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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 87,074

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Owner of new Sitka pot shop working to keep up with demand

SITKA — A second marijuana retailer has opened for business in the southeast Alaska city of Sitka.

The Northern Lights Indoor Gardens began selling its products on Feb. 16. The business is located in the same strip mall as the city’s first marijuana business, Weed Dudes, The Sitka Sentinel reported Tuesday.

Northern Lights owner Micah Miller said he’s been selling about a pound of pot each day and likely won’t have enough to keep up with demand before his next crop is ready in late March.

He expects sales to pick up in March when commercial fishermen come into town for herring season.

Read more: http://juneauempire.com/state/2017-02-28/owner-new-sitka-pot-shop-working-keep-demand#
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 03:03 AM (0 replies)

Anchorage Jewish community center among bomb-threat targets

ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage Jewish community center is among those targeted in a wave of bomb threats around the country.

The Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska evacuated about 40 children after it received a phone call making the threat Monday afternoon. Rabbi Yosef Greenberg says a recorded male voice announced that there was a bomb in the building and that people had 20 minutes to clear out.

He says police arrived within minutes, and the FBI also responded. No explosives were found anywhere on the premises, including in Greenberg’s car, whose alarm began blaring around the same time as the call.

Police referred further questions to the FBI, which didn’t immediately respond for comment Tuesday.

Read more: http://juneauempire.com/state/2017-02-28/anchorage-jewish-community-center-among-bomb-threat-targets
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 03:00 AM (1 replies)

Industry reps voice concerns over proposed oil tax bill

Oil industry players made their pitch to the House Resources Committee against further oil tax changes in the last days of February, which included direct criticisms of the Legislature’s new oil and gas policy consultant.

Alaska Oil and Gas Association CEO Kara Moriarty said in testimony that she found the characterization by Castle Gap Advisors Managing Partner Rich Ruggiero that industry advocates rely on predictable rhetoric to oppose potential tax increases to be “insulting,” while noting of late most governments have offered incentives as oil and gas prices have remained low.

In his introductory presentation to the committee Feb. 20 Ruggiero, a longtime industry engineer turned consultant who was employed by Gov. Sarah Palin’s administration during the development of the since-repealed ACES tax policy, said oil company representatives “routinely deploy the top three detractor themes” that increased government take upsets financial stability, makes a regime less competitive in attracting investment and will put jobs at risk.

Suffice to say the introduction did not go over well with minority caucus Republicans on the committee who are continuously working to poke holes in the oil tax bill. House Bill 111 was proposed by the Resource co-chairs and Anchorage Democrats, Reps. Geran Tarr and Andy Josephson.

Read more: http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2017-03-02/industry-reps-voice-concerns-over-proposed-oil-tax-bill
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 02:55 AM (0 replies)

200-year-old Russian wreck found on Kruzov Island near Sitka

Courtesy of the Sitka History Museum

In July, an international team of archaeologists returned to the coast of Kruzov Island in their search for the lost Russian ship, Neva, wrecked in 1813 in one of the worst maritime disasters in Alaskan history. Following up on last year’s discovery of a Russian period survivor’s camp, researchers uncovered significant new wreckage and artifacts, and most somber, the grave of one of Neva’s forgotten crewmen or passengers who perished during the wreck. New finds leave little doubt that the elusive wreck site has been located after more than 200 years. The team has also begun piecing together the amazing story of its shipwrecked crew.

The demise of the Neva

The Russian-American Company (RAC) ship Neva was arguably one of most celebrated and reviled ships in early Alaskan history. Between 1803 and 1806 it was the first of two ships to circumnavigate the globe for Russia’s fledgling Navy. It also played the pivotal role in the 1804 Battle of Sitka, using her guns and crew to break Tlingit resistance to Russian settlement. For years the ship supplied the RAC with crucial supplies and personnel, and again made history in 1807 as the first Russian ship to sail to Australia. Yet Neva’s luck ran out during what would become her final voyage in late August, 1812.

Leaving the Siberian port of Okhotsk to deliver supplies to New Archangel (Sitka, Alaska), she was plagued by an unsettling series of misfortunes. Initial plans for the ship to visit Japan on an emissary mission were scrapped at the last minute, sending her into Alaskan waters late in the season. Ominously, Shturman Vasil’ev, Neva’s newly appointed captain, drowned when his skiff overturned during an initial inspection tour.

Fleet Lieutenant Iakov Podushkin assumed command of the vessel, sharing duties with Navigator Daniil Kalinin. Contrary to others’ advice to sail directly to New Archangel, Podushkin chose to sail down the Aleutian chain in hopes of re-supplying with fresh water. A fierce storm pounded the Neva, breaking the mainsail and damaging other rigging. Too sick to continue, Podushkin relinquished command to Kalinin. In late November, changing winds brought the battered ship to safe harbor in Prince William Sound. Already 15 had died on board during the voyage. Uncertain if the weak and shaken passengers could survive the winter there, Kalinin sailed for Sitka.

Read more: http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/030117/ae_1273030087.shtml

Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 02:31 AM (0 replies)

Palmer City Council addresses trip to Juneau, new Fred Meyer and dogs in parks

PALMER — Members of the Palmer City Council addressed a trip to the capitol building in Juneau to discuss state funding, including money that would be used toward waste water treatment improvements, during a meet Tuesday night.

Council members met with Valley legislators, and Mayor Edna Devries met with Gov. Bill Walker, hoping to hear good news about funding for Palmer’s outdated water treatment system after the EPA stated in December that it was contaminating the Matanuska River. Due to the state’s budget deficit, the city did not receive the funding expected to help with the cost of the improvements, despite high hopes that federal funding would be included in the budget.

City councilman Richard Best was not in panic over the state's budget in relation to the city of Palmer.

"Palmer has always been very conservative fiscally and we've not gotten ourselves into too many ventures or projects that we've had to go to Juneau and lobby for," Best said.

Read more: http://www.frontiersman.com/news/palmer-city-council-addresses-trip-to-juneau-new-fred-meyer/article_391affbc-ffb2-11e6-b001-d7289f869d2e.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 02:11 AM (0 replies)

'Tsunami of sewage spills' in Tijuana fouls U.S. beaches, may have been intentional

A massive sewage spill in Tijuana that polluted beaches in San Diego County last month may have been no accident, according to state and local officials.

In a preliminary estimate, officials said about 143 million gallons of raw sewage spewed into the Tijuana River during a period of more than two weeks that ended Thursday. While cross-border sewage spills of a few million gallons are routine for the region, this is one of the largest such events in the last two decades, according to water quality experts in San Diego.

People from Tijuana to as far north as Coronado have been complaining of foul odors for weeks, prompting lawmakers in San Diego County to contact federal regulators as well as agencies in Mexico.

The U.S. regulators said their Mexican counterparts have given little explanation. Mexican officials also haven’t responded to requests for comment for this article since Monday.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-sewage-20170301-story.html

[font color=330099]I'm waiting for Trump to solve this problem.[/font]
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 02:06 AM (7 replies)

Trump business associate led double life as FBI informant and more, he says

Working from a 24th-floor office in Manhattan’s Trump Tower, Felix Sater spent years trying to line up lucrative deals in the United States, Russia and elsewhere in Europe with Donald Trump’s real estate organization.

For much of that time, according to court records and U.S. officials, Sater also worked as a confidential informant for the FBI, and — he says — U.S. intelligence.

“I was building Trump Towers by day and hunting Bin Laden by night,” Sater, now 50, told the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview from New York.

As managing director of Bayrock Group LLC, a real estate development firm, the Russian-born businessman met Trump in 2003, court records show, when Trump was looking to expand his business and branding organization around the globe.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-sater-trump-20170223-story.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 01:51 AM (3 replies)

New contract raises pay by 24 percent for California prison doctors

Doctors at a dozen understaffed prisons stand to gain a 24 percent pay hike over the next four years in a tentative contract for the last state government union working without a labor agreement.

The agreement for the 1,500 workers represented by the Union of American Physicians and Dentists includes a modest general salary increase worth a combined 9 percent through July 1, 2019. That’s consistent with contracts Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration struck with 15 other bargaining units over the past year.

More lucrative incentives are designed to recruit and retain doctors at prisons, where vacancy rates have climbed to 30 percent. They’ll gain the union’s general wage increase, plus another 15 percent in a “recruitment and retention differential” for four years.

That incentive does not count toward an employee’s base pay, and it will not be used to calculate pensions. It also will be removed from the doctors’ pay when the contract expires.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article136113478.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 01:18 AM (0 replies)

Long smoke breaks and a do not hire list: Audit details state worker misdeeds

An executive at the Department of Health Care Services kept a “do not hire” list for almost two years that may have run afoul of anti-discrimination laws, according to an audit disclosing recent improper activities by state workers.

The health care executive appeared to be the highest-ranking state worker to be investigated in State Auditor Elaine Howle’s latest report on public employee misconduct.

Other examples included a parole agent who misused a state vehicle for her personal commute, a Caltrans analyst who spent about seven hours a week taking smoke and lunch breaks, and a university librarian who perused websites related to online video games for about 85 hours at work in a 13-month period. The audit does not name the individuals involved.

Howle’s staff estimated the misconduct detailed in the report cost taxpayers about $40,000 “in inappropriate expenditures related to the misuse of of state time and resources, inaccurate attendance records and improper payments.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article136037333.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 01:12 AM (0 replies)

Government officials cant use private devices to hide texts and emails, court rules

State and local government officials can no longer shield from scrutiny their communications about public business by using private phones and accounts, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday, handing a major victory to media and transparency advocates.

The state’s high court issued a unanimous decision, saying the public has the right to view messages about government business conducted in that fashion.

“A city employee’s communications related to the conduct of public business do not cease to be public records just because they were sent or received using a personal account,” Justice Carol Corrigan wrote in the ruling. “Sound public policy supports this result.”

The use of private email accounts by public officials has faced scrutiny in recent years even as other states treat the emails as public records.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article136123468.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Fri Mar 3, 2017, 01:11 AM (0 replies)
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