Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Thursday, August 31, 2006


The FBI searches involving a few legislative offices is truly shocking news. Rumors and speculation are rampant. It’s inappropriate to comment on such things. Hopefully, there have been no illegal actions in any degree whatsoever by anyone in, or associated with, the Alaska Legislature. If the contrary is true, then action should be taken to the fullest extent of the law. The honor and integrity of the legislative process of the Alaska Legislature as a whole is more important than any individual member of the legislature.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Our 53rd wedding Anniversary today!

Marlene and I met in 1952, when I was in flight school at Malden Air Base, Missouri. It was a blind date at Dexter, Missouri, seventeen miles north of the base.. I could see good in those days, and I liked what I saw! Obviously, Marlene must have been the “blind” one.

Marlene Wagner and I were engaged June 16th, 1953 at Webb Air Force Base, Big Spring, Texas - on the day I graduated from Aviation Cadets and received my Air Force pilot wings and commission as a 20 years old second Lieutenant. We were married August 30th at Valdosta, Georgia, nearby Moody Air Force Base where I was checking out in the F94C Starfire jet interceptor.

We’ve never thought of divorce, but I suspect Marlene may have considered homicide on more than one occasion.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Election night 2006 was especial good news for the Lynn family. My son John Kenith Lynn and daughter-in-law Ann Marie, plus grandsons Simon and Ethan, arrived at our Anchorage home via the Alaska Highway from Frankfort, Indiana. The trip was a convoy consisting of a truck pulling their RV trailer pulling a utility trailer, a U-Haul truck, and a Subaru driven by a family friend. John, an experienced educator, obtained a job teaching language arts at South High, and started work the next morning.

Daughter-in-law Ann is an experienced teacher in science. She will likely be seeking a teaching position in Anchorage, when things settle down from their major cross-country household move. She’s also a very talented jewelry making artist.

What a Blessing to have family near. Welcome, new Alaskans!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Special Session adventures shouldn’t be limited to House floor debate. With that thought in mind, during a hiatus in legislative proceedings I joined with tourists to Juneau on a helicopter flight to Mendenhall Glacier for an exciting walkabout adventure on the glacier ice. Magnificent! What a wonderful place is Alaska! Enough said.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


A common sense bill, SB3005, passed the House today on a 28-11 vote. I voted "Yes." The bill allows a peace officer to temporarily detain a person who witnessed, or was nearby, the scene of a crime such as homocide so as to obtain an account of the crime. A material witness is crucial to either defense or persecution. Unfortunately, material witnesses too often refuse to cooperate with law enforcement, thereby impeding the ability to bring indictments or to prosecute crime. I'm a former cop. I understand the need for this legislation. My comments on the House floor follow:

"Mr. Speaker: We need to be able to go to a ball game, or to the mall, or go anywhere else, without having to fear for our lives, and the lives of our loved ones, from gangbangers. Alaska shouldn't be a combat zone.

This bill is an appropriate step in making Alaska a safer place to live, work, and play, because it it gives law enforcement a better chance to solve crimes, and for crimes to be persecuted. I urge you to vote "yes" on this bill."

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Tonight, after extensive debate, we passed a "Produce or Pay" oil tax bill. The ball is now in the court of the Senate andf the governor. The following are my comments on the House floor during the debate:

Mr. Speaker:

There’s been a lot of debate on this bill, and that’s appropriate because of the monumental decisions our constituents sent us down here to make. There’s a lot of things I like about this bill, and a lot of things don’t like about this bill. In other words, I have some serious mixed emotions about what we’re doing. I could say that the definition of mixed emotions is like watching your worst political enemy drive off a cliff in your new car! I do share concerns with many of my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle. And, based on a survey in my district, I share the concerns of many of my constituents. Most of those concerns center around basing the tax on net, rather than gross. And, I’ve got to confess, that makes me very nervous – but I think some of those concerns have been addressed in the way this bill is put together.

I think we have a good compromise here. And I want to congratulate my colleagues who put together this compromise together.It’s based on hours of hard work, by very knowledgeable colleagues who want the same thing I want and the same thing my constituents want: a bill that brings a fair return from the people’s oil to the State of Alaska. Most importantly, a bill that will spur oil investment and hopefully increase production. A bill that, in fact, might lead to a gas pipeline.

As my colleague from District 29 said so eloquently, and with such heartfelt passion yesterday, we would be derelict in our duties if we continued throwing away millions of dollars a day by continuing to seek the impossible dream of a perfect compromise that would please all of us, whatever our party, whatever our personal preferences.

I’ve said repeatedly that we need to move forward on oil and gas issues, and this bill is the first step. We need to come out of this Special Session with some good product, and I think this bill does just that. I urge my colleagues to join with me in voting “yes” on this bill. It’s time to bite the bullet and get something done.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Walter J. Hickel, former two time Alaska governor, and United States Secretary of the Interior, visited the legislature today. He’ll be eighty-seven on August 18th. I hope I’m as sharp as he is when I’m eighty-seven. Fact is, I wish I were as sharp as he is now!

Governor “Wally” Hickel was born into a large farm family in Kansas in 1919. He became a boxer – and a winner - when he was a young man. The Golden Gloves champion won the first time he stepped in the ring. He says, "I made my mind up. I said I'm going to win.” That positive attitude has been the hallmark of his considerable success. He moved to Alaska in 1940, and the rest is history.

Governor Hickel presented the legislature with his opinions on the various gas pipeline proposals in no uncertain terms. One never has to guess where Hickel stands on the issues! He advised settling the 2006 election before moving ahead with a pipeline vote. For myself, I think we should approve a pipeline contract whenever it looks like we have a deal that best serves Alaska – whether that occurs before or after the election.

Governor Hickel gave “Alaska First” baseball caps to legislators – and “Alaska First” should be something on which everyone can agree.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


During this Special Session, legislators not on legislative finance committees are in something of a “holding pattern” while those committees conduct hearings on critical oil gas and gas pipeline issues. The good news: consensus on an oil tax compromise appears to be happening in the House Finance Committee. Hopefully, an oil tax compromise will come to the House floor for debate and a potential vote within a few days.

Other good news: several legislators made good use of our time today by an on-site inspection of the Kensington Mine site being constructed about 50 air miles north of Juneau, nearby Berners Bay. This morning, Representatives LeDoux, Gardner, and I - plus several senators -helicoptered out to the Kensington Mine site for an on-site “look-see.” More legislators will make the trip tomorrow.

Certainly, oil has been the mainstay of Alaska economics. And hopefully, the gas pipeline will one day come on line - if it can survive birth process politics. Whatever, Alaska is a resource state and oil and gas are only two components of Alaska’s natural resources. Certainly, we need to increase mining to both increase and broaden our economic base.

Kensington expects to begin operations about August 2007, producing approximately 100,000 ounces of gold annually over the expected ten-year life of the mine. If additional gold is discovered, the life of the mine could be extended. According to the Kensington web site, and our in-depth briefing today, The Kensington Gold Mine, once in full production, will run an annual payroll and benefits of $16,000,000. This $16,000,000 translates into over 200 family-supporting jobs for Juneau and Southeast Alaska. That’s not pocket change.

It appears that any resource development is the bane of extreme environmentalists – ANWR for example. Likewise, Kensington Mine has had its detractors. But from what we saw today, it appears that Kensington is applying appropriate attention to protecting our environment, and that’s good.

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