Who do Alaskans like for president?
The Big Reveal: First Alaska straw poll for 2024 presidential race
Good morning! Welcome to the Must Read Alaska newsletter
Check for more news online at Must Read Alaska later today.
907 readers from The 907 voted in our Question of the Week. Who is the favorite in this first straw poll in Alaska for the 2024 presidential race? Scroll on down for the answer.
Some days, hiring 12 new people is a really big deal
The Alaska Marine Highway System just hired a dozen workers to fill the extreme worker shortage, which is felt across all sectors in Alaska.
In previous years, hiring 12 people would not be newsworthy, but in an era of worker shortages, this is good news for coastal communities that are more frequently stranded because ferries are tied to the dock with no one to run them. Even the Governor’s Office made note of the occasion, giving the new employees a shout-out on Twitter. It will be a busy summer for them all.
Running for midtown Anchorage Assembly seat, Travis Szanto had a great turnout at his fundraiser on Thursday. The ballots go out on March 14. Can he beat Felix Rivera? Check out his website below for more info.
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Murkowski distancing herself from Willow decision
Observers were not encouraged by Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s remarks to the Legislature, when she said she all-but warned the Willow oil project in the NPR-A may not be given the go-ahead by the Biden Administration. Murkowski, in the Senate since 2002, chooses her words carefully, so this had meaning. It appeared she was setting the Legislature’s expectations low for the Biden decision in early March. Then she catalogued all the outmigration and how we are 49th in everything.
Murkowski took a pot shot at Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson, saying she was shocked that Anchorage was looking for more money for the Port of Alaska and that she had to read about it in the Anchorage Daily News. She appeared frustrated with Bronson and aired that frustration publicly, (which he’s now having to read about in the conservative media.)
She did not talk about what her vote will be on raising the debt ceiling, but she has voted for seven out of the last 10 debt ceiling increases. More on that at Must Read Alaska later today.
Murkowski worries about Alaska
Of Sen. Murkowski’s speech, Dana Stabenow, founder of Storyknife Writers Retreat in Homer, said it was a “Damn good speech. I hope the #akleg listened and will act upon what they heard.” Storyknife, readers will recall, was the recipient of the funds that Murkowski’s campaign got from now-indicted FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and associates, funds that the bankruptcy court says ought to be returned because injured parties need to be made whole. Now, it’s her PR department.
Later, Murkowski had an event at Louie’s in Douglas, on the other side of the bridge from Juneau, and she and Rep. Mary Peltola hung out with the locals.
Take a video tour inside Alaska’s largest cold-weather shelter with coordinator Alexis Johnson
It’s not a place most on the Anchorage Assembly have ever visited (they say it is unsafe), but you can tag along with John Quick as he videos the inside of the Sullivan Arena and talks to the people trying to help the homeless.
Big Reveal: Question of the Week survey
Of the 907 people who voted in our first Question of the Week for 2023, here are the results. Analysis and explanation are here.
Check back on Monday for a new big 907 Question of the Week.
Vivek Ramaswamy wants to put 'merit' back into America
The first millennial to announce for president, he is an entrepreneur from Cincinnati, Ohio, the state that has produced the most presidents. He fights critical race theory.
Gov. Dunleavy, one eye on Ukraine, creates energy security task force
Dunleavy is concerned that Alaska needs to focus in on self-reliance. He’s done so with food security, and now energy security. Seats are open on this task force.
Once more, with feeling: Rep. Eastman censured by House for comment
His comment was made in a committee and was part of the deliberative process. But his enemies are taking it out of context, as usual. Different years, but same result: Eastman is martyred as the favorite kick dog.
Constantly a bully …
Twitter warriors call Eastman a Nazi, including Anchorage Assemblyman Chris Constant, who is known for his mouth. Now, Constant is calling others at-a-minimum Nazi enablers. We call this cyber-bullying. Calling someone a Nazi, when they are not a Nazi, is libel or slander, and can be actionable in court. Is it also a hate crime?
Micciche officially wins as mayor of Kenai Borough
The final count is in, and the former Alaska Senate president will take the helm at the borough.
Tom Maloney retires from Ahtna
Ahtna Netiye’, LLC promoted Roy Tansy, Jr. to chief executive officer, effective Feb. 19. He’s responsible for providing strategic leadership for Ahtna, Inc.’s operational subsidiaries. Roy has held positions with the Ahtna family of companies dating back 30 years, most recently serving as chief operating officer.
Roy succeeds the legendary and fearless Tom Maloney, who retired after eight years at the company and a diverse 45-year career.
An Ahtna shareholder, Tansy is from the Ahtna village of Cantwell and a member of the Caribou (Udzisyu) clan. He is on the boards of Alaska Native Heritage Center and Alaska Chamber of Commerce.
This day in history
Feb. 24, 2022 Russian President Vladimir Putin began a full-scale pre-dawn invasion by land, air and sea, with bombings in several cities of Ukraine. The war has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands. Russia is estimated to have lost 200,000 Russian soldiers, and Ukraine may have lost as many as 180,000. Over 30,000 civilians have been killed.
Price of Alaska oil: $79.04
Price of Henry Hub gas: $2.31
Alaska North Slope Production: 490,002
Permanent Fund (principal and earnings reserve): $77,556,900,000
Downing: Congress can save Americans’ retirement accounts from the woke wolves of Wall Street
Two wolves and a sheep decide what’s for dinner: That’s what the U.S. Department of Labor has done with American workers’ retirement accounts over the past few months. Congress must take action.
Downing: Free speech for all in the Alaska Capitol
There was a bit too much harumph and Nazi-calling in Rep. Andrew Gray, who successfully got everyone in the chamber to agree to censure Rep. David Eastman. Free speech wins the day, however — everyone got to have their say.
Dolitsky: WWII Lend-Lease suffered from miscommunications
Alaskans worked with Soviets, but later Soviet historians painted the aid program as an effort to expand American imperialism and use Soviet resistance for the West’s own mobilization. Fifth in the series on the lend-lease program that helped win World War II, but made America an odd ally with the Soviet Union.
Alex Gimarc: Carbon capture 101, Alaska style
There are a pair of bills making their way through the House with companion legislation in the Senate to carbon trading parameters in Alaska Statute. A review.
David Ignell: A human tragedy caused by OCS
One of our most read columns of the year: An autistic child, the kind of kid many Alaskans want to ignore, his condition is a product of our failed drug and rehabilitation policies.
Jamie Allard: It is time for us to blaze a new trail in education
Washington and Lincoln would agree we have a crisis in our schools. A strong nation can be brought to its knees when an entire generation is crippled by a failed education system.
Suzanne Downing: Gigi Sohn is a bad cop for FCC commissioner
She is too partisan and hates half of America. She’s even an embarrassment to Democrats. Senate should say no to Gigi.
MUST READ ALASKA PODCAST
Our last few podcasts, available at any of your podcast providers:
Rep. Jamie Allard of Eagle River is true to her word.
Representative Ben Carpenter on budgets and audits.
The Man, the Myth the Legend Pastor Dean Curry.
Mayor Edna DeVries is one of the most engaged politicians in Alaska.
Scott Kendall on what he thinks the Alaska House & Senate can get done this year.
Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa.
Congresswoman Peltola has a 56% approval rating and RCV approvals are tanking!
Anchorage Assembly candidate Spencer Moore loves Anchorage and wants to help.
Iron Dog’s Executive Director Mike Vasser.
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Would love to have that public seat on the Energy Task Force.
Constant must be shunned period! Nasty