Category Archives: Pres. Obama

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 26

  • President Obama will be visiting Seward, Dillingham, Kotzebue, Anchorage, via the Seward City News, Juneau Empire, and historical inference. There may be more places announced in the coming days (fingers crossed!)
  • Alaska might be beside themselves with glee as Mr. President visits next week, but as the Washington Post points out…he isn’t the first. Their article lists the previous presidents that have visited the Last Frontier, where they traveled and for how long. Biggest surprise? FDR fishing in Juneau while wearing a suit and fedora!

    FDR

    Photo Credit of the FDR Library 

  • The Ketchikan City Council race has one more candidate in Charles “Chuck” Slagle. My little bird is looking forward to his fundraisers as Slagle is known for his smoked fish.

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Alaska News Roundup for August 24

  • In wicked awesome news: AFN is handing out FREE (yep, that’s right FREE) tickets to attend Rising Together; Welcome President Obama to Alaska at the Alaska Airlines Center next Monday. The president and senior staff have been invited, but confirmation of their attendance hasn’t been made public. Want to get your hands on some this awesomeness? You still can, but you have to pick up the remaining tickets between 1:00-4:00pm today only (you’ll get a flag too!). AFN Offices/1577 C Street/Suite 301/Anchorage, AK.Obama Visit

 

  • Today in 1912, Congress passed a measure that created the Alaska Territory and began the process toward statehood with establishing the Parcel Post delivery by the USPS the following year.
  • The Nome Common Council will vote today on whether to make their six member panel the de facto local commercial pot regulatory authority, per the Nome Nugget.
  • The Homer Tribune has the details on the candidates vying for Mako Haggerty’s open seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. Fritz Creek’s Willy Dunne and Dawson Slaughter will be going toe-to-toe in this race. My little bird tells me that the seat is Dunne’s to lose, but Slaughter is known for his charisma and could prove to be a fierce adversary.

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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 20

  • The Anchorage Assembly is now going to try to ban smoking & vaping in the open outdoors by starting with fining $50.00 for doing so in Town Square (you know, the open public park that belongs to all!). The Dispatch shares that this proposed ordinance would be introduced on August 25 and public testimony will happen on September 15.
  • Gov. Bill Walker was not alone in giving aide in the Sitka recovery efforts. As this Sitka Sentinel picture shows, community support is in abundance.Sitka

 

  • One of my little birds forwarded on the news that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and 2016 presidential hopeful will be in Fairbanks Tuesday.
  • It seems that only the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly understands the importance of Fox well since both the state and the feds turned their noses up at potential ownership. The only sticking point is that the popular watering hole would cost an estimated $50,000 a year in maintenance…which the assembly will use as a factor in their decision.

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Alaska News Roundup for August 14

  • Big Lake voters are getting increasingly jittery over the upcoming vote in October that will decide (again) over whether to become the 4th incorporated Mat-Su Valley city. It didn’t help that the initial Division of Elections flier had such vague/confusing wording that many thought the incorporation would up mill rates by 33% and not the expected 09 mills. The Frontiersman reports that it has been fixed with a second flier being sent out with clearer language.Big Lake

 

  • KCUB explains that the purpose behind Obama’s trip to Alaska. It’s not anti-drilling. It’s more along the lines of climate change…not anti-drilling. That is all.
  • Rep. Don Young has his own response to Pres. Obama’s upcoming trip to Alaska. It is brief and diplomatic.

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Alaska News Roundup for August 13

  • Special Session 3.0 is on the horizon and the when/where is still a BIG unknown. The Juneau Empire spoke with Sen. Dennis Egan (D-Juneau) about the possibilities of a Juneau or Anchorage based locale.
  • President Obama’s upcoming trip to Alaska has so many people scratching their heads that whitehouse.org has an entire page (and video) has been dedicated to explain why he would want to visit the Last Frontier…aside from the obvious awesomeness of berry season.

YouTube Preview Image 

 

  • Sitka has an $8.3 million debt problem that stems mainly from water and wastewater maintenance and KCAW details how the Sitka Assembly is grappling with the situation.

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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 July 30

  • First there was the economic shockwaves of the military personnel drawdown, and then there was the UA systems academic/staff cut. Now the Fairbanks News Miner reports that Shell is going to pink slip 6,500 employees during 2015 alone. Yikes!
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan got (some) praise from one of my little birds on his over eagerness at a recent Indo-American awards ceremony earlier this week. Apparently, he accidentally shook an Indian woman’s hand a bit too much-though no offence was taken.
  • Spotted! Lesil McGuire (apparently looking stunning), Rep. Mike Chenault, Rep. Sam Kito (D-Juneau), Rep. Kurt Olson (R-Soldotna), Rep. Craig Johnson (R-Anchorage), Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Rep. Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage) are all attending the Vail Council of State Governments-West conference. Pictures please!!
  • While the rest of the world is dancing the gig about the US/Iran nuclear accord, Sen. Dan Sullivan and Sen. Lisa Murkowski are not amused, per APRN.

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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 June 29

  • Tonight’s Wasilla City Council meeting will decided if the 1% sales tax increase becomes permanent and to approve a temporary 2-3% tax to raise the needed $15 million for the new Wasilla Library. The Frontiersman has the details.
  • The GOP is girding their loins, sharpening their quills and readying their rhetoric for the regulation battles ahead. The Hill reports that dietary guidelines, the carbon pollution reductions, E-cigarette oversight, calorie count menu labeling requirements, and union election laws will be getting extra attention in the coming weeks.
  • Gov. Bill Walker signed two of Rep. Cathy Munoz’s (R-Juneau) bills into law over the weekend. The first incentivizes affordable housing through municipal tax exemptions. The second creates the first new tax in well over a decade. HB158 creates a 1% per gallon tax that will go toward funding the Hazardous Substances Prevention and Response Fund.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan was spotted at a recent Indo-American Community Services meet & greet. According to my little bird, he was all smiles, but was still mastering the art of working the room while his more senior congressional colleagues demonstrated “how it’s done”.
  • Budget cuts hit the Alaska Marine Highway hard with 3 of the 11 strong fleet being docked for the majority of 2016. APRN reports that several Southeast communities won’t have ferry access for about a month with more cuts on the horizon.

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Alaska News Roundup for June 24

  • International Agro exporters in the state saw a vital program that provides necessary certification go dark as part of the Division of Agriculture’s budget cuts. The Peninsula Clarion explains the impact not having a phytosanitary certifier will have on this economic sector and regional economies.
  • Usibelli Coal Mine is moving through its mining permit process and the Dispatch details the backstory, location of the mine and its opposition’s reasons to prevent it from opening.
  • Chill baby, it’s a drill! Seward Marine Industrial Center will be without electricity between 8:00-10:00am today as part of scheduled maintenance by the Seward Electric Department.
  • Military exercises will not just be contained in the Gulf of Alaska with 3 Navy destroyers (one that has guided-missiles will be docking at the Port of Anchorage today), a submarine. It turns out that Alaska will have 6,000 soldiers from all four branches of the military conducting exercises across the state, per the Juneau Empire.
  • The Hill’s staffers, interns and high-level government workers are known for being rather, err lackadaisical (some might even go so far as to say wicked lazy) about keeping their online presence technologically secure. Wired has exposed just how widespread AND EASY government workers’ online credentials can be found, thus allowing for easy hacking into government systems. We are talking about passwords, emails, etc. out there on public domains-not even lurking on the dark web. Yikes!

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Alaska News Roundup for June 8

  • Sen. Dan Sullivan got slapped with FEC campaign fines of about $3,000 due to omissions of Outside donations. APRN reports that more than $25,000 in campaign contributions from before and after the August 2014 primary went unreported during the notorious 48-hour rule.
  • This week on Capital Hill, the annual defense policy authorization is the focus of the Senate and the House will continue to work through the 2016 spending bills and (fingers crossed) the president’s controversial trade agenda, per The Hill.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration has recently added Craig and Ketchikan to their Tsunami Ready program!

    Map

    Graphic Credit of NOAA

  • CNN/ORC teamed up again for another national poll. This time, the focus was on how Americans trust in how SCOTUS will handle gay marriage and ObamaCare. Of the 1,025 adults contacted, 52% approved of the job SCOTUS is doing. Regarding gay marriage (49%) and healthcare (50%), they got less favorable results.

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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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Alaska News Roundup for May 21

  • Tensions have escalated between the US Navy and Cordova over the Navy’s intent to use bombs, potentially toxic waste, and high-power sonar during this summer’s exercises because of the potential for detrimental affect on procreating critical marine life. The Cordova Times reports that Sen. Lisa Murkowski will be sending a staffer to facilitate the problem on Memorial Day. As to the worry about exploding bombs, Sen. Murkowski said, “If there are fishermen in one area, they would move to another area.”
  • The Dispatch wonders if raiding the Permanent Fund is the solution to the senate and house majority’s inability to work for a budget solution.
  • Homer scientist, Martin Renner, lead a mapping project to discover where in Alaska oil spills would be the most detrimental to seabirds. The biggest surprises Renner shared with APRN were Unimak Pass and Sand Point.

    seabird-density

    Seabird Density Mapping Tool/Photo Credit of Shady Grove Oliver

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill for six HEAVY icebreakers for the US Coast Guard.
  • Intercept and CBC News published documents that show the NSA had plans to hijack smart phone apps to further their spying program on US citizens with a project code-name of “IRRITANT HORN.”
  • Gov. Bill Walker’s now-former Director of Boards and Commissions resigned over the intended appointment of Bobbi Quintavell to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. The governor’s administration claims it never happened and that it was their intention all along to appoint Bob Mumford to the vacant seat. The Peninsula Clarion has the gossip and timeline.
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  • Alaska (and 30 other states) won a settlement against the three largest credit reporting agencies in the US over information reporting practices, level of data scrutiny of information provided by outside sources and timeliness on fixing incorrect information, per US News.
  • Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner offers his explanation of  the accounting dexterity being proposed by the house and senate majorities to raid the Permanent Fund.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan joined a group of bipartisan senators to denounce China’s construction on islands that are claimed by several other countries. He told The Hill, “as one the world’s key conduits of energy – nearly one-third of global crude oil and over half of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) passes through the South China Sea each year – it is imperative that this region remain peaceful and free of conflict.”
  • The Sitka School Board developed a working plan for FY17 with the hopes that the state legislature regains some “sanity” and figure things out, per KCAW.
  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough is expected to pass a resolution in support of selling FNG to the state, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • The NSA has authorized the steps to close down operations of its controversial program of spying on American citizens’ phone calls as The Hill reports that Congress is unlikely to reach a deal to maintain program funding.
  • APRN reports that the White House is planning on vetoing Rep. Don Young’s bill that would alter the Magnuson Stevens Act, which is up for renewal.
  • Obama talked about climate change and the lack of time there is to correct the levels of pollution during a speech to US Coast Guard Academy graduates. Politico relays what the president spoke about and how it was seen by some as hypocritical since this came about a week after he opened the Arctic Coast to offshore drilling.
  • The ACLU has come out against Anchorage’s proposed alcohol sales restriction claiming it is illegal under Alaska state law, Title 47.
  • Slate has an interesting article about Rhodiola rosea, possibly Alaska’s next cash crop.

    Cash Crop

    A different type of Green Rush?

 

  • Erin Merryn, the advocate behind Erin’s Law, is upset with the current language in Alaska’s version of the sexual abuse prevention bill and the Dispatch explains why, what changes have been made and by whom.
  • First Lady Donna Walker told the Juneau Empire her plans to bring Bridge Builders to Juneau.

 

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