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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Governher Shoots and Palin Saves?

Could I have mistaken the Governher's matter of fact (pretty much smug) demeanor on the TV yesterday? I'm frankly not sure this morning. But perhaps a journalist may have just proven me a bit hasty in my judgement. You decide I guess ...

Here's the two key quotes from Andrew Hinkleman's story today in the Anchorage Daily News. Hinkleman says the Governher said that there is nothing to stop UAA from continuing to plan for a new sports complex.
"Within the university's funding level that the state and the legislature already agreed to, the million-dollar plan for a new sports center will come out of that, not a special appropriation," she said. "We're making sure ... they are able to find the funds that are already there, already having been appropriated by the legislature and our administration."

"I'm all for sports arenas," Palin said. "(But) the university has a billion-dollar deferred maintenance project list, so we need to make sure we're addressing deferred maintenance on existing structures as we weigh the need for new facilities."
So ... um. My interpretation of all this? She's telling the University to go ahead and spend the money out of this years already allocated budget. She saying her adminstration will make sure it helps the University find the funds in the current appropriation. Is that what she is saying? I'm not sure... lemme be rhetorical here. It seems to me that part of "fiscal responsibility" ought to be a proper accounting for expenditures made by the government. Isn't it? So in the spirit of that effort shouldn't entities like UAA breakdown their budgetary requests? You know .... so everyone knows where the money went. Does the Governher think the University can just pull 1,000,000 bucks out of it's ass? Can they? If this item had been in the "General" budget allocated to UAA would we be having this problem? Is this all just some doublespeak since the second quote greatly obfuscates the first one?

Why does she tell the press (Hinkleman) all this on Thursday night at the Alaska Wild game but UAA officials seem to be unaware of it on Friday when the paper calls them for comment on the veto she signed midday on Friday? Someone pinch me ... I just need to know if I'm concious.

And I thought that weird optical-illusion pic I used the other day was convoluted. Is it just me?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Governher Palin Screws UAA

The Governher vetoed a quarter-billion dollars from the state budget today. Included in her wide-ranging cuts was the one-million dollars UAA officials had hoped to get in order to begin the planning for UAA's proposed new arena. She said nobody should be surprised and I for one aren't. "Now is the time to save for the future," she said. She repeated it. "Live within our means" was another of her sound-bytes. I'm laughing out loud at the complete and total hypocrisy of that horseshit. Our "means"? It's an effective bit of rhetoric since I'd venture to guess that 75% of people in Alaska aren't really aware of what "our means" are.

The reality of the fiscal situation in Alaska is pretty positive. Not only is there 39 billion dollars in the "savings account" the ongoing revenue picture is generally as rosy as it has ever been. While other states struggle with increasing income taxes our fine state is FLUSH with money ...
39.3 billion dollars invested in the Permanent Fund
-projected to be 48 Billion by 2013

2.39 billion in revenues for 2008
-Thats 60% more than 2007

2.2 billion in the budget reserve
-Money set aside from previous years
I'm not going to search through other state's revenue numbers but I highly doubt that per capita there is a state in the U.S. in better shape than Alaska. 2 billion dollars a year in revenues without taxing a single person in the state? That's nothing less than fucking sweet! But yeah ... it's time to save for the future because the 39.3 billion in our savings account isn't growing fast enough. It's only going to grow 1.5 billion a year? Man ... what the hell is up with that? Do any of us really have an idea of how much a billion dollars is. Here's how much ...
If you spent a dollar every minute it would take 1900 years to spend it.
A stack of a billion one dollar bills would reach the edge of space.
A billion ones could "wallpaper" the entire Transalaska Pipeline with enough leftover to buy a sweet Lambroghini.
Counting a billion dollars at the rate of one per second would take 30 years.
If you earned $1000.00 a day it would take more than 2,700 years to reach a Billion.
And the State of Alaska has 39.3 of those billions? Nearly every penny of that $39,346,700,000 is invested outside of Alaska. The state owns a shopping mall in Virgina as part of the $3,762,200,000 (3.7B) it has invested in real estate. $11,527,500,000 (11.5B) invested in the U.S. Stock market. $5,401,300,000 (5.4B) in international stocks. $9,332,700,000 (9.3B) in U.S. Bonds. Apparently, the Permanent Fund Corporation doesn't see much potential to investing in Alaska since it has the pathetically low total of $169,300,000 (.16B) invested in Alaska. We Alaskan's only pay attention to the dividend that these huge investments pay us. When the State spews it's paltry $60,000,000 (.06B) to it's citizenry every year it is getting exactly what that money was intended to get ... silence from the sheep.

The "Rainy Day" fund started 30 years ago in order to buttress the State in times of need has turned into nothing other than the plaything of high-powered money management specialists whose goals are nothing more than to keep the fund growing at the highest possible rate. The promise of the past has died. This chick isn't the first greedy asshole to toss a shoveful of shit onto the Permanent Fund coffin and she won't be the last.

This fiasco (I mean orgy of self-gratifying masturbatory gubernatorial power flexing) has little to do with "fiscal responsibility". It has little to do with satisfying her core republican constituency. It has everything to do with flexing her muscles. Power corrupts. We've all seen the results of corruption the past few months. We've seen some of the "mighty" fall. We thought we got rid of a hubris-filled asshole when we threw Murkowski out on his arrogant ass. Unfortunately, we (I shouldn't include myself since I didn't vote for the chick) turned around and elected someone who (rather than live up to her responsibilities to represent the people of the state) is more interested in showing everyone how tough she is. It's funny how early supporters of her highness didn't see the same level of cuts in their districts. Politics as usual in Alaska. Give someone power in this state and you can guarantee it will fill their head with visions of their own self-deluded greatness. If you were one of those people that thought perhaps a new generation of leadership in this state would add to progress you were seriously mistaken. This chick is all about consolidating her personal political power in much the same way as Murkowski (and that piece of shit Dubya) have done.

But hooray for "fiscal responsibility" eh?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

UAA Arena Update


Where we at? I can't say how many times I've cringed when someone has "aks" me that question. Is that supposed to be some sort of quicker/easier way of asking "Where are we?". What? ... it saves one whole letter of the alphabet? I'm all about being concise (actually I'm not but for the purposes of this mini-rant it works to say I am ...) but is saving one frigging letter really worth destroying grammar? Sorry, I'm sure my "street-cred" will suffer ... oh well. I'm not big on literary and/or verbal "September Eleventh" references being condensed to "Nine-Eleven" either. Wow ... thanks for saving me a syllable. If "December 7th" was good enough for the generation that preceeded mine then "September 11th" sure ought to be good enough for this one ... Nobody would consider referencing Pearl Harbor with "Twelve-Seven" would they? I'm not enamored.

So here's where we are: The UAA Northern Light has this update on the status of the new arena's funding in today's issue. It doesn't really contain much new for anyone who's followed this issue closely but it is definitely nice to have some folks on the record about the project. Interim Vice-Chancellor of Admistrative Services Bill Spindle says,
"It's the first step in a lot of steps ..."
"We've always talked about (building on) the south side of Northern Lights (and Bragaw) on UAA property"
He also indicated the the research phase would likely last 6 to 9 months and could possibly be followed by a preliminary building phase. The new arena would be step one of a three part plan for upgrading UAA's sports facilities (with the Wells Fargo upgrade #2 and a recreational sports facility in the student housing complex #3).

I'm most encourage by the "step one" reference. As I'd mentioned the original timeline was projected as 2013 but perhaps (and it's still a BIG perhaps) that reference means it wouldn't actually be 6 years before the new arena is done. Kewl beans to that.

I regularly fish through my site meter statistics and info to get an idea of who is reading the blog. Sometimes it's a little clunky to look at but occassionally it provides me with a nugget or two. A coupla-three weeks ago I noticed some hits coming from a web forum used by Alaska Aces fans and since they were unique I checked it out. Turns out someone had come across my blog and started this thread there. Naturally, I decided to join in the conversation to provide any information I could. Just as naturally, it turned into a typical Internet fan forum conversation filled with political BS and more than one or two insults. Read at your own risk.

Speaking of fan forums; over at USCHO's fan forum, Wolfman continues his presence updating the college hockey community about this arena and advocating for the Seawolves. There's a fine group of UAA fans that represent the school at that joint but there's something missing. Since they booted me from there nobody has really stepped up to fill the "prick/asshole" role that I so carefully cultivated. So ... I'm here to encourage someone out there in UAA Fan Blog readerland to jump into that pool and make some waves this coming season. You just need to be proud of the UAA program, a bit arrogant and intimidatingly insulting. Some bombastic traits would help. If you're loud and know how to string a sentence together you can probably fill the hole created by my absence. Hey ... every other program has at least on person posting that meets the "prick/asshole" criteria (and hey JimmyJam ... you're just not quite mean enough to be "the asshole" so don't start with me!). UAA needs one too! And oh yeah ... don't be afraid of getting suspended and becoming a social pariah (it actually has an upside!). There can be a fine-line to walk between being just another chest-thumping yahoo and a knowledgable dedicated prick but you can always email me for mentoring if necessary. I'm sure someone can step up. Feel free to register with some sort of name reminicent of my old moniker in order to immediately gain a certain cachet. I'd suggest "DTP Protege" or perhaps "DTP Too" or "DTP Redux" something like that which will twist USCHO's knickers. Thanks.
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Note: And if you didn't read my Alternative NHL Draft coverage over at The College Hockey (&other stuff) Blog then here's a link to that marginally comedic bit.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Potpourri

No real news so just a couple of things. I added a some widgets to the sidebar. The first one is a widget that will fully translate this webpage in a new window in the selected language (just click on the flag). Apparently, it uses some standardized United Nations la-dee-da algorithmic fancified bullshit mumbo-jumbo to do the translation. Maybe someone in Slovenia or Sweden will find it useful? Honestly, it's not much more than window dressing to give this joint some sort of minor international flavor. And in the case someone actually shows up here from the Dubai Mighty Camels I'm all set.

Next you'll see just a simple countdown clock to UAA's first regular season game on October 12th vs. Wayne State. No further explanation needed.

Finally, I've added a "Bitty Browser" nearer the bottom which provides a display of The College Hockey (& other stuff) Blog's RSS feeds. For the off-season I'm using my quasi-affilliation with that fine site and suggest interested readers peruse my first (and so far only) contribution there ... OR you can scroll down the Bitty Browser a bit and find the "Fear Not The BTHC" listing and by clicking the "open Bitty size" link under the story you can get the whole article in the mini-browser.. During the season, I'll use it as a point of access for what other bloggers are saying and/or any important news about the Seawolves. It's kinda cool.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Luka Vidmar Commits to Seawolves

The USHL Blog is reporting that Chicago Steel left-handed defenseman Luka Vidmar is coming to UAA this fall. Luka (6ft 200lbs) just turned 21 on May 17th and played with Chicago the last two seasons. This season he was the teams 4th leading scorer overall and was the 19th leading scorer among USHL defensemen with 6g-22a in 57 games many of which came on the power play. He was named USHL player of the week for February 20th, 2007. USHL Blog said he ...
"...was easily one of the better players on a not so great Steel team and will be a nice addition to the Seawolves."
Luka was a member of both the 05 and 06 Slovenian Jr. National Team and is from Ljubljana. Interestingly he is listed as a forward on this Eurohockey website player profile. And for you Suzanne Vega fans ... I have no idea if he lives on the second floor.

Craig Parkinson to UAA: Confirmed

Last Thursday in my "I'm Going All In" post, I mentioned that a likely new recruit for UAA was rumored to be from the Cowichan Valley Capitals and I "guessed" as to his identity. Today I received confirmation that the recruit is in fact Craig Parkinson. Craig was a teammate of the earlier committed UAA recruit Winston Daychief.

He played for Cowichan for the last three seasons. In 04-05 he had 2g-10a in 37 games. In 05-06 his scoreline was 28g-35a during 60 games and during the recently completed 06-07 campaign in 55 games he scored 42 goals with 37 assists placing him at 14th overall in the league scoring table. Craig is listed at 6ft 195lbs and turned 21 on May 15th.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatorze?

Yesterday I noted in my "... All In" post I indicated that there were 11 forwards on UAA's updated roster for 07-08. Today I pull up the roster and find there are 10 forwards listed. I know I can count. I was pretty good at it even before I hit first grade. When I post something here I try to use the carpenter's rule ... "Measure twice, cut once". Sometimes I fat-finger something while typing and don't notice during the all-important last proofread before publishing. I can even lazily misuse a word grammatically as I did when I called Doc Delcastillo an "alumni" of St. Cloud when he is actually an "alumnus". I don't like making little mistakes but in the grand scheme of things they're just little mistakes.

Apparently, someone at UAA made a little mistake when they updated the roster. Yesterday, the roster included Adam Corrin. Today it doesn't. Maybe Adam left yesterday. Maybe not. In any case, today the roster doesn't have him. Adam spent his career at UAA as a role player (1g-5a in 57 games) after having some nice numbers in the MJHL.

As Dave Shyiak enters his third season behind the bench the team is now slowly becoming "his team". Players recruited by one coach can have difficulties adapting to a new coach and vice-versa. I'll have to guess that this situation falls into that category.

As we all move forward I can only apologize for my errors and pledge to always double-check my counting.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

DelCastillo Named Head Coach at UAF

The ever-enlightened and always accurate Richard Larson (former Newsminer Sports Writer/Copy Editor and hiker extraordinaire) is reporting on the Alaska Nanooks thread at USCHO that Doc DelCastillo has been named to the vacant head coaching position at UAF.

This is wonderful news for this UAA blogger. DelCastillo is a St. Cloud State alumni and spent two years as an assistant coach there. I say it's wonderful news because the two easiest places in the world to make fun of are St. Cloud and Fairbanks.

Congrats to Doc and the UAF faithful. I'll miss chanting "What's a Tavis ... clap clap ... clap clap clap" but I'm sure with a minor amount of thought we UAA fans can come up with a viable replacement.

I'm Going "All In"

Sometimes in poker you just got shove everything you have into the pot and see what happens. If I actually played the game I have little doubt that my opponents would love me. I'd hang around too long before folding, I'd bluff too often and when I got a winning hand everyone would know it. The "know when to hold-em, know when to fold-em" adage just doesn't apply to me.

So since for the moment there's nothing really significant in the UAA hockey world I thought I might as well go "all in". Speculation, rumor and official information included. I'm giving you everything I "know" or pretend to know here.

UAA's official roster has been updated. Aside from the graduated players there are 4 players who had eligibility remaining that aren't on the roster. Jay Beagle, Mike Rosett, Nathan Lawson have all been discussed here. The fourth player is Ryan Berry. Ryan looked good to me in the action he saw last season (12 games) but being a freshman defenseman on a team with 9 other defensemen is a tough challenge. Jared Tuton was in the same boat but was moved to forward (and did a great job by the way). The games Ryan did get were mostly in response to injury and Shane Lovdahl's academic ineligibility; his biggest obstacle to more ice time was probably the late addition of Nils Backstrom. Ryan was definitely in a tough situation and probably made a good choice in leaving to find more ice time. I hope he finds a place to continue his development. He's a good looking skater with quality skills that should be playing D-1 somewhere.

Naturally, the updated roster only includes players that have signed LOI's (LaFranchise, Daychief and McCabe). To me this means one of two things. Either Jeff Carlson, Chris Rengert, and Tommy Grant signed their LOI's back in April and the school just hasn't gotten around to an official release or they didn't sign the LOI's (which doesn't necessarily mean they aren't coming). The Great North Athletic Conference maintains this page where they list all the official signees from all member schools in all sports and the only additions during the spring period were McCabe and Daychief (LaFranchise signed last spring). Nick Haddad was a late addition after the signing period. So what do I think? I'm assuming Carlson, Rengert, Haddad and Grant are coming just as I assume that Matthew Gordon is coming. There's no LOI for Matthew because he was recruited after the spring signing period. Now there's a rumor that another forward from the Cowichan Valley Capitals has been added but I haven't had any confirmation between the two players it is likely to be. But pouring through Cowichan's roster from last year, their known commitments and the roster for next season I'm led to believe that the player is "probably" Craig Parkinson who's numbers were 42g-37a in 55 games (14th overall in the BCHL).

So ... there are eleven confirmed forwards on next years roster. Rengert, Haddad and Grant would make that number fourteen. And the latest (Parkinson) would be fifteen. There are seven confirmed defensemen with Jeff Carlson being number eight (that includes Jared Tuton returning to the blueline). So far in goal it will be the Jonny-O show and Matthew Gordon; expect a third goalie to be added at some point.

To end the player speculation I'll say the only other specific player I've heard mention of is Chris Connolly who I was told UAA talked to earlier this past season. Connolly was the 8th leading scorer in the NAHL last year playing for Fargo. He hasn't committed to anyone but I know Chris at Western College Hockey is high on him. My assumption was that as an '87 birthdate he is ready for D-1 but hopefully he'll stick around juniors for another season and come to UAA next year. His younger brother Jack is highly-touted and committed to UMD for '09.

Finally, a word about my Final Five fundraising efforts. So far three kind people have donated to the effort. Each one of them has made it known who they are so aside from the private thank you's that I've given I'll publicly thank RunninWiththeDogs blogger Donna for getting it started as well as MTU blogger Bethlyn (who visited Anchorage with MTU last season) and last but certainly not least Damien Goddard of LetsGoDU fame. DG went above and beyond the call of duty though by starting a thread over at USCHO (zero prompting from me). It should be noted that any preference for anonymity will certainly be respected and absolutely maintained.

That's it. That is all I've got. I don't know anything else. When and if I do you'll be the first to know.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Send Me To Hell

Well not exactly to Hell; how about St. Paul, Minnesota. So what's this all about? In a College Hockey Blog first I've placed a PayPal Donation button in my sidebar. Specifically, I've created a fund to gather the necessary financing for a trip to Minnapolis/St. Paul from on or about Mar 19th to Mar 23rd, 2008 for the WCHA Final Five. I'm asking for donations in the hope it can fully fund (airfaire, lodging, tickets and food) this trip; frankly my personal budget in no way could include such a trip. In return all my fine readers will get to read extensively about the trip. As a potential donor you should be assured that your funds won't go to waste. In furtherence of that effort here is a list of my pledges:
I will provide status of any donation to it's contributor immediately upon request.
I will provide an overview of the fundraising regularly.
Funds donated will be used for all activities normally associated with such a trip.
A full post-Final Five accounting will be posted on the blog.
Donations with strings (i.e... meet me at section 100 seat #2) are happily accepted.
I will post game reports and observations from the road as internet connections allow.
The donated funds will not be used for anything other than the trip as defined.
If (for any reason) the trip does not happen then all funds will be immediately returned to the donor(s).
If you've read this and decided to fall prey to my begging then there is nothing left for me to do but give my deeply felt thanks and appreciation (kiss your incredibly kind ass for perpetuity). Some brief calculating suggests that an initial goal of raising about $800 by February 20th, 2008 is reasonable and so I'll make the go/nogo call on that date.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Better Than Nothing

Something is always better than nothing right? That's a good thing today, since I'm mostly going to write about nothing (Hey ... I've got something ... but first the nothing). It's the offseason so naturally news about this or that is pretty intermittent. So far we've had four tidbits this offseason: Arena pics and info, an 09 recruit, an 07 recruit, and Lawson leaving. "Missing In Action" though is an official announcement from the school regarding any recruits that have signed LOI's during the latest signing period.

Officially signed recruits for 07-08 are Kane Lafranchise, Winston Daychief, and Brad McCabe. As yet confirmed (via the M.I.A. official release) are Nick Haddad, Chris Rengert, Tommy Grant, Jeff Carlson and Matt Gordon. The school can't say anything about recruits until after they sign a Letter Of Intent. The three signed recruits were announced via this release on Dec. 1st shortly after the fall/winter signing period ended. The spring/summer signing period finished about six weeks ago. But hey ... the offseason is a busy time. It's not like December 1st in the middle of the season when you've got practices, admistrative issues, staff meetings and all the various distractions of an active D-1 season. So ... with all that I've just been waiting to write something. Alas, you get a big fat nada. But there will be something. Just not yet.

My second nothing so far this offseason is my plan to pump the tires of the Summer Elite Hockey League. I've checked their website every couple of days over the last couple of weeks hoping to find something. But again ... zilch. I sent an email to the address on the page but I suspect that never gets looked at. Knowing when to turn up to a rink would sure be helpful to a bored hockey blogger trying to provide something to his readers. So I'll run over to the rink in the next couple of days and track down whatever information that I can in order to transform this nothing into something.

Finally, though I've got something. A new blog. A. Allen Pollreisz looks to be taking a pretty big bite off the college hockey pie by covering the widest possible region: All of it. Good on ya A! Everything he's written so far is well done and professional. He also says:
"... I (hopefully along with a few correspondent bloggers [more on that later]) will try to keep my fingers on the pulse of college hockey, and post relevant stuff regarding the world of college hockey – a college hockey news and opinion aggregator without the blog technically being an aggregator, if you will. The posts here will feature college hockey news, notes, commentary, game scores, or just other stuff that I (or others) might deem as relevant or “cool.” Ultimately, I would like this blog to be a nice one-stop college hockey information spot. However, if that trip must be of the multi-stop variety, I hope this blog will shorten that trip for college hockey fans."
Cool. I bought in. A. signed me up at the first indication that I'd volunteered. So in the future I won't have to clutter the UAA somethings here with my rambling and ranting about nothing. I can just post my nothing over there. Anyhow I'll be checking in on The College Hockey (&Other Stuff) Blog regularly. Hey ... that's something.