Stories about politics.

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.

The Wall of Honor at the Alaska Territorial Guard Park in Bethel, which David Trantham Jr. was instrumental in creating.
Ben Matheson / KYUK

Bethel City Council recognized two men whose work over the years made a positive difference in the community and the region: David Berlin and David Trantham Jr.

Courtesy of Calista Corporation

Four familiar faces will keep their seats on the Calista Board of Directors: Margaret Pohjola from Chuathbaluk, Willie Kasayulie from Akiachak, Earl D. Samuelson Sr. from Napaskiak, and Nick P. Andrew Jr. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

The City of Bethel has finished drafting an itemized budget for the $8.4 million in federal CARES Act Funding it received, which the city council still has to approve. The CARES budget includes $2 million in grants for Bethel businesses and non-profits that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greg Kim / KYUK

The coronavirus pandemic and changes in local alcohol law have lowered the expected revenue for the City of Bethel by almost $1 million. Plus, the city’s budget for policing continues to go up, even as a national movement calls for the opposite.