Alaska News Roundup for January 12

  • The Frontiersman usually has banal questions that need to be answered in order to access their top notch reporting (totally worth a few clicks of the mouse). The questions are almost exclusively regarding commercial product knowledge or personal data points (home ownership, age, etc.), but the latest question does cause concern. Will the data used regarding how their readership plans to vote determine how their news will be written or what will be reported on? Online surveys are not totally anonymous as your personal IP address can easily be used to identify who clicked what and where they live.Frontiersman

 

  • So, in a fiscal case of “it’s not you, it’s me”, Standard and Poor’s downgraded Alaska’s credit because of the ongoing crude price slump and the upcoming bond sales and not because of Alaska’s reputation.
  • Alaskans’ PFD check will start shrinking in the upcoming years and the Dispatch warns that if the state does tap the kitty to cover immediate expenses…that check could become A LOT smaller. Like, below $1,000 just for 2016 smaller. Ouchie!

  • Congratulations to Lydia Doza as she has been honored by First Lady Obama as one of her personal guests to tonight’s State of the Union address.SOTU

 

  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has thrown in the proverbial towel regarding the ongoing soap opera of state required local contributions after last week’s ruling against the borough’s lawsuit. The Juneau Empire has the backstory, what happened at the latest assembly meeting and how it was a unanimous vote to drop the lawsuit.
  • Sen. Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage) has filed a bill to raise Alaska’s minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. As the Fairbanks News Miner reports, this would make Alaska the highest paying minimum wage state in the nation.
  • It looks like 2016 is going to be an interesting year for both parties as Quinnipiac University just released their surprise results that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is ahead of former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in Iowa in ALL the demographics.poll

 

  • While the Division of Elections has rolled out the online voter registry with much success (590 and counting have registered with the portal since the end of November), the PFD voter campaign ballot initiative still wants more. How much more is explained by the Dispatch.
  • All of the applicants for the open City and Borough of Juneau Assembly seat felt the intensity of a rapid fire 10 minute grilling that was mostly focused on the most important decision facing the area: how to fill the big shoes left by retiring Kim Keifer…for good reason.
  • The Alaska Cannabis Industry is not amused by the two proposals before the Anchorage Assembly regarding regulations that they feel are TOO excessive. The Dispatch explains what the proposals aim to do and how they are being perceived.
  • The Peninsula Clarion has spotted the first controversial bill for the upcoming legislative session: SB120/HB236. The partner bills by Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna); and Rep. David Talerico (R-Healy) aim to protect clergy from having to perform same-sex marriages. The reactions from these fillings forced Sen. Micciche to tell the newspaper “this is not a Kim Davis bill.”
  • When AKDOT had to decide to go around Moose Pass or go through it, they went with the latter and have discovered first hand the difficulties involved in “right of way” and “boundary evaluation” while planning Alaska’s latest engineering feat. The Seward City News relays all the bureaucratic red tape and hurdles to make the upgrade happen.Moose Pass

 

  • The Alaska Board of Fisheries meets today in Fairbanks to discuss fishing regulations for the Arctic, Yukon and Kuskokwim regions of the state.   If you miss today’s meeting, take heart, as they will be ongoing through Saturday. HERE is the Agenda.
  • Wired has an interesting piece perfectly tailored for Gov. Bill Walker and our state’s educational plan.
  • Alaska lost one of their brightest and best over the weekend with the passing of Archbishop Hurley over the weekend. Roman Catholic or not, his love of people and never ending energy help forge and strengthen community ties throughout the state. For many, Archbishop Hurley helped Alaska get through some of the hardest of times without splintering. His legacy is massive and befitting of a man that gave so much and asked for so little in return. He will be missed.

    Hurley

    Photo Credit of the Dispatch

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