Elise Patkotak

A report from an Alaska village last week detailed a violent incident that included a man shooting four bullets into the wall next to where his sister was standing. She has two children whom he also threatened. Here’s the relevant paragraph:

“Jennings then held a .40-caliber handgun to the man’s head and threatened to kill him, troopers said. Jennings turned the gun on another occupant of the house, his sister, and told her he’d kill her and her two children if she called law enforcement, troopers said. Before he, Kelly and Jimmy fled, Jennings fired four rounds. The bullets struck a wall near his sister.”...

Elise Patkotak

I was more than a little surprised at the reaction to last week’s column citing the survey showing Alaska to be the most violent state in the union. The most amazing reaction came from the person who claimed it was a liberal survey meant to pave the way for taking our guns. Considering guns were not even mentioned in the piece, I’m not sure where that came from. Also, the survey was done by the FBI , not a group known for being a bastion of liberal thought...

Elise Patkotak

Did you see the survey that was in the paper a few weeks ago? It showed that Alaska was the most violent of the 50 states. Once again, we’re No. 1. It’s rather sad that we manage to come in second for annual Spam consumption but first for violence...

Elise Patkotak

The photos on the front page of the paper last week were simply heartbreaking. Two mothers holding each other as they looked at pictures of daughters they will never again hold in their arms. A dad wiping tears from his eyes as he watched a slideshow of the young lady who will always be his little girl but who is no longer around to grow into the amazing woman she held out promise to be. And a man in a prison jumpsuit with tears streaming down his face as he viewed the pictures of the two girls whose lives he took while driving drunk. There were no winners in the courtroom that day. There were only people whose hearts were broken and whose lives were forever altered by one single decision made over two years ago, the decision to drive drunk...

Elise Patkotak

According to some, President Barack Obama has declared war on Alaska. Given the amount of unaccounted for money shipped to Afghanistan and Iraq on pallets in small denominations when we were first at war there, we should maybe not be so quick to judge harshly. Why turn down the chance to become a war zone showered with untraceable money? Think about it. What do Alaskans like more than free cash for which they’ve had to do absolutely nothing?...

Elise Patkotak

I used to have big dogs that loved to walk. My three new ones came with a different idea about walking and the outside. They are little dogs. The girl won’t even go out for her bodily needs once it’s below 32 degrees. Both the boys love going out for about 10 to 20 seconds. Then they are done with the walk and it’s time to go get warm and get treats. I soon realized I needed something to substitute for the miles I was no longer walking. I got a stationary bike. And believe it or not, I use it every night. Finally, a piece of exercise equipment that isn’t a clothes deposit system in my living room...

Elise Patkotak

I was a bit taken aback at the vehemence expressed by some commenters on my Jan. 13 column towards seniors in this state. Who knew some viewed us with such dislike? According to these commenters, cutting senior benefits will cause us to leave the state, thus saving the state enormous amounts of money spent on our pensions and tax exemptions. Before kicking us all to the curb, however, let’s review some of the things seniors provide that would be hard to replace...

Elise Patkotak

So if I understand the situation correctly, Alaska is deep in a financial hole due mainly to the drastic decline in oil prices. We are therefore dependent on the moral strength and integrity of our legislators to do the right thing and balance the state budget no matter the political cost. I’ll pause here for a moment to give you time to laugh hysterically. Call me a pessimist but I’m going to bet that legislators will find a way to make a few cosmetic cuts and then kick the rest of the pain down the road. After all, this is Alaska. We live with our fingers crossed that the price of oil will go up or that we’ll tap a new, equally rich resource that will continue to allow us to live rich without any pain...

Elise Patkotak

Congratulations are in order for the boys and girls Barrow Whaler basketball teams. They both did extremely well in their respective tournaments. For anyone who has lived in Alaska for longer than 10 minutes without figuring this out, let me make it perfectly clear to you that basketball is to Bush Alaska what football is to all of Texas. It is king...

Elise Patkotak

Normally I use this last column of the year to recount those people, places and things that will live forever in my own personal Hall of Infamy. Talk about an embarrassment of riches, this year politicians alone would fill that hall. So I thought I’d hand out kudos instead, the biggest and only one of which goes to Gov. Bill Walker...

Elise Patkotak

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