Alaska News Roundup for September 24

  • The ire over Sen. Lesil McGuire’s (R-Anchorage) $6,500 Seattle Conference hotel bills is growing to such an extent that the former Lt. Governor candidate has revoked her staff’s ability to sign the senator’s name in future and have been verbally flogged via the Dispatch. Her staffers have personally repaid the state for their $450-a-night hotel stay. This issue is sure to come up on an increasing basis during her highly contentious 2016 primary battle.

 Still a catchy tune

 

  • The Mexican Consulate, currently located in downtown Anchorage, might be leaving the state completely-but not without a fight from a quickly formed group that is urgently advocating to keep their doors open past November 1st. KTVA reports that so far 900 people have been signed to their petition and that the consulate’s closure will affect the 4,000+ Mexicans residing in Alaska.
  • Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River) shared the news that the Senate Majority was pleased with the message Gov. Bill Walker had about the PFD and the current fiscal situation the state faces.
  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly meets tonight to discuss the proposed commercial cannabis zoning ordinances and regulations. There will also be an opportunity for public testimony and fingers-crossed…a vote! The Fairbanks News Miner has the skinny on what Assemblymen Lance “Straight Shooter” Roberts, John Davies, Van Lawrence, and the ever-eloquent Assemblywoman Diane Hutchison are looking for in the ordinances. It promises to be an interesting hearing.

  • The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Planning Commission proved their hipster street cred (and economic savvy) by allowing waterfront pot shops without a single objection, per the Juneau Empire.
  • Wasilla’s Post Office will now have extended hours to accommodate the influx of the now closed Settlers Bay-Contract Unit in part due to the pressure Rep. Don Young, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan put on the USPS.
usps

Letter Credit of Rep. Don Young

 

  • Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) held the second hearing of the tax credit-working group where APRN witnessed Cook Inlet energy companies explaining the vital role the tax credits play in their internal financial structure.
  • Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) will be arriving in Japan tomorrow as part of a US Asian American political delegation where he will undoubtedly continue the work begun by Gov. Bill Walker regarding the state’s future LNG project and other economic endeavors between the Japanese and Alaska peoples.
  • Also on tap for the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly will be the decision to purchase six acres for $133,905. The area would expand the current Birch Hill Recreation Area and allow area schools greater access for winter and summer sports.
  • Commercial cannabis companies are feeling the pinch of working in the gray as APRN relays the uptick in felony charges regarding marijuana sales at a time where it is technically legal in the state to have pot, but not to sell it…yet and many believe that the charges won’t stick because of the confusing language of the newly codified law(s).
  • President Obama’s trip to Alaska seems to indeed have had a lasting impression on his conscience as he explains to Rolling Stone (!) that he will be enacting new EPA rules and regulations regarding carbon emissions. Something tells me that our Washington Delegation won’t greet this news with a smile.

    obama

    Photo Credit of Rolling Stone/Pres. Obama enjoying the sights of Kotzebue…as one does.

  • Five months. That is how long cannabis business owners must wait until they can receive their permits and start paying taxes on their products. The Anchorage Assembly is continuing to labor over the details of where and how they can operate legally within the muni.
  • In sad trombone news: the State Pot Board has dictated a wicked low legal amount allowed in marijuana edibles for commercial use. Like, half the individual serving size that is allowed in three other legalized states’ codes-low. The Juneau Empire explains their reasons in a close 3-2 vote.
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