Alaska News Roundup for May 7

  • Governor Bill Walker was the busy bee yesterday and signed four bills into law.
    • HB116 extends the regulatory powers of the ABC Board to include the new Marijuana Control Board.
    • HB 56 designates the Sunday before October 9 to be Alaska Firefighters’ Day.
    • HB140 allows the Alaska Railroad Corporation to issue $37 million in tax-exempt bonds as part of the federal Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
    • SB63 renames the State Library, Archives and Museum after Father Andrew Kashevaroff and a reading room within the library after the late Richard Foster (D-Nome). To which, Rep. Sam Kito (D-Juneau) tweeted his thanks.Kito


  • The Municipality of Anchorage’s IT program headache known as SAP looks like it’s movin’ on up to deluxe apartments in the sky…of the Sunshine Plaza The Dispatch explains that the proposal is to lease two floors in an attempt to overhaul the program and get it back on track after it has already cost Anchorage Borough taxpayers $36.5 million.
  • Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Gerand Lynch wrote on behalf of the 3-judge panel that the NSA’s massive, warrantless collection of US citizens’ phone records was in fact, illegal. What he has to say on pg. 75 is pretty amazing.
  • High Country News has the details on a piece of bipartisan legislation that would consider funding devastation brought by catastrophic wildfires like other natural disaster (earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.). To which the mighty Sen. Lisa Murkowski tapped her inner Paul McCartney.
  • Paul McCartney


  • The Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Kenai are agreeing to share the financial cost of the $654,000 Old Town Kenai bluff’s erosion study 50/50. The Peninsula Clarion has the details of the study’s importance, timeline and future funding sources.
  • UAS has a new chancellor! The Juneau Empire has Rick Caulfield’s impressive credentials and start date.


    Photo Credit of UAS

  • Ethan Berkowitz didn’t just win most of Anchorage in his bid for mayor, but also many “traditionally Republican” precincts. The Dispatch’s Devin Kelly goes into detail about the surprising voting results so far.
  • Budget talks will be the focus of tonight’s Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Public education and pool fees are the expected hot topics, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • The Kenai Peninsula Borough held a four-hour workathon meeting and the Peninsula Clarion covered the whole thing! The main focus was budget allocations regarding education, flood prevention and animal shelters.
  • Nathaniel Herz with the Dispatch has all the gory details of yesterday’s House Finance Committee hearing in Anchorage.
  • Sen. Dan Sullivan and some of his fellow GOP senators’ budget claims don’t reflect the truth that the budget they passed earlier this week is nonbinding and, on its own, has no effect on spending, according to the AP.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner explores what exactly is at stake in the ongoing battle over Arctic offshore drilling.
  • The Hill reports that the bipartisan patent bill that will help limit frivolous patent troll cases is now in trouble of moving forward. Why is this important to Alaska? Watch this clip from Last Week Tonight for clarification.
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  • Sen. Dan Sullivan exhibited questionable behavior during a committee hearing on refuge management where APRN not only has audio of his witness beratement, but also later statements that were false.
  • Wired explains the lawsuit over 3-D printed guns, the 2nd Amendment and the 1st Amendment in a remarkable article.Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 10.29.46 AM


  • National Fisherman heard that the Alaska US District Judge Russel Holland is seriously thinking about postponing oral arguments over Pebble Mine later this month after reading about the EPA’s inspector general’s internal investigation into possible efforts by the agency to halt the project from the Dispatch.
  • Afognak Native Corp. is the latest victim of a cyberattack. The Dispatch reveals that this incident saw the transfer of $3.8 million to an offshore bank account last month. The funds are still in the process of being recovered.
  • The 2016 GOP Primary is getting so mottled with contenders that Politico clarifies each current candidate through the lens of Game of Thrones. Really.

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