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).

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Along with the Speaker of the House, I'm off to Shanghai, China to help cheer on our great Team Alaska Summer Special Olympics athletes. I'll write a Blog about our great Alaska Team, plus various other comments (you know me!). Ergo, my Blog readers will have to suffer through a short hiatus of my Blog.

While I'm out of country, please contact my staff in either Juneau or Anchorage if our office can be of any assistance. And yes, my home is well occupied while I'm away. Go, go, go Team Alaska!

Friday, September 28, 2007


I leave early tomorrow for an out-of-country trip (will Blog on it when I return – meanwhile I’ll be off blogospace for awhile). While trying to get packed I received two important communications which deserved prompt answers.

One was from Steve Cleary, Executive Director of the Alaska Interest Research Group (AKPIRG). The other was from the indomitable former Representative Ray Metcalf. Both gentlemen wanted specific information about polling done by VECO, or contacts with Bill Allen or Rick Smith of VECO (both of whom have plead guilty to bribery of public officials). I applaud the efforts of Messrs.Cleary and Metcalf to bring transparency to public office.

The following is a copy of my communication FAXed this afternoon to AKPIRG and Mr. Metcalf. I thought my Blog readers might like to read what I said to the gentlemen. Please see below:

FAX 1:

From the Personal Home Desk of
Representative Bob Lynn

District 31, Anchorage, Alaska

September 28, 2007

Steve Cleary, Executive Director
Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AKPIRG)

Dear Steve,

I’m in receipt of your Legislative Survey of September 25, 2007. I offer the following comments for your consideration:

In the past I have talked with Bill Allen and Rick Smith of VECO about oil and gas issues. They both urged me to approve Governor Murkowski’s gas pipeline proposal. I told them I would talk to constituents, legislative colleagues, the administration, and study the issue, but I made no commitment whatsoever as to how I might vote on such issues. One of those meetings occurred at the Baranof Hotel in Juneau, I think in 2005.

I don’t recall any issues discussed with VECO people other than oil and gas issues.

I talked with numerous people in 2006 about the PPT: constituents, fellow legislators, then administration, my staff, oil company representatives, and lobbyists. You can check my Blog ( on what I thought about some of the issues.

To the best of my knowledge, direct or indirect, VECO never conducted any poll regarding any of my campaigns. Certainly, no information was ever conveyed to me by VECO about any poll results about me or anyone else. Obviously, it would have been absurd for anyone to conduct a poll during my 2006 campaign, as I was unopposed in both the primary and general elections. Likewise, so far I have never personally conducted, or had conducted, any campaign poll. I have, however, conducted a couple surveys relative to my own district.

I have worked diligently to represent my constituents and the state honestly and ethically, and have never violated the public trust. I have been a leader in getting improved ethics legislation passed, and will continue to do so. Communication with all manner of people is essential for any public servant. If a legislator can’t sort out potential motivations of people communicated with, he/she shouldn’t hold public office. When all is said and done good government can only exist when there is a strong foundation of trust between elected and appointed officials and the public.

Thank you for contacting me.

Alaska State Representative
State House District 31

FAX 2:
From the Personal Home Desk of
Representative Bob Lynn

District 31, Anchorage, Alaska

September 28, 2007
To: Ray Metcalf, and to Whom it May Concern:
I was elected to the Alaska State Legislature, House District 31, in 2002, and was sworn into office in January 2003. I have served continuously in the House of Representatives since that time. I have already filed for re-election in 2008.
I have no knowledge, direct or indirect, of VECO conducting a political poll about any of my campaigns for District 31. Certainly, I never received any information of any such poll results from VECO if any such polls were, in fact, conducted. Of course in 2006, I ran for office unopposed. Ergo it would have been absurd for anyone to conduct a poll relevant to my campaign.
During my term of office, and all my campaigns since 2002 to this date, I have never personally conducted a political poll. However, I did conduct some surveys of District 31, paid for out of my personal campaign funds.
As for campaign polls allegedly conducted by VECO for other elected officials, I only know what I’ve read in the newspaper, or seen on TV.
When I learned from the media of VECO’s involvement in actual or alleged illegal acts, I promptly wrote a letter to the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) to inform them that, at the conclusion of my 2006 campaign, I would donate contributions from VECO executives to charity (and that I did). APOC has a copy of that letter. I did not return the VECO contributions to VECO, because I didn’t want to “contribute” to any political defense fund for such VECO executives.
Thank you for your interest in good government.

Yours truly,

Alaska State Representative
State House District 31

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The Alaska Supply Chain Integrators, better known locally as “ASCI,” is a major business in our District 31 in South Anchorage. Formed in 1999, ASCI services include supply chain services, maintenance optimization, and process consulting. In plain language, the role of ASCI being an outsource for major firms such as British Petroleum for their procurement and logistics needs.

Scott Hawkins is the President, Chief Operating Officer of ASCI. I was part of a tour Scott provided today for some legislators and staff. It’s a large operation that provides good outsourcing services. One has to wonder if there is a place for more outsourcing for municipal, state, and federal government. Private business is typically more efficient than government in doing the same work – basically because a profit motive is involved, and that motive tends to spur excellence in performance to maintain the profit.

After the tour, Scott Hawkins invited in several of his rank and file employees for an unscripted and unexpected question and answer (“Q and A”) session with the legislators present during a pizza lunch. The Q and A covered a multitude of topics. I think all the legislators appreciated the opportunity to communicate with constituents, I know I certainly did.

ASCI’s procurement methodology was especially interesting to me.

I spent about four years in the US Air Force procurement “business.” In 1967, I was selected as one of six officers to attend the year long Education with Industry (EWI) at The Boeing Company in Seattle - part of the Air Force Air University. The course was generally considered by the military to be equivalent to a Master of Business Administration degree. During EWI, our seven Air Force students wore mufti (i.e. civilian clothes: worn by somebody who usually wears a uniform), and worked side by side with regular Boeing employees. Our Air Force group worked through most of the Boeing divisions, including the commercial air division (and a test flight from the jump seat of a brand new 737 airliner just rolled off the production line), work on the supersonic airliner (“SST”), and even the window fairing design on today’s 747, as well in the missile division’s design of missile fairing for the B52 bomber. Primarily, however, we worked on production and procurement issues.

After graduation from EWI in 1968, I was assigned to supervision Air Force contracting teams at Robins AFB at Warner-Robbins, Georgia (amazingly, part of my work was procuring snowplows for Alaska from Georgia!). In 1970, I was reassigned from Georgia to being th4e officer in charge of the Management Services Division of the old Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) at Dayton, Ohio where we tracked Air Force procurement activities worldwide. In 1969, I was assigned to the AFLC Inspector General (IG) Team. The IG did “no notice” inspections of Air Force procurement procedures throughout the United States. The highlight of my IG work was a five week trip to Nationalist China in Taiwan to inspect Chinese contract maintenance of US Air Force aircraft stationed there.

After my procurement duty in the Air Force, I was ordered to Vietnam in 1972, but that’s another story. Suffice to say, “procurement is procurement” – and it was interesting to see how ASCI provides procurement expertise right here in our District 31 in South Anchorage.
The photos show Scott Hawkins giving us the tour, and our legislative group answering employee questions.


From Noatak, we flew west with Bering Airlines to Teck Comico’s Red Dog Mine, a lead/zinc/silver mine is in the De Long Mountains, western Brooks Range, Alaska, about north of Kotzebue. approximately 90 miles north of Kotzebue, and 46 miles inland from the coast of the Chukchi Sea, and west of Noatak village. The mine has been operating continuously since its opening in 1989

Red Dog is the largest single zinc producer in the world. The property is owned by the Northwest Alaska Native Association (NANA) Regional Corporation and is leased to Teck Cominco Alaska Inc., which owns and operates the facilities. The mine is the sole taxpayer in the Northwest Arctic Borough and is the primary economic engine for northwest Alaska, as well as a major asset to the entire Alaska economy. Red Dog is an important component of the economy of Northwest Alaska. About 450 people are hired directly, with an additional 150 jobs created indirectly. A majority of the employees are NANA shareholders. The mine is served by 6,312 foot paved aircraft runway, with advanced navigational aids.

After removal from the ground, lead and zinc concentrates are transported 52 miles by road to port facilities on the Chukchi Sea by Arrow Transportation using specially designed trucks. The trucks haul 85 tons of concentrate in two side-dump trailers at an average of 50 loads/day year-round. At the port, two storage buildings are capable of storing 850,000 tons of concentrate from October to June. The sea at that latitude is only passable for shipping about 100 days per year.
The buildings are, in fact, the largest building in all of Alaska.

During the 100-day shipping season, Foss Maritime uses two barges to lighter the concentrates to vessels offshore, owing to shallow inshore waters. Barge-based Caterpillar 988 loaders unload the concentrates. About one-third of the concentrates are destined for Cominco’s trail smelter in British Columbia; the rest is divided between Far East and European customers.

We toured first the mill, where mineral laden rocks removed from the mine are crushed to a talcum like powder, and lead and silver concentrated. Major attention is given to environmental concerns, as well as employee safety. While touring the mill, we were required to don face masks to avoid ingestion of lead. Machinery, pipes, crushers, and mineral separators are everywhere. The mill looks to the uninitiated (like me) like a spaghetti factory. I had not before been in such a mill.

Legislators are generalists who must consider a multitude of issues. No one can be an expert on everything (more on that in a future blog). On site tours of facilities are a tremendous help to better understanding of issues that come before us for a vote.

After the mill tour, we drove 52 mile down and back from the mine to the shipping port on the Chukchi Sea. This is a private road over the treeless tundra in “the middle of nowhere” that very few get to traverse other than Red Dog employees. We saw wild caribou, and while we weren’t fortunate to see them, wild musk also roam beside the road. Photography is my hobby, so I snapped photos all the way!

Yesterday’s tour of the vocational school in Kotzebue, the village of Noatak, and then the Red Dog Mine was one of better tours in which I’ve been privileged to participate. It was worth getting up before 4 AM and returning to Anchorage near midnight.

The photos show the big Red Dog and NANA building sign, inside the mill, me with the safety mask (no, I’m not in disguise to hide from the authorities), a truck on the road to the port, and just a nice picture I took of the scenery from the road (I'm an avid amateur photographer).


After leaving Kotzebue, we flew north with Bering Airlines to the village of Noatak located, appropriately on the Noatak River, west bank, seventy miles north of the Arctic Circle. The population was about 430 folks in 2000, with a 94% native population.

We visited the Noatak Napaaqtugmiut School. I was impressed. I’m a retired public school teacher – among other adventures – and I know a good school when I see one! One can feel a real vitality to the village of Noatak. A new school is under construction for occupancy, hopefully, in late August next year.

Villagers hope a road can be constructed west from Noatak to connect with the Red Dog Mine road that goes between the mine and the port on the Chukchi Sea. Currently access is only by river (and it’a running low), air, snow machine, or dog sled. There are three potential routes for a road. The village chief told us such a road would enable diesel fuel and other goods to be delivered to the village from the Red Dog mine port, at greatly reduced costs.

It was interesting g for me to fly up the Noatak River to the village. In September 1964 when I was stationed at Kotzebue, I went up some 40 miles up the Noatak River with the late Sam Lauser (a civilian contractor), in Sam’s wooden river boat on a hunting trip. I’m from East Los Angeles, and had never before seen such a big wild river. We stayed overnight in a deserted cabin. In the morning the boat had almost frozen to the river bank. After much pushing and rocking the boat, and not a few expletives, we finally got it loose and headed back down the Noatak River to Kotzebue – with ice chips from the river biting our faces all the way. We were delayed so much that we had to cross the channel at night, with me poling the channel to keep from us from being stuck. For me at the time, it was quite an adventure – and would be today. Earlier Sam Lauser had taken me and another contractor out on an extended seal hunting trip on Chukchi Sea – also quite an adventure.

The photo shows the students greeting us, the new school under construction, and
the chief briefing us on the potential road.


Wake up alarm at 4:00AM yesterday! I had accepted an invitation to tour the Teck-Cominco Red Dog zinc and lead mine way north of the Arctic Circle. Enroute, we toured the vocational school at Kotzebue – 28 miles north of the Arctic Circle (I know it is 28 miles because during 1964 and 1965 I lived I was assigned to the radar site at Kotzebue as Operations Officer and Second -in-Command).

The Tech School is providing tremendous opportunity for students in this part of Alaska. If we are to have the skilled work force needed to build a gas pipeline – or many other good things – we simply must educate folks with the skills essential to the job. I’m a big time supporter of vocational education conducted in public schools, vocational schools, by the unions, and others. We lose good people when vocational education is made second-class.

The primary need for the Kotzebue Trade School is beds for students coming into Kotzebue from the smaller bush communities. Unfortunately, the radar site (748th AC&W Squadron) quarters where I served was torn down a few years ago. The radar information is now remoted into Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage – and the 100 men who once inhabited the radar site are no longer needed. Obviously, those beds could have been put to good use at the new Kotzebue trade school. That’s government for you – reminds me of the time at Great Falls Air Force Base when the painted a new centerline on the main street, the re-paved the same street the following week – but digress.

I met the Mayor of Kotzebue (see photo). He was about four years old when I served my remote tour at the radar site (my family had to stay in Dexter, Missouri). It was fun to talk about Kotzebue in 1964-65 versus 2007.
Photos show and electrical identification display, and me with the Kotzebue mayor.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Met today with the Alaska Production Manager of Exxon Mobile, and one of their lobbyists. They pressed their case for not rushing into any changes in the current PPT oil tax due to the current scandals of legislators indicted for accepting bribes, etc. They also claimed the current PPT doesn‘t need to be changed because it is doing what it was designed to do, and that lower net profits of producers, and accompanying lower tax revenue to Alaska, is due to added expense of more aggressive exploration that PPT was designed to encourage. This likely is the beginning of pushback from producers on the Governor Palin’s ACES plan that would replace PPT, if passed. The most provocative and interesting question posed to me was of how much of every one dollar profit made by the producers I thought should go to the state. I didn’t answer their question (and they said no other legislator had answered it either).

Their arguments were professional, appropriate, and thought provoking. I said I’m going into the October Special Session with a generally positive view of Governor Palin’s ideas, but have not yet seen her actual ACES bill - and that the “devil could be in the details.” I made no commitments. I told them I recognize their duty to represent their shareholders interests’ i.e. maximum profit and, like them, I have an obligation to represent the best interests of my “shareholders” i.e. my constituents, and what’s best for all Alaska.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I suspect this is a legislative blogger first. Has any other legislator in the nation posted a photo of their personal hip implant? If this isn’t transparency in the legislature, I don’t know what is!

The photo shows the Zimmer M L Taper Size 10 that replaced my right hip. It’s titanium. It’ll ring-a-ding the alarm every time I go through airport security (actually it rang the alarm when I went through security on Monday the 17th’s cruise ship tour).

I had a follow-up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon this morning. He looked at the X-Ray, checked me out, and said everything is progressing well. I think so too. So when election time rolls around, I’ll be able to run for re-election, not hobble

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Senator Davis and Rep. Wilson held their promised Health, Education, and Social Services (HESS) joint House /Senate hearing this afternoon on issues surrounding the Certificate of Need (CON). Currently, the state requires a “Certificate of Need” of anyone who would open certain medical facilities. Although I am not a member of the HESS Committee, I was graciously allowed to sit in at the committee table.

I have sponsored a bill to eliminate the CON – I label it a “Certificate of Monopoly.” I am also a co-sponsor of an initiative to do the same thing. In my opinion, the CON prevents competition in medical care, and lack of competition creates higher medical expense, as well as lack of choice.

One proponent of the CON who testified of the hearing claimed opponents we just “trying to make money and get rich” by eliminating the CON. That brought a sharp response from me (and raised my blood pressure). I replied with words to the effect that “there’s nothing wrong with making money” if it’s done honestly and fairly. This is America, and we have prospered in our capitalistic society. I added that the large hospitals are likewise trying to make money by eliminating competition. To me, it was a case of the “pot calling the kettle black.”

The committee discussed ongoing efforts to resolve the CON issue by negotiated regulation. That sounds good, but I think it’s better to simply eliminate the CON. Both the Senate and House Chairs of HESS promised hearings on my bill when the legislature returns to Juneau in January, and I thanked them for that. No votes were taken today, because that’s not allowed during the interim between sessions.


Today at the Governor’s Conference Room at the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Governor Palin and her staff held a briefing on “ACES,” her plan for a revised petroleum production tax (PPT) to replace the legislation passed last year. She stated that the PPT wasn’t performing as expected, and there were loopholes that would permit inappropriate deductions from the net such as for repair of corroded pipes. The “elephant in the room” is that the vote for the current PPT has been tainted by the ongoing legislative scandals involving legislators under indictment or trial for bribery current PPT.

I think a revisit to the oil tax issue is an important step in restoring trust in the legislative process. Some colleagues disagree with the need to revisit the tax because they were not involved in any wrongdoing, because their vote was “proper and honest.” Well, me too! However, in politics, perception is reality. The scandals have done great harm to perceptions of the legislative process. The legislation needs to rebuild a foundation of trust with constituents.

A large bipartisan contingent of House members attended her briefing - and I thought it was well done. Obviously, we have not yet seen the actual bill from the governor, and there may be a “devil in the details.” But I agree with the concept of a new look at the oil taxes. It’s likely the governor’s bill can be tweaked by the legislature to make it even better. At this point, I’m very positive about what Governor Palin’s administration is trying to do. I hope we can pass a good version of ACES out of the House, and I hope the Senate will give equal fair consideration of the bill.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Today Rep.Nancy Dahlstrom and I, along with a group of civic leaders and business people, toured the innards of the cruise ship Coral Princess docked in Whittier. The main purpose of the tour was to observe waste disposal equipment and procedures, as well as sanitary measures in food preparation, and the captain’s bridge. These areas of a cruise ship are rarely seen by passengers. Of course, we also took a look at the lavish public areas.

The tour was set up as a public relations event by the Alaska Cruise Association headed by our own John Binkley, who is president of the group. John comes from the Riverboat Discovery family of Fairbanks, is a former state representative, the Alaska Railroad, and recently a candidate for governor in the 2006 Republican primary. Current members of the Alaska Cruise Association include the following cruise ship operators: Celebrity, Carnival, Crystal, Holland America, Norweigan, Princess, Regent Seven Seas and Royal Caribbean.

According to the Cruise Association, more than half of Alaska’s visitors - almost 60 percent – come to our state on cruise ships. The cruise visitors have an annual $1.07 billion impact on Alaska, and the cruise industry provides 13,000 jobs for Alaskans. Obviously, the cruise ship segment of tourism is a major economic boost for Alaska.

There has been much public concern about waste disposal from cruise ships, and the need for “ocean rangers” to monitor waste disposal, etc. aboard cruise ships. It was a hot legislative topic in the legislature, particularly in light of the cruise ship initiative that passed. My position - and votes – was to honor the people’s will as expressed in the initiative (including the ocean rangers), but to implement the initiative in a practical manner. I think we did that.

The amount of waste water created by cruise ship operations is staggering. The Alaska Cruise Ship Association told us that a one week cruise generates about 1 million gallons of grey water (sinks, showers, laundry, etc), 210,000 gallons of black water (toilets, etc.), and 35,000 of bilge water (contaminated water that gathers at the bottom of the ship). That doesn’t include ballast water. In 2007, 24 of the 28 ships operating in Alaska waters have advanced wastewater treatment systems; the four that do not, don’t discharge (or not supposed to) in Alaska waters. According to the Cruise Ship Association claims the water discharged from cruise ships in Alaska is much cleaner than water released from most city wastewater treatment plants. Whatever, cruise ships makes up just 2/10ths of 1 percent of all ocean going vessels worldwide. What about the other ocean going ships that ply Alaska waters?

I found the tour worthwhile and enlightening. The basic logistics of safely and effectively operating a cruise ship with almost 2,000 passengers plus crew is mind-boggling. Just the galley operations, I was told, have 400 food preparers plus 400 various types of food servers.

The cruise ship industry - along with the oil producers, mining, fisheries, and other industries – are critical to growing Alaska’s economy - they are not our enemies. But, in the words of our beloved President Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify.”

Top photo: Rep. Lynn with the ship captain, and John Binkley. Middle photo: Lt. Marco shows clean water taken from filtration system. Bottom photo: Boarding the bus after the tour for the ride back to Anchorage.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Little compares to the camaraderie of military men who shared wartime adventures. Years drop away with shared memories. The photo shows me and war buddy Bill Kibble. For the reunion photo, I retrieved the “Boonie hat” I wore in Vietnam. Bill looks older than the last time I saw him thirty-four years ago (he says I do too). A couple of years ago, Bill and I relocated each other over the Internet.

Bill Kibble was a wonderful friend in Vietnam and Thailand. When we met again Thursday evening, after thirty-four years, we picked our conversations where we left off. But we also enjoyed re-telling our “war stories” - and I included" off-the-record legislative war stories" (Bill lives in Boise, Idaho, so that's probably safe!). As a bonus, I got to meet Bill’s wife Pat, and Pat met my Marlene. Life is good.

Bill Kibble and I served together in Vietnam at Monkey Mountain outside DaNang in 1972. At top camp, I was a Senior Director with Panama Control, a manual radar control site; Bill was next door in the same building as a Battle Commander with Motel Control, a computerized radar control site. We both lived at the “Monkey House” at bottom camp. Bill and I were both active with the little base chapel there operated by Father Paquette, an older civilian priest of French-Canadian ancestry. The priest had managed to escape from North Vietnam to continue his work around DaNang.

In addition to the war hazards of Monkey Mountain, one memorable adventure stands out. Father Paquette offered Bill Kibble and me a “tour” of Catholic orphanages in his little Dalat automobile, plus some “sightseeing” outside the confines of DaNang. The priest slalomed his strange little car through civilian and military traffic to areas where no GI with common sense should have traveled without being accompanied by a swat team - all the while Father Paquette merrily repeating in his advanced Maurice Chevalier accent, “Never worry, never worry, we’ll be OK, these are my people.” Bill and I thought, “If the Viet Cong doesn’t get us, surely Father Paquette will!” Thirty-four years ago, but it seems like yesterday.

Eventually, I was transferred from Monkey Mountain to Pleiku Air Base in the central highlands to take command of Peacock Control, another manual control site - but Bill Kibble remained at Monkey Mountain.

When the “war ended” (well, that’s what they called it) with the “cease fire” in 1973, I was transferred from Pleiku, via Saigon, to the Udorn Royal Thai Air Base at in northeast Thailand near the Laotian border. I was assigned at Udorn to be a Battle Commander at Motel Alpha Control, a computerized detachment of Motel in Vietnam. As good luck would have it, Bill Kibble was also transferred to Udorn. There being no quarters available on base, Bill and I lived in a hotel in downtown Udorn, and then shared a Thai hootch near the base (directly under the flight path of F4s taking off from the base, water buffalo grazing near our hootch window).

During a short leave with my family in Ohio, I was granted a humanitarian leave extension to travel to March AFB in California, to be with my mother for her laryngectomy (removal of voice box) operation due to cancer. Then I received unexpected orders to proceed to a radar site at Sembach, Germany after my mother’s operation, rather than return to Thailand to complete my tour. As a result, poor Bill Kibble was stuck with packing up all my household goods in our hootch to ship home to me!

Friday, September 14, 2007


The following letter was FAXed to Mayor Mark Begich today, with copies to Anchorage Assembly members:

September 14, 2007
Mayor Mark Begich
Municipality of Anchorage
632 W. 6th Avenue - Suite 830
Anchorage, AK 99501

Dear Mark:

I’ve been reading some of the news articles about eliminating I/M testing. I’m not sure what your position is on this. Obviously, the question is a municipal not a state issue. However, speaking as one of your Anchorage constituents, it seems to me that the current I/M program is no longer needed. As you know, I moved from the smog infested air of Southern California to the clean air of Alaska some years ago. I strongly support clean air.

The good news is that air quality controls are much improved since initiation of the I/M program and older vehicles are going out of service every day. Elimination of this program would save Anchorage consumers a lot of money and hassle.

Please count me in as a constituent who recommends you join in as Mayor with Assembly members in supporting elimination of the current I/M program.

Thank you for your consideration. Hope you’ve had a great summer.

Best Regards,

Bob Lynn

cc: Anchorage Assembly Members

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


War was declared by the attack on the United States of America on 9/11. It was not a formal declaration of war. It was not an attack of military upon military, as on December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day. 9/11 was the opening of (dare I say it?) a religious war by Islamic radical fundamentalists on western civilization - which is an other name for our Judeo/Christian culture. This war on Judeo/Christian civilization has been going on for centuries, it has only ebbed and flowed throughout history.

It is time for America to wake up. Thank God we haven't suffered another major attack since 9/11 - but we will. It's only a matter of time and opportunity.

The problem is, if we don't suffer an attack every other week or so, the unwary are lulled into the fantasy that it won't happen again. And we let our guard down - we fail to take what steps we can to guard against another 9/11, and we try to be "nicer than Jesus" with Islamic terrorists who will not be appeased, whatever we do. There are terrorist cells throughout America waiting only for orders to act: homocide bombers, and God knows what else. Our enemy abuses America's freedom of religion by secreting themselves among those who would abolish freedom of religion.

The war in which we are now engaged is a far more dangerous war than World War II, or Vietnam. Our current war has no national borders. We believe in freedom of religion, our enemy does not. We find ourselves at war with an alien philosophy - a war in which is difficult to win, especially when so many political leaders and silly celebrities fail to recognize reality or, worse, put partisan agendas ahead of national survival.

Wake up America. We are at war. That's reality.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I was raised by grandparents - who were also raised by grandparents - plus I’m a grandfather of eighteen, and great-grandfather of one. My grandchildren range in age from Danny at age 32 to 1 year old Boaz. Obviously "Grandparent’s Day" is special for me.

My granddad was John F. Lynn, born in Missouri in 1890. His mother passed away a month after his birth. He served in World War I, was a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff for many years, and when I became a cop in Arizona he gave me his Colt Commander 38 pistol (which I still own and cherish). My Grandmother Edna, from Arkansas, kept house. I was born in 1933 in the home of my grandparents in East Los Angeles.

My granddad John Lynn, like me, was raised by his grandfather: Jeremiah French Lynn, born 1829 in Indiana. Jeremiah was an apiarist (that’s a honey bee raiser), and a sometimes itinerant preacher. Both John and Jeremiah moved to southern California at the turn of the century. I never met Jeremiah; he passed away 11 years before I was born - but from the stories I’ve heard I feel like I know him.

My mother Doris was a professional dancer in musicals, and later a member of the WAAC / WAC (Women’s Army Corp) and one of the first women to serve overseas in the 15th Air Force at Bari, Italy during World War II. After the war, she served as a field service officer with the American Red Cross. I was very proud of her. My mother and I had a good life-long relationship, but it was my grandparents who shaped my life.
I suspect many of my “old fashioned” values were shaped by Grandpa John, who got his “old fashioned” values from his Grandpa Jeremiah.

In my case, and in the case of my Grandfather John, everything was permissive and informal between parents and grandparents. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes grandparents have to fight for their rights. In Alaska grandparent right of visitation of grandchildren is covered under Alaska law in Section 15.20.065. Basically, a grandparent may petition the superior court for an order establishing reasonable legal rights of visitation between the grandparent and child. There are a lot of legal “if, ands, and buts” in court ordered grandparent rights, and the advice of a family practice attorney is needed for the benefit of all parties involved. However it happens to be, grandparents are important!
My disappointment is that neither my parents or grandparents knew I got elected to the Alaska Legislature, and they never met most of my own grandkids.
Photo at left is of my Great-great Grandfather Jeremiah Lynn when he was 92, the next is of my Grandfather John during World War I, then my Mother Doris during World War II, and finally Grandfather John shortly before he passed away in 1982 at age 92.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

PAVAROTTI 1935 - 2007

The world has lost the musical Gift of Luciano Pavarotti, the musical genius who defined opera in our time. There will never be another Pavarotti. His singing sent delightful shivers down my spine. His singing voice was truly a Gift from God. Every talent any of us have is a Gift from God.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


My decision for hip replacement surgery a couple weeks ago is surprisingly similar to Governor Palin’s decision to replace the Petroleum Production Tax (PPT) passed in March 2006. My hip was causing me problems, I had it evaluated, and decided it needed to be replaced - regardless of potential pain and suffering (which fortunately, has been minimal). Governor Palin felt the PPT was causing problems, had it evaluated, and decided to have it replaced – (regardless of potential political pain). A thoughtful person weighs the plusses and minuses of a major operation, and then makes a decision based on the information available. That’s what I did with my hip replacement surgery. That’s what Governor Palin did in deciding on PPT surgery. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision.

Legislators who voted on the PPT included a shocking number of legislators who are currently undergoing trial for bribery (among other things), have federal indictments, or who had their offices searched by the FBI. There may be more indictments. Who knows? The PPT that passed was subject to intensive lobbying and debate. Obviously, only a very few of our sixty House and Senate legislators are under suspicion of wrongdoing. We know it’s unfair to judge the many by the few. However, in politics, appearance can be reality. As an unfortunate result (rightly or wrongly), our overall vote on the PPT has, at least, the appearance of being tainted. The “taint” is another reason to revisit the oil tax issue, in addition the PPT not working, according to the administration, as most of us intended it to work.

Therefore, Governor Palin is bringing forth a new plan she calls the “Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share,” or “ACES.” The governor outlined the basics of her ACES proposal at a news conference today held at the University of Alaska Library Consortium in Anchorage. I support Governor Palin’s effort to bring a resolution to oil tax issues.

Governor Palin’s ACES plan is a hybrid of a tax on the gross and a tax on the net. In Speaker of the House Rep. John Harris’ words, “. . . it seems to offer change but not a huge overhaul.” ACES would increase the current 22.5% tax on net profit to 25% (which was one of the proposals during the PPT debate), but there would be a 10% gross-based tax floor on older oil fields. The new proposal also includes language that would prevent producers from deducting costs of corroded pipes and the like. None of us have seen the details of the ACES proposal, and there may be a “devil in the details.” However, at this point the concept of ACES is reasonable.

So far, the oil producers are less than happy with the governor’s ACES plan. That’s hardly surprising. No one wants to pay higher taxes. Their job is to maximize profits to their shareholders. On the other hand, it’s the job of the governor and legislators to maximize the return to our “shareholders” - the good people of Alaska who elect us to protect their interests. The oil producers are not our enemies. They have done many great things for Alaska - and will continue to do so.

There were several legislators present for the press conference. We all have our work cut out to do in the upcoming October Special Session.
Photo at top shows Gov. Palin speaking at her Press Conference. The middle photo shows me discussing the ACES plan with the governor, and the bottom photo shows me with University Chancellor and former Lt. Governor Fran Ulmer, and Speaker of the House Rep. John Harris.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Happy Labor Day 2007! It’s a well deserved holiday for workers who make things happen that benefit all of us. To quote from my Labor Day 2006 Blog, “Workers have only skill and labor with which to bargain. Business has only a place for skill and labor to be employed, managed in a manner that makes a profit that enables both labor and management to pay the bills, both at home and for the business. It’s a tough but essential balancing act. Compromise is required, or everybody loses.”

The primary mission of a union is (or should be) is to represent their membership in negotiating higher wages, enhanced benefits, job security, and better working conditions, as well as elimination of discrimination in the workplace. It’s more difficult to take advantage of a union than it is for an individual worker. In unity there is strength. That’s why unions are important.

Unfortunately, some unions at the national level tend to wander off into hard core advocacy on issues like pro-choice/pro-abortion, homosexual rights, extreme environmentalism, “ban the bomb,” gun control, and so on. The National Education Association (NEA), the largest union in the United States, is a good example of such counter-productive advocacy. This too often puts a substantial number rank and file union members in the position of having to pay dues to support an issue they may diametrically oppose. There’s no shortage of advocacy organizations on all sides of such controversial issues. That’s their job, not the legitimate mission of unions. Unions need to represent workers on wages, benefits, job security, working conditions, and protection from discrimination - not social issues.

I hope everyone had a tremendous Labor Day weeked!

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