Anchorage parks are taking a page from the Handmaid’s Tale and plan to use pictographs instead of words on trails and maps, per the Dispatch. Really, this is actually happening.
The City and Borough of Sitka’s recent assembly meeting was very busy indeed between the reappointment of Dan Jones to the Gary Paxton Industrial Board, Eric Skousen to the Port and Harbors Commission and Tami ParkerSong to the Planning Commission; the finalization of the raw water contract for $1,000,000; and Mayor McConnell signing a coalition letter to Pres. Obama in support of continued climate action.
Juneau’s City Manager Kim Kiefer’s planned retirement for December 2015 has been extended to April 30, 2016 because of the 33 applicants for her soon-to-be-vacant job…not one was determined worthy of her mantle. The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly will begin anew in January with the hopes of finding someone by the end of February.
It is good news for Sen.Lisa Murkowski’s quest to lift the export ban on crude oil! Politico explains how yesterday’s Iranian nuclear deal only gives her supporters more leverage to “get’er done.”
In light of yesterday’s historic Iranian nuclear accord, one of my little birds sent me this touching YouTube video about how we are more alike than different.
For Mat-Su residents planning on taking a dump run, prepare to pay a little bit more now at both the local transfer stations and the borough landfill because the Mat-Su Borough Assembly has passed rate increases. The Frontiersman explains that beginning July 1, it will cost $6 to dump (2) 33-gallon garbage bags and getting rid of more will trigger extra fees.
Mark your calendars for July 15 because the Dispatch reveals this will be the day Gov. Bill Walker explains how his administration will be moving forward with Medicaid expansion.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski lead a block of senators in urging the director of NSA to keep them abreast of international security implications of expanding US energy output while the issue of lifting the 40+ year old crude export ban is being bandied about Congress, per Business Insider.
Hey Kodiakians! Want to run for Mayor or City Council? Well, today’s your lucky day because you totally can! Mayor Pat Branson, Council members Gabriel Saravia and Richard Walker’s terms end this October and Kodiak needs you!
You’d be a perfect candidate. Take the plunge!
The OPM data hack has now officially affected 22.1 million people and The Hill reports that there is a bill that would give these victims identify theft protections for the rest of their lives.
Barrow is about has happy about Shell’s offshore drilling as Seattle, but instead of protesting via kayaks they are planning on a beach vigil to “gather in unity for the safety of the Arctic Ocean.” For those interested in participating the Arctic Sounder reports that it will be held on July 18 at Nalakuataq.
APRN reports that while the ship containing federally required blowout response equipment is heading to Oregon for repairs, Shell does not anticipate an interruption in their 2015 drilling schedule.
Alaska is synonymous in many minds with polar bears, Palin and men-lots and lots of men. The Washington Post has a captivating breakdown of not only where men out number women in total population, but also by age group. For Alaskan men seeking a female counterpart between the ages of 30-34…you’re really out of luck.
While cannabis is legal in Alaska, where you can open-carry your greenery is getting a bit more complicated in Anchorage as the Dispatch explains that a proposed ordinance by Anchorage Assembly Ernie Hall and Amy Demboski will ensure that weed can only be kept in the trunk of your car.
Fairbank’s commercial pot district is slowly materializing with the Fairbanks News Miner expecting the Fairbanks North Star Borough to finalize the zoning ordinances in time for business owners to purchase commercial permits from the state in time for summer 2016.
Sen. Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks), Rep. Dave Talerico (R-Healy), Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole), and Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) will be speaking at the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce about the previous legislative session as well as their forecast for 2016.
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Cordova has a friend in the fight to prevent the Navy from exploding bombs, releasing toxic waste, etc., this summer in the Gulf of Alaska with the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly. During their last meeting, the assembly passed a resolution to oppose the scheduled summer exercises.
It’s Official: Ethan Berkowitz is the next Mayor of Anchorage. The Dispatch reports that he received 74%60.74% of the vote with Amy Demboski receiving 39.26%.
The Juneau Empire explains Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) and the GOP lead House Majority proposed accountancy jiu-jitsu to gain access to the Permanent Fund. Sen. Dennis Egan (D-Juneau) mentions this move is “volatile”, while my little birds are saying:
APRN has Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) and House Minority’s side to oppose the House Majority’s Permanent Fund raid.
Indian Country Today did not mince words about Rep. Don Young’s behavior during a Congressional hearing where Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn testified on Native rights. Ouchie.
Today is the Anchorage Mayoral election. Click HERE to find your polling location. Polls are open from 7:00am-8:00pm. Vote & get a sticker!
Nat Herz and Devin Kelly with the Dispatch explain Alaska’s evolving view of Election Day from THE day to vote to the LAST day to vote is being exemplified by the Anchorage Mayoral runoff.
The Christian Science Monitor wonders why Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and senators like Sen. Dan Sullivan hate the Iran nuclear deal so much.
In a move that will surly lead to multiple four letter words being muttered around Shell, the Seattle mayor announced that a new land-use permit will need to be issued if the multi-national company wishes to continue using the Port of Seattle as its 400’ arctic off-shore oil drilling rig base. The Fairbanks News Miner describes the steps to receiving this permit and the reasons Seattle is within their right to make this request.
The Dispatch has an update on the state’s budget deal. The takeaway: Don’t hold your breath.
Anchorage, today is THE day to go out and determine the future of the state’s largest city by casting your vote for the next mayor.
Polls are open from 7:00am-8:00pm.
Click HERE to find your polling location. Polls are open from 7:00am-8:00pm.
Alaska acknowledges the following forms of ID that allows you to vote with an unquestioned ballot:
Signed Voter ID Card
State ID Card
Military ID Card
Hunting or Fishing License
Other Current or Valid Photo Identification
*The following are also accepted, as long as it includes your name and current address:
Current Utility Bill
Current Pay Stub
Other Government Issued Document
If you do not any any of the above documentation, but are still registered to vote DO SO! You’ll still be allowed to vote, but with a questioned ballot that will be counted after election night by the Municipality of Anchorage’s Clerk’s Office. After your ability to vote in today’s election has been established by the Clerk’s Office, your vote will then be added to the final vote count of the candidates.
If you have any voting issues please call:
the Municipal Voting Information at (907) 243-VOTE (8683)
the ACLU at (907) 276-2258
So, go out and vote! Not only will you get that smug sense of pride in doing so, but you’ll also get a sticker!
KTVA held the final debate between the two candidates for the Anchorage Mayoral election. The Dispatch’s take on the event seems to align with Twitter in that little if anything new was discovered about Amy Demboski and Ethan Berkowitz.
Tomorrow is voting day for the Anchorage Mayoral runoff. Amy Demboski and Ethan Berkowitz both wrote op-eds in the Dispatch over the Weekend of Decision. (though it should be noted that Ethan Berkowitz’s radio co-host Bernadette Wilson also wrote an op-ed that puts into question the focus of Berkowitz’s Incestgate op-ed.)
APRN has the details of the APOC complaint of an improper corporate donation by KTUU for allowing Ethan Berkowitz’s campaign to use their footage of the November 2014 “street party” in a this campaign ad.
My little birds tell me that mill rates have been the subject to many a debate around Willow since winter and it doesn’t seem to be abating. The Frontiersman explains the source of this growing issue and the differing sides reasons for their supported mill rate.
Austin Baird describes the dog whistles, heated moments and the occasional playful/nonplayful jabs between Ethan Berkowitz and Amy Demboski during KTUU’s Anchorage Mayoral debate. Below is the segment regarding incestgate. Demboski brought up that Casey Reynold’s, who interviewed her on air about Jerry Prevo’s Ethan Berkowitz <3 incest sermon, live-in girlfriend is a longtime Berkowitz staffer. Important? Not Important?
It’s Anchorage Mayoral endorsement time! Amy Demboski got Dan Sullivan’s seal of approval. Ethan Berkowitz got state Sen. Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage).
As well as her endorsement in a commercial.
Holy Geography Batman! The Washington Times reports that 2 Russian nuclear-capable bombers flew into the Alaska air defense zone on Earth Day (how ironic). U.S. officials believe this is the beginning of Russia’s long-range spring training cycle and future incursions are expected without incident.
APRN details the legislative maneuvering of WHERE committee hearings and how often they have the floor session in Juneau.
Test Tube Fish is now a thing. While there are no current plans to bring Arctic Cod to the dinner table just yet, scientists are using their lab creations to study climate change and its affects on Arctic food chains.
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.
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.
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.
Legislators want to go home. They want to go home and continue to work on remaining legislative issues from their LIO home offices (i.e. most likely Anchorage). The Dispatch explains why an extended Special Session just might be held at the Taj MacHawker.
The Dispatch’s Dermot Cole explains where things are legislatively and what issues are coming to the forefront during Special Session with a rundown of the budget Winners & Losers.
The Central Peninsula League of Women Voters are working it! The Peninsula Clarion was on hand while they got high school students registered to vote at River City Academy. The organization will be making the rounds to area high schools to bolster voter registration rates for the upcoming election cycle.
The Washington Post reports on the growing problem legal marijuana businesses are having in trying to deposit their money into a bank-Alaska, included.
The Fairbanks News Miner has the lowdown on the Supreme Court arguments over same-sex marriage with Anthony Kennedy remaining as the mystery vote on the issue.
The message of love from the step of the Supreme Court was brought westward to Juneau as marriage equality advocates called on Gov. Bill Walker and AG Craig Richards to withdraw the state from the federal case involving bans on gay marriage. KTOO has the details and pictures.
Former Sen. Mark Begich’s wife, Deborah Bonito, was spotted by The Hill attending a luncheon hosted by folksinger Judy Collins and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Sparks flew yesterday at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s lunchtime debate between Anchorage mayoral candidates Ethan Berkowitz and Amy Dembowski. The Dispatch’s Devin Kelly captured the fireworks, the shade throwing and the grandstanding.
APRN explains BOEM’s coffee spitting worthy 75% likelihood of one or more large Arctic oil spills in their Chukchi Sea impact report. Turns out it is not quite as dire as initially thought, but oil spill possibilities are never greeted with confetti and smiles.
First there was Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) tweet alluding to a special session, now the Peninsula Clarion is reporting that Gov. Bill Walker is adding to the buzz of this possibility due to inaction on Medicaid expansion.
The Anchorage Mayoral runoff might still be going strong, but that hasn’t stopped my little birds from telling me about brewing interest in the soon-to-be open District 3 Assembly Seat with the departure of termed-out Ernie Hall. It turns out that School Board member Eric Croft and political mover/shaker Nic Moe have both been mentioned as possible replacements. Nic Moe ran a strong write-in campaign against Hall in 2013 and brought in 48.08% of the votes. Eric Croft has been in the political jungle for decades and knows where the money can be found. This will be an interesting development.
Ivan Moore has conducted a Medicaid expansion poll that showed that even in the most conservative areas of the state, people favor doing this 2-1! The Dispatch explains the poll well, but does not include details like the total number polled, percentage of error, method of contact or even a link to the poll itself. Ivanmooreresearch.com is currently under construction.
Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan want to spend $200K to spend on sending nine homeless inebriants to Seattle WA’s addiction treatment facility. The KTUU explains that Akeela Inc., feels that the money would be better spent instate.
Paging legislators! Jaunted (and a good chunk of South East, per the Cordova Times) would like you to read the Five Reasons the Alaska Highway is Better than a Cruise. Number 1 describes Alaska in a nutshell.
Kensington Gold Mine just got a breath of life with the discovery of a gold rich deposit that will extend mining at the site for an additional two years, per the Juneau Empire.
In a move that has several people scratching their heads in confusion, the Dispatch explains that Anchorage mayoral candidate Amy Dembowski has chosen to skip many scheduled debates and informational forums leading up to the May 5 runoff election date. Her opponent, Ethan Berkowitz will continue to attend his confirmed events.
Gov. Bill Walker appears to be tapping his inner Theodore Roosevelt with the surprised required (the APRN used the gutsy word command) joint session of the legislature Friday to vote/pass Gov. Walker’s political appointees and THEN an ice cream social!
Photo Credit of APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez’s Twitter Feed
Love is in the air as California is finally gettin’ some, some of Alaska’s water that is. Yereth Rosen with the Dispatch explains that Sitka will be the source of bulk water being sold to the parched Golden State. Word is the water pipeline ala former Wally Hickel’s futuristic vision is still unrealistic, but as this resource grows in value…who knows.
APRN reports that the updated uniform code of military justice for the Alaska National Guard will have to wait until next session to see its passage. Until then, it will be tweaked during the Interim into a better bill.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote an op-ed in Foreign Policy Magazine to explain their case as to why the U.S. should lift its 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports.
Medicaid expansion s the word of the week down in Juneau. Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott are hosting the first of several rallies today in support of health care expansion. The Peninsula Clarion explains what medical administrators foresee if it is enacted.
Having your name associated with Cosmo hasn’t been the same since former Sen. Scott Brown, but could soon be changing with this great article that celebrates the unsung achievements of women in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was highlighted as an example of a figurative bridge building legislator.
Becky Bohrer with the AP sat down with Gov. Bill Walker to discuss Medicaid. In short, Gov. Walker is sticking to his guns with no Medicaid reform without expansion. He doesn’t have that much of a hard sell to Alaskans with his ever-growing list of backers as proof of statewide support.
In a move taken straight from the Loretta Lynch nomination hold-up playbook, the Alaska GOP state legislative leaders are prepared to withhold confirmation hearings on Gov. Bill Walker’s political appointees because of Medicaid Expansion.
Rep. Lora Reinbold’s (R-Eagle River) recent email regarding Medicaid expansion call-in testimony details has raised the hackles of NAACP’s vice president Kevin McGee by including ““We are trying not to get the number out to the pro expansion for they are much more organized,” in the missive. APRN has the brewing scandal for the caucus-less representative.
The Hill was on hand to capture Rep. Don Young tapping his inner Shakespearean dramatic flair while urging colleagues to approve a resolution to back the stationing of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in Alaska by saying, “He who holds Alaska holds the world.”
Fasten your seat belts political wonks because the last week of the legislative session is going to be a bumpy ride! The Fairbanks News Miner foresees a collective focus on two tricky issues: the budget and Medicaid expansion to avoid a dreaded Special Session.
The Dispatch’s Alex DeMarban made a jaw-dropping announcement that the Last Frontier’s oil-tax income will be low, really low. Low as in state oil revenue will be similar to what the state received in the 1970’s- low. Ouchie.
Take heart Alaska! Alaska Pipeline explains (with lots of graphs!) that while oil tax revenues are depressingly low, the Permanent Fund’s net income is on track to become the state’s new moneymaker!
The Juneau Empire reports how the Senate Finance committee put $94 million into the Capital Budget and why.