Alaska News Roundup for November 2

  • Infrastructure funding and water regulation over minor waterways under the Clean Water Act will be the main points of contention focus this week in Congress.
  • While Sen. Lisa Murkowski made the time to congratulate Soldotna’s own Anna DeVolld on her winning essay about the US Capital Tree and right to light the tree all the way in Washington, D.C., the same could not be said about Little Anna’s own Sen. Peter Micchiche or Rep. Kurt Olson.Murkowski

 

  • Saxman is getting their wish in will once again be designated as rural and be regranted the ability to hunt with subsistence allowances by the of the Interior AND Kenai, Wasilla/Palmer, Homer and Ketchikan’s areas will be returning to their pre-2007 nonrural boundaries!

  • In head scratching news: the City of Homer has agreed to pay bankrupt Buccaneer $8,730 of the original $17,460 the Australian oil drilling company had demanded in repayment for the city’s port services (which Buccaneer received)that occurred within the 90 day period prior to Buccaneer’s bankrupsy filing. The Homer Tribune has the twisted backstory along with a litany of people and businesses that never even got paid for their services rendered.
  • It seems that Hillary Clinton isn’t the only politician caught using private email for official state business! Turns out that Rep. Mike Hawker (R-Anchorage) used his personal email account to discuss the “Taj Mahawker” lease with the developer to ensure it complied with state law. The Fairbanks News Miner included some choice quotes from Rep. Hawker’s email like, “Cr@p, I need to get back and deal with him again” and that he didn’t see anything the Legislature’s chief lawyer or any other state official “can do now to derail this.”
  • Nathaniel Herz of the Dispatch was combing the Juneau Streets on Halloween and caught Rep. Dan Saddler (R-Eagle River) cheekily wearing a “moneyman” costume.Saddler

 

  • The proposed $200+ million Alaska Deep Draft Arctic Port System might be put on hold, but that hasn’t stopped the City of Nome or its port administrators from vowing to continue the fight and see the port expansion become reality, per the Nome Nugget.
  • Seward’s City Council voted to raise the rates on city electric, sewer and water services. In fairness though, Icicle Seafoods Inc. and the Sealife Center’s special contracts also received a raise in their rates for subsidized electricity. The Seward City News has even more details of this mondo hearing.
  • The Mat-Su Borough increase in population brought some interesting points to a recent Borough Assembly meeting including the fun tidbit that the Houston-Palmer-Wasilla and the Butte, Knik-Fairview areas will go from rural à urban for federal transportation designation.
  • November 10 is right around the corner but not soon enough for the North Slope Borough Assembly run-off between incumbent Forrest “Deano” Olemaun and Roy Nageak who was 53 votes ahead after the October 6 election. The Arctic Sounder has the candidates written answers to some questions…including Nageak throwing considerable shade at Olemaun with the “How do you stand apart from Olemaun as a candidate?”
  • Rep. Lynn Gattis (R-Wasilla) gave a shout-out via Twitter and FB to Jessica Steele on her appointment to the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers. Steele is renown for creating THE iconic Palin up-do.Steelepalin

 

  • McKinley Meat and Sausage has taken to the information superhighway to rally support for necessary funding that will keep their business doors open past June 2016. The Dispatch points out the catch 22 situation the state’s only meat processing facility has found itself regarding an agriculture revolving loan fund that will solve its fiscal needs but it is technically owned by the state and thus needs the legislature’s vote for access to the money.
  • Alaska’s $45-65+ billion (yes, “B” as in billion) LNG pipeline project is on track and has already far exceeded any previous AKLNG project efforts. The Juneau Empire was on hand during the joint finance committee hearing on the issue to hear Exxon’s spokesperson’s “jokes” and questions by Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Anchorage).
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski caused quite a stir within the beltway in her GOP weekly address where not only the Dispatch, but also World Oil were surprised by her pointed words directed at the Obama administration over…amongst many things federal overreach with energy production.
  • First Lady Donna Walker’s family has just expanded by a lot with her surprise adoption into the Tlingit clan last Thursday night during a festive celebration during the Sharing Our Knowledge Tlingit Clan Conference. First Lady Walker’s new name is Koodeishghe after the late (and highly respected) Lydia George of Angoon.
  • The Hill reports that the House will FINALLY vote to lift the 40+ year old ban on crude oil export today. It is anticipated to pass with flying colors.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan might have been down but they were not out in getting their message to visiting DoD Sec. Ash Carter while airplane mechanical troubles prevented them from personally delivering their sentiments.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan was on Your World with Neil Cavauto to discuss his “no” vote on the budget bill.   While my little bird found him eloquent, his lime green stripped tie “was a distraction.”
  • “Consolidation” was the word Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Mayor Mike Navarre used multiple times to encourage the Homer City Council’s to consider centralizing borough services in the face of dwindling revenue. The Homer Tribune reports that the first step would be to consolidate the emergency fire services and health care.
  • Anchorage has a new library branch!  Ok, sort of.  One of my little birds sent me this photo of the leased space in the Sears Mall as another example of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz‘s New Era…or convenient timing.SEARS Library
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