Thurs, Aug 31

Went to the doctor and found out the accident I had moving fish 3 weeks ago was fairly serious.  I broke out a chip of bone that attaches to the tendon on the knuckle closest to the fingernail of the middle finger of my left hand.  It’s stayed swollen and red, even after I gained movement and use back.  Turns out that’s why I couldn’t straighten out the end of my finger anymore.  I’ll be in a splint for 6 to 8 weeks, and hope that it will heal, as I really don’t want surgery.

After the doctor’s appt, I entered the Assembly race for real yesterday at an interview with a coalition of local unions.  They had a hard time understanding at first how or why someone would run on a single issue like I am.  I came away convinced that my mission and campaign style were just what I wanted:  by focusing on the single issue of harbor funding and reform, I can hit people right between the eyes with both barrels again and again, instead of diluting my time with other issues.

Candidates who want to get elected say things people want to hear.  Last year, one ran an ad that said “Build the Pool” and, in the same ad “Put the Lid on Taxes”.  He won, of course, even though construction of the pool would have increased the tax load to pay for operations.  Another candidate jumped on the “affordable housing” bandwagon.  He won, too.  Then, as his first act of supporting affordable housing, he voted to open up some of the most expensive land in Juneau, with the justifcation that “the rich people will buy this land, and the rest of you peons can buy the houses they move out of”.  Trickle down economics at it’s best.  I’ve just got a mission I want accomplished, and come in with an actual plan that no one at the table questioned yesterday.  I told them I didn’t care if they voted for me or the other candidate: the issue would remain and the fleet would continue leaving town if nothing changed, and that’s what I wanted the community to hear.

The campaign manager for the other candidate was there.  It will be interesting to see if he now raises this issue after being silent about it during his first term, along with all the other assembly members, the mayor, and city manager.  My bandwagon is big and there’s plenty of room, so I’ll welcome anyone and everyone aboard.  Better late than never!

I had coffee with a current assembly member today. What I found most interesting was that he said he went along with what the harbor board and Port Director told him because he wasn’t familiar with the harbors and so didn’t want to really challenge what was going on.  This just reiterated to me that I’m on the right track.  He did like my incentive program for commercial fishermen, and I’ll be interested if he steals my idea or gives me credit for it.  It also showed me how clueless and apathetic the assembly is to the commercial fishing fleet here.

Spent the rest of the morning trying to find some pink salmon, with no luck.  I spoke to a seiner in Kodiak who said that bled and unbled pinks tasted the same after 1 year in the freezer.  This may be true for bled fish in the traditional manner of breaking a gill or stabbing fish as they roll out of a seine.  I’d like to compare unbled fish with our pressure bled fish to see if there’s a difference.  I hope that getting the blood out as thoroughly as we do does make a difference.  I know the product is beautiful.

We got the engine report on the boat we’re looking to buy, and it all checked out.  Now just waiting for a survey.  I really would rather not buy a boat right now, but know it’s the only way we’ll be able to achieve the quality and inventory we need to operate and make a living, so here we go.

Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Wild Salmon and Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK  99801
for Juneau Assembly, Oct. 2006
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