Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Sunday, November 19 2017 @ 03:06 AM AKST

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Strong Year for Alaskan Exports

EconomyGovernor Bill Walker announced today Alaska exported more than $5.15 billion of goods in 2014—the second highest year ever for Alaskan exports, and a 13.8 percent increase over the previous year. Nationally, exports rose 2.8 percent in 2014.

“Alaskans across the state support the industries whose exports strengthen our economy,” Governor Walker said. “Our Alaskan exporters applied their ingenuity and a strong work ethic with exceptionally successful results.”

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AIDEA Board Names New Executive Director

EconomyThe Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) Board announces the appointment of John Springsteen as AIDEA Executive Director. Mr. Springsteen has served as Infrastructure Development Officer for AIDEA since February 2014.

“We are pleased to appoint John as AIDEA’s new Executive Director, and look forward to working with him and AIDEA’s talented senior management team as we continue our partnership with Alaskans in advancing economic growth and diversification in our great state,” said AIDEA Board Chairman Dana Pruhs.

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Overall job count down in third quarter 2014

EconomyJUNEAU, Alaska—Newly released data show that employment in Alaska dropped slightly below the prior year’s levels in the third quarter of 2014 as a result of job losses in the public sector and slower private sector growth.

Government losses

Public-sector losses have slowed total job growth since 2011. Federal cuts were the first to have a serious impact, followed by shrinking local governments and school districts. State government, which includes the University of Alaska, began to show losses last summer.

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Minimum Wage Increase Takes Effect Today

EconomyToday Alaska’s minimum wage will increase from $7.75 to $8.75 per hour, a 13% increase. Approximately 16,000 Alaska jobs currently pay less than $8.75 per hour, meaning thousands of workers will see their pay go up. The minimum wage is increasing as a result of voters approving the minimum wage ballot initiative in November 2014.

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Governor Submits Amendments to FY 2016 Budget

EconomyFebruary 18, 2015 JUNEAU— Governor Bill Walker today submitted four major changes, adding $350,000 to his fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 31, 2016) budget.

Governor Walker reallocated $6.3 million within the Department of Transportation from roads and highways on a one-time basis to ensure the ferry system can continue services already scheduled.

“There are many families who already purchased their ferry tickets for their once-in-a-lifetime vacations to Alaska,” Governor Walker said. “We want to ensure that service is available to them, as well as to Alaskans, in the coming year. We don’t want to balance the budget on the backs of the traveling public.”

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Governor Makes Point Thomson Announcement

EconomyFebruary 11, 2015 JUNEAU—Governor Bill Walker today announced during a House Resources committee hearing he will drop his public interest litigant lawsuit on Point Thomson once he submits legislation on Friday to ensure the state Constitution and state laws are never again violated in negotiations to develop Alaska’s natural resources.

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Governor's Remarks on Point Thomson

Economy"Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, you asked for someone from my Administration to testify on the Point Thomson lawsuit that I brought several years ago as a public interest litigant. I am here to talk to you directly about this and set the record straight.

Let’s talk first a bit about how we got here, and why I brought this public interest lawsuit.

In 1975 and 1977, the first wells were drilled at Point Thomson. Since then, we have known that the Point Thomson area is rich in oil and gas.

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Governor Releases Amended Endorsed Budget

EconomyFebruary 5, 2015 JUNEAU—Governor Bill Walker today released his budget for fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016), which he emphasized is a starting point for discussions.

“There are cuts in here, and some will be painful,” Governor Walker said. “Our state right now has a $3.6 billion budget deficit, leading us to draw about $10 million every single day from savings. I want to be up-front with Alaskans throughout this process.”

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Alaska Unemployment rate at 6.3 percent in December

EconomyAlaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in December, down from November’s 6.5 percent. The comparable national rate was 5.6 percent.

Coincidentally, the unadjusted December rate was also 6.3 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the prior month. The unadjusted rate typically reaches its annual high point in January or February.

Around the state, rates increased over the month in all areas but Anchorage and the North Slope Borough. Urban Anchorage is less subject to the state’s seasonal pattern, and North Slope has a winter construction season because of the relative ease of traveling on ice roads rather than spongy tundra.

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Speech: State of the Budget

EconomyPresident Kevin Meyer, Speaker Mike Chenault, Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott, members of the Legislature, members of the Cabinet and fellow Alaskans. At this time last night, you gathered in this chamber, and I spoke broadly about my administration’s vision for Alaska’s future.

Tonight, we gather to talk about the budget. As you exit, each of you will be provided a copy of our budget overview and summary documents. You are the first in the state to receive this. The media will get it later tonight, and it will be posted on my website for public review.

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Alaska Minerals Commission Releases 2015 Report

EconomyThe Alaska Minerals Commission (AMC) is pleased to release their 2015 report. The report identifies three specific issue areas with corresponding action items: 1) federal regulatory uncertainty, 2) resource education, and 3) outdated federal land claim withdrawals. The report builds upon past work of the AMC, whose intent is to identify state and federal issues that block responsible development. Over the past 27 years, the AMC has worked with the administration and legislature to successfully implement key recommendations that support a strong and sustainable Alaska minerals industry.

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Changes Announced for Gasline Corporation

EconomyJanuary 6, 2015 ANCHORAGE –Governor Bill Walker on Tuesday announced a paradigm shift in the way the state will conduct business with Alaska’s gas, emphasizing that there will be transparency in the process.

Governor Walker removed three board members from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation—Drue Pearce, Richard Rabinow, and Al Bolea.

“I would like to thank each of these individuals for their service to the State of Alaska, and wish them well in their future endeavors,” Governor Walker said.
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The 2015 PFD Application Period is Open!

EconomyEveryone can apply online! Go to http://pfd.alaska.gov/
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Administrative Order Stops Six Projects

Economy December 27, 2014, JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker issued an administrative order on Friday, December 26, to direct all state agencies to stop non-obligated spending on the following six projects: Ambler Road, Juneau Access Road, Susitna-Watana Dam, Kodiak Launch Complex, Knik Arm Crossing and Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline Project.

“Our budget deficit grows deeper as oil prices go lower,” Governor Walker said. “These are large projects that require significantly more state investment to complete. I’ve requested that state agencies not enter into any new contracts until we’ve had a chance to look at the various projects.”

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Governor Signs LNG Agreement with REI, Inc

EconomyDecember 23, 2014, JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker at noon Tuesday will take an important step forward in securing Alaska’s energy future by signing a liquefied natural gas agreement with Japan-based Resources Energy, Incorporated.

“I look forward to signing this memorandum of understanding with Resources Energy, Incorporated,” Governor Walker said. “This agreement is an extension of Alaska’s longstanding partnership with Japan in energy markets.”

After the 2011 earthquake in Japan shut down the Fukushima nuclear power plant, several Japanese prefectures are looking to replace nuclear energy with liquefied natural gas supplies. Resources Energy, Inc., chose Alaska as the preferred source of LNG for Japan. The state has provided LNG to Japanese markets for more than four decades.

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