Alaska News Roundup for August 14

  • Big Lake voters are getting increasingly jittery over the upcoming vote in October that will decide (again) over whether to become the 4th incorporated Mat-Su Valley city. It didn’t help that the initial Division of Elections flier had such vague/confusing wording that many thought the incorporation would up mill rates by 33% and not the expected 09 mills. The Frontiersman reports that it has been fixed with a second flier being sent out with clearer language.Big Lake


  • KCUB explains that the purpose behind Obama’s trip to Alaska. It’s not anti-drilling. It’s more along the lines of climate change…not anti-drilling. That is all.
  • Rep. Don Young has his own response to Pres. Obama’s upcoming trip to Alaska. It is brief and diplomatic.

  • Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Evans is taking up protection of gender identity and sexual orientation with employment, public accommodations and housing (though with a religious exemption) with a new ordinance. Previous attempts saw the infamous Summer of Hate, but the Dispatch reports a more favorable outcome this time around.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner has an editorial decrying the lack of information for a truly informed public to determine the right course of action on pot taxes within the Fairbanks North Star Borough. No such problem exists down in Juneau where their own Borough and Assembly pot subcommittee have decided to table their cannabis business permit number cap till they have more information.
  • Here’s something that’s sure to make Sen. Lisa Murkowski do a happy dance: the US Commerce Department just gave the green light to export US oil to Mexico, per The Hill.giphy-7


  • Strategies 360 and the Rasmuson Foundation conducted a statewide poll of 1,206 Alaskan voters and discovered that instead of making further cuts, most would rather look at revenue generating avenues to cover the $3.5 billion budget deficit. Suggested ideas included state sales tax, cap on the PFD, tapping the Permanent Fund and reducing oil tax credits.
  • The political battle over reining in oil is explained in great detail by Politico that includes battlegrounds in Alaska.
  • The spending freeze is over and workers are back on the Susitna-Watana dam project, per the Juneau Empire.
  • In good news/bad news: KTUU expects Alaska to enjoy a 2nd mild winter in a row. The bad news is that this means 2016’s canvassing season just got bumped back a few months.El Nino


  • The weekly US O&G rig count has remained steady at 884, per ABC News.
  • Hundreds of veterans and members of the public were not amused with the current VA healthcare system and made full use of Wednesday’s meeting with the head of the Veterans Affairs to share their feelings and insights on the service’s shortcomings, per APRN.
  • Anchorage’s $35+ million SAP program gets the cold shoulder from the Berkowitz’s Administration with KTVA explaining why this expensive, massive “mess” got cut.

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