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Politics

Stories about politics.

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.

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

The costs of running the City of Bethel are rising. City council's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020 allocates $450,000 more for gravel road maintenance than in years past. The police department’s budget has increased by $1,194,003 in the past three years. The proposed budget for water and sewer has jumped $1,088,267 in just the past year. 

Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News

Last week, U.S. Attorney General William Barr spent three days touring Alaska with the congressional delegation to hear about and see for himself the lack of public safety in rural Alaska. He spent a day in Bethel and the nearby village of Napaskiak. 


Joey Mendolia / Alaska's Energy Desk/Alaska Public Media

U.S. Attorney General William Barr is visiting Bethel and Napaskiak today, May 31, to talk with leaders in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta about rural justice. The issues include murdered and missing indigenous women, the lack of law enforcement in Alaska Native communities, and the role that the Department of Justice could play in giving tribes more resources. 


U.S. Attorney General William Barr heard concerns from Alaska Native leaders about the lack of law enforcement and high rates of sexual assault and domestic violence in rural Alaska.
Joey Mendolia / Alaska Public Media

U.S. Attorney General William Barr is coming to Bethel and Napaskiak on Friday to talk with leaders about rural justice issues, including the public safety crisis and the high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault in Western Alaska.

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

Bethel City Council fired former City Manager Pete Williams weeks ago, but Williams' termination was still the topic of the biggest showdown at last night’s council meeting. Council member Leif Albertson introduced an action memorandum to consult an attorney about whether the firing was legal. It failed 3-3 with Vice-Mayor Raymond “Thor” Williams and council members Fritz Charles and Carole Jung-Jordan opposing. Albertson, Mitchell Forbes, and Perry Barr voted in favor of consulting an attorney. Mayor Fred Watson was absent.

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