MRAK Almanac: Ramping up for Memorial Day weekend; who’s on Denali this week?


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.


Reminder: Memorial Day weekend is this weekend. Plan early and remember to check out Friday’s edition of the MRAK Almanac for Memorial Day events across the state.

Denali Field Report: As of the May 20th National Park Service report, there were 369 climbers currently on Denali, with a total of 40 completed climbs this season. By the end of the day Monday, conditions had moved from clear and sunny to stormy with wind and snow. No team had summited. 

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 22: Meeting of the Kenai Planning & Zoning Commission. Open to the public. Details here.

May 22: Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority  (AIDEA) & the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) will hold board meetings starting at 10 am. Open to the public. Location, agenda, and details here.

May 22: The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation will hold a regular board meeting at 9 am. Open to the public. Location and details here.

May 22: Wasilla Air Show Committee meeting at 6 pm in City Hall. Details here.

May 22: Need a job? Copper River Seafoods summer processing recruiting event in Anchorage. Will be conducting in-person interviews. Details here.

May 22: Need a career? Juneau Police Dept. will hold their annual Test Prep Open House for those interested in becoming police officers in Alaska’s capital city. More info here.

May 22-23: Alaska VA Healthcare System forums in Homer and Kenai. All veterans and family members are encouraged to attend these town hall format meetings to share their perspectives on the VA Healthcare System in Alaska. Details for Homer event here and Kenai event here.

May 22-23: Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees meeting. Details, agenda.

May 23: Brave Conversations May Edition in Anchorage. A space for disagreeing parties to civilly discuss issues and come to resolutions. Bring someone you disagree with. Details on their Facebook page here.

May 23: University of Alaska support rally in Fairbanks. Facebook event here.

May 23: Gun Raffle Fundraiser and dinner at the Seward American Legion to support Marathon Wrestling Club. Raffle tickets for rifle drawing are twenty dollars. Info here.

May 23: Seward Civic Engagement Meeting. Non-partisan education series to learn more about local government and exercising your voice as a voter. More info on their Facebook event page here.

May 23-27: Join the Kodiak community for the Annual Kodiak Crab Festival. Visit their Facebook page here.

May 24: Dessert with Sen. Dan Sullivan in Kodiak. Campaign fundraiser at Kodiak Motors from 7-8pm. All are welcome.

May 24: Are you an alumnus/alumna of Alaska Pacific University? APU will be holding a free alumni event in Anchorage, with entertainment and hors d’oeuvres provided. Find out more here.


May 22, 1964: Alaska Sen. Ernest Gruening publicly called for a fact-finding investigation into U.S. involvement in South Vietnam. According to the New York Times, Gruening had been concerned that the president had kept information from Congress “not for security reasons, but to cover up bureaucratic bungling.” Gruening was notably one of only two senators to vote against the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizing expanded American presence in Vietnam. It is the 55th anniversary of his stance against the conflict.

May 22, 1986: U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Archie Van Winkle, Alaska’s only Medal of Honor recipient, died in Ketchikan at age 61. In 1952, President Harry Truman awarded Van Winkle the military’s most prestigious decoration for his bravery during the American advance to the Chosin Reservoir in Korea in 1950.