons or businesses with auction item donations; there really is no limit to who can get involved or how. We tend to be able to draw a crowd, have a lot of fun and do a lot of good. We hope that inviting the community to join us in this endeavor is a mutually beneficial scenario. We would like to invite you to be a part of the effort this year. We are seeking volunteers to help with both the planning of the event and those who would like to help during the event. We are also seeking donors who would like to provide goods or services to be included in our live and silent auctions. If you have items to donate or would like to be involved in any capacity, please contact us at email@example.com or by calling our office at 907-376-1638
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“...Sleep overnight at the Alaska State Fairgrounds in a cardboard box or your car, in solidarity with the homeless in our Valley.” Contributed by Laurie Kari, Family Promise Mat-Su Cardboard City 2017 7/21/2017 – 5PM Family Promise Mat-Su Alaska State Fairgrounds, Palmer 2075 Glenn Hwy. Palmer Cost: $50 Donation Minimum On July 21, 2017, sleep overnight at the Alaska State Fairgrounds in a cardboard box or your car, in solidarity with the homeless in our Valley. The event starts at 5pm at the green gate.
Contributed by K.T. McKee Health insurance saves lives. If you don’t have health coverage, you most likely will not get your routine annual check-ups, preventative cancer screenings or diagnostic labs to get to the bottom of that sharp pain in your abdomen that could be your appendix about to rupture. You will most likely just carry on and hope for the best. I did that. I went four years without a mammogram due to a combination of the lack of good health coverage and the feeling that mammograms don’t make that much of a difference for me because they can’t see through dense tissue. I also didn’t do routine selfexams, probably because I wasn’t communicating with a doctor who would have encouraged me to do so – especially since my own birth mother lost a breast to cancer when she was only thirty-four and my paternal grandmother died of breast cancer when she was seventy-two. So one day early last year, I noticed some tenderness and a thickening in
You can register at the event, online at www.familypromisematsu.org or at our office across from Wonderland Park in Wasilla, 561 W. Nelson. Call 357-6160 to register by phone. Registration will cost you a $50 minimum “rental space”! Or stop by and make a donation for free! Big News! The Block Foundation has offered us a $10,000 matching grant for new donor donations. We hope Cardboard City sponsors grow, as your dollars for funds for shelter guest services are now matched/doubled!
my right breast. I noticed other oddities on that side and became increasingly alarmed. Luckily, I did have good health coverage at the time through my employer, and so made an appointment with my new primary care provider. If I had been uninsured, I most likely would have gone into denial and told myself I was just over-reacting. If I had not been insured, I wouldn’t have found out that I had an aggressive form of breast cancer called Invasive Lobular Carcinoma that had taken over my right breast and then proceeded to spread beyond to my bones. Even if I had been able to get the mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies as an uninsured person to the tune of several thousands of dollars, I never would have been able to pay for the mastectomy (a $27K procedure) and I have no idea how I would have covered the four chemotherapy sessions that – in combination with oral hormone therapy – have increased my odds of being able to spend more time on this amazing planet and be there as my grandchildren grow up. This is why I am so passionate about helping people get covered through the Affordable Care Act. First as a certified application counselor and now as a certified navigator, I have been able to help hundreds of Valley residents
acquire affordable health insurance on www.Healthcare.gov since the ACA first kicked in during 2013. Several of these newly-insured residents came back to me for help the next year, telling me stories of how they were finally able to get those knee replacements so they could continue working or they discovered they were diabetic and could get their life-saving medicines without losing their home. And now with Medicaid expansion in effect for the past two years, more and more Alaskans have been able to get health coverage – many for the first time in their lives. And this too has saved lives. As Congress grapples with repeal efforts, rest assured residents with no other insurance options will still be able to either choose health plans offered by Premera Blue Cross or enroll in Medicaid on www.Healthcare.gov for at least the foreseeable future. Over the next few months, some of you will qualify for coverage through this Special Enrollment Period, especially if you recently lost or will lose coverage due to no fault of your own. Some of you will have an income low enough to qualify for Medicaid and you can apply for Medicaid all year – there is no enrollment deadline. Did you know a
single person can make up to $20,000 per year and still qualify for Medicaid? A family of two can make up to $27,000 annually and enroll in Medicaid. If you don’t qualify for this Special Enrollment Period for Premera Blue Cross coverage, but believe you will qualify for coverage during the next Open Enrollment Period, please note that the Open Enrollment Period for 2018 coverage only runs from November 1st to December 15th. That timespan is quite a bit shorter than previous Open Enrollment periods. You don’t have to do this on your own. It can be a complicated process, especially when Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) come into play. Please reach out to either me or another certified assister in Mat-Su. There are several of us out here. I can be reached at 891-6940 or you can call 1-844-PLANSAK, or visit www. getcoveredalaska.org to find others who can help you in person at no charge. Your life could depend on it. K.T. McKee is an ACA Navigator Program Specialist in the Mat-Su region for Alaska Primary Care Association. She also can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Contributed by Jeffrey L. Sponsler, MD Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disorder that is found in approximately 90 per 100,000 population (or about 1 in 1000 persons). The nature of the disease is poorly understood, but is probably multi-factorial. The genetically identical twin of a person with MS has a 25% chance of developing the disease. People who live at high latitudes (like Alaska) or who have low vitamin D are at higher risk of developing MS. Certain infections (viral infections for example) are thought to be triggers. The mechanism involves the immune system becoming programmed to recognize the insulation on brain cells (called myelin) as foreign proteins. Once the immune system cells (specifically T cells and B cells) are thus programmed, they work hard to remove this protein from the brain cells and neuronal axons of MS victims. It is currently not possible to “deprogram” these lymphocytes, but there are various treatments to reduce the numbers of these attack cells and to reduce the attacks (or exacerbations) in the MS patient. Neurologists have years of university training in the evaluation and management of MS and they are experts in the therapies involved. Yoga originated in ancient India and was originally associated with Hinduism and Buddhism. Common forms are Hatha and Raja yoga. Yoga was introduced in the late 19th
Contributed by Winona Benson, Nourished Health Coaching Services The stories are everywhere, always uplifting, always inspiring: • • • •
The woman who created a wellness clinic in her inner-city neighborhood. The man who lost 200 pounds after being housebound for a decade. The mother who worked tirelessly bringing her sick child to radiant health. The grandfather who quit cigarettes to realize his dream of running a marathon.
Every day people just like you go out into the world and make their dreams come true. They did it. Why not you? You’re no different than any of these successful individuals. Why Couldn’t Your Dream Come True? True, it sounds hard. In fact, it probably is hard, with a number of
century to the West. The term yoga is derived from the Sanscrit word “yuj” with meaning “to add” or “to join”. According to author, David Gordon White, yoga is meditative, is intended to expand consciousness and is a path to enlightened consciousness. The Bhagavad Gita introduces Karma Yoga (action), Bhakti Yoga (devotion) and Jnana Yoga (knowledge). In modern times, yoga has been adopted as a form of exercise and perhaps 20 million people in the US practice yoga. The practice of yoga has been supported by the American College of Sports Medicine for promotion of mental, physical and spiritual awareness; the stated benefits include stretching, breath control and core strength. The college recommends certified instructors for the yoga training. There are reports of injuries to back and joints during yoga; there is unfortunately no exercise program that has zero risk of injury. Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs have been studied and benefits have been reported. There
obstacles to overcome. That may be reason enough to put your dream on permanent hold. “Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards, but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them, they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.” - Orison Swett Marden, writer. Could A Plan Help? The easiest way to turn a dream into reality is one step at a time: • Choose one thing to get done. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. • Identify what scares you most. Ask yourself: What’s the worst thing that could happen if I face this fear? Write down the worst-case scenario, and also write how you would confront it. • Identify a small reward for yourself once you’ve accomplished that activity. • Then just do it. Complete and check that task off your list. • Now treat yourself to the reward, rejoice and celebrate! • Repeat the above steps as many times as necessary, and watch
are many published reports on therapeutic yoga. Grace Bullock PhD reports studies have found benefits such as reduction of diastolic blood pressure, increased HDL cholesterol, decreased triglycerides, decreased arthritis pain, decreased headaches, reduced low back pain and reduced MS symptoms. Symptoms of MS include imbalance, impaired mobility, fatigue, chronic pain, cognitive, visual and speech impairment, sensory disturbance, depression, bowel and bladder dysfunction and spasticity. One study demonstrated decreased depression and decreased fatigue in MS patients. The Alaska Music and Arts Center in Palmer will begin therapeutic yoga classes on September 1, 2017. The instructor is Cassey BradleyLeonardis, a certified yoga instructor. These classes will be free and open to patients of the Alaska Brain Center (the office of Dr. Sponsler). We believe yoga training will be beneficial and valuable for our patients. Contact the Alaska Brain Center (907-373-6500) for details.
yourself get happier and healthier by pursuing what you love. Get Even Healthier! Would you like support in making your health dreams come true? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Call or email me for an appointment at 907-982-9933 or email@example.com. About Me: My name is Winona Benson and I am a certified holistic health coach. I have been working in the nutrition field for the past eight years. During this time, I have learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences and goals. Learn more about my training and my unique approach to health coaching at: www.nourishedak.com
Contributed by Carol Montgomery, Plastic Bag Committee of the Mat-Su Zero Waste Coalition For the past ten months, a team of Mat-Su volunteers has been trying to reduce the numbers of plastic bags we see floating around our Valley. You may have seen us in front of grocery stores, at the libraries, in parades, at community council meetings, cleanups and other events. Grocery stores seem to love to give us plastic bags whether we need them or not. I’ve seen well-meaning checkers double bag a gallon of milk and a sixpack carrier, covering up the already convenient carrying handles of these containers. They’re free, so why should we care? But are they really free? If everyone in the Valley uses four plastic bags a week, that adds up to over twenty-one million bags each year! Only about 3% are recycled, so what happens to all these bags? Even when disposed of properly, plastic bags catch the wind and blow out of landfills, dumpsters and garbage trucks. I think we all cringe when we see these bags littering our roadways and scenic views. Not only is it bad for tourism, but animals, including our own reindeer and caribou, like to eat them and they die when the plastic blocks their gut. Eventually these bags end up in our rivers, lakes and ultimately the ocean. They don’t biodegrade, but break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic that get eaten by plankton and other sea creatures. Salmon eat the plankton and so it comes back to us on our dinner plates. I don’t think anybody wants this. We understand that plastic grocery bags have their uses. Many people line their trashcans with grocery bags. But how many do you really need? Instead of adding to the twenty-one million bags in the Valley every year, BYOB or bring your own bag. A sturdy reusable bag can be used hundreds of times, holds more, is easier to carry and doesn’t tear or flop around in your car. So BYOB and talk to your friends and neighbors about using reusable bags. Let’s work together to spread the word and reduce this wasteful habit. Just say “No” or “No, thank you” to plastic bags.
COMMUNITY POLITCS / OPINION CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER as other family law related issues. The mother of the founder and president of the Fathers’ Rights Movement was in attendance at the event. Peggy Whitman Groth’s son, Thomas Fidler, founded the movement in her kitchen. She has seen the movement grow from an idea conceived in Wasilla to an international movement with over 400,000 supporters and chapters in Australia to Canada to the United Kingdom. “I would like to give a special thanks to all of the skaters and judges that helped pull this together. Erin Hogan, David White, David Vesper, Matt Edmondson and Solomon Harris… thank you. The First Annual 50/50 Grind Skateboard Competition was successful because of you. To the competitors, you are all awesome and we hope to see you back next year.” David Vesper is the Alaska Chapter of the Fathers’ Rights Movement State Lead. “The need for this organization exists in Alaska. One in seven Alaskans are affected by family law… many of them adversely. Since I have become involved with the movement last October, we have seen a 350% rise in support for the Alaska FRM,” mentions Vesper.
Contributed by Wes Keller Contrary to popular opinion, partisanship is a good thing! It provides an initial division of political candidates and issues. Lack of political parties would indicate tyranny… or a society that has become too fat and lazy to care who is in charge! Partisanship is a normal element of any modern, civilized society with genuine freedom of speech and commitment to human equality and dignity. Partisanship is also evidence of a government responsive to the will of the governed. Whining tirades and pious boasts about partisanship are often naïve at best… slick posturing at the worst! A political party is first and foremost a representation of a set of values (a platform) that defines candidates and issues. If “We the People” get sloppy about engaging in the partisan process to clarify these values (platform planks), the party inevitably becomes stale and ultimately another party will replace it! Within the last five years, several variations of bi-partisan coalitions have controlled both the Senate and the House leadership. Bi-partisanship coalitions initially look attractive, but ultimately, they mock constitutional values by pretending everybody is right and noble and there is no need for disagreement. They hollowly flatter the elite membership, pretending to respect each other - while secretly fighting each other. In effect, bipartisan coalitions formed to monopolize leadership obscure the debates and reality of right or wrong for any given point of disagreement. Everybody cannot be right! Evil (greed, power lust, pride…) exists and grows in the dark. Evil is often deceitfully hidden until robust, transparent debate brings it to light. It is troubling to remember that some leaders hold values consistent with moral absolutes, truth and veracity, and some do not! Because legislators are human, public transparency is needed to ensure integrity. Such is the nature of the man and government that we inherited at birth. Our constitutional republic is created and tolerated by the explicit consent of the governed. The “governed” holds 100% of the jury responsibilities to keep legislators true. The responsibility to elect our leaders was delegated by the founders to ensure protection of inherent rights, by limiting government power and enhancing individual freedom in good laws. This philosophy of government only makes sense to those who concur with the founders’ premise that, “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of
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“The stories I have read and heard involved in the Alaska family law process are appalling. But, this event reminds us why we do what we do… for the kids and families. I enjoyed watching the kids in the scooter jam, a father and son skateboard together, a father bringing his son to join him to receive his trophy, and an eleven year old boy competing with teenagers and young men.” This environment is what helps Matt Edmondson ground himself and focus on his son caught in the middle of his case. Matt Edmondson has been fighting for visitation with his son for almost four years and has been restricted to supervised visits once a week. With his job as a bridge construction crewman, it has been difficult to achieve. He advises other fathers to not give up, do not turn to drugs or alcohol and do not kill yourself. “… My advice. It’s hard, but it’s the truth.” Edmondson’s advice comes on the difficult and depressing times he has endured during this period of his life. His situation is not uncommon. Many parents faced with parental alienation, bullying lawyer litigation tactics that run expenses in tens of thousands of dollars and an oppressive state
civil society.” (George Washington) The moral fiber of the people (the governed) ultimately determines the integrity of government. The founders bet everything on the ultimate integrity of the consensus of the governed and created the best system to prevent a ruling elite. True consensus can only be derived as a product of robust debate between political parties! As a past legislator, I learned my responsibility was to transparently campaign and make voting decisions based on my own moral perspectives - not on my “best guess” perception of what my constituents may prefer. It was the responsibility of “the governed” to decide whether my actions and decisions fairly represented their own moral perspective. I was defeated in the last primary, which means either I was not an acceptable representative or my constituents failed to understand me. Whatever the reason(s), this is essentially the same system put in place so long ago. It is a good system and it includes, like it or not, partisan bickering. The pretenses of radical bi-partisanship coalitions are not American, rational or productive! The recent ineffective bi-partisan coalitions were empowered by re-elections of Alaskan legislators falsely claiming Republican values when they actually openly oppose them (Republican in Name Only, aka RINOs). This could happen in any majority party by a candidate falsely claiming Democrat, Green or Independent values, in order to have more “control”. The current status of our state legislature is an indicator of too little partisanship - not too much! Unabashed partisanship, complete with robust, transparent and fair debate, is indeed the ideal process to produce true bi-partisan results. By necessity, the process leaves winners and losers in its wake. The apparent aversion to partisanship is similar and related to our misguided aversion to religious perspective in government. This is an interesting cultural twist considering our Declaration of Independence is essentially a prayer! The last paragraph is an appeal to God (the “Supreme Judge”) and includes a statement of complete faith in His Sovereignty (“Divine Providence”). The signers clearly called out to God as they took the daring risk of endorsing this wonderful document. How ridiculous can we be to pretend freedom of religion is really “freedom from religion”? It is completely legitimate for partisan platforms to be influenced by the religious beliefs of the majority of the party membership (the governed). We need partisanship and freedom of speech to help us distill truth and veracity from the marketplace of ideas. Wes Keller|WesKeller.com
system has led to them on the verge of conceding what’s left of their parental rights and delve into depression. Often times, the depression leads to drug and alcohol abuse, loss of a job and even suicide. “Zero evidence. A false police report. A fifteen minute hearing. I was forced to take a thirty-six week course on anger management by the Department of Corrections and lost my son. I soon fell apart, turned to the bottle and became suicidal. This was not how I envisioned being a father to my son.” Vesper has seen similar cases like Edmondson’s. He hopes to see other parents become involved in the movement like Matt Edmondson. “Helping Matt put this together and bring this event into the community has been an honor. Matt has chosen not
to give up on his son. Our children need their dads and research has shown that even in post-divorce, children need both parents involved,” added Vesper. The Alaska Fathers’ Rights Movement has two goals - culturally change the societal stereotypes placed on fathers post-relationship or post-divorce like deadbeat dad or absent father and advocate for family law reform through legislation, beginning with 50/50 rebuttable presumption of shared child custody. Matt Edmondson and David Vesper plan to organize another competition next year that includes a scooter division. If you are interested in supporting the Fathers’ Rights Movement, like them at www.facebook.com/Fathers4kids/ and the Alaska Chapter at www.facebook.com/TFRMAK/
Contributed by Rep. David Eastman Five people were shot after a political attack against members of my government took place outside of DC. A man asked if the people playing baseball were Republicans or Democrats. Then he started shooting.
to their person, as a threat to their safety. While they are glad to publicly celebrate the defeat of their political opponents on Election Day, they need a “safe space” if one of their candidates loses. Their political opponents are said to be so evil that unprovoked violence against them is now justified. “My opponent makes me feel afraid. I shouldn’t have to feel afraid. Someone please shoot him.”
When UAA professor, Thomas Chung, recently painted Captain America holding up the severed head of my president and then put that painting on display at the University of Alaska, we were reassured that the act itself was not an act of violence and that no one was hurt by it. He was simply channeling his grief at the outcome of the election.
A college president in Washington just asked state police for help in restoring order on campus after a white professor insisted on teaching his class on a day when all white people were told to leave campus. We have reached a very low point indeed, when the only way to avoid violence is to physically remove an entire race of people from an American college campus.
When Americans were attacked and beat up for attending rallies in support of our future president, we could at least be reminded that it wasn’t armed conflict and that no one had been killed. Nothing to worry about, right?
In political terms, we are witnessing what happens when Americans begin to lose trust in the ability of our political processes to negotiate acceptable terms of peace between warring factions. In some countries, violence and threats of violence are how political differences are resolved. America was conceived in the idea that constitutional government provides an escape from such terrors. You see, freedom of speech doesn’t just protect the person speaking. In the end, it protects all of us, because it preserves the space necessary to communicate and resolve passionate, even offensive disagreements. Political correctness destroys that possibility.
Then a professor in the DC area declared to the world that Republicans in Congress, “…should be lined up and shot. That’s not hyperbole...” Maybe he didn’t mean it, some said. What do we tell ourselves now, after a man terrorized Americans at a baseball practice because he found their politics unacceptable? What do we tell ourselves now that a congressman has been shot and is still listed in serious condition? What do we tell ourselves after some responded to the attack, “It’s a shame more Republicans weren’t shot.” and a Democrat Party official in Nebraska declared publicly, “I’m glad he got shot. I wish he was f****ing dead.”? Running for office is expected to have its share of challenges of course - public criticism, late nights, early mornings, time away from family, etc. But the thought of getting shot isn’t something most elected officials have had to wrestle with. In that, we have been blessed. But something profound is happening in America today. A powerful segment of our society has decided that it is not enough to disagree politically and it’s not enough to sort things out on Election Day. Disagreements have always been with us of course, even profound ones. That’s nothing new. What is new today is the number of Americans and politicians who have abandoned resolving those disagreements and instead resort to condemnation. What is new today is the number of Americans who have lost the capacity to let their ideas be challenged without seeing such challenges as a threat
Curtailing free speech, no matter how altruistic the motivation, deprives us of a critical tool in preventing violence. The framers of our Constitution witnessed that violence firsthand in the years leading up to the American Revolution, and then over the course of seven bloody years of armed conflict. With that experience in mind, they left us with tools - a system of checks and balances, to slow and even pacify the rush to resolve political issues through violence and the threat of violence. Over the years, we have watched as many of those checks and balances have been laid to waste, and as succeeding generations have received less and less training in tools that were at one time simply an assumed part of the American Experiment. And as judges and bureaucrats have come to exercise more and more power, our legislative process no longer seems to hold the same importance it once did. As bizarre as it sounds, our laws no longer carry the force of law today. And our elected officials no longer feel bound by them as they once did. The growing fear that a judge or justice will step in to overturn a law or the result of an election, for whatever reason, has hastened the erosion of confidence CONTINUES ON PAGE 7
POLITICS / OPINION Contributed by Bruce Walden, Old Sarge Books, oldsargebooks.net I was thinking a couple of days ago about those I’ve known, and who’ve fallen victim to one of the terrible crimes right here in our own fair borough. Immediately I could name five people I knew who have been brutally murdered in the last couple of years. Some you know well, and some you may not know at all. But this speaks volumes about our home. These are only the ones I knew. I’m sure there are many others out there. One you all know, and his name was David Grunwald. Every time I think of that young man, I am angered beyond words. My son went to school with him and he knew the scum who killed him. I see David’s picture and I see my own son. I see a young man who was his father’s pride and joy, and who was the delight of his mother’s eye. Then I think of the filth that murdered him and thought they were really showing how gangster-like they were. The situation is not getting better, it is getting worse. The city police can do very little as their jurisdiction is small, and the troopers are stretched so thin that they can do very little except react… eventually. The time has come to talk about a sheriff’s department. Why? I was stationed in Okinawa for a
Contributed by Beth Fread, Palmer AK Most treasured Alaska business owners and leaders, we thank you for your patience, your understanding and your willingness to “stick it out” as Alaska’s political leadership works to increase the burdens upon your shoulders. We thank you for the jobs you provide, the services and products you convey and your investment in Alaska. We appreciate your efforts, your energy and the stoic way in which you soldier on in the battle to work for Alaska’s success. We are sorry that we cannot afford to participate in commerce as fully as we have in the past. We understand your sense of responsibility as you weigh each penny you invest in delivering the services we need to maintain our health, welfare, happiness, entertainment and prosperity. You continue to develop access to Alaska’s resources, employ as many of us as possible, distribute our food and beverages, clothing, housing and our transportation choices. Your charitable contributions are also deeply appreciated. We wish we could do more to aid you in your success, but Alaska is in a recession and we are all also feeling it. That is, all of us except those employed by and involved in governing us.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 that everyday Americans still have in our laws, and in the political process that is supposed to determine what those laws will be. Events like the attack at the ballfield and the responses to it, confirm that our situation is most dire. While civil war is not necessarily right around the corner, we should recognize that we are already many steps down the path towards such a possibility. Now is not the time to simply comfort the survivors of these types of attacks. Yes, comfort survivors. Yes, recognize the heroism and bravery of those who intervened and stopped the attacker. But also ask yourself what
couple of years and many of you were stationed in “friendly” foreign countries. And still we were resented because we were outsiders. When new state troopers are stationed here in the Borough, for the most part it is a temporary gig for them. No one knows them, therefore no one trusts them. The result is very little cooperation by the people. If we elected a sheriff from among us, likely the people would begin to go to that sheriff and offer their help. If that sheriff needed immediate manpower, he or she would be able to deputize as need be. Say, “Bruce, we’ve got too many cops already.” I now live in Palmer which is likely the most “policed” city in the state, as it is the training ground for the troopers. I do not want a sheriff’s department in addition to the troopers.
Very little of that has to do with illegal immigration, but as an afterthought, we see the crimes being committed in the L48 by illegal immigrants and those on the Left tell us that those folks have a right to be here. For what? To commit murder? They have that right and then the right to flee to “sanctuary cities”? We are going to prove our solidarity with the president on that border wall. In the very near future, we are going to hold the nation’s first “Brick Party”. You show up, take a brick, sign your name onto it using a dremel tool and you attach a check or money order in the amount of your choosing and send it to President Trump Care of Homeland Security. Will the brick be used to build that wall? No, but they might incorporate it there. In any case, we in Alaska will be the first to show real support for the notion. To keep track of times and locations for said party, keep an eye on my webpage mentioned at the top of the article.
We need a sheriff’s department in lieu of the troopers who, as I said, are stretched too thin to do any real good. And by the way, I’ve talked to a lot of AST folks who agree with him 100%.
Folks, I used to say that change won’t come until the people become desperate, but that time has passed. I figure that we won’t make change until you become downright angry. After the recent murders, I think we’re there.
From the meth epidemic to murder on a weekly basis by little kids who’ve not even begun to live, lawlessness in the Borough has grown to be so rampant that one dare not go about town unarmed. Might a sheriff’s department cost a bit to get started? Yes. One person told me it would cost around $250 grand per cop to get it up and running. Is that too much?
Oh, and that tired old argument that we’d have to change the state constitution? I’ve a copy in word on my computer and I searched for the words - sheriff, sheriff’s department, police, law enforcement - and guess what. None of those words appear anywhere in that document. You want to fix this situation?
If it was your son or daughter who was found face down in a ditch somewhere, would it be too much then?
We can, but you’ve got to want it enough to forcefully demand the changes.
Many of us are just beginning to understand that our medical facilities and delivery systems, child rearing, educational systems, recreational preferences and areas, safety, some transportation modes and even our “independent” subsistence resources are controlled and/or managed by government. We are recognizing that many of those employed by and elected into government offices care little for those who do not. These are the people who want to add taxes to ours and your income, your and our properties and are working at increasing costs for our licenses, fees, fines and regulatory requirements. We are beginning to recognize the fact that they have been and continue to place even more regulatory burdens upon our employers while sometimes trying to compete with those private sector businesses that support their (and our) employment. We see that they are not capable of succeeding in that competition, and we are sorry that we cannot control them. In fact, despite our protestations and disagreement, government has gone so far as to claim our resource shareholder dividends (Permanent Fund) as their “revenues” and taxed more than 50% of it to line their own and their coworkers’ pockets with paychecks, per diem, travel and benefits.
actions you and I can take today to alter this course and to recover the confidence in our political institutions that has been lost. Loss of confidence is not simply a marketing problem. It will require more than an expensive PR campaign. It will require fundamental reforms and hard work to bring those reforms about. It will require sacrifice on the part of many of us. As President Reagan reminded the generation of his day, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day
ACCOMMODATIONS Houston Lodge Marketplace…. 892-5124 Sunset View Resort ........ 892-8595 ADULT PIANO LESSONS Hitchcock Piano Studio ........ 745-3134 ALCOHOL DETECTION Alcohol Detection Services…. 677-7300 APPAREL All Seasons Clothing ........ 357-0123 CW Tack ........ 376-2668 D’s Tuxedo ........ 707-6585 Mimi’s Closet ........ 376-2661 ART & CRAFTS Shane Lamb Gallery… 746-3343 The Gallery ........ 745-1420 BOOKSTORE Fireside Books ........ 745-2665 A Black Sheep Shop ......... 376-8198 CAFÉ & COFFEE Alaska Artisan Coffee ........ 745-5543 Espresso Café ........ 376-5282 Gathering Grounds ........ 376-4404 Vagabond Blue……..745-2233 CANDY Monica’s Confection ... 315-3999 CHINESE FOOD/ASIAN FOOD Kings Asian Buffet ........ 357-9977 COOKWARE All I Saw Cookware ........ 376-3177 CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT Artists Uncorked ........ 982-2675 EDUCATION Learning Essentials ........ 357-3990 FLOWERS & GIFTS Charlotte’s Flowers ........ 745-5550 FOOTWEAR Northern Comfort ........ 376-5403
The saddest part of this is that none of it is necessary. Alaska has between $12 and $16 billion in its reserves. Those Alaskan reserves were established to avoid having to go into Alaskan pockets. They were deliberately cached in order to carry us through the times when the cyclical nature of resource extraction becomes temporarily less profitable for all of us. But, it is the nature (and turnover) of government to not remember that those cycles rarely last more than ten years and those reserves are more than enough to carry us through this downward cycle.
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We also appreciate and recognize our relatively few friends in government and we sympathize with their predicament. They are silenced by the attitudes and resulting poor treatment they receive from their coworkers and colleagues when they try to disagree with governmental activities.
REPAIR, RESTORATION Comtronics ........ 373-2669 Steve’s Toyostove…. 376-9276
The disingenuousness of Alaska’s current governmental leadership has led them to not tell the full story of the monetary stability of Alaska. The current governmental leaders do not care to acknowledge that in lean times you cut back. But, it isn’t their money they would preserve by cutting budgets; it’s yours and mine. So, they refuse to do the right thing and are continuing to go after the productive segments of society. Therefore, we apologize for electing them and allowing them behind the wheel; we’ll try not to make the same mistake again. In the meantime time, thank you again for sticking with us. We depend upon you and we don’t acknowledge that often enough.
we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” In the end, when our political institutions are working properly, they serve a valuable function: They provide our communities with tools to resolve the political differences that will always be with us, but only if those institutions are working properly. As Americans, it is our job to ensure that they are. Rep. David Eastman represents rural MatSu House District 10. He ran on a platform of fighting for genuine conservative reform, fiscally and socially, and remains committed to delivering on that promise.
HOME DÉCOR Cover Ups Designs ........ 746-4739 JEWELRY L Forge Jewelry ........ 232-9866 PIZZA Humdingers Pizza ........ 745-7499 PRINT SERVICES The UPS Store ........ 376-6245 RADIO 95.5 The Pass ........ 631-0877
SALONS Hello Darlin Salon.… 373-3307 SMOKE SHOPS Alaska Pipe Dreams ........ 746-1500 Light It Up Head Shop…. 745-5483 SPECIALTY GIFTS Alaska Midnite Scents ........ 357-7364 THRIFT SHOPS Red Barn Thrift Store ........ 745-5050 Steam Driven Boutique ........ 376-4404 Turn-A-Leaf Thrift Stores ........ 376-5708 Willow Rose Thrift Store ......... 495-ROSE TOYS Just Imagine Toys ........ 357-1543 Learning Essentials .......... 357-3990
COMMUNITY / OPINION / POLITCS Contributed by Hillary Saffran What does a sharecropper’s son who became a teacher then life insurance salesman have to do with making legal services affordable for everyone? It began in 1969, when Harland Stonecipher was involved in a car accident that was not his fault. “I had insurance that paid for my totaled car, insurance that took care of my medical bills,” he told the Ada Evening News, “But I was sued by the other party and had no money for legal fees.”
Contributed by Jessica Wright In November 2009, we moved to Alaska. Alaska happened to be our last station in my husband’s military career. Our friends at church invited us over for Thanksgiving before my husband got shipped out of the state. During the gathering, I heard the discussion on the recent election. They seemed to be concerned. I asked them why. I asked, “Isn’t Alaska a Republican (conservative) state? They said yes, but they also told me many people including bad people had their eyes on the oil money. (Now I know it’s called PFD). As a soccer mom I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to worry about
Contributed by Anonymous Lawyer, former mayor of Valdez and now governor of Alaska are being investigated for alleged tax evasion. Notice to the principle is notice to the agents. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. A concerned citizen has been investigating Bill Walker and Associates for about a year now and through several known sources has verified the information is true. The Palmer, Alaska man filled a Whistle Blower Federal Form # 211 Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against Bill Walker, Donna Walker and Craig Richards for alleged business license/tax evasion for failing to get two types of licenses. One is a NAICS codes 541110 license required for the lawyer’s offices and the second is a NAICS codes 922130 license to be legal counsel or prosecution in court which was mandated by Congress. When you look up Bill Walker on the
He ended up settling the lawsuit, but his difficulty in scraping together legal fees inspired an idea to fill a littlenoticed market niche: Why not offer a plan for people to make small monthly payments, so they could have access to legal advice when they needed it? After doing the research - there were precedents, particularly in Europe, where such plans go back to the 1930s - Mr. Stonecipher started what he called a “motor service club” to reimburse members for legal expenses. The club became Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc., the first prepaid legal plan in the United States to cater to individuals. It is now named LegalShield and remains among the most prominent companies in the industry. Other plans handle companies, unions and trade associations.
our state government. Unfortunately, ever since we elected Governor Walker, I can see my friends’ concern become a reality. We all know what happened in 2015, he used the veto to prevent us from getting full PFD so instead of getting $2,300, we were getting $1,000. This year, it happened again. The Republican led Senate voted to cap our PFD at $1,000 again on SB 21. Some people like Mark Zuckerberg see the PFD as free money. They suggested that we should not rely on government’s cash payment. It makes us Alaskans look like a whole bunch of lazy unproductive people. In
Most are aware that the Alaska State Fair was smoke/aerosol (vapor)-free for its entire run last year, a first for any state fair in the U.S. Many may even applaud this move due to the smell and inconvenience of tobacco smoke. By the Mat-Su Health Foundation’s own estimates, this move alienates about 20% of the population of the Mat Su. The decision to make the Alaska State Fair smoke and aerosol (vapor) free has not come as a big surprise. 2015’s fair featured a smoke-free day sponsored by Breathe Free Mat-Su and the Mat-Su Health Foundation through a grant of $10,000. In MSHF’s online viewable grants, it plainly states, “This idea was suggested by Breathe Free Mat-Su and will help to keep the day smoke-free.” (Link: http://www.healthymatsu.org/ grants-database/alaska-state-fairincorporated-4 ) To me, that had the appearance of pay to play, so I dug deeper. Going back as far as 2011, I found that MSHF granted the Alaska State Fair $100,000 for sewer improvements. In 2012, the ASF was granted $65,000 to offset the $238,000 cost of the
Pre-Paid aimed to attract customers not poor enough to qualify for governmentsubsidized legal aid and not wealthy enough to retain a lawyer - middleincome, hard-working Americans who had been left out, as Mr. Stonecipher put it. “In America today, you’re going to get just as much justice as you have the ability to pay for,” he said in a 2010 video. Today, more than 1.5 million American families representing more than 3.7 million people in 50 states are members
reality, PFD is our mineral rights. If the government is sick and tired of paying us dividends, they can just pay us in one lump some payment. We have no rejection on that. The bottom line is that the government has no right to take the money from our pockets and put it into their pockets. That’s the classic act of over-reaching. So what happened in the election of 2016? Didn’t we vow to get rid of those who tried to take our PFD? Unfortunately, we have only seen three people get replaced in the House and everyone in the Senate got reelected. I think we need to rethink our strategies and do these things instead: 1. Study the candidates. Lots wolves in sheep’s clothing.
state’s website it said, “Walker is the founder of Walker Richards, LLC law firm where he practiced from 1995-2014.”
and one half the money goes to the person who reports it first.” (Me - the concerned citizen)
Bill Walker never bothered to get a business license until May 16, 2012, just eleven months before announcing his run for governor on April 18, 2013. This allegedly shows intent. According to the state’s business license website and through emails, business license number 974132 was first issued to Walker & Richards, LLC on May 16, 2012. No Alaskan business license before that date appears on record with names Bill Walker, Donna Walker or Craig Richards to have ever been registered with the State of Alaska according to emails received from the State of Alaska license division.
Under thirteen statutes at large under Licenses section 73 said, “For every such offense, besides being liable to the payment of the tax, he or she will be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or both. One half of the fine for the United States, one half to the person who shall first give information of the fact.”
According to twelve statutes at large under Licenses section 57 said, “No person shall prosecute until obtaining a license. Section 59 said, “A penalty of three times the license fee. One half of the money goes to the United States
“plastinated” bodies’ display.
Contributed by Paul Johnson
The Group Legal Services Association, an American Bar Association affiliate, estimated in 2011 that 122 million Americans were covered by group legal plans of all kinds, up from 45 million in 2004.
In 2014, the ASF received two separate grants of $15,000 each. One grant was for “Sudsy’s Barn”, a hand washing demonstration trailer for the children. The other grant was for the Katavik Stage’s initial construction. The total of these grants, including the $10,000 dollar grant in 2015, with the suggestion that the ASF have a smokefree day, totals $205,000 over a fouryear period. The ASF has alienated participants and vendors who smoke tobacco. That does not take into consideration the percentage of people who have become tobacco-free through the use of modern vapor products. They also took the suggestion of MSHF to use the word, aerosol, rather than the more benign term, vapor, in order to demonize the subject further. The fact of the matter is, modern vapor products have been proven to be at least 95% safer than smoking tobacco, while presenting no hazards whatsoever to bystanders. (RCP Report – 2016, NHI Report – 2016) That being said, to ban tobacco smoking is questionable at best since the secondhand smoke or “passive smoking” issue is still up for debate, believe it or not. To ban vaping is absolutely unnecessary. In fact, it is detrimental to achieving the goal of making Alaska and the rest of the world
Section 78 said, “State laws are not to exempt procuring license or from any penalty or punishment.” Section 43 states that lawyers shall pay for each license. It said “license”. It does not say “bar card”. A bar card is a membership status card only and nowhere on the bar card does it say “license”. Twelve and thirteen statutes at large under licensing are acts of Congress to provide internal revenue
tobacco-free. This is a product that poses little if any risk to the user, and zero risk to bystanders as proven by both U.S. and British studies. In the meantime, it’s completely acceptable to gobble down deep-fried everything, flame-grilled whatever, sit in the stands watching the demolition derby and monster trucks while they belch their noxious fumes, visit the petting zoo and livestock displays in methane-filled barns and sit in long lines on the highway and in the parking lot, breathing all of the hydrocarbons that the cars and trucks are producing. Perhaps in years to come, MSHF will suggest that many of those things be banned too. After all, they are a health risk and MSHF knows what’s best for you, even if you don’t. The 2016 (smoke/aerosol-free) estimated gate was 293,424, down 6,274 from 2015’s gate of 299,698 (one-day smoke-free) and 403 lower than 2014’s 293,827 (no ban) figures, even though the Matsu’s population grew by 13.6 % over the same time period. Alaska as a whole grew by 4% from 710,231 to 741,894 over the ’10 to ’15 census period. If it wasn’t because of a decline in population, maybe it was because of the terrible weather. Nope. Sorry, but the weather was uncommonly pleasant through the entire run of the Alaska State Fair last year. It’s clear that BFA managed to alienate nearly 6,300 people through their efforts.
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of Pre-Paid’s successor company, paying as little as $20 a month, with fees rising if more services are desired. On its website, the American Bar Association summarized the usefulness of such plans: “With one phone call, your lawyer can draft a will for you, look over a purchase contract on a home, represent your teenager in traffic court, negotiate a “life contract” for nursing home care and even get you a divorce!” If you would like more information about this pre-paid legal service for individuals, families and businesses, as well as identity theft protection through IDShield, contact Hillary Saffran at legalshield.com/hub/ hillarysaffran There is no price for peace of mind.
2. Vote in the Primary. The low turnout rate of 10%-12% really hurts the candidates. 3. Run for the election. Many people complained that they have nobody to vote for it. 4. Don’t get frustrated. Some people told me that they see the same people get reelected over and over again, so they decided to give up. Like it or not, we are responsible for our state government because we are the ones putting them in the office in the first place. I hope that we can all be united this time to set this thing straight, by putting the right people in the office. May God bless our beautiful country and our state.
to support the government and to pay interest on the public debt. If the IRS agrees with the whistleblower’s complaint that Bill Walker, Donna Walker and Craig Richards are registered bar attorneys of the State of Alaska, they could owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, fees, penalties and interest with possible jail time. Tax evasion if true is a federal crime and federal criminals can’t hold public office. All 2,439 lawyers and about 112 judges who were lawyers in Alaska were also added in the complaint. It’s about time that lawyers in this country start paying their far share. There is no such thing as a license to practice law, but there is a mandatory license by Congress if you are going to come into court to be legal counsel to someone or to prosecute someone, and it is a 922130 license. Failure to do so is a contempt of court. It is estimated that all 1,315,561 lawyers in the United States could owe around $1 trillion dollars when you add in all federal, state, borough/county and city penalties, fines, fees and interest. firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2014, the average-per-person spending was $55. Adjust for inflation and call it $60 for 2016 (stats not available). Multiply that by the 6,274 people alienated by the ban and that totals $376,440. I’m sure the fair owners and the vendors don’t mind missing out on over a third of a million dollars though. And never mind the reports in the ADN that the hiphop concert at the Borealis was engulfed in pot smoke. At least it wasn’t those nasty cigarettes or completely harmless vapor. I guess that makes it okay. Here’s 2016’s grant amount: Date Awarded: June 2016 Amount: $ 3,350 Purpose: Implementation of the Alaska State Fair “Smoke-Free” Campus Policy A special interest group has spent a total of $208,350 over the past five years to impose their ideology on a private business. That’s $168,090 short of the profits lost (in a single season) because of those policies, and they are now permanent. That’s a bargain for BFMS and MSHF, not so much for the Alaska State Fair. Don’t be surprised if the Alaska State Fair owners and their vendors try to make up that difference by raising parking and gate fees, as well as higher product prices.
FAITH / POLITICS / OPINIONS word. No one else had heard from this person. Contributed by Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain “Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5) Several months ago, I was summoned to deal with an individual considering suicide. They shared their problems and concerns. I shared Bible passages that related to their concerns. God’s intervention kept this person alive. They got involved in a local church and our WASI mid-week service and grew in their relationship to God. God was answering the person’s prayers. The person was surrounded by solid, caring, mature Christians. So, when the person determined the Lord was leading them to go back east to be in an ungodly environment, I was concerned. God worked out all the logistics and they left. I waited with no
Contributed by Rabbi Mendy Greenberg, Mat-Su Jewish Center Chabad Lubavitch As part of a seven decade old program dubbed “The Roving Rabbis”, two Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbinical students are visiting the Mat-Su Valley this July as part of their community outreach training. The young rabbis-in-training will be spending their summer on the road, sharing their love for Jewish life and bringing the beauty of Judaism wherever they go. Rabbis, Levi Levertov and Levi Katz, will conduct their visits during the period of July 7th-July 27th. Throughout their three week visit, Levertov and Katz will be reaching out to members of the community in the region - most often in one-on-one home visitations listening, talking and teaching as they
Contributed by Vic Kohring The Reverend Franklin Graham delivered a sermon in Anchorage recently on the crucifixion of Jesus. Graham spoke how Jesus was deserted by his followers despite all he did for humanity - performing miracles, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, feeding thousands and even raising the dead. And most significant, he sacrificed his life on the cross of Calvary as savior to the world. Where was everyone in Jesus’ time of need when Roman soldiers arrested and held him in custody as they abused him and then put him to death? Except for his family, most were nowhere to be found. And where was the gratitude of those he helped in their time of need, many of whom were in dire straits from the lepers, to the infirmed and
Contributed by Lawrence Lease Americans have grown concerned over the idea that Russians could be hacking and changing the outcome of our democratic elections. For years, the American voter has routinely entered their voting booth and cast their vote for a variety of candidates and issues, without even thinking of some nefarious hidden figure manipulating voting machines. However, that all changed with the news media’s obsession with Russian meddling. Now, states are being peppered with questions about election security from reporters on tight deadlines. Their questions often reflect a complete misunderstanding of voting systems and what safeguards
While driving through Canada, this person was involved in a major accident. By their account, they should have died, but did not. The car was totaled, but only a couple of things were unsalvageable. God sent a compassionate Canadian Mountie to help. He secured her cat and made sure it was cared for. The contents of the car were all protected. A Bible was on the seat of the car and the Mountie contacted a local church. The church helped. Securing belongings, helping get to the United States border and then getting a rental car to get to the final destination. God not only protected this person’s life twice, but provided every need. God is omniscient, all knowing. He knew all would befall this individual and was there to help. God’s omniscience is defined as “the
seek to reinvigorate people’s spiritual connections. For the rabbis-in-training, this summer assignment will also provide an invaluable on-the-ground experience in outreach and the specific challenges of smaller Jewish communities, as well as a unique appreciation for the diverse composition and needs of communities in Alaska. Conceived by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory in the early 1940s, the visitation program has been credited with bolstering and rejuvenating countless Jewish communities and individuals around the world. “The goal is to make the universal message of Judaism accessible and relevant to everyone, in the Valley or elsewhere” says Rabbi Mendy Greenberg, co-founder and
to so many other desperate souls? Sadly, it was largely absent. Even Peter, a disciple of Jesus and supposedly a loyal friend, denied knowing Jesus because he was afraid he may also be led away in chains. So he decided to take the easy way out by denying any association with his lord. Peter›s cowardice was shameful. As I listened to the Reverend Graham, I began to reflect back on my own personal experience as a state legislator. Graham’s words struck a chord as I was able to relate to Jesus› experience. I thought back on how I went through a rough patch when I too was abandoned by many whom I assumed would stick with me in times of trouble, including those who claimed to be friends. My story of course pales in comparison to Jesus, but at least it gave me a greater understanding of what He endured at the hands of the Roman government after experiencing my own personal horror as a target of the U.S. government. While in office, my primary focus was helping people -
are in place to keep them secure. News reporters fight to feed the never-ending news cycle, distorting facts and creating false narratives about Putin, Russian hacking and security flaws in the system. The overall plot line appears that states can’t provide proper security for elections. Many mainstream media outlets are pushing the idea of federal oversight as the answer. An oversight committee is just a political power grab. Experts have agreed that manipulating a presidential election is a good TV plot line, but does not have any real-world leg to stand on. State voting systems are diverse, highly scrutinized and not connected to the internet. Cyber-based attacks on voter registration do not alter the vote
COMMUNITY COMMUNITY&&POLITICS POLITICS PAGE PAGE99
state of having total knowledge, the quality of knowing everything”. For God to be sovereign over His creation of all things, whether visible or invisible, He has to be all knowing. His omniscience is not restricted to any one person in the Godhead - Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all by nature omniscient. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3) “O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4)
and personally rules over all the affairs of the universe - and this includes our personal lives both as individuals and as a local body of believers. God’s sovereignty is a place of rest for the child of God. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) “Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.12 Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)
God is sovereign. He rules over all His creation.
God protected, provided, equipped and strengthened. As long as we rest in God, He will take care of us.
God’s sovereignty means that He is the supreme ruler who immanently
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain 907-715-4001
director of the Mat-Su Jewish Center Chabad-Lubavitch, who sponsored the local Roving Rabbis visitation. The program has seen rabbinical students visit more than 100 countries around the globe and every one of the united states. This year, 350 Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical students have been dispatched to Jewish communities in Asia, Europe, the Americas and beyond. For more information or to request a visit please email email@example.com. About The Sponsoring Organization: Chabad-Lubavitch is a worldwide Jewish movement with a two century old religious philosophical system. Considered to be the most dynamic force in Jewish life today, the organization consists of over 3,500 institutions worldwide, directed by over 4,000 full-time emissaries and a workforce that numbers in the tens of thousands.
my constituents. I decided from day 1 that I would not be a typical politician, playing the game of trading votes to pass bills to justify being re-elected or grabbing as much money as I could from the public trough for neverending projects and funding schemes that add to the size of the bureaucracy. Instead, my emphasis would be assisting individuals. I›m proud that my staff and I helped literally thousands during my seven terms in office (I once figured about 3000 people through the years) on a wide range of challenges such as qualifying for a PFD, resolving a child support or custody matter, helping with an adoption, a medical funding issue or taking care of road safety concerns. The problems were endless, but I chose to make it my duty to help others as I considered it my calling as a public servant - “earning my wings” if you will. When the government lowered its boom eleven years ago and threatened me with decades in prison over ludicrous charges based on twisted
count. The key thing to remember is, your vote is positively secure. False narratives from the media or partisan just adds fuels to the fire of conspiracy theories, but also erodes the safeguard we have in our democratic elections, which is the public’s trust. Failing to respect this process with accurate reporting is a disservice to the American people. The only effect and plausible attack on our elections is not the hacking of votes, but is caused by the manipulation of the American media elite. With a constant stream of breaking news stories that stirs up voter confusion, these attacks and false stories erodes America’s confidence in the cornerstone of our democracy - that is the real crime.
Dedicated to education, morality and acts of charity, and motivated by respect and affection for each individual, the movement has set into motion an astounding array of innovative programs, services and institutions to serve the needs of Jews and non-Jews alike, everywhere. More information on Chabad is available at www.Chabad.org. The annual “Roving Rabbis” student visitation program is a project of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, the movement’s educational arm. More information on the “Roving Rabbis” is available at www.RovingRabbis.org.
facts, deliberately concealed evidence crucial to my case and intimidating witnesses to commit perjury on the stand - all surrounding a lousy hundred bucks - I like Jesus, was taken away in chains and brutalized. But where were the thousands I helped and where was their outcry? Why did they desert me and not come to my defense and protest against the government for dragging me through the mud and making my life miserable? The answer can be found with the disciple, Peter. As with Peter, people were simply too afraid to get involved and found it too troubling to take a stand as they worried they may get burned. But that’s okay, as I understand human nature and long ago forgave them for failing me. It›s now between God and their conscience. Regardless, I would without hesitation help every single person again if I had to start over, as it was the right thing to do. So I have no regrets. If Jesus can forgive, so can I.
Contributed by Cathy Mosher, President of VRWAK Valley Republican Women Of Alaska Meeting 7/20/2017 – 7PM Valley Republican Women of Alaska Matsu Family Restaurant 401 W Parks Hwy. Wasilla FREE Admission The Valley Republican Women of Alaska would like for everyone to join us on July 20th, 2017 at the Matsu Family Restaurant for our meeting. Socializing and ordering of meals begins at around 6:30 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. We will have three presentations on the importance of families. Contact us on the VRWAK Facebook page.
PETS & ANIMALS Contributed by Angie Lewis, President of Alaska Animal Advocates
Recognize lawn and garden dangers: Plant food, fertilizer and insecticides can be lethal for your dog.
Summer should be a time of enjoyment for you and your dog, but all too often this is a time of year when situations arise that can endanger your dog. There are only a few safety practices that need to be followed to ensure you and your dog have a wonderful time this summer.
Lost dogs: Make sure your dog is microchipped and that the contact information is current. In addition, your dog should wear a collar with an identification tag.
Don’t leave your dog in a car - not even with the windows opened. Dogs can’t perspire and have a very hard time cooling off in a hot car. The temperature in a car can rise to 120 degrees in a few minutes. Don’t drive with your dog in the back of a pickup. Your dog is a member of the family and should be treated as such. If you had to suddenly hit the brakes, your dog might literally fly out of your truck bed. Let her sit in the cab with you, or if nothing else, put her in a secured crate in the back of your truck.
Contributed by Tracy Smith, Animal Care Dispatcher Amaretto (A063417) is an eight year old sweetheart who is looking for the perfect human. She is a sensitive girl who is looking for gentle person to love her. Amaretto has a tender and sweet spirit. She would do best in a quieter home without small children who might spook her with their playful chaos. Amaretto likes to hide when she is scared, and even when she is not scared she likes to lay in quiet, small, cozy places to feel safe. But don’t let her shyness fool you... She loves affection and will reward you with perfect purrs. Mat-Su Borough Animal Shelter 907-746-5500
PETS & ANIMALS
Dehydration: Make sure your dog has plenty of water and shade to help her remain cool and hydrated. Exercise: Hiking with your dog is a wonderful experience. Be sure to limit exercise on a really hot day, particularly for older dogs or dogs with thick coats. Provide enough rest time and ample water. Asphalt can be very hot and actually burn your dog’s paws. Lakes: Not all dogs are natural-born swimmers and can easily drown. Monitor your dog to make certain of her skill level as a swimmer. Fleas and ticks: This is not as big a
Contributed by Angie Lewis, President of Alaska Animal Advocates You would never guess that Vanna is six years old! This energetic girl is as animated and silly as a young puppy. Vanna loves people, but would be more successful in a home that doesn’t have young children, simply because of her excitability. Sadly, Vanna had some bad experiences as a younger dog and is therefore frightened of other dogs. With training, she may overcome this fear. Vanna is house-trained, knows basic commands and is very food motivated. To learn more about Vanna, call 841-3173 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
problem in Alaska as it is in other parts of the country. If you use products for fleas and ticks, check with your veterinarian. Some over-the-counter treatments can be toxic, even when used as directed. Summer events: Be mindful of taking your dog to summer events such as concerts, fairs or other crowded places. These can be stressful for some dogs that may run the risk of getting lost. Know your dog and what might be
uncomfortable for her. Other revelry: Some dogs are very frightened of the loud sounds of fireworks and firearms. Dogs are best kept in the house for these celebrations. Some dogs become so stressed that they need medications to help them deal with loud sounds. Dogs can become lost as they try to escape the noise and run away.
PETS & ANIMALS Contributed by Randi Perlman, AWBRC Board Member Wild Bird Wonders 9/23/2017 Alaska Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center Best Western Lake Lucille Inn 1300 W Lake Lucille Dr. Wasilla FREE Admission, Donations Acceptable Alaska Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center (AWBRC) will bring back its almost-annual fall fundraiser, Wild Bird Wonders, on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at the Best Western Lake Lucille Inn in Wasilla.
PETS & ANIMALS
Back by popular demand, this unflappable event features entertainment, hearty appetizers, quick draw artists, out-cry and silent auctions and of course, spotlights our famous and feathery wild bird ambassadors. Come meet our engaging education birds and their handlers, learn about the birds’ history and discover the many ways AWBRC improves the lives of these amazing avians and how you can help as well. It’s an awesome opportunity to view the birds up close and personal, get involved through Roses for Raptors and win a beautiful quilt, all while
enjoying delicious food, delightful music, endearing stories and incredible auction items, including some very delectable desserts… So save the date of September 23th and come join us and our feathered friends as we explore abounding wild bird wonders and have a rousing good time while raising funds for Alaska’s majestic wild birds. If you would like to donate an auction item, or wish to volunteer in the planning or choreography of this event, please contact AWBRC at 892-2927 – we’d welcome you with open wings. This entire event is… For the birds!
COMMUNITY Contributed by Angie Lewis, President of Alaska Animal Advocates Pints For Pups 7/20/2017 – 5PM Alaska Animal Advocates Van’s Dive Bar 1027 E. 5th Ave. Anchorage Tickets: $25 On July 20th from 5pm-8pm, Alaska Animal Advocates invites you to a fun night at Van’s Dive Bar in Anchorage. Have fun and help to promote our
spay and neuter program. Tickets are $25 each and with your ticket, you get to enjoy live music by the Carhartt Brothers, two brews with a commemorative pint glass, hors d’oeuvres and desserts, door prizes and a silent auction. For tickets, call Angie at 841-3173 or purchase at the door.
Contributed by Kelly Marciales Valley Interfaith Action Public Meeting 8/7/2017 – 7PM Trinity Lutheran Church’s Local Organizing Ministry Trinity Lutheran Church FREE Admission
a public meeting on Monday, August 7, 2017 from 7:00pm - 8:00pm to discuss housing concerns in the MatSu Borough and share their research report. The meeting will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church located at 10355 E Palmer-Wasilla Hwy, Palmer, AK 99645. A reception will follow with light refreshments.
Trinity Lutheran Church’s Local Organizing Ministry, a member of Valley Interfaith Action (VIA) will host
Please contact Rev. Diane Krauszer 907) 745-0726 or email@example.com
Tell Senator Murkowski: Vote NO on the health care bill.
Right now, Congress is meeting behind closed doors to force through a health care bill that could mean higher costs and less coverage for Alaskan families. If it passes, you’ll pay more for both premiums and prescriptions and older Americans may not be able to afford to stay in their homes. Worse, your family’s coverage could be taken away altogether.
Call 1-844-833-9667 and tell Senator Murkowski to do what’s right for Alaska families: Vote NO on the health care bill.
Paid for by AARP