Monthly Archives: March 2014

Real Education Reform Begins Here

I think some of us have read enough about Alaska’s flimsy education reform jabber going on at the Capitol. There’s not much hope for serious improvement for a system that sees student loans as a profit center instead of a tool to improve lives and society.

Maybe it’s time to look for a new trick. Maybe it’s time to ask why the legislature and the governor can’t make a serious commitment to something fresh.  They could start with this:

The Students Go To College For Free.

This Al Jazeera TV (not available on cable in Alaska) report shows economic, personal, life-changing benefits for the people and the community. It’s not a partisan or religious thing.  It’s working in Michigan.  Other places are trying to put it together.

The Kalamazoo Promise is about making society a lot better. And no one has ever shown me anything wrong with that.


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One Way Around Stupid Laws

The Legislature is getting down to the important bills now. For instance, the House Judiciary Committee listened to talk about Fairbanks-R Tammie Wilson’s bill (HB315) that says they have to let you on a jury even if you believe in “Jury Nullification” – a philosophy that … well, it’s complicated.  Here’s a good explanation.

The News-Miner covered the committee hearing where the Department of Law seemed pretty put-out that people were talking about this subject — here’s Matt Buxton’s report.

Pro and Con:
The Value of this is that there is a good chance that one juror can make a difference. If I’m on the jury for your murder case when you claim Stand Your Ground protection, you might want to start making some long-term arrangements for someone to feed the dog. You might relax, though, if my jury ever gets to consider whether you are guilty of being a federal agent enforcing federal firearms laws.

The Negative, of course, is the risk that Tammie Wilson will be on the jury that tries me. I don’t want to think about that, though.


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Well. That was a nice year

I’ve been away a little bit longer than I expected when I wrote the last piece here on AKJ3. It just felt so good not giving a damn about what the jesters were up to in the world of state politics. I have found I can keep up by reading Twitter and the occasional news story just fine, thank you. But a couple of things really do insist that I check on them a little closer from time to time.

Don’t expect much – I still have trouble breathing inside the Capitol. Don’t expect new stuff very often – I’m telling you I am retired. Do expect more questions and observations than breaking facts about stuff that’s already well-covered by the best journalists in Alaska.

Also,  I am getting interested in Juneau’s city-borough government.  There might be some things about those guys, too.

No promises this time.


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