Some of Newtok’s village leaders have refused to leave their offices after losing a power dispute, but US District Judge Ralph Beistline has authorized the AK State Troopers to forcefully remove the former leaders. The New York Times has the detail on this modern Trail of Tears
Whoa!! Check it: the voter rejected 2013 Kenai Comprehensive Plan is going to be used anyway as the basis for the revised version in 2016. While the Peninsula Clarion refrained from inflammatory language on this move…Kenai’s electorate will probably not be so demure.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) seat buddy caught the eye of Politico, Inside Alaska Politics, and anyone with an appreciation for successful fashion risks (is there anything that Sen. Lisa Murkowski CAN’T pull off?)
The Anchorage Caucus were busy little bees last Saturday as constituents voiced their concern (and at times outrage) over the fiscal situation Alaska is facing. One of my little birds noted that MANY Republican legislators were late to their own meeting AND looked “more bored than interested in doing their job.”
The latest Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyreport is out by the ever-endearing Sue McClure!! In a nutshell, $3 million was approved to fund the Central Peninsula Hospital project to include the ability to treat cancer and the area’s aging population. Their annual meeting will be in Homer on September 15.
Rep. Don Young was suspiciously absent during Pres. Obama’s tour and APRN found out where he was “hiding”. Hint, he was at his traditional August bolthole in Fort Yukon enjoying the joys of an August break with his enchanting newly wed.
The US Labor Department has released the unemployment rate for August 2015 with good news! The jobless rate fell to 5.1% and we are now consistently making pre-Great Recession rates.
Graphic Credit of US Bureau of Labor & Statistics
The Mat-Su Borough Assembly did in fact cobble together enough votes to veto (at 5/2) Mayor Larry DeVilbiss’s veto on a 55% excise tax on vapes, e-cigarettes and their corresponding products. As the Frontiersman explains, they will remain in the same tax category as traditional tobacco products.
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!
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.
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.
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.
It’s Official: Ethan 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:
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.
Shell has been given conditional approval (i.e. a green light) to drill up to six wells near the Burger Prospect in Alaska’s Arctic offshore area, per NPR.
Photo Credit of This Small Planet
The House and Senate minorities intend to hold their own set of public hearings on budget issues, Medicaid expansion and Erin’s Law. APRN explains why.
An update on Interior Energy Project is tonight at 6:00pm at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. For those unable to attend, the Fairbanks News Miner has the gist of what is expected to be reported.
The federal Government Accountability Office has released its first-in-depth report on “landscape-scale” forest restoration. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) requested the study to determine if restoration efforts were in fact efficient and cost-effective. The GAO discovered that while the system in place isn’t perfect, the economic and environmental positives largely outweigh the negatives.
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.
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!