Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: 7/13/08 - 7/20/08

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The bustle before the Barbecue

Josh is having some trouble getting those plates for auction full! My cousin and her brood came over on their way back to Iowa and ripped through a batch...they are so good!

Well the chicken is marinating in teriyaki sauce, the beans are waiting to be baked in the morning, the fixins are fixed and Raven's whole family is in town just pumping out yummy desserts and putting the finishing touches on the button blanket.

Now all we need is YOU!

Plates of homemade chocolate chip cookies for auction and some melon for consumption!

Hope to see everyone tomorrow. We're starting at four but, due to the debate, the wonderful Mungers have said they plan to go late. Soooo...c'mon down ya'll! Just click on the flyer above for the directions. Or, for a more portable page, the Democratic Party website has it up!

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An evening with the Mat Su Democrats

While the Palin Administration was digging itself into a hole down the road (Thanks, Todd Palin!) I was invited to speak about being a credentialed blogger at the Democratic National Convention to the July Mat Su Democrats meeting. I was impressed; there were over 50 friendly, enthusiastic folks there who gave all of us a warm reception. They didn't even let the influx of a bunch of loud bus tourists stop their meeting. We even stopped clapping because it was "annoying the customers." I would have liked to have asked the management to make the tourists stop their incredibly rude stares.

This is a really bad (but the only one I took) picture of my friend and fellow "blogger-in-arms" Phil Munger, whose excellent idea to have a poetry contest about Ted Stevens on national blog Firedoglake called "Ted-fest" also netted him a contributor slot...congratulations!!!! Phil spread his contageous energy addressing the Dems about letters to the editor and then (of course) veering off to his favorite subject, using the Intertoobz wisely and effectively for Progressive issues and campaigning. He also explained the true significance of the poetry contest (millions of non-Alaskans learning about Ted's "issues") and read several of the poems. Here's one by commenter darkblack in the tradition of Robert Service's "The Cremation of Sam McGee":

There are odd things done in the midnight sun
By the men whom Oil has sold
Their fishy tales meet with hearty gales
from wise heads when they are told
The FBI’s knights have recited some rights
but the queerest they ever had read
was that night by the mouse of a Girdwood house
that belonged to Senator Ted.

Phil has also posted about this over at Progressive Alaska

Native Veteran and State Delegate Jay Cross with Erick Cordero, candidate for Lyda Green's seat--discussing the race while an audience watches from the wall. Erick spoke very eloquently about why he was running and impressed the crowd with his enthusiasm--especially since he just became a citizen in January.

Dennis Zaki and Shannyn Moore (pictured with Shannyn's boyfriend Kelly) along with me spoke about the Democratic Convention and Progressive media in general. Dennis's website, Alaska Report, is easily the most-read Progressive site in Alaska and possibly the most-read Alaska news site period

The irrepressible Katie Hurley, Chief Clerk to Alaska's Constitutional Convention, chats with her table. When she addressed the group, she reminded us that "Republicans don't know how to party." Woo Hoo!

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My, my, my...who SAYS the Repubs don't know how to party!!! Todd Palin sinks his wife's ship.

The explosive revalations as a result of the Wasilla Governor's Picnic.

The video can be found at KTUU Channel 2. (It was playing continuously so I had to remove it from the site.)

The video via KTVA Channel 11 (can't embed it).

Also from their website:
Former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan is speaking out about the Public Safety Employees Association's executive director's insinuations that Governor Sarah Palin fired Monegan because he refused to fire her former brother-in-law, who is a current state trooper. PSEA represents state troopers, including the Palins' former brother-in-law, Officer Michael Wooten.

While Monegan is not saying he was let go for not firing Wooten, he now says members of Governor Palin's administration, and her husband, first gentleman, Todd Palin, pressured him to fire Wooten.

Outright, the first family unequivocally says there was never any pressure by them, or the governor's staff, for Monegan to fire their former brother-in-law. Governor Palin says, "All I know what the facts are and what the truth is. And the truth is never was there any pressure put on Commissioner Monegan to hire or fire anybody."...

...However, Monegan says aside from an initial face-to-face meeting with first gentleman Palin about Wooten, Monegan says on numerous occasions Palin and powerful administration officials, Administration Department Commissioner Annette Kreitzer, and Boards and Commissions Director Frank Bailey pressured him on the phone to fire Wooten.

Monegan said, "They were persistent. Todd (Palin) talked to me a couple of times. Got calls from Annette Kreitzer as well as Frank Bailey."

An investigation may ensue in the Legislature:
State legislators are talking about hiring a special investigator to dig into the circumstances surrounding Gov. Sarah Palin’s firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

“That’s the only thing I can think of, if you want to get to the truth and be unbiased,” said Senate President Lyda Green, a Wasilla Republican. “Otherwise, speculation just continues.”

Hmmmm...wonder if Lyda's coming back?


via ADN Blog:
But Monegan says pressure came from those around Palin, including former Palin chief-of-staff Mike Tibbles, Department of Administration Commissioner Annette Kreitzer, and director of boards and commissions Frank Bailey.

Tibbles, who is now the campaign manager for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, said Friday he couldn’t comment on whether he spoke to Monegan about Wooten.

Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Bailey never had such a conversation with Monegan.

Kreitzer could not recall, Leighow said.
Tibbles is Steven's campaign manager. Is Frank Bailey a campaign manager for Sean Parnell? Wonder if they're talking about THAT at TODAY'S picnic?

(hat tip to Phil Munger)

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SERIOUS GEEK TIME: LAST TWO DAYS for Buffy/Firefly/Serenity fans to see Joss Whedon's online mini-series

Director Joss Whedon with a still from "Serenity" in the background

Introducing "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog!"

"Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog" will be streamed, LIVE (that part’s not true), FREE (sadly, that part is) right on Drhorrible.com, in mid-July. Specifically:

ACT ONE (Wheee!) will go up Tuesday July 15th.

ACT TWO (OMG!) will go up Thursday July 17th.

ACT THREE (Denouement!) will go up Saturday July 19th.

All acts will stay up until midnight Sunday July 20th. Then they will vanish into the night, like a phantom (but not THE Phantom – that’s still playing. Like, everywhere.)

In the Frequently (soon-to-be) Asked Questions:
1) Why, Joss? Why? Why now, why free, why us?

Once upon a time, all the writers in the forest got very mad with the Forest Kings and declared a work-stoppage. The forest creatures were all sad; the mushrooms did not dance, the elderberries gave no juice for the festival wines, and the Teamsters were kinda pissed. (They were very polite about it, though.) During this work-stoppage, many writers tried to form partnerships for outside funding to create new work that circumvented the Forest King system.

Frustrated with the lack of movement on that front, I finally decided to do something very ambitious, very exciting, very mid-life-crisisy. Aided only by everyone I had worked with, was related to or had ever met, I single-handedly created this unique little epic. A supervillain musical, of which, as we all know, there are far too few.

The idea was to make it on the fly, on the cheap – but to make it. To turn out a really thrilling, professionalish piece of entertainment specifically for the internet. To show how much could be done with very little. To show the world there is another way. To give the public (and in particular you guys) something for all your support and patience. And to make a lot of silly jokes. Actually, that sentence probably should have come first.

After tomorrow, this will be available for download on ITunes and then, eventually, purchase on DVD. However, see it while it's free...the quality is better than any online series in the past (think of a high-quality movie trailer). I can fill my 22 inch wide-screen monitor and the picture is still great!

And as far as the storyline goes, it's vintage Joss...something we've all missed. The "evil" Dr. Horrible is played incredibly well by Neil Patrick Harris (who has a gorgeous singing voice) and **swoon** Nathan Fillion (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Serenity) plays the roll of his "good" nemesis, The Hammer. Of course, good and evil are never black and white in Joss productions and the same is true here.

Also, as you can imagine, there's a girl they both want! (Felicia Day)

I would highly recommend watching this now...you'll be hooked. I'm looking forward to downloading on my video IPod...finally there's something with a quality picture worth watching, besides music videos and movie trailers.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

From the Gov's Picnic in Wasilla...

...actually, I'm at the Mat Su Dems Meeting in Wasilla right now but I got a phone call about the Guv's Picnic here.

Channel 11 reporter Matt Simon went up to Todd Palin and asked him if he ever spoke to anyone in the Administration about Mike Wooten, his former brother-in-law.

He said, "Yes, Walt Monegan."

Guess what story led the KTVA 6:00 News?

So much for "no interference" while Sarah was Governor! Even Sarah admitted telling Walt about him when she first hired him!

Also, KTUU Channel 2 reported that Officer Wooten attended the picnic. Dang, I missed it!

More when I get home!

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Breaking: "Top Kopp" to release his personnel file

Per the ADN:
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Chuck Kopp said today he will release his personnel file from the Kenai Police Department.

Kopp, who has been at the center of a political firestorm, said he will release the file to dispel rumors of a history of sexual harassment.

"I am not ashamed of my past," he said.

Kopp became the center of attention after Gov. Sarah Palin abruptly fired Walt Monegan last Friday from the commissioner's job and then appointed him. The governor has said she wants change in the leadership of the department and wants to take it in a new direction, but hasn't said why the department needed fixing.

That's been my issue all along with the press conference and every statement out of the Governor's office. No one has shown us what "new direction" they are talking about...which causes people to question if that's truly the reason.
Kopp has been accused by a former employee of sexually harassing her with unwanted hugs and a kiss on the cheek in 2005. That employee says a Kenai city investigation confirmed her version of events.

Her lawyer, Chuck Robinson, today said he also believed the city investigation substantiated the harassment.

The Palin administration looked into the 2005 charge and said it learned that it was unsubstantiated, according to governor spokeswoman Sharon Leighow.

Hmmm...I've now learned the lingo and it's "unfounded" (proven false), "not sustained" (can't be verified or proven) or "sustained" (proven). I'm curious to know which it is.
Kopp wanted to dispel another rumor also: He said he was never friends with Palin or any of her family. He first met Palin when she was campaigning for governor in July 2006 in Kenai. Later, Palin made him the head of her Department of Public Safety transition team. Kopp said he also served on former Gov. Frank Murkowski's transition team.

I really don't care when Kopp met Palin. I just want to know if he's going to be a "yes man" to the detriment of the Department and Alaska.

I can't wait to see this report, now that I understand better what I'm looking at (after 270+ pages).

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Friday Weekend Recreation Thread: How cool is THIS! The Dark Knight is one among many hot movies!

The Dark Knight Trailer in HD

Talk about too many movies, too little time (and money)! It's gonna hurt to have to wait for some of these to come out in video!

Morrigan and I saw Iron Man...Robert Downey Jr. rocks! I'd LOVE to see it again on the big screen but we'll probably have to wait.

Prince Caspian...I think we won't get there in time to see it. It's a shame as we really want to see it in a theater.

The Dark Knight...I've been dying for this one to come out and everyone I know says it's better than the first one!

Hell Boy II...The same has been said, that it's much better than the first. While I wasn't thrilled with the first one I think I'd like this.

Any other recommendations out there? I'll talk about the fundraiser later.

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What I fear...a focus on rural substance abuse to the detriment of focusing on DV/sexual assault

Lauren Rice, Legislative Liaison/Special Assistant to the Commissioner has been asked to leave her position at the Department of Public Safety.

Per Andrew Halcro's Blog:
I have been asked to leave my post as the Legislative Liaison for DPS and I will do so sadly. I thoroughly enjoyed my time both with DPS and Commission Walt Monegan who exemplifies everything DPS represents.

Working with you has been an adventure and I have enjoyed it. I will miss it.

Next in her email comes a section that I have been afraid of since I first heard Walt Monegan was fired:
As you know, Alaska has long held the distinction of being number one in the nation for sexual violence (both sexual assault and sexual abuse of minors) and domestic violence. Many of you have been advocates for victims with both your voices and your actions. I have been inspired many times by that advocacy. The prevalence of this violence is seen in our communities, emergency shelters, hospitals, schools and streets. We see it in our neighbors’ eyes and in the lines for substance abuse treatment. It is a scar on our state.

The State of Alaska, and more specifically DPS, needs tools to fight this epidemic. They have proposals and ideas on how to better protect Alaska’s residents, but DPS will need your support in order to carry out any of those plans. I have attached a brief report from the University of Alaska on the correlation between violence and substance abuse among victims. I also encourage you to review the study below titled “Descriptive Analysis of Sexual Assault Incidents Reported to Alaska State Troopers: 2003-2004”.


I spoke to Walt Monegan the day after he was fired. When I say "I spoke to Walt Monegan" I mean that I did most of the speaking. He wouldn't go on the record with much at that point and I admit, I know almost nothing about being a good interviewer.

However, the way I got him to call me was through my email to him, which talked about how I was afraid of what may happen to the focus on alleviating DV and sexual assault in Rural Alaska. I mentioned the Governor's emphasis on her "new direction" and focus on substance abuse. I also mentioned that concerned me because of the above-mentioned report, which shows a lack of correlation between being under-the-influence and acts of DV/sexual assault in Rural Alaska...on the part of the victim or the perpetrator. One of the few things he said was a strong acknowledgement of the findings in that report. At the time, I had wondered if that was "code."

I think this is starting to go beyond "code."

It seems to me that there are a bunch of folks who thought that DPS was finally on the right track. Now, they are not so sure...they are afraid that the gains they were making will be lost.

I'm wondering how far this puzzling DPS "housecleaning" is going to go?

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Speaking of "Abuse of Power"...

There were many media folks out there trembling with anticipation for the Governor's Press Statement regarding the Halcro accusations/PSEA Press Conference. Imagine everyone's surprise when spokesperson Sharon Leighow's former radio partner Dan Fagan was reading this Press Release on the air at 3:38...before anyone else even received it!

A certain Program Director immediately called Leighow and was told that the release wasn't ready but would be in a few minutes. When he asked why Fagan was reading it, he got the cold shoulder on later calls to Leighow. He then called Janice Mason (the Governor's scheduler...can we say "where the real power lies?") who said she didn't have it either. When he informed her that Dan Fagan had just read it on the air, she made some exclamation and went to investigate. About 5 minutes later, the statement came from Leighow's office to his direct email.

It seems that others were also left in the lurch by Leighow when it came to the release. (***UPDATE*** While the Program Director got his about 4:05 PM--after he contacted Janice Mason and she seemed as surprised as he--one reporter didn't get his until 7:10 PM!!!)

Interestingly, the ones I know of were all folks who have been publicly friendly/supportive of a certain person who has a rather large defamation lawsuit in the works against Leighow and Fagan (among others).


If Sharon Leighow is trying to earn badges on her road to "Evil Overlord" status she's already halfway there...she's got the "Evil" down pat. She just needs a lot of help with the "Overlord" part. I would highly recommend that she reads "The Top 100 Things I'd Do if I Ever Became an Evil Overlord" in order not to crash and burn early:

48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

I think this might qualify, if you think of "access to the Governor" as "magic or technology."

Sharon, ask your boss how well that whole "alleged" "treating-people-badly-through-revenge" thing is working for her.

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The Press Conference and the huge stack-o-papers


Thank God, KTVA did the scanning for us!

- Memorandum of Findings
- Memo of Complaint
- Transcription of Mike Wooten Interview
- Transcription of Sarah Palin Interview (1)
- Transcription of Sarah Palin Interview (2) 8/18/2005
- Memo Re: Suspension
- Sarah Palin email to Col. Julia Grimes

Photo: PSEA Executive Director John Cyr

"My purpose here is not to substantiate who did what or what happened. Officer Wooten has asked that we release the records around that investigation so that the press can take an open and honest look at what happened and you may draw your own conclusions."--John Cyr
The conference started out with an abundance of information...they gave us a huge stack-o-papers (about two inches) of all the complaints and investigations having to do with Mike Wooten...released by request of Mike Wooten. I've been reading them in parking lots, parked in the street, all over.

John Cyr also made it clear that this was about Mike Wooten. He was not going to discuss anything to do with Walt Monegan.

I'm not going to delve into all of the mostly "unfounded" (investigated and found to be not true) or "not substantiated" (investigated and can't be proven) charges. The best summary I can give is of the ones that were substantiated. However, a personal note: 1) the Heath Clan has a lot of involvement in this when (in my opinion) they have no business being there. 2) Mike Wooten is not perfect and in some instances is not the sharpest crayon in the box. He also has bad taste in mistresses (yes, there was infidelity involved...surprise! Can't have a woman/family scorned without infidelity!) 3) It seems that the family members may be using that lack-of-sharpness against him.

The charges that were substantiated:

- Molly Heath McCann's son from her previous marriage, Payton, was the "witness" who accused his step-father of drinking while driving. (The other "witnesses" were long time friends of the Heaths, Adrian and Marilyn Lane. Their testimony was rejected by the investigator because of that conflict of interest, but his decision was overthrown by retired Colonel Julia Grimes, who found them credible. It's good to note that Grimes was also the recipient of the email from Palin which had a "between-us-girls-I'm-gonna-make-your-life-difficult" feel.)

Amazingly, no one said anything at the time and this all came up when there was a custody fight.

- Payton was also the 10-year-old boy "dry tasered" by Wooten. To be clear, Wooten was an idiot to do this no matter what. However, his version of the event is that 10-year-old Payton wanted him to do it because he wanted to see what it was like...and that, as someone who trains people in the use of tasers, Wooten knew what he was doing. (He also should have known better.) The boy denied asking him to do it and Molly's version of events is worthy of a movie on the Lifetime Network.

- Sarah Palin's email stated that in Sept. 2003 Wooten illegally shot a cow moose. Wooten admits it and his story was that Molly begged him to come with her so they could "shut her father up" who wouldn't stop giving her a hard time because she hadn't used her tag. When they went out, the only hunting gun they had was his and when he asked her to shoot it, she didn't want to and wanted him to do it. He did, he brought it back where he and Chuck Heath (father-in-law) butchered it. Wooten took it to get it processed and the meat was shared with the Heath family. Two years later, they suddenly remembered it was illegal.

Again, it was stupid...very, very stupid. However, in his defense, many Alaskan married couples who do any kind of fishing or hunting have broken the law. We have because my arthritis makes it impossible to haul in a halibut by myself and my husband helps me...OK, a lot. I know it doesn't make ANY of it right and he has to maintain a higher standard because of his position...but COME ON!

The packet contains 270 pages of documents involved in this investigation. John Cyr explained that it was only partial...he showed us that he couldn't give the whole file to us as he held up two huge white binders. I'm going to try and scan some of it tomorrow...especially the email from pre-Governor Sarah Palin in 2005 to retired Colonel Julia Grimes.

(Note: In all of the craziness today, I never did thank the lovely Myster from "Own the Sidwalk" for alerting me to the post on Andrew Halcro's blog. I never would have made it to the press conference in time if she hadn't. Thank you, oh brilliant and fashionable one!)

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BREAKING: Sarah Palin accused of abuse of power

Innuendo that has been kicking around the internet for days regarding Walt Monegan's firing have finally been made public through official allegations. Per Andrew Halcro's Blog:
Monegan said no, he couldn't cut his budget because his State Troopers were already being stretched to the limit and public safety suffering. He said no, he couldn't cut his budget because fuel costs for planes, boats and patrol vehicles soaring, while crime in rural Alaska was putting more demands on the Troopers transportation system.

But more alarming than any budget battle, Monegan said no to firing a State Trooper who had divorced Governor Palin's sister because the guy was being maliciously hounded by Palin's family.

And not just that; Monegan's firing came after his Colonel had to reprimand the governor's office for meddling in department personnel affairs.
This is real, kids. I've been getting emails and reading comments inferring this for days but have had no proof. Now, there is a press conference at 2:00 PM regarding the allegations of Palin's "ex" brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten:
According to Trooper records, Sarah Palin said that in January and February of 2005, Wooten was drinking while driving. After investigating the complaint, the investigator found that Palin never actually saw what she reported.
In another complaint, Sarah's father said that Wooten made threatening remarks. Again, the investigator found there was no probable way that it could have happened.

In all cases except one, the charges were ruled unfounded after an internal investigation. And the one charge that was valid, Wooten immediately admitted to.

I'm going to the press conference so there will be more to come.

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My setnetting story is on Crosscut.com today!

Firedoglake: Ted-fest Day Two

So Phil kicked it off again and we had more excellent contributions!!!!! CC even logged in and talked about it on her KUDO 1080 show!

Here's a great one by Oilfieldguy:

Ode to Ted

Cranky ol’ Ted builds bridges with fear
Good bills tho’ he stops with a hold
Beholden by lobbyists he holds so Dear

Slaughtering our freedoms Ted has no Peer
‘Tis for our own good we’re told,
Cranky ol’ Ted builds bridges with fear

Donors access granted, citizens to the rear
His attention is purchased with Gold
Beholden by lobbyists he holds so Dear

Plagued by scandal and bribes we hear
He must be beat, he’ll never fold
Cranky ol’ Ted builds bridges with fear

Angry ol’ rhetoric is his only gear
drill, bow, the Ted Stevens mold
Beholden by lobbyists he holds so Dear

A loss for Ted, his eye to tear
Empathy for him has been sold
Cranky ol’ Ted builds bridges with fear
Beholden by lobbyists he holds so Dear

Even one or two were dedicated to our Phil Munger...here's one by Dmac:

phillip posted his dish of ceviche
on his blog, it looked so delish
but now this dish
has a new ’twist’
he cooks ’ted’
in lime juice instead.

Tune in tomorrow!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Anchorage Press has it wrong. There's been no shortage of praise for Ted Stevens in the ADN over the years.

I like Brendan Joel Kelley and I consider him to be a friend, but his most recent piece in The Anchorage Press regarding my "Community Voices" column on Ted Stevens is way off the mark.

It's not completely his fault. It just shows that he doesn't know the history of the multi-decade "dance" between ADN and "Uncle Ted."

I'll never forget the most memorable use of of that "endearment." It was between 12 and 15 years ago when now-Democratic-State-Legislator, Mike Doogan was my favorite columnist. He wrote a piece on how he wanted to know when Ted Stevens was going to retire because he was leaving Alaska...the state's income would dry up and blow away.

Everyone laughed because we agreed it was probably true. Ted could do no wrong back then.

However, in the last 10 years, things have changed. I don't know if Ted's faculties have been slipping (watching his decline on video is downright painful) or if all these years have given him such a sense of entitlement he doesn't feel like he has to try anymore. At the very least, he tells fairy stories and the media sucks it up like pablum:

- "Once upon a time, Uncle Ted took good care of Veterans!" (He's voted against funding the VA system over 26 times since 1990...I will happily email the 26 links to anyone who wants proof.)

- "Uncle Ted was responsible in part for the success of the 2001 GI Bill" (He was against it before he was for it before he was against it before he was for it again.)

- "Uncle Ted has taken good care of his constituents." (Ted Stevens has consistently approved tax cuts for the wealthy and has repeatedly voted against tax relief for Alaskan families...again, I will happily email the info to anyone who wishes.)

The part that most disappointed me was the fact that Brendan totally bought the myth that "The ADN only prints bad stuff about Ted Stevens."

First off, all one has to do is go to the online ADN "Local Columnists" link under "Opinion" to find Dan Fagan's June 28th rah, rah article on Ted Stevens' accomplishments. Contrary to Mr. Crawford's claim, had they posted his Compass piece when he wished, it would have seemed a veritable Stevens love-fest.

Secondly, there has NEVER been ANY story written by a Daily News reporter specifically focusing on any of the issues I mention above...never. Like John McCain, the press seems to give Ted a pass.

Thirdly, on the issue I brought up in my column--of Ted Stevens touting Mark Steyn's book of prejudice, there was NOT ONE DAILY NEWS STORY written on this other than to mention it on the Alaska Politics blog and in "Alaska Newsreader" in passing and point them to Phil Munger's and my blogs. There was also NOT ONE MENTION ON ALASKA TELEVISION NEWS of this issue AT ALL.

This was not an "I hate Ted Stevens" story...this was a damn "Holy crap, what is my Senator doing?" story. If anything, the Daily News used me to get the story out.
If it had been a controversial book suggested by Barack Obama or any other Democrat, we'd still see it every waking moment discussed ad nauseum on the cable news channels.

Also, Brendan, comparing the "Community Voices" columns vs. the "Compass" pieces is NOT a subtle difference. I had to apply for the Community Voices position and was selected from a number of applicants as were my other four "Community Voices" compadres. We hold our positions for six months, where we get approximately six columns of our own. Compass pieces (which I have also had published before) are longer versions of Letters to the Editor. One submits them and hopes they get picked.

If Mr. Crawford wants a little more leeway in his writing, he should apply for the next round of "Community Voices" selections which I believe will be in September.

I look forward to reading his columns.

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Yay!!!! A new JibJab!!!! "Time for some Campaignin'"

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Based on Bob Dylan's "The Times They are a Changin'"

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Denver Host Committee Update (via my email)

ATTENTION CONVENTION-GOERS: July 16, 2008 Press Release from Chris Lopez


- Mile High City Will Be Open for Business -

Denver, CO -- July 16, 2008 -- After extensive preparation and work with local, state and federal transportation and security officials to meet Democratic National Convention needs while keeping downtown Denver open and accessible, the City and County of Denver provided information Wednesday about local mobility and access during the week of the Democratic National Convention (Monday, August 25 - Wednesday, August 27, 2008). Given that the August 28 venue change from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High was just announced last week, roadway impacts have not yet been finalized for Thursday, August 28 and will be announced by early August.

"We have worked very hard to ensure that downtown residents and workers can get around and access their buildings with ease during the Democratic National Convention," said Mayor John Hickenlooper. "We have said from the beginning that - while there will be some additional screening procedures and security measures in some locations - all downtown residents will be able to access their homes and parking garages, and downtown businesses will be able to remain open with access to employees and customers. Keeping the roads open and transit running will also enable Metro Denver residents to come downtown and enjoy the many public events around the Convention."


Downtown will be open and accessible during the Convention. Nearly all roads will be open and transit services will be operational. The majority of Convention-related movement will occur via bus, foot, and pedicab/bicycle and before/after the main hours of activity inside the Pepsi Center (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.), thereby mitigating impacts on commuters. Unlike previous host cities that closed a large number of thoroughfares, the City of Denver's commitment to local mobility and convenience is evident in the minimal amount of closures for an event of this magnitude:

· Speer Boulevard from I-25 to Lawrence Street (and the I-25 ramp to southbound Speer Boulevard ) will be closed from 9 a.m. on Monday, August 25 through midnight on Wednesday, August 27 - except during morning rush hour. Two lanes in each direction of Speer Boulevard between I-25 and Lawrence Street (and the ramp from I-25 to southbound Speer Boulevard) will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Wednesday. The I-25 ramp to northbound Speer Boulevard will remain open at all times.

· Auraria Parkway from I-25 to Speer Boulevard will be closed from 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 23 through midnight on Wednesday, August 27. The I-25 ramps to and from Auraria Parkway will be closed during this time frame.

· As announced in mid-June, Bannock Street between 14th Avenue and Colfax Avenue will be closed August 25 - 27 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the Designated Parade Route staging area. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. - which avoids the standard morning and evening commute times - the westbound lanes of Colfax Avenue from Bannock Street to Speer Boulevard will be closed for the Designated Parade Route, as will the southbound lanes of Speer Boulevard from Colfax Avenue to Larimer Street. The eastbound lanes of Colfax Avenue and the northbound lanes of Speer will remain open, but some slowdown in traffic flow is expected. The RTD light rail line which crosses Speer Boulevard at Stout Street will remain open at all times, including the time allocated for parades. Additional security provided by RTD will supplement law enforcement officials to ensure the safety of marchers when the light rail trains cross the parade route.

· While still accessible to pedestrians, vehicular traffic on the following blocks between 15th Street and Speer Boulevard will be limited to residents and employees from Monday, August 25 through Wednesday, August 27: Wazee, Wynkoop, Delgany, Wewatta, and Little Raven. (More details on residential and business access are below).

Given that the August 28 venue change from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High was just announced on July 7, roadway impacts - including the designated parade route to Invesco - for Thursday of Convention week have not yet been finalized and will be announced by early August.


The downtown grid has ample street capacity to absorb these manageable diversions and provide local residents and commuters with convenient access to and from downtown. Recommended routes for the four quadrants of the city are described below:

· EAST AND NORTHEAST: Drivers may access downtown from the east and northeast using Martin Luther King Blvd, 18th Avenue, 13th Avenue, and 8th Avenue.

· SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST: With northbound Speer Boulevard closed at Lawrence Street, drivers along Speer Boulevard south of Lawrence, as well as on Lincoln and Santa Fe, may experience slight increases in traffic. It is anticipated that slowing may occur on these streets as they cross Colfax Avenue. Commuters may want to use Downing, Clarkson, or Logan Street to avoid delays. Exiting Downtown may be slightly slower than normal due to Convention-related activities, but once traffic crosses Colfax Avenue, movement along Kalamath, Broadway, Grant, Washington and Corona/Downing should be similar to any normal weekday.

· WEST AND SOUTHWEST: Travelers may access downtown from the west and southwest using 6th Avenue or northbound I-25 to 20th Street. Traffic exiting downtown to the west and southwest may be a little slower than normal; however, with the combination of increased transit use and the absence of Auraria Campus traffic, any delays along Arapahoe, Champa, Glenarm and Colfax should be minimal. Once traffic reaches Kalamath, I-25, and 6th Avenue, travel should be similar to any normal weekday.

· NORTHWEST: Travelers can use I-25 to Park Ave West or 20th Street to access downtown. Traffic exiting downtown to the northwest should use 20th Street or Park Avenue to I-25.

Given that the August 28 venue change from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High was just announced on July 7, roadway impacts - and recommended alternative routes - for Thursday of Convention week have not yet been finalized and will be announced by early August.


The use of public transit is always encouraged, and downtown will be accessible by transit. The following information from the Regional Transportation District (RTD) applies to Monday, August 25 through Wednesday, August 27. Any transit impacts related to the Invesco Field event on Thursday, August 28 will be announced when they are finalized.

· LIGHT RAIL: Light rail lines coming into the Central Business District will not be disrupted, including lines D, F and H. There will be no light rail service to or from the Pepsi Center and Denver Union Station stops. Passengers on the C and E lines who want to travel downtown can transfer to the D, F and H lines. All C- and E-line light rail passengers will be required to disembark at the Invesco Field light rail stop.

· BUSES: RTD plans to run normal bus service during the Convention, adjusting routes impacted by street closures. RTD will provide information on these adjustments as they are finalized through its web site, the RTD Telephone Information Center, and information will be posted on buses and light rail.


Between street parking, parking lots and garages, downtown parking will be largely accessible.
· The majority of downtown street meters will remain unbagged and available for public use. (Please note that vehicles with disability placards may park at any unbagged meter for up to four hours - whether or not the meter is designated for disabled parking).

Because many commercial buildings directly adjacent to the Pepsi Center have been rented out by private organizations during the Convention week, only a few businesses will be impacted by the screening and access measures described below:

· Residents (and their caretakers or renters, if applicable) and businesses (and their employees) west of 15th Street along Wynkoop, Delgany and Wewatta will receive vehicle placards from the Secret Service enabling them to access their normally assigned parking spots. There will be no pedestrian restrictions in this area, so visitors will be able to come and go on foot.

· Residents (and their caretakers or renters, if applicable) in the small area bound by Speer Boulevard, Wazee Street and 14th Court will receive vehicle placards from Secret Service enabling them to park in their normally assigned parking spots after undergoing vehicle screening at a 24-hour checkpoint. There will be no pedestrian restrictions in this area, so visitors will be able to come and go on foot.

· Residents (and their caretakers or renters, if applicable) and businesses (and their employees) in the area bound by 11th Street, Auraria Parkway, Speer Boulevard and the Pepsi Center will receive personal credentials from the Secret Service, enabling them to come and go by foot with ease. Placards will also be provided for their vehicles enabling them to park in their normally assigned parking spots after undergoing vehicle screening at a 24-hour checkpoint. Individuals renting any of these units during the Convention may undergo the same registration process to obtain these access documents. Residents in this area expecting guests will be asked to meet them on the street and escort them into their building.


Beginning with a community meeting tonight hosted by the LoDo District, Inc., Downtown Denver Residents Organization, and the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association, targeted outreach will take place in the coming weeks to residents, businesses, building managers and homeowners associations in the aforementioned areas, providing details on the registration/ credentialing process and answering questions about access and mobility. That outreach will also include another LoDo community meeting at Ocean Journey on July 23 from 6 - 8 p.m.

Five additional citywide community forums about DNC preparations and opportunities for local residents to participate - hosted by the City and County of Denver and the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee - will take place over the next three weeks:

Central Denver: July 26 (12 - 2:00 p.m.)
Curious Theatre, 1080 Acoma St.

SE Denver: July 28 (12 - 2:00 p.m.)
Temple Sinai, 3509 S. Glencoe St.

SW Denver: July 29 (5:30 - 7:30 p.m.)
SW Improvement Council, 1000 S. Lowell Blvd.

NW Denver: July 30 (5:30 - 7:30 p.m.)
North High School, 2960 N. Speer Blvd.

NE Denver: August 6 (5:30 - 7:30 p.m.)
Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St.

Once roadway impacts related to the Thursday, August 28 event at Invesco Field at Mile High are finalized, additional community outreach will be conducted to residents and businesses near the stadium.

Ongoing updates will be disseminated widely and available through a variety of sources including www.DenverConvention2008.com, www.DenverGov.org, www.DowntownDenver.com, 3-1-1 and more. .We are also working with MapQuest, Google and other online map providers to ensure the roadway impacts and route alternatives described above are incorporated into their online mapping tools during the week of the Convention.

Because security planning for the Convention will continue up to the event, particularly with regard to the areas immediately adjacent to the Convention sites, the City reserves the right to modify these plans if necessary to ensure public safety.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Press Event: Introducing Chuck Kopp as the new Commissioner of Public Safety

Yours truly on the right (photo courtesy of The Department of Public Safety)

I went to the State Trooper's building today for the "press availability" event (Megan Peters corrected me when I called it a "press conference") at 1:00. He talked about looking forward to working with the Legislature, being an advocate for the Troopers and focusing on recruitment, moving forward with improvements in Rural Alaska, including reducing substance abuse. He gave pretty much the standard spiel and definitely no "new agenda."

Then the first question came:

Corey Allen Young, Channel 11--"I'd just like to get your side of the story regarding the sexual harassment allegations made."

Commissioner Kopp--"[There has] never been a sexual harassment allegation that resulted in a lawsuit or a settlement by the City of Kenai. There is nothing in my record that would give me a black eye or would hinder me in my roll as Commissioner of Public Safety."

Then a follow up from Channel 11, then a similar question from Channel 13.

Commissioner Kopp: "There is no personal settlement there is no public settlement as in there is nothing in the record."

**raised eyebrow**

Channel 11 and 13--more questions

Commissioner Kopp--"There is one that has happened, period," said Kopp. "But I don't want to comment on that. There is absolutely nothing in my record that I am ashamed of. There is no skeletons in my closet. There is no monster looming to crawl out to say, 'Did this happen?'"

Public Safety Commissioner Chuck Kopp speaks to the press (photo courtesy of The Department of Public Safety)

The back story per channel 11's website:
While no lawsuit or settlement came from the sexual harassment complaint, we do know one was made; and so did Governor Palin before she appointed Kopp, Alaska's top cop.

The governor's office said there was no substance to the complaint filed three years ago and Commissioner Kopp continues to have her full support. After being pressed on the issue several times, Kopp did admit to the complaint...

...CBS 11 News is in contact with the woman who filed the complaint and she wants to tell her side of the story, but doesn't want to do that until she can talk to her attorney. He is not going to be back in town until later this week.

Megan Peters jumped in and said this is about "talking about the future of DPS and where we are headed."

K...let's ask a "future" question.

So I asked "The reason [given] for Walt Monegan's firing was so that they could go 'in a new direction' so I wanted to know specifically what you wanted to do differently than Walt Monegan was doing."

Commissioner Kopp--"I'm not going to comment on prior leadership or the circumstances there. I'm just going to move forward with a positive focus. I've talked about recruitment and retention, talking about improving the working conditions for the employees of the Department of Public Safety, looking at being accountable and responsive in all our Divisions to the people of Alaska as we execute our mission.

Me--"I was wondering what was new about this direction?"

Kopp--"We're building on the good things of the past and we are looking forward to further refining our approach, our fiscal responsibility, our accountability. We're looking forward to moving forward and having a credible (*muffled*) policy."

Corey from Channel 11 pointed out that this was all the same things the Governor has been saying and that Walt Monegan has been saying. He asked for more specifics on recruitment and...again...we heard some of the same things we've been hearing--that we have to target people with an "adventurous spirit" who want to live in Rural Alaska.

I have heard good things from others about Chuck Kopp and though I wonder how he'll handle 800 state employees vs. the 30 he dealt with in Kenai, he probably deserves a chance...if he can handle this "sexual harassment" issue better than he did today.

However, I left the press room thinking less about Chuck Kopp and wondering more about Walt Monegan and why that change was needed?

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Liveblogging at national blog Firedog Lake--write a poem about Ted Stevens and win!

Oh, this is truly good!

The idea was started and promoted by our own Phil Munger (who is now a contributor!)

Go HERE and enjoy!

My contribution (for inspiration only):

Ted’s crude reading list
Bigotry makes policy
The press takes a nap

***UPDATE 6:26 AK time***

I love this one!
(to the tune of Patti Smith):

Veco, the night
belongs to us
Veco, the night
belongs to toobers.

***UPDATE 7:05***

Another style by DrBong:

Ted’s hizzle
Ain’t no toobz
What a beeyotch

***UPDATE 745***

Logging off Firedog for the night but please feel free to go and post or just read. There are some GREAT poems!!!!

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Mark Begich hits One Million Dollars!

The Begich Campaign announced this while I was on the air on Cary Carrigan's KUDO 1080 morning show. From the Begich Blog:
We're proud to announce that we broke the $1 million mark in the 2nd quarter of the campaign. We received 4099 contributions -- a whopping 73.6% were under $100. Mark Begich commented on his fundraising success this morning:
“I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support our campaign is receiving. I think it shows Alaska’s families are excited to have a candidate with an open and transparent style, and someone who can bring new energy and ideas to the U.S. Senate.”

“What this shows is real grassroots support for what we’re doing. We’re connecting with Alaskans and showing them I will work hard on the issues they face, from energy costs, to education, health care and more.”

Yup...I'm one of those "$100.00 and under" folks. I went to a 7:00 am breakfast just to give him money!!!!

Also, I've been meaning to mention his new ads and how impressive I find them to be. I like the old "End of the Road Show"-like music in the background...does that mean a famous "Homeroid" is a supporter?!

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Timothy Treadwell a Hero? Animal Planet's new 8-part series might paint him that way.

Oh for pete's sake...hat tip to Kodiak Konfidential:
Grizzly Man Diaries will draw upon the hundreds of hours of archived footage, private pages from his diaries and more than 10,000 still photographs. From the producers of both Grizzly Man and Herzog's new feature Encounters At The End Of The World, it premieres August 22.

Announcing the new series at the TCA Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Marjorie Kaplan, the president and general manager of Animal Planet Media, noted: "We all know how this tragic story concludes. But with this new series, Animal Planet really digs deep into the glory that Timothy saw in these magnificent creatures. These are the fascinating stories he died to tell."

The reality of the situation is that Treadwell's irresponsible behavior led to his death and the demise of his girlfriend, as well as the shooting of two bears.
Katmai park rangers who went Monday to retrieve the remains of Treadwell and Huguenard -- both of whom were largely eaten -- ended up killing two bears near the couple's campsite.

Katmai superintendent Deb Liggett said she was deeply troubled by the whole episode.

"The last time I saw Timothy, I told him to be safe out there and that none of my staff would ever forgive him if they had to kill a bear because of him,'' she said. "I kind of had a heart-to-heart with him. I told him he was teaching the wrong message.

"This is unfortunate, (but) I'm not surprised. It really wasn't a matter of if; it was just a matter of when.''

Then there's this idiot who already has Treadwell painted as a "hero":
"In a filmed scene of Timothy singing to a mother bear, flat on her back, with two cubs nursing on top of her, you imagined for a moment that she too enjoyed the song of gentleness. And you had no doubt that you were hearing a 'bear whisperer'."
--Louisa Wilcox, close friend of Timothy Treadwell
As you can see, I couldn't restrain myself from replying to that piece of tripe.

Making these films about Timothy Treadwell and the equally-deluded-now-dead Chris McCandless reflects the "Disneyfication" of some extremists in the environmental movement--city folk without training or experience coming to the harsh reality of Alaska, sure that they know what's best for the fuzzy animals and treating with disdain anyone who has actual expertise.

They either "get dead" real fast or end up depending on others to "save them."
On two occasions in recent years, hunter's guide Coke Wallace of Healy has rescued couples drawn to the McCandless site, in one case requiring individual airlifts to safety at the cost of $2,100 per trip, paid for by the state.

"A lot of people who come up here are woefully unprepared," said Wallace, interviewed by phone. He said he was escorting an NBC crew when he bumped into Paterson from North York at the site.

"I told him there was no way he was going to last with only 10 pounds of rice, then I tried to give him some more food. And he said, `No. I want to replicate it exactly. That'd be cheating,'" said Wallace.

"I told him, `Well don't replicate it exactly, I don't want to be hauling a dead body back.'"

These folks argue that they are "true" environmentalists because they love the beauty of nature while slapping human feelings and intelligence on their vision of the animal kingdom.

However, they are forgetting a very important aspect of "environmentalism," respect for nature's power and unpredictability as well as the needs, drives and instincts of its creatures. It was that lack of respect that led to the deaths of Treadwell and McCandless.

If the numbers of these new "worshippers" continue to grow and follow in their idols' footsteps, a repeat performance will, once again, only be a matter of "when."

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Monday, July 14, 2008

New Public Safety Commissioner--Kenai Police Chief Charles "Chuck" Kopp replaces Walt Monegan

Anchorage Politics Blog links to this announcement from the Governor:
Governor Palin Names New Public Safety Commissioner

July 14, 2008, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today named Charles “Chuck” Kopp, chief of the Kenai Police Department, as Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

“Chuck has dedicated his career to public safety and shares my commitment to strengthening our communities and combating drug and alcohol problems in rural Alaska,” Governor Palin said. “He is a person of great integrity and I am confident that he will provide excellent leadership and direction to the Department of Public Safety.”

Kopp, 43, has 21 years of policing and public safety experience and has worked for the Kenai Police Department since 1989. He currently serves on the Alaska Judicial Council and has served on the Alaska Police Standards Council.

“I embrace this great opportunity and look forward to advancing Governor Palin’s public safety initiatives,” said Kopp. “I am committed to strengthening the services the department provides to the people of Alaska.”

Kopp holds a bachelor’s degree in justice from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, among many other professional certifications. He resides in Kenai with his wife and three children.

Hmmmm..."shares my commitment to strengthening our communities and combating drug and alcohol problems in rural Alaska."

Kopp replaces Walt Monegan, who was fired on Friday "out of the blue" according to Monegan.

There was more information on KTVA Channel 11 over the weekend:
Monegan was appointed by Governor Sarh Palin to be the head of the Department of Public Safety a few years ago, but Friday she asked him to take a lower job inside DPS as the executive director of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. Monegan told CBS 11 News Saturday on the phone that he turned that job down.

Monegan said he was told that the governor wants to, "take DPS in a different direction" and that the request for him to step down was a, "bit of a shock."

Monegan says he respects the decision of the governor to make changes in her cabinet, but did not want to take the job with the ABC.

So is the Rural focus going to be solely on Alcohol and Drugs now and away from sexual assault and DV? Inquiring minds...

Also, Chief Kopp is not a stranger...he was her Transition Team Public Safety Leader. So 10 points for those folks who said she'd bring in a "buddy."

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Barbecue with Diane Benson, Veterans, bloggers and a bird

Picture: "The Benson Team" with Diane and Vietnam Veteran Mo Bailey

Let me "show my hand" at the outset...yes, I am a fan and supporter of Diane Benson. However, it's always been mostly from afar. Until Sunday, I had never introduced myself, asked her a direct question or spoken to her much other than in a stage manager capacity...and in an apologetic way...at the Gathering. But that's another story...

Friends of mine, Veteran Mike Stanton and his wife Betty had a private get-together Sunday so that some of their Veteran friends could meet Diane and get to talk to her. Luckily, I was invited too and brought along Writing Raven (Alaska Real) so she could meet Diane as well. I was also excited to see Phil Munger (Progressive Alaska) there, which explains the title Veterans, bloggers...and a bird. (I'm getting to the bird part.)

This is the first time I've heard Diane speak in an intimate setting. She's even better than she is in front of a large crowd, and that's saying something. She always grabs me when she speaks because she exudes a level of sincerity that's just not common among most politicians. The story she told is familiar to her supporters; she spoke of growing up in Alaska as a Native woman, driving trucks for the Union along the pipeline to raise her son and put herself through school, the tragedy of the near-fatal, life-altering injuries suffered by her son in Iraq and how that made her decision to run against Don Young in 2006. However, her telling is captivating and packed with raw emotion every time. I always get misty when she talks about her time at Walter Reed; I get angry when she recounts the fact that Don Young "couldn't drive 30 minutes" to visit her son and the other injured Alaskans there even though she asked him.

After her speech, she was even more impressive when dealing with questions from the guests. I'm going to save a discussion of the actual issues for a later post (we arranged an interview). However, it can be sait that this was not an "overly-friendly" crowd...meaning that a number of the Veterans were not identified as Benson supporters. They literally came so they could make up their minds and while polite, they asked some pretty tough, sometimes very loaded questions. There were several times I was boiling over but Diane answered everything calmly and respectfully. There was one time, when discussing Rural issues that I did see her eyes flash. One of the "undecideds" said later that she was easily tough enough to stand toe-to-toe with anyone in Congress.

So after we ate and when the conversation was lighter, Betty brought out "the bird"...their rescued Cockatoo. The bird instantly liked Diane, who clearly liked her back. She also ran to Mo who was NOT a bird fan and ran the other way. I wanted to see what her talons felt like (she was gentle) so I got her to get on my finger. She promptly climbed all the way up my arm and sat on my shoulder, making noises that activated my "the bird is gonna peck out my eye" phobia. (Damn you, Alfred Hitchcock!) I lived through it, but realized I've been burned too many times by dogs to ever trust any pet owner when they say "Oh, she'll NEVER bite!" I was on high-alert the whole time she was on me.

Anyway, I walked away from there a bigger fan of Diane than I was before. Later in the week, I'll talk more about the issues behind it.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin gives Commissioner of Public Safety the Axe

Walt Monegan, former Anchorage Police chief, was fired by the Governor's Office Friday per this story by Kyle Hopkins:
Gov. Sarah Palin appointed Walt Monegan as commissioner of public safety shortly after her election in 2006. On Friday, Palin's chief of staff told Monegan he was being replaced.

The news came "out of the blue," said Monegan, a former Anchorage police chief.

"If the governor was upset with me for one thing or another, it had never been communicated to me," he said in an interview Saturday evening.

The big question -- why? -- went largely unanswered Saturday.

Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said the governor is now at the halfway point of her term and it's natural for her to make changes.

Palin wanted the public safety department headed in a new direction, Leighow said.

Asked Saturday what Palin wants to change, Leighow said she didn't have details.

"The governor feels that the department of public safety could be better served under new management," she said.

(Kyle has more information on Alaska Politics blog, including the email from Monegan to his employees.)

This is a very large concern, especially for those who felt that there was FINALLY someone in that office who truly had reducing Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in rural Alaska as a priority.

In May, Walt Monegan actually attended and was a panel member at the "Building Momentum" Conference put on by Alaska Native Justice Center. He responded to many questions lobbed at him from the audience of determined women:
Why are victims treated poorly by certain prosecutors and law enforcement officers? Shouldn't officers be required to use the specially trained Sexual Assault Response Teams whenever possible?

As to the last question, the answer for troopers is definitely yes, Monegan said. The teams help gather evidence, identify suspects and begin the healing process for victims, Monegan said.

If any trooper is rude to or insensitive with a victim, he said he wants to know about it.

At that conference, several studies were discussed regarding the extent of sexual assault in rural Alaska, who the victims and perpetrators were as well as some of the solutions to the problem.

Increasing law enforcement is not the only solution, but is an important part of it:
Federal authorities have created a "maze of tribal, state and federal jurisdictions" that slows response times and limits who can respond, according to the study. Sexual assaults and rapes on reservations and in villages sometimes get lost in "jurisdictional vacuums," allowing some perpetrators to "rape with impunity."
Alaska officials said they're working to get more manpower and money to areas lacking police.

Those officials have been Sen. Donnie Olsen...
This year, state lawmakers led by Sen. Donny Olson, D-Nome, approved more money for village public safety officers, who serve as first responders for all kinds of crises even though they aren't allowed to be armed, Colberg said. They'll be paid more, and there will be more of them. That should help with turnover, which is terribly high.
...and Walt Monegan:
Palin has called for cuts to the public safety budget, while Monegan wanted more troopers, said John Cyr, executive director of the Public Safety Employees Association.
So the comment from Leighow, that "Palin wanted the public safety department headed in a new direction" looms rather ominously considering where Walt Monegan appeared to be going.

Governor Palin, what direction are you taking public safety, exactly?

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