Retired Justice Walter "Bud" Carpeneti administers the oath of office to Lt. Governor Byron Mallott (Photo credit James Brooks, via Wikipedia) http://www.ajc.state.ak.us/selection/histlog.html

Alaskans Should Be Grateful to Bud Carpeneti


Alaska state government has its flaws, but the judicial selection process isn’t one of them. The authors of Alaska’s Constitution rejected election of judges because it leaves judges of the trial courts and justices of the state supreme court indebted to their campaign contributors. Whether that’s potential litigants or attorneys who will be appearing before…

Pebble Mine Aerial Photo (Bill Roth / ADN archive 2013)

Not Even Close, John Shively


John Shively assures us that Pebble Mine is safe in his recent opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News. He promises Pebble Mine will be constructed and operated without jeopardizing the world’s most important wild salmon fishery. Let’s have a look at his arguments and see if he’s right. Most of his opinion is an argumentum ad…

Gardner in Drag

Tales from Wasilla: Jay Osmond Gardner


Clever enough to tie his own shoelaces together. Jay Osmond Gardner is accused of murdering Daniel Roy Buckwalter, who disappeared in 2015. The evidence against Gardner is pretty damning: Buckwalter’s remains were found buried under the floor of Gardner’s house. Perhaps he wanted to keep and eye on the body? Because that’s an incredibly stupid…

Tongass National Forest, Northern Chichagof Island

Another Victory for the Tongass


Back in March, U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason rejected an attempt by the U.S. Forest Service to open up Prince of Wales Island and some of the smaller surrounding islands to clearcutting of the remaining old growth forest there. In her decision, Judge Gleason left open the issue of the scope of the remedy, and…

Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, left, is seen at a press conference Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Alaska AG Clarkson Violates the First Law of Holes


Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson continues to work to solidify his position as Alaska’s worst Attorney General ever. He disapproved the petition to recall his boss, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. He was reversed on appeal. He involved himself in several national issues, generally fights in which Alaska has no stake, and lost each time.  He…

Cold Bay and King Cove, Alaska Peninsula (via Apple Maps)

Another BUCIP: King Cove’s Road


BUCIPs, long-time readers may recall, are Big, Ugly. Complicated, Intractable Problems (bew-kip). It’s been a long time since WC has written about a BUCIP. Partly that’s because they are so damned discouraging. But there have been developments in the King Cove BUCIP. First some background. The Alaska Peninsula extends west-southwest from the Alaska mainland hundreds…

Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, left, is seen at a press conference Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Alaska AG Kevin Clarkson Finds Time to Interfere


Alaska’s Attorney General Kevin Clarkson has some grave challenges before him. Rural justice in Alaska is a disaster. Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assaults on women in the nation. The rates of child abuse in Alaska are a national embarrassment. The state’s fiscal woes have Alaska scrambling to keep the wheels from coming…

November 2002 Quake Fault Trace Crossing Richardson Highway

Now This Was an Earthquake


On November 3, 2002, just a little after noon, WC was upstairs at his home in Fairbanks, working on his email. Mrs. WC was downstairs doing chores. The whole house gave a very strong, sudden and sharp jerk. There was a pause. And then continuously, for two minutes and 18 seconds, the house thrashed around…

Source: 5/14/20 Barry Arm Landslide Working Group Letter

The Barry Arm Problem


WC has written before about this summer working on the R/V Acona for the University of Alaska’s Institute of Marine Science. One of the research projects involved a trip to Lituya Bay, in the northwestern part of of Southeast Alaska. In 1958, an earthquake and consequent landslide created what was then the largest tsunami –…

Shawn O'Shea-Grantham was arrested in 2016 for a decade-long pattern of sexual abuse against children. (ADN archive)

Tales from Wasilla: Shawn O’Shea-Grantham


Even by the sometimes bizarre standards of Wasilla, Shawn O’Shea-Grantham was a very strange person. O’Shea-Grantham comes to mind because she died last week, back in prison for violating the conditions of her probation. She was proof, if we needed it, that sexual abuse isn’t always committed by men. In her sick world, she thought…

Tales from Wasilla: The Book Burners Are Back


WC had intended to make this Tale from Wasilla about Shawn O’Shea-Grantham, who died recently while serving her prison sentence. But as appalling as Shawn O’Shea-Grantham’s story is, she’s been trumped (sorry) by the Mat-Su School Board and its 5-2 decision to ban five outstanding books from the tender eyes of Mat-Su high school students.1…

Alaska’s Economy: Authored by Lemony Snicket


Lemony Snicket, for anyone who has been avoiding children’s literature the last twenty years, is the pseudonym for Daniel Handler. Snicket has written a highly successful series of thirteen children’s books with the master title, A Series of Unfortunate Events. And that describes Alaska’s economy, doesn’t it? The decline in crude oil production as Prudhoe Bay…

Loren Leman, former Lt. Governor of Alaska at Homer City Hall in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Jerk Living in Glass House Throwing Stones


Loren Leman, Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor during the most corrupt Alaska government in the state’s history, has criticized the Alaska Supreme Court. Leman, a former member of the Alaska Legislature, was Lt. Governor during the Frank Murkowski Administration. You remember them? It was the most corrupt Alaska government in history. Alaskans likely recall that Murkowski’s Chief…