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Author Topic: The case for Alaska  (Read 12338 times)

alaskaone

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The case for Alaska
« on: March 11, 2003, 09:24:06 am »

I would like to propose that Alaska be be selected the Free State.  There are several advantages to adopting Alaska and I will attempt to list some of them here.  I will also be happy to field any questions.

1).  We have land and tons of it.  However, most of it is owned by various government agencies.  We are worse off than Utah, in that respect, and that is the biggest liability to living here.
2).  We have a low population which means the FSP goal of 20,000 individuals will create a huge voting block.  For general information, the 4th largest city in Alaska, Ketchikan has less than 8,000 people in it.
3).  We are physically separated from the United States and in the eyes of most of the world, we are not part of the U.S. which has immense benefits when traveling over seas.  When traveling overseas, being Alaskan opens many doors that are closed to Americans.
4).  Alaska is basically a 3rd world country.  Our resources are taken and processed in the United States and then sold back to us.  That means, there is lots of opportunity for business to develop here if we can find a way around the federal and state beaurocracies.
5).  We are relatively close to Japan, China and right next door to Russia... China will be the next global economic powerhouse and Russia needs our help... more opportunity in the future.
6).  Or weather, legendary for it's harshness, is mostly a figment of your imagination.  For the main populated areas the weather is no more harsh than the winters of Minnisota or the Dakotas... it just lasts about 90 days longer is all.
7).  We are next door to Canada.  If you don't mind making a 5 day car trip, you can take advantage of lower prices.  I admit, some of the other states suggested have closer access.
8).  You can't beat our scenery and we love global warming!
9).  No snakes.  No lizards.  No roaches.  No horseflies, chiggers, ticks... got mosquitos tho.
10).  The highest percentage of pilots in the nation!
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Robert H.

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2003, 09:40:54 am »

Welcome, alaskaone!   :)

You've made some interesting points about Alaska, and, as one who has spent a good amount of time studying about the state, I don't believe I'd be disappointed at all if it were chosen.

Take a look at the other threads where certain aspects of Alaska have been discussed and see if you have any insights on them:

Alaska - Nothing Comes Close

Alaska - The Only Choice

alaskaone

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2003, 10:04:37 am »

Thanks for the links.

First link was pretty good, discussion wise.

Second link, it seems the originator is pissed and took his ball and went home.
Lots of discussion about succession from the Union.  A waste of time even to concider it.  Aside from the 'been there, done that' article, we only have some 650,000 people and a good number of them are in the military!  Besides, we have some of the most powerful representatives in Washington DC., we soak the U.S. for $billions.

Hey, better us than more money sent off to the despots & dictators funds overseas.
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varrin

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2003, 07:02:39 pm »

Spent 3 days in Anchorage within the last week (on two separate occasions).  It's been a *very* mild winter.  Still too cold for me.

V-

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2003, 01:34:09 am »

6).  Or weather, legendary for it's harshness, is mostly a figment of your imagination.  For the main populated areas the weather is no more harsh than the winters of Minnisota or the Dakotas... it just lasts about 90 days longer is all.
7).  We are next door to Canada.  If you don't mind making a 5 day car trip, you can take advantage of lower prices.  I admit, some of the other states suggested have closer access.

About 6, I opted-out of ND (because of the weather, isolation, and flatness)
AK's weather, where I would live, is better than ND's weather.  It is not as good as SD's weather.  I would live near Rapid City in SD, it has much better weather than AK.  Even though AK has very cold weather I still think it would be one of the best states to pick so I can not let this factor cause me to opt-out of AK.

About 7, AK is, by far, even more isolated than ID, ME, MT, ND, or SD.  AK is just isolated.  It is not even in the same ballpark with MT, the most isolated state in the lower 48.  And MT is afwul compared to WY, NH, or DE.  I am sorry but it really does take 5 days to get from the big city of AK to a big city out of CA.  I have a friend at work that lived in AK for 28 years (his 1st 28 years).  He does not mind driving for days at a time, I guess that is an AK thing.  However, he said he left because it was just too cold.  He did not even complain about the lack of sunlight in the winter or too much sunlight in the summer.  He said he loved the place but it was just too cold for him.

WY has most of the good qualities (in fact, WY in better in most of them) of AK but is the 3rd warmest of the 10 states.  Also, Wyoming is the 3rd least isolated of all 10 states.  The only state with better weather and that is less isolated than WY is DE.  Many of the FSP member originally supported AK or MT but later changed their support to WY.  You might want to compare WY and AK some.  
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varrin

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2003, 01:57:02 pm »

WY has most of the good qualities (in fact, WY in better in most of them) of AK but is the 3rd warmest of the 10 states.  Also, Wyoming is the 3rd least isolated of all 10 states.  The only state with better weather and that is less isolated than WY is DE.  Many of the FSP member originally supported AK or MT but later changed their support to WY.  You might want to compare WY and AK some.  

Sorry, I'm just not going to let you get away with those statements about Wyoming.  They're just not true.  Both in temperature and snowfall, Wyoming's weather is not clearly superior to 7 of the other states.  North Dakota is clearly worse.  Alaska is fairly clearly worse.  I havnen't studied Vermont's weather in detail, but I'm confident I could defend this position:  ND and AK have the worst weather.  DE and ID have the best weather.  SD, NH, and VT have a modest lead over MT, WY, and ME.  That puts WY at best in 6th place.  But, honestly, I don't have time to spit out all the data.  So I guess I'm just gonna have to say that and let it be.

As for the isolated issue, it depends on how you define isolated.  I wouldn't define Idaho as isolated and it's weather is significantly better than Wyoming's.

V-

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Robert H.

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2003, 01:53:08 am »

SD, NH, and VT have a modest lead over MT, WY, and ME.  That puts WY at best in 6th place.  But, honestly, I don't have time to spit out all the data.  So I guess I'm just gonna have to say that and let it be.

Actually, from the following map, Vermont and New Hampshire are fairly inundated with snow compared to large areas of Montana and Wyoming.

http://www.climatesource.com/cd11/snow_us.gif

The following numbers are from the Weather Channel:

Avg. High  Avg. Low  Mean Avg. Precip.  Record High  Record Low

Wyoming

Cheyenne (South Eastern)
 
Jan  37  15  26  0.45 in.  66 (1982)  -30 (1930)                  
Jul  82  53  68  2.26 in.  100 (1939)  33 (1915)
Nov  45  22  33  0.64 in.  73 (1999)  -21 (1916)

Vermont

Burlington (North West)    

Jan  27  9  18  2.22 in.  66 (1995)  -30 (1957)
Jul  81  60  71  3.97 in.  100 (1995)  39 (1962)
Nov  44  30  37  3.06 in.  75 (1950)  -3 (1938)

New Hampshire

Manchester, NH  (South near MA)

Jan  32  5  19  3.07 in.  67 (1950)  -35 (1961)
Jul  82  55  68  3.58 in.  100 (1991)  38 (1965)
Nov  50  24  37  3.66 in.  91 (1954)  -4 (1989)

varrin

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2003, 02:15:28 am »

That snow map is good.  I had a printout of it somewhere but I lost track of it at some point (my wife cleaned my studio while I was out on my last trip... maybe I'll blame her??? ;-)

The grean area in north-central Wyoming (the Cody/Powell area) seems most attractive to me.  It's interesting though, on that piece of paper I had with the map, I had temp data, avg. snowfall, and some other things I had looked up.  If I recall correctly, the temps there were somewhat colder than, say Cheyenne which gets lots more snow.  Wierd.  But if I went there, I'd have to drive to Billings to catch a plane to go to work.  Yeah, theoretically, I could fly out of Cody, but in practice it wouldn't really work for me due to details of my specific job.

I'm really looking at the specific weather in specific cities that I'm interested in and I don't see anything in WY that works terribly well for me.  Wilmington and Boise, on the other hand, work just fine.

Since thie is an AK thread I should say somthing about AK.  So here it is.  I can't do AK because:

1: Weather.  It's cold.  Sorry.  It just is.  I just experienced some really nice winter days in Anchorage.  It's still cold.

2:  Commute.  We have a couple people that do it and it's a pain.

That's the bottom line.  Can't change the weather.  Don't need to get a new job.  If I'm gonna commute, I may as well keep my federal income taxes, go overseas *and* have good weather.

But to be fair, let me say this about Alaska.  The dark thing wouldn't bother me.  I've been there in the winter and in the summer.  I don't mind sleeping a lot and I keep the blinds shut real good in the summer. The summers in Anchorage are *really* hard to beat.  It's beautiful (though there's lots of tourists).  There are great places to eat in Anchorage, a 4 story mall, all the usual stores and creature comforts you'd expect from a city it's size.  The scenery is fantastic.  You can drive to something like 20 or 30 glaciers within a couple hours.  Denali's not far.  The hiking, biking, running, rollerblading, fishing, hunting, etc. is wonderful.  In short, I love it up there.

But I still couldn't move there.....  

V-

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2003, 08:30:49 am »

Wow, looks like VT and most of NH have an awful lot of snow. As much as the tops of the Blue Mountains in Oregon get!   :o

Actually I wouldn't mind some snow. I don't get much where I am, kinda miss it. To me it looks like the light blue areas are about ideal.

Too bad that snow map doesn't have Alaska.

I've got a large version of the spreadsheet (many more rows), and when I run it with my favorite weight "vector" I get Alaska in 5th place. It's got some good points. I'd probably move there for FSP but I know for sure my wife would not, so that would be a problem.
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alaskaone

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2003, 11:04:34 am »

You can always tell when a conversation is over... you have to start talkin bout the weather.

Thing about cold is, you can always put on more clothes... if you're too hot, there are only so many clothes you can take off without frightening the neighbors. :o

No place is perfect but Alaska has the space, the resources, the 'romantic' reputation that makes overseas travel a pleasure for us and there are no state income taxes... yet.
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vermass

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2003, 12:54:41 pm »

  I'm a New Englander. Born in Western MA, I'm used to cold temperatures. I lived in Fairbanks AK for 2 1/2 years. It is f^%#*^g cold. You cannot "put on enough clothes". That statement will mislead people who have never spent time in the bitter cold. It gets so cold that your eyeballs feel like icecubes! If you want to know what I mean just take a couple of ice cubes and put them over your eyes and hold them there, it gets cold enough in AK that the air will make your eyes feel like that. I will go to AK if it is chosen but I will say this: Even many who are willing to go will leave after their first winter. If the cold don't get them the lack of sunlight will. I'm not saying this to be negative just realistic.
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varrin

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2003, 05:49:26 pm »

vermass,

You're right about how cold it gets.  However, Fairbanks is a fair bit colder than Anchorage.  

I don't live by that whole 'put more clothes on' theory anyway.  I like it hot hot hot.  Alsaka is a long ways from even lukewarm.

V-

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freedomroad

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2003, 11:56:58 pm »

WY has most of the good qualities (in fact, WY in better in most of them) of AK but is the 3rd warmest of the 10 states.  Also, Wyoming is the 3rd least isolated of all 10 states.  The only state with better weather and that is less isolated than WY is DE.  Many of the FSP member originally supported AK or MT but later changed their support to WY.  You might want to compare WY and AK some.  

Sorry, I'm just not going to let you get away with those statements about Wyoming.  They're just not true.  Both in temperature and snowfall, Wyoming's weather is not clearly superior to 7 of the other states.  North Dakota is clearly worse.  Alaska is fairly clearly worse.  I havnen't studied Vermont's weather in detail, but I'm confident I could defend this position:  ND and AK have the worst weather.  DE and ID have the best weather.  SD, NH, and VT have a modest lead over MT, WY, and ME.  That puts WY at best in 6th place.  But, honestly, I don't have time to spit out all the data.  So I guess I'm just gonna have to say that and let it be.

As for the isolated issue, it depends on how you define isolated.  I wouldn't define Idaho as isolated and it's weather is significantly better than Wyoming's.

V-



Varrin, I almost feel insulted.  I have studied the issues of weather and climate for about 20-24 hours.  Yes, I put that much time into it.  I read reports on weather in most of the large towns and cities and many of the countries in all of the states.  I will post you some of my related findings.  A future tip, please, when you openly admit that you have not studied the issue do not come out, like another person is a liar.  Thanks.

Temps:
Average January Temperatures for selected Wyoming and other cities:  
 
Cheyenne, WY                        26.4 F
Cody, WY                               24.1 F    
Casper, WY             22.3 F
Phillips, WY                            27.8 F
Yoder, WY                              27.0 F
Pine Bluffs, WY                      26.8 F
Sheridan, WY                          20.0 F
Chugwater, WY                       27.6 F
Riverton, WY                          13.8 F
Glenrock, WY                         24.8 F
Yellowstone Park, WY           19.1 F
Laramie, WY                           20.2 F
Rock Springs, WY                  20.1 F
La Grange, WY                       25.7 F
Wheatland, WY                       28.2 F
Albin, WY                               26.1 F
Carpenter, WY                        26.2 F
Gillette, WY                            20.6 F
Saratoga, WY                          21.2 F
Douglas, WY                           23.2 F
Dubois, WY                             22.8 F
Torrington, WY                       25.1 F
Buffalo, WY                            22.1 F
Archer, WY                             26.1 F
Midwest, WY                          23.5 F
Lusk, WY                                23.4 F
Rock Springs, WY                  20.1 F
Mountain View, WY              21.7 F
New Castle, WY                     21.9 F

Fairbanks, AK                    -10 F
Nome, AK                            7 F
Anchorage, AK       15.8 F
Juneau, AK                         26.5 F
Grand Forks, ND     5.3 F
Fargo, ND                           5.8 F
Minot, ND                          7.5 F
Bismarck, ND                    9.2 F
Aberdeen, SD                     10.1 F
Watertown, SD                   9.9 F
Mitchell, SD                      15.2 F
Sioux Falls, SD       14.0 F
Deadwood, SD                   22.1 F
Saint Johnsbury, VT          17.3 F
Burlington, VT       18.0 F
Caribou, ME                        9.9 F
Bangor, ME                       17.5 F
Augusta, ME       19.0 F
Rumford, ME                     16.5 F
Portland, ME                      20.9 F
Berlin, NH                          14.6 F
Hanover, NH                      17.7 F
Massabesic Lake, NH        20.8 F
Concord, NH       18.9 F
Keene, NH                         20.9 F
Glasgow, MT       10.8 F
Great Falls, MT                  21.2 F
Lewiston, MT                     19.5 F
Miles City, MT                  16.0 F
Billings, MT                       23.7 F
Butte, MT                          16.7 F
Idaho Falls, ID                   20.5 F
Coeur d Alene, ID              28.6 F
Pocatello, ID       24.4 F
Dover, DE                          33.7 F
Wilmington, DE       30.4 F

I know these are just selected temps and do not prove that WY is the 3 warmest state.  I know that The FSP spreadsheet just uses selected temps and Jason's research does not prove that WY is the 3rd warmest state.  However, the official 'Taps' do prove that Wyoming is the 3rd warmest state.  Spend 10 hours reading them and you will find the numbers above plus other numbers for other cities and towns.

I do not remember mentioning snow, but here is some interesting info:
Wyoming is also, one of the better states for snow.  The Northeastern states, are by far, the worst states for snow.  If you do not think that it snows a great deal in VT, NH, and ME I'll give you the email addresses of my family in VT and ME and you can ask them.

Average yearly snow for selected Wyoming and other cities:  
 
Laramie, WY          33.9 in
Casper, WY            82.1 in
Moorcroft, WY      34.8 in
Riverton, WY         29.5 in
Torrington, WY     29.7 in
Lovell, WY            18 in  
Buffalo, WY          32 in
Cheyenne, WY      52.4 in
Pine Bluffs, WY    37.2 in
Thermopolis, WY  43.1 in
Wheatland, WY     43.6 in
Sheridan, WY        58.6 in  
Green River, WY   25.2 in
Evanston, WY        32.6 in
Newcastle, WY      35.6 in
Carpenter, WY       30.3 in  
Pavillion, WY        18.3 in
Dubois, WY           28.3 in
Yoder, WY             45 in
Kaycee, WY           39.2 in
Cody, WY              33.4 in
Rock Springs, WY 44.2 in      
Worland, WY         22.4 in

Concord, NH         65 in
Berlin, NH             83.4 in
Hanover, NH         71.2 in
Nashua, NH           62.1 in
Nome, AK             54.4 in
Juneau, AK            87.9 in
Anchorage, AK     67.6 in
Dover, DE             18.4 in
Willington, DE      21.4 in
Grangeville, ID      53.4 in
Coeur d Alene, ID 54.7 in
Pocatello, ID         45.2 in
Twin Falls, ID       28.7 in
Great Falls, MT     62.1 in
Lewiston, MT       66.4 in
Kalispell, MT        63 in
Bozeman, MT       92.1 in
Missoula, MT       53.1 in
Bismarck, ND       43.1 in
Fargo, ND             39.8 in
Minot, ND             44.1 in  
Spearfish, SD        62.5 in
Aberdeen, SD        34.4 in
Rapid City, SD     40.1 in
Newport, VT         97.7 in
Burlington, VT      82.2 in  
Montpelier, VT     93.9 in
Brunswick, ME     74.6 in
Rumford, ME        90.7 in
Caribou, ME         114.5
Bangor, ME           79.1 in
Augusta, ME         77.9 in
 
Source: ftp://ftp.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/support/climate/taps/
 
Again, all of this info came from the offical 'Taps'

Overall:
According to Jason P. Sorens’ analysis, Wyoming has the 3rd warmest January of all 10 states, only behind Idaho and Delaware.  Wyoming has both cold and warm winter spells.  During the warm winter spells, the warm Chinooks winds are common on the eastern mountain slopes.  Also, Wyoming gets less snow than most of the other candidate states.  However, there is no need to worry for those of you that love snow, Wyoming has a few cities that get over 7 feet of snow a year.  

P.S. I also emailed you a 4 page, very detailed, weather report on Wyoming.  The report compares Wyoming to other states in many factors and talked about a lot of Wyoming only, factors.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2003, 11:55:40 pm by FreedomRoad »
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Robert H.

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2003, 01:57:48 am »

Fairbanks is generally much colder than Anchorage during the winter due to the fact that cold interior air is blocked from Anchorage by the Alaska mountain range.  Fairbanks doesn't have this luxury, and what's more, it's situated at a lower elevation, which causes the cold to "settle" there.  Anchorage also gets some of the warmer winds off of the Gulf of Alaska.

On the other hand, Fairbanks is a good bit warmer than Anchorage in the summertime.  Temperatures in the 80's are not unusual.  Fairbanks is also home to the Alaska State Fair in the summer.

I have a feeling that most FSPer's would settle around Anchorage, maybe some in the Kenai and Kodiak areas, and a few others would go to the panhandle.  Panhandle weather is quite balmy by Alaska standards, but the area is very isolated and the cost of living is higher there.  Fairbanks would probably receive only a handful.

Alaska would be a great long-term state for the FSP, perhaps even the best, but I believe that there are many who are just too afraid of it for it to stand much of a chance, and that really is too bad.  It would be a lifestyle change certainly; there's no denying that.  But even a few hundred true activists working with the AIP, LP and Constitution people there could probably make a real difference.

The state really needs its own project, something to reinvigorate the AIP.

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Re:The case for Alaska
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2003, 03:19:35 pm »

Keith, if you've got something more comprehensive than Jason put together for winter temperatures (and for wind, for that matter) such as temps in the 5 largest cities, or up to some population limit, then I'd like to see it. I'd put that in my big spreadsheet.
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