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].

Legislative committee approves $100,000 for ‘friendly’ lawsuit against executive branch

By: - July 15, 2022

A billion-dollar dispute between Alaska’s legislative and executive branches may be settled by a lawsuit approved Thursday by a committee of the Alaska Legislature. The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, which includes members of the state House and Senate, voted unanimously to approve $100,000 and hire an outside legal firm to represent the Legislature in […]

Judge rejects attempt to block Alaska’s dark-money political disclosure law

By: - July 14, 2022

A federal judge has rejected an attempt to temporarily block a new Alaska law requiring greater disclosure of third-party donations to political campaigns. On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason issued an order denying a preliminary injunction requested by seven plaintiffs, including two groups that have a history of supporting Republican candidates. Gleason concluded […]

Facing lawsuits, Alaska lawmakers consider new social media policy

By: - July 14, 2022

With two of its members facing lawsuits for their social media practices, the Alaska Legislature is contemplating new advice and policies to cover its 60 members. On Thursday, the joint House-Senate Legislative Council unveiled its first draft of a new policy, but individual lawmakers voiced objections to the proposal, and further revisions are expected before […]

As Kuskokwim fishing lawsuit grows, lawyers say subsistence could be affected across Alaska

By: - July 12, 2022

A legal dispute between the U.S. government and the state of Alaska about subsistence fishing on the Kuskokwim River is growing, and a leading Native corporation says it could endanger subsistence hunting and fishing rights across Alaska. In a filing this month, attorneys representing Ahtna Inc. said the state is arguing a position that — […]

After lawsuit, a major Alaska North Slope oil project is again moving forward

By: - July 11, 2022

On Friday, the federal Bureau of Land Management released a draft environmental impact statement for the Willow project, a major oil development planned for federal land on Alaska’s North Slope. Willow, which at peak production is expected to deliver as much as 180,000 barrels of oil per day to the trans-Alaska Pipeline System, is opposed […]

Last week to register for Alaska’s Aug. 16 elections

By: - July 11, 2022

This is the last week to register to vote before Alaska’s Aug. 16 primary election and the special election for U.S. House. Potential voters must register by July 17 in order to participate in the elections, which will take place on the same day.  Voters will not automatically receive a ballot in the mail for […]

Trump supporters line up for hours from across Alaska for rally

By: - July 9, 2022

The man under investigation and accused of attempting to overturn the last U.S. presidential election was cheered and applauded Saturday by more than 5,000 people in Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Arena. Former President Donald Trump fulfilled a year-old promise to campaign in Alaska when he arrived at the arena, and thousands of Alaskans waited in line […]

In Anchorage, Trump favors ‘God, guns and oil,’ plus Tshibaka, Palin and Dunleavy

By: - July 9, 2022

In front of more than 5,000 cheering supporters at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, former President Donald Trump fulfilled a year-old promise to campaign in Alaska against incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Republicans who voted in favor of his conviction following the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that targeted Congress. With a […]

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks on the state budget at a news conference on June June 28, 2022, in Anchorage. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy temporarily replaces chief of staff

By: - July 8, 2022

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s chief of staff has been temporarily replaced due to family health issues, the governor’s deputy communications director said Wednesday. Chief of Staff Randy Ruaro has been Dunleavy’s lead administrator since Ben Stevens left the governor’s administration in February 2021. Jeff Turner, the governor’s deputy communications director, said he does not know how […]

Despite federal warning, Alaska alcohol board says distilleries can keep selling kegged cocktails

By: - July 8, 2022

Alaska’s state alcohol regulator is declining to stop distilleries from selling kegs of premixed cocktails despite a warning by federal regulators, who have concluded that the process is illegal.  Last week, the Alaska Alcohol Control Board rescinded an advisory notice that had cautioned distilleries against selling kegs to bars and other places with alcohol licenses. […]

Biden picks Alaskan for public broadcasting board

By: - July 7, 2022

President Joe Biden has nominated Rasmuson Foundation President and CEO Diane Kaplan to be a member of the board of directors for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The nomination was announced Thursday morning by the White House.  Kaplan is the first Alaskan to be nominated for the board, which was created in 1967 to support […]

Southwest Alaska wildfire sweeps through Pebble Mine site

By: - July 6, 2022

A Southwest Alaska wildfire has burned through the site of a support camp for the Pebble Mine project as the state’s wildfire season remains on pace to be one of the worst on record. Almost 2.4 million acres have burned through Wednesday morning, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.  Firefighters have kept flames away […]