12 December 2014

Friday's Follow-Up

Too Busy Licking Their Wounds? Dept:  "U.S. Sen. Mark Begich bid his colleagues farewell Thursday, touting his legislative accomplishments and telling a few wry anecdotes during a lengthy floor speech to an audience of staffers, a handful of Democratic senators, and his wife."

A "handful of senators"? Is one supposed to speculate that a) he's not as big a deal as he kept telling us he was; b) the Dems are demoralized after losing the Senate; or c) that those remaining are doing this:

Bridge(s) Over Troubled Water Dept:  Rotted wood arising from an engineering flaw caused the collapse of a footbridge north of Westchester Lagoon this summer, and an analysis of four other bridges on Anchorage’s Tony Knowles Coastal Trail revealed similar signs of decay, according to two reports released this week by the Anchorage Department of Parks and Recreation.

... More broadly, the reports shed light on a looming multimillion-dollar Anchorage infrastructure problem. Parks officials, previously focused on a trail repaving project, have swung their attention to more than 30 footbridges along the trail system.

The general conclusion is this: Anchorage’s greenbelt bridges are rotting away. The design flaw in some bridges, dating back to the 1980s, is allowing water to seep into the wood.

There is no long-term replacement strategy. And if a bridge falls, there is no money to fix it.

Not the bridge in the story; used for illustrative purposes only
Editor's note: I should probably mention here that Alaska's state budget was based on predictions that the price of oil would remain at $112/bbl for the foreseeable future - as if we can foresee the future at all, but I digress. The point is that oil is now below $60/bbl for the first time in five years, as the Saudis attempt to deprive ISIS of their black market income. The State of Alaska, having nearly all their budget eggs in one barrel basket, is hurting already, and faces a huge deficit next year.

No solutions in sight; after all, we couldn't cut spending. That's too radical.

Any Landing You Can Dribble Away From Dept:

Volleyball team

ANCHORAGE - Watching the Koliganek Huskies warm up inside Dimond High School for their first game Thursday night, you'd never guess the anxiety and fear they faced just one day earlier.

"We took off from Koliganek and right when we lifted into the air, one of the wheels hit the berm or mud thing from our airport," [Anastasia] Ishnook said.

... After identifying a problem with the landing gear, Ishnook said the pilot circled a nearby village before eventually making the call to make an emergency landing in King Salmon.

... Despite the damage to the landing gear, no one was injured as their plane slid to a stop in King Salmon. 

Seriously, we're glad everyone is okay.

And finally, there's this ...

It Means Whatever I Say It Means Dept:


joated said...

1- A handful of Dem senators who are willing to admit they are dems are all that's left.

2- You mean the permafrost doesn't protect those bridges from rot? (Kidding!)
The increase in oil production in Texas and gas porduction there and in Ohio and PA have also driven the price of crude down. Sorry about that, but seeing gasoline under $2.75 again is sorta nice.

3-Good on the pilot for keeping his head and landing that thing on 2 instead of three wheels.

4-You sure that's not just a memo? Obama gets confused about those too.

Rev. Paul said...

joated - regarding your point #2: our gas remains at $3.28/gallon, down from $3.99 earlier this year. But certainly not the low prices reported down south.

Ed Bonderenka said...

The target is not ISIS, but my 401k.
I mean shale oil and frackers.

Chickenmom said...

Gas here is down to $2.49 - kerosene is over $4.00. As for the foot bridges,why don't the people that use them fix them. I'm sure a bunch of engineering students would love to tackle the problem. Why does everyone wait for the government to fix things?

Rev. Paul said...

Ed, I'd laugh ... but it's not funny, is it?

Chickenmom, that's entirely logical, sensible, and intelligent - and therefore, it won't occur to anyone with any power to do anything about it.