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].

The offices of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are seen in Juneau on Friday, July 1, 2022.

Alaska Department of Health turns down new hospital facility in South Anchorage

By: - October 2, 2023

The Alaska Department of Health has rejected a new $18 million emergency hospital facility in South Anchorage, saying in an analysis that there isn’t enough demand for it. In a public notice published Friday, the state said it will not issue what is known as a “certificate of need” for the facility. Alaska is one […]

This slide presented to the Alaska House Finance Committee on Thursday, March 16, 2023, shows a satellite view of the Mustang Road. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority is planning to give the road to the state as part of its annual state-mandated dividend. (Alaska Legislature screenshot)

After being bailed out by Alaska’s state government, North Slope oil field is eyed for sale

By: - September 30, 2023

Alaska’s state-owned development bank is planning to sell a troubled North Slope oil field development that previously received a state bailout loan. At a regularly scheduled meeting Sept. 21, the board of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority agreed to open final negotiations for the sale of Mustang Holdings LLC to the subsidiary of […]

This oil and gas offshore infrastructure is located in Cook Inlet. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Northern Journal)

As oil companies show little interest, feds cancel plans for drilling off Alaska shores

By: - September 29, 2023

There will be no new offshore oil and gas sales in federal waters near Alaska anytime soon. In a plan released Friday, the Department of Interior said it will hold just three oil and gas lease sales in American federal waters between 2024 and 2029. All three will take place in the Gulf of Mexico. […]

Alaska Permanent Fund leaders discuss whether to seek exemption from open-government law

By: - September 28, 2023

The trustees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. are considering whether to back legislation that could exempt the corporation from the state’s open meetings act and the state’s procurement rules, as well as conceal personnel records from public records requests. Trustees could also find themselves supporting a proposed constitutional amendment that restructures the spendable portion […]

President Joe Biden mingles with service members and others in the audience at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Sept. 11, 2023, after he delivered a speech commemorating the terror attack that occurred 22 years earlier. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

U.S. military pay in question, including thousands in Alaska, as government shutdown approaches

By: - September 27, 2023

The three members of Alaska’s congressional delegation are trying to ensure that members of the U.S. military, civilian Department of Defense workers and military contractors remain paid during a partial federal government shutdown that could begin as soon as Sunday. In separate statements, Republican Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, and Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola […]

Alaska Permanent Fund improves after money-losing year but withdrawals still exceed earnings

By: - September 26, 2023

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.’s investment earnings were again less than withdrawals in the 12 months ending in June, according to preliminary data scheduled to be released at the corporation’s annual meeting this week in Anchorage. The corporation, which manages the $74.9 billion Alaska Permanent Fund, earned a 5.18% return, less than its goal of […]

A marijuana activist holds a flag during a march on Independence Day on July 4, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alaska relaxes rules for marijuana ads, allows free samples

By: - September 25, 2023

Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom has signed new regulations that allow the state’s legal marijuana businesses to advertise more widely and to distribute free samples of marijuana at retail stores. The regulations, signed Sept. 8, go into effect Oct. 8, and are part of a broad wave of regulatory changes affecting the state’s marijuana industry. […]

Afternoon traffic is seen in downtown Fairbanks on March 1. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

U.S. Department of Labor asks federal judge to force inspections of Fairbanks-area gold mine

By: - September 22, 2023

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is asking a U.S. District Court judge for an unusual court order requiring a Fairbanks gold mine to open its gates for inspectors. On Sept. 8, attorneys representing the Department of Labor asked Judge Josh Kindred for speedy consideration of their request. According to court documents, mine operator […]

With Alaska’s federal judge vacancy nearing 2-year mark, Sullivan breaks from nomination tradition

By: - September 22, 2023

Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has picked a nine-member panel to help him select nominees for a long-vacant federal judgeship in Alaska, eschewing the traditional process. In a written statement, Sullivan said the new Alaska Federal Judiciary Council will help “identify federal judiciary candidates of character, experience, and an unflinching commitment to the rule […]

Alaskans will receive a $1,312 Permanent Fund Dividend payment this year, near legislators’ estimate

By: - September 21, 2023

This year’s Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend will be $1,312. The Alaska Department of Revenue announced the figure Thursday, two weeks before the annual cash payments will be delivered by direct deposit. PFD applications that were filed electronically, slated for direct deposit and have been deemed eligible will be paid out Oct. 5.  The Department of […]

No special session this year on fiscal issues, Alaska legislators say

By: - September 21, 2023

The Alaska Legislature will not meet in a special session this fall to discuss a long-term fiscal plan for the state. Lawmakers had discussed the possibility of a special session in the spring, but in the last days of the regular session and in the following weeks, they drifted apart on key elements of a […]

Sun shines through the canopy in the Tongass National Forest. (Photo by Brian Logan/U.S. Forest Service)

In new challenges to Alaska forest’s ‘Roadless Rule,’ pro-logging arguments have disappeared

By: - September 20, 2023

The state of Alaska, a coalition of business groups and a pair of electric-power organizations have opened a new round in the generation-long fight over environmental protections in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. On Sept. 8, the state and two other groups of plaintiffs filed three separate federal lawsuits to challenge a Biden administration rule […]