Alaska News Roundup for May 6

  • Anchorage has a new mayor: Ethan Berkowitz! The best picture of the evening was tweeted by KTUU’s Kyle Hopkins.Berkowitz


  • Sue McClure’s riveting Seward Borough Assembly Report on their May 5th meeting is available with the Seward City News! Her excitement over governmental goings-on is palatable and infectious.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan both voted for the FY2016 budget and the budgetary levels for FY2015-2025.
  • APRN has an update on Gov. Byron Mallott’s British Columbia trip to discuss Alaska’s role in future mine permitting processes. Good news! It looks promising that Alaska’s concerns will be included with any decision made by the Canadian government.
  • Politico is only adding to the hysteria of what my little birds have been asking talking about since November: is former Sen. Mark Begich running against SenLisa Murkowski in 2016? Sen. John Tester (D-MN) thinks the odds are slim, but considering the stab wound in Begich’s back from Sen. Murkowski’s Dan Sullivan endorsement is still fresh, who knows?
  • Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) has written an op-ed in the Dispatch regarding his belief that the legislative majorities have misappropriated funding with the current budget and clarifies how it should be allocated.

  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough is the focus of two different articles in the Fairbanks News Miner. The first is the Planning Commission’s approval to create a restrictive zone for “gentleman’s clubs” (Not the Don Draper whisky swilling, oak paneled-styled gentleman’s club. Think more of the Soprano’s poorly lit business with scantily clad women dancing around poles.). The second regards the worry of union officials regarding the potential salary freeze of unioned employees.
  • The Late Show with David Letterman got political with their Top Ten list. Last night was their Top Ten Political Top Ten Lists. Coming in at #10 was Top Ten Surprising Facts About Sarah Palin.Letterman


  • Anchorage will now get the “joy” of having commercial drones swirling around our air because the FAA has granted its first authorization in the city to Alaska Aerial Media. The Juneau Empire has the details.
  • Seward isn’t the only place in Alaska that is going to be upping their dock rates. Homer Port and Harbor is seeing an additional 5% in moorage fees to help shoulder the $3.4 million in annual harbor facility costs due to cuts in the state budget, per the Homer Tribune.
  • BitCoin is experiencing the growing pains from being a little punk currency to establishing itself as quasi-respectable physical and digital money with their first fine by the Feds’ Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), per The Hill.
  • The current state budget has a $30 million cut to UA The Dispatch reveals what this means in terms of layoffs (as much as 500 full- and part-time jobs) and day-to-day management of the state’s brain trust.
  • The IRS is getting with the 21st century and The Hill reports that their first step in this evolution is by establishing their own cyber investigative team to focus on tax fraud via stolen data for tax refunds/get their cut.
  • Sen. Peter Micchiche (R-Soldotna), Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski), and Rep. Kurt Olson (R-Soldotna) held a luncheon with the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce to discuss the legislative season. The Peninsula Clarion explains their reasons for not restoring $48 million in education funding and other important legislative impasses.
  • Also in Politico is a sit-down interview between Jen Judson and Sen. Dan Sullivan regarding the so-called Asia pivot.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services have updated their “Get the Facts about Marijuana” web page to correctly reflect the current understanding of driving while under the influence of cannabis.
  • Get out your inner Roar with your very own Grizzly License Plates. APRN revealed that they are better than the 1976 version and will be made available starting tomorrow!


    This is the kind of thing that makes Alaska cool!


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