Friday, July 24, 2009

Saradise Found - Chapter 17 - The Wasilla Governor's Picnic

Serving lines at the picnic, held in the park complex in central Wasilla:
Piper Palin serving, while her grandpa Special Agent Bob Cockrell stares at me:
Piper, Sarah and Joe Schmidt serving:
One of Palin's staff, eying me after somebody whispered in his ear:
Ray Metcalfe explaining his anti-corruption petition to Alaska Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin:
The picnic, as seen from the Wasilla skateboard park. There were a lot of drunk ten to 14-year-old kids at the skateboard park and the BMX bike course:


Anonymous said...

"There were a lot of drunk ten to 14-year-old kids at the skateboard park and the BMX bike course:"

Cmon Phil, you had a pretty good photo essay going and then you had to make this unsubstantiated statement. How do you know they were drunk. They cops have to do a test but you can tell just from the way a 13 year old rides a skateboard.

You and I both know you were making a statement about Wasilla, "the hometown of Sarah Palin". Not that I really want to defend Wasilla all that much being a Palmeranian myself.

Anonymous said...

Grandpa and staff man giving the old stink eye.

Anonymous you can smell alcohol. Ten to 14-year-old kids aren't as good at hiding those things.
If it is part of the scene it needs to be told. Where I live if you are an adult and smell like alcohol at a park you'll be busted.

Aussie Blue Sky said...

Anonymous said...
Cmon Phil, you had a pretty good photo essay going and then you had to make this unsubstantiated statement. How do you know they were drunk. They cops have to do a test but you can tell just from the way a 13 year old rides a skateboard.
If you can't determine if a child has been drinking alcohol, you need to get out of the way of the people who do.

Phil, I expected scenes of folks sitting at tables brushing away ants, kids kicking balls around, dogs sneaking stuff and tripping people up, etc - you know, the usual picnic stuff. It looks more like people were there to see and be seen. I hope the food was at least digestible. ;)

Philip Munger said...

I didn't get any food - the lines were over an hour long.

I could smell alcohol on about ten or more kids between the BMX course and the skateboard park. In two groups, one by the upper road, and one by the VPA parking lot.

I did not report them because all the police were very busy - all four of them that I could see. They were troopers, and probably needed to be around the governor.

The WPD was dealing with the huge amount of traffic on the streets. There were at least 2,000 people there by my estimate.

I might gave gotten a better sense of the place had I been able to stay longer, but a lot of my time was taken talking to Ray and to my friend, Jim Colver.

EyeOnYou said...

I did not report them because all the police were very busy - all four of them that I could see. They were troopers, and probably needed to be around the governor.

That depresses the hell out of me!

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is depressing. I mean what quitter gets to run a victory lap? Oh yeah, Vain Sarah Palin.

Philip Munger said...


Anyone familiar with the Wasilla skateboard park knows there is a certain amount of substance use and abuse there. The concrete curbs are plugged several inches deep in cigarette butts, beer bottle caps and other stuff. There are lots of empty condom wrappers in the bushes between the park and the basketball courts.

I'm sure the same could be said of lots of similar parks around the country.

Bridey said...

What is up with the glares? Palins don't need anything to enhance their unattractiveness. They are not as attractive as the press would have us think.

When I met Palin, she was about government for everyone. She was sunshine personified! My vision was on the surface but you could disagree and she'd never let a glare shadow her face. Now you see them trying to look menacing when they don't like someone. Can't they fake it? No, it doesn't do them a it of good or their opponents, but smile because if God help you you ever have a stroke, you won't be able to. Smile because it's just a frown. . . turned upside down! Smile because it makes people wonder what you are up to.

At least Gramps wasn't opening up his trap at you.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, the Heasts don't need anything to enhance their unattractiveness.

Anonymous said...

Oh just say it Phil, it used to be in Wasilla, that you had to hide your stash from your parents. Now a days you have to hide your stash from your kids.

Anonymous said...

FYI: That's not Piper's grandfather, he's security detail... Special Agent Bob Cockrell.

EyeOnYou said...


I am well aware that this sort of thing happens all over the place, and it saddens me that people are willing to look the other way rather than make an attempt to stop it from continuing.

In my opinion, if kids of that age are drunk, and comfortable being in that condition while that close to a large activity and with a police presence that close by, then they must not worry too much about being caught. That saddens me even more.

No matter where it happens, it is a depressing thing that should not be viewed as either acceptable or tolerated.

Just my .02

Goodbye Grandma Grifter said...

Those kids have parents; and, maybe their parents gave them a taste of brewski to help assuage or maybe even to celebrate the governor's departure.

Anonymous said...

Or...those kids have parents who are all caught up in there own ambitions and don't make the time to pay attention to what their kids are doing. Sorta like the grifter governor whose older kids were known for partying, getting knocked up and cutting the brakes on school buses. Mmm Hmm....

Anonymous said...

P.S. Sorry about the typo above...I do know th difference between "there" and "their." :-)

Anonymous said...

If the governor can not hold a picnic without alcohol then there should be NO picnic. Either hire adequate security and crowd control staff or DON'T hold an event.

It boggles the mind that some voters were willing to put Palin a heartbeat from the presidency, when she can't even manage a family safe picnic.

Phil, thanks for your blog. It's a voice of reality in the fantasy of palin-world.

winkwinkWA said...

I have to disagree with you Phil, if you suspected these kids were drunk it was your obligation to tell the authority's not just look thee other away! That is what is wrong with our society today, to many people not standing up for what is right or wrong. I don't give a crap if the police were busy protecting Miss Sarah...

Alaska Is My Home said...

Phil, thanks for the post! I guess everyone here is focusing on the drinking kids and not much else. I used to work with kids this age, and it made me sad, too that no one else was paying attention.

The looks of Chuckie Heath and the staffer are ridiculous - delusions of something or other they have! I'm so disgusted with the Twit and am so glad she's not my gov. anymore. Actually I disowned her a long time ago and wrote a scathing letter to her, and to your hometown paper, to say so. Yeah, I got those "looks", too and a bunch of creepy phone calls. It all made me very proud - I touched a nerve!

Better days are ahead! We now have reinforcements for those who will watch Sarah, and I for one, am glad for the help. A large network of smart people will likely do what our great AK bloggers have done - set up a network of Palin watchers and trip her up at every step she takes. It's so not hard to do!

It takes a lot of time and energy, though - so I appreciate all that you have devoted to helping us know, then rid ourselves of, the Twit.

Anonymous said...

Some people posting aren't looking at the big picture. If there were only 4 or so troopers for that size of crowd, you have to remember - Phil wasn't in neutral territory. The parents being so accepting and actually blind towards their own kids being alcoholics -- for Phil to report it - like I said, he wasn't on neutral territory.

Palin sure would not have done anything - look where her kid is and why.

I think Phil acted accordingly in that by the looks he had already received for being there, his choice to say nothing was the proper one.

My interst is whether Joann Grimes will be attending any of the functions. That will be interesting to see pics of as I'm sure she has aged!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a good crowd. I drove by but was in too big of a hurry to stop.

I wish her well, she was a game-changer for Alaskan politcs and we needed a change.

Now we are back to ho-hum...what do the oil companies want now? Let's give them that so we can stay in office. It's when we have people that don't cling to office with their fingernails that we can make some changes.

Philip Munger said...

I'm not relating kids' alcohol use in the BMX course and skateboard park to the picnic itself. There were about as many kids at the park as usual for a summer time Friday night. Perhaps a few less kids. Any alcohol or drug use by the kids wasn't related to the picnic. If anything, there was probably less open drug use - particularly marijuana - by the kids at those two places because of the picnic and police presence than there might usually be.

Had I found some Wasilla cops and reported my perception of alcohol use, I probably would have been asked if they were being rowdy. They weren't. The cop would then have triaged my report pretty far down his or her list.

The WPD is well aware of alcohol and drug use at the skateboard park and adjacent areas.

basheert said...

Thanks for taking the chance Phil. Isn't it interesting how threatened Miss Innocent feels?

It is interesting that if the kids were drunk it was ignored. Drunk kids are usually pretty obnoxiously obvious. But that does NOT make them alcholics, they just have parents that are clueless, don't care, or possibly that might KILL them if they did know.

She no long can keep up the "Happy Face" - she is, effectively, being run out of town on a rail. QuitterTwitter is leaving the building. She will say "she quit" but really, she had no choice.

She cannot let go of the banana in the jar!

Philip Munger said...

By posting the pics of the two guys eyeing me, I wasn't trying to indicate that I felt I was in a hostile environment. I wasn't. I spoke to dozens of very zealous Palin supporters while there, all of whom are acquaintances, friends or good friends. Some of the people who were watching me knew who I was, others were probably curious that I wasn't in line to get a hot dog from the gov.

This is, unfortunately, my home town. I wrote the march to dedicate the first facility in the park. I helped as a volunteer in aspects of the park's design. I did not feel uncomfortable at all there. I was only questioned once about why I was there, and that questioner, John Klapperich, was jesting.

Anonymous said...

Wasilla and its residents frighten me. Fairbanks people say the same thing about North Pole... Belligerent, armed and very religious low rent of the lowest rent category of America society.

winkwinkWA said...

Phil- sorry to jump on you, but if this is a known fact why aren't the police patrolling, or is this how it is in Wasilla? This is a prime example of how Sarah got to be Sarah, do whatever, no one is watching....until the sh/t hits the fan. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Who's paying for the liability insurance policy to cover underage drinking?

I smell a HUGE lawsuit if any of those kids injure themselves at this shabby event.

If children are being served alcohol, one would think that law enforcement would do something about it.

Just as when one is litigated against for being the "host" of a party where alcohol is served, if someone exiting the party (of appropriate drinking age) leaves and has an accident, guess who is "fully liable"? Yes, the host.

I thought people up there would be smarter than to permit alcohol at this event when members of the general public are invited?

Again, where is the liability insurance policy? And who is footing the bill?

Anonymous said...

So you've got two potential liability loopholes to consider:
1) Liability for persons of drinking age driving from the event while intoxicated....

2) Underage drinking which is illegal?

What the heck is going on up there?
This woman is not only a fraud but is totally clueless when it comes to even a modicum of intelligence.

Philip Munger said...

My observation about probable underage drinking was not a criticism of Sarah Palin or, by-and-large, the WPD. Situations like what I observed are very typical in parks similar to this one, all around the country.

AKPetMom said...

I don't think they were actually serving alcohol at the event, at least I didn't see any. I saw lots of water bottles and soda bottle, but no cups of beer.

I could however have just missed it.

Ak Minority Report said...

Meanwhile, that same evening, some more of young Wasillans were throwing eggs at several teachers homes in my neighborhood.

winkwinkWA said...

I don't believe the Palin event served drinks, maybe kool-aid!! anyway this type of activity is not typical of the skate parks in my area, they have surveillance cameras and the police patrol it regularly so as not the have problems of drinking and drugs (selling or using). Maybe some adults need to get involved! and clean up the graffiti, look like the ghetto.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Phil...they were following you around eye-balling you constantly. You are such an "item".
Well, maybe an item in your own mind.
Or it could be you look like some serial killer...

I sat and listened to a conversation, carried on by possibly a bozo that listens to twerps like you, just the other day.
Some old broken down, ex-drunk, ex-train riding broad with liver damage (yes, she admitted to it all with glee to the other goof she was talking to) was saying how she was going to the Gov's picnic just in case someone shot Palin.
Her reasoning was she didn't want to miss that. Ain't that special! It's supposedly educated tw*ts like you that encourage brain damaged fools like her, although the one with brain damage is questionable in this case.

Yes, indeed! You are an "item"!


Anonymous said...

This is not typical at all of the parts of America that I know. Absolutely, not where I live. The alcohol and drug abuse is a problem, but not the way the adults are handling matters. You are a good man Phil, Wasilla is what you are use to, this is like a you can't see the forest for the trees. You might need to visit other parts of the country. I don't know how to help enablers see that they have a problem, I do know they won't get help until they 'get it' and take responsibility. I do put the responsibility on the leadership in the Wasilla area. Palin was mayor, she did nothing to help, those that follow her are no different. It will be the same for her governor failures. If anything she tried to cover up teen debauchery and the meth problem in Wasilla. It looks like she had help from McCain and the RNC. They probably committed crimes to help cover Wasilla teen debauchery. None of them cared about the addicted kids. It is not only the kids that are using drugs that are destroyed, good kids, clean kids can get torn a part and killed in the wake of out of control drunks. B/c the world is still considering leadership from this Wasilla quitter, I don't think she should get a free ride out of town on this one. I for one would like to know more about what part her church and the others play. If they are saving souls, they need souls to save, what a ripe place to harvest young sinners. What use was Dr. Baldwin-Johnson? The lord of flies atmosphere for drunken pre-teens and teens is a sure way to have a community riddled with physical, emotional, spiritual and mental abuse. Her business must be doing well. Why would she want that to change? Even the best and brightest of a place like Wasilla will be no different from those we see that enable the celebrities like Britney Spears, Elvis, Lindsay Logan, Michael Jackson, etc. If anyone was to face this issue it would not be about one picnic and calling the cops on a few drunk kids. This is a much bigger problem. Phil over all is doing great. The Alaskan bloggers are invaluable!

Valkyrie, take a listen for who is listening to Palin. Your anecdote is non sequitur.

Anonymous said...

Anon@1:48, I think Valkyrie's anecdote @1:12 qualifies as "Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc" if we're using logical fallacy terminology: false use of cause and effect (a woman's illness/education as a progressive principle).

Thanks, Phil, for your continued excellent work.

Anonymous said...

I live across the street from a public park next to a state beach and there is no drinking and drug use that I've seen. The city is about 200,000 people and the police patrol, plus the park is open from dawn to dusk. If there are people after dark and I call, the cops show up to enforce the closed at dusk rule.

Anonymous said...

Wasilla has 200,000 people? WOW!!

Wasilla teens with cars post their Lake and out back raves on the internet. Also when parents leave town and in the garage seem to be a favorite. If you don't see what is going on you need to get on-line. People die and there is not adequate record keeping in Wasilla. That is why you don't see it.

Anonymous said...

I should also say that our city of 200K (not Wasilla, but in CA, a net tax donor state) voted to increase our sales tax effective 4/1 of this year to be able to pay for stuff. Like cops to patrol parks, etc.
As an aside, I just read a review of Methland, a book about meth, a drug the users call "Nazi dope".

Anonymous said...

Methland sounds like a book worth reading. Most of all if you live in a similar community.

This is an interesting article because it demonstrates what addiction is like.
It was over ten years ago, but I know about addiction, denial and enablers in hospitals first hand. Doctors, especially surgeons, are among the most troublesome. The administrators I dealt with did not want to know what was going on.

Another local hospital was vetted because President and Mrs. Reagan spent time nearby at their ranch, I knew the nurses and others who worked there. The person who was head of emergency was a neighbor and had a serious addiction. They all passed inspection.

onejrkitty said...


Did they not attend Mom's grand exit?

Is Bristol mad at "mommie dearest" for pushing her to be ambassador for abstineance and generating all the antiBristol coverage>

Is Willow mad at "mommie dearest"for claiming Letterman raped Willow-- since that was one of the relatively few times Willow was brought up in public, looks like she will be forever branded by Letterman as Lewinsky is branded by Clinton.

Maybe the girls are getting old enough to not want to be manipulated by their mother anymore.


Gregg in Milwaukee said...

Thanks again, Phil, for the nice photos. As for the kids at the skate park? Well, I'm not surprised that the local police gave it a blind eye, what with having to protect the (NOW FORMER!!!!) governor and all.

I do hope that everyone picked up after themselves. Napkins, paper plates, plastic beer cups and so on...

I have it on good authority that some in Alaska fervently believe that "Litter sucks!" and are willing to defend that opinion.

Gregg in Milwaukee

Anonymous said...

Gregg in Milwaukee... "Litter sucks!" Including the graffiti? The local police can only do so much. It should not be left up to citizens who want to enjoy an event to have to police. The local government is remiss for not dealing with problems sooner. Phil is courageous to tell it like it is in a place like Wasilla.

In our community the mayor is called on to address and effect the problems with teens, graffiti, litter public drinking and drugs. When a mayor fails they know it. We have town meetings where opposing views can have at it. There are letter campaigns. The local church groups are in good sync with the community. We no longer have our news paper, it was bought out by a billionaire tyrant. That has a destructive effect on everyone.

Now where I am you must have a permit to have even a can of beer at a public park. The police did not mess around letting it be known they were enforcing the new rules. Not always easy in a college town with many free spirits. It is a little much that a person can't even have a beer with lunch at a park. It does cut down on the loitering town drunks and homeless problems. We have large events and handling the alcohol problem was too much. The regulations may seem strict to others but it is better then calling in the National Guard for events. Our mayor does not need their own security detail for events that bring 100,000 tourists in town several times a year. Sailors and gangs have had shoot outs in crowds. The police handle most of it.

No doubt before the picnic Wasilla's police thinned out the drunks. If Wasilla addressed and took care of issues before they had an event it would benefit the alcoholics, addicts and all citizens.

Casey said...

Unfortunately, my community has areas where people are so drunk that some are even passed out. Young..old...and in between. We have a huge problem here, and we are policed by the RCMP. These folks are usually just young..right out of the Regina RCMP training program.

I am sickened by what I see here, especially as it reflects our teenagers and even a little younger. Drinking, drugs...gas sniffing...anything at all.

Where are the parents? I wish I knew. I raised 2 great kids, one is 34 the other is 37. They did typical stuff, and I am sure they tried a drink before legally of age. However...I knew their friends...I always knew where they were. When they were told to be in by 9...or 10, they were home, because they knew without a doubt mom or dad would get in the car and go and find them.

Both were involved in sports and clubs, which I think helps. I supported every event or endeavour they took on. I was always there to cheer them on.

They were not perfect....but they sure are good people today.

I feel so sad for the kids I see in my community, and I worry about how thier lives will turn out. If a kid can get the middle of the day, in the midst of a huge number of adults...something isnt right.

Anonymous said...

You missed my point anonymous.
It's clowns like Phil that get people stirred up enough to actually go out and shot someone.
Phil is a bit like all other dick-tators, he rants and raves until people start dying. He's a left over product of the '60s.
Obama's health care is right up his alley...every five years someone will suggest he comment suicide and save the rest of us a few bucks of caring for his aging ass.

Phil's a freak and that is all there is too it.


Anonymous said...

Where are the Valkyrie back up examples of those
"that get people stirred up enough to actually go out and shot someone" ? ? ? ?
The incompetent kill people without guns.
I love Phil. He makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Alcohol and drug addiction at all ages is a problem that needs competent leadership and attention. Health care costs are driven up with the problems that stem from addiction. Sarah Palin has a record of what she didn't do for Alaska.
Thank you, Phil, for all you bring to the light. I am looking forward to your future subjects. I care about what is happening to children and the effect of the religious movements of today. It is very different from my upbringing and church experience.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 29, 2009 10:32 AM,

try Nazi Germany around 1930something.

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