Alaska News Roundup for August 24

  • In wicked awesome news: AFN is handing out FREE (yep, that’s right FREE) tickets to attend Rising Together; Welcome President Obama to Alaska at the Alaska Airlines Center next Monday. The president and senior staff have been invited, but confirmation of their attendance hasn’t been made public. Want to get your hands on some this awesomeness? You still can, but you have to pick up the remaining tickets between 1:00-4:00pm today only (you’ll get a flag too!). AFN Offices/1577 C Street/Suite 301/Anchorage, AK.Obama Visit


  • Today in 1912, Congress passed a measure that created the Alaska Territory and began the process toward statehood with establishing the Parcel Post delivery by the USPS the following year.
  • The Nome Common Council will vote today on whether to make their six member panel the de facto local commercial pot regulatory authority, per the Nome Nugget.
  • The Homer Tribune has the details on the candidates vying for Mako Haggerty’s open seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. Fritz Creek’s Willy Dunne and Dawson Slaughter will be going toe-to-toe in this race. My little bird tells me that the seat is Dunne’s to lose, but Slaughter is known for his charisma and could prove to be a fierce adversary.

  • Seward’s City Mayor Jean Bardarson is getting competition for her reelection campaign this fall with Tim McDonald. The Seward City News also reveals that while Sue McClure (!) is taking a jab at the vacant city council seat, Brandii Holmdahl and Kenn Carpenter are running against each other for McClure’s current (soon to be termed out seat) on the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
  • Over the weekend, the City of Sitka Assembly declared itself to be in a Disaster Emergency. KCAW reports that the city has asked  Gov. Bill Walker to declare them a state Disaster Emergency.
  • The Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott is hosting a diplomatic meeting between Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, Dept. of Natural Resources and British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines in Juneau today. There will be a media/photo/public opportunity at the one Sealaska Plaza at 6:30pm.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is planning to voteNo” on the upcoming Iran Nuclear Accord vote this fall. She will be joining Sen. Dan Sullivan on this issue.
  • Over in Dueling Pens: the Juneau Empire has an op-ed by Gov. Bill Walker where he urges Alaskans to come together on Medicaid expansion instead of costly litigation. To wit, the Alaska Republican Party’s Suzanne Downing wrote why this is considered a state constitution issue that needs to be defended.
  • Palmer and Houston will get to bubble in an extra question on their October ballot concerning whether or not to allow commercial pot stores within their city limits. The Frontiersman shares that the statewide 2014 Ballot Measure 2 passed in Houston with 14% and Palmer at 4%.
  • Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity is zeroing in on Fairbanks North Star Borough mayoral candidate Karl Kassel by running negative radio AND social media ads in hopes of priming the pump for Kassel’s opponents (i.e. Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole)) final push closer to the October elections. The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the opposite reaction seems to be true with the Kassel campaign describing an uptick in volunteerism and unexpected donations.
  • The University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service created the most comprehensive map of US racial distribution. Each dot=an individual. Alaska is mostly made up of vast swaths of blank, but still insightful.Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 10.42.54 AM


  • Alaska Municipal Bond Bank has $155.1 million of general obligation refinancing bonds up for auction by the Treasury Department this week, per the New York Times.
  • Former Dept. of Energy’s Acting Asst. Secretary of Fossil Energy with President Bush (i.e. #43), Mark Maddox, has come out against Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s plan to sell off parts of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and makes his case as to why the SPR should not be considered a “piggy bank” in an op-ed in The Hill.
  • Want to grandfather your property rights within the 2008 zoning laws around Nome? Then you might want to attend the Nome Planning Commission to voice your interests because there is an ordinance of nonconforming use statue that’s under review. The Nome Nugget has the details.
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is still unsure how to move forward with the controversial Kalifornsky Beach Road flooding issues. Land swaps have been under discussion for 1+ year, but haven’t been instituted because the pieces of land are not considered compatible to the one that Kenai owns.

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