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Politics

Stories about politics.

Bethel City Council greenlighted signing a $975,800 contract with DOWL for the engineering design of the Avenues Piped Water and Sewer Project.
City of Bethel

The city has approved a new local option petition that would limit alcohol sales to restaurants. The petition has more than the 418 signatures necessary to put it on the ballot, which means voters will have another chance to decide if they want liquor stores operating in Bethel. 

Bethel City Council greenlighted signing a $975,800 contract with DOWL for the engineering design of the Avenues Piped Water and Sewer Project.
City of Bethel

Something this big is going to take more than one meeting. Last night, the Bethel City Council postponed voting on stricter alcohol laws because they had so many amendments. Among the changes was increasing the two-bottle-per-day sales limit per customer to five bottles, modifying the business hours for liquor stores, and changing the fines for alcohol offenses.

Bethel City Council will discuss proposed alcohol ordinance and replacing City Attorney Patty Burley.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Bethel City Council will look at ways to replace City Attorney Patty Burley at tonight’s regular meeting. Mayor Fred Watson proposes using the same recruitment firm as the one being used to find the next city manager. 

City Attorney Patty Burley's last day will be August 2.
Greg Kim / KYUK

She has served the city for almost a decade, and now she’s quitting. Bethel City Attorney Patty Burley has submitted her resignation. Her last day will be August 2. 

Sen. Lyman Hoffman during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on March 29, 2016. Credit Skip Gray / 360 North
Skip Gray / 360 North

The Alaska Senate has a new leader who could bring more political leverage to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Senate President Cathy Gessiel appointed Bethel Democratic Sen. Lyman Hoffman to Senate Majority Leader. Hoffman replaced Sen. Mia Costello in the role after she did not appear in Juneau on Monday for the start of the second special session.

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed $444 million of budget line items last week. Many Bethel organizations will feel the pinch should the vetoes remain in effect. Three-quarters of the state's lawmakers must vote against the vetoes in order to successfully override them, and that decision will come next week. 


Sen. Lyman Hoffman during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on March 29, 2016. Credit Skip Gray / 360 North
Skip Gray / 360 North

The Alaska Legislature reconvenes on Monday, July 8 for a special session to decide the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend. Legislators will also have the opportunity to override or amend Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes, totaling about $444 million, that slash or eliminate funding for services across the state. Democratic Sen. Lyman Hoffman of Bethel serves as the Legislature’s most senior member and sits on the Senate Finance Committee. KYUK talked with Sen. Hoffman about his expectations for the special session ahead.

Bethel City Council will discuss proposed alcohol ordinance and replacing City Attorney Patty Burley.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

After all the alcohol-related business died down last night, the Bethel City Council also learned of four new proposed marijuana stores that have provided the city notice of application. One of those proposed stores hopes to operate where the Q2 Laundromat, which closed down Monday, used to be. The state’s Marijuana Control Board does not set any limit on the number of marijuana licenses it can issue, although the City of Bethel could restrict that number itself. 

Bethel City Council chose not to protest the AC Liquor Store, and introduced new restrictions on purchasing and consuming alcohol.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Last night, the Bethel City Council voted not to protest the liquor license transfer from Kusko Liquor to The North West Company, which does business in Bethel as Alaska Commercial Company or AC. The vote was 5-1, with council member Leif Albertson the only member to support the protest. Mitchell Forbes was absent on travel.

Bethel City Council will discuss proposed alcohol ordinance and replacing City Attorney Patty Burley.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

At least one member of the Bethel City Council doesn't want to see AC get another liquor license. Tonight, council member Leif Albertson will push a protest of the liquor license transfer from Kusko Liquor to The North West Company, which does business in Bethel as Alaska Commercial Company or AC. Albertson points to what happened the last time AC had a license to sell alcohol in Bethel.

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