Stories about politics.

‘We Crossed A Line Today’: Dunleavy Orders Statewide Shelter In Place, Limits Travel

Mar 27, 2020
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a news conference on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
Office of the Governor

On March 27, Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered Alaskans to stay home, and banned most travel across the state as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow. Earlier that day, the first resident died in the state after testing positive for COVID-19

Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel) on the Alaska House floor.
Courtesy of Tiffany Zulkosky

Eighteen Alaska state representatives have asked Gov. Mike Dunleavy to immediately issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. Among them was Democratic Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky of Bethel.

City of Bethel

Bethel City Council awarded $37,199 in Community Action Grants to local organizations on March 24, but is holding off on signing the checks. Due to canceled and postponed events during the coronavirus pandemic, the city will be asking grant recipients to see if they still need the money. 

Alaska Democratic Primary Will Collect All Votes Via Mail

Mar 26, 2020

The Alaska Democratic Party announced March 23 that it will hold its presidential primary exclusively by mail. In-person voting planned for April 4 was canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

City of Bethel

The City of Bethel has responded to the public’s demands that it take strong action against the coronavirus threat. In their meeting on Tuesday, March 24, Bethel City Council passed its first emergency ordinance in response to COVID-19. Council will meet in an emergency meeting on Wednesday, March 25 at 2 p.m. to consider adopting a declaration of local disaster emergency. Mayor Perry Barr and Acting City Manager Bill Howell already signed the declaration Tuesday, which kick-started the process.

City of Bethel

On March 24, the Bethel City Council will consider adopting an emergency ordinance in response to the coronavirus threat. This emergency ordinance will allow the council to meet telephonically, and allows the city manager to cancel or postpone meetings and modify personnel leave time in the interest of public health. The emergency ordinance does not enact any travel restrictions or mandates for residents to stay at home. 

Recall Campaign Comes Home

Mar 20, 2020

Coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings have hampered the signature gathering campaign to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy, but the campaign was re-launched on March 20 with a new petition form for people to use at home. The form can be requested online and returned in the mail. The Division of Elections has signed off on the one-page household petition booklets, but a court challenge against the Recall Dunleavy campaign is due for a hearing next week.

Becky Trimble and her family in Bethel. Trimble has been ordered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to leave the country by March 14.
Becky Trimble

A Bethel resident is facing deportation. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has ordered Becky Trimble to leave the country by this Saturday, March 14, but Trimble has lived in this country since she was three days old. She didn’t know she wasn’t a U.S. citizen until she was 22. She shared how she’s feeling, and what she plans to do.

Fred Watson
Dean Swope / KYUK

There is an open seat on Bethel City Council, and the city is looking for interested parties to fill it. Former city council member Fred Watson resigned on March 2, citing personal family matters.

Bethel resident Tom McCallson wants the city to maintain a road to  Haroldson Subdivision so that police can drive to his house.
Bethel Police Department

A Bethel resident came to last night’s city council meeting with a plea. Tom McCallson lives in Bethel’s Haroldson Subdivision, past the city’s dump. McCallson wants the city to plow and maintain a road to the subdivision so that emergency services can access the area.