Rabbi Mendy Greenberg, Mat-Su Jewish Center
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As the Jewish people prepare for the holiday of Passover commemorating the exodus from Egypt, I would like to touch upon on an interesting phenomena which we find when reading the biblical narrative of the story of exodus. Just after leaving Egypt, Moses gathered the Israelites and spoke to them, not of the promised land or the long walk ahead, but rather he spoke of the duty of parents to educate their children and repeatedly spoke similar messages until his final days. Why the obsession with Education? Because to defend a country we need a strong army, but to defend a civilization we need good schools.
instilled the hope for a brighter future into the lives of countless people in America and across the globe. Especially now with the most recent horrific events that shook us to the core, I think that there may be one idea that can resonate with us all, that which the Rebbe taught, that education, in general, should not be limited to the acquisition of knowledge and preparation for a career, rather the educational system should pay more attention, indeed the main attention, to the building of character. He found it important that we educate with an emphasis on the moral and ethical values that are the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws, which have often been cited as a guarantee of fundamental human rights. On Tuesday, March 27th, Americans will once again be marking Education & Sharing Day, USA. This day was established by the United States Congress in 1979 and signed by the President each year on the Rebbe’s birth date, in tribute to his commitment to teaching the next generation of Americans the values that make our country strong.
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This day provides Americans the opportunity to pause and recognize our responsibility to ensure that our young people have the foundation necessary to lead lives rich in purpose and fulfilment.
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The great leader and teacher, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (above), taught that every individual, and in fact, every individual action, has an impact on the entire universe. The Rebbe emphasized the importance of education and good character, and
On Monday March 12th at the Wasilla City Council meeting, and on Tuesday March 13th at the Palmer City Council meeting, Mayors Bert Cottle and Edna DeVries both signed and read proclamations declaring Tuesday, March 27th as Education and Sharing Day.
Next week, Tuesday March 20th, at the assembly meeting of the MatSu Borough, Mayor Vern Halter will declare the Education and Sharing Day for the entire Burrough. This Day will also be celebrated by the Mat-Su School District, directed by Superintendent Dr. Monica Goyette. By recognizing this day as Education and Sharing day by our school district and local government, it is a call to all citizens of the Mat-Su Borough to reflect on the vital role of education in preparing our youth to be the leaders of tomorrow; with an emphasis on inspiring them of their moral and ethical obligation to serve a cause greater than self and by the anchor of virtues, including courage and compassion. I am very proud of the resolve of our community leaders to instill in the young minds and hearts of our children, the empowering message that one act of goodness and kindness can tip the scales to usher in an era of world peace. May the Mat-Su Valley serve as a beacon of light for all people of all walks of life.
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COMMUNITY Contributed by K.T. McKee It is estimated that Margaret Elaine “Pegge” McDonald took in more than 50 children who needed homes over a 50-year span in Alaska. At age 92 on March 3rd, she finally “went home” herself after a 15-month battle with lung cancer at her “happily ever after home” on Bodenburg Loop. A loving home was important to her, after all. When she was less than 2 years old, her own father put her in foster care during a contentious custody fight with her mother. A couple of years later, after her mother had gotten her back, her mother left her to fend for herself in a rented hotel room in Seattle on New Year’s Eve. She survived on sour milk and dry oatmeal before she was found in the room a week later by a housekeeper, her family said as they gathered at her Butte home a week after her passing. That hotel employee took her to her own family’s posh Seattle home where she learned proper dining etiquette and how to behave in public. Four years later at age 8, she was bounced back to her biological father after he’d remarried to a woman with three of her own children. “Of course, my mother was not the favored child,” Pegge’s daughter, Peggelee Kendro, said. “I’m sure she struggled with that for many years.”
who knew exactly what he wanted,” Pegge’s granddaughter, Calla Christensen, said. Peggelee figured they were meant for one another. “It was a match made in heaven because Roger is very quiet and my mother was very wild,” Peggelee said with a laugh. “So, they evened each other out. He worshipped her.” It was after Pegge married Roger McDonald 49 years ago that they began taking in children from McLaughlin Youth Center and those with developmental disabilities from Hope Cottage. “My daughter, Fanetta, has cerebral palsy and she took in a lot of children that did have cerebral palsy or needed individualized care,” Peggelee recalled.
And although she managed to graduate from high school with nearly perfect grades at age 16 in 1942, she was run out of the house as a newlywed when she became pregnant with her first child, John. “After that, the state took custody of my brother, John, at birth because of her age until she turned 21,” Kendro said. But despite her rough younger years, the former mill worker, Drake Hotel elevator operator and Navy ship welder kept moving forward, landing in a small cabin on the river outside Cordova. She hauled her own water and floated barrels of fuel down the river to her house. “She worked as a waitress for our father, Jim Christensen, who had a bakery and restaurant there. She ended up marrying him and ran that place with him,” Peggelee said, adding that the two later opened another bakery in Eagle River after having three children together. After Jim died from a heart attack at work at age 56 in 1967, the 40-yearold mother of four got a job at the bakery in the Carrs store and got to know one particular customer who’d come in regularly to see her. “Every time he would come in, he would get himself one little roast and one little loaf of bread, so she noticed he must have been a single man
that she raised so many children who were disadvantaged. She gave them a lot of love. At the end of her life, she said she wished she could have saved all the children in the world like that.” Pegge’s family credits Hospice with not only helping extend her life, but helping keep her strong and busy. Hospice Home Health Aide, Jenny Klink, said she loved Pegge’s stories and the history many people don’t hear about. She was with her on her 92nd birthday, February 21st, surrounded by 92 red roses Pegge’s son, Kelly Michael Christensen, got for her.
Fanetta, now 49, said her grandmother, Pegge, always instilled in her the confidence she needed in life. “She would tell me I could do whatever I wanted to do and to not let my disability hold me back,” Fanetta said, sharing a story about a man with one hand that her grandmother had introduced her to, who taught her at 2 years old to tie her shoe with one hand. Peggelee said her daughter had applied for about 40 jobs at the Anchorage School District and had only been hired part-time to fill in for absent employees every now and then. Pegge taught her to never give up on her dreams. “Finally, just before her grandma died, she got to tell her that they finally hired her as a regular employee,” Peggelee said with pride. “So, now she does the job every day and the district staff are so amazed that she actually shows up.”
DAUGHTER, PEGGELEE KENDRO, WITH HER MOTHER’S FAVORITE FAMILY PHOTO OF FIVE GENERATIONS ON THE WALL AND HER MOTHER’S MOTHER WHO ABANDONED PEGGE IN A HOTEL ROOM AT AGE 4 BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND A WEEK LATER.
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PEGGE MCDONALD WITH HER HOSPICE HOME HEALTH AIDE, JENNY KLINK, ON PEGGE’S 92ND BIRTHDAY, FEBRUARY 21. THE 92 ROSES WERE SENT BY HER SON, KELLY MICHAEL CHRISTENSEN.
“She told me she started smoking when she was younger only because it was the smokers who got the breaks at work,” said Jenny, who lives in the Soapstone area. “She lived it up until the end. She even flipped me off a couple of days before she died after I’d said something sarcastic to her. But I learned so much from her. She was a very special lady.” Pegge’s grandson, Kelly David Christensen, said from his home in Utah that he has very fond memories of picking berries with his grandmother and shucking peas on her porch.
Pegge McDonald left her family and workers from Mat-Su Regional Home Health and Hospice many treasured legacies.
“She’d always say, ‘What can’t be cured, must be endured.’ That will always be forever with me,” Kelly said as he got a little choked up.
Her granddaughter, Angel Strik, shared via Facetime how much her grandmother loved to share her own knowledge with others.
And she endured her illness right to the end as her husband, Roger, - who doesn’t get around very well - brought her breakfast in bed every morning. And she made it to their 49th wedding anniversary on March 1st.
“There were a lot of things she had to learn on her own, usually the hard way, and I feel like whether talking about gardening or prizes she won at the fair with her vegetables or the canning that she did and the baking, nothing ever went to waste because she was raised in the Depression, so there was never even one berry left on a bush that couldn’t be put to good use,” Angel said from her home in Indiana. “In January of 2017, they gave my grandma only about four weeks to live and we were all devastated. They called in Hospice because they thought there was nothing else they could do for her.” But Pegge had other plans. She had much more wisdom to pass on.
“When I talked to her on her anniversary, she kept saying she was just so tired,” Angel remembers. “I kept telling her it was okay to just go to sleep. She kept telling me she loved me, and I knew that was going to be the last time I talked to her.” Her granddaughter, Calla, who wonders if the fluffy little bird that landed on her stoop was sent by her grandmother, said she will never forget her last words to her. “She kept telling me how excited she was to go home. ‘I can’t wait to go home,’ she’d say.”
Not only did Angel make a video of her grandmother giving instructions on how to make the perfect pie crust, but she taught a couple of Hospice workers how to make pies, as well. “When she found out a Hospice helper had never made a pie before, she was dumbfounded,” Angel recalled with a laugh. “She had her come over on her day off, so she could teacher her how to make a pie. She always wanted to be sure her knowledge was shared. She would teach me how the flowers worked. Like how the poppies closed when it rained. She left me with lots of gifts like that. ” Hospice volunteer, Kathy Roberts, stayed with her for four hours at a time and was one of those who made pies with Pegge. “We did a lot of things together,” the Lazy Mountain resident said. “The most remarkable thing about her is
PEGGE MCDONALD’S FAMILY AT HER BUTTE HOME RECENTLY. FROM BACK LEFT: DAUGHTER, PEGGELEE, HOLDING CELL PHONES WITH GRANDCHILDREN, ANGEL CHRISTENSEN AND KELLY DAVID CHRISTENSEN, ON FACETIME; PEGGE’S SON, WILLIE CHRISTENSEN; WILLIE’S WIFE, “T.C.”; PEGGE’S GRANDDAUGHTER, FANETTA HIGLEY; FANETTA’S HUSBAND, KENNEY. FRONT ROW LEFT: PEGGE’S HUSBAND, ROGER MCDONALD; DAUGHTER-IN-LAW, GINGER CHRISTENSEN; PEGGE’S SON, KELLY MICHAEL CHRISTENSEN, HOLDING PEGGE’S FAVORITE FAMILY PHOTO; AND GRANDDAUGHTER, CALLA CHRISTENSEN, WITH PEGGE’S POMERANIAN.
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POLITICS ADULT PIANO LESSONS Hitchcock Piano Studio ........ 745-3134 APPAREL & CLOTHING All Seasons Clothing ........ 357-0123 D’s Tuxedo ........ 707-6585 Mimi’s Closet ........ 376-2661 Mila’s Alterations ........ 830-8339 ART & CRAFTS Artists Uncorked… 982-2675 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 Blues……..745-2233 COOKWARE All I Saw Cookware ........ 376-3177 CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT Artists Uncorked ........ 982-2675 EDUCATION Learning Essentials ........ 357-3990 FLOWERS & GIFTS Flower Flingers ........ 745-5550 FOOTWEAR Northern Comfort ........ 376-5403 HEALTH & WELLNESS All About Herbs ........ 376-8327 Invest in Yourself Fitness .... 830-6072 HOME DÉCOR Peak Boutique ........ 746-3320 PIZZA Humdingers Pizza ........ 745-7499 PRINT SERVICES The UPS Store ........ 376-6245 RADIO 95.5 The Pass ........ 631-0877 REPAIR, RESTORATION Comtronics ........ 373-2669 Premier Electric ...... 357-4220 S&S Drilling ...... 746-0225 SMOKE SHOPS Alaska Pipe Dreams ........ 746-1500 Light It Up Head Shop…. 745-5483 SPECIALTY GIFTS Alaska Midnite Scents ........ 357-7364 Non-Essentials ......... 745-2258 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
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Contributed by Wes Keller After the Florida school massacre, a caller to the Mike Porcaro Show (AM 650) pointed out that if we had a voucher system, parents could send their children to safe schools! This is indeed a valid consideration among the plethora of other solutions being tossed in the air by everyone from President Trump all the way down to children being used as political pawns. I view Mike as bright, thoughtful, and respectful – a friend. But, I disagree with his aside comment. It is a big stretch to declare, “We all know that vouchers are unconstitutional in Alaska!” We do not know any such thing, even if it is an arguable point. Indeed, constitutionality should always be a valid question, but raising the question is not an answer! “Legal opinions” are used to debate legal questions. By definition, an “opinion” can be biased or draw incorrect conclusions. One legal opinion on this issue declares education vouchers “unconstitutional”, citing an AK Supreme Court decision (Sheldon Jackson College v. State, 1979). This case law narrowly applies to one specific private school and may or may not have bearing on what happens if the court were to decide constitutionality of a statewide voucher program. Legal opinions have no real authority beyond their power to influence a debate. A voucher is money equitably allocated directly to parents enabling their choice of school, public or private. Vouchers aren’t a new concept and have an impressive track record for saving money and increasing student proficiency scores – in other states. The recent slaughter of 17 students and staff in Florida has taken center stage of public attention. National outrage is forcing us to reconsider our options as a society! This tragedy is calling public school security policies into question; and, more importantly, it is reminding parents and grandparents across America of our responsibility and inherent right to defend and protect our children. It is totally valid and rational for parents to reconsider whether they should enroll their children in public school! Current Alaskan statutes affirm this freedom, but they stop short of providing equitable per student funding when pursuing a school choice option. School vouchers should indeed be a prominent issue in the smorgasbord of suggested solutions currently being tried in the media-sponsored court of public opinion. We have been hearing a lot about arming teachers, securing facilities, banning guns, age limits for gun ownership, etc... It’s time to
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stop being pre-occupied exclusively with our second amendment rights and remember we also must uphold parental school choice rights. A parent’s visceral passion to protect their young (man or beast) affirms natural law. A voucher option would increase school safety and strengthen families: • Parental choice would likely put more children in smaller schools where mentally unstable students or staff would be identified. In a small school, everyone is more likely to be known by everybody else. • Smaller schools would be less likely to be targets of mass shooters. • Because parents would choose safe schools, market pressures would incentivize creation of more secure schools in the long run. • Check out www.edchoice.org. There are also legal opinions confirming the constitutionality of vouchers. They have actually been tested in other courts, including the US Supreme Court. One compelling point highlights the significance of one word – direct (as opposed to indirect). Article 7, section 1 of AK Constitution reads, “...No money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution.” Other states, with similarly-worded constitutions, have determined a check written to parents (a voucher) would directly benefit a child – not the religious or private educational institution the parents choose. The US Supreme Court endorsed this interpretation as constitutional. Some state constitutions also ban indirect benefit. Alaska’s does not, arguably making the voucher option available! Those who would tout their anti-voucher opinions are quick to predict a court challenge that may or may not be the case. I believe justice and common sense would prevail! We must not allow media “noise” to drive us to demand even more government control of families. Remember, other solutions from DC that have been proven to be expensive and counterproductive – such as the national outrage that caused us to demand and accept President Bush’s TSA solution. Just imagine other potential federal “solutions” – maybe an ESA (Education Security Administration)? Our existing laws already make it clear that killing children is way outside legal limits and will predictably and justly yield very harsh penalties. It would be far better, safer, and more cost effective to pre-emptively affirm parental rights because they have both the natural ability and the passion to make good choices for their children. We do not need to invite another government layer into our family decisions. Wes Keller | www.WesKeller.com
Contributed by Rep. David Eastman If you want to know why our state legislature is dysfunctional today, simply take a look at the first decision a legislator often makes before heading down to Juneau. It is not whether you will fly or drive down to Juneau. And it is not a question of where you will live when you get there. It’s not even about whether your family will come with you. It’s a question of membership: “Are you in or are you out?” If you pledge undying loyalty to the legislature’s fraternity, you are in. If you insist on making your own decisions on how you will vote, you are out. Being in the fraternity means access to tangible power; you are assigned more employees to work under you and to help you do your work as a legislator, you are given a larger office, you are often put in charge of a committee, you receive VIP access to the state travel fund and you are invited to be “at the table” at those closed door meetings that never take place (at least officially). It’s the fast track to an easier life as a legislator. In most other states, legislators divide into teams by party - not so here in Alaska (Note: In those other states, it may well be illegal for a legislator to try to sell their vote in advance in exchange for special bennies - not so here in Alaska). In Alaska, at least in recent years, we divide into teams based on whether a legislator chooses to join the fraternity. At one point, not many years ago, every Republican legislator was a member of the fraternity. The cost for joining the fraternity is simple: a promise to vote with the fraternity when called upon to do so, and to approve the state budget endorsed by the fraternity. No matter what’s in it. As long as a majority of legislators are willing to join the fraternity, and renew their membership each year, the dysfunction in Juneau may happily continue (at least happily from the perspective of the fraternity). But three years ago, the dysfunction that has haunted our legislature for so many years began to come apart. First, Rep. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) stood with her district against the fraternity’s 2015 budget boondoggle and had her membership in the fraternity revoked. Then Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) did the same, followed shortly thereafter by Sen.
Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer). The price of membership had become too high, and one Mat-Su legislator after another decided that representing the voters took precedence over loyalty to the fraternity. That unraveling has now picked up speed. Recently, Sen. Mike Shower (R-Wasilla) took the next step by declining to join the fraternity in the first place. Two years ago, all nine Mat-Su legislators had pledged to join the fraternity. Today, eight Mat-Su legislators have either declined to join or turned in their membership card when the fraternity asked for more than they could give. The fraternity continues to exist, but with your help it will be formally put to rest on Election Day this August. What will your legislator (or your favorite candidate) do to keep increases in government spending in check? Ask them. If they are still entertaining the idea of pledging to the fraternity, the answer is “probably not much”. Why is that? Because the very existence of the fraternity is based on convincing legislators to vote for budgets that they themselves do not believe in. No matter what part of the state you live in, you have every right to demand better from your elected officials. Today, legislators from both parties are pursuing ways to use the permanent fund to increase current levels of spending. If they continue down that path, they will be doing right by the lobbyists and by the government contractors (who hire the lobbyists). But what about all the Alaskans who don’t have a lobbyist on payroll? What about those Alaskans for whom life will never involve getting a government contract? And from whom, by the end of this year, the state will have taken $4,000 (per person) from raids on the PFD alone? Will they give members of the fraternity a free pass on Election Day? We’ll know soon enough - it’s less than six months ‘til Election Day. Rep. David Eastman has served in the Alaska State House representing the Mat-Su since 2017. He ran on a platform of fighting for genuine conservative reform, fiscally and socially, and remains committed to delivering on that promise.
POLITICS / OPINION Contributed by Lance Roberts Alaska is a strange state when it comes to ethics and integrity. It’s talked about a lot, but it’s all talk. We got a few more examples recently. Nope, I’m not going to talk about the two Dems who have just quit the House because of the charges brought against them or the way the House Majority handled it. I’m going to look at the “conservatives” in this article, examining both recent and some historical incidents. On January 31st, the House voted to remove Representative David Eastman from the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics on a 31-6 vote. There was no hearing and no due process. A subcommittee of the Ethics Committee (read: just a few legislators) brought forward the charge, and the House committed one of the most shameful acts ever done in that body. No proof was presented and no defense was allowed. Representative Eastman was permitted only to object and make a statement on the floor. While a few conservative legislators voted to support him in his request for a hearing, the majority voted to remove him from that committee without a hearing. Their behavior was inexcusable since even in the worst circumstance, justice demands that due process be followed. It’s also blindingly obvious that he couldn’t have been guilty. He was accused of revealing confidential information in the spring of last year, yet wasn’t in a position to have any confidential information shared with him until much later, in August. Ultimately, it appears that the liberals and moderates in the House were getting back at Representative Eastman for his conservative stances and votes. On February 1st, a letter was published from the Legislative HR director accusing Senator David Wilson of retaliation against a staffer whom the Senator had been accused of harassing. The staffer had never filed a complaint. An investigation found that Senator Wilson was innocent of that charge. The letter claimed he retaliated because he spoke against how Speaker Edgmon was handling the situation, and that the Speaker should step down. The HR director then stated that if the Speaker was to do that he’d lose a staffing position, and that might end up being that staffer. So somehow the possibility of that event meant that Wilson was retaliating. Wouldn’t that mean that when the Speaker asked Representative Fansler to resign for hitting a woman (and he admitted that had happened) that since his staff would be out of a job that he was harassing Fansler’s staff? But
Contributed by Larry Lease America is still reeling from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre that left 17 dead. The main discussion has turned from mental health to gun control. Shooting after shooting, lawmakers continually refuse to pass sensible gun laws. The main reason is the National Rifle Association (NRA). Late-night host, John Oliver, describes the NRA as, “…like PETA, but for guns, and effective.” The organization keeps lawmakers in check, not only through contributions, but by effectively organizing their members to flood their lawmakers with phone calls demanding they do nothing about our porous gun laws. Numerous lawmakers continue to explain that there is no evidence indicating whether gun laws prevent shootings, while on the other hand refusing to fund studies to investigate. One of the major funders for academic research, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has been hamstrung in studying how best to prevent gun violence for the last 20 years. The NRA had language inserted into the CDC’s budget, stating, “None of the funds available… may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”
there’s more: The director also stated that since Wilson claimed the alleged incident didn’t happen, that itself was retaliation. So now just proclaiming your innocence is retaliation. Again, another travesty of justice. In this state, it’s well known that APOC, the Alaska Public Offices Commission, is primarily used as a weapon to take out people who might miss some letter of the law or could be perceived as missing it. What is not as well-known is how weaponized the Ethics rules and committees are in the Legislature. Fear of the Ethics Committee has prevented one conservative senator from making a pro-life pledge. He’s afraid that the Ethics Committee will come down on him for pledging his support for the issue of life. Last September, Representative Tammie Wilson was brought up on ethics charges because she had mailed postcards to constituents on an air quality issue. The so-called Ethics Committee accused her of using state resources. As Representative Wilson pointed out, she didn’t. However, she did admit to the mistake of putting the LIO return address on some postcards. But guess what? She wasn’t allowed to speak to the committee. Again, no due process was allowed by this weaponized committee. Finally, one more incident comes to mind. Half a dozen years back, a very conservative man from Stony River, Alan Dick, was in the Legislature. Being an educator, he was put in charge of the Education Committee. While in that position, he held off an incredibly liberal agenda that was undermining education. Representative Dick was so effective at holding back the Common Core bill that the speaker of the House, Mike Chenault, re-routed it to other committees to get it passed. At the end of his term, Representative Dick was brought up on ethics charges for doing things like sleeping in his office and other inconsequential items, and then fined a lot of money. This was revenge by the liberals and moderates for someone standing on conservative principles. What you’ll find is that a lot of the APOC and ethics charges are brought against true conservatives with the help of those who only pretend to be conservative. In the end, like with all political issues, it’s easy to determine who is who by the way they vote; that is, when you actually have a vote to see. Otherwise, you have to dig a little to find out what’s going on. True conservatives are the ones who stand on principle, speak truth to power, and work and vote for what is right. In this upcoming election year, please truly vet your candidates. Find out if they’re really willing to stand on principle.
Because of a 1997 amendment to a congressional bill, the CDC can’t conduct any research that might advocate or promote gun control. As a result, the CDC funding for gun violence studies has dropped 96 percent in 20 years. The NRA has also prevented the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from having an electronically searchable database for tracing the origins of firearms, forcing the agency to instead rely on paper records. The NRA has been very successful for several years, despite having only a membership of 5 million. The NRA’s entire set-up is focused on rallying its members to oppose even the slightest thing related to guns. And the gun control side is not nearly so organized, nor are they consistent about it. People get all riled up in the wake of a mass shooting and then it dies off a few weeks later, whereas the NRA is constantly lobbying for no gun control. The NRA has been focused on gun control before those against it have even thought about it. If and when a proposal you like is on the table, you’re going to have to make all those calls again. Because, remember, it doesn’t take much to outnumber the NRA. But if you want to see serious changes, you actually have to show up every day.
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Contributed by J.R.Myers, Constitution Party Once holding incredible riches, potential and promise, Alaska now finds itself in an existential political, moral and financial storm. There is a fundamental disconnect, a widening chasm between the ruling political elite and the rest of the population. Power mongering and greed have replaced public service and civic virtue in the halls of the isolated and arrogant Capitol of Juneau. Collusion between lobbyists, politicians and the media has driven Alaska far beyond established boundaries and nearly over a cliff from which it may not recover. Alaska is close to becoming a failed state. Well over 1% of the population, or about 8,500 people fled the state in 2017, leading to an actual population decline. The state has been in a worsening recession with an unemployment rate of 7.3% as of 12/2017. The permanent fund dividend (PFD), the people’s share of Alaska’s mineral wealth, has been recklessly tampered with by the governor and legislature for two years in a row. Billions of anticipated dollars have been withheld from Alaskans, and thus the Alaskan economy. This was one of the worst economic moves possible, which has deepened and prolonged Alaska’s Great Recession. This was predicted, and was totally avoidable. Now Alaska faces a worsening crisis, manufactured with full bipartisan cooperation. Instead of taking the opportunity to right-size government, Alaska’s corrupt political elite have decided to double down on the people. They seek to confiscate more and more private wealth to continue to fund bloated state government. As anticipated, they are proposing statewide sales and income taxes, as well as implementing and raising a myriad of other local and state fees. Alaska’s corrupt political elite aim to take care of their cronies, regardless of the fallout on average Alaskans. There is growing anger from the people, who witness the political elite rapidly plundering the inheritance of future generations to satisfy their current lusts. Alaska, once a stronghold of liberty, has clearly lost its way. There is a growing distrust between the people and the Alaskan government. Bill Walker has the lowest popularity rating of any state chief executive in the nation with a 26% approval rating as of 1/2018. Perhaps this is because he has twice seized the bulk of the PFD, with collusion from the Alaska Legislature, as well as corporate, media and globalist interests. Those larcenous acts alone have greatly increased the severity of Alaska’s recession by withholding
billions of dollars from the people of Alaska and the Alaskan economy. Alaska’s Golden Goose, the PFD, was once a globally envied model of citizen ownership of resources and wise economic policy. It was designed to be a perpetual economic engine producing larger and larger eggs. Now, the PFD has been gutted by the farmyard foxes, and is about to be ravenously consumed, feathers, beak, feet and all. The people are invited to watch this depraved feeding frenzy. Years of reckless bipartisan fiscal and public policies have fostered expansive local and state governments. In 2016, it was estimated that Alaska expended combined state/federal funds of $14,290.00 per capita, the highest rate in the nation by far. Yet, despite all the massive public spending, education and health results in Alaska routinely rank at the bottom nationally, while crime ranks at the top. Real lives and opportunities are lost and destroyed as a direct result of the continued implementation of such misguided public policy. Justice and the Rule of Law have eroded as a result of leaders ignoring and deriding the Constitution rather than truly keeping their oaths to uphold the rule of law while serving the public with integrity. There is no longer any sense that the government is serving the best interests of the public. Like wicked swamp puppets, our leaders have emulated the worst of Washington D.C. politics. They have brazenly usurped authority, created a protected enclave in Juneau for themselves and set into motion a cascading effect of statewide destruction. All this in a vain attempt to satisfy their lust for power and control. True government oversight and accountability is practically nonexistent, except for the Alaska Constitution Party, and what I call our “Tundra Coalition” allies. There are hopeful signs that Alaskans are waking and taking action. The Constitution Party was able to place its presidential nominee, Darrell Castle, on the Alaskan ballot in 2016 via petition. The Alaska ballot is where the Constitution Party ticket received its highest vote percentage in the nation. Defenders of the Constitution must remain strong and united, regardless of party affiliation. The Alaska Constitution Party will continue to uphold a high standard. The ACP, and its allies in the Tundra Coalition, will remain the impetus for true political correction and reform in Alaska. In the Land of the Midnight Sun, freedom loving Alaskans can, and must, choose to act as catalysts of restoration
POLITICS / OPINION
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their story, not mine. If they do it again, I will arrest for trespassing and violating my privacy (Alaska law).
Contributed by Tom Braund, Senate E Appointee Withdrawn Information is fungible. Don’t give in to the press’ demands and you’re toast - they think. They don’t run up against many who have a pretty decent foundation in civics, history and law or one with a heckuva lot more life experience and integrity individually than they have collectively. Freedom of the press is for individuals, not organizations. The corporate “press” has no “right” to break ANY laws. Channel 2 News trespassed on my clearly posted property uninvited to do
The media may ask a public figure questions, which I am under no obligation to answer. Don’t answer, they roast you with lies and invented scenarios. Answer and they probably will roast you with lies and invented scenarios if you are 1. Christian, 2. patriotic and/or 3. honest. Once you withdraw, you’re no longer a public figure. I am Christian, patriotic and honest; the grounds for their War on Tom. They could not intimidate a Marine or shoo me away, as they like you to think they have. Why I really withdrew has to do with a principle out of The Human Being Operator’s Manual (Bible): Relationships are more important than institutions.
through Darwin Peterson, not the governor) in early morning. My intent: Do what’s best for Alaskans, come what may. Within a couple of hours, my friend’s desperate need became apparent to me. She had nobody else who would “be there” for her since the State withdrew its long-supplied assistance. She tried to get me to continue with the appointment. I refused because a person is not one to be thrown into the gutter when helping is uncomfortable or inconvenient and no other “duty” supersedes. I could not be both in Juneau and available to her need, simultaneously. Hence, my decision a few hours later to withdraw. There is nothing more to my decision.
February 14, 2018, I accepted the governor’s appointment (offered
The press may have a field day with this; don’t believe a word they say. Nat Herz of the Anchorage Daily News deals quite well in lies and backstabbing. I get
of love for Him and for His glory. You must be born again. That’s the starting point. A person is either walking in the flesh (Humanism/lawlessness) or walking in the Spirit (Submission to God/God’s Law), and it is impossible to walk in the Spirit until you are born again, brought from death unto life and made a new creation by God Himself. God’s plan is to redeem sinful men through the propitiatory death burial
and resurrection of the sinless Son of God, Jesus the Messiah. It is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to Scripture alone... for the Glory of God alone. Because God loved the world, He gave His Son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life. It is by grace, through faith, a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. When we see our sin, and see His holiness, and
truth from Suzanne Downing of Must Read Alaska and Joshua Fryfogle of The People’s Paper. The establishment press made libelous statements and twisted three of my Facebook entries to look like evil. Not one word of evil is in them. One was about a relationship. Another was about a US senator who turned on Alaskans and her duty. The third obviously is a much circulating Internet joke. Governor Bill Walker’s administration, without asking me one question, took the media’s lead and published that they didn’t know of these bad things prior to appointing me. I will publish more detailed followups on Facebook as No Middle Ground: Part 2, etc., as I am able. Alaskans, ask for specifics at www. facebook.com/tom.braund.3. Please identify.
Contributed by Rick Small, Abolitionist Society of Anchorage & Mat-Su Valley Saving babies is NOT what drives us. Followers of Christ are driven by obedience to God as the expression
turn from shaking our fist in His face and saying, “You’re not the boss of me!” and turn to Him... He causes us to be born again. As born-again ones, what is our highest goal? Why are we here? What is our chief end?
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COMMUNITY & EVENTS Contributed by Mary Ann Johnson Spring Cystic Fibrosis Bazaar 4/21/2018 – 10AM Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Career & Technical High School 2472 N Seward Meridian Pkwy. FREE Admission The Spring Cystic Fibrosis Bazaar will take place at Mat-Su Career & Technical High School on Saturday, April 21st, from 10AM to 4PM. The bazaar will feature handmade crafts, Alaskan-made products, local businesses and silent auction items, from more than 80 vendors. There will be a variety of fresh, warm homemade soups, baked potato bar, nachos, snacks and beverages.
I have been coordinating fundraisers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the past 17 years. My involvement and passion for fundraising for this organization is very personal, having lost three siblings to the disease. In my years of fundraising, I have met many Alaskans living with the disease, as well as the families, friends and neighbors of people with cystic fibrosis. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those affected by the disease with the end goal of finding a cure. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. There is no cure. The efforts of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, using fundraising dollars to their maximum ability, have helped improve the quality
MAT-SU VALLEY, ALASKA
and length of life for those suffering from the disease. In 1974, when my sister passed away at age 6, that was life expectancy for someone with CF. Now, average life expectancy is around age 40 and about half of those living with CF are over the age of 18. Our fundraising efforts are paying off, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The CF Bazaar is free and open to the public. It is a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation so please come out and support the cause. The silent auction will have lots of amazing items, some donated by the vendors and some from other community businesses. Money raised from vendor fees, silent auction, food table and other donations will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. You won’t want to miss out on the fun! If you are interested in participating as a vendor or would like to make a
donation to the silent auction, please contact me. You can also help by visiting the bazaar’s Facebook page and sharing the event. Please like the page, share it often and bring your friends and family out to shop and support the cause. CONTACT INFORMATION: Event Coordinator: Mary Ann Johnson Phone/Text: 907-841-6892 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ CysticFibrosisBazaar
PETS & ANIMALS
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COMMUNITY & EVENTS
SPORTS & COMMUNITY Contributed by Jaida Gough, Boom Town Derby Dames Boom Town Derby Dames are set to host a Harry Potter-themed roller derby tournament, April 7, 2018 at the Menard Sports Complex. Before the games start, skaters will be sorted into different teams: Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. The Sorting Ceremony takes place at 5pm, and audience members are encouraged to watch! This family-friendly event will also have non-roller skating activities in Diagon Alley for younger audience members to participate in, and oodles of Harry Potter merchandise will be available for purchase! Boom Town will also be
offering non-alcoholic butterbeer. Fans can be part of the action by paying to cast spells to benefit their favorite team! A popular spell is buying the Golden Snitch, where a skater dressed in all gold is sent onto the track and all players on the track try to hit her out for bonus points. Skaters are also encouraged to change their regular derby name into something with a Harry Potter theme. For example, “Breakyo Mouthfoy”, “Super Sirius”, “Granger Zone”, “CrookShank You” and “Roller Dobby” are names that have been chosen in past years. This event only happens once every two years, and you don’t want to miss out!
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