He leaves his wife, Ann, their daughter Cecilia, and a yet-to-be born child.
The young family had come to national attention in early 2009, as Ann took the name Anonymous Bloggers (based on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's derisive term for online community activists who disagreed with the chief executive), for a new collective blog, that has helped enormously in a revitalization of awareness of rural, largely Alaska Native, issues in the Far North.
A memorial fund, to help educate Cecilia and her younger, soon-to-be born sibling has been created. There is now a permanent link to that fund at the upper right margin, here at Progressive Alaska.
II. Ann Strongheart and others, including me, have been trying to get more information from the State of Alaska on the details of the history and ongoing activities of the so-called Rural Affairs Sub-Cabinet. I must say that the Parnell administration has been more forthcoming than the Palin administration had been. But the answers aren't very reassuring.
My favorite answer that Ann got was on how this panel devoted to matters important to rural Alaskans announces their next meeting:
The meeting is open to the public but no public announcements have been posted except at the day of the meeting in the Atwood building.
Ann describes other aspects of the rural sub-cabinet's makeup at a recent post at Anonymous Bloggers.
One thing that struck me, reading Ann's post and my answers from the state on this panel, is that it seems the majority of rural Alaskans who are on the panel are affiliated with the Community Development Quota program, paid for by the Bering Sea trawlers who figure so prominently in the enrichment of foreign and Seattle-based owners and investors, and who are so rapidly depleting the Bering Sea and Yukon-Kuskokwim ecosystems.
III. During August, Progressive Alaska seemed more and more at odds with some other progressive Alaskan blogs:
a) I thought the Obama cabinet dog & pony show to Western Alaska was a racist farce, no different than one might have seen Ted Stevens pull off. My colleagues mostly ignored it.
b) I was even more disappointed with the industry-oriented Oceans Task Force meeting in Anchorage in mid-August. I was appalled at the lack of time given to testimony by Alaska Natives and environmentalists, compared to that given by pro-development forces, few of whom mentioned climate change, none of whom stressed any urgency. I thought this to be one of the most important public meetings in recent Alaska history. I'm doing research right now on why that may be the case.
c) Progressive Democrats outside of Alaska are more concerned each month about Alaska Sen. Mark Begich. He IS a Blue Dog. Those who think he isn't are deceiving themselves. He may be a new breed of blue dog, but if you asked him if he is "progressive," he would smile, laugh, make a couple of warm, possibly self-deprecating jokes and change the subject. That's our Mark.
d) It is beginning to look like now might be a good time for Progressive Alaska to step back from covering Mark Begich so critically, so I should probably just not cover him unless he does something incredibly brilliant, or incredibly egregious.
e) The Alaska progressive blogging community might orient more toward attracting young people, who will vote toward political action, and toward helping those young people take over the party. Katie Hurley has told me that nothing in her life has inspired her more than seeing the beginnings of the ad hoc movement in Alaska Democratic Party politics, back in the early 1970s.
IV. Sunday I gave a talk at the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. I really like the people there, and had a good time. The speech was hard to make, but the question-and-answer session afterward was fascinating to me, and very rewarding. Thanks for the invitation!
At the end of the talk, I announced I will be blogging a lot less in the near future.
I have a number of musical composition and other projects - mostly public service - backing up. I serve on five boards, and am an officer on four of them.
I had planned on cutting back on blogging after the August 26, 2008 primary, but something got in the way.
• To those who have encouraged and supported Progressive Alaska - Thanks!
• To those I have offended - sorry, if the offense was unwarranted.
• To those I've learned from in the comments - I appreciate everything you've taught me and others.
image - Segundo Strongheart