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 Prudhoe Bay to the deep water port of Valdez.
Thus began the Great Alaska Oil Rush, beginning with construction, and in 1977 the first supertanker left port Valdez with our bounty headed to the west coast. At that moment Alaskans were transformed from residents of a new state in the Arctic Climate Zone to blue-eyed Arabs with a constitutionally guaranteed ownership interest in the resources of Alaska. Some could argue we have been overwhelmed by petrodollars and hungry Chechakos ever since.
I have personally watched this in utter amazement. I now feel comfortable saying that we who are here for the long run must begin reclaiming the lifestyle and heritage we cherish–as many are leaving for warmer climes.
By 1970 Alaska had reached a population of 302,173 people, up from 228,000 in 1960. The Anchorage Census Division counted 126,385 people. Other population centers included Fairbanks 14,771, Juneau 6,050 (down from 6,797 in 1960), Kodiak 6,800, Ketchikan 4,904, Bethel 2,416, Nome 2,488, Barrow 2,104, Palmer 1,140, and Wasilla wasn’t even a community yet.
Because of high wages paid in the private sector during construction of the pipeline, the State of Alaska increased salaries and benefits to compete for qualified workers. A State job is a good job.
By 1980 Alaska’s population reached 401,851 people. Anchorage area 174,431. Other population centers: Fairbanks, 22,645, Juneau, 19,528, Ketchikan 7,198, Kodiak 6,000, Kenai 4,326.04, Valdez 3,079, Petersburg 2,821, Soldotna 2,320, Nome 2,301, Wrangell 2,184, Kotzebue 2,054, and Wasilla was listed as having 1,559 residents.
Employment in Alaska increased; in 1960 we had 56,900 non-agriculture jobs and experienced a 4.8 percent growth to 92,400 jobs by 1970. An annual average growth rate of 6.0 percent would see non-ag job growth to 171,000 by 1980. During those two decades government employment (federal-state-local) would grow from 22,700 to 35,600 to 54,900. By the end of 1999 government employment in Alaska would reach 73,300.
Everything done in every other sector of employment is regulated by an increasing government presence.
Today our employment opportunities appear to be improving with non-ag jobs approaching 350,000.
The Vision and the Reality
Our founders sought a simple and efficient government, with opportunity for Alaskans to live and thrive on resource development bounty established in our constitution. But today we know our state has been taken over by elected officials and some public sector union members here for their Alaska Adventure; state workers, teachers, elected officials and court employees have transformed our state to a bloated government fiefdom. We the People have participated and appreciated the bounty but have never relinquished the fact this government belongs to us.
We the People ARE the state, we ARE the government, proclaimed Dave Bartels over coffee in a private home in Kenai. The servants IN government want you to believe THEY are the State, THEY are the government, THEY are the law—the very definition of a Police State.
Bartels is one of a growing number of Alaskan who feels betrayed by our government, especially the Alaska Court System.
The constitution is supposed to be Of the People BY the People, Bartels continued. We are not supposed to be OF the government—OF the legislature, OF the executive, OF the judiciary. Just because we elect legislators into office doesn’t mean they have superiority over us.
But that is what has happened; we have been swept into a world of technology and demands beyond mere human capacity, while government institutions are simply union-dispatched hives of busyworkers strategically denying We the People of our freedoms. They hope we will seek paths of least resistance. To challenge the power of government takes more work than most are willing to commit.
I have studied the law over 25 years, said Bartels. I have looked at the case law of the Supreme Court of the United States, Supreme Court of the State of Alaska, and the appeals courts, to understand what is decided already.
An Erosion of Power for We the People
So far interactions between protesters and the court have been amicable although Area Court administrator, Carol McAllen has recently notified David Haeg of certain expectations.
From the letter:
Under AS 22.05.025 and Administrative Bulletin 26, no political or advocacy activity is permitted on court system property. Pursuant to that authority, the court system will be setting aside a corridor for court users to use to enter and leave the courthouse (see attached). This corridor will not unreasonably interfere with your right to protest.
Additionally, please be aware of the following guidance for protests.
- Protests cannot take place inside a court facility. This includes a prohibition on both verbal advocacy/protesting as well as nonverbal behavior such as displaying signs or placards and handing out flyers.
- Access to the grand jury room and its proceedings is prohibited.
- Do not block access to the courthouse or interfere with court employees and members of the public who enter and leave the courthouse,
- Do not make noise sufficient to interrupt court proceedings.
- Do not video record, audio record or photograph people or proceedings inside the courthouse.
During the protest held at the Kenai courthouse April 14, this writer went in to use the restroom. I asked the security workers how they were being impacted by the protest. One of them expressed his affirmation of the right to protest but also some concern about what could happen if this should get out of control.
As a long-time Alaskan, I submit the onus to assure this conflict doesn’t get out of control is on the bureaucracy, which has created artificial barriers to justice through the Grand Jury, provided for in the Alaska Constitution.
Discovery of a 1980 version of the Alaska Grand Jury Handbook has resulted in revelations about how that document has been changed to give State bureaucrats an illusion of control over what We the People have a right to expect from the Grand Jury.
Haeg informed the Court Administrator April 10, 2022 of this fact by letter with direct quotes from that earlier version’s instruction to grand jurors:
Page 5: “Charges of crime may be brought to your attention in several ways…..(3) from you own personal knowledge, or from matters properly brought to your personal attention, (4) by private citizens heard by the Grand Jury in formal session, with the Grand Jury’s consent.
Page 6:“….a citizen is at liberty to apply to the Grand Jury for permission to appear before it in order to suggest or urge that a certain situation be investigated by it”
Page 6 and 7: “the Grand Jury has the additional important duty of making investigations on its own initiative, which it can thereafter report to the court. Thus a Grand Jury may investigate how officials are conducting their public trust, and make investigations as to the proper conduct of public institutions, such as prisons and courts of justice. This gives it the power to inspect such institutions, and if desired, to call before them those in charge of their operations, and other persons who can testify in that regard. If as a result of such an investigation the Grand Jury finds that an improper condition exists, it may recommend a remedy.”
Haeg: It appears in the years since this Handbook was written and our current Handbook (revised in 2019 I believe), public officials have corruptly eliminated any wording about the right of citizens to appeal to the Grand Jury directly – and corruptly eliminated wording that would inform the Grand Jury an “important duty” is to investigate public officials, institutions, and“courts of justice“, “on its own initiative“.
Maybe this was done so public officials can become as corrupt as they want without ever being discovered, fired, indicted, and put in prison.
This (previous) Alaska Grand Jury Handbook also directly refutes your statement (below and attached) to protesters that “Access to the grand jury room and its proceedings is prohibited.”
America was born in revolution, and Alaskans are an independent lot by nature. We have stood by as our state has been overrun by self-serving people empowered by unbelievable resource wealth and government overreach. But Alaska is still the last frontier of America and Alaskans can be contrary. Our bountiful resource-based economy has allowed our state employees and elected officials to become too comfortable in their privilege.
One obvious tool in our constitution to remedy this government malaise is the Grand Jury. Our hapless court workers are trying to block this constitutional provision for addressing corruption. Now, flint against steel in Kenai has created a spark that true Alaskans everywhere must fan into a bonfire.
We the People have had enough patronizing duplicity.
Alaska Economic Trends; The 40 years of Alaska’s economy since statehood, Alaska Department of Labor, December 1990, p12
1970 Census of Population, Alaska Department of Labor, p3-11, Table 6a
1980 Census of population , Alaska Department of Labor, p13, Table 14
Employment by Industry 1960-1999
Alaska Economic Trends, Alaska Department of Labor, January 2022, P4
Letter from Area Court Administrator, Carol McAllen
 1980 Alaska Grand Jury Handbook
Other stories about Alaska’s Court System:
Power of the Grand Jury
Why Alaska Courts Suck
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