Alaska News Roundup for August 17

  • North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower’s husband exchanged some choice words with the NSB assembly over the brewing scandal of his wife’s alleged misappropriations of funds. The Arctic Sounder has the details; you provide the popcorn.
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins is worried for good reasons. The rough draft of state DOT future projects showed that not only were there fewer projects on tap, but several important transportation projects in the region have been placed in the dreaded “limbo” category. The Fairbanks News Miner has the details.

    Fairbanks & Anchorage

    Photo Credit to the Dispatch. Captions, all Inside Alaska Politics baby!

  • Sen Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) wrote an op-ed in The Hill bestowing platitudes onto Donald Trump and his performance during last week’s Fox News 2016 GOP presidential debate.
  • Last week the PEW Charitable Trust released their 2015 review of each state’s “checkbook” and found Alaska lacking at such a degree that it was awarded an “F” for the second year in a row for lack of government transparency and feasibility in deciphering the state’s “checkbook”. To which Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) responded with a public letter to the governor asking for the MUCH needed improvements.

  • The Governor’s Picnic in Juneau was a raving success by all accounts. My little birds were excited by THE SUNSHINE, free food and a chance to pepper certain commissioners with rather pointed questions, ahem.
  • The New York Times reports the gut-churning news that AT&T actively worked to help the NSA invade Americans’ right to privacy by granting them unprecedented access to their customers’ emails, phone and 1 billion calling cellphone records beginning in 2011 for spying purposes. It gets worse. AT&T also trained NSA employees on how to wiretap UN headquarters’ Internet communications.
  • More, More, More! Or at least…51% is what Gov. Bill Walker wants as a state controlling share of the state funded, Alaska LNG project. To whit, Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski), Rep. Mike Hawker (R-Anchorage), Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) and Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River) were like, “Um, no.”
  • Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has been busy garnering support across the state against British Columbia’s trans-boundary mines and the Peninsula Clarion gives an update on which particular mines are considered the most egregious and who’s already on board for this growing fight.
  • Bishop’s Beach was the topic of the very lively and heated debate at the Homer City Council, per the Homer Tribune. The proposed change? No vehicles allowed on the beach with fines ranging from $25-$500+ for naughty drivers.
  • In confirming long-time suspicions news: the US government has confirmed that they use Minority Report style of predictions and not actual data to determine who gets put on the “No-fly lists”. Wired explains why this is not only scary, but it also underscores the importance Alaskans’ have in their assurance of freedom to fly.
  • Bristol Bay Times ran an op-ed from a Naknek, Alaska resident about her memory the destruction from the British Columbia’s Mount Polley mine dam failing as another reason why she is against Pebble Mine.
  • Ketchikan is gearing up for the State pot regulator’s, Cynthia Franklin, visit during the Alaska Municipal League conference from Wednesday-Friday,
  • The PFD Voter Registration ballot initiative effort brought out their heavy hitters (Kim Reitmeier, the ever enchanting Aurora Lehr, and Tim Kacillas) for a Dispatch op-ed on why voter registration should be a requirement to receive a PFD.
  • The City of Homer asked for feedback on revenue generating ideas and 600 residents gave it to them! The Homer Tribune reports that 71% <3 a new bed tax and 64% would favor a sales tax cap raised from $500 to $1,000. The least favorite at 35% of Homer residents, a 5% sales tax.
  • The Nome Common Council has asked for an audience with the utility board due to their increased rates on electrical, water, sewer, and garbage services, per the Nome Nugget.
  • The City and Borough of Juneau’s City Manager is retiring at the end of 2015. The Juneau Empire explains why Kim Kiefer is departing and one of my little birds revealed that there is already a short list of potential candidates.
  • APRN reports on the disconnection of the state and the city of Anchorage’s acceptance of new US EEOC decision that discrimination based on sexual identity is illegal and what is being done to remedy the situation.

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