MRAK Almanac: Meet an astronaut in Homer; Gold Rush Days in Valdez


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.

Alaska Fact Book

Question: Is it true that there are more men than women in Alaska?

Answer: While the gender ratio in the United States was estimated to be 96.7 men to 100 women in 2010 (the most recent iteration of the U.S. Census), Alaska’s individual ratio was 108.5 men to 100 women. Alaska has the highest ratio of men to women in the country.

As an old sourdough saying goes “for women in Alaska, the odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

7/31: The Alaska Retirement Management Board’s actuarial committee will hold a meeting via teleconference at 9 am. Read more here.

7/31: The House will gavel in at 10 am in Juneau, with the Senate gaveling in at 11 am.

7/31: Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority will hold a program and planning committee meeting in Anchorage at 8:30 am. The committee will be taking steps to begin crafting the FY21 budget and hearing updates from several important mental health stakeholders. Read the agenda here.

7/31: The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation will hold its 3-year Outlook Luncheon at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. Tickets are $90, and many Alaska business leaders and government officials will likely attend. Read more here.

7/31: Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Board of Directors will meet in Anchorage at 10 am. The board will be considering a resolution approving the issuance of over $225 million in mortgage revenue bonds from the state. There will be a period for public comment, read the agenda here.

7/31: The Federal Subsistence Management Board has closed several zones within game management Unit 4 (in Baranof Island) to the harvest of mountain goats. The order goes into effect today at 11:59 pm. Further details here.

7/31: A great day to view the bore tide in Turnagain Arm. The two most popular vantage positions are Beluga Point and Bird Point. The tides will occur between the hours of 3 pm – 5 pm. See a more specific schedule here.

7/31: Female veterans round table talk in Fairbanks. Congressional representatives and VA staffers will be present to hear the concerns of local veterans. Read more at this link.

7/31: Deadline for public comment on NOAA’s draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Tug Powhatan oil spill in Sitka. The plan involves compensating the Sitka community for the economic damage of the spill in which “25.5 billion Pacific herring egg-equivalents were killed”. Visit this link to review the plan.

7/31: Last edition of the Gazebo Nights summer performances in Fairbanks’ Pioneer Park. Come enjoy live music for free. Begins at 7 pm.

7/31: Do you want to meet an astronaut? The Homer Public Library will host NASA astronaut Rex Walheim to speak about his life and experiences. Begins at noon, learn more here.

8/1: The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly will hold a regular meeting at 6:30 pm. The assembly will be voting on a letter to be sent to the Alaska Marine Highway System in opposition to reduced winter ferry service to Kodiak. Find the full agenda here.

8/1: Aviators Forum hosted by the Alaska Aviation Museum in Anchorage. Nick and Lita Oppegard, both former pilots with Wein Air Alaska, will be presenting about their adventures over the years. Read more at the Facebook link here.

8/1: Regular meeting of the Haines Borough Assembly at 6:30 pm. The assembly will be considering an ordinance to levy a 2% sales tax on alcohol and marijuana sales in the borough. There will also be a period of public comment, read the agenda here.

8/1: The Anchorage Assembly’s Community and Economic Development Committee will meet at 9 am. Read about items for Thursday’s meeting here.

8/1: Regular meeting of the Skagway Borough Assembly at 7 pm. Read the full agenda at this link.

8/1: Regular meeting of the Ketchikan City Council at 7 pm. Thursday’s agenda includes consideration of a license renewal for Rainforest Cannabis Cultivation, LLC as well as a “sales tax holiday” for the first Saturday following distribution of the PFD. Read the full agenda here.

8/1-8/2: The State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors will hold their quarterly meeting in Anchorage. Further details here.

7/31-8/4: Gold Rush Days in Valdez. This annual 5-day event celebrates both the rich history and future of Valdez. Festivities include old time games, gold panning, a gold rush parade, and so much more. See the full event lineup here.

Alaska History Archive:

August 1, 1943—76 years ago: The U.S. Army began daily bombings of Japanese-occupied Kiska in the Aleutian Chain. The Japanese had occupied the small island, as well as the nearby island of Attu, for over a year. Alaska’s Aleutian region was strategically important during the World War II as both the U.S. and Japan fought for control of the Pacific region.

August 1, 1977—42 years ago: The S.S. Arco left Valdez with the first oil shipment from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The 1,883-foot vessel continued through the Valdez Narrows, sometimes only a half-mile wide, and embarked on a 1,200-mile journey to a refinery in northwest Washington near Seattle.