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January 14, 2020 / This week from The Signal

Are you ready for #akleg?
Will the Alaska Supreme Court weigh in on Recall Dunleavy?
And why can't an Alaska mayor get a REAL ID?
Pamela Speck on her boat’s back deck in Petersburg’s North Harbor — or as Speck calls it, "lower Petersburg." Throughout Southeast Alaska, many people make their home on boats. So-called "liveaboards" are a longstanding part of the Petersburg community. (Photo and story by Ari Snider/KFSK-Petersburg)

But first… new year, new website

As frequent clickers of links in this newsletter, you may notice that looks a little different this week. Seemingly overnight, this humble hub of news and public media is… Better. Faster. Stronger. That's because KTOO's internet elf (his elf name is David Purdy) redesigned the whole thing. One of the biggest changes is a webmeld of with, so instead of having to go to separate websites, all of your 360 North and Gavel Alaska videos can be found at You can read more about the website overhaul right here. And feel free to reach out to me or elf David to let us know what you think.

The Big Four

Four big stories in Alaska, leaving aside the one about how it's cold out.
  1. Re-recall: The campaign to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy is back in business. A judge ruled last week that the state's Division of Elections was wrong to reject the initiative, which means Recall Dunleavy organizers can recommence their signature-gathering. But Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes points out that the Alaska Supreme Court might possibly still yet weigh in maybe.
  2. Iran it by Congress: President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike that killed an Iranian military leader, and once again America is desperate to know: What does Alaska's senior senator think about all that? Alaska Public Media's Liz Ruskin says that Lisa Murkowski commends the attack, and she's "hesitant" to limit Trump's presidential war powers.
  3. REAL problem: Anyone in the U.S. traveling by commercial airplane needs a REAL ID by Oct. 1. That could be a problem for the mayor of Noorvik: KOTZ-Kotzebue's Wesley Early reports that the DMV recently denied his application because, like many people in rural Alaska, he lacks a home address.
  4. #Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhkleg: The Alaska Legislature is back in session next week. State lawmakers are rousing from their dens and awaking from a statutorily-mandated hibernation. If you're in Juneau and encounter a legislator, act big and make lots of noise — remember that they're more afraid of you than you are of them. Anyway, Andrew Kitchenman of KTOO and Alaska Public Media takes a look at the first batch of bills.

Video of the week

We're approaching the frigid time of year when Juneauites trek to Mendenhall Glacier to check out the ice caves. Last year's story from KTOO's Adelyn Baxter lays out the risks of such a venture, but if you'd rather not poke around under a massive shifting ice cube in subzero temperatures, this 360° video taken from inside a cave brings you there. Click and drag to look around. (Video by Matt Miller and David Purdy/KTOO)

Just one more thing…

Juneau is full of iconic landmarks: the Mendenhall Glacier, the mountains, Takhu the whale statue, and that derelict tugboat that got stuck in the channel a couple years ago.

Well, scratch that last one. KTOO's Adelyn Baxter says the Coast Guard finally towed it away after it dragged anchor last weekend. Now that the wayward Lumberman is out of the muck, Juneau officials are thinking about auctioning it off. But the city's port director says purchase of the vessel might come with a condition: The boat's gotta leave Juneau.

More news around Alaska

The Signal is written by KTOO digital media editor Ryan Cunningham
and edited by KTOO managing editor Jennifer Pemberton.

KTOO News is member supported.

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What are you waiting for? For an entertaining inside take on the biggest news in Alaska, try The Signal – just enter your email to get the latest edition delivered every week - it's free, we keep your email safe, and you can easily unsubscribe any time.