Moose, Silver Creek, Diaho

Field Notes: Silver Creek


Silver Creek, in southcentral Idaho, is one of the state’s great conservation success stories. Managed – rescued, in fact – by The Nature Conservancy, it is a highly successful model of what can be done when collaboration is successful. It started in 1976 when the local community urged The Nature Conservancy to purchase 479 acres…

Welcome to Mordor!


Since Mordor was opened to tourism in February 2020 – the arrival of COVID-19 was likely but not certainly a coincidence – it’s become a popular destination for those folks wanting to escape from the pandemic and yet be reasonably safe from infection by the virus. Mordor, of course, is all about social distancing. WC…

William Barr on Capitol Hill on April 10. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Flynn, Barr and Corruption


In any sensible Administration, in any sensible Congress, a special prosecutor would have been appointed a long time ago to investigate U.S. Attorney General William Barr. But we don’t have a sensible Administration; we have quite the opposite. We don’t have a sensible Congress; we have an impotent Congress, where the Republican majority will do…

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…

Painted wind turbine blade at Smøla Wind Farm

Paint It Black?


No, not the Rolling Stones’ song about depression. This blog post is about wind turbines. And about science. And about simple solutions. As WC has argued before, there are no environmentally pure ways of generating electricity. Every source available to current technology carries an environmental price: nuclear power’s radioactive waste and high risk; coal’s poisonous…

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 26 Jul 1996, p. 8

WC’s Epic Fails: The Wink


WC, for 25 months, practiced law with the late Jerry LaParle. By several orders of magnitude, it was the worst professional mistake WC made in his career. One episode will show why WC makes such an unqualified statement. Tensions between WC and LaParle were already high when LaParle announced he would be representing Fairbanks attorney…

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…

Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983

Kevin Clarkson: The Inexplicable Explained


It may come as a surprise to WC’s readers, but Alaska lawyers are required to follow ethical rules. The rules are called the Code of Professional Conduct, and lawyers are routinely disciplined for violating the Code. The discipline may range from a “private admonition” – being woodshedded by the Bar Counsel for the Alaska Bar…

Blast It


WC has written before about the July 3 major rockslide that closed U.S. 95 in Idaho between New Meadows and Riggins. U.S. 95 is the only paved road running north-south the length of Idaho, so it was a big deal. The rock that came down was a mix of Idaho Batholith granodiorite and the metamorphosed…

White-eared Puffbird, Pantanal, Brazil

Return of Bird of the Week: White-eared Puffbird


Remember WC cautioned readers that some of the Puffbird photos were pretty sketchy. Here’s another. The White-eared Puffbird is found from eastern Peru and central Brazil south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. It prefers the middle levels of jungle forest and the gallery forests of the lowlands. Like other Puffbirds, it still-hunts from mid-level perches in trees and shrubs,…