Fall Blues

I’m really having a hard time getting motivated right now and I’m sure the lack of posts show.  Sorry.  We have been having more bright sunny weather than we deserve here in little ol’ Yakutat,  but it hasn’t helped to motivate me much.  At least we still have no snow yet.  Other parts of the country are getting buried,  while Alaska is balmy and beautiful.  I suggested my family move north to get away from the cold weather down south…

I’m having a major writer’s block this fall.  I was asked by the editor of a regional newspaper to write a weekly column.  He said it would be great to reach more people and stretch my writing skills.  Unfortunately,  the idea seems to have killed my writing enthusiasm.  Normally,  I have no trouble babbling to you, since we are all friends and you have been along for our journey.  Through all our bumps and bruises…  But thinking about what to write to a completely different crowd has really stopped my creative juices entirely.

I hope to break through this funk soon though.  We’ll see.  I’m back to constructing though.  It has been since April since I did anything substantial on the hangar.  Once the fly shop opened again for spring steelhead,  then we rolled into the summer commercial fishing season and fall close-out and hunting,  my plate is relatively clean.  I lack the excuses,  but also the motivation.  Oh well.

We poured the concrete stem wall at the back of the hangar,  for the new water supply/utility room,  hallway and stairwell.  I’m out of the needed 2×6′s and sheetrock to build the walls,  but there are plenty of little things to catch up on.  I’m still hoping to have the 4 new retail shops ready and available by spring (a year late I might add).  One person seriously interested in a shop – a retail seafood shop and specialty food store.  It always struck me as strange that you can’t find amazing seafood to buy in a place like Yakutat,  but maybe by summer we can change that!  The local spot prawns are literally to die for on the rare occasion I can get any.  I’ll keep you posted on whether this will actually happen.  I hope it does for my own selfish shellfish sake!

More tomorrow,  when I force myself to post something with a little more thought.  I just figured you deserved a little more of an update than I have been providing.

Happy Veterans Day

No BBQ’s or parades here in sunny Yakutat today,  but all our veterans are in our thoughts and prayers today (as they are in all our days).  Thank you!

PA250019

This past summer,  my younger cousin John Miller (not to be confused with the Tom Hanks character in Saving Private Ryan) lost his final battle with cancer,  leaving behind a wife and very young daughter.  John signed up and served in the army through the 90′s,  but re-upped after 9/11 and served again in Iraq.  A neat guy that I really wanted to have up here,  but we didn’t make it happen in time.  Another reminder not to let opportunities pass us by.  Sometimes,  you run out of opportunities.

We'll miss this honorable young man

We’ll miss this honorable young man

John in Harm's Way

John in Harm’s Way

It was a beautiful sunny day today,  but the frost didn’t want to melt off the wings.  I needed to fly out to the Italio to pick up another veteran out on his moose hunt.  Unfortunately he didn’t have a moose to fill the plane,  but he still understood and appreciated the glorious day out in paradise.  On our way back to town,  we circled about a dozen moose (mostly cows) all over the forelands.  Oh well.  4 more days till the season closes out beyond the Dangerous River.

On my way out there,  I spotted a green glowing orb on the beach.  Circled around and confirmed it was a glass ball out on Blacksand Spit.  Carefully landed,  then ran up the beach to retrieve my find.  This is the first time I have seen a glass ball from the air since getting the plane.  Lots of the local pilots beachcomb with their small tail-draggers,  but my nose-wheel 206 is a little big and clumsy to be out landing willy-nilly on soft sandy beaches.  Fortunately it was solid at this spot and I didn’t have to walk home.

Worth the risk of losing my plane to the tide in soft sand?

Worth the risk of losing my plane to the tide in soft sand?

We even had a good day in the fly shop today!  Had two guys come in from Juneau and buy 5 flies between them.  Hey,  any sale is a good day this time of year.  Also made a phone sale for a guy in MN.  He had been searching the world over for the Sage 2080 reel that was discontinued.  GREAT reel for the price and we happened to have one for him.  Never been to Alaska – let alone Yakutat – but we came up on his web search.  I love the freedom of the internet.  It allows my tiny little shop in po-dunk Yakutat to complete on an even playing field with the big boys.

Speaking of which,  I was sent a bunch of posters from some political action group trying to “sell” us on the “Internet Fairness Tax”.  Remember,  no law with the word “fairness” in the title is anything close to “fair”.  And yesterday,  the President took time out of his busy schedule to push the FCC to meddle and regulate the internet as if it is a 1950′s telephone utility.  That’ll make the internet better for all,  right?

http://www.realcleartechnology.com/2014/11/11/net_neutrality_public_utilities_aren039t_that_great_either_24137.html

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/10/ted-cruz-the-white-house-is-pitching-obamacare-for-the-internet/

Thank you to all our veterans for sacrificing of yourselves,  for my freedom and that of my family.  You deserve far more than my shallow empty words.

Here are some more of my propaganda posters in the collection:

We have more recent movie posters in the collection too,  not just from the 30's and 40's

We have more recent movie posters in the collection too, not just from the 30′s and 40′s

Red Menace,  from 1949

Red Menace, from 1949

But plenty of timely titles like this from 1943

But plenty of timely titles like this from 1943

And the completely historically inaccurate 1942 movie

And the completely historically inaccurate 1942 movie

From the US Department of Labor "Children's Bureau"...  back when children were allowed to do more than just sext each other at the mall...

From the US Department of Labor “Children’s Bureau”… back when children were allowed to do more than just sext each other at the mall…

Beautifully illustrated Liberty Bond poster from 1918

Beautifully illustrated Liberty Bond poster from 1918

Less interesting illustration from 1917,  before we had any US soldiers in France (officially anyway)

Less interesting illustration from 1917, before we had any US soldiers in France (officially anyway)

The Zimmerman Letter in WWI officially brought the American public into the war mindset,  when Germany offered Mexico the US as a war prize...  by WWII,  we were "trying" convince South America and Mexico to be part of the Allies

The Zimmerman Letter in WWI officially brought the American public into the war mindset, when Germany offered Mexico the US as a war prize… by WWII, we were “trying” convince South America and Mexico to be part of the Allies

We carry NONE of the burden our servicemen shoulder now,  while so many hold nothing but contempt for their sacrifices

We carry NONE of the burden our servicemen shoulder now, while so many hold nothing but contempt for their sacrifices

Imagine the US population swearing to follow the ration rules now...  There's be a lot of swearing,  I'll bet

Imagine the US population swearing to follow the ration rules now… There’s be a lot of swearing, I’ll bet

Nearly 1/2 million US servicemen didn't meet again

Nearly 1/2 million US servicemen didn’t meet again

Assembly Meeting for November 6th, 2014

I’m going to try harder this year to get all the Assembly Meeting information posted for all to see.  I kind of dropped the ball through summer.

Tonight at 7pm,  Assembly Meeting at the School Auditorium.  Nothing too dramatic happening,  other than the certification of our local election results,  followed by the swearing in of the three new Assemblymen and re-swear of the Mayor.

The Assembly packet attachments are below,  except for the lengthy contract with American Tower that I didn’t feel like scanning in its entirety:

Assembly Packet in PDF

Evolving Election Results

Well,  I’m learning a lot about federal elections in Alaska this week…  Nothing is final till the election is certified on November 28th.  Right now,  Walker/Mallott is about 3,000 votes ahead of Parnell/Sullivan,  but there are still at least 40,000 ballots yet to count.  That is a LOT and could swing ANY of the major categories,  including the Pot thing.

Deadline for receiving US postmarked absentee ballots is November 14th,  with overseas ballots accepted through November 19th.  A lot can change over the next couple weeks,  as they tally more of the absentee and question ballots.

How did Yakutat’s in-person voting turn out?  OVERWHELMINGLY Democrat.  Probably driven by two factors:

1) Byron Mallott running for Lt. Governor and 2) the Pot legalization measure

Yakutat had what appears to be a record turn-out for an election like this.  There were 262 voters that showed up,  out of 475 registered,  for 55.16% turnout.  They ran out of “I Voted” stickers!

US Senator:
Begich – 164 (DEM)
Sullivan – 82 (REP)
Fish – 10 (LIB)
Gianoutsos – 4 (NA)

US Representative:
Dunbar – 120 (DEM)
Young – 114 (REP)
McDermott – 19 (LIB)

Governor/LT Governor:
Walker/Mallott – 204 (NA)
Parnell/Sullivan – 49 (REP)
Clift/Lee – 4 (LIB)
Myers/Rensel – 4 (CON)

State Senate District P:
Henrichs – 123 (DEM)
Stevens – 120 (REP)

State House District 32:
McCune – 140 (DEM)
Stutes – 99 (REP)

Ballot Measure 2: (pot)
Yes – 180
No – 78

Ballot Measure 3: (either minimum wage hike, or mining restrictions – I cant remember which one was which…)
Yes – 209
No – 48

Ballot Measure 4: (either mining restrictions, or minimum wage hike – ditto…)
Yes – 194
No – 56

As of 11/6/14,  Dan Sullivan is ahead of Mark Begich statewide by 8,149 votes.  Don Young is ahead of Forrest Dunbar by 25,314.  Walker is ahead of Parnell by 3,165.  Gary Stevens is ahead of “Mo” Henrichs by 4,467 (that’s 72% to 26%) and finally Louise Stutes leads Jerry McCune by 598 votes (for 56% to 42%).

Yakutat definitely made its liberal voice heard,  while state-wide,  Alaska leaned more to the conservative side.  ALL liberal candidates and ballot measures won in Yakutat.

Now I understand why on the national news web sites,  Alaska’s Senator and Governor remains undecided.  Because they are!  Fascinating!

Steelhead are In!

Spent all day cutting up moose meat.  I have three city meetings to attend tomorrow.  Not a lot of time right now (even though it is supposed to be slow this time of year!),  but wanted to pop in and let you know…

THE STEELHEAD ARE IN!!!

Coming in at tidewater,  throughout the river and now above the bridge.  The run is on.  We had a flurry of snow yesterday,  but today was dry with sunbreaks.  No major snows in the forecast.  Just showers and sunbreaks through the week and weekend.

Now!  If you were wondering when to come…

I know I have posted this photo of John Hohl and his massive steelhead before,  but I'm in a hurry and don't have time to search through the files for a fresh image...

I know I have posted this photo of John Hohl and his massive steelhead before, but I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to search through the files for a fresh image…

Yakutat Native Son Elected Lt. Governor of Alaska

The team of Walker/Mallott received the most votes last night to eclipse incumbent Sean Parnell and his running mate Dan Sullivan.  Byron Mallott grew up in Yakutat,  served as Yakutat’s mayor for a time,  before moving on to mayor of Juneau and various boards throughout the state.  The Walker/Mallott ticket received 3,165 more votes than Parnell/Sullivan for a 47.83% to 46.42% result.  224,541 total votes were cast in the Governor race.  This year’s gubernatorial race was packed with controversy,  when Mallott chose to step out of the Governor race to join forces with Independent Bill Walker and unite the anti-Parnell vote.  The ploy apparently worked.

 In other races,  Representative Don Young cruised to an easy reelection,  while Senator Mark Begich lost his reelection effort to Dan Sullivan.  Oddly,  there were two different people named Dan Sullivan running for election in Alaska – GOP Lt. Governor candidate as well as our GOP US Senator-elect.

State Senate District P (including Yakutat) reelected Gary Stevens for another term with over 72% of the vote.  House District 32 (including Yakutat) elected Louise Stutes by nearly 57%.

All three ballot measures passed.  One to legalize and tax marijuana scraped by with a margin of just 9,000 votes.  Oddly,  more than 2,100 people left that blank without voting…  The measure to increase the State minimum wage passed easily,  along with the restrictions on mining in the Bristol Bay drainage.  Both of those should do wonders for stimulating Alaska’s economy (sarc off).

For complete Alaska vote totals,  go here:

http://soaelections.gci.net/data/results.htm

(sarc back on again…) PS.  For those looking to invent conflict,  the common colloquialism “native son” has nothing to do with ethnicity.  Get a life.

Yakutat’s New Bi-Monthly Newspaper

Our batch of Driftwood Dispatch newspapers were delivered tonight and I remembered that I haven’t plugged the new paper yet…  So,  here it is!

DriftwoodDispatch

A local school teacher was looking to publish a newspaper.  Then with budget cuts,  she found herself with more time on her hands than she planned,  so she actually did publish a newspaper!  Issue #5 officially goes on sale tomorrow at three local locations (Fat Grandma’s,  the AC Store and the Fly Shop),  but you can subscribe and have future issues delivered to your mail box.  Go to http://www.driftwooddispatch.com/ and sign up for home delivery.

Six action-packed pages of local Yakutat information,  news and gossip.  And a few ads…  If you were one of the poor souls who subscribed to the old Monti Bay Times that Bill Fletcher produced…  the new Driftwood Dispatch actually has articles!!!  My favorite feature is the “Yakutat History” article that appears in nearly every issue.

The best thing about the Driftwood Dispatch is that I have absolutely nothing to do with it!  I did write an editorial for the last issue,  but you don’t have to read a single word that I typed in any of the other issues.  I consider that an added bonus!  50 cents an issue,  twice a month.

Just in case you were wondering…  The title of a newspaper should be italicized,  whereas the title of an article in a newspaper should appear between quotation marks.  Thus – “Yakutat History” is my favorite feature in the Driftwood Dispatch.  Underlining was used in place of italics,  because in the past no one had a typewriter with italic keys.  Underlining titles is only a replacement for when you don’t have the ability to italicize.

Yes,  I had to ask my kids…  Damn HomeSchoolers!

DDIssue5

*****  Updated  *****

OK,  I panicked when I realized “Bimonthly” means once every two months (like my biennial flight review)…  So I looked it up in the dictionary and it actually means BOTH every other month AND twice a month.  So my title for this post was right – and wrong.  Perfect!  “Semimonthly” is technically more accurate,  but isn’t a word I have ever used in my life.  I think I’ll stick with the useless “bimonthly” that means two totally different things.  Editing sucks.