Bright, shiny objects



Without an appeal by Gov. Bill Walker, which seems unlikely, a July 1 ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit means Alaska tribes can ask to have their lands put into federal trust, or reservations. They can now have both the money and land granted through ANCSA, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and the federal status that will allow them to regulate alcohol, sell cigarettes, open casinos, avoid state taxes and more. Since we’re renegotiating everything under the Walker Administration, let’s keep Vladimir Putin as far away as possible.


RNC Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock rocks the summer kuspuk on the floor of the Republican National Convention.
RNC Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock rocks the summer kuspuk on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

The Alaska summer kuspuks were a hit at the Republican National Convention this week, and got their prime time moment when Alaska delegates protested how their votes were counted.

Alaska Republican rules state that a candidate retains his/her presidential preference votes (cast March 1) until they drop out. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz merely suspended. The Alaska delegation made its displeasure known over the national RNC overriding the state party’s rules. It was fun. It was exhausting. It was thoroughly Alaskan in a “we don’t care how they do it in the Lower 48” sort of way.


Donald Trump did what he needed to do with his acceptance speech. He was himself, and unapologetically so. He restated many of the themes that brought him to the nomination for president — safety, immigration, economy, trade. And he even managed to extend an olive branch to the alternate gender community known as LGBTQ, without contradicting the Republican Party platform that supports traditional marriage. Observation: He emerged from the convention as a credible candidate to take down Hillary Clinton.


The 48th annual Southeast Alaska State Fair is July 28-31, and don’t we love the names of all the headliners, including: John Brown’s Body; Martin Sexton; Bad Tenants; Satsang; Wet City Rockers; Denali Cooks; Christy Hays Band; Onward etc; god Particles; Sitka Cirque; Haines Girl’s Rock Camp; Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Dancers; Men of Note; The Honey Badgers;  Gnat King Kong; Dei Shu Dancers; The Lacks; Fishpickers; Shiver Twins.

Makes us want to start a band just so we can name it.


Hoards of tourists are roaming Alaska looking for the wild … Pokemon, which is a game so popular it has prompted the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to issue a warning to” watch your step” and don’t get hit while playing the game. Go, nanny state, go! The Juneau Gastineau Humane Society was tone-perfect when it encouraged people to volunteer to walk the shelter dogs while searching for the thingies-that-don’t-exist-in-real-life. So far, there have been no takers, but the shelter received some national coverage for the offer. For the record, the Islamic State has issued a Fatwah on Pokemon. So the hunt is on.

Rep. Don Young meeting with veterans in Sitka this week.
Rep. Don Young meeting with veterans in Sitka this week.


Congressman Don Young has been on a swing through Southeast Alaska, meeting with fishing groups, sportsmen, and veterans. In Ketchikan he spoke at the Chamber of Commerce, and said he decided to not attend the Republican National Convention because, “Really, they’re just a big party. And I don’t have the desire to party that hard anymore.” In response to a question about his challenger, Steve Lindbeck, he joked, “I…sort of halfway jest…He’s 63 and I’m 83. When he gets to be my age, he’ll be dead.” Always Young.