Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best of Alaska's Progressive Blogs - 2009 - Updated x 2

Best New Blog: The Alaska Commons.

John and Heather Aronno started their blog back in May, with a post-election look at the 2009 Anchorage mayoral race. They've become very active and quite vital in Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska's progressive movement. As well as blogging, they have resuscitated the Anchorage chapter of Drinking Liberally, they're pretty much running the local Young Democrats chapter, and they've gotten a Young Democrats group going on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.

The blog features posts by both Heather and John. They're especially strong on issues involving Anchorage politics.

Best Arts Coverage: What Do I Know?

Steve's coverage of the Anchorage International Film Festival gets better every year. This is good, because Judy and I haven't been able to attend the festival itself yet, as it is scheduled when both of us are working 80-hour weeks at the end of the fall school term. He covers other arts events fairly regularly, too, particularly at Out North Theater.

Best Investigative Reporting: Henkimaa and Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis

Mel's six articles about the patently false meme invented by Sarah Palin that claimed (and still does?) that the state of Alaska spent "two million dollars" investigating false accusations against her, were devastating. Even though Anchorage Daily News writer Sean Cockerham wanted to write more about this, he was prevented from following up by the paper's management, in what may be the most cowardly of many cowardly acts of 2009 by ADN management. Mel observed Friday, regarding the ADN's downplaying of the story and relegation of Cockerham to poliblog limbo:

Cockerham’s story (posted, as far as I know, only on the ADN’s Politics blog, but not as a full-fledged ADN story) said that Perez was going to follow up on further questions he’d brought up — I’ve seen no sign that she ever did, or that ADN itself cared.

Mel also did other investigative work during 2009, particularly on LBGTQ issues, the long saga of Anchorage Ordinance #64, and - as Mel so effectively calls it - The Icredibly True Adventures of Rev. Jerry Prevo.

Linda Kellen Beigel's continuing efforts to look into the ways Sarah Palin manipulated state resources to benefit herself personally or politically wound their way through the year. I'm one who believes that the efforts of Linda, Andree McLeod and Frank Gwartney, when put together, are what forced the climate of awareness that led to Palin's abdication. It isn't necessarily going to come out in the wash soon, but ultimately we'll probably find out that in June Palin was advised that in order to remain governor, she would have to end, refund or reconstitute her legal fund trust, and that she would have to come up with a deferred payments arrangement for her contract with Harper-Collins. Had it not ben for questions that were raised over a host of issues by Linda, Andree and Frank, I doubt our Alaska mainstream media would have touched upon any of this.

As it stands, bloggers like Mel Green, Linda Kellen Biegel and others have better served the interests of truth, and the fight against abuses in our political system in 2009, than did our Alaska mainstream outlets.

Best Road Trip: Shannyn Moore's and Jeanne Devon's trip to Netroots Nation, to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and to the NYC HQ of MSNBC.

At Netroots Nation, Shannyn Moore was awarded the 2009 Steve Gilliard Award, for her work communicating the truth about Sarah Palin, and for taking flack as a citizen activist.

At the Berkman Center, Moore and AKM gave a talk on "the relationship between bloggers and the mainstream media, the important political issues of the day in Alaska and how the powerful internet community of Alaska blog readers is becoming a real force for change. We talked about the 2008 election, about Sarah Palin and Ted Stevens, about fish issues in Western Alaska, ethics complaints, and a certain…(cough cough) … legislator who outed a certain blogger using state time and resources."

In New York City, Moore and AKM visited MSNBC Headquarters, where Moore was a live, in-studio guest on the Keith Olbermann Show.

The national attention brought to Shannyn Moore and to AKM's blog, The Mudflats this past year is unprecedented in Alaska communications history. During this year, Moore has bounced back from what many, including PA, regarded as ill treatment at KUDO Radio in 2008.

Instead of sulking, Moore now has a weekly radio show on KBYR and a weekly TV show on KYES. The radio show probably boasts the largest internet-based audience for a regular Alaska production in state history. Her TV show, that centers around a new panel of newsmakers, local personalities, journalists and others, each week, shows remarkable growth potential. Moore's continuing appearances on MSNBC TV and several progressive national radio programs is helping to get the word out to the rest of the country that Alaska has articulate, witty and courageous representatives from the left, who are trying to help wake up this country and state.

Jeanne Devon's award by the watchdog group, Cook Inletkeeper, of their 2009 Alaska Muckraker of the Year, showed that both Moore and Devon are being recognized by important organizations for going beyond where our traditional media here has been able to go.

The writing at The Mudflats and at Just a Girl from Homer is consistently on a high level, as shown by the following both AKM and Shannyn have gained in 2009 at Huffington Post, for instance.

Best Coverage of Levi Johnston: The Immoral Minority

Without a doubt, Jesse Griffin has covered the Johnston kid's oddysey better than the rest of the Alaska-based progressive blogs. Jesse, like Linda Kellen Beigel and Shannyn Moore, became the target of spiteful, unprofessional attacks by Palin advocates, for stories Jesse ran. And is continuing to run.

I was turned off by Jesse's Hawaii pictures that attempted to show Palin in very unflattering terms, particularly of the backs of her thighs. Of course Palin isn't the runner she once was, but the series of pictures bothered me far more than did the pictures elsewhere that featured various peoples' heads morphed onto Trig Palin's body.

Most Courageous Alaska Progressive Blogger: Ann Strongheart of Anonymous Bloggers

Ann underwent a devastating tragedy, when her young husband Segundo died in August. She is continuing to blog from Western Alaska, concentrating on bringing problems and joys in rural Alaska to statewide, national and global attention.

Best Community Efforts by Alaska's Progressive Bloggers:

One: The Midwinter Food and Fuel Crisis on the Lower Yukon: We raised thousands of dollars in relief, and paid Dennis Zaki's way to Emmonak, when no real news outlet thought the story warranted attention. We'll never know whether or not the state ratcheted up their response to the crisis because of our work, but I suspect they did.

Two: The WAR Battle: Short version - WE WON! Ross was certainly no help to himself, as he blathered on in Juneau about his quaint views on the law, on lima beans and so on, but Alaska's progressive bloggers rode herd on the situation, encouraging hundreds of constituents to contact their legislators.

Three: The Yukon Flooding: The Mudflats, more than any other Alaska blog, brought attention to the flooding in Eagle, and elsewhere, and helped organize relief efforts to communities on the river.

Four: Anchorage Ordinace #64: Short version - WE LOST! But we were there in solidarity. All the Anchorage-based lefty bloggers were there, some for every hearing. The most outstanding coverage was by Bent Alaska, Henkimaa and The Alaska Commons. Our community learned a lot from the battle, and we'll be there next time, better prepared to help force this important set of civil rights issues into the 21st century.

Update - 7:00 p.m: I just got an email from a friend, asking why The Alaska Dispatch isn't mentioned in this article. After all, they don't have a print edition, and people comment on articles there. The Dispatch could be compared to The Huffington Post, for instance. And some of the articles at the Dispatch are written from a fairly progressive tone, although it certainly doesn't claim to be "progressive."

I've both praised and criticized some articles from the Dispatch, as I have content from the ADN, KTUU, and APRN.

The reason the Alaska Dispatch is viewed with very skeptical eyes from Progressive Alaska is this:That's David Rubenstein, one of the most disgusting people taking up space on the planet Earth.

His wife bankrolls the Alaska Dispatch. I understand that she is rather nice. She couldn't possibly be nice enough to counter-balance the insidious creepiness of her husband, though. The guy is perhaps the sleaziest merchant of death since I.G. Farben. He's certainly been responsible for far more deaths of innocents than Union Carbide in Bhopal, but possibly not as many as the people who came up with destroying the Mekong Delta aquifer and ecosystem for 150 years with Agent Orange. If you google Carlyle Group and criminal acts, there are 17,500 items there.

People die every fucking hour of every fucking day because of the schemes and scams of the family bankrolling the Alaska Dispatch.

So, Tony, Mia, Scott, Jill, Rena, Josh, Craig, Stephen, Amanda, Seth (see update two), Scott, Peter, Aaron, Todd, Jacob, Alisa and Lexie - enjoy the Rogoff-Rubenstein blood money. Every sleazy penny.

Update Two: Apparently Seth left when he investigated where the $$$ comes from.

images - John & Heather, Mel's pie chart; Brian & Gov. Howard Dean


Anonymous said...

I agree, those IM photos of Palin's cellulite were way out of bounds. She's a sociopath, but we don't need to look at her legs to see that...

Anonymous said...


Thank you for putting this together. Sometimes I think we forget HOW MUCH has been accomplished by the special people of Alaska and those who tune in to support us.

I also have now been exposed to a few more blogs I am going to have to check out and spread the word about to others.

Thank you ALL for ALL your hard work to help make Alaska and the rest of our world a somewhat better place to live.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful summary of the great work of all the Alaska bloggers. I wish we had such a group in my state! I rarely comment here, but I do love reading your blog. You seem to be the big daddy of the bloggers up there. Lol! Keep it up all of you!!!

Anonymous said...

Ouch, that hurts........

Flying your elitist flag today, are we ?

You DO realize that Alice and David aren't exactly an item any more...

Perhaps you should take a pot shot at the Board and staff over at the Institute of Alaska Native Arts as well since they seem to have blood money on their hands too.

You're a funny guy, Big Daddy

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 7:30,

I'm actually doing just that - looking into AKNA & C. Carlyle has been able to benefit through partnerships with AK Native Corporations.

But this post is about electronic communication, and Alaska blogging in 2009.

I have no idea how you connect me to what is happening with the KWMD-complex licensing actions.

Mona said...

I love that Jesse (Immoral Minority) posted TMZ's pictures of Sarah Palin and her not so "MILF" thighs! LOL!

Did it kill the fantasy for ya, Phil? /gag!

I sent that pic to everyone. If Palin looked like Susan Boyle no one would be talking about her.

Philip Munger said...


I've never considered Sarah Palin attractive beyond appearing to be fit.

Sorry, no fantasies based on physical attraction over Palin from me over the years.

Mark Ronson said...

You forgot AlaskaReport. They did a lot of good work in 2009 before they closed. An honorable mention is called for at least.

Philip Munger said...


The Alaska Report wasn't a "blog" per se. You couldn't comment on most articles placed there, for instance. Dennis tried blogging a while in 2008, but backed out of it for time reasons, mostly.

Dennis himself is an integral partner to Alaska's progressive bloggers. He's an icon in progressive coverage of Alaska issues.

Mona said...

Whew! That's a relief! Thanks for the reply, Phil.

Ya know, being a celebrity includes having unattractive pictures taken and posted all over the world wide web for all to see! Sarah best keep those thighs covered up like she does her upper arms. Just sayin'!

Anonymous said...


You really have a way with words there Phil...

I think you managed to name everyone at the Dispatch...


Anonymous said...

while any one of you might ponder who might have blood on their hands, know that all of us do.

We all, every one of us, are complicit in the killing of millions of people.

Every day, every one of us is complicit and share in the killing of multitudes of people, even for the most mundane of comforts we covet.

Remember, while there may be someone worse than some, all of us are complicit in that blood spillage.

Not one of you can step outside that complicity.

Not a one of you.

It's a good thing to think about each morning, get up in the morning and ask yourself, how many will be sacrificed for your daily ease today?

Anonymous said...

An Icon, rotflolololololololol.....

Here's a list of names to get you started on your "blood money" blog.

Aakatchaq .

Gloria Kulowiyi

Mary J. Stone
Aaron Oseuk Sr.

Gordon Shanigan

MaryJane Litchard
Ada Wellert

Grant Hutchison

Melody L. Daniell
Ada R. Cleveland

Gretchen Sagan

Mercy Cleveland
Albert Olanna

Harlan Kingeekuk

Anonymous said...

Meribeth Orock
Alice Schultze

Harold Slwooko

Michael Booth
Alice Smith

Harry Al Ningealook

Michael Larsen
Allene Fields

Helen Seetot

Mike Wassilie
Allison Kelliher

Helen Kiyuklook

Mildred Apangalook
Alvin Amason

Helen Johansson

Mina Eningowuk
Andrew Abyo

Helen H. Smith Sr.

Mitchell Pestrikoff
Andrew Boyscout

Holly Nordlum

Molly Brown
Andrew MacLean

Idele Aningayou

Monica Riedel
Anna Anvil

Iglahliq Suuqiina

Nellie Piakak
Anna Rookok

Ignatia Seton

Nicholas Galanin
Arlene Greist

Ike Kulowiyi

Nick Evan
Asaaluk Irelan

Jack Abraham

Olga Dick
Audrey Armstrong

Jamie Seppilu

Othniel Oomittuk Jr
Barbara Apangalook

Jamie N. Seppilu

Paul Rookok Jr.
Beatrice Herman

Jan See

Pearl Zoebisch
Beauford Pardue

Janelle Pungowiyi

Percy Avugiak
Beckie Etukeok

Jason Iya

Peter Demientieff
Bengamin Pungowiyi

Jed Magby

Phyllis Frankson
Benjamin Schleifman

Jerome Saclamana

Reggie Wongittilian
Bernard "Pusaa" Toolie

Jerome Koezuna

Renae Egrass
Beulah Oittillian

Jerry Laktonen

Rhonda Wulf-LaBelle
Bill Wilson

Jerry Lieb Jr.

Riba DeWilde
Brian Abraham

Jimmy Tatayuna

Ricky Kuzuguk
Bryon Amos

Joanne Olanna

Robert Kokuluk
Calvin D. Akeya Jr.

John Kokuluk

Robin Fields
Carl Pelowook

John Hoover

Roderick Henry
Cathleen Pook

Jonella Larson

Rosalie Olson
Charlene Naneng

Josie Henry

Rosalie Egrass
Charles Edwards

Julia Williamson

Rose Albert
Charles Kokuluk

Julian Iya

Roswell Schaeffer
Christina Alowa

Julie Decker

Roswell Schaeffer Sr.
Clement Frankson Jr.

Julius Alowa

Roy Weyiouanna
Clifton Smith

Karen Nguyen

Sammy Komakhuk
Clyde Rookok

Karen Rifredi

Samuel Dimmick
Clyde Piscoya

Katherine Quirk

Sara Tweet
Coral Chernoff

Kathleen Carlo

Sarah Catalone
Corinna M. Evans

Katie Jimmy-Ripke

Selina Alexander
Daisy Demientieff

Kelly Monroe

Sharon Kay
Daisy Lamont

Lalla Williams

Sheila Ezelle
Da-ka-xeen Mehner

Larry Ahvakana

Sheldon Bogenrife
Daniel Savok

Larry Kingeekuk

Sherman Roger Alexander
Daphne Weyiouanna

Laurie Grimnes Pahnke

Anonymous said...

Shirley Clark
Darlene Apangalook

Lee Peter Joe

Sonya Kelliher Combs
Darlene Lind

Lena Sanford

Sophie Cleveland
David Alvanna

Lena Malewotkuk

Spring (Pungowiyi) Parnell
David Groat

Lenwood Saccheus

Stan Tocktoo
Dean Kulowiyi

Leona Haakanson-Crow

Stella Pushruk
Deborah J. Pungowiyi

Leonard Savage

Steve Oomittuk
Delano Barr

Levi Tetpon

Steven Stone Sr.
Desiree Markle

Lillian Tiulana

Susie Bevins-Ericsen
Diane Douglas-Willard

Lina Demoski

Tanis S'ieltin
Donna Pulliam

Lisa Adams

Teresa Anderson
Donna Shantz

Lisa Anvil

Theresa Szafran
Doris Hugo

Loa Ryan

Thomas Tiulana
Dorothy Greenly

Lois Chichinoff Thadei

Timothy Alowa
Doug Inga

Lorainne Williams

Tom Akeya
Earl Mayac

Lorene Boxley

Tony Weyiouanna Jr.
Edna Jackson

Loretta Maillelle

Truman Kava
Edna Mathlaw

Louis Ozenna Sr.

Edward Gologergen

Loulare A. Moore

Ursula Paniyak
Edwin R. Mighell Jr.

Luke Penayah

Ursula Irvin
Eleanor Naumoff

Luke Afcan

Valerie Cline
Eliasica Timmerman

Luke Koonook, Sr.

Verna Dommek
Elizabeth Spud

Mabel Smith

Veronica Iya
Elizabeth Tulik

Mabel Takak

Veronica James
Elsie Chimegalrea

Magdalene Lake

Veronica Oxereok
Emilie Swenning

Margaret Wassillie

Vicki Le Cornu
Emma Hildebrand

Margie Sparks

Victor Tumulak
Esther Koezuna

Maria Williams

Vivian Benson
Esther Conquest

Maria Swanson

Wagner B. Wongittilin
Flora K. Wassillie

Marilyn Koezuna-Irelan

Walton Irrigoo
Florence Marks Sheakley

Marlene Nielsen

Wanda Watson
Francine Chiklak

Martha Kayouktuk

Wilbur Kuzuguk
Frank Kuzuguk

Marty Waters

Wilfred Anowlic
Frank "Qutuq" Irelan

Marty Hintz

William Parks-Pelowook
Freda Stone

Mary Charlie-Smith

Willie Wassillie
Gail Dabaluz

Mary Roberson

Willis Osbakken
Gary Sockpick

Mary Carl

Zoe Schneider
Gene Chilton

Mary Kakoona

Martha Unalaska Yard Sign said...

Phil - what I value and enjoy about your blog is the detail and thoughtfulness you put into every post. Reading your blog is like taking a Cliff Notes or cramming session at the end of a difficult course in math or science. I find myself thinking "How did I miss that? How come I didn't know about that?"

I also like that although you may not agree with how the other AK bloggers may cover a particular subject (this post re: Jesse and Palin's running lies), you state your mind and then point out other accomplishments for which you are proud.

I think you would be one of the most desired neighbors to have, also, too. I would salivate over your garden and ask for advice and seeds. Just about anyone who loves black dogs has gotta to be great in my book. I don't have a clue how you fit it all into your life. I have found myself wondering this about all the awesome Alaskans I have admired over the 30 years I have lived here. How do you do it all? However it happens, please keep doing it!

Anonymous said...

Most of the names you list (artists) are contributing to society, and social change. Elementary history, the land and history has been removed or seriously disturbed for the most of these communities the artists belong to. These artists contribute and give voice to a nation of indigenous people that would otherwise be left to die like many in western cultures hands. So calling these names out for spending "blood money" is an understatement when compared to those that walk the on the indigenous land that is owned by the U.S.A. do to genocide. Stupid Hippie!

Anonymous said...

Phil is calling them out because they take blood money from David Rubenstien, that's what he's insinuating here.

Phil, no doubt being the altruistic man that he is, and certainly by no means a hypocrite, must give away his permanent fund check from the state each year, otherwise he's a shareholder of some these fine corporation, and these, or how about some of these fine corporations.

It's time to give up that PFD Phil, you too have blood on your hands.

That is about as absurd an accusation that Munger has made yet, and he can be pretty absurd at times.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Google returns 2,710 hits for "Philip Munger" plus "murderer."

UngaBunga said...

Can't anyone come up with a better name than "anonymous"?

Anyway, excellent blog, except for some sloppiness.

"If you google Carlyle Group and criminal acts, there are 17,500 items there."

Did you mean google "carlyle group" "criminal acts"?
That returns 1,880 results.

But if you google "carlyle group" "potato chips" you get 873 results.

Can you work that into an article?
Potato chips are good...