Bob Tkacz was found dead Tuesday. I met him briefly while I blogged about the legislature in 2010. Here's Bob Tkacz's empty chair and desk in the press room of the Alaska Capitol Building from that time.
I was blogging the legislature that session and dropped into the press room to check on the other folks who were covering the legislature. Folks suggested that I apply for a press pass - which would allow me to get on the floor of the House and Senate chambers and allow me to ask questions at press conferences. Bob, particularly, pushed that idea. A blogger had recently been turned down for a pass. While I was interested in the idea of a blogger getting a pass, I didn't see any great advantages - I could walk around at will and talk to folks except on the floors of the chambers - and wasn't sure how much extra work it would take to get. The told me that such press passes hadn't been required before Palin was governor. Then, apparently, there was concern that Outside media would cram the Capitol and that they'd need a way to control that. That seems to have been an unnecessary fear.
I also was told to look up Bob's past, and found that earlier he'd been stabbed and been found at the bottom of the long outdoor stairs that go from near the City Museum down to Willoughby. I looked it up, but didn't post about it in my post about meeting the press.
Bot struck me as an interesting person who didn't sugar coat anything. At only 61, he's gone way too soon. A lot of Alaska legislative history that was stored in his brain is now now gone. May he rest in peace.