Earlier this week, O.H.M. reported that a loose affiliation of Alaskans had taken to Kickstarter to hire a team of burly dudes with jackhammers, aiming to prompt their elected officials into some sort of action. The citizen group behind the effort--which is now calling itself "Alaskans for Action Through Loud Inconvenience" or AATLI--is now switching approaches slightly.
Last Tuesday, on the the 91st day of a 90-day legislative session, the hope was that 130 decibels of pneumatic metal-on-rock jackhammering directly under legislators' office windows would force the 60 elected representatives and senators in Juneau to reach a consensus on whatever stuff they were still fighting about, pass a budget, and go home.
But that hasn't worked, says Tim Jones, an AATLI spokesperson from the Kenai Peninsula.
"The jackhammer thing didn't pan out like we thought it would," Mr. Jones screamed over the sound of explosive air exhaust and hammer blows on the corner of Fourth and Main Streets in Downtown Juneau.
"So we decided to shut off almost every street from Whittier down by Centennial Hall all the way up to Calhoun Avenue near the Governor's Mansion in an effort to trap elected officials here like rats in a maze."
AATLI figures that since the jackhammers didn't expedite the legislative process and drive lawmakers out of Juneau as expected, the group would try the opposite tack and attempt to cordon off the entire Captial until the body does the job it was elected to do.
"We know this overtime session is costing the State $12,500 a day in payments to lawmakers, but frankly it's costing AATLI that much to fund the crews and equipment we hired to entrap them here. So it's sort of a wash for us," said Mr. Jones.
At press time, several lawmakers could be seen driving around in circles, looking for a way out of town toward the ferry terminal that links to the road system.