Alaska News Roundup for December 23 & 24

  • Sitka could have the proud distinction of an experimental pot buffer zone between cannabis businesses and schools. This will be up for a vote with the Sitka Assembly next week. The Juneau Empire explains what exactly a “buffer zone” is and it is supposed to work.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner has an engaging editorial on the budget that basically boils down to, “Hey legislators, put on your big girl panties and get your job done.”oPW3V1uhRL2YIYaYglj7_tumblr_nk7eysuwpJ1qiavcao1_400


  • While it was reported earlier that Alaska has seen its straight 7 month increase in laid off O&G employees, the Peninsula Clarion has some good news involving the sector: North Slope spending will continue as ConocoPhillips is excited about its future GMT-1 oil project and Doyon’s onshore staging will see its rig in place this spring while the Cosmopolitan O&G field will be getting LOTS of love from a number of energy companies.

  • Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and the Anchorage Municipal Employees Association have reached a tentative labor contract after an exhausting negotiation process. The terms include an annual raise of 1.5% for the next 3 years, employees will pay 40% of medical costs, and overtime will be based on worker classification. My little bird told me that both sides are “pleased.”
  • 911 in the Mat-Su is $900,000 worth of important services, but the Frontiersman explains the Borough’s recent white paper that found the price tag of an improved system would be an increase of $1.2 million.
  • Self-identifying Christians have dropped by 5% since 2008 though Gallop has discovered that non-Christian religions have remained a steady 5%-ish. The biggest increase? People that self-identify as having no religious leanings up from 2008’s 14.6% to 2015’s 19.6%.Gallup


  • NPR has an extensive article about Alaska being #1 in the country for pot cafes and even has Juneau’s interim Mayor Mary Becker weighed in on Juneau’s soon-to-be-realized Rainforest Farms cannabis café.
  • APRN has the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 legislative priorities. Nope, kittens were not included…but it would have been awesome if they had been.
  • Alaska state courthouses will be quiet this Christmas Eve as Gov. Bill Walker continues the newish tradition of furloughing court employees and judges in an estimated cost savings of $500,000 +/-.
  • Politico has an amusing roundup of the best political GIFs of 2015. Who can forget the Notorious RBG’s State of the Union lack of enthusiasm?RBG asleep


  • Sen. Dan Sullivan spoke to a joint Kenai and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon where he focused on economy and regulation reform.
  • In that is too cool news; the US Senate has Secret Santa just like you & me! Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s Secret Santa was uber liberal Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) who gave her the gift of a personally drawn US map personalized with highlights from her life. Best gift from what the Fiscal Times reported? Hands down Sen. Brian Schatz’s (D-HI) gift of Kona Coffee. Those beans make a yummy cup of coffee.

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