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Showing posts from May, 2009
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So, today we took the boat out to Kenai Lake. She ran like a champ, except I figured out at the end of the trip that I wasn't running her hard enough. Good trip. Didn't see any wildlife but did get to hike up a snowpack and check out a waterfall. Otherwise it was standard: we drank beer, cooked pork sausage over a fire and enjoyed a summer day. It is only May but summer is 25% over, and that is if we are lucky.



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So, here is a real picture of the baby and mama moose that was outside my office yesterday. Of course, I got into trouble for commenting on how good it would taste stuffed with rosemary and garlic. Soon, little man. Soon.
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So, I just got home from a vacation in the city of my birth, Victoria BC. I had forgotten how warm and green it was there. I must admit that I am still feeling a little homesick as I sit here. It was great to see the country and see so many of the people that I care about. The trip started with a negative experience with Canada Customs. The officer actually had the nerve to ask me how long I would be staying. When I said "as long as I want", I was throughly searched. The officer going through my bag found a business card and asked "why do you need a public defender". Jackass. I knew I was fine and I wasn't going to let them ask me that question! I am Canadian, damnit. The funny thing is that the Americans didn't do much other than wave me through. The first full day there I went with my brother and his kids and we did a zip line and tree course in Nanaimo (see http://www.wildplayparks.com/index-nanaimo.php). I thought it would be for kids but it kicked my a…
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So, Alaska wants to pass a law exempting certain firearms from federal regulation. The Alaska Firearms Freedom Act (HB 186 and SB 146) would mean that 'made in Alaska' firearms would not be subject to federal regulation. There would be certain requirements, like a "Made in Alaska" stamp. The big issue, of course, is whether it is constitutional. The Legislature is relying on the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States. This Amendment guarantees to the states and their people all powers not granted to the federal government elsewhere in the constitution. The new law would provide that "
A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in this state and that remains in the state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce as those items have not traveled in interstate commerce." …
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So, Kachemak Bay State Park! It was my first time over there. We camped in Halibut Cove. Going over, the seas got to about 3 feet, which was 'fun' in a skiff. I was a little nervous until I remembered that I was born on an Island. Many of my ancesters were Navy men. I have a great picture in my living room of my grandfather in a British Navy uniform where the hat says "HMS Revenge". After I remembered that picture I enjoyed the salt spray on my face. We didn't see much wildlife except a pair of mating sea otters. Otherwise it was a great trip. One of our three new summer interns came along. We will see if they can live up to Josh...big shoes to fill, my friend. On the way back today (and 6 miles from the dock), the outboard crapped out. We got it going but it made me feel a little better about my boat...no machine is infallible. I tested my boat on Sports Lake and it is almost ready to go except for one minor leak. Today is amazing, so I am going to stop typing …
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So, I just want to say that food production is in full swing. The greenhouse is up. All of the garden crops that need to be started instead of being directly sowed are planted. The potato patch is tilled and the ground is being heated up with clear plastic. For some reason, Alaska is the only place on earth where black plastic does not work to heat the ground. I have 17 baby rabbits that will go in the freezer in about a month. The chickens and pigs are doing great. The hens are laying about 4 or 5 eggs a day. I even got a couple turkeys for Thanksgiving. I have cut next winters wood. Now it is time to plant the garden, go after halibut and maybe even a nice spring black bear. Soon it will time to setnet and then dipnet. The pipes in the brewery finally thawed (geez it has been a long 9 months) so it is time to make a bunch of beer. Winter will be back soon. Now all I need to do is get the boat fixed and everything will seem right. The weather has been amazing for the m…
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So, let’s talk about domestic violence in Alaska . Apparently, Alaska is simply awash in violence. We are all going to be burned in our beds tonight. The Supreme Court just used domestic violence as an excuse to gut our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Some make the claim that there is more domestic violence in Alaska than any other State. Really? The state with the 3rd smallest population, has more domestic violence than any other place in this country. Is it that Alaskans are beating the hell out of each other OR is it that the law here is so broad that ‘domestic violence’ is all encompassing. Well take this little quiz. Don’t worry, it is true or false.

1. You have a few beers too many and decide you need cigarettes. You take the girlfriend’s car out. On the way home you damage the car. No one is injured. The girlfriend is in the house and doesn’t even see the damage being done. You just committed an act of ‘domestic violence’. (Comes from MY case of State v. R…
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So, another great weekend here in this part of Alaska. Not as warm as last weekend but still beautiful. Or, as Kadee says, a 'nice sunny day'. We got the garden tilled and the rows made. The worms we have been feeding all winter went in too. For those of you interested in gardening in Alaska, worms are a valuable commodity here. Although there is a local population, it is small and the worms themselves appear sawed off. I had to import these red wrigglers and let them live in the house all winter. Worms do not survive the winter here, but their eggs do. There is no local supplier of worms and there are ads seeking worms all the time. I added a few thousand to this space and I hope to have a very healthy population over the next few years. In about two weeks it will be time to plant most things outside. Last year I let the garden go a bit with all the other things going on but I hope to stay on it this year. It has been busy for me outside but I love it. It is light unt…
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So, Alaska became a little less free today. The Supreme Court handed down its decision in Miller v. State (see http://www.state.ak.us/courts/ops/sp-6369.pdf). The bottom line is the police can now investigate people for merely having an argument. The Court seemed to suggest that merely having an argument is so dangerous that it can lead to violence. One of the shining lights of Alaskan jurisprudence has been Coleman v. State 553 P.2d 40 ( Alaska 1976) where the Court held that a cop can conduct an investigative stop only when the officer has “a reasonable suspicion that imminent public danger exists or serious harm to persons or property has recently occurred”. That is one of the cases that made Alaska so unique. That is one of the cases that made me so proud to practice here. But Miller seems to gut Coleman. I am upset because the case is just such 'bad' law. I can deal with cases that are bad for the defense when they make sense. I had to stop reading it several times dur…
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So, life in Alaska continues. Tonight when I got home the power was out in half the house. It is hard to tell from this picture but the meter is crooked. As the ground melted the frost heaved the meter up disconnecting half the house, including the water power supply. As I type right now I am wearing a headlamp and the computer is powered by a series of extension cords. Lovely. We have no water and we are running the things we absolutely need with extension cords. It just adds to the frustration I have felt lately as I have repaired all the things broken by the ice and snow that covered our life for the last 8 months. F&^%. F&^%. Oh well, it is like we are camping. Nothing much else is new. The renters have not paid their rent and probably won't. The new truck I bought had some parts illegally stripped off it that I need to replace. The rototiller I borrowed shattered after a pass. I am borrowing money to buy milk at $3.99 a gallon. I am at my limit. I actually had chest p…
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So, I can't even begin to describe how nice it has been this weekend. With weather in the 60's and 70's we had a nicer weekend than all of last summer combined. You really can't appreciate a Spring day until you have waited 20 months for it. Simply amazing. For the most part I stayed home and did things around the house. However, today Jesse and I took his skiff out to Tustumena Lake to work out the kinks. A few minor issues like flat tires and broken tail lights and the lake is still frozen a few hundred yards past the entrance to the Kasilof (you can see the line of ice behind me) but still a great trip. We treated it like a test run, as it was the first real run of the year. My boat is, as usual, in the shop. I love that lake. We landed to make a fire and have some food and our only real company was this fellow, wherever he was. I kept my gun on me in case he decided that the smell of cooking sausages was worth exploring. I can only hope this weather lasts a bit lo…