Heads and Tails: Distilleries on ice, babies on parade



The Alaska Permanent Fund corpus is now worth $66.2 billion. It has grown by more than $2 billion in the past 23 days.


The growing industry of small distilleries has been exploiting a bit of a loophole in regulation and has been turning tasting rooms into actual bars, where people get served mixed drinks. But no more.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board met yesterday and decided distilleries, which are not supposed to be bars, can’t be mixing cocktails at a place that is designated for manufacturing.

Turns out, some of the little distilleries are barely even distilling much of their own product. They buy it in bulk from the Anchorage Distillery, run it through their own equipment, wave a sprig of spruce tip over it, and voila, it’s their own distilled product without all the mess of disposing of mash.


The Snedden Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has a decidedly anti-Trump journalist now embedded in the school and teaching the students the tricks of the trade.

Here’s what Professor Katie Orlinsky posted on social media last week so her New York City pals could see how much she is influencing the course of events in the North:


On the April municipal ballot, voters will be asked to sell Municipal Light & Power to Chugach Electric. The promise is that rates will go down, employees won’t lose jobs, and efficiencies will be attained. The Anchorage Assembly moved it forward to the voters to decide on the billion dollar deal.

Is it a good idea? In theory, three power companies for one medium-sized city is inefficient. But voters will need more information before they can make an informed decision.

The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee will hear a presentation on the Alaska Technical Vocational Education Program on Thursday.
Anyone who want a sneak peek at Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas’ newborn baby will have to wait until the final slide of the presentation by Deputy Commissioner Greg Cashen (Drygas is on maternity leave).
Normally we get restless halfway through presentations with acronyms like ATVEP, but who can resist a cute baby picture?
Be watching for Slide 18, when the big baby reveal comes along to wake up everyone on the committee. We’ve made an Andy Warhol image out of the slide, to protect the young one’s privacy. You’ll have to sit through the whole hearing to see the real thing.

But really? Isn’t Ms. Drygas starting the baby’s modeling career a bit young? And are child labor laws being broken?

Gov. Bill Walker is asking for an additional $100 million for Medicaid. Since he took office, more than 75,000 additional Alaskans have been added to the Medicaid roles — 42,500 more able-bodied Alaskans without children and who are of working age were added in the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, and another 32,500 into regular Medicaid.

Sen. Anna MacKinnon said that the Medicaid program is stretching Alaska’s tight budget. The master of understatement.

Sen. Peter Micciche called the program an open checkbook. Medicaid now covers 197,000 Alaskans, more than one out of every four residents. The federal government pays about 67 percent of the cost, which is $1.7 billion this year.


  1. And, with regard to the Medicaid program, some research suggests that if allowed to continue on the current path, the Medicaid program will consume THE ENTIRE State operating budget in a few years. To use the politically popular term, the program is UNSUSTAINABLE.

    In case anyone is curious, when Medicaid consumes THE ENTIRE State operating budget, NO money will be available to fund education or public safety.

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