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]

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 […]

Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, discusses House Bill 5 in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, May 6, 2022 at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)

Alaska lawmakers want to modernize outdated state definition of consent

By: - May 13, 2022

When Rebecca Farrell discusses healthy relationships with her students, she describes consent as something that is freely given, reversible, informed and enthusiastic. This grouping of words is also known as FRIES. Farrell is a physical science and health teacher at Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau. “If somebody says, ‘Hey, you want to go upstairs?’ […]

Soldotna Planned Parenthood center is closing at the end of May

By: - May 13, 2022

After more than 30 years in operation, Planned Parenthood’s Soldotna clinic is closing at the end of May. Patients will be referred to the Anchorage clinic or to the organization’s telemedicine services. “In terms of just general care, anything that we can provide over telemedicine, we will. Patients would still need to come into our […]

Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska Senate on Monday, May 2, 2022 at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)

Bill aimed at reducing hair discrimination in schools is headed to governor

By: - May 11, 2022

The Senate on Wednesday agreed to accept the changes the House made to a bill that aimed to reduce hair discrimination – including the amendment to strip the protection for employees in the workplace. The bill still retains protection in public schools. “I’ll be voting yes today. Not because I support some of the changes […]

This is a picture of Anne Sears, the State of Alaska's investigator for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People, standing in front of the Alaska State Capitol on May 5, 2022.

Entire life prepares Alaska investigator of missing and murdered Indigenous people

By: - May 11, 2022

When Anne Sears spoke in front of a crowd of more than 100 people on the Alaska State Capitol steps for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People rally on May 5, she wore a red scarf that belonged to her mom. “She passed away a couple of years ago. I think she’d be beyond words […]

This image shows a close up of braided black hair

House passes bill to eliminate hair discrimination, but deletes workplace protection

By: - May 11, 2022

A Senate bill that aims to eliminate hair discrimination in the school and workplace passed the House Tuesday, but in a drastically different form. An amendment deleted the portion relating to the workplace. In the bill’s original intent, school boards and employers wouldn’t be allowed to adopt a dress code that: prohibits an individual from […]