Alaska News Roundup for May 19

  • Update:  Dueling Dispatch op-eds!  Alaska AFL-CIO’s  president, Vince Beltrami, lays out his argument that the problems of budget gridlock should be placed squarely at the feet of the majorities.  While Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage) pledges that there will not be a government shutdown.
  • The value over the taxable portion of the trans-Alaska pipeline is heating up again in Anchorage. The oil companies believe it is worth $2.6 billion (yes, that would be a “b”) while the state Department of Revenue has it closer to $7.7 billion, with the State Assessment Review Board having settled on a value of $10.2 billion in 2014. The devil is in the details and the Dispatch has the backstory and clarification into this important, yet complex issue.
  • Get your popcorn ready because the Frontiersman has lifted the veil off the Mat-Su Borough’s Department of Emergency Services with former ambulance service chief’s, Brian Wallace, side of the story behind his dismissal.
  • The New York Times has 5 Things You Might Not Know about Hillary, including that she worked the Valdez slime line after college. Check it out at the 1:38 mark.
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  • Things seem to be getting hot and heavy over at the 9th Circuit by Courthouse News Service’s description of US District Judge Russell Holland hearing where he dismissed Pebble Partnership’s complaint against the EPA over improper behavior with a former employee.

  • It’s official, the Alaska House and Senate are coming to Anchorage for floor sessions instead of holding them in Juneau. The Fairbanks News Miner explains that it is strictly a formality as attendance isn’t required and there is nothing being voted on during the Special Session.
  • Yesterday’s news of state employee layoffs hit Juneau the hardest since as APRN explains, more than 25% of state employees are located at the capital.
  • KCAW has the skinny on the main issues being discussed at the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society National Conference beginning tomorrow-the 22nd in Juneau.
  • The Dispatch has an update on IEP that includes why AIDEA is mulling over a proposal of $54 million investment to keep things moving.
  • Seattle is quickly becoming the epicenter of environmental civil disobedience as the Juneau Empire reports that several hundred people blocked Shell’s entry to Port of Seattle’s Gate 5 where its Arctic-drilling rig is being moored.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the Fairbanks City Council has approved $460,000 to replace underground fuel tanks and make upgrades, $2.2 million to reconstruct damaged roads in the Rickert subdivision and to repaint the fire station.
  • The Hill got nostalgic over David Letterman’s tenure and cobbled together a Top Ten of his most famous/infamous moments of political theater. #6 includes his apology to former Gov. Sarah Palin over his off-color joke about then 14-year-old daughter Willow getting “knocked-up” by Alex Rodriguez.
  • Do you have an opinion on whether humpback whales should be removed from the Endangered Species list? Tonight from 5:00-8:00pm at the Juneau Assembly Chambers, you can tell NOAA Fisheries just what you think. You can also submit public comments the digital way.
  • Craig Public Library was one of a handful of recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, per US News.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski is listed as one of the 25 most important women in Congress in a new book titled, “Powerful WomenBook”.

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