Alaska News Roundup for September 9

  • Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski), Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River), Rep. Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake), and Rep. Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks) think there are simply too many Alaskans in prison and have started proposing changes to the state justice system in order to see at least a 25% decrease in incarcerations.
  • Here they come to save the day! The State of Alaska has agreed to wire part of Cook Inlet Energy LLC’s tax credit payment to the tune of $6.4 million early so the energy producer doesn’t go into bankruptcy, per the Peninsula Clarion.
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  • FINALLY!! The state ferry system has something to celebrate (happy dance time). APRN reports that the LeConte ferry not only saved six men after their skiff overturned in the choppy waters off Rocky Island, but this bit of derring-do didn’t even alter the ferry’s expected arrival time too much. 
  • Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) wants the governor to investigate the curious situation where when “oil prices go up the price for gas also goes up but when oil prices fall we don’t see that same decrease in gas prices.”
  • Have no fear Rep. Kawasaki because the Dispatch reveals that Alaska’s oil and gas system is already on the governor’s mind with plans to reduce the state’s gas tax credit program following Sen. Cathy Giessel’s (R-Anchorage) special legislative hearing on the very issue.

  • In bad news/slightly less bad news: Hackers have successfully hacked the The slightly less bad news is that The Hill reports that only unclassified email was breached (this time) through the use of increasingly sophisticated tactics. 
  • One of my little birds told me that there is going to be a sustainability forum in Anchorage on Saturday, September 19 from 9:00am-4:00pm at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium. Here’s their flyer:flyer

 

  • The Anchorage School District and the Bristol Bay School District both got bad news from the state. The Juneau Empire reports that while their school bonds passed, the state will not honor the bonds due to a five-year moratorium on state reimbursed bonds.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski will be holding a drought hearing next month to address the chronic drought faced by the powerful state of California and other western states. Murkowski told Politico that the hearing would focus on two particular bills (Rep. David Valadao’s (R-CA) Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015 and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2015). 
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough mayoral candidate Karl Kassel is the king of fundraising with $48,000 raised from February 2-September 4. Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole) raised $13,500 though the Fairbanks News Miner explains that $4,500 of that was from previous campaigns.

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    Thanks for your hard work FNM!

  • The Sitka Assembly voted the death knell of the beloved Sitka Convention and Visitor’s Bureau along with a price tag of $225,000 in public money and gave it to the Chamber of Commerce to manage. As KCAW acknowledges, many Sitkans were not amused with this decision due to the Chamber’s political arm.
  • E&E News focused their gaze at the interesting politicking of one Sen. Dan Sullivan during Pres. Obama’s trip to Alaska. While the senator is known for his anti-Obama administration rhetoric, his presence at both the president’s landing at Elmendorf-Richardson and attendance of the president’s GLACIER speech harkens more of political civility from days of yore.
  • US District Court Judge H. Russel Holland sided with the US Interior Department in the dispute over putting in a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to connect King Cove to the all-weather airport in cold Bay, per the Juneau Empire.
  • The Hill has 7 indisputable facts on climate change.
  • The Interior Taxpayers’ Association event was THE place to see and be seen yesterday because it was also the first candidate forum for the Fairbanks North Star Borough mayoral and assembly The Fairbanks News Miner gives a great recount of the different candidates and their bios.
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