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!)...

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....

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....

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...

Shannyn Moore

It's not often that I read letters to the editor about my columns, but this week was just too good. The president of a oil industry support group -- read cheerleader and chief for the rah rah petro club - called my column from a few weeks ago "nonsensical gibberish." Sorry, that just made me laugh again. If my writing is so nonsensical then why do they have to send out a hired gun to say so. I mean, really dear reader, you'd know gibberish if you read it. Right? Just so we're clear. I am as anti oil drilling as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are against cars. Notice there isn't an organization fighting safety features in cars. Maybe Ms....

Shannyn Moore

Have you heard about the Kentucky haves and the Tennessee have-nots? Residents of towns only a five-minute walk from one another now have a huge divide in their ability to access health care. In May 2013, Kentucky's governor, Steve Beshear, without support from his legislature, expanded Medicaid for his state, qualifying what he thought would be 308,000 citizens for coverage; the real number turned out to be more than 600,000. Beshear's decision brought on a lawsuit from a Tea Party activist who failed to convince the Kentucky courts that expansion had to be ratified by the legislature. (Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia also expanded Medicaid by executive order.) Tennessee did not expand Medicaid....

Shannyn Moore

Unintended consequences are fascinating. In South Carolina, a racist sits in a jail cell after gunning down nine people in a Bible study. I hope someone has told him his hate crime accomplished something decades of the civil rights advocacy could not. The Confederate battle flag no longer flies over the state capitol.

Meanwhile Donald Trump, in his bid to become the Republican nominee for president in 2016, has tripled his double-down on anti-immigrant hate-mongering. His characterization of Latino immigrants as rapists and drug dealers has cost him a few TV shows and a clothing line at Macy's. He even was bigot enough to go after the Mexican immigrant wife of fellow candidate Jeb Bush...

Shannyn Moore

I try not to listen to talk radio. What once may have been "thought radio" has morphed into "hate talk." Far too much of the radio dial is occupied by angry old and young white men longing for the good ol’ days of the John Birch Society -- when women were in the kitchen and homosexuals were in the closet, where they belong. (Thank God for public radio.) Well, this last week was not a good one for those of the reactionary persuasion. Which means it was an especially bad week for a sane person to listen to talk radio. Unfortunately, I found myself in a place where the only broadcast I could get was talk radio. My exposure lasted only about five minutes, so I’m pretty sure the brain cells will grow back. One caller was confused....

Shannyn Moore

It's been quite a week for the country. The Supreme Court has, despite a few judges who are holdovers from the dark ages, ruled a few things right. Wahoo! Gay weddings and access to health care! Wait. The working poor and our LGBT brothers and sisters are considered "people" by the court? It's like they are corporations or something! Because I'm not able to express my thoughts about the recent racially motivated slaughter in South Carolina without a string of bleeps and asterisks, I thought I'd write about fishing issues --something safe from controversy (cough). This week a friend posted the latest derby leader in the Seward Halibut Derby. The current standing is 291 pounds of flat fish. His post included, "We should no longer condone keeping these huge fish....

Shannyn Moore

I know Alaskans like to talk about how big we are. It's a distinction -- the biggest state. I flew over the pass from Homer to Lake Clark this week. Yes, it was bumpy and I didn't like that, but the mountains just seemed to go on forever.

There was lots of smoke even those many miles away.

Many of our fellow Alaskans weren't headed out fishing, they were trying to save their homes, sled dogs, pictures, belongings -- or worse, trying to itemize all they had lost. So many of our challenges are local ones. It takes something like fire or flood for us to take up the mantle for each other...

Shannyn Moore

Pages