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2010 March 07 — Why Now?
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The Trail

Iditarod map even yearsI just realized I haven’t provided the trail distances between checkpoints.

Willow – Start
Yentna Station – 52 miles [84 km]
Skwentna – 34 miles [55 km]
Finger Lake – 45 miles [72 km]
Rainy Pass – 30 miles [48 km]
Rohn – 48 miles [77 km]
Nikolai – 75 miles [121 km]
McGrath – 54 miles [87 km]
Takotna – 18 miles [29 km]
Ophir – 25 miles [40 km]
Cripple – 59 miles [95 km]
Ruby – 112 miles [180 km]
Galena – 52 miles [84 km]
Nulato – 52 miles [84 km]
Kaltag – 42 miles [68 km]
Unalakleet – 90 miles [145 km]
Shaktoolik – 42 miles [68 km]
Koyuk – 48 miles [77 km]
Elim – 48 miles [77 km]
Golovin – 28 miles [45 km]
White Mountain – 18 miles [29 km]
Safety – 55 miles [88 km]
Nome – 22 miles [35 km]

The distance is from the previous checkpoint. Some teams in the early going will travel at 12 mph [20kph] or better with all 16 dogs eager to go.

March 7, 2010   4 Comments


Jo Becker and Ron Nixon have a nice little article in the New York Times about patriotic American corporations: U.S. enriches firms doing business with Iran

The federal government has awarded more than $107 billion in contract payments, grants and other benefits over the past decade to foreign and multinational American companies while they were doing business in Iran, despite Washington’s efforts to discourage investment there, records show.

That includes nearly $15 billion paid to companies that defied American sanctions law by making large investments that helped Iran develop its vast oil and gas reserves.

So, ACORN get a few million Federal bucks and is set up to look bad in a doctored video created by youthful offender, and Congress passes an unconstitutional bill of attainder to defund it, but US corporations are given billions in government business after having violated US trade sanction policies and laws.

Why don’t we send the board of Halliburton et al. to the same Federal prison as the people whose charities were supplying medical supplies to the Gaza Strip? The Supreme Court said they were people, and people go to prison for this sort of thing. If that’s too tough, why not just stop doing business with them?

March 7, 2010   2 Comments

They’re Off!

Iditarod map even yearsThe teams left Willow starting at 5:00PM CST [2PM local AKST] with Linwood Fiedler (2) and finishing at 7:20PM CST with Judy Currier (72). That means that Judy with have a mandatory 24-hour layover, while Linwood will have to stay 26 hours and 20 minutes.

The temperatures have been trending a bit lower, and there has been some light snow, but it still looks like a warmer than normal, rough course on both sides of Rainy Pass.

There will be a traffic jam on the trail to Yentna as the pace-setters move to the front and the rookies try to get out of the way. This something that has to take place early as the opportunities become limited once the teams encounter the mountains.

The first position changes won’t be official until the Yentna checkpoint.

Note: This post will be updated during the day, and the map changed on all posts to reflect the current situation.

All posts on the Iditarod can be seen by selecting “Iditarod” from the Category box on the right sidebar.

March 7, 2010   Comments Off on They’re Off!

What A Coincidence

The Local Puppy Trainer reports that a Democrat enters District 4 state House race

A Democrat has thrown her hat and a monkey wrench into the ring in the special election for the District 4 state House.

Navarre resident Jan Fernald paid her qualifying fee Friday to join the five Republican men campaigning for the job. Friday was the last day to qualify to run.

Because she is a Democrat, Fernald’s entry in the race closes the March 23 primary and extends the special election calendar to April 13, when a general election will be held.

Because of the way the district boundaries were created after the 2000 Census, the party primaries have become the de facto election in many areas of Florida, including the Panhandle. As a result of a lot of pressure the election law was changed so that if the primary will determine the seat, the primary is open, i.e. everyone can vote in it.

That happened in one election cycle following the introduction of the law. After that, magically someone appears to run for the office, so the primary can be closed. I have never heard of Ms Fernald, and so I don’t want anyone to assume that I’m saying that this is anything other than a coincidence that she should decide to run at the last possible date. It’s just another one of those strange coincidences that seems to occur in the Florida electoral system… in every election.

March 7, 2010   2 Comments