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Alaska Politics

Adam Beck and Gov. Sean Parnell sign the contact for Vigor Alaska to build two new state ferries.

Ketchikan Shipyard to Build Two Alaska Ferries

It’s official: The Ketchikan Shipyard will build two new ferries for the State of Alaska over the next few years. The deal was announced on a very rainy Saturday during a barbecue at the shipyard’s huge, enclosed ship construction area.

September 22, 2014
Parnell signs the resolution alongisde King Cove Mayor Henry Mack. (Courtesy: State of Alaska)

Governor Parnell Inks Support for King Cove Road

Gov. Sean Parnell was in King Cove Friday to sign a resolution urging the federal government to allow an access road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

September 22, 2014

Alaska Delegation Review 113th Congress

The U.S. House and Senate are on recess now. When lawmakers return it’ll be after the November election for a lame duck session that will end the 113th Congress.

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September 19, 2014

Tribes Request King Bycatch Reduction as Pollock Season Wraps Up

As the Pollock season wraps up in the Bering Sea, the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Tanana Chiefs Conference want immediate action to protect declining Western Alaska King Salmon stocks from trawl bycatch. Wednesday they filed a joint petition for emergency regulations with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to crack down on king bycatch for the remainder of the 2014 season.

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September 19, 2014
Flint Hills Resources-Alaska closed its refinery in North Pole in May, citing rising costs associated with cleaning up sulfolane contamination in area groundwater and other economic factors.
(Credit KUAC file photo)

Panel Completes Review of Standard Used to Set Refinery-Pollution Cleanup Level

A panel of experts wrapped up two days of meetings Thursday in Fairbanks that will help the state Department of Environmental Conservation determine the appropriate cleanup level for contamination of North Pole’s groundwater caused by chemicals leaking from the refinery now owned by Flint Hills Resources.

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September 19, 2014

What Should Alaska’s Fiscal Plan Be?

The level of spending by Alaska’s state government cannot be sustained. In the coming years as reserves are spent down, what are the choices that will have to be made? And when will they have to be made? Early next month, there will be a public forum to try to get some clarity about the state’s fiscal future.

APRN: Tuesday, 9/23 at 10:00am

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September 19, 2014

USDA Rural Development Seeks Loan Applicants

USDA’s Rural Development arm is offering millions of dollars in loans for community projects in rural areas.

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September 19, 2014

Alaska Delegation Divided on Arming Syrian Rebels to fight ISIL

Congress today approved President Obama’s request to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight the terrorist group known as ISIL, but no one in the Alaska delegation was happy about it.

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September 18, 2014

One-Man PAC To Target Four House Races

Consultant Brad Keithley is launching a $200,000 independent expenditure campaign with the goal of installing a more “fiscally responsible Legislature.”

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September 18, 2014

State Takes Step Toward Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty

Until recently, Governor Sean Parnell, like his two Republican predecessors, and Governor Wally Hickel before them, used lawsuits, legislative initiatives and policies to dispute or diminish tribal authorities on several fronts. The Parnell administration now is taking a step toward acknowledging tribal sovereignty.

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September 18, 2014
Signs mark the end of Juneau’s Glacier Highway in 2013. The latest environmental impact statement maintains a preference to extend the road 47 miles north along the east side of Lynn Canal to a new ferry terminal. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

DOT Puts Out New Juneau Access Project Document

DOT puts out new Juneau Access Project document

Thursday, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities put out a draft document that addresses environmental issues stemming from the battle to extend Juneau’s only highway north toward Haines and Skagway.

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September 18, 2014
Magnuson-Stevens created 8 separate regional councils to manage fisheries in federal waters. According ALFA’s Linda Behnken, not all regions have placed as much emphasis on resource protection as the North Pacific. (NOAA Fisheries image)

Groups Hope MSA Update Won’t Move Fish Conservation ‘Backwards’

A number of regional fishing associations are joining forces to strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act.The Sitka-based Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association announced last week (9-9-14) that it’s reached an agreement with the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and several east-coast industry groups to form the Fishing Community Coalition. The new organization wants to ensure that Congress makes protecting fish stocks a priority as it prepares to reauthorize the nation’s most important law governing the harvest of seafood in federal waters.

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September 18, 2014

Valley Opponents Gather To Fight Prop Two

Many prominent Republican politicians turned out Wednesday night for a Matanuska Valley campaign kickoff event in support of Big Marijuana, Big Mistake.

September 18, 2014

Walker-Mallott “Unity Ticket” Faces Legal Challenge

An officer of the Alaska Republican Party is suing Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and the Division of Elections for the decision to allow independent candidate Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott to merge their campaigns.

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September 17, 2014
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and Commissioner of Revenue Angela Rodell announce the amount of the 2014 Permanent Fund Dividend. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN- Anchorage)

2014 Permanent Fund Dividend Will Be $1,884

In an announcement Wednesday, Governor Sean Parnell told Alaskans something they have been waiting to hear for months…the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend.

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September 17, 2014

State OKs Linc Energy’s Tyonek Coal Exploration Plan

The state has given the OK to a plan by Linc Energy to explore for coal in the Tyonek area. Last month, Linc submitted an application to drill at least five exploratory wells in an area about seven miles from Tyonek, on the West side of Cook Inlet.

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September 17, 2014

Energy Development Proponents Meet In Anchorage

Proponents of energy development are in Anchorage for the 10th annual Alaska Oil and Gas Congress. Canada’s Northwest Territories Premiere Bob McCloud says Alaska and the Territories have a lot in common – great resources that are stranded in remote locations.

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September 17, 2014
Nelson Kanuk, seated, and Katherine Dolma, standing, were two of the six young plaintiffs who sued the State of Alaska, demanding it take action on climate change. The pair are pictured here in Barrow, following a Supreme Court LIVE hearing at Barrow High School.  (Photo by Jeff Seifert/ KBRW)

Youth Climate Lawsuit Dismissed

The Alaska Supreme Court last week dismissed a case brought by six young Alaskans, demanding the state take action on climate change. The suit was one of several filed nationwide, and the first to take its argument to a state supreme court. In dismissing the case, the Court said that climate policy isn’t an issue the judiciary can decide – it must go through the political process.

But, for the young plaintiffs and the nonprofit supporting them, the ruling included some silver linings.

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September 17, 2014

Sullivan Supports State Minimum Wage Boost He Once Opposed

In a reversal, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan says he supports a ballot measure that would increase the state minimum wage.

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September 16, 2014

Friday Is Deadline To Comment On EPA’s 404-C Determination

The EPA’s proposed restrictions on development of the Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay region are currently open for public comment. But the deadline to comment is this Friday.

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September 16, 2014