Endangered bird’s nest shows up in condemned Fairbanks building?

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Craig Compeau is a prankster extraordinaire. The owner of Compeau’s, a Fairbanks powersports dealer of off-road vehicles and snow machines, last winter Compeau made a YouTube video that showed how Hunter Biden’s laptop had been dropped by the mysterious spy balloon from China into a snowy meadow near his home in Fairbanks.

It was all in good fun, and exactly the type of practical joke for which Compeau is known. Some of his stunts have been quite colorful, to say the least, and more than one has been pulled on Fairbanks Attorney Bill Satterberg and have involved full-page newspaper ads.

This week, Compeau may have pulled off his best practical joke yet.

He sent a letter to Fairbanks Mayor David Pruhs from an organization known as the “Fairbanks Audubon Restoration Team” telling the mayor to cease and desist the demolition of the Polaris Building, a hazardous structure that the city has ben trying to remove for years.

The reason? There is evidently a nesting peregrine falcon and her two chicks in one of the buildings windows. That bird is protected by federal law.

The photo that accompanied the letter was a convincing piece of artificial intelligence artistry.

Pruhs received the letter at the Mayor’s Office after it was announced on the morning radio “The XRock” by host Glenner Anderson, 95.9 FM morning radio show and local comedic talent.

After receiving the letter, Pruhs was heard muttering to his chief of staff, “They can go f— themselves,” before leaving for an appointment.

The Polaris Hotel, Fairbanks’ tallest building and biggest eyesore, was built in 1952 with its annex constructed in 1973. Originally designed as an apartment building, it was converted into a hotel. In 2001 800,000 gallons of water flooded the basement; it was abandoned in 2002.

Getting rid of the structure has been complicated by asbestos, mercury and other substances, and how to get that toxic material out of Alaska and to a legal disposal site has been the hurdle for the city.

The City of Fairbanks received a Targeted Brownfield Assessment for the main portion of the 11-story building in 2017.

In addition to the asbestos and mercury, the assessment found toxic mold and polychlorinated biphenyls. The entire building is going to have to be shipped out of state for disposal.

Fairbanks was ultimately awarded a $10 million earmark through the efforts of Sen. Lisa Murkowski by way of the Environmental Protection Agency. The demolition and removal of the building has been one of Mayor Pruhs’ biggest priorities and began earlier this season.

But then came Compeau.

Listen here to audio of morning show host Glenner Anderson, on The X Rock Morning Show, 95.9 FM, announcing the peregrine falcon nest discovery and talking to a local falcon “expert”, who was left unnamed by the host.

The ruse went on for nearly a full day before Mayor Pruhs finally learned it was a prank. Pruhs laughed and took in in stride.

“You know you are someone if you’ve been pranked by Craig Compeau,” Pruhs said, adding that he thought Compeau was just getting him back for recently reminding him of the 1993 NFL matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers, in which Pruhs’ team won over the 49ers.

As for Compeau, he noted that the dead giveaway that it was a prank is that the acronym for the Fairbanks Audubon Restoration Team is …. wait for it … F.A.R.T.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Holy Smokes Craig! Kudos to you!
    We desperately need team of F.A.R.T. agents in Anchorage to rescue us from this Homeless S**thole the Assembly is building.
    F.A.R.T.s for Assembly next election cycle!
    Craig…Have you thought about opening a store in Anchorage or is the political scene too smelly for a successful business like yours?

  2. Fairbanks gets peregrine falcons in abandoned hotels, while Anchorage gets rabid lemmings in the municipal assembly chambers — only the latter is no joke, nor no joking matter.

  3. Several things:
    Compeau is trying to sell some gas toys to his environmental pals. Satterburg pays cash for all of his own pranks. Glenner is looking to revive a radio audience. Pruhs wishes he was Borough Mayor, with a wider constituency.
    That’s all.

  4. Those folks with some time in Fairbanks know there’s nothing new about that acronym. During his years on the borough assembly, Jerry Norum campaigned tirelessly to change the name of the Metropolitan Area Commuter System to Fairbanks Area Rapid Transit.

  5. Actually, the Polaris has been a pigeon roost for a few decades. There must be some rare, black pigeon somewhere in that 9-story headstone.

  6. If David gets rid of that monumental eyesore , he could run for US Senate in my mind !

    They city literally poured PCB’s on all the dirt streets in Slaterville when I was kid . Dog’s , kids and everyone else was wearing that poison in the north side of town !

    Now they got to ship the building out of state ! It’s fine sitting on Lacey . It’ll be fine at local landfill !

    • Yep, he’s a legend in his own mind. Wait until all of the judges across the street start sampling the PCB dust in their mouth and lungs from the demolition. The mayor will be indicted.😉

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