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. Imagine a school full of teachers who hated the principal. They don't teach lessons and the children are failing their classes. The teachers then say to the principal, "Hire us as...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. On Thursday, KTOO asked House Speaker Mike Chenault about the bill's status. "I don't think...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. Now I see a Mat-Su political group, based in Palmer and...Shannyn Moore
Faith is on the minds of many in this week of Easter and Passover. There are as many flavors of belief as there are colors in a basket of jelly beans. If it’s possible for a non-Catholic to have a crush on a Pope, then I do. If that‘s a sin, forgive me. Pope Francis is unlike a number of his predecessors in that he apparently has read the owner's manual to his faith. This week he washed the feet of 12 inmates in Rome's Rebibbia prison. He broke a Vatican tradition by including six female prisoners. Historically, popes only wash the feet of men, supposedly because the apostles were all men. One of the women had her infant son with her. The pope washed and kissed his little foot too. The mother wept. This is the third Holy Thursday on which Francis has washed the feet of people, as Jesus...Shannyn Moore
The annual legislative skits were this weekend in Juneau. That’s a big social event where legislative staff get together to make fun of their bosses. The 2015 Alaska Legislature is certainly a target-rich environment for parody. For example, there was the amazing spectacle of Republican Sen. Peter Micciche grilling Attorney General Craig Richards about his “conflict of interest.” It happens that Micciche is an expert on conflict of interest. He’s the ConocoPhillips employee who helped write the oil tax bill: you know, the law expected to give ConocoPhillips tax breaks worth billions. So Micciche, that paragon of ethical rectitude, was “deeply concerned” by the “perceived conflict” of Richards having represented the city of Valdez in a dispute with the owners of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline...Shannyn Moore
Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey has a problem -- a big problem. I'm not sure if it's a medical issue that has affected his memory of events over the last decade or so, or if it's just way easier for him to pretend some of the things he's done or said didn't happen. Shall we climb into the not-so-way-back machine? Oh, it was an exciting time, and I was in the middle of it. We're only going back to 2008 -- for now. There was this wonderful character named Alan Tesche. He was an assemblyman and used to get on the radio for something called The Tesche Report. There was no love lost between Tesche and fellow assemblymen Dan Coffey and Bill Starr. That's a really kind way to say they couldn't stand each other. When Tesche came home to an answering machine with an accidentally recorded...Shannyn Moore
You know that big, booming movie trailer voice? There's a reason films have used the same sort of voice for so long, and I sometimes wonder if they didn't manage to find that perfect tone or inflection that sounds so much like most people's internal voice. Yeah, here we go with the "Shannyn Moore hears voices in her head" jokes but everyone has at least one. Mine's sort of a Jiminy Cricket meets James Earl Jones wrapped up in Morgan Freeman's dulcet tones. For most of my adult life one of my most prominent "inside voices" has been the voice of Steve Heimel. This week Heimel was the guest on APRN's "Talk of Alaska," a show he has hosted, as well as others, for many years. After 54 years in radio, he is taking on new roles to inspire us. Heimel's resignation from APRN is a giant loss for...Shannyn Moore
It's pretty easy to feel isolated in Alaska. Protected, I suppose, at times from the life of the Lower 48, but also a million miles away when someone you love living three airplane rides away needs something. I watch Outside politics and for years have felt like, "It can't happen here." The mayor's race in Chicago caught my eye. I have never liked Rahm Emanuel. He's just a jerk. I know. I'm not being fair, but it's true. Well, the folks in Chicago are taking notice because just on one side of the race, $70 million has been raised, and most of it comes from contributors who don’t live anywhere near Chicago. I listened to commentators yapping about how this Chicago race is a fight for the democrats. Oh, for crying out loud! It's a fight -- like the fight all over the country -- but its a...Shannyn Moore
New kids at my high school were rare. Most of us had been together since what felt like the beginning of time -- and that wasn’t always a good thing. Remember the time Eric barfed in the lunch room? Yeah. Remember when the elastic in Kim’s sweatpants surrendered during fourth-grade dodgeball? She froze like a statue. New kids were suspect curiosities. It took a while to figure out if they were going to be one of “us.” I remember one in particular. He complained constantly about how lame Homer was. He was in town to live with his relatives for a year -- some sort of punishment for rowdy behavior back home. We figured out pretty fast that he wasn’t one of us (and represented a new kind of mischief we didn’t need). I thought about him this week while listening to a Alaska public radio...Shannyn Moore
A few years ago, I had a close encounter with a brown bear. Your mind can cram a lot of thoughts into a short time when faced with a threat like that. I had already resigned myself to my fate as bear lunch, but then I thought, "I wonder if it's going to hurt?" I guess most of us wonder about that. Will it hurt? Large teeth and claws would seem to answer the question, but adrenaline does amazing things. The older I get, the more people I know who have died. I’ve been present for the passing of a few. It's hard to watch a friend or a loved one in pain, at the mercy of an illness, struggling. No one wants that. I'm so grateful to the hospice and medical workers for the amazing, compassionate work they do. That said, I support a bill now in the Legislature. Rep. Harriet Drummond of Anchorage...Shannyn Moore