Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra
According to state documents, no one by the name of Sarah Palin applied for a PFD in 2012 or 2013. The last time someone with that name filed was in 2011.
With Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former candidate Joe Miller in the race, the Republican Senate primary is already being watched closely. Now, it’s gotten an extra dose of national attention with former Gov. and once-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin saying she could be persuaded to run against incumbent Democrat Mark Begich. But while the news made a splash Outside, Republicans in the state still haven’t heard from her.
After getting a “no” from the Department of the Interior, Gov. Sean Parnell has doubled down on a plan to conduct seismic testing in a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Tuesday, the administration offered a new plan, pledged more money to the effort, and argued that the federal government was legally obligated to consider their proposal. But already, there are questions over whether this is just another round in a decades-long game of chicken between the state and federal government.
Whether it’s with bicycles, ATVs, or hiking boots, summer is a prime time for Alaskans to go and play outside. There are hundreds of miles of trails available for use across the state, and much of that system is developed and maintained with federal funding. But now, some of that money is at risk of drying up, and outdoor enthusiasts are worried about what that could mean for recreation in the state.
Every 10 years, Alaska’s political lines are redrawn to reflect changes in population. In an ideal world, the state’s redistricting board takes the results of the U.S. census, tries to divide the state into regions with equal population, and finalizes a map before the next election cycle. That didn’t happen this go-round. It’s been nearly three years since the redistricting board first came together, and Alaska still doesn’t have its political boundaries settled.
Lawmakers are now trying to figure out what it would cost to implement a state-run health insurance program for public school employees.
Most states that had been covered under the Voting Rights Act won’t feel the full impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling until 2020, when the next redistricting cycle starts up. But Alaska, along with Texas, will experience the effects straight away. Here, political lines still haven’t been finalized, and today’s decision could shape the way boundaries are drawn.
Earlier this week, activists fighting a tax cut on oil companies requested a meeting with police. They said their opponents were harassing people circulating referendum petitions, and that if this kept up, it could make it harder for the repeal proposition to get on the ballot. Now, it’s come out that the person behind the opposition effort is actually a well-known political operative who’s been promoting an initiative of his own.
In the coming weeks, the Alaska redistricting board will be reviewing seven different political maps, on top of a handful that have been submitted by third-party groups.
A state lawmaker is raising privacy concerns about signing petitions, but signature gatherers are calling it a scare tactic that could affect next year’s ballot.
An initiative to set up a legal market for marijuana has cleared a hurdle for getting on the ballot. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell certified that the initiative language conformed with Alaska statute this afternoon, just one day short of his deadline. That means initiative sponsors can start circulating petitions to show that a sufficient number of Alaskans want to vote on the issue.
Ballot propositions can be expensive fights, with hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars spent. The Alaska Public Offices Commission, or APOC, is the group that tracks all that money.
Arne Fuglvog pleaded guilty to illegal fishing and had to spend five months in jail. It was a mighty fall for a man who was then serving as an advisor to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and who had once been considered for the top fisheries management post in the country. Now Fuglvog is back as a lobbyist, but Alaska’s senators don’t plan on giving him access.
Carved into the Bering Sea shelf are some of the ocean’s largest underwater canyons. The bigger ones run more than a mile deep, and in spots they’re dense with corals and sponges. They’re also home to some commercial fisheries, and factory trawlers will often go there to catch pollock. Now, fisheries regulators have charted a path for managing this habitat, which allows for future conservation measures.
This weekend, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to put new restrictions on the Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet in an effort to curb chinook salmon bycatch.
Following a sharp rebuke from a superior court judge, the Alaska Redistricting Board has decided to start redrawing the state’s political boundaries. The process has been going on for almost three years, and the lines can have a serious impact over who ends up in the legislature.
In April, Gov. Sean Parnell traveled to Europe for what he described as a “fact-finding mission” on international oil tax structures. On Thursday, the governor shared his conclusions from that trip with the Juneau World Affairs Council.
ConocoPhillips is fighting a $45,000 fine for allegedly failing to report pressure levels in the Kuparuk field in a timely fashion. The fines also cover a missed a mechanical integrity test. The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Conservation is scheduled to have a hearing on the matter in August.