Alaska News Roundup for December 14

  • This week Congress is going to do whatever it takes to avoid having to stay in DC any longer than necessary and that means playing nice across the aisle to get the Omnibus spending bill passed, pass a strengthened customs enforcement bill, and maybe…just maybe…pass a few political nominations.
  • Ready your calendars you lucky Unalaska residents you because your city council will be shortly announcing an agenda free, survey free public forum at City Hall so all parties can freely discuss their stance on allowing commercial pot (and the lovely tax stream it could become) onto the island. KUCB also reports that after a nail biting vote by the Unalaska council members, Wayne Chin was voted in as the newest Museum of the Aleutians Board of Directors after Mayor Shirley Marquardt had to cast the deciding vote.
  • One of my little birds just loved (like fangirl level of love) Rep. Don Young’s recent speech on the House Floor where he expounded upon the importance of the 2nd amendment.
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  • The Homer City Council totally earns a gold star for hard work after finishing a marathon public meeting where they not only passed their $20+ million budget (potential legislative lobbyists should contact them…they are in the market), but they also decided to table the seasonal sales tax till May while making noises that the seasonal tax might become a permanent year-around tax.
  • Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s administration has been found guilty of super sloppy accounting with the city’s Centennial celebrations budget. The Dispatch reveals that a recent audit found close to $100,000 in outstanding bills that have forced Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to ask the Anchorage Assembly to cover at least $69,000 of the bills. Assemblyman Bill Starr is requesting a forensic accountant to look into the matter.

 

  • The Fairbanks City Council is going to make their final decision on how-or if they are going to proceed with the State Superior Court’s ruling that the controversial labor contract is illegal tonight as well as doing their due diligence on the city’s budgets.
  • …and they named it Liberty, so sayeth Gawker (and a BUNCH of other media outlets). Interesting thing that doesn’t seem to resonate with all the happy dancing that is happening across the state is that Alaska is going to get NADDA, NOTHING, ZILCH from the oil revenue as it is going to be located in federal waters and not within the state’s boundaries.not cool

 

  • The Arctic Sounder has an update on the diesel spill in Kiana and what the AK Environmental Conservation is doing to minimize the impact on the community.
  • The legislative Hostess with the Mostess Rep. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) has an op-ed in the Dispatch regarding Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed budget…or lack of budget for AKDOT.
  • The Alaska chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses were Shocked I tell ya! to discover the majority of their 2000+ members were opposed to state taxes and would rather see the state dipping into the Permanent Fund to fill the budget gap instead.business

 

  • The Kodiak City Council celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Fire Department as well as accepted a grant from Homeland Security to cover the costs associated with the required Alaska Shield exercise.
  • Sitka has a $15.7 million, decade long plan to keep the lights on and the Juneau Empire has the details.
  • Terrorism is the #1 thing on Americans’ minds when they think of the “most important” US problem, per Gallup.gallup

 

  • While some cities would like to be known for having a heart, Homer voters officially have HART as the special election over whether to move tax $ that was previously headed toward road improvements to fill the $1 million budget hole passed overwhelmingly, per the Homer Tribune.
  • E&E Publishing was surprised by the love Sen. Lisa Murkowski was directing toward Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) over his “thorough review” of ANWR.
  • The Mat-Su Borough Assembly delved deep into the issue of the Wasilla High School pool overdue facelift with estimated costs being bandied about from $0-$20 million. The Frontiersman has the details.
  • Want to know what a “zone of deposit” is? The Seward City News has you covered as well as other issues regarding whether Aurora Services LLC should be allowed to continue dumping coal into Resurrection Bay.

 

  • Juneau came out to share in their Celebration of Mayor Fisk’s life along with many known political pals, colleagues and friendenemies.
  • Nome Gold Corp. announced that it is downsizing its operations and that has sent a quiver of unrest throughout the area, per the Nome Nugget.
  • Be sure to include $5.00 along with that awesome drone Christmas gift because the federal DOT is now requiring registration of all drones as well as updated rules for flying these bad boys around town.
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