The state government of Alaska must be taking lessons from our national government on how to balance its budget. (Alaska Dispatch 11/03/2013) — “It has gone almost unnoticed in Alaska, but in a three-year period, the state has said so long to billion-dollar surpluses and hello to billion-dollar deficits. The big cut in oil taxes and the continued decline in North Slope oil production are catching up with us. By one measure, the state deficit is already at $959.5 million, the difference between the spring revenue forecast of $6.2 billion and the budget of $7.1 billion. The Legislative Finance Division calls this the “projected pre-transfer fiscal deficit,” to be covered by moving money out of savings accounts.”
And all Alaskans know what this means, our representatives in Juneau will dip into our states savings so they can continue to spend more than they take in. If this sounds familiar we don’t have to look farther than our representatives in Washington when they first ‘borrowed’ money from the social security trust fund to finance any and all projects. Now with the social security fund empty they just ignore the deficit and continue to spend by just printing more money. Fortunately or maybe unfortunately our representatives in Juneau can’t just print money to cover expenses.
Karen Rehfeld the state budget director said the withdrawal of $374 million from one of the savings accounts should not count as deficit spending because that account was set aside for capital projects funded in the budget, such as work on an in-state gas line. I would argue that for the average Alaskan, it counts because it is an example of taking money out of our savings to fund the budget.
FYI…In a state finance committee meeting it was noted that by 2022, public employees retirement system, public schools and Medicaid will take up 94% of the states budget, leaving virtually no money for the capital budget or anything else.
It looks like the people we voted to represent us in Juneau
are no different than those we put in power in Washington.
How hard is it to understand you can not spend more than you take in?
She had just loaded the last of the boxes into the waiting trailer but she still could not bring herself to walk out the door for the last time. She has lived here for almost 20 years and had built this house with her own hands on land that two decades ago was nothing but woods. Over the years her children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren have spent time with her here in her home. Years ago her mother had moved here and spent the last years of her life within these now silent walls. Her home like most of us holds memories of both laughter and tears, but unlike us she is now forced by the government to leave.
How can people over 500 miles away unthinkably effect the lives of so many so far away? No she is not alone in the loss of her home, many other people living out here in the wilderness will almost overnight become homeless. From old trappers living on their land for more than half a century to families who found a piece of Alaska they thought they could afford are now without a roof over their heads. All because people in a town so far away think they found a way to make more money.
In 2005 the Fairbanks North Star borough decided it wanted to expand its boundaries all the way to the Yukon river. In doing so they saw a way to increase their tax base to include two additional pump stations and maybe even some new gold mines. They did not for a second consider how this would effect the hundreds of families that lived within that area. People who could not afford to live within the city and barely made it month to month out here in the woods, would never be able to afford a tax on their property and homes.
A few made this problem known by going on television and the radio and their plight was met with understanding by the general public. A public that for years have shouldered the heavy weight of property taxes understood that with very little income these people would gain nothing and loose everything. The groundswell became so powerful that the borough tabled the proposal because they knew they would loose when put to a vote. It was a large victory for those who chose to live away from civilization, but is now once again threatened.
Nenana, a small town, (about 500+ people), in looking for a way to increase their tax base, (ie more money in the city coffers), decided it would be beneficial to become a borough. And not a small one but one hundreds of square miles in size that would wrap around the Fairbanks North Star borough and once again reach out to the Yukon river. The Nenana government only sees the increase in tax revenue from the additional villages of: Minto, Manley Hot Springs, Tanana and Rampart. Along with that add the new gold mines around Livengood, the pump stations and the biggest prize of all the proposed gas pipe line. Nenana like Fairbanks did not even consider the thousands of people who will not be able to afford to pay a property tax all they see once again is bigger bank accounts for Nenana.
As she wiped away the tears the truck made the last turn out of her driveway
and now she joined the hundreds of others
alone and homeless in the Alaskan wilderness.
<> God <>
Most of us at one time in our lives know the feeling when minutes seem like hours and the anxiety builds up waiting for any news. You walk and try to keep your mind occupied but like gravity it pulls your mind right back to the matter at hand. Ones belief in God is a very personal matter, that said I can not believe everything in nature that I see in our world and even the universe just happened by chance. Again when we are dealing with an important personal situation where consequences could be mortal many would like myself turn to God for help. In a similar situation in my life I turned to God for help and I lost my wife, but knowing in my heart that God can do anything I again asked for his helping hand and this time he returned my loved one to me.
It was then I realized the true meaning
of the words in the Lord’s prayer
…..”thy will be done”.
<> Alaska <>
It has been a while but in Alaska if you hang around long enough you will see and experience everything it has to offer. I had to stay in Fairbanks for a few days and wouldn’t you know it those were the days it decided to hit lows of -36 and average temps of -24. You would think living in a remote cabin would prepare me for this but up North where I live I have only seen -34 once for two days in the almost 12 years out there. Even the -20′s seemed a bit cold to me so maybe I am getting old and this is probably why I try and stay out of Fairbanks and its winter lows in the -40′s and -50′s.
<> TV <>
During my stay at the hotel in Fairbanks I not only enjoyed unlimited hot water in the shower but cable TV. No comments on the hot water other than my hands haven’t been this wrinkled since I was a small boy spending hours playing in the tub. The TV is another matter. Yes I actually got to see new episodes of my favorite detective series but the amount of commercials soon forced me just turn the TV off. I can not understand how people live with that amount of interruptions while watching their favorite shows. I would think you would forget what was happening by the time the commercials are over. No thanks commercial TV I will stick to DVD’s.
<> and this <>
I have been back from Fairbanks since Saturday but all lines of communication from my cabin have been down. Part of that was because of the wind and ice storm last week and part is a technology glitch. I have always said when all else fails amateur radio will be there but the antennas that receive my signal could not withstand the storm. I thank you for your patience and hope part of the problem has been resolved, but failing that after December 11th I may have better access to this blog.
Again thank you for your patience
Sometimes I think there is a bulls-eye painted on my head, because every time I plan a trip to town in the winter it snows or get cold. I plan on driving in tomorrow and it has started snowing already and the weather report is for -20′s in Fairbanks and North Pole %#$@&. Even though I follow no regular pattern for making posts to the blog, this week I will be taking care of some personal business and there is no way my mind could create an interesting post for you my fellow readers. So as I have said before if you are ‘followers’ and have clicked the link you will know when I resurfaced from the bowels of urban decay.
He had succeeded after investing decades of his life in the laboratory. Yes there were other milestones that brought him fame, like the genetically engendered microbial organisms that consumed raw oil from oil slicks, but this was to mark his place in history with the creation of an organism that would produce energy! Unlike thousands of others that searched for the holy grail of unlimited nonpolluting energy he now held the answer in his hands.
People across America are repeating the phrase, ‘not in my back yard’, when referring to the erection of wind generators, a new nuclear power plant, a megawatt solar panel array or a new hydroelectric dam. You can hear the cries about air pollution when they are trying to close down a coal mine or a oil refinery. These cries get louder when they are demonstrating for an end to our dependence on oil from foreign nations……so just what do you think is the alternative?
Lets take a look…At the moment we are producing the majority of our electricity from oil, gas, coal or nuclear. There is some minor generation from wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal, but other than hydroelectric the amounts generated are minimal. I have never see eye to eye on anything the President has said but when, in a speech, he said “Today I’m setting a new goal. Your federal government will consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources within the next seven years.” I would have to agree with him, if I thought he was actually going to make it happen.
However much like congress ignoring the budget our country remains dependent on fossil fuels. So back to the public cries for a non polluting energy source… it does exist in the wind, sun, ocean and rivers but ‘we the people’ will not commit to changing our way of lives to support it. So if the people as a whole can not agree on utilizing these non-polluting sources of energy……I say shut up and don’t complain.
There may be discovered in the distant future a totally new form of energy that is unlimited and nonpolluting. But for the near future we and our children and grandchildren we will have to find a way to stop complaining and use the sun, wind, oceans and rivers as our clean energy source.
If ‘we the people’ truly want to remove our dependence from coal, gas and oil
We must first…minimize our use of electricity and carbon fuels then….
We must…stop complaining that large wind farms are unsightly, noisy and kill hundreds of birds
We must…allow megawatt solar arrays no mater how they visually disrupt the wilderness
We must…support hydroelectric dams even though they change the landscape around them
and yes we must find a safe way to store the spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors.
You may not like my words
but until someone discovers a new source of energy
you know I am right.
This was posted on the NOAA weather web site
..WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM AKST
A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND LOCAL BLIZZARD
CONDITIONS REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM AKST SUNDAY.
* SNOW…4 TO 10 INCHES TOTAL ACCUMULATION…HEAVIEST OVER HILLS
AND LIGHTEST AMOUNTS ON THE YUKON FLATS.
* BLOWING SNOW…WILL CAUSE LOW VISIBILITY AT TIMES OVER
SUMMITS…ESPECIALLY ALONG THE STEESE HIGHWAY.
* FREEZING RAIN…IS POSSIBLE THIS EVENING WEST OF FORT YUKON WITH
ICE ACCUMULATIONS UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH.
We see things a little differently.