August 2008

A few of you have wondered why I haven’t yet posted on Friday’s announcement that’s been shakin’ up Alaska (not to mention the lower 48). Well, I’ve got a good reason. I’ve been just soaking in all the details, marinating in the new-found popularity of our little town, and honestly, feeling a little sorry for myself. What?! That doesn’t fit. Janeen, you must mean you’re EXCITED, not boarding the Pity Party Train. Nope. The more I’ve dwelt on the situation, the more I’ve gotten a bit morose. Why? My dream of becoming the next female Vice President has been shattered (oh so similarly to that glass ceiling that Sarah so eloquently spoke of). What’s the likelyhood that two soccer moms from Wasilla will rise through the ranks to become the President’s right hand (wo)man? Impossible.

In Jr High and High School I ran in the too cool to be uncool, but too uncool to be uber-cool group. We were the overachievers, the group that did every activity, took every AP class, and organized NHS and Student Council. We dreamed Big. Really big. I think that living on an island sheltered us from realizing that some of those dreams were honestly unattainable. I felt that I truly could conquer the world, and given that I chose to apply myself, no career was out of my league.

I kept this mentality heading into college. And then, I met Kevin. And slowly those dreams were replaced with another goal: to be a Godly wife and (someday) mother. Now I have achieved this dream (minus the Godly part, that’s still a work in progress). I am sooooo fulfilled. I truly love my life and my “job”.

Sarah P. is a reminder of that old dream, the one where I too can be a Vice Presidential candidate. My new career is even better than that old dream, but that’s the funny nature of dreams, they always have a little place in your heart 🙂

That being said, it is sooo interesting knowing that a new mom is out on the campaign trail. Granted she’s 20 years and three kids ahead of me, but I still wonder what her new life is like compared to mine. I loved reading in a recent People article (thanks Rachel!) that she’s still nursing. I can relate to that. I just don’t know how she can handle a new baby and a campaign at the same time (not to mention mothering 4 other children). I couldn’t do it. Very, very, very few could.

<<Insert eloquent paragraph here that neatly ties up the thoughts in my head>>

What a cop out.

The end.

A little bit of housekeeping 😉

Election results are available here, updated as new numbers come in. It looks like all the races except US Representative have been decided. Between Sean Parnell and Don Young, Young has a 0.16% lead, with 97.9% of precincts reporting. Whoa.

If you missed out on voting in this year’s election, here are some helpful links:

Dubbed the “Clean Water Act”, this measure has received the majority of media attention. Raise your hand if you’re sick of these ads. Yeah, me too.

From the Alaska voter’s pamphlet:

This bill imposes two water quality standards on new large scale metallic mineral mining operations in Alaska. The first standard does not allow such a mining operation to release into water a toxic pollutant that will adversely affect human health or the life cycle of salmon. The second standard does not allow such a mining operation to store mining wastes and tailings that could release sufuric acid, other acids, dissolved metals or other toxic pollutants that could adversely affect water that is used by humans or by salmon. The bill defines a large scale metallic mineral mining operation that is in excess of 640 acres in size. The bill defines toxic pollutants to include substances that will cause death and disease in humans and fish, and includes a list of substances identified as toxic pollutants under federal law.

Janeen’s Summary:

This measure is an attempt to further regulate large-scale metallic mining in Alaska, with regards to their impact on nearby water sources. Only large-scale (greater than 640 acres) mines would be held to the standard, and only those mines which are created after the bill is passed. The mines would not be allowed to release OR store (in a potentially releasable manner) “toxic pollutants” (as defined under 33 U.S.C. 1317). Vote YES if you agree with regulating new large-scale mines in this way. Vote NO if you do not agree with adding this additional regulation, or if you disagree with the wording of the initiative. You may want to check the full initiative out in the voters pamphlet here. It’s only a couple of pages long.

There is so much advertising (and money) backing each side of this measure that I’m just really frustrated. Both sides are giving out information that has been skewed to serve their demands. Ok. I’m going to go eat a cookie before I get too distraught. Nuts, I don’t have any cookies. Argh. Is it worth firing up the oven? Perhaps…

Wording from the voter’s guide:

This bill creates a voluntary program of public funding for state election campaigns. To qualify, candidates must collect a certain number of signatures and $5 campaign contributions from voters in the area in which the candidate is running for office. Qualified candidates that agree to limits for campaign fundraising and spending may receive campaign funding from the State of Alaska based on the office sought. A qualified candidate may receive state matching funds if the candidate is opposed by a candidate that does not take part in the program.

Janeen’s summary:

This bill, dubbed “The Alaska Clean Elections Act” would allow qualified candidates to receive money from the state for their campaigns. Qualification is determined by gathering needed signatures and contibutions, and then maintaining campaign limits. The goal of the act is to reduce the ability of special interests to contribute to campaigns (and later influence legislation).

If you are in favor of the State giving aid for this purpose, you’ll want to vote YES on ballot measure 3. If you don’t agree with the conditions of the measure, or don’t feel the state should be funding campaigns, vote NO.

The wording (from the Alaska voters pamphlet):

This bill amends current law banning same-day airborne shooting to include grizzly bears. The bill permits the Board of Game to allow a predator program for wolves and grizzly bears if the Commissioner of Fish and Game finds an emergency, where wolves or grizzly bears in an area are causing a decline in prey. Only employees of the Department of Fish and Game could take part in the program. Only the minimum number of wolves or grizzly bears needed to stop the emergency could be removed.

Janeen’s summary taken from the full text of the measure:

This measure states that a person can’t shoot a wolf, wolverine, or grizzly bear during the same day that they have been airborne (not counting regularly scheduled commercial flights), unless the Commissioner of Fish and Game says there’s a biological emergency. According to the measure, a biological emergency means “a condition where a wolf or grizzly bear population in a specific geographic area is depleting a prey population to a point that if not corrected will cause an irreversible decline in the prey population such that it is not likely to recover without implementing wolf or grizzly bear control.”

If you’re in favor of limiting airborne predator control to times when the Commissioner of Fish and Game claims a biological emergency (and feel that the current program does not adequately monitor and restrict airborne hunting), you’ll want to vote YES on this measure. If you want to leave the airborne predator control program as is, and believe the current program wisely monitors airborne hunting, you’ll want to vote NO.

The question I still have with regards to this measure is, “What is the current regulation regarding airborne hunting?” I haven’t found a good answer to this query.

Ok, I get it. You’re all out fishing. That’s cool. I can Carnival with myself. This is good for me. Good for my pride. This is me on stilts. Carnival! Woohoo.

To register to vote, and for all things Elections, check out the Alaska Division of Elections website. Now, to begin at the beginning. A very good place to start.

Ballot Measure 1:

The wording (from the voters pamphlet):

This initiative would create a seven-member gaming comission in the state Department of Revenue, and change gaming laws. The commission would employ a director, make contracts, adopt regulations, investigate and enforce gaming laws. The commission would have authority to allow games of chance, such as lotteries and casino games, in the future. It could join other states in multi-state gaming. The director would supervise gaming activities, and enforce charitable gaming laws. The initiative would make certain acts related to gaming a felony. Gaming allowed by the new law would be exempted from the criminal prohibition against gambling.

The purpose (according to the measure) would be to:

  • provide recreational opportunities for Alaskans
  • attract additional tourists to Alaskabecause the activities available to them will increase
  • retain revenue in Alaska which now leaves the State because of illegal, out-of-state and internet gaming
  • provide new economic development as a sustainable industry
  • provide additional potential sources of revenue to support programs such as education, transportation, fish and wildlife management, and operations of state and local governments, and
  • help protect the permanent fund

Honestly, I haven’t read the entire measure. It’s long, the kids are napping, and I REALLY need to do my nails. Someday I want to be that person, but not today. If you’d like to check out the entire measure for yourself, just click on the link above and download the voters pamphlet.

When debating on a measure, I like to ask myself the questions, “What is the REAL purpose of this Measure?”, “Would this measure benefit my family?”, and “Is this measure good for the future of Alaska?”

Basically, if you’re pro gambling (and don’t mind a 5 person commission being given complete power over the industry) this measure will entice your dice (heehee). If you’re anti-gambling, or wish the measure would provide better checks and balances for committee members, you’ll want to just say NO on 1.

If you have any comments to add, or helpful links, please add them below.

Next Page »