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Banks should support legal activities

This morning I ran across this article:

GOP split as banks take on gun industry – POLITICO (4/22/2018)

Major banks are cutting off business with the gun industry, roiling Republicans who want to respect the financial decisions of private institutions while still showing their unyielding support of the Second Amendment.Some Republicans, enraged at moves by Citigroup and Bank of America to distance themselves from some retailers and gun manufacturers, have called on government agencies to cancel contracts with the banks and defer deregulation proposals that would benefit them. But other Republicans want to keep their hands off, saying lenders are free to decide who they do business with.

Read full article

While I’m sympathetic to organizations taking matters into their own hands when our Congress has been hog tied by the extremist National Rifle Association leadership, I can’t support banks who refuse to provide banking services to any individual or business engaged in legal activities.

I say this as a resident of a state where recreational marijuana is legal, but our fledgling industry cannot get banking services – though this is mostly the result of continuing federal prohibition.

Banking is a necessity for businesses as much as air is for people. By deciding what activities they will fund and allow accounts for, banks are defacto legislating what sorts of businesses ought to be allowed in this country. I don’t think that’s a decision that should be left up to banks.

I should clarify that I’m talking about basic banking services – allowing accounts and the ability to qualify for loans on financial criteria. I don’t think any organization has a right to affinity cards if a bank doesn’t feel the organization shares the bank’s values.

We don’t need banks picking social winners and losers. We need responsible gun regulation including licensing and liability insurance.



Here’s what’s scheduled for public hearing at April 23 & April 25 Assembly Meetings – City and Borough of Juneau

I’m very happy that my city government posts assembly meeting schedules right to the home page. They don’t make us hunt for them. From the latest notice:

The following items are scheduled for public hearings by the City and Borough of Juneau Alaska Assembly, on the dates designated below.  These hearings will be held in the Assembly Chambers of the Municipal Building.  Copies of the items listed below may be obtained at the City and Borough of Juneau Clerk’s Office, Room 202 of the Municipal Building or at the CBJ website at: https://beta.juneau.org/assembly/assembly-minutes-and-agendas

Source: Here’s what’s scheduled for public hearing at April 23 & April 25 Assembly Meetings – City and Borough of Juneau

Two Lemon Creek lots available in over-the-counter sale starting May 1 – City and Borough of Juneau

Looking for land of your own in Juneau? The city has some – for a price. From the press release:

Previously, these lots were offered for sale via sealed competitive bid. In an over-the-counter sale, lots are purchased at a fixed pre-determined fair market value price. Lot 4, selling for $412,000, is 3.78 acres and Lot 5, selling for $382,000, is 4.38 acres. Both are zoned for multi-family and are close to Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School and Capital Transit bus stops. Jackie Street, which provides site and utility access, is lined with sidewalks.

Source: Two Lemon Creek lots available in over-the-counter sale starting May 1 – City and Borough of Juneau

Agenda for Special Assembly Meeting on April 11 – City and Borough of Juneau

A note from the City and Borough of Juneau about a public meeting:

The agenda for the Special Assembly meeting on Wednesday, April 11 at 5:15 p.m. in Assembly Chambers has changed. Ordinances to be introduced at that meeting are as follows:

Ordinance 2017-06(AP) An Ordinance Appropriating to the Manager the Sum of $75,000, as Funding for Leasing the Juneau Subport Parking Lot; Funding Provided by the Downtown Parking Fund’s Fund Balance


Ordinance 2018-25 An Ordinance Authorizing the Manager to Execute a Use Permit for Approximately One Acre of Lot C2A, Juneau Subport Subdivision, Located at 300 Egan Drive, to the State of Alaska

Ordinance 2018-24 An Ordinance Authorizing the Port Director to Lease 62 Square Feet of Lot 13C, Block 83, Tidelands Addition, Located at 470 South Franklin Street, to William Heumann has been removed from the agenda.

Source: Agenda for Special Assembly Meeting on April 11 – City and Borough of Juneau

Sinclair: At the corner of Free Speech and Propaganda

You may have heard about the Sinclair Broadcast Group providing a “must run” script to hundreds of stations across the country. A number of commentators have called it propaganda. Sinclair and its defenders says the company has a first Amendment right to broadcast what it wants.

Here’s a quote from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer describing what was said and HOW it was said:

The KOMO segments feature several different pairs of anchors sticking word-for-word to a Sinclair script they were required to read.”They’re certainly not happy about it,” a KOMO newsroom employee told SeattlePI. “It’s certainly a forced thing.”SeattlePI obtained a copy of the script, which is posted below unedited and in its entirety:

“Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

Source: KOMO attacks ‘biased and false news’ in Sinclair-written promos – seattlepi.com

I agree that Sinclair is within its rights to express its opinions. That is indeed free speech. If they had simply handed a statement to local anchors to read that identified it as a corporate editorial, there would be nothing to comment on. Because free speech.

BUT, in my view they stepped into propaganda by co-opting the trust that local anchors enjoy in their communities. Sinclair made these people deliver the opinions of the corporate office as though they held those opinions. The anchors became empty vessels for an opinion piece from the corporate office. This should have no place in news.

Sinclair got what it deserved – exposure and revulsion. Hundreds of people reading the exact same script, claiming the thoughts as their own is what we expect of North Korea state media, not US news stations.

Sinclair ought to apologize to their viewers and clearly label corporate editorials as corporate editorials.

Annual water valve cleaning through June – City and Borough of Juneau

I’m grateful that my tax dollars go to the maintenance of our water infrastructure. The clean taste of tap water is one of the joys of living in Juneau.  Once a year the city cleans out the system From the press release:

The City and Borough of Juneau Water Utility will be performing annual cleaning and exercising of the water valves throughout the borough through June 2018. Customers may encounter water discoloration or minor disruptions in service. To clear the discoloration, first wait until the work crew leaves the area, then run the cold water tap (preferably in your bathtub) until the water runs clear.

Source: Annual water valve cleaning through June – City and Borough of Juneau

Budget season: Why you should care – City and Borough of Juneau

A note from my city about the budget process and notes about key dates. I’m appreciative of this reminder:

The snow is melting, flowers are starting to come up, it’s springtime in Juneau and that means it’s city budget season. It’s the time of year when the Assembly and city staff work with the public to come up with CBJ’s budget for the coming year. It’s an important process that the public usually pays scant attention to, perhaps because of perceived complexity of the process or the budget itself. Admittedly it’s a dry topic, but the public should care because every city expenditure is provided for in the budget – everything from funds for employee salaries to buying vehicles and equipment, from funds for emptying public trash cans to defending the city against litigation, funds for operating facilities to funds for plowing snow and fixing streets.

Source: Budget season: Why you should care – City and Borough of Juneau

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