Stories about politics.

On July 28, Bethel City Council will consider two resolutions: one for a mask policy, and another for limited curbside alcohol sales.
Dean Swope / KYUK

If you want to run for Bethel City Council, the time to file is now. The filing period to submit your candidacy for the local election is open until Aug. 20.

Tripp Crouse / KNBA

The 2020 annual convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives will go virtual out of safety concerns over coronavirus. The decision was announced Aug. 5, 2020 in a news release from AFN.

Courtesy of Division of Elections

Due to the pandemic, state elections officials expect a record number of absentee ballots will be submitted for the primary election coming up this month. For many people, this will be the first time that they have voted by mail. Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer says that the ballot is straightforward, with one exception:

“Our absentee ballots do require a witness, and they do require a personal identifier as well as the person’s signature,” Meyer said.

Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

If you want to vote in the primary by mail with an absentee ballot, you have to get the application in right away. Under state law, the application for an absentee ballot must be received by the Alaska Division of Elections 10 days before the election. That means that to vote in the primary by mail, the division needs to receive your absentee ballot request by Saturday, Aug. 8.

It’s August; Primary Election Deadlines Loom

Aug 3, 2020
Dean Swope / KYUK

Because many voters may be afraid to go to the polls and vote during the pandemic, the state is expecting a large number of absentee votes this year. Both the state’s Democratic and Republican parties have sent out absentee ballot request forms to their members and independent voters. The state also sent them to elderly voters, and the forms are available online at the Alaska Division of Elections' website. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

On July 28, the Bethel City Council passed a resolution strongly urging people to wear a mask in public spaces. Council member Alyssa Leary made the proposal.

Proposition 1 on the 2019 Bethel municipal ballot asks voters if they would like to return Bethel to local option status and limit alcohol licenses to restaurants and eating places. Fili's Pizza is the only Bethel restaurant with an alcohol license and wo
Dean Swope / KYUK

On July 28, Bethel City Council voted to limit curbside alcohol sales at Fili’s Pizza. Customers will no longer be able to purchase alcohol curbside without an accompanying meal, and the price of the food will have to be at least 50% of the price of the alcohol in the order, which is the same rules that the state already requires for delivery. 

Newtok's relocation efforts are well underway, with one-third of the village now settled in at Mertarvik. Managing both communities is proving to be a struggle for the Newtok Village Council as they work to build more housing in Mertarvik.
Katie Basile / KYUK

This week, KYUK is looking at Mertarvik, a community that is being created by relocating residents of the village of Newtok, which is being eaten up by high tides. The move has to be phased in over time as funding becomes available. Mertarvik is the first community being created by climate change refugees.

In the first year at Mertarvik, the village council banished someone for selling alcohol. But 9 miles away in Newtok, residents say that bootleggers are being left unpunished. Some of the people left behind in the old village are asking if that’s fair.

On July 28, Bethel City Council will consider two resolutions: one for a mask policy, and another for limited curbside alcohol sales.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Bethel City Council is considering new rules to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading in the city. In its July 28 regular meeting, city council will look at a resolution urging people to wear face masks in public spaces, and another resolution to limit alcohol sales. 

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories

How to manage the city's coronavirus response dominated much of the Bethel City Council meeting on July 14.