Alaska News Roundup for July 6

  • The proverbial sh*t has hit the fan. CSO Online broke the story about Hacking Team’s (the technology company dictators and oppressive regimes hire to hunt and suppress detractors) 400 GB of internal documents, source code and emails being publically published. Sad to say that the FBI, DEA and the DoD are among the client list that includes Sudan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia (the last one has an email thanking the company for its help in getting a “high value target” shortly after the assassination of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister). Trials, prison sentences and international fleeing/hiding will be coming in the coming months/years as this story unfolds.Hacked


  • This week on The Hill, No Child Left Behind’s reauthorization, finalization of the Department of Interior’s FY16 fiscal budget in the House, and possibly a floor vote on the trade enforcement bill.
  • Another round of Dueling Pens! This time it is by Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and AKGOP’s Com. Director Suzanne Downing take on the state budget. Rep. Gara makes his case for Medicaid expansion while Ms. Downing explains why she thinks there is a pattern of “incoherent leadership” at the heart of Alaska’s budget crisis.
  • Gov. Bill Walker received both props and a slap in the face by the New York Times in the same article! After including Walker’s decision to change the name of Wade Hampton Census District as an example of where Confederacy dedications are being removed, they then rename our governor to Walter. It has since been changed.Walter

  • In Good News/Bad News: the Juneau Empire reports that tobacco use has dropped to its lowest point since 2001 (yay) but state health officials believe that may be due to an uptick in e-cigarette use (boo).
  • Calling all educators (ok, actually more like three)! The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the Alaska Department of Education needs you for their State System of Support Coaches.Love


  • Sen. Dan Sullivan’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that requires the Secretary of Defense to detail military pans for the Arctic received a mention in a breathtakingly in-depth article about the myriad facets behind the Arctic Land Grab in Newsweek.
  • Quinnipiac University has come out with another poll! This time it reveals the deepening divide amongst Iowan voters on a multitude of issues ranging from income equality, ISIS, to candidate experience.Poll


  • Haines City Council is leading the race to the bottom with their passage of the lowest cruise ship moorage rates in the state. APRN reports that the move is seen as an extra incentive to increase cruise ship traffic to their city and away from their main competitors (Juneau and Skagway).
  • Wired makes its case for saving the backbone of the Air Force’s (and Eielson Air Force Base) war machines-affectionately nicknamed “Warthogs”. It doesn’t hurt that the federal Government Accountability discovered holes and incomplete analysis in a recent Air Force report that claims to save $4.2 billion over five years by shuttering the Warthog program.
  • The Dispatch relays the information that the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly will once again vote on whether or not to raise cigarette tax to $3-per-pack AND a 75% wholesale tax on other tobacco-related products. This issue was voted down by the Assembly last month, though is now expected to pass in part by pressure being brought down by the Ketchikan City Council. 
  • Bloomberg brings us up to speed on the upcoming events surrounding Lisa Murkowski’s landmark O&G legislation.
  • The Paddle in Seattle fight is revving up its Not Here in the Last Frontier front and The Hill explains what that might entail.
  • The Frontiersman interviewed the two Mat-Su cannabis businesses that were part of the Pot Board’s new Naughty List from last week. Both Northern Heights and Discrete Deliveries expressed their surprise from receiving the Cease-and-Desist orders and how each chose to respond.
  • The Homer Advisory Commission has submitted recommendations to the Homer City Council to build a gate near Bishop’s Beach to restrict access. The Homer Tribune reveals that it is far from a done deal and explains the expensive and community hurdles needed to jump in order for the gate to be approved.
  • Congratulations to the 2015 US Library of Congress Center for the Book award recipients Debby Dahl Edwardson, Dee Longenbaugh, and Edna McLean! The award ceremony will occur on July 14 at 7:30pm in room 150 of UAA’s Fine Arts building.

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