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.”
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.
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.
In that was quick news: Roselynn Cacy has become candidate #4 for the now open Senate District L seat Southwest Anchorage. This is expected to be old had for Casey as she ran for the seat back in 2012, but as the Dispatch reports, this time around she will first have win the Democratic primary against long-time campaigning Forrest McDonald. Jeff “I’ve never met a Speedo I couldn’t rock” Landfield and Natasha von Imhof have their own primary battle for the GOP bid before the final face-off in November 2016.
Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! The lucky coffee-drinking Juneau residents just got luckier with the announcement that Coppa, GonZo, and the Rookery are going to match discounted coffee prices to October 6th’s voter turnout. As the Juneau Empire reports that last year’s turnout was 29% and that would have meant 29 cents off a cuppa.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski might have come a long way baby as the ONLY Chairwoman of a full committee, but according to Politico…this is probably as far as the GOP will allow her (or any other GOP Congressional women) to ascend.
The Peninsula Clarion covered the latest Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Seat 1 candidate debate between incumbent Kelly Wolf, Gary Knopp, Robin Davis, and David Wartinbee.
The Fairbanks News Miner sheds some interesting light on the Denali Borough as the home to the state’s oldest population with 1/3 of the population ranging from 50-69 years old compared to just 9% of the state’s entire population.
Another OUTSIDE law firm will be receiving money from the legislature, this time at a cap of $350,000 to study Medicaid expansion and reform. The Dispatch reports that the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee has hired Virginia-based The Menges Group.
The Alaska Republican Party’s Vice Chair, Frank McQueary, wrote an op-ed in The Hill where he explains what Obama missed during his trip to the Last Frontier.
There is something very special about this picture by Andrew Harnik if several of my little birds have emailed it to me with their own individual take.
“The symbolism of man’s effect on the planet is right there”
“At least it wasn’t on a blue dress.”
“Even Alaska’s fish love Obama”
“I wish I had been that fish so I could’ve peed on his boots to.”
The LA Times gives an Outsider’s view of the president’s trip to Alaska. Complete with rebuke (fair/unfair?) toward the Alaska GOP’s twitter feed, the shock that Pebble Mine could even be a possibility, and a tidy wrap-up invoking previous presidential visits.
If Pebble Mine wasn’t on Pres. Obama’s environmental radar before his visit to Alaska, it is now! Reuters admits that while he did not directly address the controversial mine issue during his tour of Dillingham…he did say, “There are other threats [other than climate change] to this environment that we’ve always got to be alert to.”
Get out your popcorn and a non-work electronic devise to read this Anchorage Press retelling of their experience covering the GLACIER conference. Warning: the excitement is infectious and the language can be rather blue. Enjoy!
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!
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.
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” Landfieldbut 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.
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.
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.
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 Sullivanout 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 State Legislatures. Democrats controlled 27 and Republicans controlled 14.
2015 State Legislatures. Democrats control 11 and Republicans control 30.
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!
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 Majoritywas 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.
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.
The proverbial sh*t has hit the fan.CSO Online broke the story about Hacking Team’s (the technology company dictators and oppressive regimes hire to hunt and suppress detractors) 400 GB of internal documents, source code and emails being publically published. Sad to say that the FBI, DEA and the DoD are among the client list that includes Sudan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia (the last one has an email thanking the company for its help in getting a “high value target” shortly after the assassination of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister). Trials, prison sentences and international fleeing/hiding will be coming in the coming months/years as this story unfolds.
This week on The Hill, No Child Left Behind’s reauthorization, finalization of the Department of Interior’s FY16 fiscal budget in the House, and possibly a floor vote on the trade enforcement bill.
Another round of Dueling Pens! This time it is by Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and AKGOP’s Com. Director Suzanne Downing take on the state budget. Rep. Gara makes his case for Medicaid expansion while Ms. Downing explains why she thinks there is a pattern of “incoherent leadership” at the heart of Alaska’s budget crisis.
Gov. Bill Walker received both props and a slap in the face by the New York Times in the same article! After including Walker’s decision to change the name of Wade Hampton Census District as an example of where Confederacy dedications are being removed, they then rename our governor to Walter. It has since been changed.
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?
Here is Ethan Berkowitz’s first campaign ad, titled “Car Pool” (note the Breakup sludge on the side of his Honda Pilot).
Here is Andrew Halcro’s first campaign ad, titled “Reasons to Vote for Andrew Halcro for Mayor”.
Both are professionally done and are engaging. Which one will the undecided voter like more?
Politico explains why after the Chamber of Commerce has spent millions getting “their” type of candidate into office, GOP office holders just aren’t turning into their lap dogs. Take heart Rachael Petro! Sen. Dan Sullivan’s groveling quote (also trending on Twitter) from a February teleconference is the lead in the story and highlights how the senator remembers where his bread gets buttered.
It’s getting down to the wire with this legislative session means that there are lots of things to watch on Gavel to Gavel (and who’s working the hallways) the week, but the Juneau Empire thinks that the Senate Operating Budget, School Fundraisers involving food that do not meet federal nutritional standards and the repeal of the “Art in Public Places” state policy are the ones to follow.
In celebration of Seward’s Day, put on your history hats because the International Business Times is ready to school us on the “facts, price, history” of the Alaska purchasefor $7.2 million.
The Juneau Empire explains how Sen. Mike Dunleavy’s (R-Wasilla) zeroed-out funding for public broadcasting will detrimentally impact over 100,000 Alaskans that have no over-air TV service.
Last week the new fracking regulations came out and there was quite a kerfuffle within the energy industry about varying additional costs of $11,400-97,000-per-well these new regulations would create. The Washington Post put the numbers through the test and discovered that the claims are so extreme and the issue so complex that they awarded it Two Pinocchios.
The Great Land Trust and the Frontiersman have joined forces to highlight Mat-Su Valley “King Makers”. Don’t go clutching your pearls. It isn’t à la Richard Neville; think more along the “I Heart King Salmon” lines.
Devin Kelly with the Dispatch feels there’s a whiff of the 2014 senatorial race surrounding certain the Anchorage mayoral candidates.
The New York Daily News reports on a new video by Charlo “F*#k It, I Quit” Greene where she ponders running for Anchorage mayor as a write in candidate while rocking a look that gives Carmen Dell’Orefice a run for her money. Fierce!
The battle over Net Neutrality is not over by a long shot. The Hill reports on five different things that “could kill” the FCC’s updated Internet rules.
APRN reports that budget cuts might not happen to the Anchorage Police Department. In fact, all legislative discussions seem to point in an increase in budget to combat violent crimes.
The Seward City News explains the Seward City Council’s decision to approve $8 million expansion of the Providence Seward hospital and up to $1 million toward affordable senior housing.
With the change in time as we know it looking more and more likely to become reality, Nate Herz with the Dispatch reports on the formalizing opposition. This tweet alone says so much.
Now that the $1.5 million “Choose Respect” campaign has gone the way of the Dodo bird, the Juneau Empire explains what Alaska got for its money.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski is quoted by RealEstateRama for her support of the Senate passage of the bipartisan Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015.
Reuters/Ipsos conducted an online poll of 2,809 Americans to rate how much of a threat a list of countries, organizations and individuals posed to the U.S. 34% of Republicans thought that Pres. Obama was more of a threat than Mr. Putin (25%) or Mr. Assad (23%).
The TimesUnion uses Alaska’s state hostess, Miss Alaska, as an example of superfluous state symbols.
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.