Bright and shiny objects: This Old House edition



Crew of This Old House stopped in Wasilla this month.
Crew of Ask This Old House stopped in Wasilla this month.


Season 15 of Ask This Old House on PBS will feature a homeowner in Wasilla, and is the first Alaska project for TOH, which has been on the air for 37 years.

The house belongs to the Kays family, and the project involves hardwiring a generator to the house electrical panel, in order to be able to power appliances, such as his well pump, in the event of a power outage. The crew was in Alaska last week to film the segment.

Ask This Old House involves smaller projects than the main TOH series. No word yet on when the series will air.


Must Read Alaska obtained a letter from a former television news reporter. Here it is with some unflattering history of Jim Colver, who is in the battle of his political life for his legislative seat in District 9:

“I did an investigative story about Jim Colver and it aired on the old Channel 11 in 2006. It’s not on Channel 11’s page after the new ownership and the last 10 years, but the Frontiersman has the story in their archives. They wrote about it, too.…/article_ff83c270-59b5-52a0-84……/article_35c08b59-31df-5e25-8b……/article_f3293599-dc2d-53d2-b0…

It’s my opinion, from doing my homework and listening to my sources, but I believe Colver wasn’t prosecuted because he and his lawyer just refused to answer the Palmer Police detective’s questions. My sources at the time told me how he bullied his way with borough staff to get access to the bids, something that would have disqualified a General Contractor. The assembly held an executive session over it. Then, Colver said he was going to withdraw from the project, costing the General Contractor, I believe, about $40K. You can go the Palmer Police to get a copy of the report. I’m not a reporter anymore. I thought you guys should know and pass it on before people vote on Tuesday.”

Consider it passed along.


Jonathon Taylor
Jonathon Taylor

In addition to hiring several new special assistants, Governor Bill Walker has brought on a new deputy press secretary, who is a well-known member of the Alaska Republican Party.

Jonathon Taylor resigned from his District 23 chairmanship last month so he could take a job with the governor. He will eventually be based in Juneau.

Taylor was involved with College Republicans and was the commencement speaker for UAA this summer, where he graduated.

The governor has been on a spending spree lately, ignoring his own hiring freeze. He brought aboard former Apache oil company executive John Hendrix as an adviser to him on oil and gas. He also hired his own former law partner and attorney general Craig Richards, as an oil and gas consultant, a few weeks after Richards resigned.

Walker has also hired two new key advisers: The state’s former chief economist, John Tichotsky, who is one of the authors of Walker’s fiscal plan to restructure the Permanent Fund; and Ed King, a former analyst with the Department of Natural Resources.

The Governor already had seven other policy and budget specialists in his office, with Tichotsky and King bringing the count to nine.

Hendrix makes $180,000, while Tichotsky and King earn $128,000 and $104,000 respectively. The contract for Richards is elastic because it starts at $50,000 but can be amended indefinitely. Taylor, the newest hire, is likely in the $70,000 range.


Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 5.39.58 PMT-shirt weather is still with us, and here’s one that dresses up nicely and has the most outstanding cause associated with it.

Governor Bill Walker visited King Cove this past week but almost did not get in due to low fog. He and First Lady Donna got a sample of what it’s like to try to get to King Cove when they were stuck in Cold Bay for two hours.

In spite of his special friendship with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Walker has not been able to convince the Obama Administration to build the life-saving road to Cold Bay.

The people of King Cove have worked for more than 30 years to build road  between their community to the all-weather Cold Bay Airport, some 25 miles away. The 11-mile road required would allow safe evacuation of seriously ill or injured residents when the King Cove area weather is too harsh for boat or plane — a frequent occurrence. But it goes through a bird refuge and so the Interior Department is saying no.

Walker met with Jewell and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in January, but his charm offense was all for naught: No road, even in 2016.

Since Secretary Jewell denied the road two in 2013, the town has had 46 medevacs. Of those, 17 involved the Coast Guard; 29 were non Coast Guard.

Candidate Walker was more brazen than Governor Walker. He claimed he’d get the road built if he had to ride a bulldozer and do it himself.


Readers in West Anchorage report numerous Tom Begich For Senate ads appearing on Must Read Alaska. They are social media buys placed by the candidate and targeted to voters in that district, where Democrats Begich and Ed Wesley are running to replace Sen. Johnny Ellis. Must Read apologizes for the inconvenience.


We’ll be hanging out at the Lakefront Hotel on Tuesday evening, starting at 5:30 pm where we’ll join you for bites and beverages and a fundraiser, and then we’ll stick around and watch the returns come in: