Alaska News Roundup for September 16

  • Today is THE DAY for oral arguments between the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and the state over the constitutionality of municipalities being forced to pay toward their local public schools’ costs.
  • Hilcorp wants to lay pipe. Ok, more like they have asked DNR for permits to drill exploratory wells near Ninilchik, but my interpretation of the Fairbanks News Miner story is way funnier.
  • In good news/bad news: The good news is that the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the state’s justice system last Tuesday (yay!). The bad news is that the Pew Charitable Trust’s presentation during the hearing pointed to incarceration lengths as the reason for the state’s prison population explosion and not due to an increase in individual inmates, per APRN.

  • If you’re in Palmer today and need a political fix, head on over to the Mat-Su Senior Services building between 6:00-8:00pm for a mega candidate forum hosted by AARP for Mat-Su Borough Assembly seats 3, 6, and 7 and then the coup de gras: the mayoral candidate debate! My little bird tells me that Mayor Larry DeVilbiss is going to “kill it” tonight.
  • The Kenai City Council has heard a chorus of “sell the airport land” over the course of two work sessions, though as the Peninsula Clarion explains, it isn’t quite so simple of an issue. There is the question of potential future lost earnings over forfeiture of lease revenue if the land is outright sold and the technicality of owning buildings on the land the city would no longer own (the City Manager’s modeling impressed one of my little birds). Further discussion will occur during the official city council meeting later this month.
  • OH YEAH! The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and City Mayoral Candidate forum is happening September 22 at 7:00pm in Seward. Be sure to bring your questions!
  • Sen. Anna MacKinnon’s (R-Eagle River) press release on the justice system hearing is quite a read and surprising in the numbers mentioned: spending on Alaska corrections has increased 60% in the past 20 years with an extra increase of roughly 27% in the next ten years. Wow!
  • Mark your calendar (and DVR your TV) for September 28, because the Juneau event that all area political wonks have been waiting for is about to happen…the first Juneau Empire, KTOO and Juneau Votes’ candidate debate!! The second equally anticipated debate would occur the following day.
  • The White House is not loving the oil export ban removal momentum and announced yesterday that Sen. Lisa Murkowski and her supporters will not be getting help from them, per The Hill.
  • The Anchorage Assembly Chambers was packed to the gills with people amped and ready to testify on the anti-LGBTQ discrimination ordinance. So much so that while the Dispatch gives a wonderful overview of the hearing, so many people still want to testify that there is another hearing scheduled for today.
  • This one is for the state DOT fan club: On October 24th from 10:00am-12:00pm there will be Brotherhood Bridge Rededication Ceremony in Juneau.



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