Category Archives: Rep. Louise Stutes

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 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 May 22

  • Happy Birthday to a Senator so cool, she even shares a birthday with Morrissey!

    Birthday

    Happy Birthday Sen. Murkowski!

  • Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) wrote a fiery op-ed in the Dispatch that held nothing back against the majorities. The first three words alone is coffee spitting worthy, though his side of the budget debacle are as informative as it is entertaining.
  • One of my little birds was aflutter over the “risqué” jokes City and Borough of Juneau’s Assemblyman Jesse Kiehl made during his marijuana regulations update at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce.
  • APRN has the transcript of the gavel bangin’ that went on down at the Anchorage LIO with the sine die of Special Session part I and the commencement of Special Session part II.
  • The Mat-Su Borough Assembly accomplished something the state legislature hasn’t: passed a budget. Even though the Frontiersman explains that the borough budget keeps the mill rate under 10 and either maintains or increases services, Mayor Larry DeVilbiss’ is planning on a veto because it’s simply not Tuff Enough.
  • The uproar over the majorities intention to raid the Permanent Fund has gotten to at least six of the House majority members because the Fairbanks News Miner reports that Rep. Jim Colver (R-Palmer), Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham), Rep. Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak), Rep. Neal Foster (D-Nome), Rep. Gabriele LeDoux (R-Anchorage) and Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer) signed off on a letter to Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) saying they didn’t want to be any part of this action.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan used words during a Senate Armed Services hearing over the current war strategy that my little bird described as “worrisome” and “bordering on warmongering”. APRN’s take seems to align with that observation.
  • Mike Dingham’s last Dispatch op-ed obviously didn’t sit well with Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan because “he” made another public statement, this time in the comment section. HT to @Nat_Herz.Comment

 

  • Alaska’s Special Assistant on Arctic Policy, Craig Fleener, spoke at the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society Conference in Juneau on the importance flexible hunting and fishing rules for rural communities adjusting the changes brought upon by climate change. KCAW has the details on his speech.
  • The Baker Hughes News crunched the numbers and found that the number of O&G rigs has continued to drop from last year’s 1,857 to the current 885. Good news? Bad news?
  • The FCC wants the US Court of Appeals for DC to make a quick ruling on the new Net Neutrality rules, and they want them NOW!
  • The Washington Post explains the connection between Saudi Arabia’s decision to flood the crude oil market and the potential layoff of Alaska’s state employees (with graphs!)Chart

 

  • The Seward City News has the US Fish and Wildlife Services proposed changes for Kenai National Park’s Public Use regulations. Most proposals seem pretty straight forward until the 7th bullet point. Prohibition of gun use in Alaska will surely raise an eyebrow…or two.
  • Palmer’s City Manager has submitted his resignation to begin on September 1. The Frontiersman relays the Palmer City Council’s public understanding of this unexpected move.
  • Anchorage Assembly Chair Dick Traini wants public smoking rules on cigarette usage to include marijuana, per the Dispatch.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner explains the implications on Alaska’s elections if voting reform for Alaska Natives by the US Department of Justice goes through.
  • KTUU shares the good news that the border crossing between Hyder, Alaska and Stewart, British Columbia will once again be open 24 hours a day.Hyder

 

  • Think Progress has listed 6 of the “Craziest Arguments” made by politicians over keeping national parks…nationally owned. Rep. Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski both made the dubious list.
  • EPA Region 10 Administrator, Dennis McLerran, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, where he explains why the EPA should be careful regarding Pebble Mine.
  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough got busy last night and passed the resolution in support of the state purchasing FNG and appropriated $21,720 for state training and equipment for the borough’s air quality program.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan was quoted by The Hill acknowledging the “moving parts” in vote whipping over keeping NSA’s program to spy on American citizens. The final tally is expected to occur Saturday.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski was part of the 18-12 members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to approve a bill that allowed VA doctors to advise patients about medical marijuana, per Al Jazeera America.
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Alaska News Roundup for May 8

  • This Just In:  Messages left for legislators with their Juneau offices are  Calls to Juneau offices are not being forwarded to Anchorage’s LIO and are going straight to Voicemail Jail!  It has also been confirmed that at least some GOP legislator’s staffers cannot figure out how to check voicemail in the first place.
  • Skynet. Is. Real. The dark government program dreamed up for the Terminator franchise, as the cause for world destruction is not only an actual NSA program, but also it is using the exact same NAME for the system that spies on American citizens’ phone calls, per Wired.
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  • My little birds in Kodiak told me that attendees were not impressed with Sen. Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) and Rep. Louise Stutes’ (R-Kodiak) legislative update last night. The meeting was well attended with many expressing their worries, anger and frustration over education funding cuts, the protracted Session and fish issues. Afterwards, there was a gaggle of people that quietly spoke about potential 2016 contenders. Interesting!

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