Category Archives: Andrew Halcro

Alaska News Roundup for May 20

  • Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) admitted that the House Majority is planning on raiding the Permanent Fund to KTVA in a move to fund the state budget without having to work with the House Minority on current sticking points.
  • Energy & Capital explain the reasons Sen. Lisa Murkowski is pushing for the oil export ban now with graphs and charts!


    This is just ONE of their graphs!

  • Rep. Sam Kito (D-Juneau) showed his mischievous side Tuesday when he tried to block adjournment of the expected gavel bangin’ technicality that was the official legislative floor session. Things quickly became heated and the Dispatch captured the whole episode in detail.

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Alaska News Roundup for May 4

  • 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.YouTube Preview Image


  • 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.

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Alaska News Roundup for April 8


  • Sue McClure’s Seward Borough Assembly Report is the stuff of political wonks dreams come true. It is funny, wry and full of political nerd excitement. Here is but a sample exert: “ Wolf then moved for reconsideration, so we will vote whether or not to reconsider at our next meeting!” McClure could be the Marilyn Hagerty of Assembly reporting.
  • A deal between Shell and BG Group for $69.7 billion (yes, with a “B”) has the AP if this is the beginning of a wave of mega-merger within the energy industry.
  • Prudhoe Bay is no longer #1 oil field in the U.S. In fact, The Fiscal Times reports that since the last EIA (Energy Information Administration) report from 2009 came out, Prudhoe Bay has been bumped from its top spot and is now sitting in the bronze section of #3. With Natural Gas, it’s even worse with a ranking of #10.

Prudhoe Bay Ranking


  • Palmer’s own Bill Mohrwinkel of Arctic Wild wrote an op-ed in The Hill to remind readers that the Last Frontier is much more than oil.

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Live Blogging from Election Central

Click HERE for the results as they come in!

11:01pm.  Mayoral Bloodbath Round Deux:  Demboski vs. Berkowitz, starting…NOW!

11:00pm.  Result update with of 97.6% precincts reporting:

  • Ethan Berkowitz at 36.84%
  • Dan Coffey at 14.48%
  • Amy Dembowski at 24.31%
  • Andrew Halcro at 21.60%

It looks like it will be a runoff since the magic 45% of votes was not reached by a single candidate.

10:45pm.  Just spotted:  Nick Moe and Samuel Moore.  Not talking with one another, but here.  Also here:  former APD Police Chief Walk Monegan sporting the only Andrew Halcro button in the room.

10:43pm.  The party is winding down.  Media is putting away their gear.  Not so for the Dispatch and APRN.  They are in their own worlds typing away on their keyboards with fury.

10:39pm.  Result update with 93.5% of precincts reporting:

  • Ethan Berkowitz at 37.56%
  • Dan Coffey at 14.33%
  • Amy Dembowski at 23.84%
  • Andrew Halcro at 21.54%

10:30pm.  Alaska Commons called it quits.

10:24pm.  Amy Demboski is being interviewed by the Political Pipeline. “He [Ethan Berkowitz] is for big government and I’m for small government” paraphrasing of Amy Dembowski’s last remarks to Austin Baird.

10:22pm.  The Amy Demboski signs are blocking my view of the rest of the room. Arg.

10:19pm.  A VERY short “Ethan! Ethan! Ethan!” chant happened.  It was quickly shut down.

10:16pm.  It has been whispered to me that Andrew Halcro is not planning on showing up at election central tonight.  Reporters’ faces are a mixture of shock and disgust as this information telephones around the room.

10:15pm.  Reporters are huddling.  Looks like they are about to collectively call the elections.

10:11pm.  Just spotted:  Former Lt. Gov. candidate, Craig Fleener.  Looking really happy and surrounded by lots of people (not just reporters).

10:06pm.  Amy Demboski and supporters have arrived!

10:04pm.  Mayor Dan Sullivan is being interviewed by KTVA (sporting jeans) while Ethan Berkowitz is doing the same over with KTUU.

10:02pm.  Former Rep. Lindsey Holmes (D R-Anchorage) is here.  Talking to notable Republicans.

10:01pm.  Mayor Dan Sullivan has arrived.  Nobody is talking to him.  Awkward.

10:00pm.  Result update with 59.7% of precincts reporting:

  • Ethan Berkowitz at 39.01%
  • Dan Coffey at 13.78%
  • Amy Dembowski at 22.96%
  • Andrew Halcro at 21.34%

9:56pm.  Photographers with better/cooler/flashier cameras than I have flocked to Berkowitz’s interview with KTVA,blocking my view.  Total score for this station on landing the first interview from the candidate.

9:55pm.  The Dems have ARRIVED!!

9:52pm.  There is shouting from the lobby.  Not quite clear what is happening.  It isn’t chanting.  Oh, its Ethan and supporters!

9:40pm.  Tam Agosti-Gisler and supporters have arrived with lawn signs in tow.

9:47pm.  The Dispatch is calling the School Board Seat E for Kathleen Plunkett.

9:38pm.  Result update with 50% of precincts reporting:

  • Ethan Berkowitz at 38.73%
  • Dan Coffey at 13.67%
  • Amy Dembowski at 23.25%
  • Andrew Halcro at 21.48

9:30pm.  Suits (i.e. political wonks) have arrived.  It’s getting real in here.  A definite political divide is already happening in the room.  I guess that article about political leanings and pheromones had something to it.  That or it is a wicked small state and people whose good idea of a Tuesday night is to be on the second floor of the Dena’ina Center is even smaller in number.

9:20pm.  There was a collective gasp though out the room at the results showing a tie between Halcro and Demboski.  Austin Baird with Political Pipeline showed up.  He is sharing a table with Alaska Commons.  Looking rather chummy.

9:16pm.  The room is beginning to fill up.  I’ve moved from my massive conference table of one to a smaller side table.  Bonus:  I have access to a plug and a wall behind me.

8:47pm.  Mayoral candidate Dustin Darden and three supporters just walked into the room.  He had a brief chat with Steve MacDonald about a possible interview.  Now he is talking with the Dispatch table about sign waving today.  FOT6C9B

8:44pm.  People (read reporters at this point) are milling around talking smack about politicians from previous election cycles.

8:30pm.  KTVA just showed up.

8:20pm.  More of the Dispatch team has shown up.  Enough to almost fill a conference table.

8:00pm.  I arrive at Election Central.  Second floor of the Dena’ina Center.  Steve MacDonald with KTUU, Devin Kelly and the Dispatch and the Alaska Commons’ team are all here and setting up for the “big” event.  The room is vacant except for the real journalists…and me.  They are all anxious.  Like race horses at the gate, waiting for the bell.  This is fun!FOT6278











Alaska News Roundup for April 7

  • Today is the Anchorage Muni elections. Click HERE to find your polling location. Polls are open from 7:00am-8:00pm.Election Info


  • Devin Kelly with the Dispatch reports further on Anchorage mayoral candidate Amy Demboski’s signage vandalism. This time, THERE. ARE. GUNS!
  • Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner explains the House Chamber drama that unfolded during HB115’s legality debate. The bill to has passed the House. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez explains that the bill would allow Alaska to claim federal lands (nearly 170 million acres) and that there is an extremely low possibility of the federal government being ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ with this development.
  • Fairbanks City Councilman Jim Matherly is throwing his hat into the Fairbanks mayoral ring. The Fairbanks News Miner has the details as to his early announcement for the October elections.

    Fairbanks Mayor Candidate

    Photo Credit of Profile

  • Ready your IMSAI 8080 because we’re in for an update on Arctic War Games! Russia has upped the anti with the presence of military aircraft within view of Alaska! The Dispatch explains the where, possible why and what this means to The Last Frontier.

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Lunch Break: ANC Mayoral Candidates’ Fun & Games Edition

It’s the Fun & Games edition of Lunch Break in honor of the Anchorage mayoral candidates!

Sure, you could choose your candidate by reviewing Alaska Political Pipeline‘s sit-down interviews, KSKA’s heady Running debates and/or the Dispatch’s in-depth profiles, but where’s the fun in that?

Today’s politicians have to be polished with canned answers and are less likely to reveal their true selves due to the ever constant worry of becoming television fodder.  That leaves the last bastion of political vulnerability:  campaign Twitter accounts.

Thanks to AnalyzeWords, all the Anchorage Mayoral candidates’ Twitter feeds have been analyzed for personalities, emotional states and thinking styles.  The results are revealing and somewhat surprising.

True, some campaigns have employee(s)/volunteers to handle their social media, but because Twitter is a constant of-the-moment social media tool, the pulse of how a campaign is really doing and the true makeup of a candidate can be found in the distillation of its 140 characters.

  • The most upbeat award goes to Ethan Berkowitz
  • The most plugged in award goes to Jonathan Harrison
  • The most analytic award goes to Andrew Halcro

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Alaska Morning News Roundup April 3

  • Holy Bill of Rights Batman! Sen. Charlie Huggins (R-Wasilla) suggested during a Senate State Affairs Committee hearing that the state should start to collect DNA samples from middle schoolers so that it could then be compared to later crime scene samples. Nate Herz with the Dispatch has all the Minority Reportesque details.
  • The Kenai City Council unanimously passed a resolution yesterday in support of Robert Ruffner as a new member of the Board of Fish. This piece of news should put a spring in his step as he heads to his confirmation hearing with the House Resource Committee today.
  • Mat-Su coal mining is no longer a sure thing since a coalition of environmental groups have banded together in filing a lawsuit against a Usibelli Coal Mine permit with the federal courts. The Frontiersman explains that this filing occurred after it discovered that existing community members would be left out of voicing mining operations (future problems/issues) once Usibelli began operations.

    Image credit of

    Image credit of

  • Municipalities can now begin breathing a sigh of relief as regulations involving what muni’s role in regulating marijuana passed the House and is now headed to the Senate. Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner explains what specific clarifications HB75 currently entails.
  • Alaskans now have buddies to listen to The Smiths with to help dull the pain of financial realities stemming from the falling North Sea oil prices. The Dispatch reports that Great Britain’s (particularly Scotland) will be feeling monetary heartache as well.
  • In coffee spitting news, the Peninsula Clarion reports that the Senate Finance Committee has advanced the operating budget, but it does not include forward funding for public education. The slashing and burning doesn’t end there. The Fairbanks News Miner informs of education funding cuts that have left many speechless.Education Shock Tweet


  • The Dispatch’s Devin Kelly has the skinny on how the Anchorage mayoral candidates will be utilizing their time during the Weekend of Decision.
  • The Not-Rep. Geran Tarr’s Version of Erin’s Law received its first hearing in the Senate Education committee hearing, per the Juneau Empire.
  • Paging Yereth Rosen: Slate is wondering if Alaska is the next place where exploding permafrost will become the norm.Permafrost Explosion


  • Taking a page from the scorched earth policy book, Rep. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) has proposed a constitutional amendment, HJR21, on term limits for state legislators that would prevent a state representative (elected every two years) from serving more than four full or partial successive terms or a state senator (elected every four years) from serving no more than two full or partial successive terms.
  • Alaska has joined 14 other states in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage bans, per APRN.
  • The Juneau Empire explains the changes occurring to charitable gaming.
  • Oil rigs off the coast of the U.S. dropped in number by 11 to a new lowest oil rig count of 802 since 2011, per Business Insider.Oil Rig count Graph


  • Read (and listen) to APRN’s in-depth interview with the two contenders for School Board Seat F.School Board Seat F


  • Business Insider explains what the Iran deal means to Alaska’s price per barrel. It isn’t good.
  • Politico reports that Sen. Lisa Murkowski could be of a handful of republican senators that could help confirm Loretta Lynch as the new U.S. Attorney General.
  • The Anchorage LIO appears to be on its way into “new” digs known as the Egan Center! The Dispatch explains that the Taj Mahawker’s lease funding is no more.
  • In Kids Say the Darnest Things News:
    Funny Tweet

Lunch Break: When Bad Campaign Ad Strikes

The Anchorage mayoral campaigns’ APOC reports show interesting uses with their war chests.  Devin Kelly‘s Dispatch article about run-off funds (or in some cases, lack there of) got me thinking about the likelihood of fresh campaign ads after the April 7 results.

Whatever topic these future run-off candidates take-on, use former Rep. Vance McAllister’s (R-LA) 2014 “Blessed” re-election campaign video as a guide of what not to do.

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This cringe worthy video was the campaign’s response to the kissing scandalto which it alludes.  Unfortunately, this video didn’t save McAllister’s re-election bid.  In fact, it did the opposite.  The lack of warmth between the McAllisters and most importantly: how the issue was addressed within this 30 second spot is the reason politicos have pointed to this video as the deciding nail in McAllister’s political coffin.

Let this video serve as a lesson.  Pick your messaging carefully.


Alaska News Roundup for April 2

  • Gov. Bill Walker’s Commonwealth North speech was by all accounts intense with the focus on increasing public involvement on budgetary issues. I have it on good authority that interest in the speech increased after Becky Bohrer tweeted this:Becky Bohrer Tweet


  • House Judiciary Committee members utilized the hearing on domestic violence to discuss their pets, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • Read all about whom within the Anchorage mayoral race is making it rain in today’s APRN.
  • After completing their happy dance, Shell Oil officially responds to the fed’s green light for offshore Arctic drilling with UPI.
  • In a poll of just “264 likely voters” conducted by Ivan Moore, and paid for by the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association… show Ethan Berkowitz is leading in the Anchorage mayoral race with 3% while Coffey, Halcro and Dembowski have a close three-way tie of about 16% a piece. The Dispatch explains what else Moore’s poll found.

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Lunch Break: Anchorage Mayoral Campaign Commercials

While watching the first two Anchorage mayoral campaign commercials, I was struck by how closely they reflect their candidates.  It’s hard to incapsulate a person within a 30 second time slot and few get to know me pieces get it right.  Remember this Herman Cain for President commercial?

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Here is Ethan Berkowitz’s first campaign ad, titled “Car Pool” (note the Breakup sludge on the side of his Honda Pilot).

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Here is Andrew Halcro’s first campaign ad, titled “Reasons to Vote for Andrew Halcro for Mayor”.

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Both are professionally done and are engaging.  Which one will the undecided voter like more?



Alaska News Roundup for April 1

  • Things just got nasty in the Anchorage mayoral race with Amy Demoboski’s latest campaign mailer that throws considerable amounts of shade on her opponents. It also helps that gone is her sweeter than honey headshot and in its stead is a serious picture that screams, “I have a sock full of pennies and I know how to use them.”
    Amy Dembowski Headshot

    Photo credit of

    Dembowski Hit Piece


  • U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland has ruled that the Pebble Limited Partnership’s lawyers will be allowed to serve the subpoena against Alaska Communications to prevent hypothetical deletion of emails on ACS’ servers from a former EPA employee and an attorney that is representing the anti-Pebble fighters, per Peninsula Clarion.
  • The Kodiak Launch Complex is rounding third base and is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2015.
  • Yesterday’s House HHS committee hearing on Medicaid expansion was more dramatic than an episode of La Mentira. The Seward City News has who from their neck of the woods testified while APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez’s and Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner’s Twitter feeds captured the moment-to-moment action (including some serious side-eye by Rep. Liz Vazquez (R-Anchorage)).Rep. Vasquez

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Alaska News Roundup for March 20

  • KTVA has the details on why Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey is threating to sue media outlets. It’s to prevent the public from hearing the conversation he had with Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Starr where Coffey allegedly mentions bribing the assembly with “$250 at a crack” for votes in full.
  • Something for the techie wonks: James Brooks with the Juneau Empire revealed that there is a possibility of reliable, better internet connectivity in Southeast Alaska with a fiber-optic cable running between Juneau and Whitehorse. The buzzword for this project is supposedly “reliability”, though the “Silicon Canal” is way snappier.
  • Meet Bethel’s new District Attorney: J. Michael Gray. The Tundra Drums has his solid resume and is known to exercise control in all things, but that probably won’t stop a shiver running down your back if you ever hear the words, “Mr. Gray will see you now.”

    Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.07.33 AM

    photo credited to

  • Fracking just got more bureaucratic with the announcement by ABC News that companies drilling on federal lands will now have to disclose what chemicals are being utilized in the fracturing process.

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Alaska News Roundup for March 12

  • Palmer’s Alaska Republican Assembly has shown Anchorage mayoral candidate Amy Demoski some love by forming their own Super PAC to raise money and GOTV on her behalf. They had most recently endorsed Joe Miller for his 2014 senatorial bid.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan has continued to be underfire for signing the infamous letter to Iran. KTVA has the latest on this developing controversary. Politico Magazine very clearly outlines the devestation Iran’s withdrawal from the current nuclear talks would have not just on America’s, but also the world’s security and safety. It isn’t just the media outlets that are unamused. This little cartoon has been circulating:

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  • Soldotna’s moving toward annexation, but wanted the Peninsula Clarion to emphasis that transparency will be a key point in the process.
  • Justice Not Politics Alaska spoke at the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce and explained why confirmation hearings for new judicial appointments to the Alaska Judicial Council was a bad idea in their opinion and the Frontiersman was on hand to capture their talking points.
  • Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowksi is getting traction of another kind with her bi-partisan bills. The first exempts Alaska and Hawaii from TSA air travel fees (!), and the second opens federal land to hunters and fishermen.

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Lunch Break: Mayoral Money

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APOC has the details on who’s making it rain with campaign contributions within the Anchorage’s mayoral races with their 30 reports (February 2-March 6).

Here are the highlights:

Dan Coffey started out this time period with $123,229.04 COH and raised a respectable $53,495.00. He also picked up a $500.00 donation from the Alaska CHARR PAC and a $100.00 donation from Randy Ruedrich, which is worth more than the credit card charge in certain moneyed circles.

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Andrew Halcro had $8,613.88 COH and shook the money tree to a tune of $95,502.95, though $85,000 came from the candidate-so really it was more along the lines of $10,502.95. Sometimes it is not the amount (though that helps), but who is behind the donations. Donations of note include from the ED of the National Education Association-Alaska, the President of Dowl L.L.C. and ConocoPhillips’ VP of Finance.

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Ethan Berkowitz just started his campaign on February 10th, but has made up for it with $61,700.72, though his wife did contribute $500.00. The PACs seemed to line up in order to give to the Berkowitz campaign: ASEA/AFSCME PAC $1000.00, IBEW PAC $1000.00, Carpenters Local PAC $1000.00, AFL-CIO Gaming Account $1,000.00, and the Alaska Democratic Party PAC $99.88. Donations of note include the Deputy Commissioner of Administration (3 times!), ED of the Anchorage Park Foundation for $200.00 & the Alaska Democratic Party Executive Director Kay Brown for $100.00 which like Randy Ruderick, opens wallets faster than most other names in town.

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Amy Demboski raised $28,144.21 with $22,065.14 COH, though $12,219.85 came from the candidate-so she really raised $15,924.36. Demboski also received $500.00 from the Alaska CHARR PAC, though that was returned. Noteworthy donations include the President of Alaska Family Action Jim Minnery for $100.00, Sen. Bill Stoltze for $100.00 and the CFO of Anchorage Community Mental Health for $100.00.

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Lance Ahern also started his mayoral race after the February 2 start mark, and has a respectable raised $2,399.82, with $1535.82 from the candidate making it $864.00 in donations. The silver lining is that his reports looks as if he has the IT crowd locked into his campaign. Donation of note is the Director of the Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation.

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Alaska News Roundup for March 9

  • The fiscally conservative Club for Growth isn’t showing any love for Alaska’s delegation in their annual scorecard. Considering our state heavily relies on federal money, shouldn’t this be cause for Gold Stars?

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  • This week the Alaska legislature will be focused on many things. The Juneau Empire has whittled it down to the budget, confirmation hearings and religious exemption from unions.
  • Another one bites the dust! Bethel’s prosecutor Chris Carpeneti resigned from the district attorney’s office about two weeks after the surprise firing of Bethel DA June Stein. Mr. Carpeneti’s resignation comes as an additional shock as he was expected to serve as the interim head at the Bethel DA’s office after Ms. Stein’s departure today.
  • Quinnipiac University just released a study that will cause KTVA and KTUU to breath a sigh of relief: the majority of 1,286 polled, registered American voters put their trust in local news. The big winner for Network news was Fox News at 58% with Republicans while Democrats reach for CNN at 32%.
  • Politico has included Sen. Dan Sullivan in their nickname for an exclusive clique of senatorial freshmen: The Fightin’ Frosh.
  • Ready your dip nets and coolers because the Army Corps of Engineers has just made it easier to access the mouth of the Kenai River by permitting south beach road, per the Peninsula Clarion!
  • The Daily Beast dipped their toe into the “pocket full of gold or lifetime of fish” Pebble Mine debate.  Their worst case scenario would be that the process upsets enough people that they support the mine-only to show opposition to the EPA.
  • Big Lake is about to get bigger! The Frontiersman reports that the city is finalizing plans to incorporate all of Road Service Area 21.
  • While Sen. Lisa Murkowski might not be the most popular name with CoP, she is still considered political gold stateside as evidence by this tweeted picture by the Andrew Halcro for Mayor campaign.

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  • The Juneau Empire has a “pot primer” for all things currently legal and soon to be legal with Alaska marijuana.  Alaska’s priests can skip this bullet point as they won’t get to partake.
  • The Dispatch’s editor, Paul Jenkins, took a turn at wordsmithing his support for Gov. Bill Walker’s LNG pipeline plans while he explained the opposition’s reasons.
  • The place to be seen Saturday morning in Wasilla was the WASI where Valley legislators held their legislative town hall. The Frontiersman explains that the focus of constituents was to voice support for Rep. Wes Keller’s (R-Wasilla) U.S. Constitution, Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-District G) daylight savings bill and preventing Medicaid expansion.
  • Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-District G) also had an op-ed in the Dispatch where she made her case to end time as we know it.