MRAK Almanac: Last chance for Denali Road Lottery


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 great places to meet conservative- and moderate-leaning Alaskans.

May 29 is the 149th day of 2019. Here is a sampling of day-length data from across the state:

Juneau will receive 17 hours, 38 minutes of official daylight.

Anchorage will receive 18 hours, 32 minutes.

Fairbanks clocks in with 20 hours, 16 minutes.

In Utqiagvik, the sun will shine all day.

Mt. Denali Update: According to the National Park Service as of May 27, a total of nine summits of Denali have been completed this season. Out of the 112 completed climbs, this makes a “summit percentage” of about eight percent– pretty steep. As of Monday night, the weather on the mountain was “nicer than it had been, but still not flyable”. Detailed report here.

May 1-31: The month of May is the application period for the road lottery in Denali National Park. Winners of the lottery (notified in mid-June) are granted special permission to drive the entire park road (92 miles total) during a four-day window in September. Application fee is $15, and your chances of getting it are around 1 in 7. Link to apply here.

May 29: House Finance takes up HB 1005, the Permanent Fund dividend bill, at 10 am. This meeting was also scheduled for Monday but delayed to the call of the chair.

May 29: Fairbanks Paddlers’ Association annual Chena River Cleanup. Bring your canoe or kayak and help clean up the banks of the Golden Heart City’s beloved waterway. Details here.

May 29: Farewell Mass for Anchorage Archbishop Etienne, who was tapped by Pope Francis to serve as the new coadjutor archbishop of Seattle. The farewell ceremony will take place at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Anchorage. Details here.

May 29: Alaska Criminal Justice Commission’s Behavioral Health Standing Committee will meet in Anchorage at 9 am. Open to the public, more info here.

May 29: Alaska Marine Policy Forum conference call. Listen in for updates on marine policy in Alaskan waters. Call-in logistics here.

May 29-31: Alaska Board of Public Accountancy quarterly board meeting in Anchorage. Public is welcome to attend. Agenda and location here.

May 30: Alaska Oil & Gas Association (AOGA) will hold its annual conference. Gov. Mike Dunleavy, as well as leaders of Alaska’s oil and gas industry will be speaking. Details here.

May 30: Fairbanks Housing & Homeless Coalition meeting from noon to 1 pm in the City Council Chambers.

May 29-30: Alaska Housing Finance Corporation offers a free course for prospective homebuyers in the Mat-Su. 6-9 pm Wednesday and Thursday at the MTA Building – Large conference room.

May 30: The City of Seward will be holding a bid sale of properties on First Avenue. Minimum bid of $17,500 per lot is required. Details here.

May 30: Fairbanks North Star Borough Know Your Property seminar. This free master class will enlist industry professionals to teach you how to take advantage of available information about your property and be a more informed homeowner.

May 30: UAF Arctic Research Building open house. Hear first-hand from scientists working on climate science, arctic food production, and cold-weather living. Details here.  

May 31: Pacific Island Festival at Cuddy Family Park in Anchorage. Come to celebrate pacific island history and culture, and enjoy some great food and art from local vendors. Runs from noon to 9 pm.


May 29, 1939: Eighty years ago today Mount Veniaminof erupted in a fury of ash and flames. A passing U.S. Coast Guard Cutter reported an ash cloud of over 20,000 feet, with flames reaching nearly 1,500 feet above the stratovolcano’s summit. More Alaska volcano history at this link.

May 30, 1778: The exploration vessels lead by Captain James Cook discovered Cook Inlet’s Turnagain Arm. According to lore, Captain Cook gave the stretch of water its name when he and his men were forced to “turn again” after realizing that they hadn’t yet found the famed Northwest Passage of their dreams.