Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage
elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8446 | About Ellen
A survey sponsored by the Nature Conservancy indicates that Matanuska-Susitna Borough residents want to maintain a rural profile a quarter of a century from now. The Institute of Social and Economic Research collected the data used in the survey. The results were released last week.
This week, the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly got a preview of the Borough’s preliminary FY 15 fiscal plan. This year’s budget outlook indicates that some cost cutting may have to be done before the Borough Assembly makes a decision on the final spending package.
A Matanuska Electric Association official charges that the Anchorage Municipal Assembly is spending city funds on private interests. Joe Griffith, MEA’s executive director, has contacted Anchorage officials with concerns that city money is being spent on one Assemblyman’s legal fight against a power station upgrade.
With a 16-4 vote on Saturday, the state Senate approved House Bill 23, allowing public financing of the Knik Arm Crossing. The approval moves the $892 million project forward by updating the project’s financial model. The bill allows funding for the bridge to come from three public entities: one third from bonds, one third from National Highway System funds, and the final third from federal loans.
Gakona’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, better known as HAARP, is slated for the junkpile. But a group of University of Alaska researchers are trying to stave off a Department of Defense move to scuttle the often – misunderstood scientific facility.
FEMA administrator Craig Fugate met with Matanuska Susitna Borough officials on Friday, April 4, to discuss changes in federal emergency assistance legislation. Those changes could smooth the flow of reimbursment dollars to the Borough for local emergency response and to homeowners who suffered flood damages in the fall of 2012
The wife of a man who went missing during the 2012 Mt. Marathon race is suing the Seward Chamber of Commerce. The wrongful death suit is asking for a judgment of $5 million.
Anchorage’s unofficial municipal election results show at least one upset, although outcomes of most other Assembly races are not surprising.
An ordinance now before the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly would allow the Borough to pay for advertising to influence voters in the case of state ballot propositions. The ordinance comes at a time when an upcoming state ballot is expected to put a number of controversial issues before the voters.
A proposed Matanuska Susitna Borough “tall tower” ordinance has been found to be toothless, according to the Borough’s planning commission. The public is expected to weigh in on the ordinance at an upcoming Borough Assembly meeting.
Anchorage was hit hard during the 1964 Alaska earthquake, which caused terrible destruction downtown and along Turnagain Arm. For the 50th anniversary of that event, the city is planning to take part in emergency drills that involve all schools and city agencies. This week is declared Earthquake Preparedness Week by city officials, and residents are urged to be prepared for the real thing.
This week, Alaska commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake. The calamity destroyed whole towns, took lives and still stands as the largest earthquake to ever rock North America. KSKA will take a look at how one Alaska Community, Seward, rose to the challenge of rebuilding after the quake and seven tidal waves flattened most of the town. That’s on A Closer Look, on KSKA .
KSKA: Tuesday, March 25, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
A Washington, DC political group is calling for the state to take criminal action against Representative Lynn Gattis (R-Wasilla).
Representative Bill Stoltze, a Republican from Chugiak, announced a new political path at the Mat Su Senior Center in downtown Palmer on Friday. Stoltze told the audience that his heart has always been in Palmer, and now he’d like to represent that city in a new state Senate district. He said he’d done “a lot of soul-searching” before making the announcement.
The state has taken steps to ban the importation and sale of some aquatic plants that are commonly found in aquariums. Elodea is a plant used in fishbowls that has become a big problem in Alaska, and is considered an invasive species. Last year, the state began working to eradicate the plant from areas in Fairbanks and in Anchorage.
The Alaska Zoo in Anchorage has been home to a long line of polar bears over the years, from the infamous sneaker stealing Binky to the fluffy cub Kalli which was shipped to a sister zoo back East last year. Right now, Ahpun a female, and Lyutik, a young male, are the only two residents in the zoo’s polar bear enclosure, but that is soon to change, as the Zoo plans a new program that is expected to help Alaska lead the country in polar bear captive breeding and research.
As the traditional strains of Pomp and Circumstance rang out of a boombox at Anchorage’s Wilda Marston Theater recently, thirty black- robed and square- hatted high school graduates paraded down the aisle. February is not the usual month for such a ceremony, but what makes this graduation really different — the grads are not teenagers, and they hail from as far away as the Congo.
The state’s fisheries board wrapped up two weeks of meetings on Upper Cook Inlet commercial and sports fisheries late last week. This session, management changes were approved for Kenai River early and late king runs, and for the central district sockeye management plan. Supporters of the changes say that the new regulations are expected to allow more salmon to pass through the inlet. But those opposed to the changes say that commercial driftnetters and setnetters will be hurt, and that they have suffered a disproportionate hit in fishing time and area.