Bright, shiny objects: Democrats gone, Blue Angels here

Blue tarp for Democrats
Blue tarp for Democrats


Alaska Democrats are sweltering in Philadelphia this week for the coronation of Hillary Clinton as their nominee. On Monday, Elizabeth Warren, who identifies as a Native American at times, mocked Republican Donald Trump for wanting to build a wall on the southern border.

Meanwhile, here’s the wall that the Democrats built to protect their speakers from the angry mobs that are the delegates. Alaskans know a blue tarp when we see one.

Blue Angels land at JBER
Blue Angels land at JBER


Arctic Thunder performance is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, starring the Blue Angels flight team. Gates open for the performances at 9 a.m.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.09.11 AMThis will be their first appearance since Arctic Thunder 2010, the Alaska Air Show Association reports.

“The Blue Angels showcase demonstrate the Unites States Navy and Marine Corps’ commitment to professionalism, excellence and service through these world-class flight demonstrations and community outreach.” Not to mention they will knock your socks off with the sound of freedom in their F/A-18 Hornets and C-130 Hercules.

More information and schedule.

The weather forecast for JBER this weekend is for clouds but no sign of big storms heading this way.


The administration of Gov. Bill Walker is repeating the mantra that it has eliminated thousands of jobs, but most of those have been positions that are simply left unfilled when people move on. The actual number of pink slips given out during the last year is 70.

OMB Director Pat Pitney told the public policy group Commonwealth North that the state’s 26,500 member workforce has dropped to 24,800. This includes the University of Alaska system. The number calculates out to one state employee for every 29 Alaskans.


Heidi Drygas
Heidi Drygas

Alaska’s Commissioner of Labor, Heidi Drygas, left, makes the case that Alaska’s cost of living is high because of how many people want to live here.

In the most recent edition of the Labor Department’s magazine, Alaska Trends, she writes:

Yes, Alaska has higher prices than the average community in America. We also have higher wages, better job opportunities, and quality of life.

Too often, we forget there’s a correlation between places people want to live and high costs of living. Nearly all places that are desirable — Alaska, Hawaii, or cities like Seattle, Portland, or New York — have higher-than-average costs of living. That’s no accident. An attractive place to live will have a tighter housing market and stronger demand for goods and services. While we should certainly take steps to reduce the cost of living in Alaska, we should also recognize that our costs are at least partly a byproduct of demand to live in our great state.

Following that logic…oh never mind. It speaks for itself. Bread in Barrow, last time we checked, was $8 for a loaf of Orowheat. Because people want to live there.


The Juneau Assembly is getting ready to force every landlord in Juneau to take Section 8 housing vouchers. Yes, that means even a bed and breakfast would be required to accept the government vouchers, if Assemblyman Jessie Kiehl gets his way.

The original version of the local legislation said landlords would have to take any type of lawful payment for rent, which means a landlord could not deny someone who wants to pay with an American Express card, even if the landlord doesn’t accept the cards.

More importantly, there are many landlords who simply do not want to participate in government programs like Section 8. They find Section 8 tenants tend to have too many issues, and the maintenance and repair for Section 8 tenants often leave landlords with having to do extensive work on a unit for a month or more after the tenant vacates.