Alaska’s Advocate Writer

DONN LISTON is an independent journalist who has lived in Alaska since 1962, and Eagle River since 2010. He was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News during pipeline construction, and a certified teacher who taught Adult Basic Education. He was selected as a 2013 BP Teacher of Excellence for work with Nine Star teaching adult basic education classes in a basement classroom at the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club, and the Mat-Su Job Center. DONN was a member of three State Education Commissions.

David Windsor also contributes a regular weekly column on this website instructionally addressing business and real estate news,

Donn Liston and David Windsor

Today, DONN is a retiree, focused on giving back to Alaska through independent journalism. Objective of this website is to advocate for the interests of the Alaskan people. DONN LISTON Alaska’s Advocate Writer. We tell the stories of our time for the record and in the hope better decisions are based on knowledge of the past.

Thank you for taking the time to read our stories! Alaska is a beautiful and vast state with great potential. We want to share our amazing story since statehood with the world!

Please support independent journalism through a financial contribution!

Latest Posts:

  • RADON AN UNDER-RECOGNIZED ALASKA HEALTH RISK
    Most of the information in this article is easily corroborated online but the writer wishes to highlight that Anchorage Bowl and Valley homes are now recommended for Radon testing. Alaska is rated the most Radon active State in the United States. The EPA suggests that levels above 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) are a health risk factor, particularly for lung cancer. Radon comes from the ground so properties with a crawlspace or basement are the most likely candidates. Above ground structures on a slab are less vulnerable though not guaranteed. Radon is a natural gas and comes from …

    RADON AN UNDER-RECOGNIZED ALASKA HEALTH RISK Read More »

  • Candidate for Alaska U. S. Senate: Karl Speights’ Patriot Platform
    The Frank & Lisa Murkowski Dynasty must be very pleased at the way this US Senate election is shaping up. The more candidates running against Murkowski, the more voters will pick familiar names and waste votes on candidates who have no chance of winning. Nineteen candidates are running in the top-four primary for United States Senate in Alaska on August 16, 2022. Murkowski is a Republican Progressive Legend.1 Having recognized all of that, one candidate is appealing to fed up Alaskan Patriots. Placing among the top four in the Jungle Primary could cause his message to resonate to like-minded Alaskans …

    Candidate for Alaska U. S. Senate: Karl Speights’ Patriot Platform Read More »

  • Deed of Trust or Mortgage?
    Dear Dave: We have just moved to Anchorage after living in Hawaii for some 10 years. We are a bit confused because the paperwork for closing the mortgage loan is completely different from what we are used to. Can you explain why Alaska’s real estate practices are so weird? What is a Deed of Trust anyway? Answer: Quite a number of States operate similarly to Alaska. In Hawaii, the lending process for real estate is Mortgage based. Alaska operates under a Deed of Trust theory. These are 2 distinctly different styles under which Lenders give loans for the real estate purchase. …

    Deed of Trust or Mortgage? Read More »

  • Ed Martin Jr. Doesn’t take NO for an Answer
    Grand Jury At the Kenai Courthouse Aug. 3: Bring it on! Unintimidated by bureaucrats of the Alaska Court System, Ed Martin, Jr. continues to press for compliance with liberties guaranteed by our Alaska Constitution. The latest standoff with court security staff and protestors in Kenai Wednesday, August 3, 2022, represents a flashpoint that could have statewide repercussions. A sixth Kenai Grand Jury is being asked to hear local citizens’ charges of government wrongdoing. Court bureaucrats think their permission and participation is required to provide information of public wrongdoing to a seated Grand Jury. The court is expected to again demand …

    Ed Martin Jr. Doesn’t take NO for an Answer Read More »

  • Huhnkie Lee; Social Media Sensation
    I find it hilarious when people criticize me and I try to keep my sense of humor about it. I have a regular appearance online every Friday where your readers can see my presentations. Yeah, it’s a Zoom meeting, called Friday and I love Huhnkie Lee. It is open to everybody. They can talk, because I want to listen, and learn from the people all around the world: Africa, Europe, Australia, India, Vietnam, Asia, all have appeared. I am very transparent.
  • LAND UPDATE – Not A Lot O’ Lots
    So we always talk about housing but what about the land needed to build it on? We have all heard of gold, silver, zinc and lead but there are a host of Rare Earth Elements (REE) such as Terbium, Lanthanum and Neodymium that are critical for radar systems and consumer electronics. Although China has half of the world’s rare earth elements, Alaska is considered a strong potential source of rare earth also. As rare as rare earth elements may be, we might also say that any earth is now becoming rare, particularly in Anchorage where buildable lots are few and …

    LAND UPDATE – Not A Lot O’ Lots Read More »

  • EaglExit Draft Proposal Review
    What MORE do you need to know about this effort? The citizen’s group known as EaglExit declares in its current Draft Proposal for detachment (04/24/22) that residents of the Chugach-Eagle River Area are not well-served by the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) and they want the constitutionally established Alaska Local Boundary Commission (LBC) to allow detachment and formation of a new borough. I have described the citizen’s group efforts in this process of detaching Assembly District 2 (AD2) in previous stories which I will link individually here. Go bold or go home! 1,008 Sq Miles from the northern part of the …

    EaglExit Draft Proposal Review Read More »

  • HOW TO FIND IDEAL LISTING AGENT
    You must get tired of all the internet marketing of every service you can think of. I do. As it applies to Real Estate, do be careful of believing cute one-liners that sound great – but may not be. In Alaska, Real Estate Agents are now designated ‘Licensees’ by Statute and this is often confusing. Your Realtor or other Licensee in Alaska is an agent of real estate and represents you within the designated legal boundaries described in the Consumer Pamphlet which you must be given when you start working with your Licensee. So how do you find the ideal …

    HOW TO FIND IDEAL LISTING AGENT Read More »

  • My Cyber-Crisis Solution: Peterson & Associates Inc.
    Small businesses must come to terms with the Internet. There is no way around it, a business owner cannot let the power of technology be left to competitors. A recent event in my own business brought this blinding realty home to this writer. As a result of this experience, somebody 40 years younger than me has rocked my world. His name is Pete Peterson, and his company—with his lovely wife, Alexis—is called Peterson & Associates, Inc. This story will give you appreciation for the good possible with the Internet, which we have all feared is transcending into Dante’s Inferno.1 On …

    My Cyber-Crisis Solution: Peterson & Associates Inc. Read More »

  • DOING BUSINESS IN AN AGE OF UNTRUTH
    Am I mistaken or has the habit of not being truthful accelerated? In marketing, business and private conversation, is lying almost a ‘norm’? Adolf Hitler demonstrated that if you keep telling people the same thing long enough, and loud enough, they will come to believe it! The Grobe Luge (big lie) is any gross distortion or misrepresentation of truth, according to Hitler, who first used the phrase in “Mein Kampf”. Subsequently, it was deliberately employed by Nazis as a propaganda technique to justify the Holocaust. Enough Grobe Luge and lots of people get hurt. For 10 years of my life I …

    DOING BUSINESS IN AN AGE OF UNTRUTH Read More »

  • Western Alaska Deserves Better in Juneau: Willy Keppel Says He Can Make a Difference
    Politics is what decides who gets what. Rural Alaska has been electing Democrats to represent them in the Alaska Legislature since before statehood but Rural Alaska remains 3rd World Status in the richest state (per capita) in the United States. But along with Alaska summer activities and the whiff of salmon being smoked is the pungent smell of rural politics as the people again decide if they are satisfied with Democrats–who sometimes call themselves Independents–baiting in Bethel and switching in Juneau. Voting data from the Alaska Division of Elections shows voters in rural Alaska have given up. Why bother to …

    Western Alaska Deserves Better in Juneau: Willy Keppel Says He Can Make a Difference Read More »

  • David Windsor’s Secret of Success: Top Real Estate Producer Since 1992 Educates Alaska
    The real estate business is complicated and requires knowledge for reputable practitioners who are regulated by the State of Alaska to provide Alaskans with honest and responsible property exchange options. I have known many real estate professionals and regret I have witnessed some who exploit those who trust them through cunning because of the client’s lack of understanding about how the business works. My long-time friend, Realtor David Windsor, is a top producer in the industry and brings a fascinating life experience to this business. I have long admired David’s periodic instructional newsletters helping general consumers and practitioners understand how …

    David Windsor’s Secret of Success: Top Real Estate Producer Since 1992 Educates Alaska Read More »

  • HOW LONG IS A DAY?
    The Hebrew word “Yom” is the word used in Genesis to describe the stages of God’s creation. Hebrew etymology shows that the “Day” referred to in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament is actually a “Period of Time” and not necessarily a 24 hour period. It could be one of our modern days or ten thousand years. In business practice, including Real Estate, the word “Day” is of particular importance, especially as it pertains to the Purchase and Sale Contract. There are many items in the deal that have time limits – 3 days, 5 days etc. They are …

    HOW LONG IS A DAY? Read More »

  • APPRAISAL WAIVERS BECOMING MORE FREQUENT
    For many years, Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) have been offering to waive the need for an appraisal when the borrower puts 20% or more down. Alaska Housing (AHFC) will also follow the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac waiver offer. When a lender takes your conventional loan application on a particular property, they run it through an Automated Underwriting System (AUS) which electronically assesses the loan applicant and the subject property and provides the lender an initial underwriting decision. As part of this decision, artificial intelligence (affectionately known as DU – ‘Desktop Underwriter’ at Fannie Mae, and LP …

    APPRAISAL WAIVERS BECOMING MORE FREQUENT Read More »

  • Kenai Court Judges Jennifer K. Wells & William F. Morse: “Never Mind the Alaska Constitution…”
    One legislator calls out Kenai Kabuki1 Court! Kenai Superior Court Judge, Jennifer K. Wells doesn’t believe the Alaska Constitution means what it says. Her boss, formerly of Kenai but now Presiding Judge of the Third Judicial District, William F. Morse, doesn’t either. Gov. Michael Dunleavy’s (Deputy) Attorney General John Skidmore has already made it very clear that the Alaska Court System will interpret the constitution any damn way they want to, and there will be consequences to citizens (in which all political power resides under the Alaska Constitution) who might think Alaska Grand Juries are more than just a show …

    Kenai Court Judges Jennifer K. Wells & William F. Morse: “Never Mind the Alaska Constitution…” Read More »

  • THESE THREE TREE QUESTIONS
    Question: Is a tree real estate? Answer: Yes, anything permanently fixed to the land which you own is real estate. When you sell your property, the trees go with the real estate. You cannot remove trees, or growing plants, from a pending sale without the buyer’s consent. An uprooted, fallen tree is no longer real estate but, like firewood, it is personal property and, as such, could remain or be removed. If you are in the middle of a sale you should discuss the options with the buyer. Question: Do trees add to the value of your property? Answer: The …

    THESE THREE TREE QUESTIONS Read More »

  • Paul A. Bauer: Return to Traditional Values
    Voters elect exactly who they deserve in our Representative Democracy.1 We must therefore understand WHY any particular candidate is running for public office. Some run to impose their ideological agendas on everybody else, but conservatives–who mostly want to be left alone–have traditionally allowed self-serving candidates to be just that. Conversely, conservatives usually run for elected office with a sense of service, while often characterized by opponents as being narrow and unenlightened . Fortunately, many Alaskans are now paying attention to who they elect. Violation of trust in failing to follow the law and past practice with payment of the Permanent …

    Paul A. Bauer: Return to Traditional Values Read More »

  • Watch Candidate Joe Wright: Voters here will have to make some calculated choices with RCV
    A Proven Republican Steps Into the Fray: Joe Wright! Watch for a rugby style primary election scrum1 in the upcoming Eagle River-to-Eklutna Senate District L race! Voters here will have to make some calculated choices with the newly established Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in a crowded field if we expect to change the political calculus in Juneau. We know now RCV2 is simply an underhanded way to deny Republican’s Closed Primary. But NO candidate is running as a Democrat in District L even if SHE should. The Four candidates running for this redistricted Senate seat are: Ken McCarty, Kelly Merrick, …

    Watch Candidate Joe Wright: Voters here will have to make some calculated choices with RCV Read More »

  • Cool Conservative Place to Congregate: Ammo-Can Coffee Social Club in Soldotna!
    Coffee from an Ammo-Can?! What began for Jason Floyd as a midlife professional crisis in 2015 has become a Kenai Peninsula institution for rational Alaskans who have had enough of “woke” political nonsense invading every aspect of our lives.[1] Along the way Floyd’s private enterprise endeavors have also clearly impacted Alaska military veterans of the region who are more than just coffee shop patrons. You see, Alaska has a high proportion of veterans who choose to return to Alaska after service. But those veterans–as well as many active-duty members–are at a higher risk of suicide than anyplace else in the …

    Cool Conservative Place to Congregate: Ammo-Can Coffee Social Club in Soldotna! Read More »

  • A Refuge from Calamity: What Brought Me to Alaska
    The notion of “family” was foreign to me as a child. Not until I took an Anchorage Community College class in Sociology did I understand that family is the building block of society. I remember being struck by that notion when I first heard it. The circumstance of my childhood determined my understanding of family as: Some people got it and some people don’t. As a boy in Albuquerque, New Mexico I was raised primarily by babysitters. I had big blue eyes and a contagious smile. Some of these caregivers came from the Bernalillo County Correctional Center. I learned things …

    A Refuge from Calamity: What Brought Me to Alaska Read More »

  • Can a Ready Veteran Workforce Assure Food Security?
    To Dream the Impossible Dream… Let’s imagine our elected State of Alaska officials–who like to blow smoke about Alaska Food Security–suddenly made land available for Commercial Agriculture… IMAGINE 10,000-acre parcels dedicated to serious farming endeavors instead of current 460-acre parcels where farmers do each other’s laundry. Such fantasy SOA Ag offerings would require successful bidders to prove up on the land as homesteaders used to do; dollar-for-dollar match in infrastructure at a value established and agreed to by both parties, dedicated to agriculture endeavors only. IMAGINE thousands of acres of alfalfa–a variety of which the Alaska Division of Agriculture has …

    Can a Ready Veteran Workforce Assure Food Security? Read More »

  • Challenges Of Mental Illness: Tell me who’s crazy… the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services!
    How about that Alaska Department of Health and $ocial $ervices! Long known as the most dysfunctional department in state government, DH$$ takes the largest part of the state budget, is run by social workers who want to help you, but often cannot balance their own checking accounts. I saw how screwed up this department is first-hand as a business agent for the Alaska State Employees Association, AFSCME Local 52, over 4-1/2 years in Juneau while my late wife, Cathy Liston, worked as a bank manager. Now that Gov. Michael Dunleavy has managed to split the DH$$ baby, what more can …

    Challenges Of Mental Illness: Tell me who’s crazy… the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services! Read More »

  • Seeking Local Alaskan Food: Mariculture Options for Food Security
    Alaska food security means different things to people in various regions of Alaska. When this writer lived in Southeast Alaska my freezer was filled every summer with fish and deer, but I was not so keen on spending a lot of time foraging for berries. In speaking recently with a food security advocate who lives at the end of the Haines Highway,[1] I discovered some other angles on the food security paradigm. A trained chef, graduated from Culinary Institute of America in 1985, Brenda Josephson has spent most of her career in accounting and business management. Recently she returned to …

    Seeking Local Alaskan Food: Mariculture Options for Food Security Read More »

  • A plea for justice
    Power of the Grand Jury I will admit right here that in my past I have been falsely accused of a crime I didn’t do. Despite the shock of what was alleged, I had to write a response in a pleading, and I had to go to court and tell my side of the story. Never have charges against me risen to the level of having to appear before an Alaska Grand Jury—placing me at the mercy of a gathering of common citizens compelled to leave their daily lives to consider what a government employee prosecutor alleged I had done. …

    A plea for justice Read More »

  • Why the Permanent Fund Corp Turmoil?
    I hear the train a-comin’ Back in the 1960s my father went to great lengths to build an elaborate electric train setup on a piece of 4x8x3/4 plywood. It had plaster-of-paris mountains and a lake and all kinds of track to drive the trains on. After I and my siblings put milk and cookies out for Santa Claus and went to bed, Dad had to move that wonderful work of art and engineering into the living room of our home in Albuquerque, NM. He set it up, had it all plugged in and running pretty good, when he accidently hit …

    Why the Permanent Fund Corp Turmoil? Read More »

  • ANCSA Reflections
    50 Years since the Historic Settlement Many have written about the Alaska Native Claims Settlement act of 1971, and I have lately seen some effort to reflect on what this seminal law has meant for all Alaskans after 50 years. For background: As a Staff Writer for the Anchorage Daily News I was given the “Native Beat” and got to know Willie Hensley and John Shively at the Alaska Federation of Natives.[2] Also, Bureau of Indian Affairs Southcentral Alaska Superintendent Roy Peratrovich became a dear friend.[3] As I covered these stories of enrollment and actualization I shared the new hope …

    ANCSA Reflections Read More »

  • When Will Justice Prevail?
    Let’s Take Alaska Back Approximately 35 percent of American oil was from foreign sources in October of 1973 when the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries announced an oil embargo against the United States in retaliation for our country’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Price of gasoline shot up, shortages were common, and President Richard Nixon made construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline part of the solution to this crisis. Under pressure from constituents, Congress created the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act removing all legal barriers from construction and granted a right-of-way for a the 800-mile oil artery from …

    When Will Justice Prevail? Read More »

  • Power of the Grand Jury
    A Plea for Justice I will admit right here that in my past I have been falsely accused of a crime I didn’t commit. Despite the shock of what was alleged, I had to write a response in a pleading, and I had to go to court and tell my side of the story. Never have charges against me risen to the level of having to appear before an Alaska Grand Jury—placing me at the mercy of a gathering of common citizens compelled to leave their daily lives to consider what a government employee prosecutor alleged I had done. Had …

    Power of the Grand Jury Read More »

Recent Comments:

  1. Hope our legislators and HSS leadership read this article for their contribution to this agenda is destroying our lives and…

  2. This guy is hilarious! People freak out because he says he loves the Chinese people, but don’t we all? There’s…

  3. They’re not real courts of law it is a corporation corporation corporations are design to make money They tell you…

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