Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 12.3

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposal to designate a “Texas-sized” ring around a chunk of the northern coastline as a critical habitat for ringed seals. KTUU has Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s reaction, backstory and maps (!)
  • The Peninsula Clarion was on hand while the Kenai Peninsula Board of Education quizzed House Speaker Mike Chenault about his plans for the upcoming legislative session. It’s required reading for House Minority Leader Chris Tuck.
  • As regulations and policies are being drawn up to legislate the soon-to-be legalized use of marijuana, this article from the Washington Post about Amsterdam’s realistic and sane drug policy might warrant a reading.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner reports that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will be advising Alaska legislators to loosen alcohol penalties in the upcoming legislative session.
  • KTOO reports that the University of Alaska system has delayed (again) its survey on sexual assault on campus. What the university’s attorney, Michael O’Brien’s told KTOO is that the university didn’t want the survey to run up against the holiday season, as if there’s a good time to discuss sexual assaults.

  • The Anchorage Assembly made it plain to the new owners of the building previously known as Platinum Jaxx nightclub that they aren’t hip to the idea of transferring the liquor license from Platinum Jaxx to them.
  • Now that the illustrious Michele Flournoy is out of the picture for the Secretary of Defense job, meet Ashton Carter. Both Politico and The Hill have articles about the man that rocks hipster glasses like no other and why he is perfect for the job.
  • Is Hollis French turning Stanleyesque on us and why were people discussing “little squid” while a certain Barnhill was getting the boot? It’s all covered in today’s Loose Lips.
  • Welcome to the Mad Hatters tea party, otherwise known by the New York Times as White Hat vs. Black Hat hackers in the underground Cyber wars.
  • The Fairbanks City Council has put together their state-funding wish list and it passed 6-0. The Fairbanks News Miner reports that this list totals to about $20.3 million.
  • Politico wants Hillary Clinton to stop the “will she or won’t she” game. It’s exhausting. But it hasn’t stopped Ready for Hillary PAC to start laying groundwork in Alaska by donating $2,200 in in-kind contribution to Alaska Democratic Party.
  • Jim Minnery has been taken to task by the Alaska Commons for seeming to have “contradicted everything he has ever said. Ever.”
  • The word of the day is “cromnibus” and The Hill explains why this word should be included in your political vocabulary.
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough went into executive session during their regular weekly hearing to discuss its education lawsuit. The Ketchikan Daily News has the details.
  • In news that is both techie and cool: Seward City News reports that Seward Elementary will have a week of one-hour coding classes from a $10,000 award from This burgeoning field is perfect for Alaskans: the jobs are indoors, can be done remotely and pay well.
  • Another ripple affect from Ferguson that will be shortly felt here in Alaska will be the standardization of police officers wearing body cameras, according to the Washington Post.
  • Not all eyes were on Gov. Bill Walker on Monday. Just to the left of the podium stood a woman that at times was more fun to watch than the speaker; Sign Language Interpreter Jessica Podruchny. The Juneau Empire sat down with the woman that at times stole the show during the inauguration.
  • The House Majority issued a press release welcoming Walker-Mallott into the political fold. Reading between the lines: It’s going to be a tough session.
  • They love the limelight, look good in pictures, have rubbed elbows with the rich and powerful for years and the public already knows/loves them. The Hill has a list of the top ten celebrities that have political inclinations. Don’t laugh, it was just a few years ago that SNL alum Al Franken became Sen. Al Franken.

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6 thoughts on “Inside/Outside morning news roundup for 12.3

  1. Leigh Ray

    Hi – Thanks for mentioning the $10,000 awarded to Seward Elementary from the non-profit Please note, however, that the monetary gift was awarded to one school in every state in order to purchase computer hardware for the school. Students worldwide are participating in the Hour of Code this week, which is Computer Science week. Every student who participates does one hour of code through the applications found at There are millions of students participating. Learn more at Thanks!

  2. CPG49

    Speaker Chenault has proven himself as a fair, competent and diplomatic leader. He’s an honest guy and speaks the truth. Wish there were a bunch more just like him in Juneau.

  3. AH HA

    Ergo; Juneau has a new pool, High School and Library none of which were needed and all of which we are now struggling to continue to find operating funds for….

  4. AH HA

    The ABC board is quite willing to reduce the penalty for minor consuming and for sale of alcohol to a minor and indicates that they believe that the current penalties are ‘too harsh’.

    In the same news cycle it’s reported that the ABC board revoked the Wald Alaskan’s liquor license. Their alleged offense: It appears that local bars in Kodiak were facing some stiff competition (pardon the pun) from the ship based alcohol serving strip club. ABC Board member and local Juneau bar owner Ethan Billings is on the record as believing that the operation sounds more like a bar than a charter and cites that as a reason to revoke the license.

    Gee Ethan….. what gives? I swear this just don’t quite compute.

  5. Lynn

    Regarding the “Q&A” session between the Kenai Peninsula Board of Education and the Speaker of the House of the Alaska Legislature, I suggest more legislators than Chris Tuck should reflect on this article.
    Several of the responses to the questions are, to me, stunning. I have never seen such an indictment of competency and ability. These responses demonstrate that Speaker Chenault presides over a reactive cabal, not a deliberative legislative body. How comforting to hear the Speaker tell you in response to a question regarding if input from local authorities could help with legislative intent: “No, what’s lacking is the legislature’s ability to decide what they want to do.”
    I was particularly impressed to find that these school board officials, even after all this state spending, still face expenses associated with deferred maintenance. Perhaps they should characterize future performance of deferred maintenance as “doldrums prevention” because that is what seems to motivate the Alaska Legislature as explained by the Speaker: “But, yeah, I mean we’ve have spent some exorbitant amounts of money on capital projects throughout the state that have kept Alaska out of the doldrums as far as what the rest of the U.S. has seen in the last recession.” So apparently the actual purpose of a capital expenditure was not as important as the creation of employment to prevent the “doldrums” . Well, even the Speaker admits they are now facing problems funding “doldrums prevention” given the price of oil .
    I know what we need is even more secret caucus meetings and the closing of the forum to public debate by committee chairs being granted defacto veto power by refusing to hold hearings. And of course, we want to continue to have membership in the majority caucus to be contingent on absolute support of the final budget. How else can we continue to fund “doldrums prevention”.

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