Alaska News Roundup for March 27

  • ISER was quite the Debbie Downer with their economic forecast. The Dispatch explains that part of the presentation included talk of taxes and raiding the Permanent Fund. It was Legislative Finance Division Director David Teal’s Lunch & Learn that was truly standing room only. While his spreadsheets impressed, his forecast matched ISER, though with softer rhetoric.Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 8.37.33 AM


  • The Washington Post’s coverage on the Oil Council’s presentation has created shock waves throughout Alaska and North Dakota: Shale (fracking) isn’t going to be enough to stave off heavy reliance on future imported oil. U.S. energy exploration should be focused on Alaska’s offshore Arctic waters.
  • Gov. Bill Walker’s Interior Energy Project bill has advanced from the Senate Energy Committee yesterday. Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner reports on the progress and the contentious mini-history of this piece of legislation.
  • Bloomberg explains why the eleven GOP Senators (including Sen. Lisa Murkowski) that voted for LGBT couple benefits matter in the greater scheme of things. The amendment passed 57-43 as part of the budget resolution that passed 52-46.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski was also part of the 61 “yea” voting block to pass the amendment in support of paid sick leave, per MSNBC.
  • Alexandra Gutierrez with APRN recounts the dramatic Senate Finance subcommittee hearing in which public broadcasting’s funding was completely cut in a charge lead by Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla).Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 8.32.04 AM


  • Alaska Pipeline reports that yesterday 75 ASRC Energy Services employees were blindsided when the “special early-morning training session” turned out to be a massive pink-slip surprise.
  • The Sitka Assembly might have voted down the Blue Lake dam expansion’s rate hike, but KCAW reports that this might not prevent the rates from increasing.
  • The results from the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s commissioned water study discovered two previously unknown water aquifers, per the Peninsula Clarion.
  • People all over the state (and in D.C.) participated in the “Choose Respect” march yesterday. That didn’t stop the Senate Finance subcommittee to cut the funding for the program just a few hours later.
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    The Mat-Su Valley

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    Bethel, photo credit

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    Sen. Lisa Murkowski & Staff


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    Sen. Dan Sullivan & Staff

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    Barrow, photo credit KTUU

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    Sitka, photo credit KCAW

  • National Fisherman has a piece on why Pebble Mine is bad, but takes the interesting angle of precedence and tradition to bolster the anti-pebble argument.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan are co-sponsoring a bill to rename about 60% (the designated wilderness section) of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve after former Gov. Jay Hammond, per NewsOK.
  • For those not glued to their CSPAN yesterday, Politico explains in engaging details the brawl on the Senate floor that almost evolved into fisticuffs between Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The 2016 Republican primary never ceases to disappoint the popcorn gallery.
  • In more decorous behavior over in the House chamber, Rep. Don Young introduced a bipartisan measure to expand free or reduced summer meals from two to three meals a day, per The Hill.
  • Don’t exaggerate your yawns or clear your throats too much while going through airport security or TSA will mistake you for a terrorist. The Hill explains why these and other normal movements are now part of TSA’s SPOT program.
  • It turns out that Sitka Trend’s 2014 Economic Newsletter on water might have served as a foundation to have Sitka’s water transported to California as a way to help ease their drought situation, per the Sitka Sentinel.
  • The Frontiersman’s puny/funny headline, “Wasilla council ‘rehashes’ pot laws” on privately made marijuana edibles says it all.
  • The Juneau Empire was on hand during the induction of 2015’s Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.
  • Want to know more about the future of the McGrath Road? The DOT is hosting an open house March 31 from 5:00-7:00pm at the Mushers’ Hall in Fairbanks. For more information, check out DOT’s website: or contact by email:
  • Where there is a will, there’s a way has been put to good use with Anchorage’s newest private club, Pot Luck Events. APRN explains how this members-only private business is creatively working within the state’s marijuana laws and adding to the city’s tax base.
  • Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has announced his retirement from politics. In memorandum, Politico has his top 10 greatest insults. The best one? “—On former Pres. George W. Bush’s pet: “Your dog is fat.” (January 2010) Ouchie.Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 11.52.35 AM

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