Alaska News Roundup for May 14

  • Former Gov. Frank Murkowski’s respected Director of Labor Relations, Art Chance, wrote a sensational post prompting Republicans to cause a state government shutdown, called someone (potentially the governor) “the Hermaphrodite”, and labeled the Dispatch as part of the BoWash Axis of Evil (while intoning they would make squealing sounds ala Deliverance). There were some raised eyebrows about the original post as Chance is an established moderate Republican with tremendous street cred, but it became an unofficial/official BIG DEAL the moment the Alaska Republican Party shared (thus endorsing) Chance’ post. At which point, Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks Daily News Miner tweeted this happening to his massive following.Scandal


  • Things could turn ugly this summer over fishing. It turns out that there is fighting over Kenai River subsistence gillnetting due to the new regulations with the Federal Subsistence Board. Right now the Peninsula Clarion reports that there are roughly 100 public comments and requests for reconsideration with the FSB. The previous record is six.
  • CNBC has an article about how Sen. Lisa Murkowski turned the lemons of low crude oil prices and are turning them into lemonade by illustrating the Saudi Arabia’s decision to flood the crude oil market as a reason to lift the ban on US crude oil export.

  • Two of the state’s political powerhouses discussed why they supported retaining Alaska’s judge selection as is and not alter it as Sen. Pete Kelly is proposing in SJR3 at the state bar convention. The Dispatch explains former chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court Bud Carpeneti and former delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention Vic Fischer’s reasons.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner covered the third day of hearings on Medicaid expansion by the House Finance Committee with lots of legislators’ quotes that give further insight into the closed-door debates. Today’s turn to testify is Fairbanks.
  • The United Nations’ top climate official, Christiana Figueres, made a very public dig at Pres. Obama’s decision to green light Shell’s permit for offshore drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, per the Washington Post.
  • The Seattle Kayativits are planning to meet Shell’s Arctic oil rig in Elliott Bay during a three-day “festival of resistance” starting this Saturday, so sayeth Komo News, while continuing to observe the safety zones set up by the Coast Guard.
  • Alaska Native News reports that Rep. Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski joined forces for bicameral legislation to encourage O&G exploration of Point Spencer in the Seward Peninsula by streamlining future infrastructure development and the creation of the Port Coordination Advisory Council for the Port of Point Spencer.


    Photo Credit of Rep. Don Young’s Office

  • The Alaska Department of Transportation had news that made southeast cheer! The 2015 ferry service will continue as scheduled, with only the Taku ferry being the significant revision.
  • The Seward City Council has approved $9,800 for another pubic use cranes in the Small Boat Harbor after continued debate and rejections of previous versions for cranes on “I Dock” and the travel lift bulkhead, per the Seward City News.
  • Doyon partially-owned company, Dish Network and several others filed several conditions with the FCC regarding AT&T’s proposed merger with DirecTV including one that would require AT&T to follow net neutrality rules despite the outcome of net neutrality in future court proceedings. The Hill has the backstory on the companies that have joined the filings, the other proposed conditions for the merger and the reasons behind this action.
  • The American Progress’ VP of Energy and Environmental Policy wrote an op-ed in The Hill where he illustrates that energy legislation has historically been bipartisan and that Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s mondo package of energy bills will encourage debate and forward motion on today’s environmental/economically tied issues.
  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough is expecting to seeing about 12 people with an accrued 264 years of experience retire in the next few weeks. The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the reasons for the uptick in retirements are typically due to the workforce aging.
  • One of the leading voices against Pebble Mine has passed away at the age of 73. Bristol Bay elder Bobby Andrew died of natural causes, while asleep in his cabin on Lake Aleknagik while on a fishing trip for whitefish and pike, according to KDLG. Mr. Andrew was considered to be a lightening rod for the movement by organizing support, speaking at multiple events and appeared in several films about the importance of protecting Bristol Bay.

    Bobby Andrews

    Photo Credit of Our Bristol Bay

  • The man that presided over First National Bank Alaska for more than sixty years has passed away. Dan Cuddy was 94 and as the Dispatch explains in their lovely memorandum, he is widely credited for being the reason FNBA survived the 1980’s recession when many other Alaska financial institutions didn’t and helped FNBA emerge as the state’s lending powerhouse.


    Photo Credit of Homer News


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