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]

The Brady Building in downtown Anchorage is the location of the Alaska attorney general's office, on June 3, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska attorney general could benefit from state reimbursements for private schooling

By: - June 3, 2022

Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor could have a conflict of interest as the state Department of Law that he oversees looks into the legality of using public funds for private education through the state’s correspondence school, or homeschool, allotment program.  His wife is a major proponent of the concept and wrote publicly about her plan […]

(Photo by Eyecrave Productions/Getty Images)

Can public funds be used for private school classes? Education department isn’t sure

By: - June 3, 2022

The issue of whether public school funds can go toward private education is currently being reviewed by the Alaska Department of Law. Specifically, this question: Can families enrolled in a state-funded correspondence program use their allotment to pay for private school classes? A state statute paves the way for it, there are families in Alaska […]

The Sealaska Cultural Values Totem Pole represents all three tribes of Southeast Alaska – Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian.

First 360-degree totem pole in Alaska was recently installed in Juneau

By: - June 1, 2022

A new totem pole in Juneau is 22 feet tall, almost 4 feet wide at the base and about 7 to 8 feet wide where Raven and Eagle are. You have to walk around it completely to see all of the elements. Unlike most poles that are carved on one side, the Sealaska Cultural Values […]

This is a screen shot. Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska host a virtual forum for Alaska Native candidates for U.S. House on May 26, 2022.

Alaska Native candidates for U.S. House talk land into trust, climate change

By: - May 26, 2022

“I would be no more prouder in my life than to have an Alaska Native be the U.S. Congressman,” the late Alaska Rep. Don Young said at the 2011 Alaska Federation of Natives convention in reference to who might replace him, according to reporting by the Anchorage Daily News at that time. Of the 48 […]

The entrance of the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau as seen on May 25, 2022.

University faculty will not see raises in July, despite administration’s last-minute attempt

By: - May 26, 2022

University of Alaska faculty union members will not get a raise in July. That’s despite the Board of Regents last week voting to unilaterally implement a three-year contract for the faculty with salary increases lower than recent inflation. University administration said the “unprecedented action” to implement a contract the faculty union didn’t agree with was […]

Svitlana, from Ukraine, arrives at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on May 21. Holding flowers, she stands next to her sister and her sister's family, who are sponsoring her.

Ukrainians fleeing the war are finding a temporary home in Alaska

By: - May 24, 2022

Twelve Ukrainians fleeing the war in Ukraine arrived in Anchorage this past Saturday. New Chance, a nonprofit, has purchased airline tickets for about 20 more displaced people who will arrive in Fairbanks and Anchorage this week. Some are larger families with small children. They’ll live with sponsors in North Pole, Delta Junction, Wasilla and Anchorage. […]

Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Nancy Dahlstrom, former corrections commissioner and newly announced candidate for lieutenant governor, face reporters on May 23, 2022, in the Alaska Division of Elections Anchorage office. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/Alaska Beacon)

Nancy Dahlstrom is Gov. Dunleavy’s running mate in 2022 election

By: - May 23, 2022

Former Department of Corrections Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom will be Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s running mate in the 2022 election. The two Republicans announced Monday afternoon they are running as a team for governor and lieutenant governor. If they are elected, Dahlstrom will be in charge of the Division of Elections. In response to a question about […]

Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, stands outside of the Alaska State Capitol on May 20, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Legislature modernizes 40-year-old definition of consent in sexual assault cases

By: - May 20, 2022

Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, is relieved her bill to modernize the definition of consent passed this year. “When I think about a policy like a massive public safety improvement, if we delay action, I know that between now and the next time I or anyone else will have the opportunity to address that, hundreds more […]

Before session ends, reading intervention bill gets through by close House vote

By: - May 19, 2022

By a close vote of 21-19, the House passed a bill implementing a statewide approach to how schools intervene when students have difficulty reading. The measure had been blocked in the House, but the Senate included it at the last minute in another bill. Both chambers passed the bill, although most members of the House […]

Bill heading to governor creates roadmap for establishing tribally operated public schools

By: - May 18, 2022

A bill that creates a roadmap for establishing tribally operated public schools has passed the Alaska Senate and House, and is headed to the governor’s desk. Senate Bill 34 directs the Board of Education and Early Development to work with Alaska Native tribal entities on an agreement that would formally recognize the tribes’ authority to […]

This is a picture of the Alaska State Capitol on May 5, 2022 in Juneau, Alaska.

Senate tables transgender sports bill again, likely ending its chances for now

By: - May 17, 2022

A controversial Senate bill that would prohibit transgender girls from competing in girls sports got tabled Tuesday on the Senate floor – and, this time, it’s likely to stay that way. After placing a call on the house, Anchorage Republican Sen. Natasha von Imhof made a motion to table Senate Bill 140. Bill sponsor Shelley […]

Lucy Cuddy Hall, which holds the culinary arts program, is one of the prominent buildings in the west quad of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Pictured on May 16. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

University moves forward with faculty salary increases; union says negotiations aren’t done

By: - May 17, 2022

The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted on Monday to implement faculty pay increases over the next three years, despite the university and its faculty union still not coming to an agreement. The university and union have been negotiating the terms of its collective bargaining agreement for several months. University staff claimed an impasse […]