My employer requires that I possess a Transportation Worker's Identification Credential (TWIC) card, just in case I'm ever needed to respond to an emergency at the Valdez Marine Terminal.
To acquire the card requires me to travel to the TWIC office in Anchorage to enroll, and again later to activate and pick up the card. The TWIC office is 380 miles from my home, thus each trip costs me considerable time and money.
So, this afternoon I came down to pick up my TWIC card only to be told that the microchip in the card won't work. This means I'll have to make a THIRD expensive and time consuming trip to Anchorage. Doesn't anyone think to test these things before they're shipped out?
The TWIC is supposed to show that I've passed a background check. That just adds insult to injury. As an armed security guard I'm required to undergo a background check every other year. I also own a small business as a black powder dealer, which means I'm licensed by BATF and undergo a background check every other year. On my job, I'm required to maintain my EMT-III certificate, including a back ground check every other year.
How many times do government agencies have to check my backgrounds to figure out I'm not only harmless, I'm actually doing my level best to HELP my fellow Americans. The repetitive redundancy and expense of jumping through the same hoop over and over, for different agencies is absurd.
All I want to do is earn a living - is that such a crime that I have to punished with multiple expensive trips to Anchorage to pick up a card that in all likelihood I'm never going to actually need?
Out on the I'Rod Trail
Jeff King was the first musher to reach the Yukon River checkpoint of Ruby, where he collected a gourmet meal and a $3,500.00 prize for his efforts. Provided by the Mellenium Hotel of Anchorage, King's early morning supper consisted of and Alaska king crab appetizer, Bison stew, Grilled halibut, Lemon sorbet, Tenderloin tournedos, Fruit and cheese and Blackberry jubilee.
Lance Mackey was the second musher to reach the river, arriving in Ruby an hour and 12 minutes after the leader. Race rules require mushers to take an 8 hour layover somewhere on the Yukon River. Both King and Mackey completed their layovers before leaving the checkpoint, and they are now racing toward Galena.
Also on the trail toward Galena are Hugh Neff, Mitch Seavey, Hans Gatt, Sonny Lindner, Sebastian Schnuelle, Ken Anderson, Sven Haltman and John Baker.