State Challenges Federal Voting Rights Act

State attorneys filed a challenge to the federal Voting Rights Act in district court in Washington, DC on Tuesday, according to Gail Fenumiai, the state division of elections director.

Senator Davis Campaigns to Keep Her Seat

Senator Bettye Davis is best known for her support of the Denali Kidcare Program, a state program that provides health insurance for children. She has served East Anchorage for more than a decade. Now she's being challenged in Senate District M by fellow democrat and former state representative Harry Crawford, who is campaigning hard. But Davis says she won't give up her seat without a fight.

Prop 1 Would Allow Local Option Of Increasing Residential Property Tax Exemptions

A measure on next week’s primary election ballot would allow the local option of increasing the residential property tax exemption from the current $20,000 to a maximum of $50,000. If approved, municipal voters would then have to O.K. any change. Local government could also adjust the exemption to reflect increases in the cost of living.

Alaska To Receive $20 Million From DoT

The U.S. Department of Transportation says it has found hundreds of millions dollars which went unspent over three years. Alaska will receive $20 million of previously allocated money for transportation projects.

Alaska Sea Party, Vote No on 2 Trade Charges of Campaign Disclosure Violations

The groups sparring over a ballot measure to restore the Alaska Coastal Management Program traded barbs Friday, accusing each other of campaign disclosure violations.

State Will Accept $20 Million for Transportation Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation found hundreds of millions dollars which went unspent over three years. Alaska will receive more than $20 million of previously allocated money for transportation projects.

Gov. Parnell Requests Federal Disaster Declaration For Kenai Kings

Thursday, Governor Parnell requested a federal fisheries disaster declaration for the Kenai River King Salmon. This is in addition to the disaster request for the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, any fisheries disaster money is subject to congressional appropriation.

Alaska Schools Waiting To Be Excused From ‘No Child Left Behind’

The state of Alaska next month will ask the federal government to approve new education standards to replace the so-called No Child Left Behind program. The state has requested a waiver from the federal law, which has vexed educators for a decade. State education officials are now in the process of adopting new assessments to replace Adequate Yearly Progress.

Murkowski Moderates Forum on the Affordable Care Act

Senator Lisa Murkowski moderated a forum Wednesday morning in Anchorage on how the Affordable Care Act is affecting Alaska. The small panel of speakers all voiced opposition to President Obama’s new health care law. But audience members had good things to say about how the new law is benefiting them.

Hawaii Gas Applies For Permit To Import LNG

A Hawaii-based utility is applying for a federal permit to import liquefied natural gas. It’s unlikely to encourage development in Alaska anytime soon.

Salazar Announces Obama Administration Plan For NPR-A

It looks like there will be not be a decision this week after all on Shell’s Arctic Ocean drilling plans. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar spent the weekend in the Arctic. He did not return with a decision on Shell, but he did announce another decision involving oil and gas – the Obama Administration’s leasing plans for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

‘Violence Against Women Act’ Reauthorization Slows In Congress

A reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act has slowed in Congress. The House and Senate have passed their own versions of the bill, and if the two chambers want to reconcile the two bills, they’ll need to address issues of native sovereignty and tribal courts.

Juneau Airport Seeks $2-Million In Left Over FY ’12 FAA Funds

Juneau International Airport is asking the Federal Aviation Administration for $2-million dollars to install additional approach lighting at the east end of its main runway.

Rep. Young Wants States To Take Over Management Of Some National Parks

Representative Don Young wants states to take over management of some National Parks. Young, a longtime critic of the National Park Service, says the proposal is a good fit for Alaska, where he says agency regulations unnecessarily limit access.

Brooks Range Council Opposing ‘Road to Resources’ Program

The Brooks Range Council is a grassroots movement opposing Governor Sean Parnell’s plan to develop a road to the Ambler Mining District. The governor’s office has proposed nearly $29 million next year to advance his “Road to Resources” program, which includes $4 million for the planned road to Ambler. That money will be used for permitting and environmental work on the proposed roads, which the governor says will eventually allow access to resources near Umiat, Tanana and Ambler. The Ambler mining district is the proposed terminus of a 220-mile road from the Dalton Highway.

New Assistant Secretary for Energy Devoted to Solving Military Energy Problem

The Department of Defense spends $20 billion on fuel for the military every year. It accounts for 2.5 percent of the defense budget. Now the department has created a new position – The Assistant Secretary for Energy – devoted to solving the military’s energy problem. The new appointee, Sharon Burke, spent a few days touring Alaska this week, hoping the state could supply a fresh perspective.

Kookesh Ahead In Campaign Fund-Raising Race

The Ketchikan-Wrangell House district has the only party primary in Southeast Alaska this year. But legislative candidates in other districts are still raising money and gearing up campaigns.

U.S. Senators Discuss Future Of The Arctic

Two U.S. senators met for a field hearing in Kodiak today to discuss the future of the Arctic. They were especially focused on what expanded shipping and oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean will mean for the United States Coast Guard.

Circumpolar Health Conference Convenes In Fairbanks

The 15th International Congress on Circumpolar health convenes in Fairbanks today (Monday). Representatives from all nine Arctic nations, as well as scientists, health professionals and Alaska’s Congressional delegation will discuss issues related to health in the far north during the week-long conference.

Thirteen Lawyers Vying To Replace Justice Carpeneti

Three Juneau residents are among the thirteen applicants to replace Justice Walter “Bud” Carpeneti on the Alaska Supreme Court. Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg, Assistant Attorney General Susan Cox and Administrative Law Judge Terry Thurbon have submitted their names to the Alaska Judicial Council for consideration. Ketchikan Superior Court Judge Trevor Stephens is the only other Southeast resident that applied.