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The rich are SO different from you and me

For those of you who still don’t believe the rich inhabit a different world, from you and me, let me try to persuade you with a list of some of the things that Tyco former chief executive officer L. Dennis Kozlowski had the company buy him.

For starts, there was the $17,000 traveling toilet box.  Now, I’m not even sure what this is.  Is it a toilette box for women’s skin care products?  Or is it really a travelling toilet box? Perhaps they bought this for him to use at long board meetings so he would not have to mingle

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Hayfever returns with move to Anchorage

Ah, hay fever.  Ah-choo.  Yes, it’s that time of the year again.  Only after 30 years in Barrow, I’d almost forgotten what it was like.  I can only guess that no self-respecting pollen would travel that far north for the singular purpose of annoying me.  Or maybe my body just never recognized North Slope pollen as pollen.  It certainly took it forever to recognize a North Slope summer as a summer.

Whatever the reason, I had 30 good, hay fever free years when I could go outside in the fall and not be felled by multiple sneezes that literally took

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Childhood memories all the more precious after 9/11

As part of my ongoing effort to not gain my age in weight annually, I recently have taken to trying hypnosis.  Every night I faithfully put on earphones and listen to the tape of a man telling me all kinds of wonderful things about the self-control I have lurking in my subconscious.  Apparently it can’t fight its way through the crowd screaming for sugar free cookies long enough to be heard.  But this tape swears it will eventually bring it to the forefront of my mind.

Until then, I spend about 20 minutes each night going into somewhat of a

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All families can be dysfunctional – but some carry it to an extreme

Kids killing other kids.  It makes headlines in every state in the union.  Alaska has no exclusive on this problem. Wherever we go, these problems follow us because they are basically the problems of dysfunctional families.

I’m not trying to blame every family that ever had a kid go bad. Sometimes kids from relatively good families take a sudden left turn in life and end up on the wrong side of everything their parents stand for or taught them.  But they are the exception.  The general rule is that kids who kill come from backgrounds that lay the seeds for

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Politics in Alaska never boring

I grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the days before gambling legally dominated the political scene.  I make the distinction of “legally” because illegal gaming, as well as prostitution and other nefarious enterprises, always dominated the Atlantic City political landscape.

As a child, I defined politics as follows. The pope ruled the world, the president helped the pope by ruling in America and Hap Farley ruled in Atlantic County. Atlantic City did have a mayor.  In fact, it was the same mayor for most of my childhood. At some point in the 1980s, Atlantic City held the dubious

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In scams, only the product changes

I learned my first lesson in the cold hard realities of life when I was about 10 or 11 years old.  I saw an ad that said if I wanted to be a writer, I should send a sample of my writing to them and a “famous writer” would personally evaluate it for me absolutely free of charge. I couldn’t believe it.  A FAMOUS WRITER was going to read what I wrote and tell me whether it was good or not.  And for free.

I dashed off a story and sent it in quite sure that the next thing to

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Alcohol fuels air rage

Yet another unruly member of the air travelling public has been brought to court and pled guilty.  Justice has been done, the people on the flight to Japan were only about 3 hours late to their destination and the man convicted of causing the inconvenience may yet be made to pay for the $10,000 worth of fuel that the plane had to dump to safely land here.

At the very end of the article about this passenger was a sentence that stated that almost all cases of air rage involve alcohol. 

May I just say “DUH!”?

Many years ago, I

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I never meant to hurt Mother Nature

When I lived in Barrow, I had a fairly self-righteous attitude about people who despoiled our earth for their own selfish purposes.  That attitude cast a pretty wide net from the communist leaders of Eastern Europe who allowed so much of their earth to be polluted beyond human comprehension to people who used deadly weed killers on their lawns and poisoned the earth.

Of course in Barrow the people had a long cultural tradition of protecting and preserving their land for their children and grandchildren.  Besides which, it’s not as though there were thriving lawns that needed protection from unwanted

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Alaska stuns visitors, reminds us why we’re lucky

When you live in Alaska long enough, you start to take it for granted.  You drive through vistas that leave visitors gasping at their beauty and all you can think about is making it to your destination so that you no longer have to tailgate the RV from Hell.

Then you get the dreaded summer visitors and you find yourself showing them your state.  And with each passing mile, each passing experience, each passing moment, you find yourself swelling more and more with pride as you remember why you chose Alaska for your home.

At least, that’s what happened to

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Judy bravely returns to Alaska…even though

The first time my sister came to Alaska was in 1974. She flew directly to Barrow from the East Coast without any time off to acclimatize in Anchorage.  She stayed for over six weeks.  By the time she left, I wasn’t sure I’d ever get her back to Alaska again.

She came at the end of May, just in time for my husband and his family to be taking their traditional hunting trip on the tundra on Memorial Day weekend.  It was possibly one of the coldest, wettest and most miserable of hunting trips I ever took in my 28

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