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May 16, 2021

Alaska Mining Project Threatens Salmon, Water, and Native Communities

Trump Administration officials have fast-tracked permits for the largest open-pit mine in North America. The proposed Pebble Mine had previously seemed paralyzed, after more than a decade of relentless opposition by Alaska Native elders and youth. Now, plans for the mine are being rushed forward. The final public comment period for the proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permits ends on June 29, 2019. Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote that it would result in a “complete loss of fish habitat” (PDF) in a proposed determination to block Pebble Mine. The mine is planned to…

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The call is coming from inside the House!

The End is Just the Beginning…       DAY 122 IS DAY 1 The regular legislative session is over. The constitution says that the 121st day shall be the last! Unless of course they extend it for 10 days. Or unless someone calls a special session to deal with particular legislation, which is exactly what happened last night. Before legislators gaveled out, or had the chance to call themselves back to special session, Gov. Mike Dunleavy summoned the press to tell them that he’d be calling a special session on the crime bill, the PFD, and the budget. No…

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Where’s the $3000, and Who’s Vetting These People?

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Administration   The big news today is that the Senate passed their version of the budget, and everyone’s talking about how it contains a $3000 PFD, which is true. But lots of other things happened, and we’ll get to that in a moment. But before we do, there are a couple other happenings worth noting. “WHO’S VETTING THESE PEOPLE?” Stephen Moore Alaskans have been saying that since the very beginning of the Dunleavy appointment process. Remember Quick & Chance? No, not a quaint Dickensian law firm – the first two casualties of…

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You Can’t Fire a Fetus & Other Lessons from the Alaska Legislature

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration It’s been a week since the marathon joint session convened and voted on Governor Mike Dunleavy’s appointees to boards and commissions – and there have been a few developments with some of the rejected nominees. “EAGLEXIT” First, there was Mike Tovaliero. He was the one rejected from the Board of Realtors for several reasons including: his seeming lack of understanding of which board he was nominated for;  his losing interview strategy of being belligerent to legislators and not forthcoming when asked questions; and his problematic Twitter feed which featured both original…

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Governor’s Appointments – Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration The Governor’s appointments and how they went down   THUMBS UP/THUMBS DOWN Well, that was a whopper. The governor’s appointees to commissioner positions and to boards and commissions were up for confirmation yesterday, and the joint floor session with members of the House and Senate took 7 hours and 48 minutes to wind up. At the end, all of the governor’s picks for Commissioner positions (even the most controversial) were passed with a majority of votes, but 6 appointees to the many boards and commissions in the state were rejected. And…

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Alaska House Republicans are Off the Rails

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Administration The House Minority goes off the rails *Quick refresher: The House Majority is made up of a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who came together because they shared the desire to get something accomplished, and together they represent the majority of legislators who couldn’t abide the thought of the far-right types running the show. The House Minority is made up of the leftovers (all Republicans) who think Dunleavy’s budget is super great (or doesn’t go far enough), that moderate Republicans are “traitors,” and Democrats are all socialists who are out…

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Governor/Koch Brothers’ Roadshow Ends. Alaska Shows Up.

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Administration The End of the Road(show) That’s all, folks! The Dunleavy/Americans for Prosperity/Koch brothers’ roadshow hit the end of the road. Let’s just say it didn’t go quite as the sponsors or the governor had hoped. After a giant protest and a RECALL DUNLEAVY banner in Anchorage, and a schooling in civic engagement in Nome, the roadshow had its final stops in Fairbanks and Wasilla. There were notably zero stops in Southeast where the governor plans to gut the Marine Highway system. THE ROAD SHOW, FAIRBANKS – THE 400 Fairbanks was having…

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Gov’s Koch brothers-sponsored road show hits rough road

TALL TALES from Juneau Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock Administration In which the governor meets Alaska Knock, knock. It’s Anchorage! (Photo courtesy of John Aronno, AK Ledger)   1-2-3 JUMP! What a week. I suppose we’d better just jump right in to the deep end of the pool. The governor has without a doubt violated his oath to uphold the Constitution of the State of Alaska. And he’s still doing it right now. He had 45 days to appoint a Superior Court Judge to a vacant seat in Palmer. See Article IV, section 5.  And he didn’t. It wasn’t an oversight….

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Governor on the fire escape. This is not a good sign.

TALL TALES from Juneau (and beyond) Eyes on the Dunleavy/Babcock administration Forwarded from a friend? Join our email list HERE AND THE AWARD FOR BEST DRAMA GOES TO… The House Minority (which is filled with Republicans who refuse to work with their peers in the Majority coalition) shows once again why their Republican colleagues preferred to work with Democrats to actually get things done. Three minority members on the House Education Committee – Josh Revak (R-Anchorage), Ben Carpenter (R- Kenai), and DeLena Johnson (R-Palmer) decided that the vote their committee was about to take on the governor’s austerity budget, was…

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Environmental Skulduggery is Afoot in Alaska

TALL TALES from Juneau… and BEYOND!   PANTS ON FIRE! Reports are coming from far and wide that the new Senate Majority response to Alaskans who suggest revamping our oil tax credit structure is more or less this: “Oh, we got rid of oil tax credits. They’re gone. They don’t exist anymore. So… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Don’t know what you’re talking about!” Sorry, we call moose nuggets on that one. If anyone tries to flim-flam you with the “we don’t do that anymore” nonsense, here’s the deal. Cathy Giessel, Lora Reinbold, Shelley Hughes and others are regurgitating a bizarre talking point, and…

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