Non-Resident Workers on the North Slope

Andrew Halcro seems to play a little looser with facts when he’s writing about the oil business. When discussing non-resident workers on the North Slope in his most recent Drive By Shouting he claims that most of them are unskilled workers: “…the majority of non-resident workers drive tour buses, clean rooms and serve burgers and brews.” It beggars belief that there are so few unskilled workers in Alaska that the oil companies feel compelled to fly a bunch of maids and short-order cooks round-trip to the North Slope from the lower-48 once or twice a month.

Then just two paragraphs later he says the high percentage of non-residents working the North Slope is caused by a shortage of skilled workers in Alaska and a glut of skilled workers Outside: “…considering the increase in the skilled labor pool nationwide due to the economy. Couple the increased availability of skilled industry workers and attractive wages due to the harsh climate of Prudhoe Bay, with the lack of skilled workers in Alaska and you have a recipe for non-resident workers.”

So most of the the Outside workers on the North Slope are unskilled workers because Alaska has so few skilled workers? C’mon Andrew, you can’t have it both ways.

Having said that, I agree with Andrew that it is not an issue that should be addressed by the state leaning on the oil companies to hire more Alaskans. If we really want more residents on the slope then we need to analyze the jobs being filled by non-residents and develop education and training programs that allow Alaskans to develop the skills needed to fill those jobs.

Kids Art Camp 2011 with Erin Pollock and Steph Kese

pollockThis year the kids will study the work of other contemporary artists and learn to use many different media and techniques including:


August 5th is the First Friday Art Walk and they plan to have an EXHIBITION of all the work from both classes at a gallery downtown. The kids will help plan the opening, hang the show, spread the word, and invite all their friends and family to see their work.

There are 2 sessions to choose from :

SESSION #1 : July 25th-29th
SESSION #2 : August 1st-5th
(10-3pm M-F)
Max. 8 kids per session

AGES 6-12

Cost: $500 per child + materials (they will provide a list 2 weeks before the session starts)

To reserve a spot send email keseypollock(at) and a $100 deposit to:

512 W 6th Ave #3
Anchorage, AK 99501

About The Artists

These camps will be taught by artists Erin Pollock (from Anchorage) and Steph Kese (Seattle-based). Erin and Steph have collaborated on art projects for the last 5 years, exhibiting together at multiple festivals such as Bumbershoot Arts Festival (Seattle), Cannes Film Festival (France), and 911 Media Arts (Seattle).

In Memory of Karl Leray

PROFILE by Karl LeRay
PROFILE, a photo by Karl LeRay on Flickr.

My good friend Karl Leray passed away unexpectedly Wednesday night. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace my friend.

King Salmon

King Salmon by dean.franklin
King Salmon, a photo by dean.franklin on Flickr.

Bright king salmon fresh from the Deshka.

Addy Learns to Cast

Addy Learns to Cast a video by dean.franklin on Flickr.

Addy got a new reel and we drove out to the Eklutna Tailrace to do a little fishing. There weren’t any fish but Addy was happy to cast and cast and cast until her arms got too tired to cast any more.