Monday, June 06, 2011

Removing Warts - Board Conceptually Approves Anchorage, Matsu, Valdez, Fairbanks, and Southeast

Sunday, the staff said they spent removing 'warts' from the various plans and today they went through them to explain strange bumps and shapes that for various reasons like following a creek, or a housing development or a census block that had few people but took up lots of land, they left the warts in.  As they went through each area, the conceptually approved them.  Then, before approving the rural Native districts, they went into executive session to discuss potential litigation, which I assume they think could result from their Native districts.  They scheduled to reconvene at two.  I scheduled another meeting I had to do for whenever the break was, so I haven't been able to load any photos to show some of the 'warts' they left in.  It's going on 2pm, so I'm just posting this for the three people who care. 

Below are my running notes during the meeting.  I haven't had a chance to edit at all.  So be warned - this is like an abstract painting of the meeting.  You get the idea, but don't assume anything is verbatim or that everything is there.  I did a little video taping, so there's a gap for that too. 

June 6, 2011

Taylor Bickford:  Spent weekend going over plans, cleaning up little things.  Go over the changes with the board so they know what it is before they approve it

Start with Anchorage:  Chair circled some warts and asked me to see if they could be fixed.  How?  If not, why not?

District 33 - affected 33 and 21 - added tail on hilside.  Without the tail, it follows the Basher Community Council exactly.  Didn’t affect any population.

Chunk of 22 into 23 - couldn’t be changed without fundamentally changing the plan.   REally dense population in neighborhood - 120, 135.  Don’t cleanly break.  No matter how you change it, if you put it back into 23, there’s no clean place to do.  You’re following the Chester Creek boundary

19/20  along base boundary.  No one lives there, but right next to it is a dense block.  Added one empty block in.

27nw corner - nothing severe, something to clean up if you could.    Fix one part, clean boundary along the airport to fish creek.  How would it affect Meets and bounds - good to have easily describable boundaries.  Also makes voters job easier to understand where their district is. 

PeggyAnn McConnochie  asked about another bump -A:  follows the creek. 

30, 31, 32, 33 - boundary RR and Seward Highway.  chunk of 32 past the Seward Highway.  Just looked awkward.  I tried to move things around.  Couldn’t figure out how to get the population back across the highway, wihtout shifting the district.  Huge amount of population.  Also awkward blocks going north - blocks go way up when you click them.  Deviations still good between 31, 32, 33.


this one followed campbell creek, Lake

32/22 - no way to make this straight - block shape problem, no way to fix, or natural boundary involved. 

10:22 - that concludes our work for Anchorage.  Making sure taken care of in logical way. 

27 yellow 26 25  - following Chester Creek, low population.  I didn’t want to change the district.  We’ve all done this hundreds of times, you know you shift 100 people and then hours later you have changed all the districts. 

Now on MOA Website - they have shape files online.  Pulling them up

PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Can you download current districts over this map?  A:  I can do that.

Almost identical to what we looked at the other day.  Want to point out htat West Anchorage - this whole area is airport and Kincaid park.  You could add it to 29 or 28 and it doesn’t make a difference.  Population is in Spenard, Forest Park, Turnagain, Westchester Lagoon. 

21 - You had Muldoon split 4 ways before and now all one district.

Downtown mostly the same.  Reunites Govt. Hill area, what we heard from testimony, respects the military boundary which other plans did not.    Everyone good on that?  I’ll check if the shape files are good. 

Back to MOA files online.  I think

PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Now that we know this, we won’t use it any more (software) [I think that’s what she was saying]

How many times community councils split.  A lot all in one district.  Some are split.  Some misleading because majority will still be together.  in this area - 22 and 33 -  a lot is unpopulated.

Really big - near airport - only divided 2x.  twice, twice, and a lot that are whole.  We don’t see some of the issues of other plans with seven or eight splits or three

Anything on Anchorage or move on to next region.

PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Move to adopt.
Marie Greene:  second
Torgerson:  Motion should reflect this is final draft plan.  Discussion?
I supposed we should do roll call
5 yes 0 nay  - Anchorage plan adopted as final draft plan. 

Next - Matsu, Kenai, Valdez, Fairbanks

Brody:  In Anchorage plan we didn’t look at ER.
Torgerson:  Good point.  Technically ER is part of Anchorage
Taylor Bickford:  We really didn’t change.  on the west there’s the Bases boundary.  Both ER districts - 18, 19 and a handful were the same in the various plans.  but 18 and 19 were identical.  I didn’t change anything.  I don’t know this area enough.
Torgerson.  We were only looking at anomalies.
TB: Moving into Matsu.  There were some changes.
Starting with 16.  [I took a short phone break.]    I don’t know Matsu that well.  Making little changes that sound like what I got on video
10:43:  That sums up Matsu.  A couple shifts on 12 boundary and 14 boundary.  Trying to respect city boundaries a little more.  You have to pick how far you’re going to bring 12 in.  Good to get Eric’s feedback.  If picking unpopulated districts, then affect compactness.  How far should you go.  Northern end follows drainage, Chase Place boundary until it intersects with another drainage. Trying to make Eric’s life easier [I think because he has to write the written descriptions of the boundaries of each district.]
Deviation from 12 increased, but not because of what happened on Matsu side.  I’d like to jump in on that now if that’s ok.
Torgerson: I think we should adopt Matsu first.  Anymore questions for Taylor? 
PeggyAnn McConnochie: I like that. 
Motion - PeggyAnn McConnochie?  Second:  Holm?
5-0 vote adopted

Go to district 12 next?

Cleaned up lines at Kenny Lake - mostly people got missed.  Helped 38 Native population.  Also Copper Center, mostly Native, a couple blocks had been added to 12 and I added everything back to 39.  Then if you work your way up, none of these other areas are split.

PeggyAnn McConnochie:  39’s VAP went up, right? 
Taylor Bickford: Got it from 66 to 67.  Good because grabbed some racially polarized areas of the state.  Probably some zero lots here - meets and bounds issue, not population. 
They gave us a sheet of criteria and this meets all those criteria.
Torgerson:  I don’t think they included the Matsu.
Taylor Bickford: They have the whole Delta.  That was one of Valdez’ points.  “If you take in Matsu, ok as long as not Pt. McKenzie.”
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  You did great.
Torgerson: Will of the floor on Valdez?
Holm:  We haven’t looked at upper portion.  Did you change anything in Fairbanks?
Taylor Bickford:  No changes.
Holm:  I say we should move to adopt that in our plan.
PeggyAnn McConnochie: second
Torgerson: Discussion?  Vote:
5-0 adopte D12 into final plan.
What’s next?  Kenai, SE, Fairbanks
Taylor Bickford:  No changes to SE.  PeggyAnn McConnochie did that with fine tooth come and they traveled the area, so no changes.
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  Eric said he did some water blocks. 
Torgerson:  Motion to adopt SE into our final draft plan.  Discussion?
5-0  yes

That leaves Kenai and Fairbanks - which next?

Taylor Bickford:  Kenai, no, let’s go to Fairbanks.
No changes.  Jim’s from Fairbanks and knows it well.
Holm:  No.  Looked at moving Eilson a bit, but no changes.  Population is pretty close. 

Torgerson: Motion to adopt Fairbanks into final draft plan.
5-0  yes - adopted

Next is Kenai:

Kenai depends on Native districts and how we do Fairbanks.

Going to Executive Session to discuss lititagion. 


  1. Is the "nude baker" also know as Bill Stoltz still protected by the highly irregular cutout from the ER districts for his Chugiak residence? In my opinion, for the good of Alaska, he and Johnny Ellis should be redistricted out of office.

  2. As of this afternoon the Chugiak district (19) has been paired with a house district (15) that is south and east of Palmer. But these numbers may change tomorrow - but the districts won't.

    Ellis wasn't paired with any other incumbent.

    I'm working on a post on all the Senate pairings and it should go up later tonight or tomorrow am.


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.