Alaska News Roundup for Feb. 20

  • In the most unexpected way to get traction, Mayoral candidate Jacob Seth Kern left a memorable message on KTUU’s Austin Baird’s voicemail. Apparently putting Mr. Kern on Political Pipeline will make Baird, “the most Jedi Knight in awesome in the galaxy.” The Anchorage mayoral races just got fun!
  • The White House Office of Management and Budget has approved new regulations on oil and gas drilling within the U.S.’ Arctic Ocean boundaries. The Hill explains the plans (that will be made publicly available in a few days) in a nutshell.

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  • Americans for Prosperity, Koch Brothers’ backed group, has raised its heavily financed head and has decided to devote their attention to preventing Alaska’s Medicaid expansion. APRN explains why.
  • Gov. Bill Walker wrote an op-ed in the Dispatch and laid out his case on why the state needs to have ownership control over the gas line.
  • The Intercept made waves yesterday with their article on how the U.S. and the United Kingdom somehow hacked into one of the world’s largest cellphone chip manufacturer located in the Netherlands and have allowed these two governments to steal and spy on private individuals through their cell phones. The Hill has the skinny on these unfolding events.

  • Gov. Bill Walker announced his appointment of three new board members to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation Board of Directors. KTVA has the footage of the presser and the Juneau Empire reports how Rep. Mike Hawker (R-Anchorage) and Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) had worked themselves into a tizzy yesterday over Gov. Bill Walker’s new vision for AGDC.   Nathaniel Herz with the Dispatch puts a bow around the whole situation with a succinct article.

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  • Politico reports on the recent importance of Iowa’s straw poll/cattle call: It was the official “Kiss of Death” for Sarah Palin’s political influence.
  • ASAP (Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline project) is the new word being bantered about the capital. APRN has the details on Gov. Walker’s plan to “scale it up.”
  • The Daily Signal has an op-ed that gives backstory on Pebble Mine while explaining the mine’s supporters side of the events so far.
  • The Board of Fish and Game have decided to once again close the Kenai River early to fishing for kings through July 31 to protect spawning of early runs of the fish, per the Peninsula Clarion.
  • Sen. Bill Stolze (R-Chugiak) might have started the process to repeal the state’s film industry incentive program with SB39, the Dispatch reports that the film office’s annual report boasts of a growing industry that spent $1.2 million on 91 resident wages and at Alaskan business in 2014 alone.
  • KRBD announced that the community of Saxman just received $825,000 in federal HUD grants to expand the Edwin DeWitt Carving Center.

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