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, October 31, 2009


Halloween 1975. Remember it like yesterday. I was still active duty US Air Force, and stationed at March Air Force Base, California. One of my “additional duties” was to help assimilate Vietnamese refugees “adopted” by my squadron into the American culture.

These good people, who had escaped the Communist takeover of South Vietnam, didn’t understand the American banking system, and kept what little life savings they had accumulated and escaped with, hidden in their homes.

As one of the squadron sponsors of the Vietnamese refugees, I did my best to explain the safety of American banks (that was before the 2009 recession!), and how the bankers were trustworthy. Finally, they agreed to take their money to a bank and open a safe savings account. I drove them there. They were nervous about the entire situation.

I escorted the refugees into the bank, whereupon they were greeted by Mickey Mouse, and the teller was Bozo the Clown. It was Halloween, All the bank employees were in costume.

Try to imagine, if you can, the expressions on the faces of the refugees, as they entrusted their savings to Bozo the Clown. I tried to explain, but it wasn’t easy. That occasion in 1975 was likely my most memorable Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I had the pleasure of talking “teacher to teacher” about Alaska teachers and schools with Alaska National Education (NEA) President Barb Angalak. Barb and I have both been classroom teachers, so it’s understandable we share many concerns in common, including appropriate funding of education, school working conditions, plus recruitment and retention of quality teachers. Both of us expressed a need to return to a “defined benefit” pension for teachers and other public employees.

I’m both a retired US Air Force person, and a retired public school teacher. I’ve “been there, done that.” My military and teaching careers were fulfilling, but I must admit there were frustrating times when, I might not have persevered until retirement in either career, without the security of future defined retirement benefits. That’s reality.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Good news! I have muscles I never knew I had. Bad news. I’m so sore I feel like the age I really am. Really, really good news! The Anchorage Fire Department is one of the best fire departments in the nation. I’m ready to join. But I admit. I couldn’t keep up. No way. No how.

Yesterday, my legislative assistant Dirk Moffatt and I participated in Fire Ops 101. As the title implies, the activity was an overview of what our Anchorage Fire Department does every day to protect us. Along with other policy makers, we did a first hand extraction of a victim from an automobile crash, went into a burning building, had an opportunity to climb a six story aerial ladder, and attended to a cardiac arrest victim from arrival on scene to the Regional Hospital ambulance garage entrance.

First of all, getting into the firefighter outfit was no small task - at least for me: heavy protective clothing, gloves, boots, air bottle pack, head hood, helmet, and goggles. All in all, about 75 pounds. Add that to the fat poundage I carry around every day, and you’ve got a heavy legislator.

During the extraction of the victim from the car, I got to use the “jaws of life” to pry the car door away from the frame, and to use an instrument to break the glass out of a car window (legally). The being-in-a burning-building experience gave us an opportunity to use a thermal imaging device that made it possible to see the fire through the smoke and darkness (without it, couldn’t see anything and it was spooky).

Yes I did climb the aerial ladder but, I must disclose, only about the first eight or nine steps. Taking my time, I could have gone all the way up - but we were on a fast schedule, and the fire department couldn’t wait thirty days for me to get all the way up the ladder. But I did get a ride in the ladder bucket to the top of the aerial ladder. It’s a great view - and only scary when you look down.

There’s much talk about the need for health insurance. But let me tell you this. The Anchorage Fire Department is some of the most outstanding “health insurance” you’ll ever get!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Went on an Alaska Air National Guard refueling mission yesterday from Elmendorf AFB to the skies nearby Sparrevohn, Alaska. Our KC135 refueled a C17 transport plane. Got to perch down next to the boomer to watch him fly the refueling boom to the C17. This is socially acceptable passing of gas.

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