Shannyn Moore

"Free at last. Free at last..."

Okay, I'm using the word free pretty loosely here, but the legislative super-duper special session is over. What a long, strange trip it has been. Summer can officially start now. I know you were waiting patiently...

Shannyn Moore

This has been a difficult week for many Alaskans. So much uncertainty as 10,000 pink slips go to our friends and neighbors working for the state.

Fairbanks Sen. Pete Kelly argues they aren't pink slips, because there’s an “if” in them, as in "You’re not laid off if a handful of senators get their poop together." Of course, we know there’s no chance Pete and his collaborators will get their poop together. Instead of pink slips, people online are calling them "Pete slips."...

Shannyn Moore

Correction: Upon first publication, this commentary mistakenly said that the vote on these amendments took place last week. It took place in January. The text below has been revised to correct the error.

I can't tell you how relieved I am and how much I want to thank Alaska's two U.S. senators -- Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. In January they joined 48 other senators in a declaration that human activity is not a "significant" contributor of climate change. Thank you! I'm so happy I could burn a pile of tires! Semi truck tires!...

Shannyn Moore

I wish I could say this week has been one of surprises. Maybe it has for some, but not for me.

For one, the television family celebrated for gratuitous breeding and condemning their moral inferiors for having fallen from grace -- if that’s what you call reality TV fame. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Bob Duggar, of "19 Kids and Counting," were in Anchorage just a few months ago to speak at a banquet at ChangePoint church. Their words of wisdom and moral guidance were brought to us by Alaska Right To Life...

Shannyn Moore

I'd like to write about fishing or tourism or some folksy story about hitchhiking in Alaska, but the Republican majority in our Legislature won't let me. Without a vote of the members of the committee and without any testimony from the public, the majority co-chair, Fairbanks Rep. Steve Thompson has decided 40,000 working Alaskans don't deserve health care coverage...

Shannyn Moore

Wild Applause! Way to go Anchorage!

It was wonderful to see in this week's mayoral runoff that 60 percent of voters hate hypocrites, not gay people. I can’t remember an Alaska election where a Democrat won by 20 points, although considering the alternative on this particular ballot, it should have been by 40 points. We'll work on that...

Shannyn Moore

I daydream at traffic lights. I make up stories about the cars and people around me. While visiting Anchorage this week, I found myself doing it again. A woman who looked a bit like me was behind the wheel of a U-Haul. I imagined that she, like me, had been watching the legislative meltdown and reading headlines about mayoral candidates -- maybe, possibly -- endorsing incestuous, pedophiliac, same-sex marriages, only she’d actually decided to throw her life in a truck and find someplace a little less bat-guano crazy to live. You go, girl. Yes, the Legislature, not nearly finished with its work, just voted itself a two-week vacation. Juneau is apparently just too noisy for the delicate sensibilities of our legislative king-babies....

Shannyn Moore

Have you ever noticed how politicians who campaign on "government is bad" rhetoric seem to do everything they can to prove it once elected?

When people ask me what the ham and cheese is going on down there, I shrug. There's no logic to the stonewalling and disregard of basic tasks at hand.

A few weeks ago I listened to a Red Sox game on the radio. It went 19 innings. The back and forth was giving me whiplash and it was a glorious thing. IT WAS A GAME. State politics shouldn't be -- but the idea of all of us winning makes the Republican majority feel like they are losing. The session is now in extra innings...

Shannyn Moore

I grabbed dinner with my folks last week. Mom and Pop are both retired educators.

"What do you know about Erin's Law, Shan?"

Well, it's a law that has been passed in more than 20 states. It teaches K-12 students how to recognize sexual assault and to tell someone they trust. It also teaches school employees the warning signs of sexual abuse and how to help children and their families.

"Is it going to pass? I can't imagine who would be against it."

The only people I could imagine opposing passage Erin's Law in Alaska -- considering our sickeningly high rates of sexual assault -- would be sexual predators.

I was wrong. The answer is actually sexual predators and the Legislature’s Republican majority...

Shannyn Moore

I’ve been lucky enough to reside in several parts of Alaska. When I lived in Fairbanks, I heard constantly how Fairbanksans were "real Alaskans" and people in Anchorage couldn't handle a real winter. Anchorage, on the other hand, barely acknowledges the existence of Fairbanks -- you mean that little town with ridiculous weather and bad air? Southeast Alaska is viewed as North Seattle. And Kodiak is a rock with rockets -- more Pacific island than piece of Alaska.

But the real "us and them" is between residents of the Mat-Su Borough and Anchorage. That rivalry has barbs. I’m not sure what started it, but when Valley churches started busing their congregations to Anchorage Assembly meetings to oppose anti-discrimination laws, I noticed...

Shannyn Moore

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