Category Archives: Rep. Mike Chenault

Alaska News Roundup for January 14

  • Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) has filed a bill that would prohibit imprisoned couples from getting married while both partners are incarcerated. This extends to both same and heterosexual couples. My little bird said this was simply a move to beef up Lynn’s street cred amoungst his more conservative constituents as this is an election year and he is now facing a primary with Uber conservative Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Evans.
  • Pew Research Center found in their most recent poll of 541 people that while most (47%) are ok with trading their purchasing privacy via retail loyalty cards for occasional discounts, that abruptly changes when confronted with what the company does with that data and how it could be used against the consumer.Technology

 

  • The Kenai City Council’s 10+ year-old big plans for Millennium Square are finally getting the dust brushed off them and is set to be officially presented to the council in February. The Peninsula Clarion reports that the square will incorporate both scenic beauty and economic driving retail space.
  • Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) is continuing his fight against high gas prices in Alaska by requesting an investigation into possible antitrust issues. Whoa!

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Alaska News Roundup for November 16

  • Our Washington delegation should be doing their downward dog and plenty of breathing exercises in order to get through this upcoming week in Congress. Not only are they supposed to pass renewed transportation project funding, deal with the issue of penalizing undocumented immigrants who reenter the US after being deported, have one more go at repealing parts of ObamaCare, BUT ALSO taking on the Federal Reserve with audit threats. Whew!! Next week: Turkey Day Vacation.
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  • Want to make your voice heard on the Ferry schedule debacle? Today is the day for the Alaska Marine Transportation Advisory Board’s meeting beginning at 10:30am. Interested parties should call (800) 315-6338 and use conference code 39051.
  • Nikiski Mayor Mike Navarre and Borough LNG Special Assistant Larry Persily conducted a public hearing on the pipeline project last week and while it made one of my little birds happy that this issue was finally being conducted by an elected official and not by the LNG pipeline staff, Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) could not be found amongst the crowd to much chagrin.

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Alaska News Roundup for October 26

  • This week on Capital Hill, expect more drama than an Italian opera…so sayeth The Hill. The House is expecting to officially decide on their new Speaker (i.e. Rep. Paul Ryan), deal with the November 3 debt limit deadline, add an additional financial Band-Aid to Highway funding, reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, and…FINISH THE CYBERSECURITY INFORMATION SHARING ACT (CISA) on Tuesday. Here is why you should be interested if you use Apple, Twitter, Facebook, and Google and why the digital security field is not amused with FB.
  • Congratulations to Tom Begich (now also known as the luckiest man in Alaska) on his betrothal to the always-engaging Sarah Sledge. One of my little birds told me that it was a quiet affair with only a few select friends and family in Anchorage.
  • It seems that not all is honkey-dory down in Bethel regarding the ABC board’s licensing of Bethel Spirits issue. The Tundra Drums reports that the October 22 meeting was hastily withdrawn and set for a yet to be determined date. The official reason given was that “necessary entities” were not given the obligatory 20 days notice. My little bird told me that there is MUCH more going on behind closed doors and this is expected to turn into a “big deal.”

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Alaska News Roundup for October 5

  • This week in Congress, expect plenty of grandstanding, verbal fireworks, and hurt feelings over choosing the NEW GOP LEADERSHIP! Also on tap will be passing the annual defense bill and on Friday…the House will vote on lifting the export ban on crude oil (though The Hill doesn’t think it will pass). 
  • Sen. Peter “perfectly dignified” Micciche (R-Soldotna) spoke to at a recent Kenai Peninsula Borough meeting in Moose Pass (yes, Assemblyperson Sue McClure was there!!) to discuss Capital Improvement requests. Know who else was there? The hard working Rick Smeriglio of Seward City News fame.
  • KTOO has the details on GCI’s TERRA project that is expanding the 21st century’s version of the printing press (our beloved Internet) to rural Alaska beginning throughout the YK Delta and Western Alaska region.

TERRA

 

  • Alaska Political Leadership, please come to the white curtsey phone. Wired has some interesting news about how drones are now being used to hack wireless printers.
  • The Nome Common Council is in a tough position over a tugboat confiscation due to unpaid port fees of its previous owner. While the council approved the necessary $52,640 contract to demolish the eyesore, the amount is still too high for the City of Nome because the unexpected problem was not included in the budget, per the Nome Nugget.
  • Bernadette Wilson of Bernadette Live fame has new segment called “Rumor Has It” and my little bird tells me that a certain Anchorage-based News Station is so impressed with its buzz that they are interested in bringing her onboard.
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  • Get the lowdown on Soldotna’s four city council candidates from the Peninsula Clarion. They also have information on their sole mayoral candidate, Pete Sprague.
  • $7,000,000,000.00 is the current expected amount it would cost the state to buyout TransCanada Corp…but could also see $400 million a year in additional revenue. It’s a complicated issue and thankfully the Juneau Empire explains both sides of matter.
  • The City of Ketchikan approved the license agreement between the City of Saxman and themselves for the use of the old Fire Station 1 by the renowned Saxman Carvers.

Saxman Carvers

 

  • Ready all about where the Mat-Su Borough Assembly candidates stand on various issues in the Frontiersman.
  • Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) wrote an impassioned op-ed in the Dispatch over the upcoming Special Session 3.0 and how Gov. Bill Walker’s communication style is not of the two-way street variety.
  • In that’s awesome news: KUAC-FM and the Daily News Miner are joining forces to get Interior Alaskans more and higher quality news in the form of a weekday newscast on KUAC with the Miner’s Tom Hewitt.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski was this year’s recipient of the Alice Awards (an award named after a kick@ss Suffragette and reserved only for other trailblazers) along with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

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  • The fight over Pebble Mine and the tasty seafood it could endanger is mentioned in a food critique column in Pennsylvania’s Centre Daily Times.
  • The Nome Nugget gives an expansive critique over the differences (and there are many) between the various candidates running for office.
  • The Seward City News details last week’s Chamber of Commerce’s candidates forum for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Regular Municipal Election (say that five times fast) and what to expect from the individual candidates. While Kenai Assemblyperson Sue McClure’s (!) tenure is coming to a close due to term limits, she is running for City Council along with Deborah Altermatt and Councilmember Dave Squires.
  • Power has been restored in Fairbanks, just in time for tomorrow’s elections. That is great news, though voting by lantern would have made for awesome visuals…cold, miserable voting conditions…but awesome visuals none the less.
  • Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s 2016 budget reflects his New Era promise of more police and less waste with a $1.8 million lower budget than former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s 2015 version. APRN reports on the major takeaways.
  • One of my little birds told me that Les Gara (D-Anchorage) was seriously hurt at a local coffee shop. While this was not a case of a “Battle over Cronuts”, here’s to a speedy recovery!

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  • Homer’s City Manager and City Council held a standing room only meeting over potential options for raising desperately needed funds. The Homer Tribune explains how the crowd took the ideas ranging from a seasonal sales tax, raiding the tax $ for roads and trails, to an increase in property taxes.
  • Meet the candidates vying for the two open seats on the North Slope Borough Assembly. They are from a wide-ranging background and their stance on issues is just as varied.

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Alaska News Roundup for September 28

  • In news that has stunned Alaskan political wonks, popular and beloved Northwest Arctic Borough Mayor Reggie Joule (and former legislator) has dropped out of his re-election race citing political fatigue, per the Arctic Sounder.
  • This week on THE HILL, it will be all about preventing a federal shutdown, dealing with more Iranian Nuclear Accord grandstanding, and passing the mondo spending bill.
  • There’s a new electrical bigwig in the Valley! His name is Michael Burke and he is the new Matanuska Telephone Association The Frontiersman has the skills and Burke’s Curriculum Vitae.
CEO

Photo Credit of MTA

 

  • Homer’s City Council candidates got a chance to distance themselves from their challenger by explaining to a packed Homer Public Library their stances on the budget, commercial cannabis, and much more. My little bird told me that candidate Donna Aderhold was the star of the evening with her “impressive knowledge about Homer and ease with the questions.”
  • Today will see an interesting meeting down at the Anchorage LIO where the 14-member Legislative Council will meet to determine if they are going to squander spend $450,000 to further their lawsuit against Gov. Bill Walker’s move to expand Medicaid.
  • Kind of like Crocs with Socks (yes, I’m looking at you Mr. Speaker), Alaska’s oil response plan is outdated and out of fashion. So, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will be joining up with the US Coast Guard to bring the preparedness and response plan up to spec, per the Nome Nugget.
Socks

Photo Credit of Nathaniel Herz/Added “Funnies” Credit of Inside Alaska Politics

  • The Seward City News Kenai Peninsula Borough’s District 6 candidates: Kenn Carpenter and Brandii Holmdahl’s answers to the Senior Citizen Survey.
  • One of my little birds caught this article about Pebble Mine and how awesome Alaska Wild Salmon is in their local-wicked local news outlets.
  • Americans want more transparency in corporate political donations. That’s the takeaway from the recent Public Policy Polling poll on campaign finance with the big surprise on reforming the Federal Election Commission.

    2016

    Image Credit of Public Policy Polling

  • In ouchie news: ExxonMobil’s CEO had terse words for Gov. Bill Walker in Oil Price in light of Special Session 3.0, “Alaska is their own worst enemy.”
  • Shell’s announcement that they are quitting Alaska’s offshore drilling was the Internet equivalent to a shot across the bow. Everybody (even all the way over in the UK) is reporting on this especially after the international headlines about the Paddle in Seattle and Obama’s high-profile trip to the Last Frontier.
  • Dept. of Labor Comm. Heidi Drygas landed Alaska a $2.5 million grant to help 600 disabled Alaskan youth find employment. Alaska was one of six to win the coveted grant.
  • Despite the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly’s best efforts, the Juneau Empire thinks that a tax-free condo association fees just aren’t in the cards.
  • Get your popcorn ready because the Fairbanks News Miner’s Jeff Richardson paints a masterpiece of two diametrically different Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Seat A candidates Dennis Alexander and Incumbent Van Lawrence.
  • Wired has the skinny on a new support group that is launching an ad campaign geared toward helping surveillance agents (NSA and GCHQ in Gt. Britain) reconsider what they are doing and quit their jobs.

    help group

    Image Credit of Intelexit

  • Soldotna is all about transparency and the Soldotna City Council got really, really happy about City Manager Mark Dixson’s plans to improve the city’s record keeping policies and procedures. The Peninsula Clarion explains the changes from the informal to the newly instituted formal rules.
  • Quinnipiac University just released their poll that found 69% of those polled DO NOT want to see the federal government shutdown over the issue of funding Planned Parenthood. Stricter Gun Control is still closely divided at 45 support/48 oppose.

    planned parenthood

    Image Credit of Quinnipiac University

  • Live in Juneau and have an idea of how to save the state from our fiscal crisis? Well, then head on over to the Juneau Forum on Alaska’s Fiscal Future on Wednesday. The Juneau Empire has the details.
  • Mark your calendars for October 1 at 7:00pm for the Unalaska City Hall Candidates Forum on KUCB. Want your questions asked? Submit them to candidates@kucb.org.
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Alaska News Roundup for September 9

  • Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski), Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River), Rep. Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake), and Rep. Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks) think there are simply too many Alaskans in prison and have started proposing changes to the state justice system in order to see at least a 25% decrease in incarcerations.
  • Here they come to save the day! The State of Alaska has agreed to wire part of Cook Inlet Energy LLC’s tax credit payment to the tune of $6.4 million early so the energy producer doesn’t go into bankruptcy, per the Peninsula Clarion.
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  • FINALLY!! The state ferry system has something to celebrate (happy dance time). APRN reports that the LeConte ferry not only saved six men after their skiff overturned in the choppy waters off Rocky Island, but this bit of derring-do didn’t even alter the ferry’s expected arrival time too much. 
  • Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) wants the governor to investigate the curious situation where when “oil prices go up the price for gas also goes up but when oil prices fall we don’t see that same decrease in gas prices.”
  • Have no fear Rep. Kawasaki because the Dispatch reveals that Alaska’s oil and gas system is already on the governor’s mind with plans to reduce the state’s gas tax credit program following Sen. Cathy Giessel’s (R-Anchorage) special legislative hearing on the very issue.

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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 17

  • North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower’s husband exchanged some choice words with the NSB assembly over the brewing scandal of his wife’s alleged misappropriations of funds. The Arctic Sounder has the details; you provide the popcorn.
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins is worried for good reasons. The rough draft of state DOT future projects showed that not only were there fewer projects on tap, but several important transportation projects in the region have been placed in the dreaded “limbo” category. The Fairbanks News Miner has the details.

    Fairbanks & Anchorage

    Photo Credit to the Dispatch. Captions, all Inside Alaska Politics baby!

  • Sen Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) wrote an op-ed in The Hill bestowing platitudes onto Donald Trump and his performance during last week’s Fox News 2016 GOP presidential debate.
  • Last week the PEW Charitable Trust released their 2015 review of each state’s “checkbook” and found Alaska lacking at such a degree that it was awarded an “F” for the second year in a row for lack of government transparency and feasibility in deciphering the state’s “checkbook”. To which Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) responded with a public letter to the governor asking for the MUCH needed improvements.

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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 May 29

  • The beginnings of a GOP primary battle royale commenced when  Rep. Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage) and 2013-2014 House Speaker confirmed to the Dispatch that he was in fact “considering” running against Rep. Don Young in 2016!
  • In champagne cork popping news- the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given Alaska to license to export LNG out of Nikiski. APRN has the kicker: we can export to countries that don’t even have a free trade agreement with the US.
  • Gallup just released their findings that 50% of 1,024 US adults self described as “pro-choice” and 44% as “pro-life”. This is the first time pro-choice ID has surpassed “pro-life” since 2008.Gallup

 

  • The Fairbanks preliminary commercial marijuana zoning maps came out last night to overall community support. My little birds tell me that certain neighborhoods are already starting to organize to prevent marijuana and that this map is by no means final.
  • While Gov. Bill Walker was on his diplomatic trip to Seattle, he didn’t mince words with UPI by stating, “Offshore drilling in the Arctic WILL happen.”
  • The Paddle in Seattle has been enough of a headache that the Coast Guard is taking precautions in anticipation of receiving Shell’s drill rig in Alaska’s waters. APRN details what this entails and where the perceived hot spots will be.

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Alaska News Roundup for May 27

  • 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.Resolution
  • It’s OfficialEthan 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:giphy

 

  • 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.

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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 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!

    Graph

    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 April 24

  • My little birds in Juneau tell me that frustration and anger are the two emotions wafting through the capital hallways. The Fairbanks News Miner Matt Buxton and APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez tweeted pretty accurate summations:Buxton ParaphraseGueiterrez
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  • Alaskans should rejoice over the news coming from ISER! The Dispatch explains that the state can use up to $2.3 billion (yes, with a “B”) of the Permanent Fund earnings toward the deficit without hurting Alaskans’ PFD!

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Alaska News Roundup for April 10

  • Rep. Mike Chenault’s (R-Nikiski) resolution, HJR25, caught the attention of the Daily News Online. Chenault’s missive is directed to Washington state officials and suggests that before disallowing Shell to moor its Arctic drilling rigs in the Seattle harbor, they should close their Boeing production plant-all in the name of helpful environmental concern. After all, it’s for the children.YouTube Preview Image

 

UPDATE:   Seattle, WA’s City Councilman Mike O’Brien (206-684-8800) is up for a debate with the Nikiski representative on either MSNBC or Fox News. His Communication Director explained that either news station just needs to contact them and set up a time. It is currently unknown if Chenault has accepted this 21st century-style duel.

  • APRN, amongst many others, is anxiously awaiting the release of the remaining documents and emails regarding the Alaska National Guard scandal. It is expected that this will occur by the end of April, if not sooner.
  • Things are getting litigious down in Juneau. It is now being reported by the Juneau Empire that the legislature has authorized $100K for attorney fees to fight the lease agreement between the owner of the current Anchorage LIO building and the state.
  • The Dispatch’s David Hulen has been tapped to become their new Executive Director as the mighty Tony Hopfinger is stepping down to serving as just the newspaper’s President and Executive Editor from Chicago due to family illness responsibilities. 

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