News

Legislative committee boosts budget for Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. investigation

BY: - August 10, 2022

A committee of the Alaska Legislature voted unanimously on Wednesday to spend another $50,000 on its investigation into the firing of Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. director Angela Rodell, bringing the investigation’s total budget to $150,000. Sen. Natasha von Imhof, R-Anchorage, the chair of the House-Senate Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, said the money is needed […]

Sand-filled Super Sacks, seen on Aug. 4, are piled along the eroding coastal bluff in the core area of Utqiagvik, the nation's northernmost community. Near the horizon is a barge delivering some of the supplies that the community will need over the coming year. Climate change, through increased wave action from the ocean and permafrost thaw on the coast, is causing serious erosion and flooding threats. At the same time, reductions in sea ice have enabled an increase in Arctic ship traffic that is expected to continue. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Arctic Commitment Act introduced in Senate seeks to raise U.S. profile at top of world

BY: - August 10, 2022

A wide-ranging bill introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Angus King seeks to boost U.S. investment in Arctic commerce, science and defense. The Arctic Commitment Act, introduced last week, focuses on ways that the United States can become a bigger player in Arctic marine shipping and commerce, which is increasing as sea ice diminishes. […]

U.S. President Joe Biden hands a pen to Brielle Robinson, daughter of the late Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson, after he signed The PACT Act in the East Room of the White House August 10, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bill is the biggest expansion of veteran's benefits since the Agent Orange Act of 1991 and will expand health care benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Biden signs landmark bill aiding veterans exposed to burn pits overseas

BY: - August 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed legislation into law Wednesday that will provide health care and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, achieving a long-term, personal goal. “I was in and out of Iraq over 20 times,” Biden said of prior trips to the war zone he took as both […]

Regardless of party or office, Alaska candidates are targeting trawling

BY: - August 10, 2022

Republicans, Democrats and independents seeking a variety of elected offices across Alaska appear united by a desire to restrict deep-sea trawling. In candidate questionnaires submitted to the Alaska Beacon, candidates for statewide and legislative races — regardless of party — say the restrictions are the best way to improve salmon returns on the Yukon and […]

Buildings that once housed workshops and office operations line groomed ski trails at the Independence Mine State Historical Park. The site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is seen here on Nov. 12, 2017. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Independence Mine, a ‘gem’ in state park system, gets big donation for restoration work

BY: - August 9, 2022

A private charity has donated $1.3 million to restore historic buildings at a popular Alaska state park. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has provided the money to restore buildings at the Independence Mine Historical Park. The site, in the Talkeetna Mountains near Palmer, once housed a thriving gold-mining operation but has […]

Health workers sit at a table at a pop-up monkeypox vaccination clinic which opened today by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at the West Hollywood Library on August 3, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Biden administration proposes changing how monkeypox vaccine is administered

BY: - August 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration began encouraging health care providers Tuesday to change the way they’re administering vaccines to protect against monkeypox, in an attempt to stretch out doses fivefold.  The latest shift in strategy comes as the administration races to curtail the spread of the virus, which jumped from 778 cases one month ago […]

Visitors take in the view on Aug.4 from the roof of the newly upgraded Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory. The roof, with its unobstructed views of usually snow-covered tundra, is the site where technicians can track albedo, the measurement of solar heat reflection. As snow and ice diminish, so does albedo, and more heat is absorbed in the Arctic, feeding into a self-reinforcing warming cycle. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

On Utqiagvik’s edge, an observatory measures the gases that are warming the Arctic and the planet

BY: - August 9, 2022

For nearly 50 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration laboratory on the outskirts of the nation’s northernmost community has tracked a steady rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the byproduct of fossil-fuel burning that is enveloping the Earth and trapping its heat. Now the NOAA Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory has a new, expanded, […]

Alaska conservatives launch group to encourage ‘yes’ vote on constitutional convention

BY: - August 9, 2022

A group of conservative Alaskans, headed by a leading member of the Alaska Republican Party, has formed a new campaign organization intended to encourage Alaskans to call a constitutional convention and allow sweeping changes in the way Alaska runs its government, sets its budget and regulates the lives of its residents. Jim Minnery, president of […]

A sign at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, seen on July 21, expresses appreciation for healthcare workers. UAA has several training programs, including one focused on rural Alaska, and the university is one of the partners in a $9.7 million federal grant secured by the Alaska Primary Care Association. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska health organization secures $9.7 million grant to train new workers

BY: - August 8, 2022

Alaska health care organizations have an injection of federal money to help recruit and train more workers to fill a variety of in-demand positions. The Alaska Primary Care Association has won a $9.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Good Jobs Challenge program for a wide-ranging project to expand health care opportunities by […]

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gives the thumbs up as he leaves the Senate Chamber after passage of the Inflation Reduction Act at the U.S. Capitol August 7, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The Senate worked overnight Saturday into Sunday as they moved toward final passage of Senate budget reconciliation deal, which Senate Democrats have named The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The final vote was 51-50, with the tie-breaking vote being cast by Vice President Kamala Harris. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate passes major health, tax and climate bill in boost for Democrats

BY: and - August 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate, along party lines, passed a sweeping energy, health care, climate and tax package Sunday afternoon, following an overnight marathon of votes that resulted in just a handful of notable changes to the legislation. The 755-page bill was passed after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-50 tie in the evenly […]

Sarah Palin speaks and Mary Peltola listens at a March 12 forum of candidates for the U.S. House seat left vacant by the death of Don Young. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Here’s where Alaska’s U.S. House candidates stand on access to abortion

BY: - August 8, 2022

With less than two weeks to go before Alaska’s Aug. 16 election, the three candidates seeking to temporarily replace Congressman Don Young in Alaska’s U.S. House seat have made clear their positions on abortion. In campaign events, conversations with reporters and at public forums, Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich say they support the recent […]

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing for Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) nominee for U.S. President Joe Biden, on Feb. 1, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. Senate preps big tax, climate and health bill after deal struck with Sinema

BY: - August 5, 2022

U.S. Senate Democrats’ wide-ranging tax, climate and health bill appears set to pass after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona struck a deal to soften the measure’s corporate tax increase and a second tax hike aimed at wealthy finance-sector workers, Schumer told reporters Friday. The revenue lost to obtain Sinema’s support […]