Puppy lost in the Chilkat Lake area. His name is Ollie (OH- LEE) he has a black face, looks...
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From Our Listeners
Alaska and Yukon Headlines
Senate President Charlie Huggins says lawmakers are aiming to complete their work by Saturday night.
Sunday is the scheduled end of the 90-day session, but that’s Easter. Legislative leaders have said they’d like to complete their work before then, if possible.
There are several major pieces in play, including the budgets and bills dealing with education, the state’s unfunded pension obligation and setting the state’s participation rate in a major liquefied natural gas project.
Also pending is a bill to raise Alaska’s minimum wage. The House narrowly passed such legislation Sunday, amid questions of lawmakers’ motives. Voters are scheduled to vote on a similar measure later this year.
Huggins says the bill would need to have the votes to reach the Senate floor. He said that could be a challenge.
A Saint Marys man has died in a one-vehicle crash involving an all-terrain vehicle.
Alaska State Troopers say in a web posting that 27-year-old Joe Bryan Joe died at the scene of the accident, near the confluence of the Andreafsky and Yukon rivers.
Troopers were notified of the death about 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Joe’s next-of-kin have been notified, and the body will be sent to Anchorage for an autopsy.
A passenger on the ATV received minor injuries, and was treated at a local clinic.
Troopers say alcohol and poor weather are believed to have played a role in the accident.
Johnny B. travels throughout Alaska by bush plane to play his signature boogie woogie piano music to remote audiences.
Video and Story:
Travis Gilmour and Slavik Boyechko
Johnny B. – http://johnnyb88.com
In a video making the rounds on the web, skier Reese Hanneman is towed behind an Aviat Husky aircraft through a snowfield. But is it legal?April 15, 2014
At any given day at Southside Gym in Anchorage, Alaskan powerlifters who compete in the Special Olympics can be found working out, trash-talking and joking around.April 15, 2014
Legislature Passes Bill On AGDC Appointment
The Associated Press
The Alaska Legislature has passed a measure allowing out-of-state residents to serve on the board of a corporation that could play a key role in a major liquefied natural gas pipeline project.
The Senate’s 13-7 vote helps clear the way for Richard Rabinow, a former pipeline company executive from Texas, to serve on the board of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.
Governor Sean Parnell appointed Rabinow last September and has defended the appointment as falling within his discretion under the constitution. Rabinow faces confirmation Thursday.
Supporters of the bill, including House Speaker Mike Chenault, have said it was an oversight to not explicitly allow for out-of-state residents to serve on the board. They say they want the best people possible to serve.
Opponents say Alaskans should make policy decisions for Alaskans.
Legislature Considers $150m to Help Refineries
Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC
The Flint Hills refinery in North Pole plans to cease operation this spring, and the Parnell Administration warns Petro Star’s refinery in North Pole might be next. A bill crafted by the Administration would prop up Alaska’s three remaining oil refineries with $150 million in state funds. But, even some legislators who are helping advance the bill say they’re uncomfortable with the loose terms of the giveaway.
Nikiski LNG Plant May Reopen Soon
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer
The ConocoPhillips LNG plant in Nikiski may be re-opening soon, thanks to a boost from the federal government. The Department of Energy announced Monday that it has approved a request from the company to resume LNG exports to Japan.
Yukon Fishermen Prepare For Summer Of Conservation
Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel
Fishers on the Kuskokwim River are expecting unprecedented restrictions to bring more king salmon to spawning grounds. On the Yukon River, fisherman can expect a similar set of restrictions.
Some Southeast Chinook Runs Expected To Be Strong
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
King Salmon are expected to be plentiful in parts of Southeast Alaska this summer.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game this month announced a king salmon harvest quota allowed under the Pacific Salmon Treaty and based on the forecasts of Chinook returning to rivers and streams on the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada.
MEA Official Accuses Anchorage Assembly Of Misusing City Funds
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
A Matanuska Electric Association official charges that the Anchorage Municipal Assembly is spending city funds on private interests. Joe Griffith, MEA’s executive director, has contacted Anchorage officials with concerns that city money is being spent on one Assemblyman’s legal fight against a power station upgrade.
Haines Residents Pursue Railroad Link
Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines
Some residents in Haines are pursing the dream of a railroad that may one day link the community to Interior Alaska, Yukon mines and to a future port facility. The state and other stakeholders aren’t dismissing the idea outright.
Group Uses National Water Dance To Raise Compassion
Johanna Eurich, APRN Contributor
A small group of people gathered Saturday in Anchorage to use art to make change. The National Water Dance was an effort to use the art of human movement to generate compassion for the nation’s streams, lakes and oceans.
Earlier this month, lawmakers announced they were killing House Bill 77, saying that emotions had become so inflamed over the permitting bill that it was best left alone. But now, some of its less controversial provisions might be coming back in a different form.
Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash does not undersell the heartburn that HB77 caused. He’ll even refer to it as “toxic,” and jokes about it being “tightly bound” in a casket.
So, when asked what parts of the bill he wants to come back this session, he’s very clear.
“We had all kinds things that caught a lot of heat and light from the public: general permits, appeals, water provisions, temporary water uses, reservations. None of that is what we’re talking about.”
The Parnell administration is currently working with Rep. Cathy Muñoz, a Juneau Republican, to revive language provisions dealing with land exchanges and leases. The idea is to attach it to Senate Bill 106, which already deals with the selling of state land.
Balash says he asked the sponsor of that bill, Sen. Kevin Meyer, if that could work without hijacking the legislation. Meyer was friendly to the idea of SB109 being used as a vehicle.
“This is hitchhiking. He pulled over. Said get in,” says Balash. “We’re good.”
The pressing argument for reviving the land exchange language is to allow property swaps in places like Ketchikan, Anchor Point, and Juneau.
Rep. Cathy Muñoz says the Juneau land swap in question has dragged out for more than a decade under existing statute.
“The trail that accesses Point Bridget State Park is on private land. So there’s a great interest on the part of the State and also on the part of Echo Ranch in having an equal value trade so the State can have access to the park, and Echo Ranch will have access to their facility.”
Balash says there was language in HB77 that would have let that deal go through. He says before the administration began real work to bring back those provisions, they went back to see if those sections of the bill had ruffled any feathers.
“We’ve not gotten negative testimony on it. There were never any amendments offered to undo or take out these provisions,” says Balash. “So, no zombies here.”
Because of the sensitive nature of the bill, the administration has been going around to lawmakers’ offices to see if they’re comfortable with the idea.
Sen. Peter Micciche, a Soldotna Republican, was among those who got briefed on the matter. Micciche had a number of reservations with the original bill, and he worked with the administration to try to rewrite it in a way that better balanced the interests of conservation and development.
Micciche says he agrees with Balash that some parts of the bill that should pass, and that he’s open to what the administration’s proposing on land exchanges. But he’s not willing to touch anything that generated negative public testimony.
“If they try to go into some of the other sections, then it’s too late,” says Micciche. “It’s too late to talk about those things this year.”
For his part, Balash says the administration is willing to drop the issue if there’s any push-back.
“If it were to become controversial, it’s not worth taking any heat over,” says Balash.
The exact changes that are being considered have not become public. Balash says they could come in the form of a bill rewrite sometime this week, or as an amendment to the land sale bill.