Alaska News Roundup for Feb. 19

  • Hold onto your IMSAI 8080, because APRN reports that Alaska is hosting the FIRST International Summit on Arctic Warfare! Think WarGames, but with a Behind Enemy Lines twist.
  • No, the ladies of the Senate and House Minority caucuses have not pulled a Holmes and joined the House Majority. This lovely picture Rep. Charisse Millett tweeted is of the Alaska Legislative Women’s Caucus with Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Paging House Minority Spokesman Michael Mason to the White Curtsey phone: backgrounds matter, just ask Palin.

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  • Port officials with Unalaska are asking Shell to revisit the company’s mooring requests for their drill rigs near some of the most trafficked shipping lanes in the state and according to APRN, “it’s less than ideal.”
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is taking point on asking the U.S. Sec. of Commerce to allow crude oil exports to Mexico using the same conditions as those used with Canadian trade, per the Oil and Gas Journal.
  • The latest APOC reports show that Dan Coffey wins the crown for Best Fundraiser in the Anchorage mayoral race. Devin Kelly with the Dispatch crunched the numbers and scoured the spreadsheets to discover that he raised $170,625 in the year up to Feb 2. Amy Demoboski has raised $55,352 since she began in August with $32,428 from her own money.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner got the warm and fuzzies over Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s announcement that Pres. Obama will be visiting Alaska in the summer, and then continued to blast him on the administration’s energy policies in her annual legislative address. Not so fast says an unknown White House flack.

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  • The Alaska Board of Game is mulling over the idea to repeal those pesky emergency order hunting seasons for bison since the Alaska Supreme Court ruled last December that buffalo that wander off grazing leases are in fact not wild and therefore not protected.
  • Meet the harshest critic of the FCC’s revised (and still unknown to the public) net neutrality rules: GOP FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. Politico explains who Pai is and why he matters in the debate over the Internet’s future.
  • Sen. Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) told a packed audience during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing of SB30 (the senate pot bill) that she estimates the revised bill will be ready for the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. The Dispatch explains the revisions to the bill, including the new designation of marijuana as a regulated substance and not as a controlled substance.
  • Gov. Bill Walker concedes that Juneau isn’t for everyone in a letter regarding the lack of permanent capital city based state department commissioners. The Juneau Empire has the backstory, the outrage and the realities of living in the largest state in the Union.
  • The AP and GfK conducted an online poll of 1,045 adults utilizing a GfK algorithm to better ensure a true representation of the U.S. population and discovered that six in ten Americans want to increase the minimum wage. The Hill and International Business Times explain what the results mean in laymen’s terms.
  • KRBD has a piece on Sen. Dan Sullivan’s review of his first month in office. One of his main points of pride: co-sponsoring the Clay Hunt suicide prevention bill.
  • For Alaskans that heart themselves some Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), your wait for his presidential announcement is almost over. The New York Times reports that you should mark your calendar for April 7.
  • KTOO reports that more than 21K Alaskans signed up for healthcare.gov, which was a 62% increase over last year for the state. The national average was 41%.
  • The Washington Post explains the findings of the latest Gallup poll that puts Alaska in the #1 spot for well-being. Florida, with all its sun and beaches, came in at 23.

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