Craig Medred

A home for readers and thinkers

Alaska’s greatest gift, Pt. 1

An Alaska gill netter with a salmon boundy/WikiMedia Commons


First of four parts : Fishing, a very special business

Forty-four years ago, average Alaskans voted one of the state’s most powerful special interest groups a gift of almost unbelievable proportions. It was called the Alaska Limited Fisheries Amendment.  It allowed a tiny minority of people the opportunity to exploit a vast public resource free from competition. It was not meant to privatize that resource, but it did.

It was the first permanent dividend to be granted in the 49th state, and it was given solely to then struggling commercial fishermen in the hope their businesses would flourish and strengthen the far north economy. It has not exactly worked out that way. Continue reading “Alaska’s greatest gift, Pt. 1”

10 ways to end “bus”madness

The bus/WikiMedia Commons

Enough with the bus. Yeah, you know what bus.

Alaska State Troopers had to buzz in with a helicopter and rescue another Chris McCandless-bus worshipper on Thursday. This time it was some 22-year-old Canadian doofus.  Back in June, it was a couple dudes from the American South.  Continue reading “10 ways to end “bus”madness”

Totally flummoxed

Alaska pipeline/U.S. Bureau of Land Management photo

News commentary

Journalism has a lot in common with intelligence gathering. Journalists take bits and pieces of information of which they never have enough and try to construct from that a narrative about what is going on in whatever little niche of the world they are covering.

Good journalists understand they almost never have a complete picture of anything for the simple reason journalists are seldom inside the fishbowl where decisions get made. Journalists are invariably outsiders observing what goes on in the fishbowl. Continue reading “Totally flummoxed”

Alaska casino coming soon?

Juneau’s future/WikiCommons


The Tlingit-Haida Central Council has issued a statement saying it has an approved, federal gaming ordinance, but denying it has any  plan to build a casino in Juneau at this time. The Council says it wants to develop “a diverse retail, cultural and entertainment project.”

This is the crux of the complete statement:

In May the Central Council, like other tribal governments in Alaska and elsewhere, adopted a tribal gaming ordinance consistent with federal law. While Central Council has long been interested in resuming its bingo operations, its overall focus is on developing a diverse retail, cultural and entertainment project. That project predated and is not affected by the Akiachak litigation over tribal trust land acquisition and would not involve class III Indian gaming. It is but one of many new opportunities Central Council is pursuing. Because any economic development presents a long list of legal requirements that must be met, Central Council is moving ahead deliberately, and in collaboration with other jurisdictions once a project is fully reviewed and approved.” Continue reading “Alaska casino coming soon?”

The invisible voting booth

Screen shot 2016-08-24 at 12.54.45 AM.pngAdd what appears to be at least one illegal polling place to the list of irregularities surrounding the rural Alaska vote in the 49th state’s 2016 primary election., the wesbsite for the Juneau public radio and television station, ran a photo of it earlier this week but apparently didn’t notice the election violation appearing in the photo below which is written a description saying a “poll watcher helps (emphasis added) Newtok resident Bosco John, 27, vote….” Continue reading “The invisible voting booth”

The missing in Alaska

Brad Broach in a selfi taken above the Alyeska Resort shortly before he disappeared.

A GoFundMe account has been opened for the family of Texan Brad Broach, who has joined the missing in Alaska.

Three weeks ago, the 46-year-married father of three walked away from the Alyeska Resort for  a hike along the popular Winner Creek Trail. He has not been seen since. Continue reading “The missing in Alaska”

Global gas blues

The Arctic Princess/Joachim Kohler Bremen, Wikicommons

With the administration of Gov. Bill Walker pushing full-speed ahead for an Alaska natural gas pipeline and the full-on export of liquified natural gas (LNG) from the Kenai Peninsula, it might be a good time for Alaskans to take a serious look down under to what is happening these days in Australia.

There is only one appropriate word for the LNG mess in that country, and it is an acronym: FUBAR. Continue reading “Global gas blues”

Bear ‘groaned,’ and attacked

An Alaska brown/grizzly bear/National Park Service phone

UPDATED with victim’s names

With a badly mauled hiking guide in a Seattle hospital starting down a long road to recovery, a more complete picture is beginning to emerge of what at first appeared to be an unprecedented brown bear attack on a group of 24 hikers on a wilderness trail on Chichagof Island in Southeast Alaska.

New information indicates guide Anna “Marika” Powers and a handful of clients were far enough ahead of the group to be almost separate from it when they rounded a bend on the Sitkoh Creek Trail and walked into a brown bear sow with a cub on Thursday. Continue reading “Bear ‘groaned,’ and attacked”

The trouble in Shungnak

Voting Box With Pad Lock Clipart
Voting Box With Pad Lock

After the election mess in Shungnak, a small village in remote Northwest Alaska, residents of the 49th state ought to be very concerned about the performance of new Division of Elections Director Josie Bahnke.

If she was quoted correctly in the newspaper, and there’s always a possibility she wasn’t, it would appear she doesn’t understand Alaska’s primary election process.

What happened in Shungnak, was simple. The 50 people who participated in the primary election Tuesday voted two primary ballots: the Republican ballot and the joint Democrat, Libertarian and Alaska Independence Party ballot, the so-called ADL ballot.

Continue reading “The trouble in Shungnak”

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