Sunday, March 7, 2010

Collective Independents

Along with banning cell-phone usage while driving, annexation efforts and mandating snow-tires, the final straw of injustice being visited upon the oppressed citizens of the Interior has probably provoked the loudest public outcry of all.
The mayor has a introduced draft measure for pollution control that would target smokestack emissions from homes that heat with woodstoves. This is to bring the borough into compliance with federal standards by fining folks who are clueless about how to properly burn wood and contribute to the generally unhealthy atmosphere in this neck of the woods.
Due to our unique geophysical location in the Interior and circumstances aggravated by the range of temperature inversions that occur during the extremes of winter, Fairbanks regularly exceeds the limits of fine particulate pollution, meaning the air quality sucks about as hard as an asthmatic in a marathon just from walking around outside in some areas. This effort from the municipal government is an attempt to preemptively deal with the mounting problem before incurring penalties from the feds. This of course runs counter to that good ol' Alaskan sourdough spirit of independence and has aroused the populace into action. Nevermind the simple fact that there are a lot more folks all seeking to carve out a rugged lifestyle and cash in on the myth of the frontier.

Speaking of generally unhealthy atmospheres, rumor has it folks have begun showing up en mass to Borough Assembly meetings and not just protesting the proposed ordinance intimidating others from speaking out in defense of this proposal by openly wearing handguns and slapping the holsters (unconfirmed second-hand rumor at this point). Your stupid intrepid blogger of a cartoonist will most definitely be at the next one, sketchbook in hand to faithfully record events as they unfold, or explode. This issue could be the last straw for residents who are ready to grab pitchfork, noose and torch, as taken together with all the other behavior-changing legislation, we have a perfect storm in this political climate of fearmongering. Which is always good for material.

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