Elise Patkotak

Between trying to destroy our public schools by underfunding them, refusing an expansion of Medicaid that would help children throughout the state, and now trying to twist Erin’s Law so that it becomes nothing more than a bastardization of its original intent, I have to wonder just how much our current legislators really hate children. Or maybe they owe so much to their money overlords that they are not allowed to provide for children, if it comes out of the pockets of the people who pay to get them into office...

Elise Patkotak

It must have been the dental surgery I had last week. That can be the only reason I missed my legislators coming to my door to find out what I really think about the work they did this session. They did come around, didn’t they? Isn’t that the reason they gave for their little two-week working vacation? So did anyone have a Republican legislator come knocking on their door to see how they felt about budget cuts? And remember, if you were one of those foolish people who thought the Legislature existed in the 21st century and used email, Twitter and telephones to express your feelings, you don’t count...

Elise Patkotak

Etok, Charlie Edwardsen, Jr. , was definitely one of the most colorful people it has been my privilege to know. He was amazing in many ways, and in just as many ways could make friendship a challenge. He was who he was and made no apologies for that...

Elise Patkotak

Since this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day, I thought I should take a break from writing about Alaska's incompetent, pathetic Legislature. But it’s not easy. No matter how hard I try, they keep handing me ammunition that is impossible to ignore. Let’s take, for instance, the two-week break that Republican legislators felt they owed themselves for the backbreaking labor they’ve been doing for the past three months...

Elise Patkotak

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen something as pathetic as our esteemed leaders in Juneau begging the press corps to carry their message to Alaskans that there just isn’t enough money in the budget for frivolities like education or health care. There is obviously enough money for the really important things like Knik Arm Bridge but not to expand Medicaid to those people so silly as to have been born poor...

Elise Patkotak

Once again Alaskans are being treated to the spectacle of a Legislature unable to finish its business in the time allotted. This gives further credence to my theory that the reason Republicans are so hard on government employees is because they know that they themselves are some of the worse government employees imaginable.

Every year our legislators troop down to Juneau, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for the challenge of creating the needed laws and budgets to keep the state going another 12 months. And every year we are treated to the sound of three months of hot air blowing out of the capitol buildings followed by the steam that ensues when the Legislature realizes that the end is near. Suddenly, everyone goes into overdrive...

Elise Patkotak

I have generally been impressed with Gov. Bill Walker. He seems to take a clean line down the middle of the ideological spectrum, which is where most of us live. He’s taking a pragmatic approach to the budget, doesn’t seem inclined to generating headlines for outlandish behavior, and appears to usually have the interests of all Alaskans at heart. But now that he’s taken such a hands-off approach to his administration’s joining a lawsuit seeking to reduce some of our citizens to second-class status, I find myself much less impressed...

Elise Patkotak

Like many people reading this column, I was raised by parents who survived the Great Depression. Their view of money was always going to be skewed by that experience. My father didn’t get a credit card until he was in his sixties. In his world, you didn’t buy something you couldn’t pay for...

Elise Patkotak

It’s a heartbreaking story full of tragedy, sadness and pain. It’s the story of alcohol in Alaska, and specifically the attempts of people in small Alaska villages to mitigate the damage by controlling the flow. Unfortunately, decades after the passage of Alaska’s local option laws, liquor in one form or another is available throughout Bush Alaska. And the recent pictures on the front page of this paper of people in Bethel speaking out against a liquor store just brought to mind once again how difficult a situation it is...

Elise Patkotak

Despite getting every immunization known to man and recommended for people of a certain age, I came down with a nasty bug and spent most of last week rewriting my will and deciding that life was not worth living if it included feeling so awful. Then I woke up one day and decided that maybe I did want to live. That morning the world seemed sunny and bright. That feeling of euphoria lasted right up until I saw the newspaper and read that the Republican Senate had released its proposed federal budget. Part of the spending package they proposed included defunding the Affordable Care Act...

Elise Patkotak

Pages