James Brooks

James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Alaska will recount seven-vote margin in state House race, plus a close Senate finish

By: - December 6, 2022

The Alaska Division of Elections will recount two close finishes from the November general election beginning Wednesday in Juneau. Denny Wells, the Democratic candidate for House District 15 in Anchorage, requested a recount of his seven-vote loss to Republican incumbent Rep. Tom McKay, and Roselynn Cacy, the Democratic candidate for Senate District E in South […]

The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Judicial Council nominates four for upcoming vacancy on state Supreme Court

By: - December 6, 2022

The nonpartisan Alaska Judicial Council has nominated four people for an upcoming vacancy on the Alaska Supreme Court. Gov. Mike Dunleavy now has 45 days to select Anchorage Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby, Department of Law attorney Kate Demarest, Fairbanks attorney Aimee Oravec, or Sitka Superior Court Judge Jude Pate for the state’s highest court. […]

Some rural votes were again left uncounted in Alaska’s statewide election

By: - December 6, 2022

Ballots from six rural Alaska villages were not fully counted in Alaska’s November elections, the Division of Elections said Friday. A division official said the U.S. Postal Service failed to deliver them to the state election headquarters before the election was certified on Nov. 30. “You’ll need to contact the USPS to find out why […]

This screenshot from Gavel Alaska shows Senior Assistant Attorney General Margaret Paton-Walsh speaking in front of the Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Anchorage.

Selection committee votes Tuesday on finalists for Alaska Supreme Court vacancy

By: - December 5, 2022

The seven members of the Alaska Judicial Council will vote Tuesday morning on a shortlist of nominees to become the next member of the Alaska Supreme Court. Since Monday morning, members of the council — which includes the Chief Justice, three attorneys appointed by the Alaska Bar Association and three public members appointed by the […]

Alaska Rep. Eastman, contending with Red Scare-era disloyalty clause, advances toward trial

By: - December 5, 2022

In November 1955, the 55 delegates of Alaska’s constitutional convention gathered in Fairbanks, intent on drafting the fundamental document for a new state. But before they began, each member stood and swore an oath, declaring they were not a member of the Communist Party and did not support any organization that advocated the overthrow of […]

The House chambers are seen on Friday, May 13, 2022, at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

In Anchorage House race, losing Republican candidate sues Democratic winner, challenging her residency

By: - December 1, 2022

A Republican who lost her race for the state House in west Anchorage is suing the Democratic victor, claiming the winner failed to live in Alaska long enough before registering for office. Liz Vazquez and four supporters sued Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer and Gail Fenumiai, head of the Alaska Division of Elections, on Wednesday in […]

Alaska’s congressional delegation splits on vote to block railroad workers’ strike

By: - December 1, 2022

The U.S. Senate voted 80-15 on Thursday to approve a resolution that prevents workers in 12 Lower 48 railroad unions from going on strike. The measure, which passed the House earlier this week, now goes to President Joe Biden, who urged Congress to pass the measure. Alaska’s three-person congressional delegation split on the proposal. Sen. […]

Elections workers double-check the results of Alaska's Aug. 16, 2022, primary election during a meeting of the state review board on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, at the Alaska Division of Elections in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska certifies final election results, but three state House races face further hurdles

By: - November 30, 2022

The Alaska Division of Elections uneventfully certified the results of the state’s Nov. 8 general election on Wednesday, becoming the 26th state to finalize its election.  None of Alaska’s 62 legislative and statewide races changed leaders as members of the multipartisan state review board examined unofficial results for accuracy, then signed an oath on Tuesday.   […]

Fishing boats line the dock in Kodiak's St. Paul Harbor on Oct. 3. One recommendation being considered by the Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force is a conversion to a quota-share "rationalization" system for Gulf of Alaska trawlers to encourage more careful harvesting. But the idea has been controversial in Kodiak and other Gulf of Alaska towns. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

North Pacific Seafoods pays EPA to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations from illegal incinerators

By: - November 30, 2022

One of Alaska’s most prominent seafood companies will pay $345,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency after illegally operating three incinerators in Naknek. The EPA announced a settlement agreement with North Pacific Seafoods on Tuesday. Alice Corcoran, a public relations officer for the EPA, characterized the settlement as “on the bigger side of big” for the […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 26: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) questions Gina Raimondo, nominee for Secretary of Commerce, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in the Russell Senate Office Building on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. If confirmed, Raimondo will leave her post as Governor of Rhode Island. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

Murkowski and Sullivan vote to advance same-sex marriage bill to U.S. House

By: - November 30, 2022

Alaska’s two U.S. senators joined 10 other Republicans on Tuesday in voting to advance legal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. The Respect for Marriage Act, which passed the Senate in a 61-36 vote, now goes to the House, which passed a different version of the bill earlier this year.  The votes of both senators […]

The Port of Alaska is seen from the air on Aug. 11, 2022. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska would be insulated from a nationwide railroad strike, officials say

By: - November 29, 2022

If a nationwide rail strike takes place this month, the Alaska Railroad will keep moving, but tieups in the Lower 48 could disrupt cargo that comes to Alaska from Seattle and Tacoma, officials said this week. Several unions are planning a strike that could begin as soon as Dec. 9 after the failure of contract […]

While cryptocurrencies struggle, Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. faces little threat

By: - November 29, 2022

On Monday, the cryptocurrency bank BlockFi filed for bankruptcy, the announcement coming less than three weeks after the financial implosion of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The collapse of free-wheeling and unregulated cryptocurrencies is having an impact on investors who were at the bleeding edge of finance, but the impact on the […]