Shannyn Moore

In 1920, the Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Even today we recognize that decision as one of the worst in the history of baseball. Today, we Alaskans are facing an even worse trade: wild salmon for coal. In the next two weeks, the Walker administration must decide whether to grant the right to keep water in a salmon stream -- something most Alaskans would consider a no-brainer -- or instead award the water rights to a coal company so it can dig up the stream, kill off the salmon there forever and export the coal. I’m talking about the proposed Chuitna coal strip mine across Upper Cook Inlet from Anchorage. Alaskans who fish and hunt in the Chuitna watershed applied to reserve water in Middle Creek -- a tributary of the Chuitna River -- to keep it from being...Shannyn Moore
The plethora of financial mixed messages is particularly rich in the sadly broke state of Alaska. We are running the state at a deficit, paying oil companies more than they pay us, and yet just announced our record Alaska Permanent Dividend Fund checks. It feels like a family has lost their house, is moving into their car, and suddenly get to go on a surprise trip to Disneyland. Yeah! Oh, wait. Do we get to move back in our house when we're back from seeing giant rodents dressed in clothes, princesses and riding scary rides? Please? No. Now, forget about it! Let's all have a good time. Some of our lawmakers seem to be most guilty of this disconnect. Almost $100,000 spent on a junket to Seattle this summer. Some hotel rooms for $450 on the state dime? Please, Speaker Chenault, does the...Shannyn Moore
Someone recently asked me about the Black Lives Matter movement in this country. "Why isn't it 'All Lives Matter?'" Well, people who say "Save the rainforests" aren't saying to cut all the other ones down. Firemen can say "All Houses Matter" but they show up to the ones on fire. Our American culture is becoming one of more overt racism -- ignorance that is cooked over a fire of bigotry and distilled into hate, and is nowhere more observable than in the current political debates. I realize it may seem strange that I am writing this as someone who through no fault of my own was born into white privilege. I'm tired of the parade of unarmed black people being killed for nothing. Just imagine how these families feel. I haven't been to church in a while, but as far as I know this verse hasn't...Shannyn Moore
Anyone else having a problem distinguishing real news from satire? This week has been a doozy for too many reasons. I have a 70-year-old neighbor who doesn't follow the news. She doesn't read newspapers or watch TV or listen to radio. I know. You're jealous. She does ask me from time to time what is happening in "the world." I will give her updates and then she looks at me like I'm insane. "Really? Are you kidding me? What are they thinking?" is what I usually hear. A bogus story went around social media about our former half-time governor saying Native Americans should go back to their homeland of Nativia. She didn't say that. She actually said immigrants should "speak American." Really, lady? How's your Yup'ik? Brushed up on your Navajo? Rosetta Stone for Gwich'in Athabascan? Those are...Shannyn Moore
It is quite possible that more Alaskan glaciers melted this week. Clearly the winds have changed and it isn't from the heat. President Barack Obama did something I didn't expect him to do. He melted down the icy hearts of some Alaskans -- my own included. Don't get me wrong, I'm still upset about Gitmo, the NSA and Shell drilling the Arctic, but I melted. I'm giving credit to him, though I don't think it is his entirely. I think while the president was falling in love with our state, we were reminded again why we live here -- it's people. Sometimes, like last week, we show the world that we are kind of awesome. Check your pulse if your eyes didn't get wet watching the children in Kotzebue saying the Pledge of Allegiance in a language spoken before America fought the British to declare...Shannyn Moore
"President Obama needs to come clean about his upcoming Alaska trip. Alaskans across the state have a lot of issues they'd like him to address, and his failure to reach out to our delegation is extremely disappointing, but typical of his Presidency." -- Don Young ( on Facebook ) "I have never been a good alarmist, but it is becoming harder and harder to conclude that this administration's long-term plan is anything other than to starve our Trans-Alaska Pipeline System of new oil ... It sure looks like their goal is to shut down our pipeline once and for all -- to see it decommissioned and dismantled." -- Lisa Murkowski "I was not invited." -- Dan Sullivan Welcome to Alaska, President Obama. I don't blame you a bit for not wanting to hang out with our pathetic delegation. It's comical how...Shannyn Moore
The big political news this week is that Republicans in the Alaska Legislature announced plans to spend at least $450,000 to sue the state of Alaska for accepting $150 million in federal Medicaid funds. In a press conference, they took care not to say they also planned to kill jobs and deny health insurance to some Alaskans. No. They claim they’re all about protecting the Alaska Constitution, don’t you know? (And if you’ll buy that, pilgrim, have I got a deal on a bridge, dam or high speed ferry for you!) These ideologues will try to persuade a court to block the governor from expanding Medicaid. To get that injunction, they’ll need to prove the people of Alaska will suffer “irreparable harm” if we accept federal dollars. I can’t wait to hear that argument: a bunch of bumper-sticker-...Shannyn Moore
I've lived on the ocean more summers than I haven't. I’ve walked a lot of Alaska beaches. It really is amazing how many rocks find themselves beaten into a heart shape. I’ve collected dozens, and have to keep checking my hoodie pockets to avoid ruining another washing machine. August is a time for pups and fledglings. When the land otter pups pulled themselves onto the dock for the first time, I nearly forgot how their parents chased me last fall with hissing meanness. Soon enough the babies will grow into the Weasels Of Unusual Size, but for now their cuteness is breathtaking. In the early '80s, while setnetting on the west side of Cook Inlet, I wrote a few letters and put them in bottles. I've always wondered where they went. Did anyone ever find them? I can't remember what I wrote. I...Shannyn Moore
It's that point in the summer where Alaskans are feeling the pinch, the rub, the squeeze. Maybe you are up to your armpits in salmon processing or counting the days until your guests pack up and fly south. I understand if you haven't had time to follow the news -- you've been chasing your Alaskan summer dreams. Regardless of how busy the berry picking is, the news just keeps happening without your help. Here's a wrapup of stories I thought you should know, because it doesn't matter to me if you wet or dry brine your salmon, we need you to pay a tiny bit of attention. Alaska, no stranger to invasive species, now has evidence of the presence of the dreaded Kochroach. Yes, Junior Sen. Dan Sullivan has been identified as such a bug. He was one of six senators invited to join 10 other...Shannyn Moore
This week I found myself in an unusual position. A campfire. Okay, it isn't unusual to be at a campfire this time of year, but for me to be the "moderate" in a conversation about women's reproductive rights was a first. One older woman, religiously devout, and another an ER nurse from the South. Campfire Cage Match. Oh, I'm not unbiased. I have never wavered in my support of women's choice. Chances are, women who don't want to be mothers won't be good parents. It's really that simple. Being a mom is hard. The nurse at the campfire had helped deliver the baby of a 10-year-old that was also her half-sibling. The physical labor -- excruciating as it was -- wasn't the hardest part of the situation. The medical condition of the baby was insurmountable. The mental state of a girl giving birth...Shannyn Moore