Magic Beans

This is a recipe for the best black beans we’ve ever had. It began several years ago when I had some boiled corned beef broth leftover that I thought might be good with beans cooked in it. It was very good. But it could be even better. So I began to tinker, and I think we have it down pretty well. Yes, they are magically delicious.

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Alaska Shoots Itself in the Head, Part 2

tl;dr: We live to fight again another day.

We have been living in a self-imposed crisis since Governor Dunleavy introduced his proposed budget in February 2019. The legislature deliberated long and hard, with a lot of input from people throughout Alaska, and produced a balanced budget on 10 June that had sensible reductions in state expenditures and still enough left over to give every Alaskan a good gob of free money (the mother of all entitlement programs, the Permanent Fund Dividend, or PFD). On 28 June, the last working day of our fiscal year, the governor line-item vetoed the university line and many others back to his proposed budget of February 2019, as though widespread, intense statewide discussions had not occurred. Although most legislators were clearly put out that the governor had ignored all the hard work they had performed in listening and responding to their constituents in constructing the budget they had passed, they were not able to override the governor’s line-item vetoes (he has more power in this than any other governor in the U.S.). The cut to the university was 41% of the state appropriation—absolutely devastating, and implemented as the new fiscal year began.

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An Alaska Break

I really needed to step away from it all for a few days. Not knowing if you’re going to still have a job because there’s been an ideological takeover of state government causes very high stress levels. Just about everyone I know at the university works hard and does a good job. And we have great students that we get to teach and work with. So you do what you’re supposed to do and do a good job and you’re at risk of being fired? Yep. That sucks. Yep. Especially when the need for what you do isn’t going away.

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