Alaska News Roundup for July 15

  • The contentious mobile home park zoning code has received so much ire from Kodiakians (?) that the scheduled Planning and Zoning Commission Special Meeting on this issue has been canceled and moved to their regular meeting tonight. My little bird tells me to come early, because it’s anticipated to be popcorn worthy. 
  • It appears that North Slope Borough Assembly’s Mayor Charlotte Brower has been naughty. There have been murmurings of ethical violations of payments to Brower’s family for goods and services, but now the Dispatch reveals that the NSBA is now taking official steps to investigate the alleged impropriety by hiring a law firm.



  • Our Washington Delegation’s reaction to the Iran nuclear accord was generally along the same viewpoint: this is not a good deal. Sen. Dan Sullivan went old school with his criticism with a quote by former Pres. Ronald Regan. Sen. Lisa Murkowski took a graceful and diplomatic tone with her disapproval and Rep. Don Young referred to the Obama administration as using “a dog and pony show”.
  • Gov. Bill Walker’s decision to allow forward movement on 3 separate large-scale projects without official funding has raised some eyebrows across the state. The Juneau Empire reveals those projects to be: Knik Arm Bridge, The Road and the Susitna-Watana dam.

  • Rep. Scott Kawasaki’s (D-Fairbanks) first Picnic in the Park was so successful that on July 21, there will be another one!
  • KTOO details the Alaska National Coast Guard’s preparations for the upcoming, contentious offshore drilling by Shell in the Chukchi Sea.
  • The Anchorage electorate can rejoice in knowing that they get to continue voting on muni elections and issues in April instead of November (which would have begun in 2017). The Anchorage Assembly just voted to move it back to its original month in the spring in a 7-3 vote with Assemblyman Bill Star abstaining.
  • Juneau is once again grappling with a critical shortage of daycare providers and the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly’s proposals to help fix this issue is explained by the Juneau Empire.
  • Ten environmental groups have gotten together in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell asking her to reject Shell’s permits for Chukchi Sea offshore drilling due to the lack of icebreakers since the Fennica is heading to Oregon for repairs. The Fairbanks News Miner has the details.


  • The New York Times examines how Hillary Clinton is “re-re-re-reintroducing” herself to the electorate as a regular person-going so far as to invoke her summer working in Alaska during college and (gasp!) even eating moose!
  • The Sitka Assembly is trying once again to find an alternative solution to their Convention and Visitors Bureau It’s a VERY complicated issue, but thankfully KCAW breaks its down with the backstory, the interested parties and unresolved conflicts.
  • The Hill explains how the Center for American Progress wants the Obama administration to delay the next offshore drilling auction (August 19) until Congress renews the Land and Water Conservation Fund set to die on September 30.
  • Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole) and 2,500+ people want the authority of the Fairbanks North Star Borough over wood burning to be on the October muni ballot. She only needed 1,718 signatures though.




  • Seward City Council voted for the 60-year lease extension for Small Boat Harbor property since it has been at its location for 30 years and is still going strong. Seward City News reports that the lease agreement includes a rate of $10K per year to be paid by the National Park Service for their use of the visitor center on the SBH property and stipulates that NPS will further invest more than $2 million in facilities improvement over the next three years.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner has the skinny on what Interior legislators said at yesterday’s Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce luncheon on the previous and future legislative session.
  • The Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s ongoing lawsuit over the constitutionality of the state’s right to use property taxes to help pay for public education is given an update by APRN.
  • Just in time for the weekend! Wired has compiled a helpful binge-watching guide for the political drama The Good Wife.
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  • Time to shine your wingtip shoes Alaska because international bigwigs are coming! The Dispatch has the details on the late summer arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, retired Adm. Robert Papp Jr. and several other foreign ministers in order to “draw attention of the world to Alaska and to the Arctic.”



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