Category Archives: Democratic Party

Alaska News Roundup for November 4

  • Wired has some great background on a new bill before Congress that INCREASES (pretty non-existent) Americans’ rights to digital privacy. The bill would require state and local law enforcement to obtain a warrant BEFORE they can use stingray surveillance devices. Wonder where our Congressional Delegation will side on this issue?stingray

 

  • Ninilchik Tribal Council is going full-throttle on taking care of its community by beginning the steps toward an area-wide peninsula public-transit system complete with a transit hub to ensure access for all to medical and public amenities. The Peninsula Clarion reports that the estimated annual operating budget of $200,000 and an initial start-up cost of $1.2 million that would go toward the purchase of buses, drivers, insurance, etc.
  • Learn all about the Mat-Su Borough’s new Mayor Vern Halter in a LIVE radio interview with APRN today from 2:00-3:00pm. Call 1-888-353-5752.
  • One of my little birds shared this photo from a Politico photo essay of “When Halloween and Washington Mixed”. There was some slight confusion of why Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s nephews were so…”bulky” and thought it might be due to the “caribou diet”.   Nah, her security guards were geared up for Halloween Alaska style: complete with snow gear UNDER the costume.Murkowski Halloween

 

  • The State Pot Board might be on track to satisfy all the policy requirements of the 2014 ballot initiative cum law but the Juneau Empire reports that one rather important aspect is still unsolved: where can visitors/tourists legally consume the now legal cannabis?
  • TransCanada is probably doing a happy dance about the AK Senate’s vote to buyout the company’s stake in the LNG pipeline from the Peninsula Clarion’s take on the event.
  • Fairbanks Mayor Karl Kassel gave an administration defining speech to borough employees last Tuesday where he stressed substance over flattery. The end goal according to the Fairbanks News Miner? “I want to end the Super Bowl of local governments.” Then maybe a trip to Disneyland?
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  • Health insurance rates will continue to go up for 2016 as to will subsidies, but the Dispatch explains what the state is doing to help those found in the unenviable situation of earning too much to receive subsidies and have to purchase their healthcare through the Marketplace Exchange.
  • The AP has a pretty expansive list of how states evaluate their teachers using testing results. Alaska is part of a large contingency that uses test scores as a key factor in teacher evaluations.
  • Rep. Charisse Millett shared this great picture of the female House Majority members (though where is Rep. Louise Stutes in this female empowerment photo?).House Majority Ladies

 

  • Take heart Democratic Party because Politico charts a path to winning back the House…if Donald Trump or Dr. Ben Carson wins the prime spot on the ticket.
  • The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly was all like a Human Beinz song at their last public meeting where they decided to take a stand against homeowners buying or selling from being forced to connect to the South Tongass Service Area’s public water system and approved all of Mayor David Landis’ Assembly appointments without a fight.
  • Anti-Pebble groups are petitioning AKDNR to investigate Pebble Mine backers to ensure they have the met current reclamation requirements with deadlines so the state isn’t left paying for any cleanup that isn’t done after mining is complete, per the Dispatch.
  • The City of Juneau is but a few short, sweet months away from handing out 12 individual $6,000 grants to homeowners to build an accessory or MIL apartment to help boost Juneau’s housing market. For those interested, the Juneau Empire has the requirements for the grant money and why this is a widely considered a good use of limited fiscal resources.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski tweeted this fascinating Waterworldesque picture of Alaskan waterways regarding the controversial EPA water rule under debate this week on THE hill.

Waterways

 

  • The House Oversight Committee gave REALLY bad marks to federal agencies on their compliance with properly managing and securing their IT systems. The Department of Energy, Education, and NASA all received “F.” The State Department got a “D” and Homeland Security got a “C.” The best marks of a “B” went to the Department of Corrections and General Services Administration, per The Hill.
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Alaska News Roundup for October 16

  • OH YEAH! The AFN is happening right now in Anchorage and yesterday’s opening ceremony saw lots of amazing moments, but one of my little birds was really, really excited about AFN President Julie Kitka’s (!) speech because her little girl “now wants to be president too instead of Elsa.”TShirt

 

  • Kenai’s Prop 1, the ability for candidates to run for designated seats, officially failed by SIX votes and the faces on the Kenai City Council will remain the same, per the Peninsula Clarion.
  • The Ketchikan City Council held a hearing where the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the city and the Ketchikan Professional Firefighters Association and to award a contract with Cal Worthington Ford Lincoln for a Ford F-450 XL truck.

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Alaska News Roundup for October 12

  • While the House is off till next week, the ongoing saga over Who. Will. Be. The. Next. Speaker. Of. The. House. contines with Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) spokesperson playing coy and saying that there isn’t any anticipated news this week and to “Enjoy you Columbus Day”.

 

  • Take heart Interior Democrats! While the owners of your beloved Drinking Liberally hang-out have changed, Big Daddy’s will continue serving their delicious BBQ and libations with ease. From the Fairbanks News Miner’s take, it is simply a matter of new name on the door.

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Alaska News Roundup for October 8

  • Today’s THE day in state legislative meets healthcare at the State Reform Health Policy Conference in Anchorage!! Everyone is going to be there. From one of the Big Three ( Valerie Davis of HSS (!)); to the battling of opinions on the state’s healthcare direction with Sen. John Coghill (R-North Pole), Sen. Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks), Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) explaining their vision at the 1:45pm panel; and Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage), Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage), Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage) sharing their vision. The biggest surprise of pre-event excitement from many of my little birds is regarding the 9:30am panel with Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer) to discuss reforming Medicaid. Lots of fans, he has.Seaton

 

  • Could the Permanent Fund Board garner a “Pope-like” figure or more likely a “PF Czar”? That is the latest question wafting out of every Alaskan’s favorite state entity, though the hunt for a regular Executive Director is the main focus for the state with my little birds liking candidates Alexander Slivka and Angela Rodell the most out of the short list.
  • Congratulations Felix Wong and Stephen Bradford on their individual wins for a seat at the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly dais!
  • Kodiak Island Borough now officially can claim Kyle Crow, Mel Stephens and Dennis Symmons as part of their Assembly team.
  • Heads up Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) and Rep. Kurt Olson (R-Soldotna): the Kenai Peninsula Borough School districts has their official legislative marching orders for you and it’s all focused on protecting their access to funding. But that doesn’t mean individual input isn’t still being requested. There are lots of locations to be a part of the Oct. 15 budget development meeting.
  • Neither Mat-Su Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss nor his challenger Vern Halter is conceding the race until the vote count is finalized, per the Frontiersman.
  • Anchorage is in talks with Conoco Phillips to buy back some of their leases in the upper Cook Inlet for ML&P to control, though as APRN explains…”any purchase will have to first be approved by the [Anchorage] assembly.”

    Cook Inlet

    Photo Credit of APRN

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is beginning to see the light at the end of her hard-fought battle to lift the 40+ oil export ban with The Hill reporting that the White House has been making noises that point to a possible signature!
  • Palmer is one town that won’t be selling commercial pot as the town voted 318 to 266 to ban this particular economic sector from opening shop and paying taxes, per the Dispatch.
  • The Western Director and Senior Attorney for NRDC wrote an op-ed for Huffington Post where he made his case for why the recent independent study that found that the relationship between the EPA and anti-Pebble groups was improper, was nothing more than a PR Stunt from a “cash-starved” Pebble Partnership.
  • Mayor-elect Karl Kassel is not wasting time in beginning his transition to full-on mayor. The Fairbanks News Miner reports that he is already taking applications for positions within his administration and has a basic idea of the changes he wants to make.
  • Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage) is not one to let injury slow him down and that was evident last night at the latest UAA College Democrats meeting where he gave a “barn-burning” speech against the current oil tax structure.20151007-Rep-Gara-at-UAA-College-Democrats-Meeting-1

 

  • Sen. Dan Sullivan is backing a new bill regarding illegal immigrants and Politico explains the legislation’s aim and who else is getting on the bandwagon.
  • Quinnipiac has just released their latest poll that shows of the 2016 swing state US Senate races, only Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) vs. Ted Strickland (D) is a toss-up, though Democratic challengers in Florida are gaining traction.
  • Rep. Don Young tweeted his support on H.R. 538 that would give Alaska Natives the ability to utilize their lands without “heavy hand of federal government”.Rep. Young

 

  • Doyon, Limited is expanding their O&G exploration within the Nenana basin with plans to drill their 3rd exploratory well in the summer of 2016, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • APRN explains the state’s DNR decision on Alaskans’ rights over natural resource use and why PacRim Chuitna Coal is not amused.
  • While the numbers are still being finalized, it appears that yesterday may have shattered voting records for the past ten years in Fairbanks!
  • The Frontiersman has an excellent piece about Mat-Su Assembly candidate (and future powerhouse) Maria Serrano and her tenacious spirit that took her from simply a name on a ballot to a formidable challenger despite her 19 years.
  • In happy fun time news: the Juneau Empire reports that while the original partnership between the Vincent de Paul Society and GMD Development went belly-up with their plans to bring affordable housing to the capital city, there is still forward movement to ensure the project grows into fruition.
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Alaska News Roundup for October 7

  • The fiscal pinch your wallet’s been feeling is indeed real. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development conducted a study on median incomes and discovered that Alaskans are making $4,000 less than they did in 1989. It gets worse as the YWCA Alaska explained in an interview with KTUU, 60% of low wage earners are women and of Alaskan families they make up 40% of the primary providers.
  • The Seward City News has the breakdown of the Seward/Lowell Point voting results. The Seward City Mayoral election went to Jean Bardarson and the three Seward City Council seats went to Sue McClure (!), David Squires, and Deborah Altermatt.
  • Alaska Supreme Court Justice Dana Fabe is retiring next summer. Justice Fabe was the first female Chief Justice and has served the state since 1996. Her wisdom and devotion to our state will be a loss to our justice system.giphy

 

  • In the Mat-Su, the results in the borough’s mayoral race are considered to be too close to call. Right now, Vern Halter is winning by 4,269 votes with incumbent Mayor Larry DeVilbiss accruing 4,090 votes. Rosemary Vavrin has 317. The Frontiersman reports that there are still 2,000+/- absentee, questioned and special needs votes to count.
  • Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) showed his support for now Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor-elect Karl Kassel in an Instagram. The Fairbanks News Miner reports that Kassel won with 57% of the votes.kawasaki

 

  • Juneau saw a major upset in their political status quo last night, as Mayor Merrill Sanford was beat by challenger Greg Fisk with a 66% Ouchie. True to both men’s diplomatic reputation, they shook hands after their race was called.

    outgoing

    Photo Credit of the Juneau Empire

  • Fairbanks was full of voting fervor with the slightly contentious item of a 5% commercial pot sales tax being approved by a whopping 84% and the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly saw all three incumbents winning their reelection bids. Congrats Lance Roberts, Kathryn Dodge, and Van Lawrence!
  • The Kenai Borough Assembly races were won by Gary Knop (District 1), Brandii Holmdahl will replace term-limited Sue McClure’s seat for District 6, and Willy Dunne for District 9.
  • Nikiski was not having any of the law enforcement service area idea with a wide margin of rejection (541 against to 399 for), per the Peninsula Clarion.
  • KNOB reports that Nome will be getting a new mayor in Richard Beneville.
  • Bethel is ok (sort-of) with having a liquor store (57% yea votes), but was adamantly against having a bar (61% no votes). Over in the Assembly side of life, Mayor Rick Robb won re-election, as did Leif Albertson. They are joined by political newbies Nikki Hoffman and Alison Welch.
  • Over in Soldotna, the grocery tax initiative passed with flying colors and the Soldotna City Council got back incumbent Paul Whitney (331 votes to Fred Sturman’s 218), while many feel the race between Linda Murphy (265 votes) and Dan Nelson (254) are too close to call.
  • The Wall Street Journal explains what the commissioned independent report on the relationship between the EPA and the anti-Pebble Mine groups means to the pending court case on this issue as well as what to expect going forward.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is not amused with the changes the US Forest Service has made to the dock project at the Anan Wildlife Observatory near Wrangell and Ketchikan. KSTK explains the changes and why this once popular project has quickly lost its allure.
  • In when will the hit stop coming news: The Juneau Empire reports that the state will further cut the ferry schedule down by 32% or more specifically…four docked ferries.
  • In light of the fiscal crisis Alaska is facing, many legislators are calling for more budgetary cuts and setting the stage for a massive showdown for the upcoming regular Session. The Dispatch has the details on what they want to cut.
  • Over on Capital Hill, Senate Democrats are vowing to keep Net Neutrality waivers out of the federal government-funding bill that MUST BE PASSED by December 11, per The Hill.
  • A sure sign that 2016 will be unlike any previous presidential race, Gallup is pulling themselves from the presidential polling game and instead will be focusing their resources on better understanding how Americans feel about issues.
  • Here are some pictures of voter turnout from across the state:
    matsu

    Photo Credit of Rep. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer)

    voting

    Photo Credit of the Fairbanks News Miner

    sitka

    Photo Credit of Sitka Sentinel

    nome

    Photo Credit of KNOM

 

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Alaska News Roundup for September 23

  • In oh, that’s wicked embarrassing news: Mat-Su Borough Assembly District 7 candidates Randall Kowalke and Doyle Holmes dirty laundry has been aired out by the Frontiersman. Turns out that a landlord-tenant dispute over a bad toilet, arsenic levels and claims of mismanagement devolved into “accusations over mental illness, sexual deviancy and damages totaling $420,000.” Then there came the slander suit. Get your popcorn ready for this juicy story. 
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s staff wants to make one thing clear: SHE DID NOT DUCK THE ABORTION VOTE. She just missed the highly contentious lose/lose vote due to prior Yom Kippur plans. Sen. Murkowski is Roman Catholic.
  • It’s official! If you are on a Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly service area board, what little power you had is no more and you’ve been relegated to simply “advise.”

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Alaska News Roundup for August 27

  • Get those champagne glasses ready because APRN has cheer worthy news! The Alaska wage gap between genders is on its way out with YWCA anticipating equal pay for equal work by 2025!giphy-4

 

  • Secretary of State John Kerry will be touching down on Alaska soil on August 30th, per the Seward City News!
  • Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Rep. Charisse Millett (R-Anchorage) both gave a Twitter shout-out to the awesomeness that is strong women with the right to vote (both in the ballot box and on the legislative floor) to commemorate the 19th Amendment.exportmillett

 

  • Sen. Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) is going to have heavy competition going into the 2016 election season. Just with the August primary she will once again face Jeff “I’ve never met a speedo I didn’t rock” Landfield but also former Anchorage School Board member Natasha Von Imhof! Whoever wins the GOP primary for District L; they will face the Democratic force that is Forrest McDonald.

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Alaska News Roundup for August 21

  • The proposed borough-wide marijuana tax ballot measure went up in smoke at the last Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly The reason? Too many unknowns to properly assess tax rates on this burgeoning economic driver.
  • The Dispatch’s Dermot Cole’s recent article figuratively took Sen. Dan Sullivan out to the toolshed over the senator’s flip-flopping on his Law of the Sea treaty stance.
  • Politico examines the political landscape shift that has occurred during Pres. Obama’s tenure in office from state to federal levels (Blue–>Purple–>Red with Congressional seats and Blue–>Red with legislative seats; Alaska being the one exception).
    2009

    2009 State Legislatures. Democrats controlled 27 and Republicans controlled 14.

    2014

    2015 State Legislatures. Democrats control 11 and Republicans control 30.

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Alaska News Roundup for August 7

 

  • The SEC has charged Miller Energy Resources, its former, and current executives for filing fraudulent financial reports where Miller allegedly inflated the value of Alaska O&G leases in 2009 by more than $400 million.
  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough is exploring the unexpected cost that will come with the proposed 5% pot tax, since the revenue will be coming from cash-based businesses. Specifically: the borough will need to purchase armored cars, expand security and a purchase a vault for the borough’s treasury office.
  • Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott vowed to Southeast Native leaders that tribes WOULD have a voice in transboundary mining work. KCAW reports that it wasn’t enough to please Tlingit-Haifa Central Council President Richard Peterson who is quoted as saying, “…I challenge you to do a better job.” Ouchie!

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Alaska News Roundup for August 6

  • Nathaniel Herz with the Dispatch continues to uncover alleged mismanagement with this latest bit of eyebrow raising news surrounding the North Slope Borough mayor. According to Jonathan Owen, Mayor Charlotte Brower personally asked him for his letter of resignation as the borough’s Chief of Police for “no real reason.”
  • Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards told Hilcorp, “No. No, no, no, no, no,” on their attempt to purchase the Titan LNG facility along Cook Inlet, thus concentrating the LNG plant and delivery system within state control. Good thing? Bad thing?
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  • The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly is mulling over the costs vs. safety of their animal protection unit getting body camera after an escalation of incidents between enforcement officers and pet owners. Nothing was determined, but their next meeting is set for September 2.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski was on Bloomberg this morning to discuss the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline (haven’t heard discussion about that in a while) and her undecided position on the Iran Nuclear Accord.
  • One of my little birds sent me the latest All About video that focuses on Sen. Lisa Murkowski.YouTube Preview Image

 

  • Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has officially brought in Robert Harris as the city’s new CFO and Alden Thern as the Deputy CFO for the IT and finance team.
  • Shell’s Arctic Icebreaker is back! APRN reports that the Fennica has arrived in Unalaska and now Shell has full permission to drill into the seabed.
  • Festival Fairbanks has removed all of the US state flags because a) their condition was beyond acceptable and b) certain state flags emblazoned with a Confederate flag design could be perceived as uninviting to visitors, per the Juneau Empire.

 

  • Our Washington delegation is not giving up on reducing the number of military personnel that will be removed from Alaska by writing a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh.
  • The US Treasury will be $4.4 billion wealthier from a deposit by Fannie Mae over their second quarter profits, per The Hill.
  • Alaska’s decision to enforce federal work requirements involving food stamp recipients will affect about 3,000 in Anchorage alone.
  • Congrats Alaska! The Washington Post pointed out that the Last Frontier has the latest average start time for middle and high schools at 8:33am in the country in an article about the negative health impacts of a too early school day on kids.

    Alaska

    Image Credit of the CDC

  • APRN explains why Gov. Bill Walker visited Akiachak and Tuluskak amidst increasing national interest in a legal case-involving jurisdiction on Alaska Native Lands.
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Alaska News Roundup for July 17

  • In whoa that’s a lot of people news, the Peninsula Clarion reveals that over 600 public comments have been filed with the Office of Subsistence Management on the proposed subsistence gillnet rules. The next step will be a work meeting scheduled for July 28-29 to review Red Sheep Creek, Cake Creek decisions, rural designation process, and whether or not to re-evaluate the re-designation of Saxman.
  • The Ketchikan City Council made a bunch of its residents rather happy last night with their decision to increase salaries and to better the benefit packages for both IBEW and non-union employees.
  • Gov. Bill Walker has gone with the nuclear option of using his executive power after months of trying the diplomatic approach with the legislature on Medicaid expansion. The Senate Majority was not amused. However, Alaska Democratic Party Chair Mike Wenstrup was positively glowing in a celebratory email that thanked all those involved in getting Medicaid expanded.Thanks

 

  • Finally! From the mouth of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, her highly anticipated energy package will “hopefully [be out] by the end of this week”, per Politico.

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Alaska News Roundup for May 28

  • Seattle was over the moon that Gov. Bill Walker visited their fair city AND toured the infamous resident of Terminal 5. Seattle Times has some quotes and intones the governor’s visit as part explanatory, part redress.
  • Nome Superior Court Judge Timothy Dooley has received a filed complaint against his treatment of victims, witnesses and other parties during court proceedings, per the Fairbanks News Miner. If Dooley is found guilty, he could be publically disciplined with a public statement, suspension and/or removal from his appointment.
  • It’s getting hot in here, and NASA’s captured the Last Frontier’s record high temperatures in colorful maps to go along with Weather’s explanation of how this odd weather pattern occurred.AK

 

  • Rep. Sam Kito III (D-Juneau) wrote an op-ed in the Dispatch where he ruminates over the House Majority’s budget compromise/coercion.

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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?

 

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News Roundup for March 16

  • Paging Campaign Managers. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute conducted a survey on how Millennials get their news and the News Observer explains the poll’s findings.

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  • This week in the state legislature, there are many things happening everyday, but the Juneau Empire feels that the bill for greater regional representation on the state Board of Regents, continuing discussion on Medicaid expansion and the whether Alaska should adopt a “countermand” amendment to give the state the power to nullify or repeal a federal law, executive order or judicial decisions, and any other federal action that is perceived as harmful to the state.
  • The Nome Nugget wonders if Nome is ready to pay for the Deep-water port proposal that has been the subject of many a congressional hearings on Arctic policy.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski showed diplomatic strength on behalf of Hyder, Alaska by beginning a dialogue with Canadian officials over their proposed eight-hour closure at night of a road between Hyder and Stewart, British Columbia, per KRBD. This road is the only connection between the two communities and its closure could create medical crises since the area’s medical center is in Stewart.
  • APRN reports that the Chukchi Lease Sale 193 (part of Shell’s summer drilling plans) decision by the Department of the Interior is expected later this month.
  • KCAW has the details on the proposed office closures in Sitka and Valdez due to the state budget cuts.Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 8.43.36 AM

 

  • A microcosm of Alaskans’ views on marijuana was on display at the Palmer seed swap where the Frontiersman caught snippets of conversations and the overall feel of the event.
  • Super PAC’s, Amy Demboski has one and now Dan Coffey does too. Devin Kelly with the Dispatch delves into the rise of Super PAC’s on local elections, who’s behind Coffey’s and how it is likely to affect the Anchorage mayoral election.
  • Loretta Lynch’s nomination outlook is the focus of a piece by Politico with Sen. Lisa Murkowski as one of a few select senators whose votes are still unknown.
  • Bristol Palin’s engagement announcement made a splash with media outlets jumping to put their spin on the latest in Palin News. The Hill went the traditional route, while the Washington Post took a Mean Girls style of reporting.

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  • The National Journal wonders what Net Neutrality will mean to your pocketbook.
  • KTOO has the latest on the myriad of ways AHFC is helping Alaska to improve its aging housing stock since over half of all homes in our state are forty-thirty years old.
  • The Alaska Democratic structure came out in full force against Sen. Dan Sullivan’s signage of the infamous Iran letter over the weekend. Alaska Democratic National Committeewoman, Kimberley Metcalfe wrote an impassioned op-ed in the Juneau Empire, while Alaska Young Democrats tweeted this picture:Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 7.14.50 AM

 

  • The Juneau Empire has a photo spread of Bill Walker and several legislators puttering around the halls of the capital on Saturday, but all for a good cause with the annual Fahrenkamp/Kelly Classic Legislative Putting Tournament to raise funds for Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation and the YMCA. KTVA has footage.
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Lunch Break: Flying Made Easy

The Last Frontier’s elusiveness is part of its charm, and pain for residents just trying to figure out the fastest way to get Outside.  It is its own Olympic game of sorts, ask Scott McMurren, but that quest to get to Washington, D.C., Cleveland, OH, and/or Philadelphia, PA has just been made easier.  FiveThirtyEight has an interactive (and wicked easy to use) site that gets you wherever you need to be in the U.S.-the fastest way possible.

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