Alaska News Roundup for January 14

  • Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) has filed a bill that would prohibit imprisoned couples from getting married while both partners are incarcerated. This extends to both same and heterosexual couples. My little bird said this was simply a move to beef up Lynn’s street cred amoungst his more conservative constituents as this is an election year and he is now facing a primary with Uber conservative Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Evans.
  • Pew Research Center found in their most recent poll of 541 people that while most (47%) are ok with trading their purchasing privacy via retail loyalty cards for occasional discounts, that abruptly changes when confronted with what the company does with that data and how it could be used against the consumer.Technology


  • The Kenai City Council’s 10+ year-old big plans for Millennium Square are finally getting the dust brushed off them and is set to be officially presented to the council in February. The Peninsula Clarion reports that the square will incorporate both scenic beauty and economic driving retail space.
  • Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) is continuing his fight against high gas prices in Alaska by requesting an investigation into possible antitrust issues. Whoa!

  • Soldotna is getting an overdue facelift that includes new signage!
  • Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) made Seward’s Dorothy Urbach’s day with his presentation of a state citation in recognition of her long-term community service. The Seward City News explains what other items were discussed.Seward


  • Property owners around Mat-Su should take particular interest in this bullet point: FEMA and the Mat-Su Borough officials are in the process of redrawing flood lines and that has the possibility of affecting insurance rates, property values, and much more.
  • The Dispatch’s Tim Bradner is looking at our state’s budget crisis with rose colored glasses as he explains that this situation will act as a catalyst for better working relations between legislators.
  • Alaskans might have gotten a reprieve from TSA/FAA on our wicked cool, though “unsecure”, driver’s licences until next fall when flying. The same cannot be said for anyone wanting to venture onto Ft. Wainwright as Real ID (Boo!) is the name of the game regarding approved forms of identification.
  • Politico conducted their third annual Ranking of States based on a variety of factors and Alaska came in at #25 (take that #37 Florida and you’re pretty beaches!). While our strongest ranking was with our low unemployment rate (we ranked #5), it wasn’t enough to pull us up closer to #1 overall as our standing with the other categories was…err…less stellar.Alaska


  • Soldotna isn’t the only one getting new signage! The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the street in front of the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s admin center will go from an “outdated” Terminal Street to Citizens Way. Coolest thing about this change? Borough Mayor Karl Kassel got the idea from an open all-employee meeting AND gave the credit to the employee.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski wrote an op-ed in the New York Times expressing her frustration (and many Americans for that matter) over lost chances to explore hydropower.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan had the honor of a photo op with his Majesty King Abdullah II, King of the Hashermite Kingdom of Jordan; though someone in charge of his Twitter feed forgot how to properly address a royal. No harm done,, as he is an alum to both Deerfield Academy and Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and surly understands that some Americans just don’t comprehend diplomatic delicacies.Sullivan


  • Earthjustice has filed to intervene in the decision making process of the Department of the Interior regarding Shell’s leases in the Beaufort & Chukchi Seas.
  • Charles Wohlforth has an interesting take on the potential winners and losers of the upcoming battle of choosing between taxes and raiding the PFD.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan signed onto a letter about Iran.
  • Roland Maw’s life has certainly taken an abrubt turn since his time in the spotlight as Gov. Bill Walker’s appointee to the Alaska Board of Fisheries with the news that Maw has been charged with 17 counts of theft and fraud over PFDs and commercial fishing permits.
  • Justin Amash’s (R-MI) fan club just got bigger with his bill to repeal the mega “cybersecurity” bill that was signed into late last year. This is a bipartisan supported piece of legislation.Amash

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