Alaska News Roundup for May 4

  • KTVA held the final debate between the two candidates for the Anchorage Mayoral election. The Dispatch’s take on the event seems to align with Twitter in that little if anything new was discovered about Amy Demboski and Ethan Berkowitz.

Debate

 

  • Tomorrow is voting day for the Anchorage Mayoral runoff. Amy Demboski and Ethan Berkowitz both wrote op-eds in the Dispatch over the Weekend of Decision. (though it should be noted that Ethan Berkowitz’s radio co-host Bernadette Wilson also wrote an op-ed that puts into question the focus of Berkowitz’s Incestgate op-ed.)
  • APRN has the details of the APOC complaint of an improper corporate donation by KTUU for allowing Ethan Berkowitz’s campaign to use their footage of the November 2014 “street party” in a this campaign ad.YouTube Preview Image

 

  • My little birds tell me that mill rates have been the subject to many a debate around Willow since winter and it doesn’t seem to be abating. The Frontiersman explains the source of this growing issue and the differing sides reasons for their supported mill rate.

  • This week on Capital Hill (or at least until Wednesday), national budget talks, vote on the negotiated deal on the Iran nuclear program, and the expected veto the union election laws.
  • The Peninsula Clarion clarifies the power of legislators Gov. Bill Walker regarding the LNG pipeline and funding by detangling the many surrounding issues and the players behind the moves.
  • Rep. Don Young’s amendments to H.R. 1987, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, passed its first hurdle by being included with the full bill as it exited the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Alaska Native News points out that this bill includes language for the continuation of the Tanana region’s only behavioral health clinic, an alternative vessel classification program for new fishing vessels of 50-79’, and added protection of Alaska commercial fishing permits owners from liens being imposed on their fishing permits, amongst other things.
  • The US Department of Energy has concluded a two-year study of arctic potential with shale fracking. The Barrel spells out what authorized arctic shale extraction could mean in barrels of crude oil, money and real risks.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner delves into the gray area of the law that new Alaska marijuana businesses like Discreet Deliveries, operate within.
  • KTUU’s Austin Baird shared Andrew Halcro’s FB posting where he not only urges his supporters to vote for Ethan Berkowitz, but also throws considerable shade in Amy Demboski’s direction.Halcro

 

  • The Mat-Su Borough’s budget shows a shortfall of $11.9 million dollars. The Frontiersman reports that increases to property taxes, marijuana excise taxes, gravel extraction taxes, reinstating airplane registration are on the list for discussion and could bring in $500K.
  • The Dispatch reveals that the Pebble Partnership aren’t going anywhere as its readies for oral arguments with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over the EPA’s decisions on Pebble Mine.
  • Wired explains the specifics of what the Chinese scientists really did regarding the “beginnings” of designer babies and why we shouldn’t freak out or think we are a hair’s breadth away from Gattaca becoming our new reality.
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  • The New York Times disclosed that at some point this week the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s $123.5 million of state capital project bonds will be up for auction with the US Treasuy.
  • The Sabato’s Crystal Ball teamed up with Politico and already has the first 2016 presidential election results map. Alaska is a safe 3 electorial college votes for the GOP candidate. Florida (29), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), Iowa (6) and New Hampshire (4) are up for grabs.Map

 

  • The Department of Justice has begun a review of the government’s use of spying on American citizens’ phone calls and tracking their movements through their cell phone’s GPS, per The Hill.
  • The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly does not anticipate changing the current rate of sales and property taxes, though the budget shows an expected 2.2% estimated increase in the proceeds (pg. 4).Budget

 

  • The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance is collecting signatures across the state to get a proposed ban on setnets in urban areas of Alaska. The Peninsula Clarion reveals the complex backstory of this particular initiative that involves making its way up the judicial food chain all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court.
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