Category Archives: Rep. Paul Seaton

Alaska News Roundup for November 11

PoppyThe Dispatch has you covered with information on Veterans Day ceremonies for the Anchorage and Mat-Su area.

  • In a move that has sent a shockwave throughout the Peninsula, Homer’s Mayor Beth Wythe has become the latest Republican to take on a GOP incumbent and force a primary. The reason for such a jaw dropping reaction for many of my little birds? Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer) is a well-respected and beloved legislator in his district by both sides of the aisle and his support is considerable. Some whisperings have been that Wythe’s run is not to actually win, but to learn the ropes of campaigning for a future successful run in 2018.
  • Gov. Bill Walker is looking for a new State Agriculture Director as it has been decided that Franci Havemeister is not cut from his type of leadership cloth. One of my little birds thought DNR’s Commissioner Mark Myers was misogynistic innapropriate by referencing Havemeister as “Franci” in the state’s official press release instead of “Director Havemeister” as the governor did.

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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 September 21

  • This week on The Hill, it will be all about the Pope Francis love fest. The Senate will be taking up a ban on 20+ week abortion bill and the defunding of Planned Parenthood (which is expected to fail).
  • Hold the presses; Governor Bill Walker and First Lady Donna Walker met with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy while making inroads with potential Japanese LNG buyers!!

    Kennedy & Walkers

    Photo Credit of Gov. Bill Walker’s FB

  • Taxes is not a “four-letter word” in Seward. That was the takeaway of the Seward City News after attending the 20+ public discussion about Alaska’s fiscial situation and potential remedies including bills proposed by Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer), Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), and Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). One of my little birds noticed Sue McClure’s absence from “her kind of meeting.”
  • In potentially clap-worthy news: Southeast’s <3 for their ferries is legendary. Their Canadian neighbors feel the same. So much love for this mode of transportation has created an opportunity for Canadian based West Coast Launch to potentially begin once-a-week ferry runs in the winter and twice-a-week in the summer from Prince Rupert, British Columbia to Ketchikan beginning in the summer of 2016.

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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 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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