Interior has been mostly silent on the issue until now. Federal attorneys filed a motion on Friday to get King Cove’s lawsuit thrown out of court. And Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told her biggest critics that she will not reconsider her decision to block the road.
They all carry the same basic message: The Interior Department is committed to fixing transportation, so King Cove residents can catch medevac flights at the all-weather airport on the other side of the refuge. But the Interior Department also doesn’t think a road is the way to get them there.
This is the first time Jewell has made substantive remarks on this issue since she rejected the road plan in December. In her letters, Jewell writes it was her “hope and invitation that King Cove residents would participate in the development of other transportation improvement options.”
Those include a ferry and better helicopter service. But neither would work in bad weather, according to King Cove’s mayor, Henry Mack.
He and several other residents put out a statement criticizing the Interior Secretary. And for now, they’re pressing ahead with their lawsuit — and their effort to reverse Jewell’s decision.
- "Her focus on education, her focus on examining our city budget at a really deep level, not just a broad stroke policy level, but getting into the line items – I think that’s a really valuable for assembly members to go after the budget work," said Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl.
- Rep. Les Gara wants to make sure state budget cuts don’t fall too heavily on working-class and low-income people. Instead, he wants a new business tax.
- The Legislative Council is seeking advice from a finance expert on what to do about the controversial lease on the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.
- For the first time, scientists have documented the prevalence of two biotoxins in Alaska’s marine mammal population above the Arctic Circle.