Shut-out charter operators lose court case

A federal judge has thrown out a challenge to limited entry for Alaska halibut charter boats. Here's the ruling.

And here's what we posted last year when the lawsuit was filed.

Sort of funny, annoying goddamn catchy youtube shit..

Every day I get tons of fb mail..this is just what happens when you accept every friend request. I used to be more picky and I still won't add anyone who is going to write about Jesus all over my page or is some insane right wing conservative who is going to send me hate mail over Occupy Wall Street or anything I post that may be offensive to them. My page is public. It has offensive things on it I MYSELF post..they know what I am like yet they still get offended! Some guy left 50 comments on a joke I made..until I told him it was just a joke..then he acted like he knew that already and said I was just like "Fox News" for deleting his dumb comments which all my friends were getting notifications for. Then I had to block him as he emailed me insulting me..and posted a status about me being a bitch who took away his freedom of speech on my page. Mind you, this is a 57 year old stranger who had no pictures of themselves and about 50 friends.
I mean, who the hell knows who that was? Anyone can make a fake page and add you and then serial kill you! That site seems to turn people into kids again..petty arguments,, posts to hurt exes and ex friends..arguments over religion and politics which resort to name calling..I'm glad the internet wasn't around when I was a teen. I was bullied enough. The funniest is when an ex friend or ex bf or someone you don't care for comes up as "someone you may know" to add. I feel like making my shit private and reblocking the few crazies I had blocked last year..but i am scared to touch my settings. The new format sucks and I don't want to switch to it. See-right there I sound like a baby! "I WANT TO BLOCK PEOPLE AND THE NEW FB SUCKS!" Har.
It's true though..there are some real loonies on there and not the fun kind.
BUT the fun people send me links to inane YouTube videos and they are so dumb and retarded..they get stuck in my damn head all day..Here are a few of them for you to enjoy. May they forever be driving you crazy as they are me!

Icicle to acquire Snopac

Looks like we're about to see more processor consolidation at Bristol Bay, home of the state's most valuable sockeye salmon fishery.

Snopac Products Inc. today sent the following email to its fishermen announcing the company's pending sale to Icicle Seafoods Inc.

From: Jenna Hall
Date: Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 1:03 PM
Subject: Snopac Update

Dear Snopac Fishers,

It has been a busy winter for us here at Snopac and we are writing to bring you up to speed on some significant developments to our 2012 plans and fishing operations.

Tomorrow, a press release is going to be issued by Icicle Seafoods regarding their intention to buy Snopac (we have attached a copy to this email for you to read prior to its release). We have signed a Letter of Intent with Icicle, and are now in the midst of a customary "due diligence" process that will take several weeks. Hopefully the sale will close as both parties intend, however until that happens, it is not final.

Should the sale finalize, we will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition for our fishers and tenders. There will be many operational details to be sorted out and both Icicle and Snopac intend to do so with the most positive impact for our fleet.

Should the sale not finalize prior to the season, we have made arrangements with Icicle to jointly operate in Bristol Bay in 2012 by consolidating resources and expanding services, which will benefit both our operation and our fleet. Icicle is a very competitive market who boasts short tender lines, great offload capacity and high limits. Working with them will give our fleet access to these benefits.

Either way, you can be assured that you have a competitive market in 2012. In addition, Snopac will be announcing a 2011 retro shortly and we will also be coming out with pre-season logistics as far as northbound freight and other timely issues.

Ben and I will be making telephone calls to each of you to personally address any questions or concerns, but feel free to call Greg, Jenna or Ben at anytime.

Thank you for your fish and your continued support.

All the best,


Jenna Blakey Hall
Snopac Products Inc.

Three saved after boat goes aground on Umnak

This just in from the U.S. Coast Guard:

Feb. 27, 2012

Seattle fishermen rescued in the Aleutian Islands

ANCHORAGE — The Coast Guard rescued three fishermen from the northwest side of Umnak Island, one island west of Unalaska Island, after their 58-foot fishing vessel went aground there at 11:46 p.m. Sunday.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed to St. Paul Island rescued the three crewmembers at 3:19 a.m. and safely delivered them to Unalaska with no reported medical issues or injuries.

Coast Guard communications station Kodiak received a radio call for help from the crew of the Seattle-based fishing vessel Neptune 1 at 11:21 p.m. stating that their fishing vessel was disabled and drifting toward the island.

After receiving the distress call, Coast Guard watchstanders immediately directed the launch of the helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Kodiak. The Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley also was diverted from their patrol near Dutch Harbor.

The fishing vessel Alaskan Enterprise, 25 miles away from the Neptune 1, also responded to assist the rescue effort and helped by relaying essential information from the Neptune 1 crew to the rescuers. The Alaskan Enterprise also used its floodlights to help guide the rescue helicopter to the stranded fishermen.

The Neptune 1 crew reported that an engine failure had caused them to drift ashore. The crew donned their survival suits and swam to shore since they did not feel safe aboard the grounded fishing vessel. They also activated their emergency position indicating radio beacon to help rescue crews quickly locate them.

"The crew of the Neptune 1 took all the right steps to ensure their successful rescue, including the activation of their emergency beacon," said Raymond Dwyer, District 17 Command duty officer. "The communications and lighting assistance of the Alaskan Enterprise was also instrumental in the positive outcome of this case."

The vessel is reported as high and dry on the beach resting on its right side. An unknown amount of fuel is on board and Coast Guard response crews will be working with the vessel owner to help minimize any potential environmental impact from the grounding. No pollution has been reported at this time.

Weather was reported as snowing with winds of 25-40 mph and seas of 12-15 feet.

Labor crisis looms for Alaska processors

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, recently sent two letters to the Obama administration objecting to possible changes that could shut off a major source of workers for the state's seafood processing industry.

At issue is the Summer Work Travel Program, which allows foreign college students to come to the United States on a J-1 visa to work and travel during their summer vacation. The U.S. Department of State oversees the program.

Begich worries the State Department, now considering possible reforms to address worker exploitation complaints and other issues, is about to exclude manufacturing and packing facilities from the program, including fish processors.

That would deny Alaska processors thousands of workers, right on the brink of the summer salmon season, Begich says.

One of his letters is to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who might have a sympathetic ear on this issue. After graduating from college, she worked the slime line in a Valdez cannery.

Third time the charm for herring catch shares?

The state Board of Fisheries begins a 10-day meeting tomorrow in Ketchikan to consider dozens of Southeast Alaska finfish proposals.

Proposals 233 and 234 are especially noteworthy. These would create equal harvest shares for Sitka Sound sac roe herring seiners.

The board has rejected the idea twice before, in 2006 and 2009.

Supporters, however, argue the imperative for equal shares has never been greater.

Converting the fishery from a cutthroat competition to an equal split among the 48 seiners would tame the harvest, improve safety and boost the quality of the catch, they say.

"Everyone in the fishery should realize safety in the fishery has deteriorated to a despicable level and something needs to be done," says Proposal 233, offered by Bill Menish.

The name Menish might sound familiar. During last year's fishery, his boat sustained $40,000 in damage in a collision with another vessel. Daniel Crome, who was running the second boat, is being prosecuted on a charge of reckless operation.

Menish's proposal says the roughhouse tactics at Sitka have become increasingly premeditated, with more seiners joining "combines" in which some members use their boats or nets to block competitors as other members fish.

One argument against equal shares is that the top seiners, the "highliners," would be denied the chance to compete for a lucrative, blockbuster catch. Instead, they would net the same share of the harvest as everyone else.

But Menish notes that combine seiners already are engaging in catch sharing.

And the sponsor of Proposal 234, the Sitka Herring Group, cites state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission data to argue that the notion of consistent highliners at Sitka is "a myth."

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is "neutral" on the two proposals.

How about you?

One of my tweets is in Steve Martin's new book!

So, I am on twitter under @eden_brower. I decided I will take the underscore out when i reach over one thousand followers. I have about 830 right now. Not amazing, but not too bad. I go on at about 4am and tweet really silly offensive shit for an hour then I pass out and wake up to see if I got new followers from tweeting stuff like. "Hitler joke are so last Hilter!" and "Why isn't it Live Free but STILl die? Wake up people!" I can't seem to get up to the thousand mark..and I have a fuckload of really crazy people who write insane things to me every day.
But Twitter is fun. There are a lot of celebrities on there and there is something fun about being able to write to them and know they will possibly read it. I harass Judd Apatow for being an egomaniac. Steve Weber and Andy Dick write funny, dirty stuff to me. Edward Olmos, The Barbi Twins and Jeff Ross all follow me. I mean, how weird is that? It's a little world of funny, craziness I have been enjoying more and more.
Anylumps, I tweeted some silly joke to Steve Martin and he put out a book of tweets which includes a bunch of stuff people wrote him that he found funny..and one was mine! Now if only he would let my band open up for him..So here is a link to the book and the page my thing is on's just a tiny little book and I get a tiny mention but i'm still excited! In the pics above..the bottom one is what Martin tweeted about the Oscars..the top one is a few replies to him with mine in there somewhere..
Steve's Book..


I don't think this is new in some parts of the world, but I see here in Anchorage that McDonald's is now offering a double Filet-O-Fish sandwich.

Hmmm. If this catches on, will we have to, like, double our harvest of Alaska pollock?

Two processors settle up, save millions

More than two years ago, Deckboss posted an item about pending enforcement actions against two major processors, Peter Pan and Icicle.

The companies were accused of violating limits on crab processing, a very serious matter judging from the fines imposed: around $4.5 million for Peter Pan and $3.4 million for Icicle.

Now we understand the government has quietly agreed to much smaller penalties: $525,000 under the Peter Pan settlement, and $615,000 under the Icicle settlement.

The Icicle case was especially protracted, having begun in 2004.

Bodal on the slime line?

Bernt Bodal, chief executive of American Seafoods, will be featured Friday night on the CBS series "Undercover Boss."

Here's a preview.

Seattle-based American operates the largest fleet of Bering Sea pollock factory trawlers.

"Undercover Boss" puts top executives to work deep within their own companies.

Smaller salmon harvest expected this year

The Department of Fish and Game is forecasting a 2012 commercial salmon catch of 132.1 million fish.

That would be 25 percent lower than last year's catch of 177.1 million.

The difference is a smaller projected pink salmon catch. Pinks are the smallest and least valuable of Alaska's five commercially harvested salmon species, but the most numerous.

The Justice for Vylette page and story..

These photos were sent to me by a friend who was pregnant..gave birth at a birthing center where a mothers nightmare began. She was ignored, told to go home, told to not push when she knew it was time to push..which all resulted in a very painful birth and the death of her daughter who had been perfectly healthy in every way. This is her story..I am going to link her facebook page Justice for Vylette here..people can go there and read exactly what happened to her and why she is suing the place..and is beyond heartbroken.
Here is the beginning of her account:

my daughter Vylette Moon was wrongfully killed by the disgusting negligence of both my midwives and doula from a birthing center in Brooklyn, nyc. i wanted the most natural spiritual birth i could give my child, drug free, with tender love and care and instead i ended up with the most horrific birth story ever imaginable! My mission is to get JUSTICE for VYLETTE. to never allow these 'midwives' to be anywhere near precious new life or pregnant women, and to have this careless center SHUT DOWN.
please come to my page Justice for Vylette to read the rest of the tragic story in greater detail as well as see images of my beautiful daughter who was completely perfect for the duration of my entire pregnancy.


Metlakatla plans big cold storage project

The Metlakatla Indian Community is inviting bids for a big freezer expansion project for its Annette Island Packing Co.

According to an ad published in Friday's Anchorage Daily News, the project involves design of a storage room big enough to hold 1 million pounds of seafood.

The town of Metlakatla is on Annette Island, south of Ketchikan. It anchors the only Indian reservation in Alaska.

The local salmon fishery, tribally managed, won Marine Stewardship Council certification in June 2011.

Salmon future looks fine, Icicle manager says

John Woodruff, vice president of operations for Icicle Seafoods Inc., was another speaker Friday at the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference meeting. And he had plenty to say.

Seattle-based Icicle is one of the largest seafood processors operating in Alaska. In fact, Woodruff ranks his company third among shoreside operators behind Trident and Maruha Nichiro.

"I'm a fish buyer," Woodruff began his talk. He oversees production at Icicle's Petersburg, Seward, Larsen Bay and Egegik plants, and spends a good part of his days talking directly with commercial fishermen.

Icicle also has floating processors, including the Northern Victor, a pollock processing ship based near Dutch Harbor.

Here's a sampler of Woodruff's remarks Friday:

• The outlook for wild Alaska salmon is rosy. Demand for two species in particular, pink and chum salmon, has surged remarkably.

Six or eight years ago, pinks paid fishermen only a nickel a pound, Woodruff said. Last year, Icicle paid 45 cents.

"There's a huge interest in wild-capture fish," he said, summing up the general market.

• Woodruff doesn't see quite the same upside for sockeye, historically the main money fish in Alaska's salmon crop.

"I personally don't think sockeye prices are gonna do what pinks and chums have done," he said.

He noted sockeye fillets marked at $9 a pound in Safeway stores.

"That's pretty pricey," Woodruff said.

Bristol Bay is the state's major sockeye fishery. Can fishermen there expect higher prices this summer?

"If I was a Bristol Bay fisherman, I'd plan for prices like what we've seen the past couple of years and hope for better," Woodruff said.

Last year's price was around $1 per pound, not counting bonuses.

• Speaking of Bristol Bay, Woodruff discussed the fishery's drive toward chilling more of the catch for better quality.

He said "well in excess" of half the fish Icicle buys at Bristol Bay is chilled, either with ice or refrigerated seawater systems aboard boats.

Bristol Bay packers, who once just canned the sockeye or froze them whole, now fillet about 15 percent of the catch, mainly for the domestic market, Woodruff said.

• Icicle's newest processing plant is at remote Adak, a former military base far out the Aleutian chain.

The plant is taking crab deliveries now, and contributing significant taxes to the fledging city of Adak, Woodruff said.

• In 2007, a private equity firm bought out Icicle.

"I gotta tell ya, I feel good about 'em," Woodruff said. "They allow us to do our job."

The goal of the firm, Paine & Partners, is to build up Icicle and then sell the company, he said.

APICDA to expand False Pass, Atka plants

The Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association is planning major expansions of its False Pass and Atka processing plants.

Larry Cotter, chief executive of Juneau-based APICDA, offered details of the expansions in a talk Friday at the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference annual meeting in Anchorage.

APICDA is one of Alaska's six community development quota companies. Under the CDQ program, these companies hold lucrative Bering Sea fishing rights, proceeds from which are used to benefit Western Alaska villages.

Recently, the APICDA board decided on a new strategy for the small False Pass and Atka plants, Cotter said.

In the past, APICDA worried that growing larger operations might attract big processors, who could bring crushing competition, he said.

But what APICDA has learned is staying small doesn't work, and doesn't do enough for the local economies, Cotter said.

And so...

At False Pass, a tiny village near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, the plan is to spend $11 million over the next three years — including $8 million this year — to greatly expand Bering Pacific Seafoods, Cotter said. Construction of worker housing also is planned.

At Atka, in the Aleutian chain more than 300 miles west of Dutch Harbor, the plan is to spend $10 million in 2013-14 to expand Atka Pride Seafoods.

The goal is to turn both plants, now open only seasonally, into diversified, year-round seafood processors, Cotter said.

Unicorn Madness!

Yeesh it's been a long time! I went to a party last Friday and I think I got alcohol poisoning form drinking like 15 glasses of white wine! WINNING! Well, it was a fun night so I guess it was worth it! Haven't drank much since then except for half a beer but I finally feel better and back to normal Well, what passes as normal for me anyway.
Here are some unicorn pics that people have been posting on my page on facebook. Facebook is just so crazy since I have been accepting friend requests from people I don't know at all and have thousands of fake friends who are making me nuts. I wake up to dozens of weird fan emails for the band and strange messages and once in a while hate mail for something I posted usually from some right wing anti Occupy Wall Street person who has decided to vent on me for no reason. Thank Xenu for the block button though I am scared to go into my settings the past few months because I don't want to be timelined. I really hate the new "look."
But anyhoops, here are some damn uncorns for you to enjoy! My next post is going to be for a friend who went through a nightmare giving birth to her baby and is in a living hell right now. I figured I would post these pics first before getting into that.

Wanna be on the IPHC?

The government today published this Federal Register notice inviting nominations for people to serve on the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

The IPHC, as I'm sure you know, is a fishery management panel with three members from the United States and three from Canada.

The Department of Commerce is seeking nominations for two U.S. seats now occupied by Ralph Hoard and Phillip Lestenkof. Both are eligible for reappointment.

Hoard is a longtime IPHC member and, if I'm not mistaken, a now retired Icicle Seafoods executive. Lestenkof is president of Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association.

Maybe you'd like to relieve one of these guys on the IPHC?

Read the notice for details on the nomination process and deadline.

Look out, codfish!

Artist's rendering of planned longliner Northern Leader.

Seattle-based Jensen Maritime Consultants says it has been selected to design "one of the world's largest freezer longliner fishing vessels."

The 184-foot boat will be built in Tacoma for Alaskan Leader Fisheries and will be homeported in Kodiak.

On the rocks

It doesn't look good for the fishing vessel Kimberly, hard aground in Jute Bay on the west side of Shelikof Strait. The 58-foot steel vessel was forced aground in a storm on Jan. 24. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter safely rescued all four aboard, but the boat has sustained heavy damage including holes in the hull. The plan now is to delay salvage operations until May when weather improves, the state Department of Environmental Conservation says. The boat's owner is listed in state records as Aloys Kopun of Chignik. Photo by Jack McFarland, Alaska Marine Surveyors Inc.

A big little fishery

So, did you know they do a little trawling in Prince William Sound?

Yep. Looks like pelagic trawlers just cleaned up 6.1 million pounds of walleye pollock.

That's enough for a whole bunch of fish sandwiches, but it's hardly a nibble compared to the 2.65 billion pounds the big boys are chasing this year in the eastern Bering Sea.

"Cardio": What Does It Entail? What Is Too Much Of A Good Thing?

"If you feel bad at 10 miles, you're in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you're normal. If you don't feel bad at 26 miles, you're abnormal." ~ Rob de Castella, winner 1983 World Marathon Championships

CARDIO: The word itself is synonymous with fitness in our culture. I recall hearing it back in the 80's, as a child. I "filed" it away, mentally, with leg-warmers, step-aerobics, thong leotards and "Jazzercise."

A ritual began early in my life, in middle school. I would head to swim team practice after school, then head directly for the scale, after practice. Because if I swam hard, I might see some benefits on the scale, right? There would be a means to an end. All my "cardio" would pay off. Yet, from week-to-week, the scale swung wildly. I wasn't out to set records in the pool or anything. I wasn't set to be state champion in any stroke. I just wanted to reap the rewards of my "cardio." That would mean, for a teenage girl, that I would feel energy, fit into my jeans, and be able to go to the dances, in my pretty new red skirt, feeling confident.

Yet, I watched, dismayed, as my hours in the pool seemed to have intermittent effects. One week, I would be called "Skeletor" at school, denoting that I was getting too skinny. The next week, I would notice an increase in water weight, surrounding not only my abdomen, but upper thighs as well. "How could this be?" I wondered. I did a mental checklist: I swim everyday after school...check. I ride my bike everywhere, even to school and back sometimes...check. I took ballet class 2 days a week...check. I drank my electrolytes...check. I took a multi-vitamin...check. I ate salads...check. I didn't understand.

My first "big girl" bike. I was 6 yrs. old. :)

I remember one day, I was 14 years old. My mom asked me to bring 2 bags of groceries into the house from the car. I remember this like it was yesterday. I felt weak. It was a strange feeling in my body. One I was unaccustomed to, and startled by. My legs felt like "jelly." My head was spinning. I was seeing stars. I managed to bring the groceries into the house, without my mother being the wiser. I didn't understand the sensation, so therefore let it go, but it did trouble me that night. How could I be feeling weak? I do so much "cardio." I'm "fit." I dance, swim, bike, and play with my friends until dark.

Years later, as an adult, I know what that sensation of weakness is. Its one I've now identified within myself. Its when I've begun to lose muscle mass, and catabolize my muscles for fuel.

I've always been a bit of a "Nutrition Nazi," as my roommates in grad. school called me. I've always done everything in my power, to learn all I can about the human body, and how to healthfully, promote longevity. With the latest, and most cutting-edge information, that I've been exposed to, at any one given time, from nutrition to medicine to fitness, I've done my best to apply it. One thing I will give myself, is that I am disciplined. I am focused. I'm a self-motivator. If there's a theory that feels, and has proven to be accurate, in "bucking" the previous one I adopted, I will investigate it thoroughly. If I deem it worthy of "debunking" the last one, I will "bow" to the new knowledge, and let go of that which no longer serves me. I'm on a vigilant quest for health, and am always willing to let go of what we used to think is healthy, if the new theory has empirically proven itself.

With that being said, I've always enjoyed my "cardio." It clears my head. To run the beautiful trails of my home in Bend, OR. is nothing short of a delight for me. The smells, textures, seasons, dirt...I treasure it. My animals treasure their time with me on the trails. We all benefit in my household. I still enjoy riding my bike (both road and mtn.) and love the water too. Laps in the pool may be monotonous to some, but I find it soothing. It is quiet under water. No drama. No talking. I'm weightless. I'm by myself. A rare treat. A mermaid for a moment in time...gliding through the silkiness of it. Its dreamlike in its quality, and calming to my soul.

8 yrs. old, with my 2 dogs, "Sophie" & "Sugar." Being with my pups in nature was important to me when I was young.

It still is. Running and hiking the trails are my solace... (with "Sierra" & "Tallon" on "Tumalo Mtn.", 2009)

I get my love of the water from my father. He is a big lap swimmer. Always has been. Always will be. My father and I are a lot alike in some ways. Others different. But he made sure we were all in the pool at a very early age. It stuck. Now, as adults, we have few things in common. But the pool...the pool is our place, where we swim, side-by-side, in quiet. It bonds us, and after we hop out of the pool, its like we had a conversation.

My dad, Bill Barton, and I enjoying a lap swim :)

In no way, shape or form, is this month's blog post, advocating you do away with your "cardio." I want to emphasize that. However, I think its important to examine where benefits end/begin with it. This goes for lifting weights too. The same principle applies. However, because our culture is fairly "cardio. obsessed," I thought I would make an example of it.

"Cardio." is a word that insinuates endurance, and thereby ultimate fitness. There are new, emerging theories, that now challenge this notion. And rightly so. Is it "fit" to be able to run ultra-marathons, but tear your "Quadratus Lumborum" muscle in half, with the mere motion of lifting a 35 lb. backpack? That's what happened to my patient, we'll call him "Roger."

"Roger" is the human equivalent of a thoroughbred. He is an endurance horse. One of the world record ultra-runners, originally from the Sierras in California. "Roger" moved to Bend to enjoy the athletic community and beauty of the high-desert. Roger runs, and he runs a lot. Is this a "bad" thing? I don't want to get into "bad" or "good" with this post. That's not my intent. Its merely to get you thinking. "Roger" has repeatedly, over many years, trained his muscles to do 2 things: propel himself forward, and keep himself upright. That is it. He has not trained it to lift, push, pull or anything else of the sort. This is what tore the muscle in his back. Something as light as a 35 lb. backpack, was the "straw that (literally) broke the camel's back." Is that "fit?"

"Roger" is someone who could be deemed a "specialist." Is being a "specialist" a "bad" thing? Again, I want to emphasize a resounding "No." IF, and here's the IF: IF you KNOW that's what you are. If you think being a "specialist" denotes an overall example of "fitness," that is a different matter entirely.

To train your body to propel, horizontally, through space, while remaining upright is a feat. Yet, if you think about it, you do that all day, everyday anyway (except when you're sleeping). However, do you feel competent in moving loads across modal (various) domains of space and time? How is your body on the vertical plane? Are you able to push, pull, jump, and bend with ease? All of these things, in various combinations, could denote a solid picture of fitness.

Historically speaking (see "PALEO Fitness" blog post), there were very few "specialists" in a tribe. The tribe couldn't afford it. Work needed to get done: water hauled, logs for structures moved, the hunt skinned, etc. Now, with sports nutrition, sports-specific training and technology everyone can be a "specialist". It just takes the mental discipline and fortitude. Again, is this "bad?" No. However, we should examine what the benefits and drawbacks are.

You'll not find a bigger proponent of endorphins than me. I am a "junkie," no question about it. The topic of "endorphins" could be a blog post in and of itself. They're a "feel good" neuro-chemical that make us happy. This can only be good, in my book. I always loved the quote from the movie "Legally Blonde." When Elle (Reese Witherspoon) discusses a legal case with her fellow attorneys, regarding their client (whose on trial for murder) she reminds them: "I just don't think she did it. She's the 'spinning' queen. I took her spin class in 'Beverly Hills.' People who exercise are happy, and happy people just don't kill other people." Cute. Simplistic. Who could argue? People who are happy contribute to society. They radiate that happiness and enthusiasm out to others. The "Runner's High" has a "ripple" effect out to all who hang out with the runner. How could this be a "bad" thing? Its not.

What is troublesome, however, is that one of the world's top, most well-respected ultra-runners, is deemed a "pinnacle" of fitness by his comrades. In reality, he's hobbling into my office, because he doesn't have the strength to lift a 35 lb. backpack, and put it over his shoulder. Food for thought.

"Roger" has broken down so much muscle, at this point, through miles of running, that his body could not perform (at a very low weight) a simple functional movement. One that is necessary for daily activity: lifting objects (a.k.a. a "deadlift").

When I was doing my training, last year, for my first 2 half-marathons, I didn't like what I was seeing. As my miles increased, my strength decreased. The "holy grail" quest, for the majority of athletes is the perfect strength to weight ratio. How many of us accomplish it, though? This strength to weight ratio is different for everyone. Western science has categorized 3 primary body types: Mesomorph, Ectomorph, and Endomorph. The strength to weight ratio for each of these 3 body types will vary. There is no magic number or "bullet" formula to denote where mileage begins and strength ends. This will be pure trial and error for you to find on your own. This line is more "thin" than you think. Its a "razor's edge." There's a "cusp," and only you will know where that will be.

It will take some figuring out, and this will take place over time. Its not an overnight process. I'll give you an example: I found that when I did over 10+ mile runs that my strength decreased by 10 lbs. in each Olympic Lift I did in "CrossFit." I didn't like this. Not one bit. As a climber, that strength to weight ratio is crucial. To be "top heavy" is detrimental (its just more weight to "lug" up the wall). To be too light, is to potentially not have the strength to "pull" that difficult "crux" move. You need both. Like a gymnast. In fact, many pro. climbers, were once professional or collegiate gymnasts. There is a good deal of overlap with the two sports. With the type of climbing one does, however, it gets even more specific. If you carry a trad. rack up with you (because you're placing your own gear, not clipping into bolts, like sport climbing), the ability to "carry loads across various modal domains" becomes a necessity. Trad. racks are heavy. They get more heavy, too, with the length of route and difficulty of climb. As I began to run more, my (small) rack began to feel like the weight of the world, as I climbed up a standard 80 ft. route. This is not helpful to me.

My trad. rack weighs 15 lbs.  I hope to only make mine heavier, by getting more pieces, so that I may work different sizes of cracks. :) Get too skinny, and this will feel like a ton, half-way up a climb. You're legs will be trembling, and your forearms burning, panting to catch your breath. Maintain muscle mass, and it feels a lot better to lug up a route. :)

Certainly, whether you care or not about maintaining strength to weight ratio, depends on your athletic interests, right? Not necessarily. For "Roger," he didn't want to carry a trad. rack up a wall. He just wanted to lift a backpack with textbooks in it. An everyday activity. Are you a mother? Lifting your children (not to mention the groceries, etc.) could be important for you. Think because you can run an ultra that means you're strong? Mentally speaking, there's no question about it. That takes a mental focus, par none. Physically speaking, one of the world's best, struggled with a backpack full of books. I leave that for you to ponder.

Olympic lifts are a good barometer of whether your strength is being compromised, as you increase your mileage (whether it be by foot, bike or swim). It took me 2 weeks, after my last 1/2 marathon last year, to get my PR'd weight back for all my lifts. 2 weeks. That astonished me. All that hard work, I had built up over the 3.5 years I'd done diminished rapidly as I began "clocking" 10+ mile "long runs." Everything seemed harder. Carrying my climbing pack, helping my dogs into the car, carrying multiple bags of groceries at once. It was something I was acutely aware of.

Your mileage to strength diminishment distance may look different than mine. You will need to find out for yourself what this is. I will say this, though. Remember several months back, when I was doing running laps up "Pilot Butte," and came upon an injured woman? I posted on my "Facebook" page about it. I was able to do the "Partner Carry" (as we call it in "CrossFit"), and run her up the last 1/2 of the Butte, to where the ambulance met us. I thought in my mind, as I walked down after the incident, "Thank God, I'd gotten my lifts back to where they were in weight." If I had kept doing 1/2 marathon, after 1/2 marathon, I would've been too weak to carry her (while running!) up the Butte to medical care. Being strong has function. It has purpose. It can save lives. Its not just about feeling strong and looking fit (which is also a nice side benefit). Its about being useful in times of emergency, and no one knows when those times will be. I'm not saying it will never happen. I know better than to "never say never." It is highly unlikely, however, you will ever have to run 26+ miles in an emergency. It could happen. But, I'm doubting it.

2 women performing the "Partner Carry" in "CrossFit"

I believe nature is the truest picture of our essence. Chinese medicine states we are all governed by the same laws, man and animal alike. We are all governed by gravity. We all have the same bare necessities (sun, air, water, etc.). No being is immune. Nature is non-judgmental fair play. Its "survival of the fittest." Period. There are fast animals. There are strong animals. There are animals in between.

If you look at nature, however, the "specialists" are the outliers. The cheetah, being the fastest in the world, and the large elephant, with its massive body are far and few between. Both are not prolific species. The ones that can adapt to all things thrown at them are abundant. They have qualities of strength, flexibility, agility and speed. However, the "specialists" give us a rare glimpse into the extremes of what nature is capable of. They are a "lens" into the beings who move outside the "bell shaped curve."

Wildlife biologists agree (thank you, Dr. Jane Goodall :) that the species that is able to adapt to a survival situation best is...(drum roll)...the monkey. Why? Think about it. If you have a fast cheetah, at one of the spectrum (a "specialist") and a strong elephant at the other end of the spectrum (a "specialist"), you find the monkey right in the middle, as far as physical adaptability and skills are concerned: they can forage food on the ground, in the trees, they can keep up a consistent (and surprisingly! clipped) pace as a tribe, they are strong, they have four limbs, strong grip-strength, they can move loads (including carry several babies) across modal domains (climb with them, run with them, even "water jog" with them in some areas of the world). They are hunters. They are gatherers. They eat meat. They eat foliage. They eat fruit. They eat berries. They adapt quickly to the environment (even when the humans mess this up). Granted, all of the above qualities that monkeys exhibit will vary, depending on what part of the world they live in. The point? Human influence aside, the "specialist" will go extinct before the monkey does. Gauranteed.

A monkey's fitness stretch across varying distances and modal domains. This gives them the "survival of the fittest" advantage.

What does this tell us about ourselves, and the way we should train? Coach Greg Glassman, founder of "CrossFit," gives us a pretty good "PALEO" prescription for fitness: "Our prescription of functionality and intensity is constantly varied. We believe that preparation for random physical challenges- i.e., unknown and unknowable events-is at odds with fixed, predictable and routine regimens."

This past week, I sat down with Dr. Jason Kremer, D.C., C.S.C.S. I asked him, "Dr. K., if you were forced to make a decision on which workout you had to miss, a "cardio" workout, or a "strength" workout (including body-weight placement gymnastics and lifting), which would it be?" Without hesitation, Dr. Kremer said "I would miss the 'cardio' workout." "Why?" I asked (knowing full well what his reason was). "Because strength will promote speed, but it doesn't work the other way around. Speed will diminish strength."

This is precisely the echo of "CrossFit": Anaerobic work capacity benefits aerobic, but not necessarily the other way around. The fact that my lifting weight decreased by 10 lbs. in every Olympic lift, while I was doing 10+ mile runs was proof enough for me. Again, is this a "bad" thing? Not if you're willing to accept the everyday consequences of this: picking up objects, pulling things, pushing things, etc. becoming increasingly more difficult. That is an informed choice one has to make. The problem? Most endurance athletes aren't informed to the extent they should be about the topic.

A thought, however: if you were in an emergency or survival situation, who would you want to be "stuck on the island" with? Someone who has the equivalent skills of the monkey, or the cheetah or elephant?

My clinical specialty ranges in 2 areas: sports medicine and gastro-intestinal disorders/nutritional deficiencies. The two often go hand-in-hand. I have yet to see someone who (really) cross-trains (and this does not mean "cross-train" with "cardio" activities) come in with the following complaints as they increase their training: water retention, difficulty dropping weight (you'd be surprised how many endurance athletes I hear this from a week), insomnia, acid reflux, IBS, and amenorrhea. Drop weight? How can someone who runs ultras or does triathlons have problems dropping weight? I look at the vast majority of endurance athletes, and there are few I look at whose bodies I envy. Either too skinny ("but hey, Almine, being 'light' makes me so much faster), or bloated with water retention ("I have to sleep with my compression tights on at night, or it looks like I'm pregnant the next day"). There is something askew with that picture. Sure, subscribing to the "carb loading" nutrition theory of the "dark ages" (yeah, that would be the 80's) could be adding "fuel to the fire," but remember this: the more you increase your mileage, the more need your body has for strength and power.

Let's face it. If you're what I term a "Cardio-phile," you may "cross-train" on a "Bosu" ball or with resistance bands, or with isolated machines 1-2x per week, because well, "I'm a runner, & that's what I want to do." That's fine, but be aware of the effects this will have. Reality check: you probably wouldn't be able to do enough cross-training to maintain muscle mass, if you keep adding mileage. It will be a constant battle for you to "catch up" in the strength-to-weight ratio department.

A pinnacle of fitness? "Bicycling" magazine sure thought so.

Towards the end of my running season, last year, I got tired of, well, being tired. That meant to me, a loss in strength for what I needed to do for my daily activities and other sports. I decided to try it the "CrossFit Endurance" way. For a 1/2 marathon distance, I began running no more than 10k runs. No more 10-milers, 12-milers, etc. I decided to take the challenge. Decrease my "long" run mileage. Increase my 400m and 800m sprint-runs, and weight on my Olympic lifts. Why work on heavy weight? Because, if you're lifting correctly, you should be feeling it all in your abs, hamstrings, and quads. In the words of Coach Glassman, "Lifts strengthen your 'posterior chain' (the backside of your legs). What did that do? My legs got so strong, from deadlifting, doing squats with weight overhead, etc. that hills began to feel like flat road. They became a joy (and still are) to me. That is because of lifting, not because I'm necessarily "clocking" a lot of mileage.

My current PR for a deadlift? 195 lbs. I'm still working on it. :)

In other words: Work on speed vs. distance. Explosive power vs. distance. My next 1/2 marathon time? 2:12. The one I had done prior (using the "training method" given to me by my local running store)? 2:35.

Along the course for "Cycle OR.," 2011 (with BFF, Julie Neff) :)

I leave this post with you as food-for-thought. I'm not telling you not to go and do a long bike ride, swim, or run. I would never begrudge a person the gift of feeling the sun on their face, and the wind in their hair, on beautiful road or trails, as long as they desire. I'm telling you, like with alcohol, sugar, etc., be aware of intake, and how much. That is all. I'm wanting to get you thinking about your training differently, even if its for an endurance event. I've done a number of "Adventure Races" at this point. I understand what training for 6, 12 and 24 hr. races feels like. I want to introduce, however, new concepts to you. I want to invite you to consider throwing out the window old information as the new comes along. Be open to it. If we drag the outdated theories along with us, as we learn more everyday, about the miraculous nature of the human body, mind and spirit, and what its capable of, we will be like a 10 yr. old, still stuck in its crib.

Trail-Running Along My Favorite Trail, From "Benham Falls" To "Meadow Camp"

One of my favorite sayings is "A Zen Mind Is A Beginner's Mind." Be willing to have the mind of a "beginner" everyday: open, fresh, with new eyes. You might be surprised how little it takes to go very far.

Processors sue over new rockfish program

Five major processors with plants at Kodiak are suing the federal government over the new Central Gulf of Alaska rockfish catch shares program.

The plaintiffs are Trident, Westward, North Pacific, Ocean Beauty and International.

The 21-page lawsuit accuses federal regulators of failing to do proper environmental studies before adopting the program.

The real issue, however, is who controls the fish.

Because the program establishes catch shares, but not processor shares, all the profit in rockfish harvest will go to vessel owners, the companies argue.

Well, Deckboss is sure he's greatly oversimplifying this. So he strongly recommends you read the lawsuit for yourself.

In particular, check out page 15, paragraph 39 of the complaint.

For background on the rockfish program, click here.

State, industry ask judge to lift Steller restrictions

We have a flurry of new filings in the Steller sea lion case.

As you'll recall, federal Judge Timothy Burgess last month upheld commercial fishing restrictions the National Marine Fisheries Service imposed to protect endangered Steller sea lions in the Aleutians.

However, the judge found that NMFS violated environmental law in taking the action.

He invited parties on all sides of the case to file further input on how to proceed.

The state of Alaska and industry groups want Burgess to lift the fishing restrictions while NMFS prepares an extensive environmental study. Read their filing here.

NMFS says the restrictions should stay in place while it does the study, which could take two years.

Well, sounds like we can look forward to another big ruling from Judge Burgess.

An app for everything

Copper River promoters have launched what they're calling the first-ever salmon locator app for Facebook.

Go to to find a king, sockeye or coho near you!

KVBC 2012 Ride Calendar

We had a great ride planning meeting last week at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine's Augusta office. We have almost a full calendar of rides for the year, with 15 people offering to lead rides for the club, many for the first time! And with new ride leaders come new routes, so we should have a great season ahead. Many thanks to all who contributed, and to the BCM for again offering us the use of their space for the planning meeting. There are still a few open dates available, so if you have a ride in mind, speak up! Contact Jim Merrick at 293-3784 or

Ride Regrouping, Blueberry Hill, Watson Pond Road, Rome



2/29 – “Leap Day Ride” - Hallowell Boat Landing, Hallowell, 11 AM, 15 mi., Jim Merrick


4/21 – “Wake Up the Earth Ride” – Kennebec Rail Trail, Augusta, 20 mi., 10 AM, Jim Floyd

4/28 – “The Wayne Way” – Wayne Elementary School, Wayne, 25 mi., 9:30 AM, Ray Giglio


5/5 – “Cinco de Mayo in Manchester” – Manchester Elementary School, Manchester, 25 mi., 9:30 AM, Jim Merrick

5/12 – “China Surprise” – Vassalboro Historical Society, East Vassalboro, 25 mi., 10 AM, Jeanine Libby

5/19 – “Windsor au Couture” – Windsor Fairgrounds, Windsor, 35 mi., 10 AM, Leanne Moll

5/26 – “Single Chainring Tour” – Lunch Pad Restaurant, Livermore, 25-30 mi., 8:30 AM, Frank Rosen


6/2 – “Big Lakes Tour” – Tom’s Bike Boutique, East Winthrop, 25-30 mi., 9 AM, Denise Crowell

6/10 – “Eleven Ponds Ride” – Mt. Vernon Post Office, Mt. Vernon, 30 mi., 9 AM, Jim Merrick

6/16 – “Kents Hill Ramble” – Torsey Church, Kents Hill, 25-30 mi., 8:30 AM, Ray Giglio

6/23 – “Capitol Breakfast Ride” – Hussey Elementary School, Augusta, 25-30 mi., 8 AM, Connie Brown

6/30 – “Independence along the Middle Road” – James H. Bean Elementary School, Sidney, 16 or 30 mi., Jim Putnam


7/7 – open

7/15 – “Biking to Bowdoinham” – Laura Richards Elementary School, Gardiner, 40-45 mi., 9 AM, Joe Renda

7/28 – “The Wayne Refrain” – Wayne Elementary School, Wayne, 25-30 mi., 8:30 AM, Ray Giglio


8/4 or 8/5 – open

8/11 – “Explore the New Merrymeeting Trail Interim On-Road Route: Gardiner to Richmond and Back” – Gardiner Waterfront Park, Gardiner, 30-35 mi., 9 AM, Dave Wood

8/18 –"Ken's Hot Dog Ride" - Wings Mills, 25-20 mi., 9 AM, Ken Louis

8/25 – “Explore the New Merrymeeting Trail Interim On-Road Route: Richmond to Topsham and Back” – Richmond Waterfront Park, Richmond, 30-35 mi., 9 AM, Dave Wood


9/1 – “Route 8 Figure 8” – Smithfield Fire Station, Smithfield, 25-30 mi., 9 AM, Larry Childs

9/9 – “Belgrade Lakes and Highlands” – Belgrade Community Center, Belgrade Lakes, 15-28-35 mi., 9 AM, Jim Merrick

9/15 – “A Cobbossee Odyssey” – Tom’s Bike Boutique, East Winthrop, 25-30 mi., 9 AM, Cynthia Snow

9/22 – “Ups and Downs of Industry” – Hannaford Plaza, Farmington, 25-30 mi., 9 AM, Larry Childs

Additional rides with dates not determined yet:

May – Kennebec River Rail Trail Ride, David Auclair

Fuglvog to do time for fishing violation

As expected, a federal judge this morning sentenced Arne Fuglvog to five months in prison for a commercial fishing violation.

Here is the court's sentencing form with more details.

Fuglvog is a former aide to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

Stolen from the Interwebs..

Here are some pics which I find humorous. Which I stole from the Internet. I mean, unicorns are being mean so it's good someone documented it, right? I've been meaning to buy the book The Internet is a Playground which I have read excerpts from..It seems hilarious.
The pic of me and the pizza is from my own private collection of pics of me with pizza.
I watched some of the StuporBowl last night and heard all the "whoo hooing!" from outside my apartment all night. I WAS SCARED TO GO OUT THERE! Man, people are crazy. Sports are so over!

Fuglvog explains, and his friends come out

Several interesting documents have been filed in court ahead of Arne Fuglvog's sentencing next week.

Here is a statement from Fuglvog himself explaining the pressures he was under when he committed a federal fishery violation.

And here are letters from friends asking the judge to take Fuglvog's character and public service into consideration at sentencing.

Tommy Thompson letter

Bob Thorstenson letter

Joe Plesha letter

Stephanie Madsen letter

Jay Sterne letter

Celes Eckerman Hughes letter

Random Pics Time..

I am so lazy about blogging..mainly because I forget to tape tings I go to or take photos of weird stuff I see around the hood..Lately I have a lot of stuff to post about so hopefully I will remember to blog more..Here are some random things I saw this week that I either find funny or depressing..The way Subway is taking is opening on St Marks soon..Ugh. A sign at a bar..A commercial for AXE body spray-Spray of Douchebags! being shot on my block..and sign from The Bean on second ave which I love to sit at and study..

Fuglvog's prison time could be cut in half

Federal prosecutors are now recommending only five months in prison for Arne Fuglvog, rather than the 10 months called for in a plea agreement.

The recommendation is in this sentencing memorandum filed yesterday in federal court in Anchorage.

Some incredible reading here, let me tell you, including details on why Fuglvog broke the law and his cooperation with investigators.

Sentencing is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday for Fuglvog, a former fisheries aide to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Fuglvog in August pled guilty to a commercial fishing violation prior to joining the senator's staff.