Alaska News Roundup for March 17

  • Elections are around the corner and a political newbie seems to be in it to win it. Derrick Slaughter’s army of supporters were wailing on the phones last night to garner support for his Anchorage School Board bid as evidence in this photo.Derrick Slater Campaign


  • While Sen. Dan Sullivan is painted a coward by Bill Press in The Hill for signing the infamous Iran letter, Press simultaneously feels that Sen. Lisa Murkowski should be awarded one of seven for Congress’ Profiles of Courage awards.
  • CNNI/ORC conducted a poll of 1,009 adult Americans and found that 68% of those polled were in favor of diplomatic talks with Tehran.
  • The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly weighs in on finding a balance between keeping their seasonal food exemption and the importance the estimated $3.3 million in additional funds the exemption repeal would create for their coffers, per the Peninsula Clarion.
  • The drama bomb that was felt across the state was the dramatic removal of Rep. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) of her committees, staff, and membership to the House Majority Caucus. Becky Bohrer with the AP has the details, Alaska Pipeline has the dramatic moment on the house floor and the timeline was captured by reporters via their Twitter feeds:

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  • My little birds are a flutter at the potential anarchy in Republican ranks extending beyond the walls of the House Chamber and into the Kenai Peninsula as a widely circulated email from the Alaska Republican Assembly is gathering applicants to primary against House Speaker Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski)
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) are leading the charge to overturning the 40+-year-old ban on oil exports. Their argument is being bolstered by a new IHS report that found by doing so 394,000-859,000 U.S. jobs would be created between 2016-2030 with 90% coming from non-oil production fields, per Reuters.
  • Read all about the Washington State owned marijuana dispensary in the Washington Post since Alaska’s dispensaries are expected to open in 2016.
  • Alaska’s Board of Game is set to discuss potential changes to Kenai Peninsula hunting regulations. The Peninsula Clarion has the details.
  • The Frontiersman has the skinny on Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Jim Sykes’ proposal to have the assembly sit at ground level tables during public hearings in hopes to create more community conversation. The reception to this idea is apparently lukewarm.
  • Devin Kelly with the Dispatch has her first in-depth piece on each of the Anchorage mayoral candidates. First up, Amy “little R” Demboski.
  • The House Education Committee was not amused during UA’s presentation on their budget re-work. The Fairbanks News Miner has the showdown and terse words from committee members.
  • Alaska, meet your new climate divisions map. The National Climatic Data Center will be utilizing the new designations (brought to you by one of our own UA post-doctoral fellows) to help identify long-term climate trends and better predict Alaska’s weather.Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 5.27.25 AM


  • David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior for Clinton and Obama, wrote an op-ed in the Seattle Times where he lays out his argument that the Alaskan Delegation’s reaction to President Obama’s ANWR Wilderness decision wasn’t based on reality. Ouchie.
  • The ADF&G is chomping on the bit to being their first aerial flights over Sitka Sound in preparation for 2015 sac roe herring fishery, according to KCAW.
  • The Dispatch’s Nate Herz expects Gov. Bill Walker’s Medicaid expansion bill to be introduced today.
  • Rep. Tammy Wilson (R-North Pole) is hoping that her proposed legislation to remove criminal cases that resulted in acquittals or/or had the remaining charges dropped to be removed from the Internet, but still remain in hardcopy to the public will not get vetoed as in years past, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • On a lighter note, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux’s (R-Anchorage) office has concocted an interesting way to scrounge up pizza money.
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Photo by Nat Herz with the Dispatch



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