Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau
Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
Two bills dealing with Alaska Native issues got different receptions from members of the Legislature on Thursday.
At least three House lawmakers were skeptical of a bill that would make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages. About an hour later, they joined the rest of their House colleagues in voting unanimously for a bill honoring the late Rev. Walter Soboleff.
The Alaska Legislature could join the chorus of voices calling for an American Indian Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. An Alaska Senate committee on Tuesday passed a resolution supporting the project.
Alaska’s mayors and other local officials are worried their governments may be asked to pay more toward public employees’ retirement. The lobbying group Alaska Municipal League is backing Governor Sean Parnell’s proposal to use $3 billion in savings to reduce an estimated $12 billion shortfall in state pension funds.
A bill to establish Walter Soboleff Day in Alaska cleared a state House committee on Thursday, after lawmakers on the panel heard heartfelt testimony from the late Tlingit elder’s friends and family. The bill does not have any more committee stops before a vote on the House floor.
Holding signs saying “Kids! Not Cuts” and “Vouchers Hurt Public Schools,” about 200 people packed the Alaska Capitol steps for a “Save our Schools” rally yesterday afternoon.
Two local businessmen have come up with an early design concept for a prime piece of real estate in the Capital City. The so-called subport property, near the corner of Egan Dr. and Whittier St., has been vacant for more than a decade. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority owns the bulk of the proposed development site. The question remains: Is the authority ready to let it go?
An acoustic guitar maker and a small saw mill are the winners of the inaugural Path to Prosperity contest. The business plan competition for Southeast Alaska entrepreneurs was sponsored by Haa Aanì, the community development arm of Sealaska Corporation, as well as the Nature Conservancy.
The chairman of the Alaska Redistricting Board says state residents need to have a conversation about the growing number of people who live in each legislative district.
Alaska public health officials are keeping an eye out for cases of measles, especially in residents who travel to and from the Philippines. That country’s health department this week declared an outbreak of the disease in parts of Manila, the capital.
Albert Kookesh is stepping down as chairman of the board of directors for Sealaska, the regional Native Corporation for Southeast Alaska. The company also announced the deadline to apply for its president and CEO position, as Chris McNeil prepares to retire.
About 6,500 Alaskans will see their emergency unemployment benefits come to an end on Saturday, according to the state Department of Labor.
The Alaska Court of Appeals has reinstated over-fishing charges against former State Senator Albert Kookesh and two other men. In 2009, Kookesh and three others were fishing for sockeye salmon at Kanalku Bay near his hometown of Angoon. A state wildlife trooper observed them catching more salmon than allowed under their subsistence permits.
Juneau Animal Control only labels dogs as “dangerous” or “potentially dangerous” as a last resort. Two recent attacks have put the agency in the spotlight. Last week, an Animal Control official urged the Juneau Assembly not to adopt breed specific legislation in response to the attacks. An animal behavior expert says that’s the right idea.
Former Haines Representative Bill Thomas has filed a letter of intent to run for state office in 2014. Thomas filed late Friday. He did not indicate which office he will seek, but he is eligible to run for either House or Senate in districts representing Juneau. House District 33 includes downtown Juneau and Douglas Island, as well as Gustavus, Haines, and Skagway. It is part of Senate District Q.
Governor Sean Parnell’s recent budget proposal does not include any Southeast Alaska hydroprojects. But he says he still believes hydro is the solution to the region’s high energy costs.
The new Southeast Radiation Oncology Center in Juneau celebrated its grand opening last week. The clinic near Bartlett Regional Hospital will treat cancer patients from Juneau and Southeast Alaska, who previously had to travel to Anchorage, Seattle or another large city to get radiation treatment.