Tax debate in Juneau
Andrew Kitchenman/AKPM – Juneau
The House Finance Committee turned its attention today [Monday, June 12] to a tax that Governor Bill Walker included in the compromise package he proposed a week ago. The tax has been called a few different names, including: “a head tax” and an “income tax”. Today, House Finance aides referred to it as a payroll tax. That’s because it would only tax the money people are paid for their employment, either on their employer’s payroll or through self-employment. But other forms of income – like the money people make on investments – wouldn’t be taxed.
Don Young applauds Puerto Rico statehood vote
Liz Ruskin/AKPM – Washington, D.C.
The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico voted overwhelming for statehood in a
non-binding referendum on Sunday. Alaska Congressman Don Young went there with other U.S. lawmakers as an election observer. His spokesman Matt Shuckerow says Young favors self-determination for Puerto Rico and personally believes statehood is a good idea.
Sullivan Town Hall in Kodiak
Kayla Desroches/KMXT – Kodiak
Republican Senator Dan Sullivan held a town hall in the city of Kodiak Saturday and attracted a sizeable crowd. He dedicated the bulk of the meeting to the public’s questions. Most focused on healthcare.
Alaska helping to lead way in microgrid ideas
Rachel Waldholz/Alaska’s Energy Desk – Cordova
When it comes to emerging energy technologies, many remote Alaska communities are on the cutting edge. That was the message from Cordova this weekend, where U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski held a field hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she chairs.
Uber/Lyft not welcome at glacier
AP – Juneau
Uber and Lyft are coming to Alaska, but not to the state capital’s most popular tourist attraction. Gov. Bill Walker is expected to sign a bill that will make Alaska the last state to allow the ride-hailing service operations. But tourists will still have to come by bus or taxi to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau.
Missing boaters in Wales
AP – Wales, Ak
The Coast Guard is searching for a man and a boy missing on a boating trip out of the Bering Strait village of Wales. The Coast Guard says the 23-year-old man and 14-year-old boy launched a wooden rowboat at 2 a.m. Sunday[June 11]. They were not wearing life jackets.
Price reduced for sale of state ferry Taku
Ed Schoenfeld/Coast Alaska – Juneau
The price is dropping for the state ferry Taku [tah-KUU] Alaska Marine Highway System General Manager John Falvey [FALL-vee] says no one submitted a bid during the most recent sale attempt, which ended May 31st. The minimum bid was $700,000. An earlier attempt priced the ship at $1.5 million.
State flags lowered for first woman to be Alaska Attorney General
Dan Bross/KUAC – Fairbanks
Flags are at half-staff in honor of former Alaska Attorney General and lifelong University of Alaska advocate, Grace Schaible [SHY-bull] of Fairbanks. Schaible died Saturday [jUNE 10] at the age of 91.
JBER Remembrance Ceremony
Zachariah Hughes/AKPM – Anchorage
75 years ago this month, the Japanese Navy launched an air-raid on Dutch Harbor, and shortly afterwards invaded two islands at the tail end of the Aleutian chain. In the aftermath, nearly 900 people were hastily evacuated from their villages, shipped away in small boats to live in abysmal camp conditions in Southeast Alaska until the end of the war. Last week, a group of military officials, foreign dignitaries, and survivors gathered at the Fort Richardson National Ceremony to remember the events.
Local school district looks for help demolishing old Ft. Greely school
Tim Ellis/KUAC – Fairbanks
The Delta Greely School District is looking to the federal government to demolish an abandoned schoolhouse on Fort Greely.
Igiugig is using language grant to save its native tongue
Avery Lill/KDLG – Dillingham
In July, Igiugig (IGGY-ah-gig) Village will complete the second year of its three year Language Preservation and Maintenance Grant. The U.S. Administration for Native Americans awarded the grant, which totals more than $850,000. With 23 fluent speakers of Lake Iliamna (Ill-EE-ahm-nah) Yup’ik still living, the village of Igiugig is making a concerted effort to revive the language.