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

As the budget process unfolds in Juneau, all my expectations are being met. Every cut proposed produces an interest group that opposes the cut. Meanwhile, the Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, felt it was so important that it could only cut less than 2 percent from its own budget while subjecting other departments to much deeper cuts. So pretty much business as usual...

Elise Patkotak

I was watching the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore when the topic of discussion was the recent Justice Department’s report on the systemic problems of racism within the Ferguson police force. The panel had both black and white participants. One white participant was noted for the fact that he walked over the Selma bridge thirty years ago with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He received a large round of applause when this was announced. That applause died away to a dribble when another panelist, an African-American, looked at the man and said, “Yeah, but when you got to the other side of that bridge, were you still white?”...

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

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