Alaska News Roundup for July 8

  • The Alaska Department of Revenue estimates that the Last Frontier could see between $5.1-$19.2 million from commercial pot sales in 2016, per the Dispatch.
  • Gov. Bill Walker & our Washington Delegation have worked the phones, made the handshakes, ate too many rubber chicken dinners to minimize Army troop reduction in Alaska to GREAT results. Of the 40K cuts to the number of soldiers over the next two years, The Hill says that Alaska will be sharing a reduction of 4,000 to 1,050 with Fort Benning, GA.
  • Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz might want to funnel state funds from the Knik Arm Crossing into the Port of Anchorage, but the state DOT was all like, “Not so fast!” It turns out that the $45.3 million approved by the state for the bridge comes from the feds and APRN outlines why the restrictions on this money makes it more likely that only $5 million will be accessible by the mayor.
  • “Up yours.” Those were the exact words Don Young used in his House floor speech to describe his interpretation of the executive order designate ANWAR as wilderness and the reason why he was offering an amendment to prohibit FY16 Interior Department’s funding allocation to implement the plan. Yep. Keep it classy Uncle Don.
  • Seward City News reports that Seward has a new Crisis Line phone number for their Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault It is now 907-362-1843. All calls are kept confidential. For those in immediate danger, please call 911!
  • The American Journal of Preventive Medicine recently conducted a poll of about 4,000 US adults and discovered that 4% strongly and 24.6% somewhat favored raising the minimum age of sale for tobacco to 21. Alaska’s current law allows 19+ to purchase tobacco products.tobacco


  • Wanna pray the Palin way? Well, just in time for Christmas…former Gov. Sarah Palin will be releasing her latest book in November that will feature 260 meditations’ that apply biblical principles’ titled “Sweet Freedom: A Devotional”. Those interested can already pre-order with Amazon.
  • The Kodiak Island Assembly was wicked busy by voting on (and passing) several measures. They authorized the KIHA no more than $2,336,452 in a grant to remove metals from the area to prevent toxic buildup; approved a contract with a local company to continue making road repairs, winter maintenance; and to spend no more than $248,240 from July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016 to ship recyclables off the island. The controversial issue of subsistence was postponed indefinitely. With heavy hearts, Carol Austerman’s resignation from the Borough Assembly was accepted.
  • Sen. Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) isn’t feeling the love from her fellow district wonks. As the Dispatch’s Nathaniel Herz explains, the effervescent senator has not one-but two challengers to her senate seat. Her first primary opponent is once again the jocular Jeff Landfield and going into general, the winner will face first time candidate Forrest McDonald (not to be confused with 2014’s congressional candidate Forrest Dunbar).
  • It’s beginning to look like the Tea Party Express is losing its steam as Politico details the few upcoming GOP primary challenges from their far right brethren. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s epic toe-to-toe fight with Joe Miller ala the 2010 cycle is mentioned as well as confirmation that a competitive primary challenger is unlikely to emerge.
  • In more Sarah Palin news: the $9.95 a month/$99.95 a year Sarah Palin Channel is no more as of August 1. The Fairbanks News Miner has the details.
  • Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has tapped his one-time mayoral competitor, Andrew Halcro, to head the Anchorage Community Development Authority. The Dispatch has the reasons.
  • Alaska ferries just can’t get no respect! This time, the Juneau Empire reveals that along with no bars, fewer routes AND further cuts to DOT’s budget-their water treatment systems date back to Watergate! Eww.
  • Wired explains why data is showing that Alaska’s wildfires are making climate change worse.
  • Cybersecurity is becoming a major issue and challenge for industries in Alaska. The Fairbanks News Miner shares the issues Alyeska is facing in the 21st century marketplace.
  • The leased icebreaker for Shell’s offshore drilling was found to have a hull rupture. APRN reports that divers found a 1” wide by 3’ long fracture around 3:00am.
  • In sad trombone news; APRN’s Alexandra Guterrez signed off as their political correspondent. Inside Alaska Politics will miss her insightful analysis, informative spreadsheets and her wry use of emojis.



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