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Politics

Stories about politics.

YKHC Nurse Kerry Cobbledick hands out swabs at a station set up for coronavirus testing outside of the Alaska Airlines airport terminal in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

There are new rules during the pandemic for anyone residing in or traveling to Bethel. Passengers who get off at the Alaska Airlines terminal in Bethel will now be required to test for COVID-19. Plus, face masks will be required for anyone occupying a public space. The city is still working on the finer details of enforcement.


Alaska Airlines passengers arriving in Bethel sign up to take voluntary coronavirus tests. April 29, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Following pressure from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and Sen. Lyman Hoffman, the Bethel City Council is considering mandating COVID-19 testing at the airport. The council is also thinking about mandating and enforcing mask wearing in public. 

Greg Kim / KYUK

As of Aug. 26, Vincenzo “Vinny” Corazza no longer holds any authority as Bethel’s City Manager. The city council relieved him of any duty for the remainder of his employment, and also voted to hire attorneys and accountants to investigate how personnel and finance matters have been handled by the city administration. 


Council member Mark Springer said said that Bethel City Council and its Public Safety Commission actually don’t have much purview over the Bethel Police Department, but he urged City Manager Pete Williams to look into alleged problems with rape kits.
Dean Swope / KYUK

On Aug. 26, the Bethel City Council will hold a special meeting to decide how to fill the soon-to-be open Bethel City Manager position. Current city manager Vincenzo “Vinny” Corazza resigned Aug. 18 after the council criticized his performance. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Bethel city council took some steps to bolster its response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Aug. 25, including hiring former council member Leif Albertson to be the city's Emergency Operations Director, citing his expertise in public health.

Elise Amendola / AP

At its Aug. 25 meeting, the Bethel City Council postponed voting on a tax on sugary beverages until December.

Council member Mark Springer said said that Bethel City Council and its Public Safety Commission actually don’t have much purview over the Bethel Police Department, but he urged City Manager Pete Williams to look into alleged problems with rape kits.
Dean Swope / KYUK

The City of Bethel is considering a new tax on soft drinks. On Aug. 25, Bethel City Council member Michelle DeWitt will introduce an ordinance that would charge a one-cent-per-fluid-ounce tax on sugary beverages. That meanst that a can of soda pop would cost 12 cents more than it does now. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Three candidates have filed for the three open seats on Bethel City Council. Mayor Perry Barr and council member Michelle DeWitt are running for re-election, and newcomer Rose “Sugar” Henderson rounds out the ballot for the Oct. 6 election. Sitting council member Hugh Dyment did not file for re-election.

Greg Kim / KYUK

Bethel is on the hunt for a city manager again. Vincenzo “Vinny” Corazza, who took over the job last April, submitted his resignation on Aug. 18. The decision does not come as a surprise to some Bethel City Council members.


Katie Basile

 

The post has been updated with the most current numbers.

Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, a Bethel Democrat, is the sole candidate running for House District 38 in the Alaska state primary. By Aug.19, with 90% of the precincts reporting, Zulkosky had netted 995 votes. Zulkosky, the only Alaska Native woman in the state House of Representatives, has been in her seat since 2018, taking over when Rep. Zach Fansler stepped down, and then winning her election bid later that year. She is now seeking two more years.

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