Alaska News Roundup for August 4

  • The Juneau Empire was on hand during the stressful and emotionally charged City and Borough of Juneau Finance Committee meeting where the proposed changes to the beloved senior sales tax exemption was discussed. At stake is the possibility of $1 million in increased revenue if the exemption is eliminated.
  • Forbes Magazine is questioning Gov. Bill Walker’s intentions to expand Medicaid as an illegal Power Grab while naming Sen. John Coghill (R-North Pole) and Rep. Liz Vazquez (R-Anchorage) as two state legislators that circulated a memo questioning along those same lines.Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.08.19 AM


  • Kodiak Island Borough Assembly finally filled the large hole left (and as my little birds opined->felt) by former Assemblywoman Carol Austerman with the appointment of Dennis Symmons.

  • Tahitan elders and Central Council officials blockade last month at the Taku tributary in protest of mining exploration were successful in preventing further drilling or exploration this summer. The Juneau Empire reports that the mining company will spend the upcoming months to figure out the best way forward. The Tahitan have strong and very public bonds with the Tlingit’s.
  • Doubly SPOTTED: Sen. Dan Sullivan was part of a panel discussion at the Koch brothers’ California “love fest”/fundraiser over the weekend, per Politico. Where he pointedly mentioned that the Koch network donors were a major reason for his personal campaign success as well as the overall GOP Senate takeover. The Alaska Democratic Party also got wind of his weekend activities for this colorful FB post.


    Guess who didn’t get the kaki pants memo?

  • Both Sen. Dan Sullivan and Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted to allow a vote to defund Planned Parenthood onto the Senate floor. While Sen. Sullivan’s vote came as no surprise to anyone since he is a cosponsor of the bill, the same cannot be said about Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s vote.
  • Gov. Bill Walker was “encouraged” (i.e. wicked happy) by the EPA’s decisions to defer Alaska (and Hawaii) from their new state-specific goals to limit carbon emissions from public power plants.



  • Sitka’s Deputy Mayor Matt Hunter is running again for a second term, per KCAW.
  • Campaign season is in full bloom in the Mat-Su Valley. The Frontiersman has the details.
  • Look out Fairbanks! Your candidate ranks for the assembly races are filling up. The Fairbanks News Miner discovered that six had already filed on the first day of the filing period alone.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal where she makes her case about the importance of mining for today’s economic vitality.
  • The transfer station rate increase has not gone over well within the Mat-Su Borough and the Assembly is already reconsidering their previous decision to increase the rate to $22.00 for 1-3 cubic yards of garbage, per the Frontiersman.

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