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Letter: A scary time for men?

Alaska News - Mon, 2018-10-15 03:20

I am white, older, male and not afraid — of my kids riding bikes in the street, driving during Anchorage's first snow and especially not of false accusations. President Donald Trump's latest quote about it being "a very scary time for young men" because of fear of false accusations shows he's tone deaf. When has there been a protected time and place for women in our history?
The truth shall set us free, but maybe not if you are trying to hide it.
— Chris Sturm

Have something on your mind? Send to letters@adn.com or click here to submit via any web browser. Letters under 200 words have the best chance of being published. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters. Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length.

Light earthquake shakes Anchorage, Southcentral Alaska

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 22:40


An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 shook Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska on Sunday evening. The quake was centered about 21 miles west of the city under upper Cook Inlet, near the mouth of the Susitna River.

The Alaska Earthquake Center said the quake, at 9:19 p.m., occurred at a depth of about 40 miles.

There were no immediate reports of damage.  It was widely felt in the city and in the Mat-Su area, according to social media accounts, though some people said they didn't feel anything.

Ask Amy: Daughter hits up parents to pay for fancy wedding

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 20:12

Dear Amy: My 29-year-old stepdaughter, “Jamie,” is getting married next year to a man she has lived with for three years.

They are both professionals with good-paying jobs. They own a home.

Some time ago, Jamie emailed my husband (her dad) asking how much he could contribute to the wedding.

She did not tell us where she wanted to get married, or the cost. We are both retired with a limited income, and my husband and I agreed on an amount we could afford. When we told Jamie what we could give her, she didn't say a word. However, we discovered later that she had complained to her mother (my husband's ex), who then contacted my husband to berate him because Jamie's chosen wedding venue is extremely expensive.

We were hurt and confused by Jamie's behavior, as she had not talked to us first about a wedding budget, or determined what each of us could contribute before she decided on a very costly wedding. We offered to give her more money, although it is going to be a strain on our own finances. Since then, we have not heard from her for the past several months, and she has completely left us out of her wedding planning activities. We expect that the only time we'll hear from her is when she wants a check. The whole thing is rubbing me the wrong way. How do you suggest we handle this?

-- Dismayed Step-Mom

Dear Dismayed: What you should NOT do is to injure yourselves financially to pay for someone else’s dream wedding. Marrying couples should host weddings they can afford, and should be responsible for financing their own weddings. One way to do this is by gathering pledges from their parents, and there is nothing wrong with that. At this point, you have agreed to an amount, you felt guilted into giving more, and that should be the end of it.

If "Jamie" wanted to express her gratitude, or wanted even more money from you, she could attempt to bleed you further by including you in the planning -- thus making you an accomplice of sorts in her event. By accepting your money, she is enlisting you as co-hosts, and you should be acknowledged as such (don't hold your breath).

At this point she is playing her divorced parents off of each other. Her father should express his disappointment in her entitled behavior. I hope you and your husband don't succumb to further financial pressure.

Dear Amy: My son, who I’ve always felt very close to, has started to call me by my first name.

I'm 67 and he's 40.

I've always tried to be there for him. I have loved being his mom.

He loves to tease me, so I didn't say anything about it for a while, because I knew he would run with it, but I figured he wasn't going to stop so I asked him to please stop calling me by my first name

I told him it hurt me and that I felt it was disrespectful.

Well, he still does it and mostly smiles when he does it.

I don't know what to do anymore. After I'm around him, I usually end up having a good cry.

Is this the new thing? My friends tell me their children don't call them by their first name. They say they wouldn't like it either.

What should I do?

-- Call Me Mom

Dear Mom: Your son sounds like a mean tease. Taunting your mother and then persisting even after she has asked you to stop is quite an unattractive quality in a 40-year-old man.

You will have to carefully examine your feelings to decide how tolerable this is, longer term, but I suggest that the next time you feel like crying about this teasing, you should not save your tears for your private time. Don't protect your son from your emotions. Go ahead and cry, or -- the next time this happens, if you're feeling more anger than sadness, then get your coat and leave his presence.

Dear Amy: I loved your advice to “Invisible Wife” to make a video to get her husband’s attention when he was paying attention to his technology instead of her.

It would have been easy for her to sit around and sulk. I hope she takes your creative advice.

-- Impressed

Dear Impressed: Thank you! Sometimes, you have to make a “Hail Mary” pass in order to mix things up and make your point.

Elders and Youth Conference speakers gave back to their communities

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 18:47

Na Ganiyaatgm, Na Lagm.

It means "Our Ancestors, Our Fire" in the Tsimshian language.

It's a nod to the internal flame that connects people with ancestors and homelands, and it will be the theme of the 35th annual Elders and Youth Conference.

The conference, hosted by First Alaskans Institute, will run Monday through Wednesday at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage.

[See the Youth and Elders agenda here.]

Elders and Youth conferences help keep traditions alive as the modern world encroaches. This year's will feature Sm'algyax, a dialect of the Tsimshian people in Southeast Alaska. It's part of a new effort to feature different Alaska Native languages each year.

Ugiaqtaq Wesley Aiken will be the elder keynote speaker at the 2018 Elders and Youth Conference. (Photo by Bill Hess / Provided by First Alaskans)

The elder keynote speaker will be Ugiaqtaq Wesley Aiken, 92. Born in Utqiagvik in 1926, Aiken played a prominent role improving life in his North Slope homeland, and for all Alaska Natives. He will speak at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

Aiken fought for Alaska Native rights, participating at the famous "duck-in" in Barrow in the 1960s, when an international ban on spring migratory bird hunting slammed rural Alaska villages that needed bird meat to survive, the institute said in a release.

At the protest, sparked by the arrest of a local hunter, 138 men, women and children presented their harvest of 138 ducks to the federal game warden. They asked to be arrested for subsistence hunting.

Last month, the state and federal governments apologized for the hardships the policy caused Alaska Native families.

['We got it wrong': Governments apologize to Alaska Natives for banning migratory bird harvests]

Aiken helped form the Alaska Federation of Natives in 1966; the North Slope Borough in 1972, governing Aiken's home region; and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., which became the wealthiest Alaskan-owned company.

Aiken didn't stop at those achievements.

In the 1980s, he worked with the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission to win a fair quota for bowhead whales.

Again, a major victory came this September.

Whalers rejoiced last month when the International Whaling Commission, for the first time, approved automatic quota renewals as long as bowhead harvests remain sustainable with healthy stocks. The decision eliminates costly political fights as multiyear quotas expired.

As a teen, Aiken herded reindeer to help his family, and continued to support them by hunting and trapping throughout his life. A World War II veteran, he served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1944 to 1959, and remained involved with the National Guard until 1973.

The youth keynote speaker will be Tristan Yaadoh Jovan Madros, 20, from Kaltag. He speaks 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Last year, Doyon, the Native regional corporation, recognized Madros as a Shareholder of the Year recipient for their Chief Andrew Isaac Leadership Award.

Tristan Yaadoh Jovan Madros (Photo courtesy of family and Doyon Ltd.)

Madros was raised by his grandparents, Franklin Madros Jr. and Cora Madros. He learned traditional ways of life from them, including how to make sleds from birch, sew moose-hide boots, and build a fish wheel.

"He deeply values Native traditions and is a culture and language bearer and teacher, hunter, fisherman and gatherer," the institute said.

Madros is second chief on the Kaltag Village Council, and on the Kaltag dance group. He serves on the Tanana Chiefs Conference Youth Advisory Emerging Leader's Council and the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission board.

The conference this year kicks off with a pre-conference event Sunday, Oct. 14, with a session at the Dena'ina Center called the Warming of the Hands. That will be followed by a welcome potlatch at Moseley Sports Center at Alaska Pacific University.

Workshops during the conference will feature traditional activities – weaving, beading, storytelling and carving – and sessions focused on self-empowerment, values, leadership, education, wellness and law.

Cultural performances will include the 7th Annual Chin'an: A Night of Cultural Celebration, on Monday, 7-10 p.m. at the Dena'ina Center, with tickets for $5 and free for elders.

Appearances at the public event will include:

• Cody, a Cup'ik comedian from Chevak.

• Ix̱six̱án, Ax̱ Ḵwáan (I Love You My People) from Juneau.

• The Yup'ik Rainbow Dance Group from Anchorage.

Those not able to attend the conference in person can watch it live on GCI Channel 1, 360 North and on the firstalaskans.org website. Visit the website for registration information.

Anniversary edition of the classic wilderness journal provides a refreshing respite from our noisy lives

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 18:44

“One Man’s Wilderness, 50th Anniversary Edition: An Alaskan Odyssey”

One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey. 50th Anniversary Edition, by Sam Keith from the journals and photographs of Dick Proenneke. Alaska Northwest Books, 2018. 272 pages. $19.99.

This classic book, first published in 1973, has just been reissued in a new format, with dozens of large colored photographs and a new foreword by author, actor, and fine woodworker Nick Offerman. The fiftieth anniversary the new edition celebrates is that of Richard Proenneke's arrival in 1968 at the Twin Lakes in what is now Lake Clark National Park to build the cabin and wilderness life he would document in writing, photography, and film for thirty years.

Proenneke was fifty-one years old at the time of his "retirement" to the lakes, after a career as a carpenter and mechanic. "One Man's Wilderness" draws upon his journals and photographs from his first sixteen months at the lakes, from May to September of the following year, when he left for a winter to attend to family affairs. His friend Sam Keith assembled and edited the material, which appears in dated journal entries.

(Readers may like to know that park historian John Branson edited two additional volumes of Proenneke's journals — More "Readings from One Man's Wilderness: The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke, 1974-1980" in 2005 and "The Early Years: The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke, 1967-1973″ in 2010. There's also a documentary film, Alone in the Wilderness, that uses Proenneke's film footage, not only of the wildlife he observed but of himself building his cabin, picking berries, etc.)

Reading the journal entries collected here might very well convince any reader that he or she is a complete slacker. Proenneke seemed to do more in any one day, all with hand tools and inventiveness, than most of us can accomplish in a week—or a lifetime. He raised a cabin in twenty days. Even more impressive is that the man was an incredibly skilled craftsman, a perfectionist in everything he did. He fit every log joint perfectly. He carved wooden door hinges ("forest hardware") from selected tree stumps. He rejected a glass window in favor of his better-performing "poor man's thermopane" made by trapping air between layers of storm window plastic and Handiwrap. He built a gorgeous and perfectly functioning fireplace and chimney with rocks carefully selected and fitted. To clean sawdust from the gravel floor inside the cabin, he moved the gravel down to the beach to be washed by the lake and then returned it.

On an "odds-and-ends day" in his second May, "I made a screen for my kitchen window. . . . I washed the caribou calfskin in soap and water. . . . I wrapped a twelve-inch band of gas tin around each leg of the cache. . . . I grubbed out a path to the cache and packed it with beach gravel. Cleaned up some building chips and drove in a water gauge stake for measuring the lake level."

Proenneke chose to have little contact with the outside world. The missionary and legendary bush pilot Babe Alsworth was his lifeline, flying in with mail and supplies every few weeks. During hunting season a guide and various hunters frequented the area, but Proenneke avoided them. (He scavenged from their kills and cleaned up the trash they left behind.) He lacked even a radio. ("I am my own newspaper and my own radio. I honestly don't believe that man was meant to know everything going on in the world, all at the same time.")

Considering that 1968 was a year of considerable cultural and political upheaval in our country, Proenneke was as isolated as anyone could have been. His only comment on anything beyond his immediate environment and concerns comes in a single paragraph: "I got some really sad news in my mail. Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated."

If the journal is to be believed, Proenneke was perfectly happy with his own company, rising early every morning eager for whatever projects he tasked himself with. There's no evidence that he "conversed" with even the ideas in books; the only books he mentions are some religious ones Alsworth brought him (and that he scorned) and a guidebook for identifying birds. He didn't keep a dog. ("It would mess up my picture-taking for sure.")

He did, however, befriend various animals, making them almost into pets. He taught birds to eat from his hand, had personal relationships with a weasel and a squirrel, and once rescued a caribou calf. He got no end of pleasure watching bear cubs wrestling on hillsides.

He was also intensely curious about all things in nature, and continuously set up his own experiments. How deep was the lake ice? What was in the trout's stomach? What will grow in my garden? How can I design the most effective face covering for cold weather? How far can I comfortably travel at fifty below? Is there a relationship between a full moon and temperature? If I go look for caribou, will I find they have new antlers? If I follow the tracks of this hare, what will I learn?

One of his experiments involved wolverines. He baited a sled with meat and tied an "alarm cord" from the sled to his wrist, so that any movement of the sled would wake him from sleep. In the resulting "tug of war," he got a good look by flashlight. "There he was, the king of the weasel family, with short, rounded ears, teeth bared and glistening, muzzle wrinkled like an angry chow, eyes blazing blue — a sight to remember."

Nancy Lord is a Homer-based writer and former Alaska writer laureate. Her books include "Fishcamp," "Beluga Days," and "Early Warming." Her latest book is "pH: A Novel."

Alaska Voices: Walker is the only candidate who can tackle tough Alaska issues - Kenai Peninsula Online

Legislative News - Sun, 2018-10-14 18:34

Kenai Peninsula Online

Alaska Voices: Walker is the only candidate who can tackle tough Alaska issues
Kenai Peninsula Online
In 2015, following the collapse in oil prices and Alaska's revenues, Sen. Dunleavy and the Republican-controlled legislature were afraid to offer ideas for revenue; they dug in and insisted there would be no solution but to cut state jobs and services ...

and more »

Foiled Paris bomb plot raises fears that Iran is planning attacks in Europe

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 17:48

Demonstrators protest against the current government in Iran near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. The posters read in German: 'For social fairness in Iran", front, 'Solidarity with the protest movement in Iran' rear, and 'Stop the repression of the protest movement in Iran', center. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) (Markus Schreiber/)

WASHINGTON - On the evening of July 1, police in Bavaria surrounded the rented van of an Iranian diplomat after he pulled over at a gas station on the autobahn. Fearing he might be transporting explosives, the authorities summoned the bomb squad.

The diplomat, based at Iran's embassy in Vienna, had been under surveillance for some time and was suspected of involvement in a plot to bomb a rally of Iranian dissidents in Paris. Despite his diplomatic status, he was arrested and extradited to Belgium, where two others, suspected of planning to carry out the attack in France, were detained.

The foiled plot has sparked growing anxiety in France, Germany and several other countries, including the United States and Israel, that Iran is planning audacious terrorist attacks and has stepped up its intelligence operations around the world.

Iranian leaders, under pressure from domestic protesters, Israeli intelligence operatives, and the Trump administration, which is reimposing economic sanctions lifted under President Barack Obama, are making contingency plans to strike at the country's adversaries in the event of open conflict, according to American, European, Middle Eastern and Israeli officials and analysts who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

Iran has assigned different units and organizations to conduct surveillance of opposition figures, as well as Jewish and Israeli organizations, in the United States and Europe, the officials said. The Iranians are preparing what one Israeli official called "target files" of specific people or groups that Iran could attack.

One Middle Eastern intelligence official, speaking on the condition that his name and nationality be withheld, cited a "definite uptick" in the level of activity by Iranian operatives in recent months, adding that the Iranians are "preparing themselves for the possibility of conflict."

Iran's reach extends to the United States. In August, the Justice Department arrested two Iranian men, one a dual national with U.S. and Iranian citizenship and the other an Iranian who is a legal U.S. resident, for allegedly spying on behalf of Iran. The pair are accused of conducting surveillance on a Jewish organization in Chicago and rallies in New York and Washington that were organized by the Mujahideen-e Khalq, or MEK, a dissident group that seeks regime change in Iran.

But the case of the Iranian diplomat is the most alarming, officials and analysts said, and has strained Iran's diplomatic relations with Germany and France. Both countries are trying to hold together a landmark 2015 agreement meant to curb Iran's nuclear weapons program, which the Trump administration has abandoned.

The diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, has been a high-ranking official in Iran's embassy in Vienna since 2014, but is also suspected of being the station chief of the Ministry of Intelligence, or MOIS, according to multiple officials from the United States and Europe.

In late June, European intelligence services tracked Assadi as he met with a married couple of Iranian descent living in Belgium and - according to the couple, who spoke to police after their arrest - gave them about a pound of explosive material and a detonator, the officials said.

The couple, Nasimeh Naami and Amir Saadouni, who were both born in Iran, allegedly planned to bomb a huge MEK rally in Paris, attended by thousands of people, including Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer and a vocal defender of the group, according to French, German and Belgian officials.

European officials said the couple, who are cooperating with authorities, identified Assadi as their longtime handler. Assadi professes not to know them, according to German officials, who said Iranian authorities have claimed he was set up. The Iranian government has said publicly that the plot was fabricated to falsely implicate the regime in terrorism.

A spokesman for the Iranian mission to the United Nations denied that Iran had planned to attack the rally in Paris, calling the allegations "categorically false. And he accused the MEK and Israel of staging the plot "to sabotage Iran-EU relations."

"The MEK had long been listed as a terrorist group by the EU and the U.S.; it also has a long history of propaganda and false flag operations," said the spokesman, Alireza Miryousefi.

The State Department removed the MEK from a list of designated terrorist organizations in 2012. The group has publicly denied any involvement in the attempted attack in Paris.

Authorities said that Belgium would take the lead in the case for now, since the couple were arrested and have citizenship there.

French officials have publicly accused Iran's Intelligence Ministry of planning the attack and have frozen the assets of two suspected intelligence operatives. "This extremely serious act envisaged on our territory could not go without a response," France's interior, foreign and economy ministers said in a joint statement. "In taking this decision, France underlines its determination to fight against terrorism in all its forms, particularly on its own territory."

French police also raided the headquarters of one of the largest Shiite Muslim centers in France, which has links to Iran, according to European officials, and arrested three people.

Belgian officials contend that Assadi, who was surrounded at the gas station while traveling with his wife and two sons, is not protected by diplomatic immunity from prosecution because he was arrested outside Austria.

The case has been closely watched by the Trump administration. Assadi's arrest "tells you, I think, everything you need to know about how the government of Iran views its responsibilities in connection with diplomatic relations," White House national security adviser John Bolton told reporters last week. Bolton, a prominent Iran hawk, has been leading Trump administration efforts to place new sanctions on Iran, which he called "the central banker of international terrorism."

The MOIS has a long history of conducting surveillance operations in Europe, but an attack at a major public gathering in Paris, attended by Trump's lawyer, would invite massive retaliation from the French and the Americans, prompting some experts to wonder why Iran would take such a risk.

Iran has in the past targeted Iranian dissidents abroad, and Tehran has previously been linked to numerous plots involving Israeli, Jewish and Arab interests in the West. The level of Iranian activity ebbs and flows, sometimes without a discernible reason, according to former U.S. officials and Iran experts.

In the first 15 years after ruler Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came to power, Iranian agents assassinated at least 60 people in four European countries. The most notorious single attack was the 1992 assassination of a Kurdish Iranian dissident leader and three of his colleagues, all shot inside a Berlin restaurant.

Some experts now fear a return to those kinds of bloody operations.

In Germany last year, a Pakistani man was sentenced to four years in prison for scouting out potential targets with links to Israel and Jewish organizations on behalf of the Quds Force, the external operations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. According to court documents, he had been in touch with his Iranian handlers since at least since 2011. But the "contact intensified" in the middle of 2015, around the same time that authorities believe the couple planning to attack the MEK rally were first contacted by Assadi.

Officials said that Iran has recruited people from Pakistan, as well as from Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, North Africa and Afghanistan, in order to obscure the country's role in overseas spying.

A high-level German official said Iran's aggression inside Europe calls for a tougher response.

"There are clear indications for calling this a case of state terrorism," the official said of the thwarted Paris attack. But leaders in Germany and France, the official said, "would rather play the danger and level of interference down," in order to hold together the nuclear deal.

Norman Roule, who served 34 years in the CIA and retired last year as the national intelligence manager for Iran, said the lack of a tougher European response, especially in the wake of Iran's support of terrorism on the continent, has likely sent a message to Tehran: "You can get away with pretty much anything."

Roule said that Iran has been testing the limits of European and American resolve for decades. The regime has launched cyberattacks, supported terrorist groups, and, in 2013, plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States at a fashionable restaurant in Washington - an attack Roule said would likely have inflicted civilian casualties. All those events saw little tangible response, he said.

"My fear is that Iran may well believe they have yet to reach our red line, and this is a recipe for further attacks," Roule said.

While U.S. officials have accused Iran's top leaders of being behind the biggest plots, Iranian intelligence factions have sometimes acted in competition with one another, with little apparent coordination with the country's ruling clerics, former U.S. officials said. Some think that pattern may be repeating now.

"It is not always the case that a senior [Iranian] official says, 'Go and do this,' " said Matthew Levitt, a former counterterrorism official with the Treasury Department and FBI. "Sometimes initiative - even stupid initiative, even initiative that fails - is smiled upon within this system."

In light of the operations in Europe and the United States, it's not clear that the Iranian leadership is in control of its own operatives, said intelligence officials in multiple countries.

One German official said that based on his government's discussions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's leaders understand that an attack in the heart of Europe could do irreparable damage to their country's relationship with the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal.

But there is also a parallel power structure in Iran, and as domestic unrest grows and more Iranians die fighting in Iraq and Syria, Iranian hard-liners elsewhere in the government could push for a show of force against the West, the German official said.

The regime has also been humiliated by recent Israeli spying operations that laid bare huge troves of documents about Iran's nuclear weapons program. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly crowed about his spies' prowess and has pressed for a tougher international response to Iran.

In a speech last month at the United Nations General Assembly, Netanyahu cited the arrest of the two U.S. operatives and the foiled Paris attack as evidence of Iran's continued support of terrorism in the West, despite the election of more moderate leaders and the nuclear deal.

"If you think that Iran's aggression has been confined to the Middle East, think again," Netanyahu said.

An Israeli official said that there is a directive from the top levels of the Iranian government to quickly develop targets, and that the Intelligence Ministry has pushed its operatives to work too fast, leading to mistakes and arrests.

The two Iranian men arrested for spying inside the United States were under surveillance by the FBI for an extended period of time, with their travel inside and outside the country tracked, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.

The two men also appeared to be pressed for time. The alleged agent with dual Iranian and American citizenship urged his associate, who lived in California, to hand over photographs and other material he'd been gathering for target packages. But the California man "expressed some frustration," according to the complaint, because he wanted more time to get the materials in order.

“I don’t like to do it this way . . . I like to have a complete package, meaning that there is no gap in information,” he said.

Man charged in East Anchorage hit-and-run death told police he didn’t stop to help because he was low on gas

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 17:45

Corey Hoppe was arraigned in the Anchorage Correctional Complex on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. Hoppe has been charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident at Northern Lights Boulevard and Baxter Road on Saturday. (Bill Roth / ADN)

An Anchorage man is in jail for allegedly running over his roommate with an SUV, leaving him crumpled and dying on an East Anchorage street Saturday evening.

Corey Hoppe, 27, told police that he didn't stop to help the man because "he was running low on gas," according to charging documents in the case against him.

The victim died at a hospital of his injuries.

He has not been identified by police.

Hoppe was arraigned on a single felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid to an injured person on Sunday.

Prosecutors warned him that he remains under investigation and more serious charges are possible.

Here's what Anchorage Police Department detectives say happened:

Hoppe and another man were riding together in a Chevrolet Suburban late Saturday afternoon when the passenger either jumped or was pushed out of the vehicle at the intersection of Baxter Road and Northern Lights Boulevard, near the Anchorage Baptist Temple.

Traffic cameras at the intersection captured the Suburban driving over the man from his "chest to his head" before speeding away, according to the criminal complaint against Hoppe.

Police were called to the intersection at 4:58 p.m. and found the dying man.

The video didn't make it clear whether the victim was pushed or jumped out of the SUV, according to the complaint.

At 1:34 a.m. on Sunday police caught up to Hoppe driving a Suburban matching the suspect description southbound on Elmore Road.

In an interview with detectives, Hoppe said the man "slipped, tumbled … and got run over."

"Hoppe said that after he hit the deceased, he looked in his rearview mirror and observed the deceased on the road," the complaint says. "Hoppe stated he did not stop or call for help because he was low on gas."

At his arraignment on Sunday, Hoppe said he had been unemployed but was anticipating work when the snow began to fall. He said he'd been on food stamps last month.

Prosecutors said it was too early to say whether drugs or alcohol might have been involved in the incident.

Anchorage Magistrate Judge Donna McCready noted his lack of serious criminal history and set bail at $75,000.

She warned Hoppe not to speak as he shook his head incredulously throughout the arraignment.

A family member of Hoppe who attended the arraignment said Hoppe and the victim had been roommates and friends for years, fixing cars and playing video games together.

Marijuana is emerging among California’s vineyards, offering promise and concern

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 17:30

John De Friel, CEO of Raw Garden, at his cannabis farm in Buellton, Calif., this month. The farm sits among cabbage patches and wineries in Santa Barbara County, where agriculture is being reshaped by legalized marijuana. Photo for The Washington Post by Philip Cheung (Philip Cheung/)

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. -- It is the fall harvest here in this fertile stretch of oaks and hills that produces some of the country’s best wine. This season, though, workers also are plucking the sticky, fragrant flowers of a new crop.

Marijuana is emerging among the vineyards, not as a rival to the valley's grapes but as a high-value commodity that could help reinvigorate a fading agricultural tradition along the state's Central Coast. Brushed by ocean breeze, cannabis has taken root, offering promise and prompting the age-old question of whether there can be too much of a good thing.

Cannabis has been fully legal in California for less than a year, and no place is generating more interest in it than the stretch of coast from Monterey to here in Santa Barbara County, where farmers now hold more marijuana cultivation licenses than in any other county.

The shift in legal cultivation patterns is coming at the expense of the remote Emerald Triangle, the trio of far-northern California counties where an illegal marijuana industry has thrived for decades. The Central Coast is not growing more marijuana than the Emerald Triangle, but it could be on track to grow more legally, if trends hold.

"We're nearly right in between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the two big consumer hubs," said John De Friel, whose 17-acre Raw Garden Farm and seed lab sits among cabbage patches and wineries. "We really didn't foresee how advantageous that would turn out to be."

The regulated California cannabis market is a $4-billion-a-year industry, a boon to the local tax base and to a generation of entrepreneurial farmers more schooled in the agricultural sciences than in the dark arts of deception.

But legalization already is reordering the business and geography of cannabis cultivation, pushing crops into places they have never been. The new cultivations are challenging long-held beliefs in some conservative communities, including this one, where a rural libertarian streak is confronting a crop still stigmatized despite its legality.

Hoop houses at the Vertical cannabis farm in Buellton, Calif. Photo for The Washington Post by Philip Cheung (Philip Cheung/)
Cannabis buds dry on racks at Vertical cannabis farm in Buellton, Calif. Photo for The Washington Post by Philip Cheung (Philip Cheung/)

The novelty of cannabis here also is a benefit. In northern California, the marijuana industry’s decades-old outlaw culture has proved a major obstacle to transforming the black market into a legal one. With so much lower-cost, unregulated marijuana on the market there, farmers complying with the stiff, expensive new regulations are struggling to make it into the light.

Here, along the Central Coast, growers complying with the licensing process are having an easier time without a thriving black market as competition. California farmers have only until the end of the year to meet the licensing and regulatory requirements - a process that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars - or face the law.

While expensive, the commercial logic to get legal is undeniable. In approving recreational marijuana use in November 2016, California voters vastly expanded the legal market, which previously was accessible only to the roughly 200,000 residents with medical marijuana cards. Now, marijuana can be sold to the entire drinking-age population of the nation's most populous state.

The initiative allowed counties and cities to make their own rules, including outright bans on sale and cultivation. As a result, hundreds of potential growers are still "jurisdiction shopping," trying to find counties with the lowest cannabis taxes, the right climate, an experienced labor force and a favorable location.

Santa Barbara County set its tax on cannabis revenue at 4 percent, the lower end of the scale, hoping to attract farmers to a place where many agriculture jobs have been lost to the economics of free trade.

The approximately 330 acres under cannabis cultivation here is a tiny fraction of the land devoted to vineyards, which once helped replace a declining beef and dairy cattle industry in the valley. But government officials and growers acknowledge that more cannabis will come, in part because the "Santa Barbara brand" built by its pinot noirs could help sell the locally grown product to new consumers.

Just how much more is a concern to some government officials, all of whom see the need for new crops to boost the tax base but worry whether marijuana in the county's northern hills and southern greenhouses will change the local culture.

"What sets Santa Barbara County apart is our willingness to face reality - that marijuana is already in our communities and that pretending it will go away on its own is fantasyland," said Das Williams, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, who opposed state legalization. "But I'll be the first to say I hope it doesn't get too big."

Glass House Farms CEO Graham Farrar shows off cannabis buds this month. Photo for The Washington Post by Philip Cheung (Philip Cheung/)
Graham Farrar, CEO of Glass House Farms, poses at his operation in Carpinteria, Calif. Photo for The Washington Post by Philip Cheung (Philip Cheung/)

Along the southern tip of the county, up against the Pacific Ocean, a cut-flower industry once thrived. Acres of greenhouses nurtured carnations, daisies and orchids, supervised by the descendants of Dutch and Japanese immigrants who generations before picked this place for its climate.

The decline has been precipitous. Since the U.S. free-trade agreement with Colombia was signed six years ago, what was once a historic element of the county's economy has been decimated.

Graham Farrar, in a pair of Vans, has stepped in.

A Santa Barbara County native, Farrar is the operating partner of Glass House Farms, which owns about five acres of greenhouse space just outside Carpinteria.

It is a state-of-the-art cannabis farm that produces thousands of pounds a year and has 50 employees, who unlike vineyard farm hands can work full-time because of the more frequent cannabis harvest schedule. Three annual harvests are common in cannabis greenhouse operations.

Standing in a greenhouse that once grew Gerbera Daisies and is now row after row of cannabis, Farrar notes the irony of his position.

The free-trade agreement was designed in part to help Colombia fight its problem with coca, the plant that supplies the key ingredient in cocaine. Instead, it opened up greenhouse space thousands of miles away, where he is growing what the federal government classifies as an illegal drug more dangerous than cocaine.

"Here we're just replacing one cut flower with another," Farrar said.

Farrar's operation here is more clean room than farm.

A rack of dry-cleaned lab coats awaits workers, who pick, dry and package the flower for sale. There is a small nursery for research. And each greenhouse, rigged with drip irrigation, is fitted with a $100,000 odor-control device to keep the pungent cannabis smell from nearby homes.

"Hiding is no longer a valued skill," said Farrar, 41, who worked in the software industry and has a degree in molecular biology and biochemistry. "The net of all this - the government, the climate, the compliance culture - is that this is a very goldilocks spot."

Farrar also has secured one of three cannabis retail licenses that the city of Santa Barbara is issuing for recreational sales. His goal is to transform the traditional marijuana dispensaries, which often have the furtive feel of an adult book store, into something appealing to new customers.

There will be a Santa Barbara County-grown section, but the store will have flowers and oils from all over the state. Eventually, Farrar said, it will evolve into a showroom as more and more first-time users find what they like and then choose delivery services. California-grown cannabis cannot be legally delivered outside the state.

"Most customers have not even walked in the door yet," he said. "And Santa Barbara, as a brand, rings a lot more bells for people than other places."


The initial quarterly cannabis tax revenue is due soon at the county treasury. Some early estimates say it could run between $2 million and $3 million, money that will go toward enforcing the cannabis law with some left over for public services.

In recent weeks, sheriff's deputies have carried out raids targeting farms in the backcountry areas of Tepusquet Canyon and Cuyama Valley, the county's two traditional if small-scale marijuana-growing areas, seizing plants worth millions of dollars.

Large cannabis plants washed down into Montecito, just a few miles from Farrar's greenhouses, during the catastrophic mudslides earlier this year. They served as clues that there are farms amid the avocado and citrus orchards that authorities have yet to find.

"I get that it's a whack-a-mole approach, but we have to do something to make this fair for those complying with the law," said Dennis Bozanich, the deputy county executive who manages the cannabis portfolio. "Our job is to make life as hard on them as possible and hope they may just go somewhere else."

Williams, the board chairman who opposed state legalization, said the cannabis tax revenue also will help "to pay for some mental health services and save a few public libraries."

But, given marijuana's high profit margins, he worries that it will wipe out what remains of the cut-flower industry. He also worries about the cultural message that the proximity of cannabis production might send to the county's young people.

"I grew up in this community, and I do not know, for any practical purposes, how marijuana could be any more accessible than it already is," he said. "But I do see as a danger anything that legitimizes it any more."

A refrigerator at Raw Garden Farm contains 5 million seeds. Photo for The Washington Post by Philip Cheung (Philip Cheung/)

A few of the hoop houses at Iron Angel Ranch - steel, semicircle rings topped with plastic canopies that shield cannabis plants from the sun and wind - are high up a steep hill overlooking the Sanford Winery.

They are a legacy of the gray-market days, when farmers could grow marijuana for medical use. The risk of a raid was high. These were out-of-sight, out-of-mind "grows" that today are a small part of what the farm is producing.

Rows of hoop houses stretch out below, just along Santa Rosa Road, which connects Iron Angel to Highway 101, the main north-south artery just a few miles away. Mathew Kaplan, who helps run the farm and markets the cannabis under the name Vertical, said the 20 acres now under cultivation will grow to five times that amount by spring.

"We get lumped in with farmers in this county, and this county takes care of its farmers," Kaplan said. "That just isn't the case in other parts of the state."

But Kaplan and his partners plan to make Iron Angel a destination, as well, borrowing from the model that Sanford and other neighboring wineries have used for years.

He said tourists might one day be able to stay in cabins around the 1,500-acre hillside property, which overlooks the Santa Ynez River, racehorse training stables and vineyards that stretch into the middle distance. Oaks dripping with Spanish moss cluster around the land. There are a few Black Angus cattle and a bobcat, though he calls the latter "the laziest or slowest in the world," given all the deer around.

"I absolutely want more of us to come here; it would be great," Kaplan said. "It's always better to be part of a broader community."

How many more? The high price of land here will limit the number of new cannabis operations in the valley. But the economics are appealing: One acre of marijuana yields a product worth about five times that of an acre of grape vines.

The county has considered capping how many licenses to allow. But for now, local officials are letting the market decide who comes and who survives.

“Agriculture is always changing,” said Joan Hartmann, the county supervisor who represents much of the Santa Ynez Valley. “For me, this is about keeping agriculture here and keeping it profitable.”

Trump says climate change not a hoax, not sure of its source

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 16:54

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Alumni Coliseum in Richmond, Ky., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik/)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is backing off his claim that climate change is a hoax but says he doesn’t know if it’s manmade and suggests that the climate will “change back again.”

In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night, Trump said he doesn't want to put the U.S. at a disadvantage in responding to climate change.

"I think something's happening. Something's changing and it'll change back again," he said. "I don't think it's a hoax. I think there's probably a difference. But I don't know that it's manmade. I will say this: I don't want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don't want to lose millions and millions of jobs."

Trump called climate change a hoax in November 2012 when he sent a tweet stating, "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." He later said he was joking about the Chinese connection, but in years since has continued to call global warming a hoax.

"I'm not denying climate change," he said in the interview. "But it could very well go back. You know, we're talking about over a ... millions of years."

As far as the climate "changing back," temperature records kept by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the world hasn't had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 or a cooler-than-normal month since the end of 1985.

Trump, who is scheduled on Monday to visit areas of Georgia and Florida damaged by Hurricane Michael, also expressed doubt over scientists' findings linking the changing climate to more powerful hurricanes.

"They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael," said Trump, who identified "they" as "people" after being pressed by "60 Minutes" correspondent Leslie Stahl. She asked, "What about the scientists who say it's worse than ever?" the president replied, "You'd have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda."

Trump's comments came just days after a Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a warning that global warming would increase climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth. The report detailed how Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world's leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming.

Citing concerns about the pact's economic impact, Trump said in 2017 that the U.S. will leave the Paris climate accord. The agreement set voluntary greenhouse gas emission targets in an effort to lessen the impact of fossil fuels.

On a different topic, Trump told "60 Minutes" that he's been surprised by Washington being a tough, deceptive and divisive place, though some accuse the real estate mogul elected president of those same tactics.

"So I always used to say the toughest people are Manhattan real estate guys and blah, blah," he said. "Now I say they're babies."

He said the political people in Washington have changed his thinking.

“This is the most deceptive, vicious world. It is vicious, it’s full of lies, deceit and deception,” he said. “You make a deal with somebody and it’s like making a deal with — that table.”

Saudis reject threats as stocks plunge after Trump comments

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 16:39

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2008, file photo, a Saudi trader reacts as looks at the stock market monitor in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi stock market sharply fell Sunday after President Donald Trump threatened "severe punishment" over the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar/File) (Hassan Ammar/)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia on Sunday threatened to retaliate for any sanctions imposed against it after President Donald Trump said the oil-rich kingdom deserves “severe punishment” if it is responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

The warning from the world's top oil exporter came after a turbulent day on the Saudi stock exchange, which plunged as much as 7 percent at one point.

The statement was issued as international concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago. American lawmakers threatened tough punitive action against the Saudis, and Germany, France and Britain jointly called for a "credible investigation" into Khashoggi's disappearance.

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The kingdom has called such allegations "baseless" but has not offered any evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate.

Already, international business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as "Davos in the Desert," and the sell-off on Riyadh's Tadawul stock exchange showed that investors are uneasy.

The exchange dropped by over 500 points, then clawed back some of the losses, ending the day down 264 points, or more than 4 percent. Of 188 stocks traded on the exchange, 179 ended the day with a loss.

"Something this big would definitely spook investors, and Saudi just opened up for foreign direct investment, so that was big," said Issam Kassabieh, a financial analyst at Dubai-based firm Menacorp Finance. "Investors do not feel solid in Saudi yet, so it's easy for them to take back their funds."

[Behind Saudi’s public face, a dark side]

In an interview scheduled to air Sunday, Trump told CBS' “60 Minutes” that Saudi Arabia would face strong consequences if involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

"There's something really terrible and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we're going to have to see," Trump said. "We're going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment."

But the president has also said "we would be punishing ourselves" by canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The sales are a "tremendous order for our companies," and if the Saudis don't buy their weaponry from the U.S., they will get it from others, he said.

In a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the kingdom warned that if it "receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy."

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations," the statement said.

The statement did not elaborate. However, a column published in English a short time later by the general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news network suggested Saudi Arabia could use its oil production as a weapon. Benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $80 a barrel, and Trump has criticized OPEC and Saudi Arabia over rising prices.

"If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure," Turki Aldakhil wrote.

It's unclear, however, whether Saudi Arabia would be willing to unilaterally cut production.

Aldakhil added that Saudi arms purchases from the U.S. and other trade could be at risk as well. "The truth is that if Washington imposes sanctions on Riyadh, it will stab its own economy to death, even though it thinks that it is stabbing only Riyadh!" he wrote.

Prince Mohammed has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment. But Khashoggi's disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh called the Future Investment Initiative. That includes the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars, as well as billionaire Richard Branson.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Counselor Ahmed Hafez, said Egypt is following with concern the repercussions of the case of Khashoggi, and stressed the importance of revealing the truth of the matter through a transparent investigation, while emphasizing the gravity of preempting investigations and directing groundless accusations.

Khashoggi has written extensively for the Post about Saudi Arabia, criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince.

Extrovert wants to host parties without stressing introvert spouse

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 16:28

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

I'm a borderline extrovert married to a definite introvert. I used to enjoy hosting parties/social events before we got together, but I know he's not a fan and haven't done anything for ages. I also didn't try because we lacked space when we first moved in together.

Still, I'd like to host something occasionally. Any advice on how to organize something that doesn't completely stress him out or cause him to check out midway through? I'm looking for ways to discuss this with him -- not to spring a party on him, just to be clear.

-- Host

Wait -- you can't even say to him, "I'd love to have people over sometime. I know that's not your thing, but I'm wondering if we can find a way to make it work for both of us"? Introversion isn't the problem, if that's true -- it's something else. Bigger.

As it always is if you don't feel you can even talk about certain subjects with your own life partner.

And once you do suggest a party, don't be so quick to rule out the "check out midway through" plan. One way an extro can host without overtaxing an intro is for the intro to hang out as long as it's comfortable to, and then steal off to bed. You just have to let go of the idea of both of you standing on the stoop and waving goodbye to the last few guests. As long as one host is still graciously hosting to the end, there's no need to apologize for the other one who snuck off to get some sleep. Put it under the eccentricity umbrella and forget about it.

--0-- --0-- --0--

Re: Hosting:

I am an introvert with an extroverted spouse and together we have found a way to enjoy hosting events -- which I typically like in theory and then start to dread as they get closer. Some things that have helped me: taking on active and specific hosting roles, which keep me moving, checking ice, clearing cups so I'm not stuck with the chitchat; it's way better than being a party-goer and not having anything else to do. I like events in the 15-25 person range, not a group of six having a single conversation. I also make sure I've got time earlier in the day or weekend to myself.

I've made it work for me because I do want to host events in my home. If your spouse is not a fan of entertaining in general, then this won't make it better, but I hope this helps if your spouse is willing to give it a try.

-- Keep Me Moving

--0-- --0-- --0--

Re: Introvert/Extrovert:

This is my wife and me. She's the extrovert. She'll often host her friends at our house. I'll hang out for a bit, say hi, catch up with everyone, then after a little while I either head out to the gym or go to the basement to watch TV. It works for us.

-- Anonymous

There are few problems that can’t be solved by a loving willingness to accommodate and a basement TV. Thanks.Carolyn Hax is an advice columnist for The Washington Post. Her column appears in more than 200 newspapers. Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax

How to make seasonal, sippable mulled beverages at home

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 14:17

Mulled drinks: a seasonal favorite. Photo for The Washington Post by Stacy Zarin Goldberg. Food styling for The Washington Post by Lisa Cherkasky (Stacy Zarin Goldberg/)

Forget the Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL, or Pretty Sad Latte). The real seasonal spiced drinks we should be celebrating this time of year are mulled beverages. After all, if pumpkin-ish coffee can hit shops in August, can’t you start sipping its far superior - and boozier - cousins as soon as the evenings start getting chilly?

Of course you can - and no one's going to stop you.

Who better to turn to for some seasonal cheer and advice than Paul Taylor? He's the head of bar concepts for Drink Company, the D.C. outfit that puts on the massively popular, line-out-the-door Miracle on 7th Street holiday bonanza at its Pop Up Bar (PUB).

Taylor recommends wine and cider as your prime candidates for mulling. As to what they ultimately taste like, that's up to you.

"I believe what tastes good is sort of objective," Taylor says. "Everyone has their flavor profile that they like."

In general, a good drink should cleanse the palate and make you want more. Here's some advice from Taylor on how to make a drink that does just that:

Pick the right beverage. You’ve heard the maxim about cooking with wine that you’d be fine drinking. Same idea here: “You definitely want it to be something you want to drink” even before mulling, Taylor says. There may be the temptation to chuck in the dregs of several bottles with some spices and call it a day, but he advises putting a little more thought into it.

Try to pick a "quaffable wine," which is not necessarily expensive, he says. Affordable is appealing because you're going to be doctoring it anyway. For red, he likes to go with something unoaked, such as a pinot noir or a gamay, both of which are "a good canvas to add spices to." And yes, you can mull a white wine. Aim for something with medium to light body, such as a sauvignon blanc.

Taylor recommends mulling cider, too. A drier cider is preferable, and though it's not a must, one that has less carbonation is a bonus because you're going to lose the bubbles anyway. A few labels he likes are Washington-based Anxo, Graft (New York) and Shacksbury (Vermont), the last of which he describes as having a pear-skin flavor.

Whatever your alcoholic base is, don't mix and match, lest you run the risk of muddied flavors. "Let the wine be the canvas," Taylor says, "and let the spices be the paint."

Then start blending. Plan to add something to dilute the alcohol, at least a little. After all, you want to be able to make it through the evening upright. (Taylor also raises the point that heating alcohol amplifies the taste of the alcohol.) Water is one possibility. Taylor says apple or another complementary juice can work, as well as tea. Or be like the Spanish, and try mixing in a soft drink with your wine (see: kalimotxo, a combination of red wine and cola). A rough guide to keep in mind is two parts wine to 3/4 parts cutting agent. So for two 750 milliliter bottles of wine (50 ounces total), Taylor suggests 18 to 20 ounces of water, juice, and so on. You can also add 3 to 4 ounces of your choice of spirits, such as cognac or Grand Marnier. If you’re using a white wine, pisco is a suitable addition.

The natural pairing for a hard cider in a mulled beverage is apple juice. Choose an unsweetened juice, which jibes with Taylor's philosophy that you should be using as bare-bones ingredients as you can so that you have the most control. Because cider typically has less alcohol than wine, you can tweak the ratios a bit, more like 2 parts cider to 1/2 part juice (or 50 ounces cider to 12 or 13 ounces juice, if we're sticking with the same amounts as above).

Some beverage-spicing options to mull. Photo for The Washington Post by Stacy Zarin Goldberg. Food styling for The Washington Post by Lisa Cherkasky (Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Was/)

Add seasonings to taste. Gentle aroma and flavors of fall spices are good. Wine that smells and tastes like potpourri is bad. One way to get the balance right is to follow the above advice: Start with whole spices - ground spices make things cloudy and thick - and don’t use packaged blends. (Toast them first for extra flavor.) Choose what you like and what you think works with your wine. Cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and allspice are all appropriate. Don’t forget about cardamom either, which Taylor says complements white wine. Beyond dry spices, look to citrus peel, fresh ginger and cranberries for pops of flavor.

You'll probably want some sweetener. Sugar is universal. If you want to go next-level, Taylor suggests trying maple syrup or sorghum.

Be judicious with flavorings when you start; as with alcohol, heat will amplify their power. "You can always add more," Taylor says, "but you can't take it out."

Heat, and taste along the way. I know how disappointed you’re going to be when I tell you to taste your beverage as you cook it. Such a hardship! That’s the only way you’ll know whether you need to adjust the blend or the flavors. When you’re heating the drink, you don’t want to boil away the alcohol. Taylor recommends not going above 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which means you’ll want to keep your burner on a relatively low heat. Half an hour is often sufficient to heat the beverage and infuse it with the spices, but if you taste it and feel like it needs more time, keep simmering.

Serve and garnish. Coffee urns and slow cookers are great for ensuring the beverage stays warm throughout the evening. Portion some out in a punch bowl and replenish as needed. The sweet spot for serving is also in the 150- to 160-degree range. Think about it like this: You want the beverage hot enough that you wouldn’t want to chug it. Like coffee, it will hit the sweet spot for drinking a few minutes after it’s poured. In the meantime, enjoy the warm cup in your hand and the wonderful aromas.

As for how to serve it, I'm not going to judge you if you want to have people sip out of your motley assortment of 15 years' worth of coffee mugs. That's called character. If your mugs match, more power to you. Heatproof glassware is good, too, Taylor says. Don't have a set? They may be cliché, but Mason jars - obviously heatproof since you boil them in a water bath for canning - are cheap, easy and versatile.

When it comes to garnishing, you can choose to echo what's in your drink, whether that's a cinnamon stick or star anise. That could also be in the form of a twist of orange peel or a wedge of the fruit. If you used maple syrup, try the whimsy of a piece of maple candy (sorry, Mimi Sheraton, we said it). Dried pears or apples would be pretty and seasonal. Crystallized ginger brings flash and flavor.

Sure, making a mulled beverage is a little more complicated than opening a bottle of wine. But don't be put off by the process and assume you won't know what you're doing, especially if you're more of an alcohol novice. Taylor knows people can be intimidated, "but we all taste," he says. "We've tasted our entire life."

So, yeah, you might make something that’s just meh. Or you might make something out of this world (take good notes when you’re blending!). As Taylor puts it, “The fun thing about mulling wine is in calculated and thought-out experimentation.”

Troopers find Anchorage woman dead, man drunk inside RV in Ninilchik

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 13:30

Troopers found the body of an Anchorage woman along with a man who was  "highly intoxicated" inside an RV in Ninilchik on the Kenai Peninsula Saturday night, Alaska State Troopers said Sunday.

The troopers had been contacted by family members of Kathy Vancleve, 58, who were concerned that she might be "deceased in her RV," according to an AST dispatch posted online Sunday.

When the officers arrived at the woman's property in Ninilchik and tried to enter the RV, the person inside wouldn't let them in.

Police got a search warrant and came back. Inside the RV they found Vancleve dead and a "highly intoxicated man."

The man, who has not been identified by troopers, was taken to a hospital because of his level of drunkenness.

An investigation into the circumstances of Vancleve's death is ongoing, troopers said.

Anchorage taxi driver killed in early morning crash

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 13:19

An Anchorage taxi driver was killed in a t-bone collision on the Old Seward Highway early Sunday morning, police said.

Police were called to the intersection of Old Seward Highway and 79th Avenue, near Dimond Boulevard, at 1:27 a.m. on Sunday, the Anchorage Police Department said in a statement.

A red Mitsubishi Mirage was driving south on the highway when it T-boned a taxi driver who was pulling out from 79th Avenue, the APD said in a statement Sunday.

The male driver of the taxi, who has not been identified by police, was declared dead at the scene.

The Mitsubishi caught fire, and the two occupants were taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

The speed of the Mitsubishi might have been a factor in the crash, police said.

"It will not be known if drugs or alcohol were involved until toxicology results are received," police said in a statement.

Anyone who witnessed the crash and hasn't yet spoken to police can call APD's non-emergency line at 311.

Yes, we should want healthy fisheries. No, the salmon initiative isn’t the answer.

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 12:34

Chum salmon make their way up the fish ladder at the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, in Juneau. Douglas Island Pink & Chum, Inc. (DIPAC) currently rears and releases chum, Chinook, coho and sockeye salmon. Brief tours, exhibits, aquariums, a touch tank and a viewing window in the fish ladder are offered to visitors. (Erik Hill / ADN)

If Ballot Measure 1 passes, our fisheries, oil, gas, timber, minerals and even tourism would be severely restricted. The state's annual Permanent Fund  dividend would be significantly reduced over time. There would be no gas line, further oil development or new mines. Without the jobs and revenue from resources, state services would be severely curtailed. Specifically, where would the money come from for education, police protection, the environment and yes, even the quality of our Alaska lifestyle? The worst scenario would be a state in chaos facing bankruptcy.

There are many legitimate concerns about the condition of our wild salmon runs. My purpose in presenting this issue is to suggest how we can increase our wild Alaska salmon runs and to insure the adequacy of the food chain on which our salmon depend.

Are our wild stocks really in decline as the advertisements would tell us, or is it a cyclical issue? Some of us have been here long enough to remember the days before statehood, when the Department of Interior regulated our salmon fisheries and they did a poor job. In some areas, our salmon fisheries were on a self-imposed limit set by the fishermen. With statehood and state-run management, the runs began to return. We imposed a historic mandate — to manage seasonal openings, but only after there was evidence of an adequate return to spawn. The state has done a credible job in managing escapement on overall salmon fishing.

Yet there appears to be some sign from fisheries biologists that there may be a shortage of food supply for the salmon. We need better biology on the food chain for salmon.

As a young boy in Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg, the herring were numerous and you could see them roiling on the surface of the bays. That is no longer the case. Why are the herring in decline, and what can we do to enhance the herring runs? Should we reduce the commercial harvesting of herring until the runs return? We need an accurate recommendation from our state biologists.

In Southeast Alaska, we have transboundary rivers in Canada where many of our king salmon spawn. What are we doing to enhance these runs and to help Mother Nature?

I recently had a lengthy meeting with a Canadian biologist. He indicated that while the major king salmon runs go from the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon, the Fraser River near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to the Chickimin, the Unik, the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska and the Copper River near Cordova, as well the Yukon River. He suggested the Canadians and Alaskans spend too much time and energy blaming each other for catching each others' fish. He suggested we start out with solid information on the food stock for the wild salmon and take action on specific recommendation to address our shortages, and second, that Alaska and British Columbia and the Yukon should forge an agreement to open several hatcheries on the Canadian lakes in British Columbia and the Yukon where much of the spawning occurs.

By using the wild eggs and fertiliziation, he believes that it would have dramatic impact on increasing the runs, and I am in agreement. He stated that a hatchery on the Telegraph Lake feeding into the Stikine River near Wrangell would be the place to start. It would be operated by British Columbia, Yukon Territory and Alaska biologists. Funding would come from each side, as well as contributing private sources.

Such an effort might well provide adequate answers and initiate positive action that can used to respond to save our salmon. If successful, it would eliminate the need for groups like Stand for Salmon, who would bankrupt our state if the initiative passes. Enhancing fisheries, rather than destroying other industries important to Alaska's well-being as Ballot Measure 1 would do, is the way Alaska should go.

Frank Murkowski formerly served as U.S. Senator and governor of Alaska.

The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)adn.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@adn.com or click here to submit via any web browser. Read our full guidelines for letters and commentaries here.

How to heal our epidemic of loneliness?

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 12:30

iStock / Getty Images (borchee/)

WASHINGTON -- If Sen. Ben Sasse is right -- he has not recently been wrong about anything important -- the nation’s most-discussed political problem is entangled with the least-understood public health problem. The political problem is furious partisanship. The public health problem is loneliness. Sasse’s new book argues that Americans are richer, more informed and “connected” than ever -- and unhappier, more isolated and less fulfilled.

In “Them: Why We Hate Each Other -- and How to Heal,” Sasse’s subject is “the evaporation of social capital” -- the satisfactions of work and community. This reflects a perverse phenomenon: What has come to count as connectedness is displacing the real thing. And matters might quickly become dramatically worse.

Loneliness in “epidemic proportions” is producing a “loneliness literature” of sociological and medical findings about the effect of loneliness on individuals' brains and bodies, and on communities. Sasse says “there is a growing consensus” that loneliness -- not obesity, cancer or heart disease -- is the nation’s “number one health crisis.” “Persistent loneliness” reduces average longevity more than twice as much as does heavy drinking and more than three times as much as obesity, which often is a consequence of loneliness. Research demonstrates that loneliness is as physically dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and contributes to cognitive decline, including more rapid advance of Alzheimer’s disease. Sasse says, “We’re literally dying of despair,” of the failure “to fill the hole millions of Americans feel in their lives.”

Symptoms large and small are everywhere. Time was, Sasse notes, Americans "stocked their imaginations with the same things": In the 1950s, frequently 70 percent of television sets in use tuned in to "I Love Lucy." Today, when 93 percent of Americans have access to more than 500 channels, the most-watched cable news program, "Hannity" has about 1 percent of the U.S. population. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the average number of times Americans entertained at home declined almost 50 percent. Americans are hyperconnected but disconnected, with "fewer non-virtual friends than at any point in decades." With the median American checking (according to a Pew survey) a smartphone every 4.3 minutes, and with nearly 40 percent of those 18 to 29 online almost every waking minute, we are "addicted to distraction" and "parched for genuine community." Social media, those "tendrils of resentment" that Sasse calls accelerants for political anger, create a nuance-free "outrage loop" for "professional rage-peddlers." And for people for whom enemies have the psychic value of giving life coherence.

Work, which Sasse calls “arguably the most fundamental anchor of human identity,” is at the beginning of “a staggering level of cultural disruption” swifter and more radical than even America’s transformation from a rural and agricultural to an urban and industrial nation. At that time, one response to social disruption was alcoholism, which begat Prohibition. Today, one reason the average American life span has declined for three consecutive years is that many more are dying of drug overdoses -- one of the “diseases of despair” -- annually than died during the entire Vietnam War. People “need to be needed,” but McKinsey & Co. analysts calculate that, globally, 50 percent of paid activities -- jobs -- could be automated by currently demonstrated technologies. America’s largest job category is “driver” and, with self-driving vehicles coming, two-thirds of such jobs could disappear in a decade.

This future of accelerating flux exhilarates the educated and socially nimble. It frightens those who, their work identities erased and their communities atomized, are tempted not by what Sasse calls "healthy local tribes" but by political tribalism of grievances, or by chemical oblivion, or both. In today's bifurcated nation, 2016 was the 10th consecutive year when 40 percent of American children were born outside of marriage, America has "two almost entirely different cultures," exemplified by this: Under 10 percent of births to college-educated women are outside of marriage compared to almost 70 percent of births to women with high school diplomas or less.

Repairing America’s physical infrastructure, although expensive, is conceptually simple, involving steel and concrete. The crumbling of America’s social infrastructure presents a daunting challenge: We do not know how to develop what Sasse wants, “new habits of mind and heart ... new practices of neighborliness.” We do know that more government, which means more saturation of society with politics, is not a sufficient answer.

Sasse, a fifth-generation Nebraskan who dedicates his book to the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs and other little platoons of Fremont, Nebraska (population 26,000), wants to rekindle the “hometown-gym-on-a-Friday-night feeling.” But Americans can’t go home again to Fremont.

Let’s not buy the Republican spin on Brett Kavanaugh

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 12:11

President Donald Trump greets Judge Brett Kavanaugh his Supreme Court nominee, in the East Room of the White House, Monday, July 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP/)

President Donald Trump and Republican Senate leaders proclaimed after Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation that it was a huge win for the party. The GOP base is engaged. This will turn around the midterms! Unfortunately, with very little analysis and zero polling, scores of male pundits (not to mention right-wing publications) touted this as fact.

Some of us warned that, contrary to Republican spin, the Kavanaugh fight would likely light a fire under female voters - who were already peeved with Republicans for supporting a president who had bragged about sexual assault, had stood behind alleged spousal abuser and former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, had endorsed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and had ridiculed the #MeToo movement.

As polling data came out, we have found that, lo and behold, there is no lift for Republicans from confirming Christine Blasey Ford's alleged attacker to the Supreme Court, a sitting judge who indulged in a partisan screed and revealed his contempt for the female senators who questioned him.

A Post/ABC News poll found that "that 43 percent of Americans believe the court's rulings will be more politically motivated with President Trump's second nominee on the court, compared with 10 percent who said they will be less political. To 39 percent of the public, Kavanaugh's presence will make no difference in the degree of partisanship."

Moreover, "women say the episode draws them toward Democrats over Republicans by a 16-point margin, while men are more evenly split. While many of the results in the poll fall along familiar partisan lines, it also found that political independents are more suspicious than supportive of the new justice. According to the survey, 55 percent of independents say there should be further investigation of Kavanaugh, while 40 percent are opposed."

This is in line with other polling that shows voters believed Ford over Kavanaugh, opposed his confirmation and heightened Democrats' enthusiasm. It seems Republicans and, in turn, many in the media discounted the rage women voters were experiencing. The Washington Post reported:

"By 40 percent to 24 percent, women say the debate makes them more likely to back Democratic than Republican candidates. Men are more evenly split, with 30 percent more likely to back Republicans and 25 percent more likely to back Democrats.

"Among independents, women by a margin of 37 percent to 12 percent say the confirmation process has made them more likely to support Democrats than Republicans. Independent men are near-evenly split with 22 percent saying it made them more likely to support Democrats vs. 24 percent for Republicans."

Even more striking, a majority of Americans favor further investigation into the flawed confirmation process. ("53 percent of Americans support further investigation of Kavanaugh by Congress, while 43 percent are opposed.")

Sure, in deep-red states (Texas, North Dakota) Republican Senate candidates are gaining, but this may be nothing more than the normal phenomenon of voters returning to partisan alignment as the election draws near. (At any rate, Republicans remain out of contention in Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania - all states Trump won in 2016.) Meanwhile, in House races, the gender divide is sinking GOP candidates.

It is no surprise that Trump and his GOP supporters wanted to spin Kavanaugh as an electoral winner; saying it is so, they dearly hoped, would lift Republican spirits. None of us should be surprised that Republicans - who referred to female sex-crime survivors as a "mob" and mocked Ford - would discount the reaction of women. It would, however, behoove the media to be somewhat more skeptical of Republicans' self-serving spin and to understand the cultural phenomenon Republicans unleashed, prompting thousands of women to tell their most painful experiences for the first time.

In 2016 and beyond, we had an unending series of reports - often from Rust Belt diners - in which interviews featured white men expressing their resentment of cultural elites. We failed these folks somehow, overlooked them and didn't show them sufficient respect, or so the narrative went. In fact, on average, Trump voters were wealthier than Hillary Clinton's voters.

Where's the same level of coverage and willingness to give voice now to outraged women (white or nonwhite, college-educated or not)? I suspect we will see a whole bunch more of such coverage after next month's midterms about the degree to which politicians have failed to serve women's interests or respect their concerns.

I hope the media asks Republican politicians and consultants how they so misjudged the impact Kavanaugh would have on voters, especially women. I suspect we’ll find that they just didn’t take women’s anger all that seriously.

Trump on rally blitz as he tries to stave off Dem gains

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 12:08

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Erie Insurance Arena, in Erie, Pa. President Donald Trump's campaign rallies once had the feel of angry, raucous grievance sessions. More than 350 rallies later, gone is the darkness, the crackling energy, the fear of potential violence as supporters and protesters face off. Perish the thought, have Donald Trump's rallies gone mainstream? (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) (Evan Vucci/)

President Donald Trump gazes out over his rally crowd and looses a stream of insults with a theatrical flourish and playful grin. He jabs at Corey Booker the “disaster” mayor, Elizabeth Warren the “Pocahontas” pretender and “sleepy” Joe Biden.

"I want to be careful," Trump tells the crowd, feigning a confession. He doesn't want to hit his potential challengers too badly, he says, because then the Democrats may find "somebody that's actually good to run against me. That would not be good."

The venue may be Council Bluffs, Iowa, or Erie, Pennsylvania, or Topeka, Kansas, but the formula is largely the same.

Start with a few derisive nicknames, mix in some dreamy-eyed reminiscences of Election Night 2016, spice things up with an unexpected quip or zinger out of left field and you've got Trump's recipe for a successful campaign rally.

Trump's rallies once were the cornerstone of an unconventional, star-powered presidential campaign that eschewed traditional organizing and defied every expectation. Now they're being deployed with gusto as Trump and his team work frantically to defy polls and precedent and save his Republican majority in Congress in November's midterm elections.

The rallies — more than two dozen so far to boost GOP candidates — never fail to delight Trump's supporters.

"Look at this," says Brenda McDonald, 58, of Woodbury, Minnesota, gesturing to the thousands of people standing ahead of and behind her in a line that wound around buildings and snaked through alleys for at least a mile when Trump's rally tour stopped in her state on Oct. 4.

"Have you ever seen rallies like this before?" she asked.

Trump has been aggressively campaigning across the county to try to boost vulnerable Republicans before the Nov. 6 elections, when the stakes couldn't be higher. A Democratic takeover of Congress would stymie his agenda and mire his administration in endless investigations, including possible impeachment proceedings. Trump's team believes his appearances fire up his loyal base, countering the wave of Democratic enthusiasm that polls suggest will lead to significant Democratic gains, especially in the House.

But after more than 350 rallies since he first began his presidential run, some things have changed.

President Donald Trump speaks to a cheering crowd at Eastern Kentucky University, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, in Richmond, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) (Timothy D. Easley/)

Trump’s supporters remain as enthusiastic as ever, standing for hours in hot sun or driving rain and exploding into thundering applause when he takes the stage. They wave the same signs, wear the same hats, and chant the same “Build that wall!” and “Lock her up!” refrains that they did during the early days of Trump’s campaign.

But the once insurgent candidate, who told his supporters the system was rigged against them, is now president. And he's been delivering on many of his campaign promises, in spite of lackluster approval ratings.

Trump's 2016 rallies had the feel of angry, raucous, grievance sessions, as Trump's "deplorables" gathered in the face of charges they were racist, bigoted and could never win. Gone now is the darkness, the crackling energy, the fear of potential violence as supporters and protesters faced off, sometimes trading blows. The mood now is calmer, happier, more celebratory. Trump's rallies have gone mainstream, complete with a new playlist featuring Rihanna, "Macho Man" by the Village People and Prince's "Purple Rain."

Trump's campaign, which was notably stingy during his own election effort, has been investing heavily in his recent tour, covering all the costs of organizing and paying for the rallies, including footing the Air Force One bills, according to the campaign.

"Of course, President Trump's favorite way to connect with and charge up voters is with rallies hosted by the Trump Campaign," the campaign said in a statement.

And they believe the money is well spent.

Trump's events often dominate local news for days. Trump's rally in Johnson City, Tennessee, for instance, earned more than $270,000 worth of local television coverage that night and the morning after, according to data compiled by the media tracking company TVEyes and shared by GOP officials. That's not counting front-page stories in local papers and coverage when the rally was announced.

The Republican Party has been sending cameras to the rallies, so they can quickly post footage that can be spliced into ads.

Officials say they've tracked notable polling bumps they attribute to Trump's visits.

But while the rallies are about boosting GOP candidates, they're also always about Trump, who has been using them to test-drive messaging for his 2020 campaign.

At rally after rally, Trump has cycled through a short list of buzzed-about potential rivals, labeling each with a derisive nickname, just as he did when he cleared the unwieldly Republican field in 2016.

The insults have been among Trump's biggest applause lines in recent days, along with his attacks on Democrats for their treatment of his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, as the Senate investigated sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

Trump's crowds seem most entertained when he veers into offensive, "politically incorrect" territory. He's bragged about how easily he could pummel Biden, the former vice president, or Booker, the New Jersey senator and former Newark mayor, or Warren, the Massachusetts senator whom Trump denigrates for her claims of Native American heritage. And he's mocked the Senate testimony of California professor Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school.

Those moments add spontaneity and a tinge of sinister mischief that keep Trump's speeches interesting, even as they grow increasingly formulaic.

Indeed, the rallies, at times, take on the feel of a high school reunion, with Trump taking the role of star football jock, reliving his glory days, play by play.

In laborious detail, Trump takes his audience through Election Night 2016, re-enacting cable news anchors calling state after state in his favor, adding dramatic commentary.

"Was that the most exciting evening of our lives?" Trump asked his crowd in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday. "Was that the most exciting night? Was that the greatest?"

The risk, as he prepares for the 2020 campaign, is whether Trump's supporters will tire of the shtick.

They say it won't happen.

"I'm just totally, madly in love with him," said Peggy Saar, 64, of Rochester, Minnesota, as she attended her first Trump rally earlier this month. She said Trump was galvanizing people like her to vote in the midterms.

"I was never this active," she said. "I was never this involved."

And person after person pointed to the crowd as evidence Trump was generating enthusiasm for GOP candidates even though he's not on the ballot.

"I think the fact he's still turning out these crowds of people, two years in, it's absolutely amazing," said Richard Eichhorn, 72, of Stockholm, Wisconsin. "I think it's huge."

Colvin reported from Johnson City, Tennessee; Topeka, Kansas; and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Associated Press writers Kyle Potter in Rochester, Minnesota, Zeke Miller in Southaven, Mississippi, and Catherine Lucey in Erie, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.

4 days after storm, large swath of Panhandle suffering

Alaska News - Sun, 2018-10-14 12:03

Charles Olmstead wipes off the grand piano that was spared damage, inside the heavily damaged St. Andrew United Methodist Church, while a Sunday service is performed outside, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Gerald Herbert/)

MEXICO BEACH, Fla. — Crews with backhoes and other heavy equipment scooped up splintered boards, broken glass, chunks of asphalt and other debris in hurricane-flattened Mexico Beach on Sunday as the mayor held out hope for the 250 or so residents who may have tried to ride out the storm.

The death toll from Michael's destructive march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17, with just one confirmed death so far in this Florida Panhandle town of about 1,000 people that took a direct hit from the hurricane and its 155 mph winds last week.

Crews worked to clear building along with the rubble from a collapsed section of the beachfront highway.

Mayor Al Cathey estimated 250 residents stayed behind when the hurricane struck, and he said he remained hopeful about their fate. He said search-and-rescue teams in the beach town had already combed areas with the worst damage.

"If we lose only one life, to me that's going to be a miracle," Cathey said.

He said enough food and water had been brought in for the residents who remain. Even some cellphone service had returned to the devastated community.

President Donald Trump plans to visit Florida and Georgia on Monday to see damage.

Four days after the storm struck, a large swath of the Panhandle was suffering, from little beach towns to the larger Panama City to rural communities miles from where the hurricane came ashore. About 190,000 people in Florida were without electricity.

"There are a lot of inland areas, some of these poor rural counties to the north of there. These counties took a devastating hit," Sen. Marco Rubio said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

"And we are talking about poor people, many of them are older, miles from each other, isolated in many cases from roads, including some dirt roads that are cut off right now. We haven't been able to reach those people in a number of days."

A Sunday service is held outside the damaged St. Andrew United Methodist Church, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Gerald Herbert/)
Candace Phillips retrieves personal items from her damaged home in Mexico Beach, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. "We spent 25 years of our marriage working to get here and we're going to stay," said Phillips of her and husband's plans to rebuild. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (David Goldman/)
Members of a South Florida urban search and rescue team sift through a debris pile for survivors of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (David Goldman/)

In downtown Marianna, the facades of historic buildings lay in pieces on the ground across from the courthouse. Jill Braxton stopped with a pickup truck loaded with hay, saying many people in rural areas nearby had trapped animals and were in need of supplies for their livestock.

"We're just trying to help some other people who may not be able to get out of their driveways for a couple of days," Braxton said. "There was a girl that had trapped horses, horses that were down, and horses that really needed vet care that could not get there. There's been animals killed. People lost their cows."

Some victims stranded by the storm managed to summon relief by using logs to spell out "HELP" on the ground, officials in Bay County, which includes Mexico Beach, said in a Facebook post Sunday. Official said someone from another county was using an aerial mapping app, noticed the distress message and contacted authorities.

No details were released on who was stranded and what sort of help was needed.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Nelson said Tyndall Air Force Base on the Panhandle was heavily damaged, but he promised it would be rebuilt. The Florida Democrat and member of the Armed Services Committee said older buildings on the base were demolished, while newer ones will need substantial repairs.

The base is home to some of the nation's most advanced fighter jets, and Nelson said some hangars were damaged severely. But he gave no information on how many planes were on the base during the storm or how many were damaged.

For the few residents remaining in Mexico Beach, conditions were treacherous.

Steve Lonigan was outside his home, talking with neighbor Jim Ostman, when a loud cracking sound made both men jump. It was just a small wooden block shifting in the sand beneath the weight of the front end of Lonigan's camper trailer.

"All this stuff is just dangerous," Ostman said, glancing at the destruction all around. "It's so unstable."

Lonigan and his wife returned Sunday after evacuating to Georgia. Seawater surged into his home, leaving a soggy mess of mud and leaves, even though the house stands 12 feet above ground on concrete blocks.

The single-story house had broken windows, and part of its roof and front steps were missing. Lonigan used a ladder to climb inside.

"We've got a lot more left than other people," he said. "We were able to sleep in the bedroom last night."

In hard-hit Panama City, pastor John Blount held Sunday services at St. Andrew United Methodist Church outdoors, in front of a wall demolished by the storm. Afterward, the church held a large cookout for the storm-weary.

Untold numbers of people across the region have damaged homes and no power and don't have the means to relocate, either to a new or temporary place.

More roads were becoming passable as crews cleared trees and power lines, but traffic lights remained out and there were long lines at the few open gas stations.

Florida officials evacuated nearly 3,000 inmates from two hurricane-damaged prisons — the Gulf Correctional Institution and Annex and Calhoun Correctional Institution. They had damage to the roof and the infrastructure critical for security, authorities said. No inmates or staff members were injured.