Alaska News Roundup April 30

  • Put down the coffee. Step away from anything pointy or sharp because the Kodiak Daily Mirror reports that the U.S. Navy is planning to use naval shells, sonar, and LIVE BOMBS as part of their military training actives near Kodiak Island. Naturally the Sun’aq Tribe is alarmed. HERE is a link to federal and state representative contact details. map


  • Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner has the details on Gov. Bill Walker’s logical reasons for keeping the legislature in Juneau until the budget is passed.
  • Don’t sweat if you missed KSKM and KSKA’s Anchorage Mayoral Run-off debate, Running, Wednesday night. Here is the debate in all its glory. Check out the Political Calendar for upcoming debate information.Running


  • Alaska’s oil wonks should read Politico’s background story of Saudi Arabia’s new King Mohammed bin Salman and why he is throwing the U.S. government for a loop as our diplomats are signaling the inability to comfortably predict a continual favorable relationship with the oil rich country.

  • The Peninsula Clarion reveals why the state Board of Fisheries still has an open seat after two nominees failed to receive enough confirmation votes by the state legislature.
  • It just got a little more expensive to use Seward’s harbor. The Seward City News was on hand when the Seward City Council approved to raise charge of dishonored checks by $1.75, reblocking fees, wharfage rate for boat fuel, and the contentious increase cost to use the Travelisft for more than an hour.
  • Exxon Mobil and Shell are not very happy campers today as their 46% decline in quarterly earnings was reported. The New York Times reveals that while it was better than analysts expected, they are not the only O&G producer in the US to have depressed earnings with ConocoPhillips seeing a first quarter net income of $272 million (it was $2.1 billion in 2014’s first quarter reporting).
  • The Hill explains the main points from a recent AFL-CIO report on workplace injuries, other conditions and deaths. The Good News is that while Alaska ranks 4th in the nation of highest fatality rate with 9 per 100,000 workers, it is part of a declining trend from the peak of 11.5 per 100,000 workers in 2010! Yay?!graph


  • Anchorage mayoral candidate Ethan Berkowitz is leading opponent Amy Demboski in fundraising. The Berkowitz campaign raised more than twice the amount of the Demboski campaign with $220,848.13 to her $97,942.39 between March 29-April 25. APRN reveals the significant donors for each campaign and how some of their donations have been spent.
  • Telemedicine has been a forced accepted part of Bush Alaska for a while. Wired explains that this style of limited medical care could soon become the norm with UnitedHealthcare leading the way for mainstream integration.
  • KCAW has the reasons for the state budget cut of 23.5% to Alaska’s public broadcasting.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan was part of a bipartisan senatorial gaggle that introduced a bill today to once again try to cub the EPA’s power to regulate pollution in streams, wetlands and other waterways, according to The Hill.
  • Anchorage’s infamous Spirits of Alaska package store saw the rejection of their liquor license renewal by the ABC Board. The owners plan to appeal the decision, per the Dispatch.
  • Bethel City Council is mad as hell about the liquor store license applications by the Bethel Native Corporation and the Alaska Commercial Company and they voted to share their community’s outcry with the ABC Board. APRN explains that the ABC Board is required by state law to honor protests from government bodies unless it is found to be “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.”
  • In other ABC Board news, the Dispatch’s Molly Dischner reports that they are expected to hold their first meeting regarding marijuana regulations today.
  • The Anchorage Mayoral race is skirting the edges of Jerry Springeresque politics with Amy Demboski’s insistence that her opponent Ethan Berkowitz might condone incest due to a Jerry Prevo sermon where Prevo claimed that Berkowitz condoned father-son marriages. Devin Kelly with the Dispatch clarifies the sordid details of this growing brouhaha.
  • Alaska’s trains are killing fewer moose! The Fairbanks News Miner reports that according to the Alaska Railroad and the state Department of Fish and Game that the number is at a ten-year low.Moose


  • GCI, AT&T, Verizon and a few other service providers should be commended for waiving telephone call fees to Nepal. The Juneau Empire explains this good corporate citizenship act and how it will affect Alaskans trying to reach friends and family in Nepal.
  • Charles Hamel died at the age 84 after becoming a reformer for workers’ safety within the oil industry. Hamel began his career as the executive assistant to Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK) and was well known for his support for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. It wasn’t until his oil and shipping business went bankrupt in the early 1980’s that Hamel began to uncover unsavory practices by the oil companies that created environmental and worker hazards that broke the EPA rules and regulations. His efforts to bring attention to these practices created the foundation of many of the citizen oversight organizations Alaska enjoys today.  Chuck Hamel



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