Alaska News Roundup for December 1

  • This week on Capital Hill, Congress is going to be scrambling to avoid another government shutdown (and increase the ire of their constituents) while tackling the highway funding and even throwing in some energy debate for good measure, per The Hill.
  • Southeast is sure to be doing a happy dance with the news that AKDOT is going to be pumping $30+ million into improvements of the Ferry System. The projects includes small ones like a new terminal building complete with functioning sanitation (!) for Kake and for Angoon; replace mooring dolphins (sorry, not what you think) and increase passenger bridge safety in Ketchikan; to Hainesmondo project that will completely replace the current end dock for ferries.

happy dance

 

  • Unalaska’s City Council was hard at work grappling with the ramifications of the Pot Board’s recent decisions and though not all issues ended with a decision, it’s part of an ongoing community discussion. Not so on the issue of too many taxicabs as that number has officially been lowered to 18, per KUCB.
  • The State Pot Board’s inclination to allow cannabis cafes has given the state its first potential location in Fairbanks. The Fairbanks North Star Assembly discussed the possibility at their last meeting and while many members were not amused with the prospect, Fairbanks seems to at least be rational about the good vs. bad.

  • ABC News and the Washington Post joined up again to conduct a poll, this time on how serious of a threat Americans felt Climate Change was to the US. Since June 2014, the percent of concerned has dropped from 69% to 63% and those that felt it was not even an issue has increased from 29% to 36%. Perhaps that’s why our governor isn’t focusing much of his administration’s resources to tackle this issue.
  • Alaska (and Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole) looks at Fairbanks and North Pole and sees two separate entities and not a mere extension of one another. For that reason, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is asking the EPA to do the same when it comes to air quality regulations and fines, per APRN.
  • One of my Joe Miller lovin’ little birds pointed out something interesting from Twitter: Democratic State House candidate Myranda Walso follows Joe Miller. Apparently Miller wasn’t simply pontificating when he said that his base was far flung and full of surprising names.
  • In Whyyyyyyy!!!!!!! news; the yummiest of ice cream makers in the state (i.e. Hot Licks) is shuttering operations until May. That means that the store (and ice cream plant) that brought so much joy to one of my little birds is closed until well after Breakup. It has been suggested that this is yet ONE MORE “catastrophic” effect of the Special/Extended Sessions as part owner Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) has had to be away from his family business in order to handle the recent legislative crises.
  • Nome held the final meeting of a two-year project of the Bering Straits Development Company Regional Energy Planning Strategic Advisory Group to create a comprehensive regional energy plan. The Nome Nugget has the details.
  • Not everybody looked happy to have their picture taken with Sen. Dan Sullivan on Thanksgiving. One of my little birds present thought the possibility of a Kanye West style announcement was greater than zero.
  • The Homer City Council tackled the Homer Accelerated Roads and Trails Program tax proposal (HART) as a way to help fill their $1 million budget hole along with some very vocal opponents in the audience.
  • First hackers showed their ability to access and hijack cars via the automobile’s unencrypted software. The new worry is the same being done with people’s medical devices and Wired has interviewed one doctor that is doing something to prevent this possibility from occurring.
  • Congrats to Seward’s Christy Terry on her new position as the Seward Port Manager for the Alaska Railroad. This lifelong mover and shaker of the community will sure prove her worth in keeping the trains running on time at such a pivotal juncture for the rail system.
  • The next Anchorage Fairview Community Council meeting is sure to get feisty as residents are sure to fill the meeting hall about a growing issue over green space and Merrill Field Airport viewing it with green envy.
  • The Valley (and some 50,000+ members) can breathe easier now that MEA has FINALLY named their General Manager in Tony Izzo. The Frontiersman reports that he beat out 21 other applicants and Izzo’s impressive credentials explain why.
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