Joel Davidson, Author at Alaska Watchman
 
Joel Davidson

HomeAuthorJoel Davidson, Author at Alaska Watchman

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Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced May 20 that the Permanent Fund Dividend Division will begin distribution of the 2020 PFD to all eligible Alaskans on July 1, three months earlier than normal. The Alaska Legislature capped the dividend at $1,000 this year rather than paying out the full statutory dividend which would have been $3,100. Dunleavy pushed for the traditional dividend but his proposal was rejected by lawmakers in the ongoing battle to restore payment of...

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Based on his comments at the May 19 Anchorage Assembly meeting, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz seems determined to keep his health orders in place for churches, businesses and other sectors of the economy. This comes despite the fact that Gov. Mike Dunleavy is lifting nearly all statewide mandates on May 22. While he may not be interested in opening the city for widespread business, the mayor did have an idea on how to give residents a...

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While Gov. Mike Dunleavy is set to remove all health mandates on businesses, churches and cultural entities by May 22, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz does not plan to let Alaska’s largest city follow the same timeline. During the May 19 Anchorage Assembly meeting he was asked whether Anchorage will take the governor’s lead. “Well, the governor and I have worked very well together on the pandemic response and we are going to continue to do...

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The time has come to move away from fear and hiding from COVID-19 and towards widespread but careful opening of Alaska’s businesses, churches and cultural life, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced on May 19. Starting Friday, May 22, businesses and other entities will be allowed to open at 100% capacity while being encouraged to continue health and hygiene advisories. “I’m going to encourage all Alaskans to help our businesses and help our economy in Alaska by...

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Pope Francis has named Juneau Bishop Andrew Bellisario as archbishop of the newly founded Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. The announcement was made on May 19. In combining the dioceses of Southeast and Southcentral Alaska, the state now has just two dioceses. The other is in Fairbanks. Bellisario will oversee more than 24,000 Catholics in the 139,000 square mile Anchorage Archdiocese and more than 7,200 Catholics in the 37,500 square mile Juneau Diocese. Between the two there...

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Governor Mike Dunleavy indicated that most health mandates will be lifted and/or substantially eased this week as the number of COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations remain extremely low in Alaska. “We will probably end up retaining just a few things that will be up for specific groups such as large gatherings, concerts, things like that,” Dunleavy said during his May 18 press conference. “Pretty soon I think you’re going to recognize the Alaska that we once...

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The home of Big Bird, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and other family favorites is turning its attention to promoting LGBTQ life in the Deep South. “Prideland” is the Public Broadcasting Networks latest offering. The six-episode documentary attacks the traditional Christian faith of a Mississippi minister while championing a baker who asserts his “LGBTQ rights” in heart of the Bible belt. It also features a gay pastor and promotes same-sex adoptions. The documentary, which is part of...

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One of the most influential black Americans is rarely mentioned by the mainstream media. Tonight (May 18), however, the recent movie about conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will show at 6 p.m. Alaska time on most PBS stations across the state. “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in his own words” features Justice Thomas and his wife, Virginia, who were interviewed for more than 30 hours, over many months. “Justice Thomas tells his entire life’s story,...

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Lieutenant Gov. Kevin Meyer is right to reject pressure to enact a mail-in-only voting system for Alaska during COVID-19. Despite assurances that widespread mail-in voting is secure, the data simply does not bear this out. A new detailed report on mail-in deficiencies was released by Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) revealing that 28.3 million mail-in ballots have gone missing from 2012 to 2018 in national elections. FINDINGS FROM 2012-2018: 146,371,771 ballots mailed out 1 in 5...

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Alaska Lieut. Governor Kevin Meyer said Alaska will conduct the August primary election in the traditional manner, with all options available for Alaskan voters. This includes absentee voting, early voting up to two weeks prior to election day, and in-person, election day voting. “Balancing the interest in public health with the constitutional right to vote means the 2020 election will be unlike any we have seen in our lifetime,” Meyer stated May 15. “We take...