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The MRAK Almanac is your place for political, cultural, and civic events, events where you’ll meet political leaders or, if you are interested in getting to know your state, these are places to meet conservative- and moderate-leaning Alaskans.
Question: What is Alaska’s state insect?
Answer: While most Alaskans would likely answer with the mosquito, the state insect of Alaska actually consumes (in vast numbers) those whining winged invaders: the four-spotted skimmer dragonfly. Alaska adopted the dragonfly as its state insect in 1995 after a referendum among Alaska’s public school students. It bested the mosquito 3,914 votes to 3,035. From our science desk, we’re happy to report that dragonflies eat mosquitoes, and mosquito season is upon us.
6/17: Copper River personal use dip-netting fishery will be open for a 168-hour period from Monday June 17 through Sunday June 23. This unique fishery is open only to Alaska residents, and the annual limit is 25 salmon for the head of household and 10 salmon for each dependent of the permit holder.
6/17: Alaska State Commission for Human Rights will meet in Anchorage at 9 am. There will be no public comment period at this meeting, and most of the meeting will take place in executive session to discuss the hire of a new executive director. Read the agenda here.
6/17: Mat-Su Miners play the Glacier Pilots at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer, 7 pm. It’s Military Appreciation night. Schedule for other games this week here.
6/17: Elephant (Spirit) Lake near Kenai will be stocked with approximately 5,000 catchable arctic char this morning. Here’s to bent rods and wet lines.
6/17: Gazebo Night Summer Performance at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. Come to enjoy live music at 7 pm. Free.
6/17: Deadline to submit public comments to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority regarding the upcoming competitive lease of 24 land parcels across the state. The authority owns and manages almost one million acres of land. Read more here.
6/17: The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly will hold a regular meeting at 5:30 pm. On tap for this evening is approval of a state lobbying contract for $48,000 as well as discussion of an increase on the tobacco excise tax. Read the full agenda here.
6/17: The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce will host the regional director of the U.S. Small Business Administration to speak about rural small business initiatives and technical assistance offered from the federal government. Registration is required, Facebook link here.
6/17: HooDoo Beer Night at Growden baseball fields in Fairbanks. Facebook link here.
6/18: The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a public hearing to discuss deferred maintenance needs on federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is chair. The hearing can be viewed live here.
6/18: The Anchorage Assembly will hold a regular meeting at 5 pm. There will be various ordinances up for public comment, including new regulations for bear-proof trash cans and new homeless shelter rules. Access the full agenda here.
6/18: Alaska State Fair Royalty informational meeting in Eagle River. Come to learn more about being a royalty contestant at the state fair in late August. Read more here.
6/18: Regular meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly. Will begin at 6 pm at the assembly chambers in Soldotna. Read the agenda at this link.
6/18: The Fairbanks Borough Assembly will be interviewing five candidates for vacant assembly Seat E. Read their names here.
6/18: Monthly board meeting of the Denali Chamber of Commerce in Healy. Begins at 6:30 pm at the Healy Visitors Center.
6/18: Re-elect Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly kick-off fundraiser and reception at the home of Ralph and Connie Seekins. Begins at 5:30 pm. Can’t go? Info at www.jimmatherly.com
6/20: KTOO has an electronics garage sale at 360 Egan Drive in Juneau. Obsolete computer and broadcast gear and some of it will be free to a good home.
6/20-23: International Food Blogger Conference comes to Juneau. Approximately 250 bloggers, writers, foodies, influencers, social media gurus, food company representatives, and others will gather to talk, eat, and learn. More info here.
6/21: Summer solstice.
ALASKA HISTORY ARCHIVE
June 17, 1925: On President Calvin Coolidge’s recommendation, George Alexander Parks took the oath of office as the 5th Governor of the Alaska Territory. A mining engineer, Parks spent most of his life in Alaska serving in various government positions regulating land use and permitting. After hearing of Parks’ extensive knowledge of the territory, President Coolidge nominated him to serve as territorial governor. The 323-mile George Parks Highway, connecting the city of Fairbanks with the Glenn Highway north of Anchorage, is named in honor of Gov. Parks.
June 18, 1945: General Simon Buckner Jr., commander of the U.S. Army’s Alaska Defense Command during World War II, was killed by Japanese artillery fire in in the Battle of Okinawa. General Buckner was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to oversee army operations in Alaska in 1940. He also supervised military response to both the attack on Dutch Harbor in 1942 and the famed Battle of Attu in 1943. The general was the highest-ranking U.S. military officer killed by enemy fire during World War II.