Author

Lisa Phu

Lisa Phu

Lisa Phu covers justice, education, and culture for the Alaska Beacon. Previously, she spent eight years as an award-winning journalist, reporting for the Juneau Empire, KTOO Public Media, KSTK, and Wrangell Sentinel. She's also been Public Information Officer for the City and Borough of Juneau, lead facilitator for StoryCorps Alaska based in Utqiagvik, and a teacher in Tanzania and Bhutan. Originally from New York, Lisa is a first generation Chinese American and a mom of two young daughters. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced on Aug. 23, 2022, that it is donating a significant piece of undeveloped waterfront property in Juneau to Huna Totem. The 2.9-acre piece of property is located at Egan Drive and Whittier Street. (Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority photo)

Cruise line donation at Juneau waterfront aids Huna Totem’s cultural tourism expansion in Alaska

By: - August 25, 2022

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced on Tuesday that it is donating a significant piece of undeveloped waterfront property in Juneau to Huna Totem, an Alaska Native corporation. In 2019, the cruise line paid $20 million for the property, which was appraised for less than a fifth of that amount.  Mickey Richardson, Huna Totem’s director of […]

University of Alaska faculty members and supporters march in front of the Alaska State Capitol during a United Academics rally June 22, 2022.

University of Alaska administration rejects faculty’s latest contract proposal

By: - August 23, 2022

University of Alaska administration did not accept the latest proposed contract from its faculty union during a federal mediation session on Monday. Instead, it responded with another offer, which is confidential. University associate vice president of public affairs Robbie Graham, speaking on behalf of the administration, said the administration and faculty union United Academics have […]

Republican Nick Begich waves at motorists passing through Midtown Anchorage during rush hour on Aug. 16. Begich is one of three listed candidates competing in the state's first ranked-choice election. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

How 26K+ votes left to be counted could impact the race to finish Don Young’s term

By: - August 22, 2022

At least 26,400 votes are still left to be counted in the Aug. 16 election in Alaska. Democrat Mary Peltola currently leads the special general election race to fill the remainder of the late Congressman Don Young’s term with about 38% of the votes counted so far ranking her first. The remaining more than 60% […]

Associate Professor of Chemistry at University of Alaska Southeast Lisa Hoferkamp looks at colleague Jill Dumesnil, professor of mathematics, as she talks during a United Academics rally June 22, 2022, in front of the Alaska Capitol.

University of Alaska faculty union hopes to end a year of contract negotiations on Monday

By: - August 19, 2022

With another federal mediation session scheduled for Monday, the University of Alaska faculty union is hopeful it will come to an agreement with the university administration on a new contract. That’s after a year of negotiations and the union agreeing to the administration’s latest compensation offer, which is significantly below what the union originally asked […]

Signs for Lisa Murkowski line Northern Lights Boulevard on Aug. 16, the day of Alaska's primary election. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Murkowski’s lead grows, benefiting from open primary

By: - August 17, 2022

As election day results came in late Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning, Alaska’s sitting U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski’s ever so slight lead over Trump-backed Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka widened. By Wednesday afternoon, the trend continued. “Alaskans made it clear they want a Senator who puts Alaska first, always. Seniority matters. Honesty matters and […]

Murkowski leads Tshibaka in first test of Republicans’ strength

By: - August 17, 2022

In unofficial results, Alaska’s sitting U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski has a small lead in the primary race for U.S. Senate over Trump-backed Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka, about 2 percentage points ahead. As of 12:16 a.m. Wednesday, Murkowski had 43.3% of the vote, while Tshibaka had about 41%, representing a difference of 3,246 votes. Amy Lauren Lovecraft, professor […]

A polling place sign at the State Office Building in Juneau on Aug. 15, 2022.

How to vote in Alaska’s primary and special U.S. House elections

By: - August 16, 2022

Tuesday, Aug. 16, is an election day in Alaska. This is an in-person election, so voters who haven’t voted early or absentee will need to go to a polling place on Tuesday to cast their votes. Voters will be weighing in on two elections: a pick-one regular primary election for U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, governor/lieutenant […]

After Lisa Murkowski, Kelly Tshibaka and Patricia Chesbro, it's not clear who will fill out Alaska's general election ballot for the U.S. Senate seat. (Lisa Murkowski photo is from her Senate page. The Kelly Tshibaka and Patricia Chesbro photos are campaign photos.)

In Alaska U.S. Senate primary, a race to finish fourth

By: - August 1, 2022

The majority of voters going to the polls Aug. 16 will likely be choosing one of three candidates for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat as their pick-one primary option: incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski, Republican Party-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka or Democratic Party-endorsed Patricia Chesbro. It’s the top four candidates, though, who will advance to the November ranked choice […]

(Photo by Krisanapong Detraphiphat/Getty Images)

Cost estimates for constitutional convention in Alaska range widely

By: - July 29, 2022

This November, voters will be asked whether or not to call a constitutional convention, which could pave the way for changing the Alaska state constitution. If Alaskans vote ‘yes,’ cost estimates to hold a convention range from a few million dollars to $20 million. One Republican senator said a gathering to propose amendments and changes […]

Alaska joins lawsuit challenging USDA’s prohibition of LGBTQ discrimination

By: - July 28, 2022

Alaska’s attorney general joined 21 others in suing to block the federal government from enforcing a prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, is focused on school meal and other federal food aid programs. It claims the U.S. Department of Agriculture “issued directives and rules that misconstrue the […]

(Photo by Eyecrave Productions/Getty Images)

State OKs public funds for private education to support, but not replace, Alaska public education

By: - July 25, 2022

The Alaska Department of Law issued an opinion Monday saying public money can be spent for home-school students to attend one or two classes in a private school, but can’t be used for most of a student’s private school tuition.  The 19-page opinion says that it’s sometimes legal to use public funds for private school […]

University of Alaska faculty members and supporters march in front of the Alaska State Capitol during a United Academics rally June 22, 2022.

After close to a year of negotiations, university and faculty union still at odds

By: - July 25, 2022

University of Alaska administration and the faculty union have still not come to an agreement for a new contract, after almost a year of negotiations. The parties had three sessions of federal mediation in late June and July. Another is scheduled this week, but there’s a chance the process could be further extended if the […]