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    National abortion chain endorses Anchorage mayoral and school board candidates

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    Abortion rally pic
    Abortion rally pic

    As I write this, the U.S. Senate is considering the nomination of one of the most pro-abortion candidates for Health and Human Services in history, Alex Becerra.

    Likely this week, the U.S. Congress will be voting on the mislabeled, Equality Act, that would be horrific public policy for those who care about the rights of unborn Americans.

    Federally, it is no surprise that public officials are advancing measures to make it easier for pre-born babies to be aborted. In the Alaska State Legislature, we are often fighting this battle in Juneau against those who see the taking of unborn life as a “fundamental right.”

    But what about when Planned Parenthood, an organization that performed 354,871 abortions according to it’s latest report, actively tries to get people elected to office in local races ? What is it they are trying to do ?

    In the upcoming Municipality of Anchorage Election taking place on Tuesday, April 6, the largest abortion provider in America is endorsing six candidates. In the race for Mayor, Forrest Dunbar, Bill Falsey and George Martinez have received a stamp of approval from Planned Parenthood. In the School Board contest, Carl Jacobs, Kelly Lessens and Dora Wilson get a thumbs up.

    Alaska Family Action is finalizing our annual Values Voter Guide survey that we do across the state and that will be available shortly for the Municipality of Anchorage election. Stay tuned.

    But for now, we thought it was important to inform pro-family, pro-life Alaskans as soon as possible about those in the race who are proud to be associated with an organization whose founder, Margaret Sanger, “skillfully crafted her language of caring for children and women while at the same time blatantly spewing her repugnance for the ‘unfit,’ the ‘garden weeds,’ and the “human beings who should never have been born at all.”

    Make no mistake about it. Margaret Sanger, a racist and eugenicist, and her vision for Planned Parenthood lives on.

    How ironic that liberal, progressive-minded people like these six candidates, who define themselves as tolerant when it suits them, are so proud to associate with and even wave the banner for a group whose founder is also quoted as saying, “the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.

    Abortion has such ugly roots and its fruit is as disdainful and heartbreaking as it has ever been

    As you’re preparing yourself for the April 6 election, ask yourself if you want people on the Anchorage School Board comfortable with calling people “human weeds.”  Consider those same candidates’ desire to give books like Planned Parenthood-approved “They Call Me Max” about a gender-confused girl to 3rd graders. The comprehensive sex-ed curricula being advanced by Planned Parenthood across the country actually includes promoting pornography to stay at home youth during the pandemic.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    On the mayoral side, these candidates have likely assured Planned Parenthood, based on surveys found in other communities, that they support the Municipality of Anchorage providing funding for abortions, an insurance plan that underwrites abortion and “gender reassignment” procedures along with direct funding from the muni, meaning your taxes and mine, to the abortion giant.

    It’s truly mind boggling to comprehend how power, in the hands of those who are not aligned with Biblical truth, can harm a community.  “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2

    But do not lose hope. We are each called to engage for such a time as this.

    The views expressed here are those of the author.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Kenai looks to extend emergency declaration until mid summer to tap federal funds

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    Kenai sign
    Kenai sign

    The Kenai Borough Assembly will consider a resolution to extend its disaster emergency declaration until June 30. The proposal, introduced by Assemblyman Tyson Cox, will be taken up at the March 21 meeting.

    COVID case counts are down and hospitalization rates are low on the Kenai but extending the emergency declaration has more to do with ongoing expenses associated with vaccine distribution than it does with infection rates or hospital bed capacity.

    The current disaster declaration is set to expire on March 31, and Cox said extending it to June 30 lets the borough to tap into federal funds to pay for vaccine distribution centers, such as the one in Soldotna. It does about 350 vaccines each weekend, he said.

    Cox isn’t sure if the state will be able to pay for vaccine distribution going forward and wants to ensure access to the federal money stream through FEMA funds.

    “Let’s get our bearings and make sure these clinics go for now,” he said. “Continuing for three more months puts us into the new fiscal year, which is a great time to relook at this to see if that’s necessary. I’m the last one to want to continue an emergency declaration if it’s not needed.”

    By extending the disaster declaration, the borough could issue COVID mandates, but Cox said that is not his intent.

    “The borough has no mandates in place now and we wouldn’t be changing any of that,” he said. “It’s more of a paper pushing thing where we’re trying to make sure we’re eligible for federal funds to continue these programs.”

    When asked when he thought the borough could stop issuing disaster declarations altogether, Cox said he hopes that day arrives soon.

    “I hope to get back to normal,” he said. “But with the state opening up, I don’t think it is a bad thing to go until June.”

    His resolution notes that the borough continues to incur significant expenses for “planning and coordinating vaccination acquisition, training, storage, distribution, and the administration of shots,” which requires additional temporary workers. An attached memo from Kenai Borough Emergency Manager Dan Nelson says the borough also needs federal money to continue disseminating information about COVID, pay for personal protective equipment for first responders and pay for quarantine and overtime backfill.

    Additionally, the emergency declaration allows the borough to use borough emergency response personnel to administer vaccines across the region, while paying for two temporary employees who have a role in “vaccine-related actions” by manning a call center.

    The Borough first issued a disaster declaration on March 31, 2021. It has been extended ever since.

    Mat-Su submits bid to host premier arctic sporting event

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    Thousands of northern and arctic athletes from across the circumpolar region may be headed to the Mat-Su if the borough’s bid to host the 2024 Arctic Winter Games is accepted.

    On Feb. 19, the Mat-Su Borough sent in its official bid to host the games, which feature high-profile competition for developing athletes from northern regions around the world. It typically takes about three weeks for bids to be reviewed.

    The Borough Assembly voted to move forward with its bid at the Feb. 2 Assembly meeting.  They also agreed to appropriate $250,000 for start-up and organizational costs. The state of Alaska is chipping in an additional $2 million according to a media release by the Mat-Su Borough. That accounts for about half of the estimated $4 million to $6 million the games will cost. The remaining funds will “largely be covered through grants, sponsorships and in-kind donations,” the borough says.

    The Arctic Winter Games, which occurs every two years, began in 1970 in Yellowknife, capital of the Northwest Territories. Today, roughly 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials take part in the games with the official goal of strengthening sport development, building partnerships and promoting cultures and values.

    Competitions include alpine skiing, dog mushing, figure skating, hockey, snowboarding, snowshoe running and speed skating. It also entails traditional Native competitions like ear pull and high kick. Other sports are curling, basketball, volleyball and others.

    Alaska has hosted the games six times over the past 50 years, three times in Fairbanks, and once in Anchorage, Eagle River and the Kenai. If the Mat-Su bid is approved, it will be the first time the Valley has played host. The 2022 Games are scheduled for Alberta.

    If the Mat-Su is picked to host, the planning process will be run by a non-profit called the Host Society. Members of the community with expertise in the Arctic Winter Games as well as the individual events, will support the Host Society.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    ASAA tables plan to punish Alaska student athletes for ‘hate speech’

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    The Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) postponed action to impose severe penalties on any student athlete who uses certain words deemed “hate speech.”

    The item was up for discussion at the Feb. 22 ASAA board meeting but it was tabled until board members can get a better handle on exactly why Alaska high school sports need a new hate speech ban. According to ASAA Executive Director Billy Strickland, the board also wanted more information about how repeated violations would be handled, and what sort of training courses students should take to correct their behavior.

    The proposal requires students to complete a sportsmanship course aimed at reforming their ways before they can resume competition.

    Other items the board sought to explore included reviewing how officials are currently dealing with unsportsmanlike conduct, developing an appeal process for students deemed sufficiently guilty of hate speech, and considering how to create a pre-season educational program to ensure athletes complied with the speech rules.

    Hate speech policies are fraught with legal and social controversy, and the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that “students in school as well as out of school are ‘persons’ under our Constitution,” and as such they do not lose their First Amendment rights in a school setting. Critics of hate speech policies contend that they are often used to ban protected speech, such as expressing opinions on controversial moral or religious ideas that pertain to sexuality, gender identity or other hot-button issues.

    That does not mean students can say anything.

    In a 1999 Supreme Court case alleging student harassment, the court said the harassment must be so “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, that it effectively bars the victims’ access to an educational opportunity or benefit.” The opinion explicitly requires that the harassment be judged by an objective standard that meets all three criteria (“severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive”).

    As written, ASAA’s draft policy aims to “Institute more severe consequences for an athlete who persists in “behavior aimed at a person’s sex, gender identification, race, religion, creed, age, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or disability that substantially interferes with a students’ school performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive school environment.”

    The policy makes no mention of comments aimed at other qualities such as a person’s weight, physical appearance, economic or educational status, political or social beliefs or other characteristics. It also fails to identify exactly what sort of comments or actions are prohibited.

    Practically speaking officials would be required to immediately eject anyone who violates the policy. If a referee fails to hear an offending comment, students are urged to quickly alert their coaches, point out the person who belittled them, and recount exactly what they found hurtful. Coaches must then immediately tell the official.

    “The official will then inform the other head coach of the accusation,” the policy states. “The official shall also notify ASAA with 24 hours of ALL situations in which hate speech or harassment was suspected.”

    The proposed policy requires students to complete a sportsmanship course aimed at reforming their ways before they can resume competition.

    School administrators are required to meet with alleged offenders and victims and investigate the situation to determine if the accused is guilty.

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    Sen. Reinbold video responds to Gov. Dunleavy’s critical letter

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    Sen. Lora Reinbold released a video response to a letter issued last Thursday by Gov. Mike Dunleavy which claims she abused her elected office by accusing him of mismanaging Alaska’s COVID response and treating his staff and employees unprofessionally.

    Published Feb. 20, Reinbold’s video takes the governor to task for both the content of his letter and his decision to cut all ties with her or the Senate Judiciary Committee which she chairs.

    The governor’s letter asserted that Reinbold has used her committee chairmanship to impugn the motives of his staff and employees. Because of this, the governor’s letter stated that they will “not be responding, or participating, in any matter that pertains to yourself, your office, or, currently, in your capacity as the chair of a committee.”

    “Because the Judiciary Committee oversees the Department of Law and activities in regard to the Department of Law, in addition to activities in the courts, and we look at any bills referred to our committee that have anything to do with the dept. of law – criminal, penalties, civil penalties etc.…, it is my duty as judiciary chair to ask the tough questions of the executive branch,” Reinbold retorted.

    She noted that the committee has asked members of the Dept. of Law to answer questions as to why the governor continued to extend the disaster declaration, “which many of us believe are unfounded.” She noted that one disaster declaration stated that all hospitals were at or near full capacity.

    “We just ask, show us the data,” she said. “Show us why over thanksgiving, you decided to keep us under disaster declaration, based on this data.”

    Reinbold added that she has repeatedly asked the governor, “What about the constitutional violations and what about the arbitrary applications, where some (businesses} are essential and some are not essential,” she said.

    Members of the State Senate are concerned that the ongoing dispute between the two could hamper the work of the Legislature if the governor is unwilling to allow his staff and employees to testify and interact with the Senate Judiciary Committee or other committees Reinbold sits on. In addition to chairing the Judicial Committee, she is vice chair of the Senate’s Legislative Council and State Affairs Committee and sits on three other sub-committees.

    Senate President Peter Micciche said Friday that he hopes the governor and Reinbold can settle their issues quickly. Speaking on the Birds Eye View radio station he said the governor’s letter took things to the “next level.”

    “So, we’ll sit down with the involved parties and try to find a solution forward together,” he said.

    Micciche lamented the fact that the governor’s letter was leaked to the media.

    “I actually don’t know how it became public,” he said. “The only one’s copied on the letter is my office and the minority leader’s office. I am actually flattened every time I realize how quickly things go public now. We have people in the building that will intercept things and get them out immediately and it’s extremely unprofessional.”

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Dunleavy has no COVID symptoms but chooses weeklong isolation after ‘close contact’

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    Gov. Mike Dunleavy has decided to spend the next week hunkered down in his Wasilla home after being informed that he was in close contact on Feb. 21 with someone who was later discovered to be positive for coronavirus.

    An official notice about the governor’s plan was released Feb. 22. It states that Dunleavy received a COVID-19 rapid test and “immediately went into self-isolation at his home.”

    The test result came back negative on Feb. 22 and he shows “no symptoms of the disease.” Nevertheless, Dunleavy plans to quarantine for a minimum of seven days in accord with procedures from the Centers for Disease Control and the Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services.

    He plans to telework from home as he receives additional tests. He will resume normal work when it is “certain he is free of the virus,” the notice states.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    2.20 > Career & Tech Admissions

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    At the repeated request of parents we looked into a story involving the Matsu Borough School District and the recent, sudden change, in the manner of admissions into MatSu Career and Tech high school.

    When the school was originally founded, under the guidance of then principal Ben Eveland, Career and Tech operated under a tried and true, Career Academy Model. The point of the school was to teach core classes required to graduate and in lieu of the arts and music, help kids choose a pathway toward a skillset and a career that would give them important career insight and experience upon graduation.

    This is how the school first operated, with the goal of encouraging students to pursue not necessarily college, but whatever post-secondary training would land them in the career they had learned about and expressed interest in. That could be specific training in Vocational Ed, Apprenticeship, or other workforce training in the trades, OR College.

    When Ben Eveland was replaced by recently retired principal Mark Okeson, things began to change. I interviewed a teacher who was present when Principal Okeson began the transition away from Career Academy Model, to College Prep, with the introduction of advanced placement or AP classes, which often ended up replacing a tech class and leaving much of the Career and Tech facility underutilized.

    The staff at the time was almost universally opposed to the idea because the Model of Career and Tech is not to funnel kids into the Ivy Leagues, but Okeson didn’t see it that way and over the years transformed Career and Tech into the top academically performing school in the state. At the end of his career, Okeson did this by only allowing students with academic performance exceeding 95% of their peers admission to Career and Tech, provided they interviewed well. Basically he only accepted the cream of the educational crop.

    Last Summer the office of the Commissioner of Education noticed some glaring disparities in the demographics of the school. According to Superintendent Trani, the state told the MatSu School District that if they didn’t fix their demographics, they risked losing their Perkins Grant funding, which is the bulk of the funding for Career and Tech Elective Classes.

    School Board President Tom Bergey stated that removal of the Perkins Grant would not have caused the outright closure of Career and Tech, but would have made it’s original Career and Tech mission very difficult to fund.

    To address this, and to the dismay of many parents, the admission process based on merit, effort and desire that Career and Tech had used until the end of Calendar year 2020 was ended, and the school has moved to a lottery system for selecting admissions. The application process still requires a short essay and two letters of reference to apply, but applicants will be chosen at random by computer.

    This formalized lottery change gets to the heart of two issues. The first is the currently arbitrary way that our charter schools hold admission lotteries. Until now, staff might, after 6pm, behind locked doors, open all the envelopes, debate with fellow staff who they liked, and literally choose the winners. The list of complaints against MatSu charter schools for picking students based on Who you Know, is quite long, and the complaints have been ongoing for years according to both Trani and Bergey. When public tax dollars are paying for your teachers and building, it would be an understatement to simply call that an unethical no no.

    MatSu Career and Tech had taken this exclusionary selection process to the extreme in recent years, according to Superintendent Trani, by selecting students who weren’t even living in MatSu or even in STATE, over applicants who live here and who’s parents are undoubtedly footing the bill. Imagine if you found out your kid was passed over for admission because a kid from out of state “interviewed well” while you’ve been paying your property taxes here in MatSu for several decades… One could be forgiven for getting a little hot under the collar.

    Superintendent Traini told the Alaska Watchman the lottery process across MatSu Borough School district charter schools is about to undergo a serious transparency overhaul that eliminates the possibility of preferential treatments and makes student admissions truly randomized and fair.

    The second issue is the abandonment of the last vestiages of meritocracy left in public education. When you make it out of high school, whether or not you give a rip MATTERS. Said a better way, your altitude is determined by your attitude. Career Tech sought to instill this value in its students, and this skill would have served students regardless of whether they went on to post-secondary education, or went straight into the workforce.

    Most parents understand this truth, and it’s abandonment on the altar of equal percentage distributions is no guarantee that the demographics at Career Tech will improve. Superintendent Randy Trani, and School Board President Tom Bergey both admit as much, but said specifically, this change will appease the State for now.

    Time will tell if educational experiences and outcomes at Career and Tech move successfully back to a Career Academy Model meant for ALL kids, or whether this change is simply more bureaucratic meddling fraught with unintended consequences and little benefit.

    Murkowski is a key vote as Congress aims to pass radical pro-abortion/LGBT Equality Act

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    LGBT march
    LGBT march

    The U.S. House in on the cusp of passing an extremely radical bill that would advance the abortion and LGBTQ agenda nationwide. Coined the “Equality Act,” it was introduced, Feb. 18, by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The House is expected to vote on the measure next week.

    Passed by the Democratic-controlled House in 2019, the Equality Act stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. This time around, Democrats narrowly control both chambers of Congress and have a president eager to sign the bill.

    In 2019, Alaska’s Rep. Don Young was one of only 20 Representatives who did not cast a vote on the bill. It ultimately passed the House with 228 Democrats and 8 Republicans in favor, and 173 Republicans voting against it. While weakened after the recent election, Democrats still hold a narrow 221 to 211 majority in the House.

    The U.S. Senate is more complicated. With a 50-50 split, Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote gives Democrats a narrow majority, but that may not be enough to pass the legislation because the bill requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and make it to the Senate floor. That means Democrats need to convince 10 Republicans to jump ship.

    In 2019, Sen. Susan Collins of Main was the only Republican to express support for the Equality Act. It is unclear where Sen. Lisa Murkowski stands, but she has increasingly aligned herself with the more radical elements of the pro-abortion and LGBTQ agenda.

    If the Equality Act does pass out of the Senate and Biden signs it into law, it would change the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include “gender identity and sexual orientation” among the legally recognized “non-discrimination” classifications. This would mandate that Americans accommodate and facilitate behavior and events associated with the LGBTQ movement in private establishments, business, health care, entertainment and many other areas.

    Furthermore, the Equality Act would require businesses with more than 15 employees to affirm officially recognize gender identities and sexual orientations, and would ban opposite-sex locker rooms and restrooms.

    On the abortion front, the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act by removing any language that currently allows Congress to withhold federal funding for abortions. The bill could also be used to force healthcare professionals to facilitate abortion on demand, even against their conscience.

    TAKING ACTION

    • Click here to contact Rep. Don Young.
    • Click here to contact Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
    • Click here to contact Sen. Dan Sullivan.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    CDC records one more Alaska death, two life threating reactions following COVID shots

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    A 71-year-old Alaska man with a preexisting heart condition died one week after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination, according to the latest report from the CDC’s VAERS reporting website.

    Posted on Feb. 19, the report notes that the man died Jan. 19 of a heart attack “one week to the day” after getting his first shot. The medical write up states that he had no known allergies but had history of heart conditions. The cause of death is listed as a heart attack, and the attending physician was “not aware of any adverse events experienced from the time of vaccination to the date of death.” Due to the timing, however, the write up states that the vaccine “cannot be fully excluded” as having played some part.

    The latest report shows that two other Alaskans experienced life-threatening but non-fatal conditions 12 days after receiving Pfizer vaccinations. The first was a 30-year-old woman who was extremely ill, weak and running a fever. The woman was hospitalized twice. According to the report, she said the vaccination was the “only new/out of the ordinary thing that she can remember recently” in regards to her medical history. The other case involved a 70-year-old woman with a preexisting heart condition who experienced a stroke on Jan. 27.

    With the latest fatality, Alaska has now reported a total of eight post-COVID vaccination deaths and 137 total adverse reactions to the VAERS website. Nationally, nearly 16,000 adverse reactions with 929 deaths, post vaccination, have been reported to VAERS.

    Anyone in the nation – including healthcare workers and others – can report adverse reactions or deaths following vaccinations on the VAERS website. The CDC investigates the raw data and later issues information on whether it believes the deaths were due to COVID or some other underlying condition. To date, the CDC has dismissed the possibility that any post-COVID vaccination deaths have had anything to do with the vaccine. Alaska’s state health officials, who rely exclusively on CDC’s investigations of adverse reaction, have echoed this opinion.

    The VAERS website only captures a fraction of death reports for any given vaccine, as the vast majority are never entered into the website.

    The CDC automatically requests medical records, autopsy reports and death certificates on all deaths listed in VAERS. Alaska is only contacted if CDC thinks further investigation is needed. These investigation notifications are not made public, however, because they contain details that could identify the deceased.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Gov. Dunleavy cuts all ties with Sen. Lora Reinbold over COVID disputes

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    Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent a scathing letter to Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River), claiming she abused her office as a state senator in accusing him of grossly mismanaging Alaska’s COVID response. The Feb. 18 letter tells Reinbold that she has “abdicated the tenets of your oath of office” to “publicly misrepresent” the administration.

    Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River)

    “You impugned the motivations of unelected and non-political employees working for the State of Alaska with baseless allegations,” Dunleavy asserts.

    He also responded to Reinbold’s suggestion that his emergency orders were akin to martial laws.

    “I have never imposed martial law or forced Alaskans to take the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dunleavy stated. He added that his administration has worked to provide voluntary access to the vaccine and to suspend regulations to enable Alaskans to work and interact amid the health and economic impact of the virus.

    “This letter serves as notice that all officials and staff, employed and serving the State of Alaska’s Executive Branch of government, will not be responding, or participating, in any matter that pertains to yourself, your office, or, currently, in your capacity as the chair of a committee,” Dunleavy concluded. “It is lamentable that the good citizens of Eagle River and Chugiak are deprived of meaningful representation by the actions of the person holding the office of Senator.”

    Sen. Reinbold has criticized Dunleavy and his administration for repeatedly telling Alaskans that they should wear masks and get vaccinated. Her Facebook feed includes multiple posts that challenge the efficacy of masks and question state health officials’ motivations for hammering away on their importance.

    Likewise, Reinbold has decried Dunleavy for repeatedly extending his disaster declarations, and has raised serious questions about the way the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were fast-tracked for public use by skipping key test trials and quickly being approved by the FDA for emergency use. She has argued that Alaskans should be better informed about the risks of the vaccines so that they have all the facts before deciding whether on not to get vaccinated.

    It’s unclear how Dunleavy’s stance toward Reinbold will affect his administration’s ability to effectively communicate its concerns with the Legislature. In refusing to interact with Reinbold in any way, Dunleavy has created an awkward situation, as Reinbold chairs the Senate Judicial Committee, and is the vice chair of the Senate’s Legislative Council and State Affairs Committee. She is also sits on three other sub-committees.

    The Watchman has reached out to Reinbold for comment. This is a developing story.

    Click the link below to read Dunleavy’s letter to Reinbold:

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.