Elise Sereni
     Patkotak
Wednesday, May 06, 2015

From Bird TLC… this is about the mallard found with the dart in his neck.
We will be releasing the Mallard at Westchester Lagoon tomorrow (May 7) at 10:30am weather permitting. It is a public release and if you are available, we’d love to have you join us. What a lucky duck! The dart was easily removed, wounds have healed great, he received a partial bath to ensure waterproofing on his neck and he is good to go! Hope to see you all there!

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 04:59 PM •

Congratulations to our newly elected city mayor Ethan Berkowitz. In my heart I kinda knew he couldn’t lose but… as that great man once said, never underestimate the stupidity of the American voting public. So until the votes were counted and I was sure Amy wasn’t going to win, my stomach was in great upheaval. But now I know I don’t have to leave the state. There are enough people here who feel as I do about education and equality and health care to make Alaska the great state it should always be and to make Anchorage the great city it should always be.
So goodby to Mayor Dan Sullivan and his brilliant idea for solving our addiction problems by sending people to a program he read about in Alaska Airlines magazine. Way to do your research. And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 10:54 AM •
Monday, May 04, 2015

Most people have to work a full year before getting a vacation. Alaska’s Republican legislators worked three months… and I use the word “worked) with extreme irony… and have had to take a two week vacation to get over their exhaustion from such hard labor.
What asses.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:39 AM •
Sunday, May 03, 2015

So the Pope thinks that women should get equal pay and be treated equally. Isn’t this a bit hypocritical coming from a man who heads a church that has denied women equality for over 2000 years?

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:38 AM •
Saturday, May 02, 2015

In a little over one week, my hot water heater blew up, my cable box on my tv died and my toilet flusher thingy gave up the ghost.  Hello out there? Who put a curse on me?

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:54 AM •
Friday, May 01, 2015

You are watching a TV show about transgender issues with two transgender panelists and the discussion ranges over just about every area you can imagine given the topic, and you are old enough to remember when Rob and Laura couldn’t sleep in the same bed on TV even though they were married.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:25 AM •
Thursday, April 30, 2015

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen something as pathetic as our esteemed leaders in Juneau begging the press corps to carry their message to Alaskans that there just isn’t enough money in the budget for frivolities like education or health care. There is obviously enough money for the really important things like Knik Arms Bridge but not to expand Medicaid to those people so silly as to have been born poor.

I have restrained myself from advocating for any specific program threatened with cuts because I believe that if these programs are important enough to Alaskans, then Alaskans need to be prepared to help pay for them through a state income tax. But when the legislators in Juneau continue to support projects that seem to suck up endless amounts of state revenues with no return in sight, I have to reconsider that position. It feels as though the good old boys network is alive and well. They take care of their friends in high paying government funded pork belly projects at the expense of our kids, our sick and our villages.
What you saw transpire in Juneau this session is exactly what we should have expected given the people we sent there. They claim to be Republicans and conservatives. I guess the conservative part comes where they conserve the welfare jobs of the already pretty wealthy at the expense of kids. The Republican part comes when they blame the Democrats for all their problems. I expect the next time a volcano blows or an earthquake happens, we can expect the Republicans to blame the Democrats for that too.
For a party that continually complains about the welfare state, it is becoming blatantly obvious that, in Alaska at least, that only applies to government benefits for the poor. Government benefits for the rich, on the other hand, seem sacrosanct. Oil companies still get tax credits that boggle the mind. Subsidies still go out to groups like KABATA that have produced absolutely nothing for the millions they have received. Call me silly. Call me old fashioned. But I think if you are going to cut benefits to any one group that depends on government assistance, you should cut it to the rich and powerful as well as the poor and powerless. I’m willing to guess that if we look at the money flowing out of Juneau, we will find a lot more flowing to the already wealthy than the already poor. 
If we can’t afford to expand Medicaid, if we can’t afford to fund education, how can we afford the cost of a special session for the legislature to finish the work they should have completed long ago. I know. It’s the Democrats’ fault. Republicans won’t be happy until Alaska is an autocracy where they rule supreme, the rich continue to get richer and the rest of us scramble for the table scraps they leave behind.
These legislators totally ignored all the Alaskans who showed up to testify for the needs of many Alaskans. Instead, they funded their buddies who didn’t have to do anything as crass as public testimony to get their money. They used that back door known as lobbying to make sure that no matter what the cuts elsewhere, their friends were taken care of. So the good news is that KABATA lives to see another year of doing nothing while sucking down state money. Oh yes, I know the hope is that the feds will reimburse us. Reimbursement for most of the cost of Medicaid expansion comes with a much more greater surety than the reimbursement for money designated to KABATA and yet Medicaid is considered too risky. Huh?
If this legislative session does not prove to the majority of Alaskans that the current crop of legislators does not represent them and hardly bothers to hide that fact, then I don’t know what will. They have made it crystal clear with their actions that their priorities are not our priorities and they simply don’t care.
The sad bedraggled end to this session, running out of Juneau after passing an unfunded budget that depends on totally draining an education fund should be the last straw for any Alaskan. The phrase, “Throw the bums out!”, was never truer or more appropriate. Don’t worry though. I’m sure if that happen their rich friends will find them a high paying job that includes health care.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:13 AM •
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I don’t know what’s blowing in Alaska’s air but I haven’t sneezed this much since… well, since ever. What the hell?

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:16 AM •
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Where the legislature slinks out of town in the middle of the night with their tails between their legs having done nothing more than ensuring that their rich buddies still get all the state subsidies they want.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:14 AM •
Monday, April 27, 2015

Nepal is one of the many places my sister and I have traveled. The people there were so kind and sweet. The pictures I’m seeing of their country now just breaks my heart. I send them wishes for their peace and comfort.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:21 AM •
Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Alaska State Legislature or the US Congress? I guess it depends on which body is meeting that day. What is wrong with us that we keep electing these clowns? Or do we do it deliberately for our own entertainment figuring it’s cheaper than a movie ticket?

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:41 AM •
Friday, April 24, 2015

My friend came back from visiting family in the lower 48 and was telling me about all the fun she’d had. I realized as I listened to her how jealous I was that she could still talk about the aunts and uncles she visited. Mine are all gone and I have no one to call aunt or uncle anymore. Can’t begin to express how much I miss them and what I wouldn’t give for just a few more moments with them.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 10:37 AM •
Thursday, April 23, 2015

Once again Alaskans are being treated to the spectacle of a legislature unable to finish its business in the time allotted. This gives further credence to my theory that the reason Republicans are so hard on government employees is because they know that they themselves are some of the worse government employees imaginable.

Every year our legislators troop down to Juneau, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready for the challenge of creating the needed laws and budgets to keep the state going another 12 months. And every year we are treated to the sight of three months of a lot of hot air blowing out of the capitol buildings followed by the steam that ensues when the legislature realizes that the end is near. Suddenly, everyone goes into overdrive.
Do you know of anyone working for government who could get away with that year after year after year? Picture a district attorney spending 11.9 months discussing how to proceed on a case and then trying to jam the work actually needed on the case into the last day before the court hearing. Isn’t that just what our legislature does every year to us? They complain that limiting the session to only 120 days has made it almost impossible to get anything done. Yet for most of those 120 days, what we hear from the legislature is that they have plenty of time before they have to make any final decisions. Then suddenly, much to their surprise and chagrin, the end of session is upon them and they are flummoxed by all that’s left to be done. They had no idea.
I know this year has been a tough one for them. After all, they are faced with a collapsed oil economy that, in turn, has threatened to collapse our economy. Suddenly they did not have enough money to feed the people who pay for their campaigns while also taking care of the citizens they purport to represent. Trying to fill that hole kept them so busy they had no time for other things, like passing Erin’s Law or creating the laws needed for marijuana sales in the state.
It’s that last one that puzzles me most. Given that Colorado collected so much in taxes over pot sales in the first year that they may have to return some of it, you’d think our legislators would have jumped on the chance to create a new revenue stream by making the bills needed for pot sale a priority. They could have been even more creative and designated a certain percentage of the tax revenues from the sale of pot to help out our beleaguered school system. Heck, if Alaskans use as much pot as I suspect they do, the pot industry could end up sending money to support the oil industry.  Now there’s something I’d definitely want to hang around to see.
Back to my point though, I find it hard to believe that the same group that constantly implies that every state employee is either extraneous, overpaid or lazy can’t get it’s own house in order to finish its work in the time allotted by Alaskans. It’s not as though the financial picture is going to dramatically change the day before the end of session. It’s not as though ideological opposites are suddenly going to come together and sing Kumbaya. It’s not as though if they wait long enough, suddenly everyone will love and agree with everyone else. So what are they waiting for?
If I was a cynic, I’d suggest that they want to make all the per diem they can and don’t want to leave anything on the table. If I were a cynic, I’d say they like being down in Juneau feeling oh so very important. Why go home when you’re having fun? Think about it. Their one biggest task is the state budget and here we are at the end of session and we still don’t have one.
It seems to me that adults who know what the tasks before them are should be able to set a schedule for completion of those tasks in the time allotted. Maybe the Legislature should look in the mirror the next time they want to complain about state employees who are overpaid and underworked. They might find that those employees are staring back at them.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:33 AM •
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

One of my best friends is a dentist’s wife. Another best friend is her husband the dentist. In fact, I have known quite a few dentists who were pretty wonderful people. So why is it that I still come home and burst into tears after any dental visit that is more invasive than a cleaning?

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:25 AM •
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Because she’s more of a man than all the male Republicans running for the nomination.

Elise Sereni Patkotak • 03:33 AM •

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