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Posts Tagged ‘Anchorage’

2 blocks from the Hilton

2 blocks from the Hilton

With another small creek spring season under our wading belts our gears shift from miniatures to monsters. The jump from 5-12″ creek trout to Alaskan king salmon sounds like a rediculous transition but this is where D and I found ourselves last Friday with heavier spey rods in hand.

Typical urban king

Typical urban king | Photo: ADN

This local flow sits in the heart of downtown Anchorage and gets a healthy run of stocked chinook and coho salmon every May-July (kings) and July-September (coho). A virtual melting pot of fishing, this local hot spot is home to 2 fishing derbys and thousands of fishers from tourists to purists. Most come out with any and all types of gear from roe, spinners, the ever popular pixies and more. In a place where anything goes, we found ourselves right at home tucked in a clear stretch of high bank perfect for spey casts.

D's Loop

D's Loop

Though there were no pulls that day, you can bet we will be bankside during lunch for the next few weeks until the trout opener.

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Winter

Local beach

Winter in Alaska has its moments. Fortunately for many Alaskans like myself winters are a pleasurable time of year aside from a few stormy weeks in December and January. The remaining winter-haters, of which there are many, emulate our fuzzy neighbors and hibernate by spending as much time indoors surrounded by ‘happy lights’ and PFD funded flat screens as possible. Of course there are many Alaskans who pre-thaw and spend a week or two in *warmer climes.

If you are like me and prefer peace and quiet versus loud and obnoxious grab your tele skiis or board and head for the backcountry. On a similar note, if you don’t mind loud and obnoxious between you and the snow, grab a snow machine and head for the backcountry. Alaska takes all kinds and considering our differences we pretty much get along.

J. Foreman

Relax | Photo: J. Foreman

*Lucky winter #1 | Secret beach. Any guesses?

Secret beach

Secret beach #2

Secret beach #2

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America’s current state of healthcare is beyond the need of a bailout. Healthcare is a right and not a selective, top-down responsibility of government. As a 4 year volunteer at my local community health center I have been witness to an exponential influx of uninsured and working poor families who cannot afford skyrocketing healthcare costs.

 

In last Tuesday night’s debate, Senator John McCain mentioned community health centers as one solution to America’s healthcare issue and a $5,000 tax rebate for people who can find (afford) insurance. The problem with McCain’s ‘plan’ is that it does nothing to address the current state of healthcare in which insurance and pharmaceutical companies and their respective lobbyists wield unprecedented power. In Alaska, one insurance company has an over 80% market share and enjoys a relative monopoly for setting costs. As a result, healthcare costs in Alaska are the highest in the nation. As a double whammy, no physicians other than our clinic in Anchorage are taking on new Medicare patients. None.

 

The sad reality is that Alaska is bulging with oil tax revenue from record oil prices. In fact, Governor Palin and the state just gave every Alaskan a $1,200 Energy Rebate along with the yearly Permanent Fund Dividend of $2000.

 

Sarah Palin on Healthcare: ADN October, 9th, 2008:

 

…“Palin, however, ignored the council’s recommendation to extend state health insurance to more children and pregnant women in poor and middle class families. She spurned that idea even though the federal government pays more than half the cost. In Alaska, only children in families earning 175 percent of the federal poverty level, or less, are eligible. For a family of three, that’s a maximum of $38,500. Most states offer such insurance to families with earnings at 200 percent, or double the federal poverty level — $44,000 for the family of three.

 

If Palin had supported the move, legislators pushing to cover more Alaska children might have succeeded. But Palin was simply absent from that discussion in this year’s Legislature. Palin also did not take a stand on ambitious legislation that would have improved health care coverage — a bill to ensure that all residents have health insurance, without disrupting the coverage that many Alaskans already have. Supporters of the bill knew it wouldn’t pass, but they would have appreciated some support from Gov. Palin.”

 

http://www.adn.com/opinion/story/549081.html

 

In a time when Alaska is enjoying a record budget surplus, the satellite community health center located in the poorest neighborhood in Anchorage was forced to close due to a lack of funding. The now lone community health center which serves over 12,000 patients in Anchorage is overcrowded, underfunded and overworked. As a volunteer in the type 2 diabetes department (consisting of a staff of 2 including myself), we serve over 1,200 type 2 diabetics.

 

Health clinic for poor, uninsured to close Published: January 23rd, 2008

 

http://www.adn.com/anchorage/story/291684.html

 

Many conservatives mention the term ‘socialized’ when mentioning Obama’s healthcare plan. McCain is a product of ‘socialized’ medicine. The son of a military admiral, McCain also served in the military enjoying government provided healthcare.

 

One of the main complaints some conservatives repeat ad nauseam is that government programs promote a hand-out society. In my opinion this backward mentality is one reason why we are in such a desperate state. George W. Bush’s tax cuts for corporations, insurance companies and the wealthy have reversed the progress and budget surplus enjoyed during Clinton’s presidency. John McCain’s tax plan not only mirrors Bush’s plan but further reduces taxes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations. The free market mentality of health insurance and medicine embraced by Bush and McCain have opened the doors for insurance and pharmaceutical companies to lobby and monopolize a ridiculously lucrative business which is bankrupting hardworking American families and small businesses.

 

The McCain Healthcare Plan: Designed to Fail

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/7/231021/923/1007/623449 

 

The patients of our community health center represent the failure of our society and of our leaders. The close to 50 million uninsured Americans are not looking for hand-outs. The millions of American children without health insurance and proper healthcare represent just how severe the situation is. There is no excuse for this blatant neglect. There is no reason to justify this abuse of America’s future. 

 

The patience and savings of Americans have dried up under a failed healthcare system. A John McCain/Sarah Palin leadership would further worsen the American healthcare crisis beyond the unimaginable mess of the Bush era. Couple this with the current global economic crisis and Americans cannot even tread water let alone afford the status quo.

 

‘Alaska Medicare patients rejected by doctors’ Oct. 21, 2008

http://www.adn.com/life/health/story/562445.html

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Alaskans converged towards one of the 2 rallies scheduled in downtown Anchorage on Saturday. The clear winner in attendance and spirit was the Obama / Biden rally held downtown with an estimated attendance of well over 1,200 (I would guesstimate 1,800 at the height of the rally). The other was a 300 person affair for McCain / Palin that was as symbolic as it was pathetic.

 

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