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Southeast Alaska News
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Schmidt to Chamber: Arts can shape Sitka’s economic future. State officials propose removing humpback whales from Endangered list; biologists disagree. Transportation infrastructure fund gains some traction in state house.
Ann Froeschle speaks about the new exhibit “First in Fish,” upcoming classes, an author visit and more. Museum040414
JUNEAU — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said Monday that Alaskans should never amend the state constitution as a “fix” for education.
Proposed constitutional amendments pending before state lawmakers would allow for public money to be used for private or religious schools. Supporters see this as a way to allow for more choice in where parents send their kids, but critics fear it could siphon needed money from public education. Republican Gov. Sean Parnell has called on state lawmakers to debate the proposal and send it to voters to decide.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard and took no action on a pair of bills Monday aimed at protecting students in different ways.
The first bill, SB128, cracks down on severe cases of cyber bullying in an attempt to prevent a trend of youth suicides in the lower 48 from impacting Alaska the same way going forward, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, said previously.
“There is reason to justify this,” said Anne Carpeneti, with the state Department of Law. “Electronic communication gets sent to a lot of people.”
Petersburg is a fishing town of 3,000 on an island in South East Alaska.
But inside the middle school, it’s pretty high tech. As these seventh graders enter their computer class, they pull laptops off a shelf, and settle into desks. The class is teaching them how to navigate google programs and it’s mandatory if they are going to get their own laptops when they enter high school.
It’s this dedication to technology that caught the attention of the statewide group, Alaska Society for Technology in Education. Dr. Mark Standley is President of the organization and a professor at the University of Alaska South East. He says no one at ASTE can remember one school winning so many annual awards.
“We’re calling it the Petersburg sweep,” Standley said.
The district’s three awards were presented at ASTE’s statewide conference in Anchorage February 25. Standley says the sweep reflects on the district’s strong team of educators.
“What Petersburg has done through leadership through the fine work of teachers like Don Holmes who has been there for many years and now more currently with the work Jon Kludt-Painter and your Superintendent Rob Thomason you are seeing the effect of, the results of, Petersburg’s investment over the years in the smart integration of technology in student work,” Standley said.
The district’s technology support teacher, John Kludt-Painter, won an award as did student PK Bunyi for building a quad-copter from scratch and then using it to create an aerial movie called, “A Simple Walk to School”. Superintendent Thomason won the Alaska Technology Administrator of the year. He’s been an educator for over four decades.
“And in all those years, 43 years, five states, two foreign countries, this district with this staff and this technology director, the top of the top,” Thomason said.
The school district follows the belief that technology is a good tool for educators to use and an important skill base for students to learn. And classes use it A LOT. Kids have access to computer devices from Kindergarten on. All high school students have their own laptops 24-7.
Kludt-Painter along with an assistant makes sure they’re all running smoothly.
“Just checked this morning and we had about 500 devices connected to our wi-fi network all doing multiple things,” Kludt-Painter said.
But technology only works if people know how to use it. Kludt-Painter says it’s “mission critical” to what the Petersburg schools do. The district prioritizes real time needs first, addressing students and staff immediately. Say there’s a website that’s not accessible because the school’s content filter has prevented a class from using it.
“Maybe the teacher’s lesson is hinging on that and you have twenty students waiting to access something and it’s blocked and so those sorts of things you have to react quickly,” Kludt-Painter said.
“When Jon talks about opening up a site, it used to be a three week process,” Thomason said. “You had to go through a whole bunch of justifications, and now it’s more ‘here’s what I want to do here’s where I need to do it, I’m in the middle of a lesson, it happens right now.”
It’s basically helping the users use the equipment.
“They call it three click stupid,” Kludt-Painter said, “in the sense that you just need it to work and if it doesn’t work in a number of clicks, then people won’t use it and we’ve invested way too much just to have things collect dust.”
The district’s relationship with technology began about ten years ago when it was awarded a grant for high school laptops called One to One. The students are prepped for it in middle school with classes such as “digital citizenship”.
There have been growing pains over the years. For one, the parents in the community needed to get on board with the idea that computers would help their kids learn. That wasn’t always easy when they saw them surfing the Internet late at night. Kludt-Painter says it has taken a lot of listening and responding to concerns, including working with parents on how to empower themselves.
“Whether it’s timed access so the laptop just happens to turn off at 7 at night so you still retain your family time and then turns back on at 6 in the morning ready to go, those sorts of tools for parents so they don’t feel that the technology is driving it,” Kludt-Painter said. “It’s just a tool that disappears in the background and is just used for education.”
Angela: “IT people, you know, computer experts, etc. are just in high demand, I think, everywhere. . .so why choose working in a school?”
Kludt-Painter: “Oh, boy. . . .(laughs) . . .that’s uh, it’s just um. . .I’m so passionate about watching what the endless possibilities of where students can go.”
Well, they have gone to Australia. . .at least by teleconference when fourth and fifth graders worked with a chemistry teacher there.
It’s this kind of forward thinking that has made this small town an example for how technology can enhance learning with the right dedication.
Participants in Sitka’s 6th annual Wearable Arts show flaunted their homemade haute couture before before a sold-out crowd at Harrigan Centennial Hall on Saturday night (3-1-2014). The show was put on by the Greater Sitka Arts Council, as part of the Arti-Gras Arts and Music Festival.
Featured in the slideshow above: Emily Reilly modeled “Queen of the Galaxy,” made by Jean Bartos of Ketchikan. “The Journey Home,” designed by Angela McGraw, was inspired by a meeting with Roma women on a subway in Rome. Fiona Digeatano, age 3, wore a dress created by Casey Orona from used plastic bags. Melody Kingsley modeled “Air-able Art,” designed by Jeff Budd, Liz Schababerle, and Cheryl Vastola. Christi Henthorn, Paula Langdorf, Blossom Twitchell, Renae Hill, Kate Petraborg, Lois Denherder, Ember Livingston and Karlie Smith created and modeled “The Denim Dolls.” Woods Hill bounced down the runway to the tune of “I’m A Gummy Bear” in an outfit that his mother, Angie Hill, constructed from his preschool art projects. Emmie Fish made her chain mail, in “The Metal Soldier,” from more than 4,000 soda can pull-tabs. Sonya Linden modeled a quilted denim outfit made by Sabra Jenkins. And Kate Frederic modeled the aptly named “Dancing in Fire” by artist Tori Carl.
Photos by Rachel Waldholz, KCAW.
UPDATED 3/4/14: An earlier version of this post misstated the artist who made the dress worn by Fiona Digeatano. The artist is Casey Orona, not Elsa Hernandez.
Director Roger Schmidt told the Sitka Chamber of Commerce last week that business at the camp had grown by a factor of 32, since he was named to the post in 2000.
The budget that year, Schmidt said, was $70,000.
Schmidt compared the growth of the arts in Sitka to places like Chautauqua, New York, Banff, Alberta, and Aspen, Colorado. Banff is a town only a little bit larger than Sitka, but has an arts program that generates tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue.
In Aspen, Schmidt said, the arts produce more income than skiing.
Schmidt suggested that it was time Sitka began to see itself the way others do.
“We’re a long way from being an Aspen or a Banff, and we may never be an Aspen or a Banff or Chautauqua. But I guess I’d really like to present that to Sitka — it’s a powerful resource that can be leveraged over and over and over again, if we take that route to make Sitka the most attractive place for talent to be raised, for talent to be retained, for talent to be attracted to. The most attractive town for visitors to come and spend more time, and for their families to figure out a way to make Sitka more of a destination.”
Schmidt said the camp achieved an unprecedented level of stability when it received the core Sheldon Jackson Campus in 2011 from the defunct college’s board of trustees. Not having a reliable home inhibited growth.
But the campus also came with some major liabilities. It had been boarded up for nearly four years. Schmidt said he took pains to avoid the campus.
“I didn’t go up Jeff Davis Street anymore, unless I had to. It just depressed me at a very deep level.”
Now, Schmidt said, 46-percent of his budget is spent on capital improvements. He said the work would literally never end.
“I think that we’re in the worst moment of historical battle that one can be at. But any large, 100-plus-year-old campus is just a constant capital project. Three years ago when we started it was in so many ways impossible to use. One of the things we’ve worked is to make more of the spaces non-seasonal. You know, the first year of camp we literally had no heat anywhere on campus.”
Having a heated permanent home has allowed the camp to expand programs. Schmidt said the camp now enrolls 1,000 students from 38 Alaskan communities, 27 states, and 5 countries. But tuition accounts for only 23-percent of the camp’s revenue. He stressed that contributions remain a major factor in the camp’s success — contributions which can be leveraged time and time again into matching grant funding.
“And we have so many multi-generational families that come to the camp, whether they’re teachers, or children, or grandchildren. People getting married at camp… uh, not married at camp… married because they met at camp. They do the preliminary work here!”
And the work — the work of restoring the campus, that is — goes on. Schmidt said over 700 community members have logged 30,000 volunteer hours helping prepare the campus for the arrival of students each summer.
And all those sheets of plywood over that boarded over campus windows?
“We’ve used them for theater sets, to drive our tractors on the lawn, to replace rotten subfloors. So, all that plywood’s gone to good use.”
Jeannie Blackmore and Maura O’Dell share insights into prepping and maintaining your garden soil during a call-in show on KRBD’s Morning Edition. Soil
Jan Lovett and Annette Blankenship of Ocean Wave Quilters’ Guild preview their 16th annual scholarship auction. The auction started in 1999, with two scholarships of $500 each. Last year, the auction raised about $2,000. The guild will give two scholarships this year to graduating seniors from Sitka High School and Mount Edgecumbe High School, and will also donate money to the Sitka Fine Arts Camp scholarship fund. The auction will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 4, in the Exhibit Room at Centennial Hall. A word of advice from the organizers: get there on time — the quilts go fast!
White House nominates Pacific Area Commander Paul Zukunft to be next Coast Guard commandant. Sitka golf course groundskeeper will serve jail time for attempting to poison brown bears. City administrators past and present debate Sitka’s future at public town hall meeting. The unlikely path traveled by Alaska’s new Orthodox bishop.
A group concerned about the City of Ketchikan’s plan to start treating water with monochloramine has successfully submitted the paperwork to start collecting signatures for a ballot proposition. City Clerk Katy Suiter accepted the petition paperwork from United Citizens for Better Water on Monday morning.
If enough signatures are collected, an ordinance will be placed before voters to prohibit the city from using chloramine for public water disinfection.
The petitioners have 30 days to collect a little more than 350 valid signatures and submit the paperwork to the city clerk for review. If the petition has met all the requirements, the question should go before voters within two months, which means a special election is possible.
While not specifying a date, the city has planned to switch from chlorine to chloramine starting this spring – possibly as soon as this month. The issue isn’t on the meeting agenda, but the Ketchikan City Council likely will hear some public testimony on the topic when it meets this week.
United Citizens for Better Water has invited Bob Bowcock, who is associated with national consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, to conduct a public meeting on Wednesday, and then give a presentation to the City Council on Thursday.
Wednesday’s public meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. Click the link below to read an earlier story on this topic.
For more information about United Citizens for Better Water, go to:
A groundskeeper at Sitka’s golf course will serve jail time for attempting to poison brown bears.
31-year old Kevin Taranoff was sentenced to one month in jail, to pay $1,000 in fines, and to serve two years of probation. Taranoff pleaded guilty in Sitka District Court last Monday (2-24-14) to one count of unlawful methods and means to take game.
The investigation began in October of last year after two dogs died from consuming a toxic substance in the vicinity of Sitka’s Sea Mountain Golf Course.
State Wildlife troopers learned that Taranoff had placed food laced with anti-freeze coolant near the Sea Mountain Restaurant. The poisonous food could have been what killed the two dogs.
Taranoff acted alone without the permission or knowledge of golf course management. Troopers said he had taken matter into his own hands in an attempt to stop the bears from tearing holes in the course.
The Orthodox Dioceses of Sitka and Alaska installed David Mahaffey as its 16th Bishop, early this month(2-23-14). A historic and ornate ceremony ensued in Sitka, attracting Orthodox Bishops from New York to Quebec. On the steps of St. Michael’s Cathedral, Native elders welcomed Metropolitan Tikhon, the head of the Orthodox Church in America with the traditional bread and salt.
David Mahaffey never dreamed of becoming a bishop because he’s always been a family man. On the night before his official installment as the Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, by the yellow light of the Subway sandwiches sign outside of his hotel window, Mahaffey looks over a plaque given to him by the National Parks Service. It lists all of the Orthodox bishops in Alaska ever.
From the first one in 1779, during the Russian colonial period. To me in 2014.
It’s an enormous privilege that comes with enormous responsibility.
Mahaffey says, “being able to be here in Sitka, and thinking about all those names and the history and tradition that I’ve now become a part of is just, an overwhelming feeling of humbleness.”
Mahaffey is the 16th Bishop of America’s first Orthodox Dioceses. And America’s first Orthodox bishop, St. Innocent, resided in Sitka. Fr. Michael Boyle, the priest and dean of Sitka’s historic St. Michael’s Cathedral says that makes Sitka the motherland of orthodoxy in the United States.
“St. Innocent came to Alaska as the second wave of missionaries. They asked him to become bishop of the new dioceses of the Russian church in Alaska,” says Boyle, “which he questioned whether he could do or not because he was concerned with his children and their care.”
Over a century later Mahaffey admits to the same trepidation. Namely, the distance from his grown children and first grandchild who live in Pennsylvania.
And on Sunday, he treaded in St. Innocent’s footsteps. Alongside Orthodox bishops and clergy dressed in golden robes, Mahaffey marched from the Russian Bishop’s house to St. Michael’s Cathedral in Sitka. This procession has been in place since the first Orthodox Bishop was installed. In less than two city blocks it would be official. But, for Mahaffey its the culmination of decades of personal exploration.
When Mahaffey’s wife passed away in 2007, a door opened. He could make the move from priest to bishop by accepting a monastic lifestyle.
“When I became widowed one of things that happens is you become quote unquote eligible,” says Mahaffey.
But he would have preferred to have his wife, rather than an open door.
She was everything to me.
And that’s not an overstatement. Mahaffey was raised Methodist. His wife was Orthodox. After they married, he realized that orthodoxy had something to offer that the Methodist faith lacked. At his first Orthodox service, Mahaffey says he was instantly hooked.
Oh man I was like a sponge. This is what I want!
That same day, on their way to his mother’s, Mahaffey says his wife expressed that she didn’t want to be seen as having influenced his conversion.
So we get to my mothers and I go in and my wife was a hairdresser and my mother wanted her hair done. So my wife got out her stuff. And she knows what I’m going to say so she’s looking at me. She’s behind my mother and she’s going don’t do this! And I said mom, and this is the way I said it and I don’t know why, I said mom I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I want to be Orthodox and I want to become a priest someday. Now I had never said that before!
Mahaffey converted, but left his priesthood up to fate. He had a secular job working as a car salesman, but felt unfulfilled. It was his wife who suggested he go to seminary. After his wife died, the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska wanted him for Bishop. He was still reluctant because he didn’t want to leave his kids. But a friend convinced him to at least visit. So, last year in Kodiak, on the anniversary of his wife’s death, during the celebration of St. Herman’s pilgrimage – it finally clicked.
Look let me explain it to you, this has gone on kind of… I don’t know if it was St. Herman, or my wife, or God saying listen don’t you get it! You had a beautiful wife who was beautiful inside and out and she really was. So what came to me was a sense of… I’ve replaced your wife’s beauty with the beauty of Alaska. And I replaced her inner beauty with the inner beauty of the people of Alaska. Isn’t that what you want?
From that point forward it felt right. Mahaffey was meant to be in Alaska.
State officials want the federal government to remove some protections for Southeast and Southcentral humpback whales. But a noted researcher says it’s too early.
Whalers killed so many humpbacks in the 19th and 20th centuries that many worried they might become extinct.
Harvests ended in the mid-1960s when an international treaty took effect. Then, populations began to grow as governments adopted protective policies.
“This is a success story. This is one species that no longer needs the protection of the endangered species act and we should celebrate that,” says Doug Vincent-Lang, director of the state’s Division of Wildlife Conservation.
He says humpbacks will stay safe, even if they lose the act’s protections.
“Even if you delisted the species, at the end of the day, they’d still be adequately protected under existing whaling agreements and existing Marine Mammal Protection Act regulations,” he says.
He says humpbacks are numerous in waters from Cook Inlet to southern Southeast, the population the state wants delisted.
They still die of disease and old age, when hit by ships or tangled in fishing gear. But he says rapid population growth, which the state estimates at 7 percent, means there are plenty to replace them.
University of Alaska marine biologist Jan Straley says it’s not that easy.
“Just to say you’re going to delist the central stock is almost a simplistic way of saying these whales are one big group. But really, when they come to Alaska, they aren’t,” she says.
Straley says breaking up Alaska humpbacks into eastern or western populations does not reflect their full life cycle.
Most Southeast whales winter in Hawaiian waters, though some swim to Mexico. But when they return in the summer, they split up and head to specific parts of the coast.
As that cycle repeats, they develop hereditary differences.
“You could basically wipe out a whole genetic lineage of whales if something happened catastrophically. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but it’s a risk of ignoring that part of the structure of the population,” she says.
She agrees humpback numbers have grown. But she says the most-frequently-used estimate is based on old research. So there’s no way of knowing for sure what’s happening now.
The petition to remove the whales from Endangered Species Act listings was submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service, also called NOAA Fisheries.
That agency has 90 days to decide whether it’s worth considering the petition. If it does, spokeswoman Julie Speegle says a full review will take about a year.
“We look at factors that may cause the population to have difficulty in the future, like ocean acidification, lack of food, that type of thing,” she says.
Studies suggest a more-acidic ocean could hurt krill, small shrimp-like organisms humpbacks eat.
If the petition is approved, this population will continue to be covered by the federal Marine Mammals Protection Act. That prohibits hunting, requires habitat protections and sets a safe distance for whale-watching tours.
So what more does the species act do?
NOAA Fisheries’ Jon Kurland says it reviews any federally-funded work that could affect the whales.
“We do consultations on things as simple as coastal construction projects, revamping a port or harbor, driving piles for a wharf to broader-scale activities like seismic exploration for oil and gas,” he says.
The Hawaii Fishermen’s Alliance, which works where whales spend the winter, filed its own humpback delisting petition last April. That’s going through the review process now.
NOAA Fisheries’ Speegle says it covers all North Pacific humpbacks, a larger population.
“The central North Pacific stock, which the state of Alaska is now petitioning us to designate as a distinct population segment, would be a subcategory of that. So we’ll have to look, do some checking internally here and see how these two petitions dovetail,” she says.
Alaska officials are looking at other marine mammals they think no longer need endangered species act listings.
Wildlife Conservation’s Doug Vincent-Lang says bowhead whales are a possibility. So is the western population of Steller sea lions.
“That population is currently listed as endangered. But there’s 75,000 to 80,000 of those animals now. And we think at least a downlisting to threatened may be appropriate at this time, if not a complete delisting,” he says.
Removing a marine mammal population from endangered species protections is not unheard of. NOAA Fisheries’ pulled eastern North Pacific gray whales off the list 20 years ago. And last year, it delisted eastern Steller sea lions, which live in Southeast.
It was billed as a chance to hash out some big, serious issues. How can the city balance a growing demand for services with flat or declining revenue? Should we raise taxes? Cut services? Grow the economy? And how?
Last week (Thu 2-27-2014), Sitka’s current City Administrator, Mark Gorman, invited three of his predecessors – Gary Paxton, Hugh Bevan, and John Stein – to join him for a live, public town hall meeting before an audience of about 35 residents, to discuss how to tackle some of the major challenges ahead for the city. The event was broadcast live on Raven Radio.
But the night started out on a simpler note:
“I was going to say, everybody raise your hand who doesn’t recycle, but don’t do that,” said Paxton, who was city administrator for nine years, 1992 to 2001. ”But listen, If you don’t recycle, dang it, recycle!”
It might seem like a small issue, but Paxton argued that engaging citizens, in ways both large and small, has always been the key to meeting Sitka’s challenges.
When the city clearly explains a need, he said, residents rise to the occasion.
“The good news is that our citizens, in my view, have always come to the needs of the city government in our town, when the need is there,” Paxton said.
For instance, he said, when the pulp mill closed during his tenure, residents voted to increase the sales tax from four to five percent to keep the city budget afloat.
The panel split over the question of deferred maintenance, the amount the city has to pay to keep up basic infrastructure. Gorman said the city will need $97-million dollars to cover deferred maintenance over the next 20 years.
“We all talk about well maybe it’s time to let our roads go back to gravel,” he said. “We’re not even putting enough aside to take care of gravel roads.”
But Hugh Bevan, who served as city administrator from 2003 to 2005, said the situation is not nearly so dire.
“I think we need to keep one foot on the ground with this whole deferred maintenance thing,” Bevan said. “I’ve been fortunate to live in a lot of little towns in Alaska in the last forty years, and Sitka is in really great shape….You’re building an $11-million addition to this building, a brand new library, we just paid cash for a fire station, putting brand new roofs on everything…I think we’ve sort of spooked ourselves with this whole deferred maintenance [concern].”
Bevan said that one way to address road repairs is through public-private partnerships, in which local neighborhoods band together to pitch in 25% of the cost of their local street work.
John Stein, who served as administrator from 2005 to 2008, said Sitka has seen that process work before.
“That’s how Sitka’s roads were built,” Stein said. “A third was the city, a third was one side of the street, a third was the other side of the street, and we used state money, so a lot of that 1970 construction was shared costs.”
Stein also pointed out that Sitka has enjoyed about forty years of low property taxes, and maybe that era has to come to an end.
Resident Anne Pollnow proposed a different option, instead: rescinding the senior sales tax exemption.
“I know it’s never popular,” Pollnow said. “It’s been proposed at assembly meetings and it always gets shot down, and I feel very brave right now, coming forward with that, but I am, because I am having a really hard time.”
Many in the audience agreed with Pollnow. Others said that seniors living on fixed incomes are already stretched too thin, and getting rid of the exemption could drive them out of town.
One thing everyone agreed upon was the need for more affordable housing. Sitka resident Eric Jordan said the city’s biggest asset is its beautiful location and vibrant community — but that many people who would otherwise flock to Sitka are locked out by the price of homes.
“Fishermen from around this region – I know several including my own son – they would love to live here, if they could afford it,” Jordan said.
Current city administrator Mark Gorman said he recognized the importance of talking about some of these issues informally, before the assembly begins its annual — and often stressful — budget process. He referred to his three predecessors as an important asset for the community, and said that he personally had learned a lot.
And also, he said, to laughter, “Dang it. Recycle. It makes you feel good.”
FAIRBANKS — Craig Smith finds his peace in his passions. While many people set aside some time each day or each week to practice their hobbies, Smith has brought his two passions together into his everyday life through his business.
Smith owns the music store Pro Music, a cozy shop located on the Chena River just across the water from the Chief David Salmon Tribal Hall. Smith sells various musical equipment upstairs and teaches lessons downstairs.
ANCHORAGE — A reader named Kari Miranda wrote me an email a few weeks ago that caught my attention in the first paragraph.
“Journalism, to me, (in my non-educated mind) is all about story-telling,” she wrote. “Not just factual statements covering the local buzz, but the stories and lives behind the ‘news.’ “ Her family had a story to tell, she said.
“My parents are deaf,” she went on. “Yes, note the plural. Parent(s). Which means both of them. (Can you guess how many times I’ve been asked that in my life? Smiles...).”
KENAI — Once a month the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center adorned with taxidermy and kids’ artwork fills up with preschoolers and their parents as well as a few siblings eager to learn, play and create.
On erecent Thursday, when kids arrived to Little PEEPs — Preschool Environmental Education Programs — they saw laminated paper mice, shrews and voles — the theme of the session — scattered about the main room of the center.
JUNEAU — In years past, work in the Legislature during the first week of March would slow substantially, if not grind to a near halt, to allow lawmakers to travel to The Energy Council and other meetings in Washington, D.C. Some would take time to return home to meet with constituents.
House and Senate leaders said that won’t happen this year. With major issues still pending, the majority offices said committee meetings will continue and floor sessions will be held, with fewer members expected to be gone than last year.
A North Pole Republican is trying to change the Alaska Landlord and Tenant Act for the first time since the early 1990s.
HB282, sponsored by Rep. Doug Isaacson, R-North Pole, includes minor technical updates and serious alterations to the tenant act, such as a section authorizing landlords to collect unpaid rent from a tenant’s Permanent Fund Dividend.
The House Labor and Commerce committee listened to testimony on HB282, but took no action Friday. Isaacson called his proposal the “never-ending bill” because it’s been tinkered with regularly over the past year.