Multiple agencies under a unified command continue to respond to potential pollution from the fishing vessel Akutan in Captains Bay near Unalaska, Sunday.
ANCHORAGE, AK – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) this week welcomed Nancy Wallace, director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, to Alaska. The Senator and Director Wallace joined a roundtable discussion with Peter Murphy, Alaska regional coordinator of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Chris Pallister, director of Gulf of Alaska Keeper, and Molly McCammon, director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System, on the topic of marine debris and the Senator’s Save Our Seas (SOS) Act, which passed the Senate in early August.
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today announced his retirement after a 40-year career, characterized by his climb from a firefighter to a District Ranger, Forest Supervisor to the head of the U.S. Forest Service, leading more than 30,000 employees working in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico.
Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in July, up two-tenths of a percentage point from June. The rate is up half a percentage point from the beginning of the year. The comparable national rate for July was 4.3 percent.
The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) has opened a public process to gather information about broadband internet service in Alaska, including current and future projects. The RCA will use the voluntary information for a report to the Alaska Legislature. The effort to examine the availability of broadband internet in Alaska is the result of intent language inserted into the FY 2018 budget at the behest of House Finance Committee member Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks).
Governor Bill Walker today signed a trio of bills in Southeast Alaska. Senate Bill 3 reestablishes “best management” standards for the handling of waste water discharged from small commercial passenger vessels – including state ferries – while Senate Bill 33 officially names the two new Alaska Class Ferries currently under construction M/V Tazlina and M/V Hubbard. Senate Bill 88 complements federal legislation to approve a land trade between the United States Forest Service and the Alaska Mental Health Trust. SB 3 was signed in Sitka; SB 33 and 88 were signed in Ketchikan.
The Department of Law announced the appointment of Gustaf Olson as the new Kodiak District Attorney starting September 1, 2017. Mr. Olson replaces Steve Wallace who became the Bethel District Attorney earlier this summer.
The Coast Guard 17th District is scheduled to host its annual Buoy Tender Roundup in Juneau, Alaska, Aug. 14-18.
Today, the Municipality of Anchorage announced a data-sharing partnership with Waze (http://www.waze.com), the free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app powered by the world’s largest community of drivers. Designed as a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information, the Connected Citizens Program promotes greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads for citizens of the Municipality of Anchorage along with more than 250 other partners around the world.