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. 

  • Alaska’s yellow cedar is now being evaluated for Endangered Protection. If this occurs, it will become the state’s only tree and second plant to be on the protection list. ABC News explains why environmentalists are delighted by the news, while the timber industry is not amused.
  • NEA-Alaska is taking to the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau airwaves in protest to the proposed $47.5 million in education funding cuts by the legislature, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • Indefinitely Wild echoes the outcry that occurred yesterday when the senate voted to give states the ability to sell off federal lands (i.e. national parks). The amendment, SA838, is explained in full as well as the backstory behind this legislative move. Both of our senators, Sen. Lisa Murkowski being the one to introduce the amendment, voted “yea”.Nat. Forest Vote

 

  • Southeast Alaska’s project managers can breathe a sigh of relief as the Capital Budget for FY16 includes $54 million in funding for a new harbor and energy projects. KCAW reports that the bad news is that Petersburg and Wrangell got left out in the cold.
  • ATV drivers are about to have new restrictions imposed upon them while driving within Wasilla city limits, per the Frontiersman.
  • Its not just oil prices that are dropping. The Dispatch reports that sockeye salmon is also expected to see a lower price this season due to a glut in supply.
  • Add Amazon to the ever-increasing list of authorized companies to test drones for future commercial use. The Hill reports that Amazon has to test within the parameters of not flying faster than 100 miles an hour, have to remain within sight of the operator, cannot fly at night and stay below 400 feet, amongst other regulations.
  • Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Rep. Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) are calling foul to the proposed dredging of the Chuitna River.
  • The Juneau Empire reports that the Juneau’s Pot Panel is deciding where not only can marijuana can be grown, but where it can be sold within city limits.
  • Fairbanks is pulling together to ensure the $17.1 million educational funding gap left by the state’s budget shortfall doesn’t negatively affect their public schools too much. The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the Fairbanks North Star Borough approved $963,000 while local leaders are being encouraged to help.
  • David Barron, a previous Alaska fishing guide, wrote an op-ed in the Wisconsin State Journal where he explained that economics and not the EPA’s involvement with Pebble Mine is the real reason for Gogebic Taconite’s pullout of the proposed Bad River Mine in Wisconsin.
  • The bill to change time as we know it looks like it will die in the House State Affairs Committee, or at least hibernation until next year. This is according to the Times Union.
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