Alaska News Roundup for June 19

  • Alaska’s Fraud Czar John Skidmore warned those interested in committing healthcare fraud (as well as within other industries) that “we will come after you.”
  • ABC News reports that Alaska’s unemployment rose again to the level of 9%. The state with the highest is Mississippi at 7.7% and North Dakota wins a gold star for the lowest rate of 2.7% unemployment.Unemployment


  • KTVA was on hand to capture Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s final State of the City in Eagle River occurred yesterday where he admitted that the infamous SAP program might have benefitted from more caution by his administration.
  • 49 businesses and supporters of Tongass National Forest recreation programs came together with a letter to Congress urging to prioritize funding for this region following a 42% decline in funding over the past six years, per the Juneau Empire.
  • The Washington Post delves into the question of Pope Benedict’s stand on climate action and how GOP Catholic politicians are publicly handling this new development. Yale University discovered that among republican voters, Roman Catholics are more likely to believe in global warming AND support policies to counter its affects than other religious denominations. Both Sen. Dan Sullivan and Sen. Lisa Murkowski are Roman Catholic.

    Yale University

  • Politico questions the ethical implications of Rep. Don Young holding fundraiser today in Puerto Rico considering he will be chairing a hearing next week on the territorial island’s political status and economic future.
  • Nikiski will have an additional item to vote on in October! The Peninsula Clarion relays the details of the new expanded police protection ballot measure. The last time this issue was before the voters, Nikiski resoundingly said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
  • Nathan Yau of Flowing Data has developed comprehensive US maps that show population flows based on race, ethnicity and background from 1874’s census data. Really, really neat!


    Flowing Data

  • Ready your smelling salts because The Hill reports that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has released an order that the lapse in the Patriot Act WOULD NOT BAR the court from renewing NSA’s program to spy on American citizens. The order did come short of green lighting the program though.
  • Gen. Laurie Hummel (and Alaska Commissioner of Military and Veterans Affairs) wrote an op-ed in the Dispatch about the recent findings from the Alaska National Guard investigation and pledges to make the changes necessary to make the Guard once again “a source of pride for Alaskans.”
  • Rep. Don Young missed a vote yesterday that gave the president “fast-track” trade authority on the trade bill. It passed 218-208.
  • Alaskans are not the only ones pitching in to help those affected by the wildfires. It turns out that Wells Fargo has donated $5K to Red Cross of Alaska to be put toward relief efforts AND starting today, individuals can donate to the Red Cross through Wells Fargo’s ATM without a fee charge and 100% of the donation will go to the aid group, per the Seward City News.
  • Former Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell further proved his eloquent reputation with his latest Dispatch op-ed where he makes his case for the importance of Alaskan icebreakers.
  • State public records will take longer to access with the closure of six recording offices around the state. The Fairbanks News Miner reveals that Wrangell, Ketchikan, Petersburg and Sitka are some of the towns that will be affected by this particular budget cut.
  • The Alaskan finalists in the National History Day contest gave a shout out on Facebook to Dan Sullivan for meeting with them. Didn’t mention Sen. Lisa Murkowski or Rep. Don Young though.FB


  • The Paddle in Seattle has officially entered the Last Frontier with a 40+strong protest in Juneau. APRN has the details.
  • In well this is embarrassing news, one of my little birds found Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s Twitter banner an interesting The reason? The picture was taken during the opening ceremony of Brig. Gen. Laurie Hummel’s Oath of Office last month and the person who got blocked out by Twitter’s format is none other than Laurie Hummel. Hmmm…Hummel

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