One of the shady recipients of Walker’s WEDC welfare faces criminal investigation (finally)

As blogger lufthase puts it, “If WEDC had done a simple search on Green Box chairman Ronald Van Den Heuvel before making this loan, they’d have found at least 8 six-figure judgements from 2008 to 2011 against him or the many, many companies he has registered at the same address as Green Box.” Basically, Scott more »

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Cordova Fishing Trip

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Cullen and I spent five days in the small fishing community of Cordova, AK in Southeast Alaska last week. We were there on a media tour sponsored by the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association with three other bloggers. Craig came out for the weekend, which was awesome because then he could watch Cullen while I run the half-marathon and it was an opportunity for him to visit the area as well. Neither of us had been to Cordova before, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time and could definitely see ourselves returning in the future.

Last week I recapped our first day there, but then we were too busy for me to write any more posts, so here’s a look at some more highlights from our trip.

Thursday morning I ran 6.5 miles along the waters of Prince William Sound. It was absolutely gorgeous–a little drizzly but nothing too bad. I also did another run that afternoon, an easy 4 miles.

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We were supposed to go out on a commercial fishing boat for the day, but the weather wasn’t cooperating.

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Instead we hiked Heney Ridge Trail which is an old-growth forest (my favorite), so we were well protected from the rains.

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I carried Cullen in a backpack, and he absolutely loved it! He was bouncing up and down, talking, happy-screaming, and enjoying even minute of it.

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During our trip, on several different occasions, we met local people from the community who are involved with the commercial fishing process. Actually, let’s be clear, if you live in Cordova, most likely your job is in some way connected to fishing or dependent upon the fishermen.

Talking to these fishermen (usually males but there are some women out there too) really gave this trip a whole new perspective. Fishing isn’t just what they do to support their family, they truly love it and pour their heart and soul into this way of life. More often than not, fishing has been in their family for many generations and it is truly a way of life: there’s no such thing as a weekend, they spend several months away from their family, and it is physically hard and demanding work. So, so, so many times during this trip fishing reminded me of my parents and their family farm: the work ethic, the lifestyle they have chosen, and just how passionate they are about what they do.

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Friday morning we bundled up and headed out for some sport fishing in the rain. Cullen was properly prepared with his polar bear hat, a fleece “snowsuit,” and waterproof overalls. He napped quite contently in his stroller. Now that’s an Alaska baby for you.

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We did catch some pink salmon (one of the five different varieties of salmon). It wasn’t too hard as they were all schooled up under a bridge, but it was still fun.

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That evening we attended the Copper River Wild Salmon Festival where the four of us bloggers were the judges for the Taste of Cordova–a cooking contest that incorporated local foods and often salmon, of course.

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We sampled all sorts of local foods.

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My tasting plate. It was a hard decision because all of the dishes were fabulous.

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That pretty much concluded Thursday and Friday of our trip. Up next, my race recap from the half-marathon on Saturday. I’ve run some small races, but this one might top some of the others in terms of timing and the start line.

“Governor Walker, why are you trying to break my family apart?” – Leslie Flores

Because a new poll shows that Donald Trump polls nationally at 24% among Republican registered voters while Walker polls 13% I have to admit that I have no idea whether Walker’s comments to this family have an impact positive or negative within the Republican Party base. This guy’s tweet sums up their bigoted wingnuttery: "Obama's more »

Round-up of Wisco news: Walker puzzled by gayness, Walker v. G.A.B., 20 wk. abortion ban, MORE

These seem like the key WI political stories from the last 3 or 4 days. If I missed something, please do leave it in a comment. WALKER AND GAYNESS This is how conservative blog NewsMax frames it: Gay marriage opponent and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker said in a CNN interview broadcast on Sunday he more »

Iowa is smelling the BS around Walker’s Kohls speech

Iowans are learning that Scott Walker doled out over $68 million to Kohls. It’s undermining his “brown bag government” schtick. Excellent! If they keep pulling at loose threads on his stories they’re going to turn up tales of unaccountable millions in corporate welfare he gave out through WEDC. Des Moines Register has the story:  Some more »

Looks like my governor is cruisin’ through Iowa in a big gay RV

I sent this to George Takei Dear George: This is a photo of Scott Walker’s new RV. I must say, all I can see is an equal sign with those two red bars on the right. And when I see a red equal sign I am reminded of the red equal sign which you encouraged more »

Child’s Glacier + Counting Salmon

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Our first day in Cordova, AK brought glacier sight-seeing, learning about the Copper River Delta and its tributaries, riding an airboat, and meeting a couple local fisherman.

Cordova is a beautiful little fishing town on the shores of Prince William Sound. The community is a small and tight-knit and extremely passionate about protecting their fish in the Copper River Delta. (Picture taken as we flew in Tuesday night.)

IMG_0024Yesterday morning we spent time learning about the Copper River Delta, its tributaries and these important waters for the spawning of the salmon in this area. The entire Copper River Delta is the size of West Virginia and some of the world’s best salmon are caught here, so it is important that these waters are protected.

Then it was off on a glacier sight-seeing tour on one of the only roads going out of town.

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After an hour road trip, we boarded an airboat to get across the river as the bridge collapsed a few years back.

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We then drove to the “Million Dollar Bridge” to be able to see two glaciers.

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Miles Glacier in the background.

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Child’s Glacier looking the opposite way off the bridge. The brown little building with a green roof is where the fish and game employees count the number of fish that pass this area of the river every day.

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This is the sonar equipment they use. Since the waters are so murky, they use sonar to count the number of fish. The structure on the right houses the sonar equipment and the structure on the left is just a net to force the fish to pass in front of the sonar equipment.

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Then inside the building, there are computers showing a live feed of the sonar information. For 10 minutes at a time, someone has to watch the screen and physically count and keep track of the number of fish that pass in front of the sonar. (I don’t recall how many times a day this is done, but I believe it this happens a few times each day.) This information is reported to another office that then determines when the commercial fisherman can be out fishing.

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Our last stop: lunch at Child’s Glacier.

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This was Cullen’s first experience at a glacier. The winds coming off the glacier are cold.

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Cullen fell asleep in the van ride back and even slept on our airboat ride back to the other side of the river. I was shocked he didn’t wake up because the boat is extremely loud!

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That evening we had dinner at the Reluctant Fisherman, a very popular restaurant in town. I had the halibut tacos which were delicious. We met two fisherman who have kept their family business going strong and shared what life is like as a fisherman.

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And today we’re headed out onto one of those fishing boats as long as the weather holds out!

Appeal of John Doe decision to SCOTUS unlikely according to Hasen

This is from Hasen’s “Analysis of Wisconsin John Doe Ruling: Bad News for Campaign Finance Laws” U.S. Supreme Court review? The dissent notes that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Caperton decision, the failure to recuse in this case could be a due process violation. At least theoretically, that’s an issue which could go to the more »

Follow Me on Instagram

Cullen and I are off again! This is his second trip by plane this month. He’s quite the little traveler.

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We’re flying to a part of the state I’ve never been to, so I’m quite excited! The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association reached out to me to spend a few days learning about salmon fishing in Cordova, AK. I knew I couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this, so I’m stoked!

I’ve gone to the dark side and now have a smartphone! Who am I? I didn’t even have texting on my dumb-phone. I’ve also set up an Instagram account, so be sure to follow me during our trip!