Alaska’s Advocate Writer

DONN Liston lives in Eagle River, and attends church regularly.

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.

Thank You for visiting!

I write Alaska non-fiction stories in historical context about things regular Alaskans need to know and possibly act upon. If you are looking for a place where they scare you, tell you what you want to hear, and patronize you with happytalk sensationalism to distract you from reality of our failed Alaskan institutions, go to

I am an Independent Journalist. I tell Alaska’s story through my lens of 60 winters living an active politically charged Alaskan Life: No rose-colored glasses. Based on information I provide, you may find a meaningful way to contribute to improving our state for people who are NOT just passing through.

Plenty of people come to Alaska for the wrong reasons and leave nothing of value when the door doesn’t hit them in the ass. Some of those people work in our schools, non-profit corporations, and state government.

Thank you for taking time to read Alaska’s 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:

  • No Status quo Politician: What Would Can-DO Wally Hickel Do?
    Update on story originally posted November 20, 2019. As Governor of Alaska, Walter Hickel knew government was not the solution to many problems and maintained an Alaska First standard for everything he made happen. There have been times when Alaska politics were entertaining, candidates knew every vote counted, and campaigns could take on the atmosphere of a circus. Many Alaskans were especially amused when a pair of die-hard Republicans, Can-Do Wally Hickel and Jack Coghill ran for governor/lt governor as Alaska Independence Party (AIP) candidates and won!  [1](Alaska Independence Party website Hickel had been governor before and Coghill had been …

    No Status quo Politician: What Would Can-DO Wally Hickel Do? Read More »

  • When the Circus comes to Juneau
    What YOU Need to Know about how the Alaska Legislature Works Updated from story First Published July  19, 2018 in ECHO Magazine A statute of US Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln, William Seward and another statue of a Russian Bear eating a salmon grace the plaza in front of the Alaska Capital.[1]. After returning home from working for a legislator during the second half of the 30th Alaska Legislature, I have had some time to think about what happened between January and May of 2018–and what readers should know about the process. Few Alaskans ever really go to …

    When the Circus comes to Juneau Read More »

  • Why British Petroleum left Alaska and what every Alaskan needs to know about the Oil Business
    A 30-year BP Manager provides perspective BP’s Anchorage headquarters is a 15-floor, 324,000-square foot, class A office building. It was built from 1983 to 1985, and the entire campus is 18 acres and includes a cafeteria and atrium. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in Alaska. (The company also built and operates the BP Energy Center, a building in midtown where nonprofit groups can meet for free. The Energy Center is the only Alaska asset not included in the sale to Hilcorp and BP has said it will remain in Anchorage “as a legacy.”) [1] This story is updated from a …

    Why British Petroleum left Alaska and what every Alaskan needs to know about the Oil Business Read More »

  • Adventures in Juneau–You cannot know how Alaska’s Capital works without going there.  
     Previously published in Echo Magazine January 25, 2018 Donn Liston confronts Senator Rodey   Few Alaskans bother to visit our state capital city where elected officials pass laws and conduct state business. There is good reason for this. Being a product of Southcentral Alaska myself, as a young man I wondered about what Juneau was like, and on two previous occasions I had traveled to Juneau by plane and ferried a senator’s car, before my first drive there alone–777 miles through White Pass from Costco Gas to Haines. At Haines, I took the ferry ride to the Juneau/Auke Bay Alaska Marine Highway …

    Adventures in Juneau–You cannot know how Alaska’s Capital works without going there.   Read More »

  • When Legislators Cared about Alaskans
    Hugh Malone’s Permanent Fund Legacy Hugh Malone was Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives when the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend was designed to protect Alaska resource wealth from being pissed away by politicians. The dividend gives all Alaskans a stake in the fund’s future by spending levels set  by averaging 5-year earnings. As we anticipate the next Alaska Legislature and likely attempts to further diminish the Alaska Permanent Fund on behalf of special interests, this previous story provides some perspective on why the Permanent Fund Dividend was established by Alaskan visionaries, and why it is now in grave danger. …

    When Legislators Cared about Alaskans Read More »

  • Our Permanent Fund Inspiration for Others
    Filipino Political Scam Proposed for 3rd World Wealth Fund Many remember the idealism generated by Gov, Jay Hammond, and real legislative leaders like House Speaker, Hugh Malone, and Senate President John Rader, who passed legislation during the 10th Alaska Legislature to provide equitable payment for our oil in an agreement with companies developing Prudhoe Bay on state lands. We the People had witnessed construction of the engineering marvel Trans-Alaska Pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and recognized we were partners with the Goose that Laid Golden Eggs.[1] We The People defined: Alaska Constitution Section 2. Source of Government All political …

    Our Permanent Fund Inspiration for Others Read More »

  • Psych Crisis At North Star Youth Treatment Center
    OCS Child Trafficing Facility The Alaska Office of Children’s Services (OCS) is beyond the law and out of control. Parents who foolishly think they can get help from this agency may instead expect their kids to be taken into custody and damaged in ways unimaginable–perhaps at a private lock-down vendor like North Star Behavioral Hospital. Additionally, the Alaska Supreme Court has recently decided it can usurp the Alaska Constitution, with new regulations ruling the Alaska Attorney General—who is also Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s appointed Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Law—will decide whether citizens can go directly to the Independent Grand …

    Psych Crisis At North Star Youth Treatment Center Read More »

  • The Blessing of Giving
    Building a Support Structure to Minimize Homelessness A lot of people in Anchorage have spent a lot of time talking about how to address homelessness in our community. It has become a prevailing theme of elected Assembly Members, but one Faith-Based Organization has been addressing this issue in the neighborhoods of Fairview and Mt View for a couple of decades. We can speculate that hundreds of Alaskans young and old have gotten on their feet and are now productive citizens because of a hand-up instead of a hand-out by Shiloh Community Housing. Read more about Shiloh Community Housing HERE: …

    The Blessing of Giving Read More »

  • The Election is Over, We’re Screwed
    This is the NEW Gong Show In December of 2021 I wrote about Past Legislative Hopes[1] after an election that cleared out some deadwood and caused many to hope for a new commitment to the best interests of the people who voted for candidates representing voters in 402 Alaska precincts. We know any candidate for the Alaska Legislature must be willing to drop everything in the community where they live and go to BackwaterJuneau for three to five months of what has become the Legislative Gong Show. For readers unfamiliar with this old American Television amateur talent contest, it was …

    The Election is Over, We’re Screwed Read More »

  • Alaska OCS Crisis; Parents are Pursuing Accountability
    Violation of Alaska families by the Office of Children’s Services (OCS) is nothing new. Some parents and family advocates have long documented abusive and illegal actions by this agency purporting to protect children. Alaska parents now AGAIN seek remedy through the Alaska Court System IF that is possible. In her case against OCS, Rep. Wilson on September 9, 2016 stated: The Alaska Office of Children’s Services conducts interventions so aggressive they amount to legal kidnapping. [3AN-16-9924CR] A shrill call for action, but the Grand Jury passed the buck At an October 13, 2022 hearing before Third District Presiding Judge, William …

    Alaska OCS Crisis; Parents are Pursuing Accountability Read More »

    My personal home was built in 1995. When I am spending money on repairs I have to remind myself that I am maintaining a property that is 37 years old. I wish I was 37 years old but, now an ‘ageless’ senior, I realize that my very personal residence (i.e. my body ) is holding up really well compared to my house. If you own an older home, which is more likely than not, you must accept that visits to the ‘doctor’ and ‘medications’ are a part of that experience – and should be budgeted for and expected. The attached …


  • Why Some Liberals WANT An Alaska Constitutional Convention–Liberal Utopia for Alaska Revealed!
    In the November 8 midterm elections Alaskans will be asked in Ballot Measure 1 whether to hold a Constitutional Convention.1 My late friend John Havelock in 2012 wrote a book about why Alaskans needed to have a constitutional convention at the last time it was possible to do so. Today Big Money is Opposed to Alaskans having a Con-Con Alaska Public Office Commission REPORT for funding against Con-Con: But Alaskans are an Independent lot and recent elections have shown that just throwing money at a candidate or issue will not assure a win.2 Position Statement in favor: Position Statement Opposed: …

    Why Some Liberals WANT An Alaska Constitutional Convention–Liberal Utopia for Alaska Revealed! Read More »

  • Alaska City on the Move: WASILLA! (A Tribute to Mayor Bert Cottle on his passing)
    The new Wasilla Sonic restaurant is located in the Sun Mountain development. It did $500,000 worth of business in its first three days. Note: This story was Published October 31, 2019 after an enthusiastic presentation by Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle to the Susitna Rotary in the last months of his tenure in that position. He contributed greatly to the State of Alaska on many levels and this republication is a reflection on some of his accomplishments as mayor. Mayor Cottle was a lifelong Alaskan who was born and raised in Wasilla. He graduated from Wasilla High School and Trinidad State College …

    Alaska City on the Move: WASILLA! (A Tribute to Mayor Bert Cottle on his passing) Read More »

    Nobody can tell you exactly what will happen next in Ukraine, China or Alaska but I will attempt to look into the crystal ball and, based on what we know today, provide some sort of prediction for real estate in 2023. As we write, everyone knows that inflation across America exceeds 8%. Interest rates for a home loan exceed 7%. Employment opportunities, however, remain attractive. These items alone are explanatory of the slight cooling of the Anchorage real estate market in the final quarter of 2022. In the third quarter ended 30th September 2022 the average price of an Anchorage …


  • Education and healthcare systems in Nigeria are stricken with poverty. Are they better than Alaska’s?
    To people who live in the west, Africa is a cruel place. I know this because I have had the benefit of formal education and lifelong experience here. Our 3rd World governments are corrupt. The people live in bitter poverty. Our only hope for the future is through education. I have a vision for the future of Africa, as a teacher, and I appreciate DONN LISTON allowing me to tell my story of hope for the future on this digital platform. I was born in Akure Ondo State, Nigeria to Yoruba parents, James & Florence Adeniyi, both from Ekiti State. …

    Education and healthcare systems in Nigeria are stricken with poverty. Are they better than Alaska’s? Read More »

  • Your Cat, And Contract, Can Expire
    When I studied contract law at the St. George Technical College in New South Wales, Australia, I was fascinated with the elements required for a legally binding contract to exist. Now that I deal with Real Estate Contracts, I find it interesting to see the evolution in how contracts are written. Of course, in ancient days your tribal chief might make agreements in a less formal manner, nothing in writing at all – e.g. a few grunts between tribes and a head of cattle or two exchanged for your next wife, enforceable with a lively party of warriors. When you …

    Your Cat, And Contract, Can Expire Read More »

  • Anchorage Court Denies Private Property Rights
    Why aren’t 70 Access Points to Chugach State Park Enough for Dani Crosby? ALASKA RESIDENT SINCE: 1996ALASKA COMMUNITIES LIVED IN: Sitka and AnchorageEDUCATION:Occidental College, B.A.Gonzaga University School of Law, J.D.PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:Superior Court Judge, 2016 to presentPrivate Practice, 1998-2016Law Clerk for Superior Court Judge Eric Sanders, 1997-1998Law Clerk for Superior Court Judge Brian Shortell, 1996-1997OTHER SERVICE:Civil Rules Committee, ChairTrauma-Informed Courts Committee, Member A 14-day hearing before Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby beginning January 18, 2022 and concluding March 2, 2022 has found that a public prescriptive easement exists across the property purchased by Franklin and Oksana Pugh for their personal use. …

    Anchorage Court Denies Private Property Rights Read More »

    It took me a long time to understand the 4 different numbers quoted for inflation, so here is a quick guide:- 1. PCE is Personal Consumption Expenditures and this index is the Fed’s favorite. As of August it showed inflation at an annual rate of 6.2%. September reading will be released on 28th October. 2. PCE Core is the same index but excludes Food and Energy. As of August this rate, year over year, was reading 4.9%. PCE Core is the number that the FED quotes the most, and is always saying their target for PCE Core is 2%. Good …


  • We were Born to be Wild! 
    My Alaska 1960’s Experience 2019–a group of the same students who always did this stuff, organized the 50th year reunion since my East Anchorage High School graduation occurred–but I didn’t attend. Those were not good years for me and I didn’t care to hear from many peers who are still stuck in the 60’s. I have moved on. But I look back with mixed emotions on where I was then, where Alaska was at in context with the rest of the country, and where we have come as a state having tremendous oil wealth. Our class song was Born to …

    We were Born to be Wild!  Read More »

  • How Secure Should Ft. Greely Missile Defense Field Be?
    One Alaskan’s Disturbing Experience Writer’s Note: Miscommunication between Mr. Stebbins and myself resulted in errors in this original story. This story has nothing to do with Clear AFB Station; this story is about the Ft. Greely Missile Defience Field which is not a nuclear missile site. Alaska has long been known as Top Cover for America, and author John Haile Coe wrote a book about the amazing military presence which has defined our relationship with the United States of America before and since statehood in 1959. Private Opportunities for Military Subcontracting The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 established …

    How Secure Should Ft. Greely Missile Defense Field Be? Read More »

    Last week I made a profound professional miscalculation. I left one of my windows slightly open in the Carwash. What a mess in what is, after all, really my mobile office! Leaving windows open to your personal life on Facebook can also ruin your day, and even your professional career. Many Realtors and other professionals have been very successful with Facebook marketing and use this amazing web tool to attract customers and generate serious leads. However, if Facebook becomes your drug of choice, be careful about an overdose. Facebook is an awesome tool for social networking but, unfortunately, is feeding …


    The U.S. economy has now had 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth. The first quarter was 1.6% negative growth and the second quarter 0.6% negative. By definition, this is a Recession. It has only just begun. Last December many analysts, including myself, argued strongly that Inflation at the time was by no means “Transitory” even though the Federal Open Market Committee, comprised of 12 members, insisted that inflation was a temporary or passing phenomenon. We will overlook conspiracy theories here except to say that it is unbelievable that these Fed Governors could be so incompetent. They were wrong and now, …


  • Regular Guy and Haul Road Trucker for Legislative Senate District C
    Longtime Kodiak Senator, Gary Stevens, is a good guy. He and his wife Rita are pillars of Alaska and among The Beautiful People. This writer met both Stevens’ when working as a legislative aide on the 4th floor of the Alaska Capitol during the 2018 Session of the Alaska Legislature. On one occasion, when getting information about education funding for my boss from Sen. Stevens’ able staff, I kissed the ring. He’s a former full professor at the University of Alaska Kodiak, you know, and everybody around him talks in NPR radio voices. I didn’t get a chance to ask …

    Regular Guy and Haul Road Trucker for Legislative Senate District C Read More »

  • Shiloh Community Housing Has Big Plans
    A Quality Resource Center in Mt View This writer spent some of my youth in an Anchorage that was a community of characters you might read about in good fiction, and as a young man I came to know a lot of them. As a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News during the mid-1970s I sometimes wrote stories about them, as happened in this story about old-time crime. Today Anchorage crime is much worse and homelessness is a crisis. Our local elected leaders have made great efforts to warehouse people experiencing homelessness. Many from rural Alaska migrate to Alaska’s largest …

    Shiloh Community Housing Has Big Plans Read More »

  • How Long To Keep Financial Records
    Many folks are confused, and understandably so, about how long to keep financial records. Some feel that to ask this question makes them appear foolish. There are no silly questions. Fools are identified by the failure to ask questions, not the reverse. For the most part, how long to keep records is centered on IRS requirements. For this reason 5 years is a good general rule. All your financial records could be required for audit of your taxes for that length of time. Whilst the IRS normally conducts audits only within 3-5 years from the year of the return, there …

    How Long To Keep Financial Records Read More »

  • How Bad Does YOUR Alaska School Have To Get?
    Kenai Parents are Taking Back a Failing School Members of the community of Nikolaevsk met Friday, September 23, 2022 and formally voted to start a Charter School. Next will likely be war with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) bureaucracy responsible for systemic degradation of the once vibrant school. KPBSD Board of Education Charter School Oversight Committee will be meeting September 27, 2022 at the school district headquarters to consider the Initial Homer Forest Charter School Application.1 This Date is too early for Nikolaevsk School parents to present their proposal to do the same thing, but they are working …

    How Bad Does YOUR Alaska School Have To Get? Read More »

    Bear naked ladies, and their children, seem to be everywhere these days – not just at the State Fair. In my own eastside neighborhood, one particular black bear and her three cubs are so well known by the State Fish and Game department that they will soon be needing a full time operator to take calls from alarmed residents. The interesting thing about City Black Bears, as Fish and Game call them, is that they are regarded as “good bears” in general and F&G are reluctant to relocate them because they always come back to their favorite neighborhoods. Another bearly …


  • Brian Endle: What Matters in the MatSu Valley? Election Integrity and Conservative Values
    UPDATE FROM NATIONAL NEWS PLATFORM GATEWAY PUNDIT: Imagine a trained computer software developer in the MatSu Valley who intuitively questions integrity of computerized voting machines in Alaska elections. Should that person go to all the expense and trouble of running for local office to address this concern on the front line of political warfare? That’s what Brian Endle has chosen to do. And while he isn’t a one-issue candidate he believes without secure elections nothing else matters. I have 20 years IT experience–I started out as a programmer and then worked my way up to supervise a number of IT …

    Brian Endle: What Matters in the MatSu Valley? Election Integrity and Conservative Values Read More »

Recent Comments:

Alaska Department of Education Alaska Economy Alaska Food Security Alaska History Alaska Legislature Alaska Population Alaska Public Education Alaska Public Policy Ammo-Can Coffee Anchorage School District Board of Education Bill Borden Bruce Jenner Christine Wormuth Clayton Trotter Cliff R. Hartman Cooperative Extension Service Dan Sullivan David Haeg Delta Barley Project Deshka Landing Association Dixie Banner EaglExit Jackie Spier Jason Floyd Jay Hammond Jennifer K. Wells Joe Wright Kelly Merrick Kenai Court Kenai Grand Jurors Ken McCarty Lisa Murkowski Liz Brooks Marla Greenstein Mike Dunleavy Mt. McKinley Meats and Sausage Peninsula Center Mall Sara Whitney Southfork ER Community Council Steve Cowper University of Alaska University of Moscow at Fairbanks Vets2Industry William F. Morse William Sheffield

Get notified of new stories by subscribing below!

Scroll to Top