Dave Donaldson, APRN - Juneau

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ddonaldson (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.586.6948 | About Dave

Behavior Risk Survey Moving Work Out-of-State

The Department of Health and Social Services is carrying though with plans to close the office that gathers raw data for its annual Behavior Risk Survey.

Legislators Study ‘Rebalancing’ Taxes, Not Cutting Them

In the legislative session that begins in January, members of the House and Senate will face several high priority issues. But at the top will be whether to change the state’s oil tax structure in hopes of encouraging more new production.

Treadwell Certifies Coastal Management Reinstatement Initiative Measure

Sponsors of the initiative to reinstate the state’s Coastal Management Program are ready to gather nearly 26,000 signatures to get their ballot question approved.

New Agreement Moves NPRA Opening Process Another Step Forward

An agreement between two federal agencies on Monday leaves only one formal step in the process to open the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska – or NPRA -- for development.

Oil Tax Survey Results Inconclusive

The dominant question for next year’s legislative session is whether the Senate will approve Governor Parnell’s bill to lower taxes on oil production.

Mike Hawker’s Cancer in “Complete Remission”

Anchorage Republican Mike Hawker today learned that the cancer he has been fighting for more than a year is in complete remission. A year ago, doctors had not expected Hawker to live more than a few weeks. Today, they told him that his life expectancy is the same as it was before the cancer ever appeared.

Push Beginning for State to Help Pay the Cost of Student Meals

Although there is a child nutrition program within the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the state does not contribute any money to see that kids eat on a regular basis. Financial help comes from the federal government – $34-million two years ago, and an expected $50-million this year.

New Buoy Network Could Help Determine Long-Term Impacts of Ocean Acidification

A major education effort by scientists and fishermen is leading to the conclusion that if Ocean Acidification is not a problem yet, it’s about to be. And a proposal that will likely be before the legislature next session is looking for money to enlarge the state’s Ocean Acidification observation network with new monitoring buoys to provide an early warning system that could help avoid an immediate fishing disaster – and help determine the long-term impacts of acidification.

Federal Court Upholds “Endangered” Listing for Cook Inlet Belugas

A federal court in Washington D-C has upheld the “endangered species” listing of Cook Inlet’s Beluga Whales.

ANGDA Head Resigns

The C-E-O of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority has turned in his resignation so he can “pursue other opportunities.”

APOC Rejects Treadwell Settlement

The Alaska Public Offices Commission late today rejected a Consent Agreement announced this morning between the commission’s staff and Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell.

Non-Partisan Support for Alaska First

Former Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams – who was the Democratic nominee for U-S Senate last year – has formed a non-partisan interest group with the expressed purpose of providing financial support to candidates who commit to putting Alaska’s communities and people ahead of out-of-state interests.

State Decides Not Apply for ‘No Child Left Behind’ Waivers Yet

The Parnell Administration has let pass an opportunity to get waivers from parts of the federal “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001. The federal standards that accompany the law have drawn criticism in Alaska – particularly in rural school districts that are not able to provide staff and services needed.

State Decides Not Apply for ‘No Child Left Behind’ Waivers Yet

The Parnell Administration has let pass an opportunity to get waivers from parts of the federal “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001. The federal standards that accompany the law have drawn criticism in Alaska -- particularly in rural school districts that are not able to provide staff and services needed.

Chenault Pushes to Increase Profile of In-State Gas Line

House Speaker Mike Chenault is calling for the House and Senate to increase the profile of an in-state natural gas line dedicated to providing energy to Alaskans.

State Looks for Coastal Management Alternative

The Parnell administration is still looking for a way to replace the work done by the Alaska Coastal Management Program before it was forced to close at the end of June.

Great Bear Petroleum Won’t Make Decision on Continuing Work Until Next Year

The company with the largest stake in future development of shale oil on the North Slope says a decision on whether to proceed with work there will not be made for another year.

Parnell Administration Explains Jump in Real Estate Licensing Fees

Monday, the Parnell Administration began explaining the reasons behind a 249 percent increase in licensing fees for Real Estate professionals. The Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing increased the cost of a license from $275 to $685.

VPSO Program Working to Fill 15 More Slots

The Village Public Safety Officer Program may be the only line in the state budget where there has been no talk of reducing over the past few years. It’s a program that provides first responder service to rural Alaska communities – and is a critical element in the fights against domestic violence, alcoholism, and suicide.

Proposed Bill Would Expand Denali KidCare Program

Thursday, senators began looking at a bill that would expand the Denali KidCare program to include more children. It is basically the same bill that passed the legislature in 2010 that he governor vetoed.