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Richard's Alaskan Blog- 7/27 Update

"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore..."

Monday, July 27, 2009 - by Richard Simms
<i>A parting shot from Seward, Alaska</i>
A parting shot from Seward, Alaska
- photo by Richard Simms

Editor's Note: Chattanoogan.com Outdoors Editor Richard Simms is traveling Alaska. Most recent blogs on top... to read from the beginning, scroll to the bottom.

Posted 7/27 11 am Chattanooga Time

I'm back:<(

Suffering from "Thermometer Shock" ... Alaska temps to Tennessee temps do not convert well.

I'm also suffering from jet lag... it is only a 4-hour time difference, but I didn't sleep much during our "red eye flights" back to the Lower 48. Between the two... my body clock is way off!

Yea I know... poor, poor me.

Keep watch on Chattanooga.com Outdoors for more specific stuff on "What I Learned in Alaska." And thanks for following along.


Posted 7/25 3:08 am Chattanooga Time, 7/23, 11:08 pm Alaska Time.

Too tired to do much writing tonight. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Visiting the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward

The neatest thing in the center is an enclosed display with all sorts of shore and water birds that swim close enough to touch, although they ask you not to.

A Self Portrait (see video monitor) taken by a fake sea lion that demonstrates how they attached video cameras to the animals for research.

The Ididaride

In Alaska, dog sledding is THE SPORT. Forget NFL, MLB, NBA or any of those other acronym sports. The only "Super" competition many Alaskans care about is the Iditarod.... a 1,049 mile dog sled race from Anchorage to Nome in the dead of winter under the most extreme conditions.

Visitors to Alaska (like us) can get a taste of dog sledding year-round. Today we visited Ididaride, a dog sledding facility owned by 2004 Iditarod Champion Mitch Seavey.

Sled dog puppies are one of the most popular parts of the tour. Truth is, sled dogs are basically mutts. Various mixtures of malamutes, huskies, sheperds and who knows what all.

Visitors get out to help out with the "summer training" by taking a ride pulled by a team of 16 sled dogs. Yea, the "ride" looks pretty dumb,but it really is kind of cool.

The dogs are amazing. Most weigh between 30 and 60 pounds. But they pulled 1,500 lbs.of sled and people without a problem.

When they're in the traces, the dogs are well-behaved... but VERY eager to run

Of course PETA isn't wild about the use of sled dogs. Our guide poses behind a very telling symbol showing just what they think about PETA.

The Exit Glacier

Usually visits to glaciers require a boat ride, but today we visited the Exit Glacier. You can hike about 2.5 miles and see this receding glacier on foot, up close and personal. As you drive to the National Park facility to begin your hike, you pass by signs miles away from the glacier that show how far down the valley it extended all the way back to 1812.

In Alaska this plant, called Fireweed, runs rampant. Covering roadsides and mountainsides.

A view of Seward Harbor.

Tomorrow we make our way back to Anchorage, and then to Chattanooga via Seattle, Detroit and Nashville. I fear it might take me a while to readjust to "Life in the Lower 48."


Posted 7/24 3 am Chattanooga Time, 7/23, 11 pm Alaska Time.

Dip Netting Salmon

I believe of all the incredible sights I've seen and things I've learned in Alaska, the most interesting or unique came yesterday (Wednesday). Leaving Soldotna, we drove over to Kenai just to look around.

As soon as we arrived in Soldotna we started seeing tons of trucks and trailers driving around with what I thought were HUGE dip nets in them... six feet in diameter or more. I thought, "Wow, fishermen in Alaska use awfully big landing nets."

Well, they do... except they're not landing nets as we think of landing nets. It is legal for Alaska residents to "dip" salmon.

Dip netters line up in the mouth of Kenai River, just standing and waiting for a salmon to swim into their nets. It's called "subsistence fishing," and only legal Alaska residents can get a permit to do it.

We drove to the mouth of the Kenai River where it empties into Cook Inlet. In spite of dreary weather, it was a huge beach party. There was a regular tent city where folks came and obviously spend days.

This fellow obviously had been here a while, and didn't look to be going anywhere anytime soon.

When dip netting they simply wade out into the river, drop their massive dip net, with a huge extended handle, into the water and wait for a salmon to swim into the net.

Wade into the water and wait for a salmon to jump (or swim) into your net. It amazed me.

It was interesting, and bizarre.

A beautiful view of the Kenai River north of Soldotna, near Cooper's Landing.

The Halibut Hunt

Today (Thursday) we headed for Crackerjack Charters at 6 am, unsure if we were going to be able to go out or not. Huge surf canceled Wednesday's trips... and probably should have canceled today, but didn't.

Off we went, headed out of Resurrection Bay (in Seward). Temperature in the high 40's, raining non-stop with offshore winds of 15-25 mph.

It was impossible to capture the seas on film (or disk) ... mainly because it was all I could do to hold a camera.

Captain Andy Mezirow was calling the shots, and forewarned us it would be a tough day. Due to extreme wind and surf conditions he couldn't travel to his preferred area for halibut... what would have been a 50 mile run in 10 foot seas. As it was, we only made about a 10 mile run in 10 foot seas.

Geez Louis! Sign me up for the Deadliest Catch. It was the most amazing boat ride this Tennessee hillbilly has ever been on. The 43-foot Voyager performed well. But it was still the first time in my life I'd ever looked UP at the crest of a wave.

The halibut fishing ... how should I put this ... sucked!

Out of 14 anglers, there were only two small halibut caught all day. Each weighed about 15 lbs. Up here they call them "chickens."

Fortunately the day was salvaged by silver salmon which are ganging up in Resurrection Bay. However it was clear that Capt. Mezirow uses salmon like I use bluegill. If the catfish (or other fish) aren't biting, we'll just go catch some bluegill so folks can feel something tug on the end of the line.

Salmon appear to be Capt. Mezirow's "bluegill."

I didn't take any decent "fishing" pictures today. 1) The waves, rain and salt spray was potentially injurious to my camera, and 2) with the exception of the flurry of action on salmon, there wasn't much to take a picture of. And during the salmon flurry, I was fishing, not picture-taking.

It was a very fun hour or two with cries of "Net" and "Fish on" from all around the boat. That was sandwiched in between boring morning and afternoon halibut stints.

Capt. Mezirow was... how shall I put this... rude. I can certainly understand when the fish don't cooperate and the stars don't align just right for a fishing guide (or captain). Or water and weather conditions may not suit your particular fishing style or locations. I'm a guide... sadly I know those days happen, no matter how good you are.

I can't however understand rude comments made to inexperienced anglers... or experienced ones. 'Nuff said.

It was salt in the wound when a competitor's boat came to dock right behind us with a load of huge halibut, topped by an 85-pounder. Ouch!

First Mate (also a Captain) Jeff Seward was awesome. Trust me... it is HARD work keeping 14 anglers rigged and baited, for multiple species. While we were resting during runs from spot to spot, he was hustling out in the winds and waves, cutting bait, tying hooks and rigging rods... all as the boat slammed through 10-foot waves with waves crashing over the cabin (I swear, just like on Deadliest Catch). I watched and marveled at his ability to work and function while the rest of us were simply hanging on for dear life.

Capt. Jeff Seward served as First Mate on our halibut trip and worked like a dog under extreme conditions.

During one of our rougher rides Barbara just decided to sit in the floor saying, "This way I won't have as far to fall."

It was a fun day. An awesome boat ride. I didn't get seasick, nor did any of the girls. One guy on the boat spent half the day afraid he was going to die...and the other half wishing he would. We caught a limit of big silver salmon (headed for my freezer) and a few other misc. species. We saw some really cool wild critters... our favorites were the puffins.

But as for the halibut fishing, I guess I'm just going to have to come back to Alaska and try again another day... with another captain.

One more full day in The Last Frontier. Our hope is to visit the Sea Life Center (sort of the Seward Aquarium) and then hike to the Exit Glacier.

More when the mood strikes and the Wi-Fi works.


The Salmon
Posted 7/23, 1:46 am Chattanooga Time, 7/22, 9:46 pm Alaska Time.

We made our first fishing foray today. We flew in to Big River Lake with Talon Air Service.

A view of the Talon Air Service Lodge shortly after takeoff.

It's 42 air miles from Soldotna, on the west side of Cook Inlet. When we took off the weather was typical... cloudy with a little mist, but very little. When we landed, it was pouring down with a steady wind, 15 to 20. Temperature in the mid-50's. At the hotel I felt I was over-dressed. When I stepped from the float plane into the boat, I knew I was badly under-dressed.

The Simms Girls dressed out for some beautiful Alaskan weather. As Alaskans say, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes and gear.

Our guide, Rodney, served 23 years as a game warden in Maine.

We had our appropriate Alaska layers, and rainsuits. But I watched wistfully as our plane left us on Big River Lake. In Alaska there is no running for the nearest boat ramp or boat dock to dry out. When you are there... you are THERE.

As our guide Rodney motored to the mouth of Wolverine Creek, a young brown bear wandered out of the brush. It paid us no mind... like us, it wanted salmon.

We were fishing for sockeye salmon, better known here as "reds." Truth be known you don't really "fish" for reds. They are plankton feeders, which means they swim constantly with their mouths open. You cast and simply wait for your fly to drift into a salmon's open mouth. It is a glorified, albeit perfectly legal, form of snagging.

You can't see what you're doing however. The lake and creek mouth is the typical milky grey water of glacial runoff.

When you hook a red, you are in for a ride. They spend a lot of time in the air, and when not airborne, they're making screaming hard runs.

The bears watch from shore seemingly envious. Where we were, the bears were less than successful. We saw two or three young brown bears, one large black bear and a sow brown bear with a pair of cute cubs.

These brown bear cubs sat on shore getting a "lesson" as they watched Mom fish. I first wondered if they would have to take a test afterwards... then realized that their entire life is " a test," and only the fast learners survive.

It took the four of us less than two hours to limit out with three salmon apiece.

Priscilla did catch one pink salmon, also known as a "Humpy" for obvious reasons. Folks here say pink salmon are not worth eating.

We left Wolverine Creek in search of silver salmon, but it is too early. The silvers haven't started their runs yet.

The rain continued to fall and the wind blew... hard. We were honestly rather happy to hear the sound of the Otter de Havilland returning to pick us up. Back on the east side of Cook's Inlet, 42 miles from Big River Lake, the weather was balmly and dry.

Check off another horizon-broadening experience on my bucket list. And next week there will be "self-caught" salmon filets in my freezer.

Tomorrow more sight-seeing and then Thursday we chase halibut.

Stay tuned.

The Cruise
Posted 7/22, 3:36 am Chattanooga Time, it is 7/21, 11:36 pm Alaska Time. FYI, delayed update because when cruising Prince William Sound, you are cut off from the world. That's NOT a bad thing.

Where do I start!

Like a kid at Christmas, as we set sail I told the family, "There's no way I'll be able to sleep tonight."

We boarded the Spirit of Columbus at Whittier, AK. The bus ride to Whittier was an adventure in itself. Google the "Whittier Tunnel" and you'll see why. Whittier was created by the military in the early 1940's. It was America's northern-most defense port and the only access was by water... until the 1970's when the Corp of Engineers blasted a 2.5 mile tunnel through the mountain. Only one problem... it is a ONE LANE tunnel... and it is shared by cars, buses and trains. Needless to say... you must wait your turn.

The town of Whittier has about 180 year-round residents. They ALL live in one big apartment building. There are underground tunnels which lead from living quarters to the very small shopping & work areas because in the winter, Whittier has up to a cumulative 100 feet of snow each year. The town Mayor gave us a tour and when we passed an outdoor basketball court she said, "Normally in the winter only the backboards show above the snow."

Good grief!

Once on the water I was in awe of the slate blue water, plush green mountainsides and stark white glaciers... and more glaciers... and MORE glaciers.

Chattanoogan.com Outdoors Editor Richard Simms and daughter Tiffany strike a pose in front of one of the many glaciers in Prince William Sound. The Sound is definitely recovering from the horrific Valdez oil spill of 1989.

Besides the glaciers, we watched bald eagles, harbor seals, sea otters, Stellar sea lions and rare waterbirds I'd never heard of...much less seen. A massive nesting colony kittiwakes, puffins, marbled murrelets, and my favorite... pigeon guillemot... not to mention gulls, grebes and mergansers galore.

This is one of the largest nesting colonies of black-legged kittiwakes in North America

A mother sea otter scurries away from the boat carrying a nearly grown cub on her belly. Sea otter cubs live on their mother's bellies for nearly a year.

I think this group of Stellar sea lions were just as curious about us as we were about them.

Harbor seals that have "hauled out" on a raft of glacial ice."

Waterfalls run rampant along the coast, all created by snowmelt from the glaciers and snow fields above.

Nearing the glaciers, the temperature usually hovered around 40 degrees, and it was almost always misting rain. But if you prefer, you can watch the grandeur go by from the comfort of the ship's lounge.

Tiffany and Priscilla pose in front of the Columbia Glacier. This huge glacier is receding, and the actual glacier face is nearly eight miles away. But massive mountains of ice are stuck on a shallow ''moraine'' far out in the bay.

Sunday morning I was awakened at 5:45 am by the melodic voice of "Copper," our Exploration Leader, saying, "This is not the normal morning wake up call. This is a special 'wildlife alert.' The Captain has sighted Orca's (killer whales) off the port bow."

A rush of sleepy-eyed, pajama clad cruisers soon filled the deck, cameras and binoculars in hand. Four killer whales worked the water... one large male Copper identified as "AE1" and three females.

Most orca sightings were fairly distant. The captain would always stop the ship to let folks watch, but it's not cool (and probably illegal) to chase them. But they were plenty close enough to see when they surrounded a school of fish and churned the water to close in for a kill. Especially since the ship keeps an abundance of quality binoculars on hand for passengers to use. This female however did give us a "drive by."

So far we've been somewhat disappointed that we've yet to see our first grizzly bear on this Alaskan Adventure. No matter... as daughter Tiffany made clear, "killer whales are way cooler than grizzly bears!"

Those were the first of three groups of killer whales we saw... plus a humpback whale.

Thar' she blows!

The Cruise West crew waits on us hand and foot... amazing meals that have inspired me to climb far out of my traditional "meat & potatoes box."

It really is a very small world. The Spirit of Columbia carries about 60 passengers (and 20 crew). Lo and behold, two other folks... Stan and Doreen Davis... from Chattanooga were on board as well.

At midnight it was still light enough to watch darkened scenery and crystal clear icebergs slide by. The calm seas of Prince William Sound define the phrase "silent night." Except the occasional "crack - boom" as a nearby glacier creeps toward it's watery grave.

Harvard Glacier was a favorite. 1.5 miles across the face and receding an average of five feet per day. That means you don't normally have to wait long to see huge slabs on ice crash into the water, sending out a wave that rocked our 143-foot vessel sitting several football fields away.

But as for glaciers, they saved the best for last. Sunday evening we crunched through miles of slushy ice to reach the face of the Chenega Glacier. A relatively small glacier in comparison, but active... VERY active. Chenega cracks and moans almost constantly... it's not a question of IF the ice will fall, simply when and where. All along her one mile long face ice columns and spires crash into the water. Some are large, some are small and some are HUGE.

We weren't there long when a 100-foot column let go at the base with the crack of a million 12-gauge magnums. When the tons of ice hit the water, a five-foot high "displacement" wave roared across the bay like a miniature tsunami, rocking the Spirit of Columbia sitting a third of a mile away.

A huge column of ice explodes from the Chenega Glacier. Look closely and you can see tiny specks... those are sea gulls and give you some idea of how large this chunk of ice really is. The big rock on the right is much, much larger than my house.

I had my camera cocked and loaded. The multi-burst function went rat-a-tat, hammering out nearly three dozen images as the huge glacier fell too pieces.

Multi-Image "Animated"Version

I knew it was the "ultimate" picture, put the camera away, grabbed a steaming cup of hot chocolate and sat back to enjoy the show.

Later the patient "glacier watchers" were rewarded by a "shooter." That's when a massive piece of ice breaks off far beneath the water's surface and then "shoots" skyward.

Our Alaskan cruise was cool.... in every sense of the word.

Today we've traveled to Soldotna. I'm watching anglers behind the Aspen Hotel catching salmon from the Kenai River. Tomorrow we fly in to a distant lake to try our hand at salmon, and hopefully see some bears along the way.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, July 16th, 2 AM Chattanooga time ... it's 10 pm July 15th Alaska time (FYI, computer wi-fi access has been troublesome here in the Alaskan interior).

Wednesday was somewhat of a disappointment... it was our Grand Tour of the Denali Wilderness Area. We were beset by the first foul weather of our trip... and by a lack of wild creatures.

The Simms Family loves wild critters... all things furry. We've gotten a kick out of counting snowshoe hares we see along the Alaskan roadsides. Nearly every family expedition includes a great deal of time going places to watch wildlife. Denali is not the place to do that... we have been spoiled by Yellowstone National Park where there is a herd of elk around every corner, buffalo roaming free, a large number of mooses, black bears, the occasional "griz," and even scattered wolves. Most are quite accustomed to the presence of humans.

The Denali Wilderness Area is 6 million acres... with only one road in and out.

It is in a state which suffers from 8 months of winter. I learned in wildlife management that habitat can only support the number of animals that can find food during the "worst" time of the year. Hence it takes thousands and thousands of acres to support the same animal that might thrive on a few a few hundred acres in the Lower 48. Spread those critters out over 6 million acres, with only one road and they're hard to find.

That said... we did lay eyes on four of the "Big 5" in Denali. The Big 5 include the grizzly bear, moose, wolves, Dall sheep and caribou. We saw them all but the "griz" today.


Not many of them mind you... but we saw them... even if we did ride a school bus a total of 170 miles at 25 mph to do it. Counting rest stops and critter stops, it was a 11-hour adventure. Unlike Yellowstone, you cannot drive yourself in and out of Denali. To restrict the impact on this truly pristine wilderness, the National Park Service only allows access on their shuttle buses.

Carry good binoculars. The wildlife sightings were mostly "distant."

Our shuttle driver described all of our dall sheep sightings as "LWD's," short for "Little White Dots."

Dall Sheep (a.k.a. LWD)

Limited moose sightings were brief as the critters moved through the spruce-laden Tiaga Forest. Three distant herds of caribou and a lone wolf that was actually walking down the road looking, and acting, much more like a neighborhood german sheperd than an emblem of the wilderness.

Lone wolf... our guide said it is most likely the "Alpha" male or female of the pack since it is radio-collared.

In fact, for a second I really thought it was a german sheperd until I realized that it was actually a radio-telemetry collar around its neck rather than a leash.

Had it not been for a driving rain and a cloud ceiling that stayed mostly BELOW us, the scenery would have been awe-inspiring.

"Mt. McKinley is just right over there... I swear," our shuttle driver told us at one point.

Of course we'd already had an incredible look by air... but a close-up glimpse by land would have been cool. But hey, we are in Alaska and gloomy weather goes with the territory. In fact they have something here called "The 30% Club." Apparently only 30% of the visitors to Denali actually get to see Mt. McKinley due to cloud cover and poor weather viewing conditions. All the more reason to take a "McKinley Viewing Flight." (see below).

In spite of poor weather and fewer-than-expected wildlife sightings, I am proud to be able to add the Denali Wilderness Area to my "Been there, done that" list. But in hindsight I advise... don't go there for the wildlife. Go there for the experience of seeing a true "wilderness area" and if any wild critters appear, it's a bonus.

Moose Poop

Willow ptarmigin ... the Alaska state bird. This pair had chicks, but I could never get them all in one frame.

This pair of moose became locked together in combat... and died as a result.

If you have the gumption and the time... go to Denali with a backpack.

Numerous times today we encountered backpackers. You get a permit, instructions and then you disappear into 6 million acres of wilderness.
In Denali there are no trails. You simply strike out across the Tundra or Tiaga Forest in any direction that suits you. In fact if there are two or more in your party, they ask that you DON'T hike in single file. They don't want you creating a trail.

The Earthsong Lodge... where we are staying near Denali. The same road where the guy disappeared, and died, in the movie/book, "Into The Wild." We don't plan a similar fate.

First Post

We are on our first-ever Alaskan Adventure! The first few days have been tremendous... (FYI, lots of places in Alaska with Wi-Fi access... but this if 1st time I've slowed down long enough to write/post).

The first glimpse of Alaska from 38,000 feet was awe-inspiring.

We had a blast in Anchorage... Seqway Tour of the city, the Alaska Zoo and a 14-mile bike ride that didn't begin until 9 pm (It was still VERY light when we returned to hotel at midnight!).

Yes, this photo was taken at 11 pm!

We had MULTIPLE close encounters with moose on our bike ride. They say there are 1,000 moose that live inside the Anchorage city limits.

Anchorage LOVES flowers. I took this picture especially for Mom.

Now we're in Talkeetna, about 2.5 hours North of Anchorage. The drive wasn't real exciting... lots of "sameness" to the terrain.

But yesterday evening we flew to and around Mt. McKinley... 20,000-plus feet!

Then we LANDED on Ruth Glacier. An incredible experience. Stepping off the plane it's quite clear, "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto."

But the truth is... in the summer glaciers and the glacier-fed rivers are really kind of ugly... awe-inspiring, but ugly. They're the color of dark gray mud. But apparently the salmon don't care... in Talkeetna the local are eagerly awaiting the arrrival of the pinks and silvers. The earlier king salmon run was weak in this part of the state this year... much better on Kenai Peninsula. That's where we head later... but much to see and do between now and then.

Out our back door.... again, this picture was taken at about 11 pm

Our "lodge" in Talkeetna.

Talkeetna is the first city we've seen that had the expected "look & feel" of Alaska. Remember the TV program, "Northern Exposure?" That's Talkeetna... an eclectic mix of hippies, mountain & rock climbers, fishermen, locals and plain old tourists.

More later (when I find time and Wi-Fi access).


Rep. Dan Howell Elected Chairman Of Ocoee River Recreation And Economic Development Fund Board

Friends Of South Cumberland Will Continue To Support Both Savage Gulf And South Cumberland State Parks

Tennessee State Parks Win National Award For Tires To Trails Program

State Rep. Dan Howell has been unanimously elected to serve as the next chairman of the Ocoee River Recreation and Economic Development Fund Board. The 15-member state board was established ... (click for more)

Friends of South Cumberland State Park, Inc. has announced that it will continue to support both South Cumberland State Park and the newly-formed Savage Gulf State Park. Savage Gulf had ... (click for more)

Tennessee State Parks have been honored with the Project Excellence Award from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals for the parks’ innovative Tires to Trails program, which recycles ... (click for more)


Rep. Dan Howell Elected Chairman Of Ocoee River Recreation And Economic Development Fund Board

State Rep. Dan Howell has been unanimously elected to serve as the next chairman of the Ocoee River Recreation and Economic Development Fund Board. The 15-member state board was established by the General Assembly in 2017 to support recreational water activity on the Ocoee River, oversee its management zone and encourage economic growth along the waterway. “Every year, visitors ... (click for more)

Friends Of South Cumberland Will Continue To Support Both Savage Gulf And South Cumberland State Parks

Friends of South Cumberland State Park, Inc. has announced that it will continue to support both South Cumberland State Park and the newly-formed Savage Gulf State Park. Savage Gulf had been part of South Cumberland State Park prior to the recent announcement of its designation as a new and separate Tennessee State Park. FSC has served for nearly 30 years as the official ... (click for more)

Breaking News

EPB Starting On $16 Million Operations Center Next To Amazon

EPB is starting on building a new $16 million operations center at Enterprise South Industrial Park. EPB currently has two operations centers, one on 8th Street and another in Soddy Daisy. With the majority of growth in the Chattanooga area happening in the vicinity of Collegedale, EPB bought 17 acres next to Amazon in 2020 to have resources and services where they will be needed. ... (click for more)

Climber, 24, Seriously Injured In Fall At Foot Of Mowbray Mountain

A 24-year-old climber was in serious condition on Friday after falling 30-40 feet and striking his head on a rock. A second climber had minor injuries. Several agencies responded to the high fall accident located at 354 Montlake Road. At 6:30 pm, a 911 call was made reporting two males were injured from rock climbing. Mowbray Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene ... (click for more)


What Lessons Are We Teaching Our Students? - And Response

A parent spanks their kid in the year 2022 and gets CPS and the police called on them. A cop body slams a child by his dreadlocks and maces him at his school and most people cheer it on as teaching him a lesson by disciplining him. What lesson are we teaching our kids? That violence solves problems? That talking back to authority figures is a crime? The kid never put his ... (click for more)

Election Denial Is In Vogue

To the two members of the Election Commission who speak on the record about the city council runoff election, I have a few questions. Regarding the smell test, isn’t hearsay inadmissible? Regarding interference, what about a state senator endorsing county mayor winner a part of this equation? Or past US presidents coming to town to vocalize their preferences. If you are looking ... (click for more)