Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hooray for Mudflats - The Weekend Roundup Revived

Back in early 2008, Progressive Alaska began a feature called Saturday Alaska Progressive Blog Roundup. It was designed to attempt to review articles from the previous week, by Alaska progressive bloggers, which were excellent, and to contrast our blog coverage of issues with those written by local traditional media.

The series began to lapse in early December, when my weekends began to fill with hundreds of hours devoted to composing Hindu Kush. The last issue was on January 30th.

The Mudflats may be reviving the concept, though. I DO hope that is the case. This morning's post there is called Weekend Roundup. It contains brief articles about:

1) $arah Palin's continuing comparisons of her hands to God (if she believed it might help her polling numbers or balance sheet, Palin would be showing her stigmata by now, eh?)

2) St. Ted's speech Friday to Commonwealth North, about abandoning the AGIA paradigm (gotta admit, I agree with Ted and others on this, though a terminus in Valdez would make far more sense than in Kenai, especially in terms of berthing and escort of the LNG tankers).

3) Local meetings of the "Coffee Party," happening today. And - yes! - I did check the Urban Dictionary, and there is a scatological term for "coffee baggers." I'll be going to the Wasilla Coffee Party, at Wasilla's Metro Cafe (on Lucille, just before Spruce), at 10:00 a.m.

4) Going Rouge makes a TV appearance....? Hilarious.

5) Another typical Mudflats fluff piece on Sen. Begich, congratulating the senator for getting a seat in the budget sausage making room. And he deserves accolades for this.

I would have preferred more coverage of Begich's statement yetserday (see picture and PA article directly below):

“I stressed to Dr. Lubchenco the importance of using proper science and weighing economic factors when considering ESA regulations and ocean zoning proposals. As NOAA continues to act, they must listen to Alaska’s communities and respect the unique circumstances that exist in each inlet and cove across our state."

Each inlet and cove, eh? As if the state or some other credible entity has done more research on these aquatic nooks and crannnies than NOAA, Mark? Come on!

I know whose emblems are on all the helpful charts and computer software thingies that keep me from hitting rtocks in those coves and inlets, who has the most current information on just about everything there is out there that could cause another Exxon Valdez spill, and on the heaslth of these "inlets and coves." The agency's initials are N. O. A. A.

Sen. Begich's statement was pure obfuscation at its most, well - its most de-illuminating. At least it was better than Rep. Don Young, whose well-adorned office was used for the meeting with NOAA:

"I believe the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is being misused and the result is a great disservice to Alaska, its people, and its economy. I made it clear to the Administrator that it is important for the agency to have basic scientific information prior to any listing or critical habitat designation. Unfortunately, many decisions made by the agency under the ESA are done with little or no scientific information and that needs to change. I thank everyone for taking the time to meet this morning, and I look forward to more open discussions about Alaskan issues with Dr. Lubchenco in the future."

Or Sen. Murkowski's statement, which seerms to have been edited down, so that "fear" is only mentioned twice (how will she become a major figure in the GOP, unless "fear" is invoked in every sentence):

In this economic climate, the fear is that all this activity will hurt the economy of Alaska. I share that fear. Everyone wants to protect the environment, our wildlife and marine mammals, but the Endangered Species Act is being used as an instrument to stifle economic growth and development. I encouraged NOAA and the administration to use rigorous science in its decisions, and to be more aware of the potential economic harm its determinations can cause. This is not an issue just in Alaska; I’ve heard these same concerns throughout the country. ESA overreach could lead to a serious backlash against the act.

6) AKM covered Alan Grayson's bill in Congress, which PA covered Friday. The more attention, the better.

7) Kensington Mine and water pollution, which PA has covered several times. Good to bring it back up whenever it has context, which AKM gave it.

I look forward to the time when my early Saturday mornings once again allow me to write a progressive blog roundup. Meanwhile, go read the one at The Mudflats.

Off to the coffee party meetup.

image - Brian the Moose, from The Mudflats

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