Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra
A group opposed to the proposed Pebble Mine has secured enough signatures to get their initiative on the ballot.
Since the Legislature gaveled out this spring, state officials have been trying to build support for a controversial land management bill that couldn’t get enough votes in the final days of session. Public meetings were supposed to be part of their outreach effort. But now the Department of Natural Resources has called those meetings off.
Gov. Sean Parnell has named Joe Balash as his Natural Resources commissioner. Balash has served as acting commissioner since September, and he was previously a deputy in the department. He was one of the governor’s point people on the recent overhaul of the state’s oil tax system.
Gov. Sean Parnell’s cabinet continues to experience turnover. Becky Hultberg is resigning from her post as commissioner of the Department of Administration.
Commercial fishing groups are pushing back against a proposed ballot initiative that would ban a sector of their industry.
The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance submitted signatures from 100 initiative sponsors to the Division of Elections on Wednesday, the first step in the application process. The Alliance is a newly formed group of sport fishermen, river guides and fisheries advocates.
A group that wants to remove state legislator Lindsey Holmes from office is turning in their recall application Wednesday morning.
When it comes to retirement benefits, the state is looking at a $12 billion shortfall. Just how that’s going to be paid off is expected to be a big issue for the Legislature next session. The Parnell administration is thinking about putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s retirement funds to help close the gap.
For years, Facebook access has been a vexing issue for the Legislature. Lawmakers have even joked that it’s second only to oil taxes in the amount of controversy it stirs up. On Wednesday, the committee that sets office rules for the Capitol finally approved a policy for staff use of the social networking site.
With the control of Congress in balance, the Alaska Senate race is expected to be one of the more high profile races in the country.The Republican National Committee has gotten involved, and veterans of the Romney and McCain presidential campaigns are already working to unseat Democrat Mark Begich, but what about the House race? The odds may be long, but two Democrats are already competing for the chance to take on Don Young.
The Anchorage Democrat had been considering jumping into the gubernatorial race, but set aside those plans after former Juneau mayor and Permanent Fund Division Director Byron Mallott announced he would seek the Democratic nomination. French says he wanted to avoid expending resources on a competitive primary race.
Back in July, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the state was inappropriately granting permits for ATV usage on park land. The decision affected about 200 families who use their four wheelers to cross park lands to get to their property. Last week, the Court reissued their decision, and the way they handled the case could offer a clue on how they’ll handle other questions of land management, including one involving the proposed Pebble Mine.
Since natural gas was discovered on the North Slope, there’s been talk of building a pipeline to get it to market. But where should that pipeline end? Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, and TransCanada announced on Monday that Nikiski is their top choice for a stopping point.
The government shutdown means the Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Federal Areas isn’t getting time with federal workers. But at this week’s meetings, they did hear from someone who wants to work in Washington: Lt. Gov. and Senate candidate Mead Treadwell.
If you want to get a proposition on the ballot, you’re given a pretty gargantuan task. So instead of relying on volunteers, most initiative sponsors bring in professionals. Paid petitioners working for the marijuana have recently hit Southeast Alaska to help guarantee their question will get a vote.