Looking back on the election

Here are a couple of observations from last week's general election.

First, it appears state Rep. Bill Thomas, who calls himself the only commercial fisherman in the Alaska Legislature, might have lost his seat.

The Haines Republican currently stands 43 votes behind Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Democrat from Sitka.

State election officials still must tally absentee and question ballots.

Even if Thomas somehow rallies past his young challenger, he won't keep his powerful post as co-chair of the House Finance Committee. That's because the House majority leadership on Thursday installed Rep. Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, as committee co-chair, with Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, continuing as the other co-chair.

In other action, Alaska voters handily approved a $453 million bond issue for port and other transportation projects statewide.

The bonding package includes $10 million toward a proposed expansion of the Seward Marine Industrial Center.

This is of great interest to Coastal Villages Region Fund, a fishing company operating under the federal Community Development Quota program.

Coastal has amassed quite a fleet of fishing vessels, from salmon tenders right up to the 341-foot factory trawler Northern Hawk.

Coastal wants to "Alaskanize" its operations, which would involve basing its vessels not in Seattle but in an Alaska port, specifically Seward.

But $10 million doesn't get the job done. Recent studies have shown it would take several times that much to expand Seward's port sufficiently to accommodate Coastal's full fleet.

It would appear Coastal is working to woo as large a public subsidy as possible for its fleet relocation.

And why does Deckboss make such a remark?

Here's a press release from Coastal, issued on election day last week, that includes supportive comments from Alaska's entire congressional delegation, as well as state Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer.