Alaska News Roundup for April 27

  • The Washington Post has compiled a list of the toughest animals on the planet and Alaska’s Wood Frog came in at #2. My spidey sense is telling me that the Wood Frog just might find itself as the newest State Symbol. Teachers; civic classes and the Wood Frog need you!

    Wood Frog

    State Seal Worthy

  • Now that the state legislature is entering its second week of Extended Session (don’t even think of calling it a Special Session!), the Fairbanks News Miner explains what is left on their to-do list. Medicaid Expansion, Erin’s Law, and IEP are simple issues…right?
  • APRN has the details on the passage of the state budget yesterday.
  • Some Congressional GOP members want more anti-missile battery on U.S. soil. Politico explains the push for a third (the current Ground-based Midcourse Defense Systems are already in place in Alaska and California) would be for the East Coast. Objections stem from two main points: lack of funding for another location and (more importantly) Alaska and California’s warheads have several years of bad test results and improving those are more important to national security.
  • APRN reports on the newest batch of Alaska National Guard records that was just released by the Walker Administration. Friday’s document drop totaled 4142 pages almost a year after APRN and the Dispatch first requested them from the Parnell Administration. What these documents entail will be explained in the coming weeks.

  • Cooper Landing residents weren’t having any of what Alaska DOT was serving with their four re-routing alternatives of the Sterling Highway around their hometown. The Seward City News explains the backstory of this decade long impasse between Cooper Land and DOT, the cost involved and the current proposals.
  • Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet issued a stay on the City of Homer and resident Ken Castner for the city to cease the way it assesses condo owners’ natural gas usage. Homer City News explains the case and the statewide implications.
  • The Dispatch has an interesting story to go along with this photo of then 39-year-old Vladimir Putin taken while he was hanging out in Seward during the Exxon Valdez soil spill…as a KGB agent.Putin

 

  • It’s official! The Peninsula Clarion reports that SB30 is being put on the backburner for work during the interim or as far away as the next legislative session to clarify state law-surrounding marijuana.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner explains why Gov. Bill Walker didn’t sign SB64 (the now-law that temporarily pauses state reimbursement on school construction bonds), but didn’t veto it either.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski made it rain to the tune of $100K at a San Joaquin Valley fundraiser that was attended by local farmers and agricultural people that could afford the entrance fee. Why? Sen. Murkowski’s powerful position within the Senate is important to the water debate happening over California’s fertile dustbowl valley.
  • Two consultants with the Alaska LNG Project took Gov. Bill Walker to task for having a backup plan incase the current LNG (and industry-led) project doesn’t happen because it could cause confusion and lack of support for both plans.
  • KTOO shared the heady news that Alaska is expected to receive roughly 1 million cruise line tourists (and their money) this year!
  • The Juneau Empire reports on the newish phenomenon in Alaska being coined as a Medi-jam, due to the more than 9K Medicaid applications alone that are designated as backlog. Medicaid Expansion is expected to make this worse before it gets better.
  • The village of Alatna has been designated a state disaster following a fire that damaged their water treatment facility and is now forcing residents to transport drinkable water over frozen rivers from their nearest neighbor, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • Sen. Angus King (I-ME) tweeted a picture of a discussion between Secretary of State John Kerry, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and himself while discussing Arctic Issues and looking like BFFs.BFF's
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