Columns 2015

A look back

As I get older, I find the changing of the year less and less exciting because I become increasingly aware that I have fewer and fewer new years in my future. On the other hand, anyone who can look back on 2015 and not express some sense of relief that it’s over has clearly not been tuned in this year. Let me catch you up. Donald Trump, a man on his third wife who refers to African-Americans as “the blacks”, is actually a viable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. And he recently tied with Pope Francis as the second

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Columns 2015

In the spirit of the season

Christmas is just two days away so it’s time to write a fun and uplifting column about how wonderful the season is and how grateful we all are. I really, really wanted to actually write that column. But then I saw two headlines last week that made me wonder if any of us can have a happy holiday knowing that not far from any of us is a child living with domestic violence and abuse.

The first headline detailed the horrors of child abuse in our state and how often a child has to be damaged before he or she

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Columns 2015

The only adult in the room

Sometimes it’s simply not fun to be the only adult in the room. While everyone else it having fun being silly and stupid, you are required to maintain some semblance of dignity and intelligence. Watching our local politicians at work I have to say that I am becoming more and more convinced that Governor Walker may be the only adult in any room full of Alaskan politicians.

Remember when you were a kid and it seemed as though it was always your parents raining on your parade? You know, they’d say things like, “No you can’t stick that dime into

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Columns 2015

Volunteering… not just for the holidays

It’s been a hard few weeks here in America. Mass murders seem to happen almost daily. Against all common sense, some people still think Donald Trump is not only a viable presidential candidate but also an actual compassionate human being. The whole world truly seems to be spinning out of control. Given the rapid approach of the holiday season, I thought it would be best to look for something positive to write about that promotes the message that good, kind and compassionate people still exist. I found it at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center.

Hiland Mountain is the proud home of

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Columns 2015

Another day, another shooting

Here is an excerpt from President Obama’s reaction to the shooting at the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic last week. “This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this . . . then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.” Poor guy. He’s actually delusional enough to think that this shooting will make any more or less of a difference than the many shootings before it.

Robert Lewis Dear was described by those

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Columns 2015

When did Republicans become the party of cowards?

Remember 9/11? Of course you do. It’s not a day any of us are likely to forget. Soon after it, American flags showed up on everyone’s porch and people were spotted wearing t-shirts that said, “These colors don’t run” superimposed over the red, white and blue.  Sure is embarrassing to remember that now as our esteemed Republican presidential candidates and multiple governors tuck their tails between their legs and run in fear of refugees. I guess in their world, the colors do run.

A certain segment of America insists on their right to pack heat in visible sight everywhere they

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Columns 2015

Narcan is the instant cure for heroin OD

Back in my misspent youth, I was a registered nurse for a brief nanosecond of time. Then I realized that real nurses had something I didn’t have… a desire to be a nurse. So I got out of the profession. But before I did, I spent more than my fair share of nights in the emergency room of Long Island College Hospital, a hospital that handled some of the meaner streets of Brooklyn. Overdoses were pretty much a daily routine. On the weekends, overdoses became something close to a marathon. You could hardly push some Narcan into one overdose before

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Columns 2015

From Bird TLC

Hi all,

As you all know Bird TLC has been receiving emaciated common murres that are lacking their waterproofing. Thank you so much for all of your support as we handle the influx of common murres. We are up to 16 currently here in the clinic and a total of 20 intakes. Our current need is frozen smelt (preferably 4-5” in length), squid and octopus. If anyone knows of facilities that can donate smelt, squid or octopus in large quantities please let me know. Thank you!


Katie Middlebrook

Avian Rehabilitation Coordinator

Bird Treatment & Learning Center

7800 King St.

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Columns 2015

Good can come out of a bad incident

I’m guessing that by now there are few in Alaska who haven’t seen or read about the incident in Sitka where three police officers are shown Tasering a drunken teenager. It’s pretty tough to watch. It’s even tougher for those of us brought up to respect the police as the ones we should run to when we feel we are in danger. While the teenager in question is clearly being less than cooperative, the idea of directly Tasering him to convince him to take his clothes off is just horrifying.

The young man’s name is Franklin Hoogendorn. He was, at

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Columns 2015

To all politicians… your emails are NOT private!

Many, many years ago, a dentist I had hired to start the North Slope Borough’s Dental Program came to my house to ask me to have a cup of coffee with his wife. He told me she was feeling very alone and down. It was her first winter in Barrow and the darkness was not helping to raise her spirits; so I invited her over for coffee and we’ve been best friends ever since.

If I hadn’t told you that story, no one would ever have known about it except for the three people involved. That’s because the story occurred

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