RIP Daniel Frederick

December 23, 2008 at 8:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Blondies Antiques, Fairbanks, Alaska in 2005.

Blondie's Antiques, Fairbanks, Alaska in 2005.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports tonight that the body of Daniel Frederick, proprietor of Blondie’s Antiques has been found.  He was apparently beaten and robbed and his body dumped at the outskirts of town.  Three 20-something suspects are in police custody.

To read the comments at the News-Miner story, this man didn’t have an enemy in the world.

I visited the store a few times over the years, and stopped to photograph it.  It is a neat little place.  What a shame.

12-17-08

December 18, 2008 at 7:36 am | Posted in photo du jour | Leave a comment
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Frosty branches, midtown Anchorage.

Frosty branches, midtown Anchorage.

Wasilla church arson a political statement?

December 16, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Posted in politics | Leave a comment
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I told myself I wasn’t going to listen to KUDO anymore after they sacked Aaron and Shannyn earlier this year.  A promise to yourself is easy to break, though.  And aside from random flashes of brilliance from KWMD, there’s really nothing to listen to here. 

So I was listening to CC yesterday on KUDO and she took a call from a guy called Scott.  And Scott really got my goat!  Scott specializes in goat-getting and has been faithfully calling each local KUDO show every single day since the station went on the air with progressive talk in 2004.  [Aaron used to refer to him as a “closet liberal”.]  Yesterday, Scott suggested that the recent arson of Sarah Palin’s Wasilla church was accomplished by Palin’s political opponents!

Arson is pretty much in a class by itself.  I could write for hours about it.   Progressive Alaska has a thorough summary of what motivates arsonists.  It might surprise Scott to learn that 100 percent of liberals, Democrats and yes, even atheists are opposed to arson!

Remember the arsons of vehicles in East Anchorage a couple years ago?  Cars parked on the street with windows left cracked.  The victim would look out the living room window to see the interior of the car already engulfed.  There was a photo of a couple sitting on their front steps, bewildered, the hulk of their burned out car in the foreground.

Did you know that in the ’90s there was a run of arson on covered bridges in the U.S.?  These treasures of American engineering ability and our rural heritage, mostly built in the 1830-70 era, many adorned with vintage painted billboards on the exterior and nineteenth century circus posters inside, were burned deliberately.  I can’t remember exactly, but it was some insane statistic, like 3,000 of them in a five year period.  The guy probably used a guidebook or tribute website to find them, and made a cross-country tour of it.

The bridges were burned because they were vulnerable — many located concealed in wooded ravines below or near the modern replacement bridges.  The church was likely burned because the arsonist was looking for a large, spectacular fire; and he didn’t want to get caught so he picked a building that would be unsupervised at night.  Thank goodness no one was killed or injured.  The damage could have been a lot worse.

To Scott I would say, if there’s really a protest of any kind here, prove it.  Do you have data or real information?  Even peer reviewed studies showing that arsonists are politically driven?  That arsonists are left-leaning?  No?  Just ill-founded false beliefs?  That’s what I thought.

12-15-08

December 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm | Posted in photo du jour | Leave a comment
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Alley in City View neighborhood, Anchorage.

Alley in City View neighborhood, Anchorage.

12-14-08

December 16, 2008 at 7:45 pm | Posted in photo du jour | Leave a comment
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Frosted used cars for sale, Anchorage.

Frosted used cars for sale, Anchorage.

Coolest, craziest, most sensational act in shoebiz

December 12, 2008 at 7:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Route 45, tear the roof off

December 12, 2008 at 6:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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12-11-08

December 12, 2008 at 6:17 am | Posted in photo du jour | Leave a comment
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Snow covered government fleet, Midtown Anchorage parking lot.

Snow covered government fleet, Midtown Anchorage parking lot.

Documenting the demise of St. Louis

December 10, 2008 at 7:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Street in Blairmont, St. Louis.  Fate uncertain, slated for demo.

Street in Blairmont, St. Louis. Fate uncertain, slated for demo.

From the blog adjunct of the Built St. Louis website [I also added a link to the Blogroll sidebar here].

The author has put up over 200 sequential posts about Blairmont, a neighborhood presently unoccupied, owned by a developer and slated to be torn down.  Maybe the economic downtown will become an opportunity for someone to save it.  It sounds like it is close to Soulard, an area of St. Louis that has been renovated.

It’s painful to see.  Most of the houses in Blairmont are masonry and brick construction, high ceilinged, well detailed and built to last.  There’s hardly a single house in the state of Alaska that comes close to this quality.  I made two trips to the Midwest, in 2001 and 2002.  I had an opportunity to look around St. Louis quite a bit.  What an incredible architectural heritage and resource.  Observing the decline of East St. Louis, Detroit and lots of other places in the region, one sees a modern, senseless and not at all inevitable tragedy.

It’s the baddest little boogie in the land

December 10, 2008 at 6:25 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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