Alaska News Roundup for August 18

  • The state’s constitutional right to privacy doesn’t trump local-option restrictions, so sayeth the State of Alaska’s appeals court-via the Peninsula Clarion.
  • Tonight Fairbanks North Star Borough residents get to voice their thoughts, concerns, and disenchantment over the proposed commercial pot zones at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly’s public hearing on the issue, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line need to be put into time-out for being wicked naughty! It turns out that these three cruise ship companies have each been found guilty and fined an “undisclosed amount” by the State of Alaska for illegally dumping “emissions” into Alaska’s waters.


  • One of my little birds was touched that Sen. Lisa Murkowski ignored an aide’s desire to leave after yesterday’s public hearing on federal/state involvement to listen to her concerns.
  • Despite being in the middle of a revenue shortfall, Mat-Su Borough Assembly is considering a proposal that would cut even MORE revenue from their current tax structure by exempting property owners from paying property taxes if they lease space/buildings to charter schools. The Frontiersman estimates that the loss could be roughly $171,936.76.

  • The lawsuit against the Taj MaHawker’s lease got its first hearing today after the plaintive declined the state legislature’s attorney’s offer of a $1.00 settlement to dismiss the case.
  • The filing period for Fairbanks’ municipal elections has closed leaving five races uncontested. To wit, the Fairbanks News Miner wrote an impassioned editorial about the importance of civic engagement.
  • In more bad mining news, Usibelli coal mine is having a difficult time finding prospective buyers since Chile (Usibelli’s previous #1 importer) opened their own mine and South Korea created an importation tax on coal. The Juneau Empire shares the sad tidings that between 2011-2014, the company’s export levels fell by roughly 50%.
  • KCAW reports that b’s Jarvis Street Diesel Plant spilled 7,000+ gallons of diesel from a ruptured storage tank. Over at the Sitka Sentinel, local volunteer firefighters are working hard to minimize the environmental impact by placing oil-absorbent pads by storm drains.


    Image Credit of KCAW

  • Sen. Dan Sullivan sat down with KTUU and discussed his (and Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s) continued effort to rename Mt. McKinley Denali.
  • Green lights and dollar signs are in Shell’s eyes as the federal government gave them permission to drill into oil-bearing rock for the first time in 20+ years, per the Blaze.
  • Hillary Clinton showed her independence of Pres. Obama’s shadow by declaring via Twitter:Hillary


  • State lawmakers are coming together today to decide if they are going to challenge the legality of Gov. Bill Walker’s decision to expand Medicaid. The Always on Fleek Nathaniel Herz with the Dispatch has all the details and backstory behind this brewing brew-ha-ha.
  • Veteran anger at the state’s VA services seem to extend beyond the Mat-Su as APRN discovered while traveling to Point Hope and Kotzebue with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
  • Your Alaska Link interviewed Sen. Dan Sullivan on his first year in office…so far.
  • Alaska once again got the cold shoulder from the USDA in their ranking of “most scenic” US counties and got left out along with Hawaii. The Washington Post explains it is because the USDA doesn’t have data. Bright side is that because the Last Frontier was left out, the wallflower counties of the US got to enjoy a brief moment in the sun.Pretty

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