The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

 
 

By VALDEZ STAR STAFF
and Associated Press 

News Briefs

 

Valdez Star photo

The annual flu shot clinic will be held at the hospital a week from Friday and will be free.

Free flu shots

The annual flu shot clinic is coming towards the end of the month, and will be free again this year according to Allie Ferko, public information officer of Valdez.

The clinic will be held at the Civic Center this year, on the last Saturday of the month. The clinic had been held at the hospital the past few years.

Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian according to Ferko, and there is "No appointment needed to receive a vaccination."

REAL ID

(AP) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has given Alaska an extension to meet national proof-of-identity standards with the expectation that the state will come into full compliance.

The 2005 federal REAL ID law imposes tougher requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency in order for state driver's licenses to be valid to enter many federal facilities.

Alaska hasn't met certain provisions, and a 2008 state law bars state agencies from spending money to comply with it.

Gov. Bill Walker plans to introduce legislation to repeal that prohibition and allow for Alaskans to choose between an ID that complies with REAL ID and one that doesn't. In a letter to Homeland Security officials, he says his goal is to get the legislation passed next year.

The extension runs through June 6.

No Trump

(AP) Don't look for full page ads touting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson in a pamphlet Alaska election officials are distributing statewide ahead of the general election.

Neither the Trump nor the Johnson campaigns submitted biographical information, campaign statements or the $300 fee to be included in the book by the Aug. 30 deadline. The pamphlet does feature such pages for Democrat Hillary Clinton, Green Party nominee Jill Stein and other minor candidates, along with other down-ticket and state races.

Trump and Johnson aren't totally missing from the pamphlet, however. Their names do appear in a list of candidates seeking the presidency and they will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Equality

(AP) An Alaska educational commission wants to add transgender students to a list of protected categories in its code of ethics.

The Professional Teaching Practices Commission is looking to include a clause adding gender identification to the code, KTVA-TV reported.

Commission director Jim Seitz said to some extent the proposal is an attempt to update the code to current practices in other areas outside of education. The action was not prompted by any cases but is an attempt to be proactive, he said.

Public written comments on the issue are being accepted by the commission through Dec. 15.

Pension bonds

Valdez Star photo

A young brown bear was eating a late season snack along the Lowe River Monday afternoon, amid the first light snows of the season.

(AP) The state is proceeding with plans to sell up to $3.3 billion in bonds to help pay for Alaska's pension obligations despite a warning that the action could trigger a drop in the state's credit rating.

S&P Global Ratings last week indicated that it would likely lower the state's credit rating if the bonds were sold. It is the only one of three major ratings agencies to indicate that a credit hit from the sale is possible.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports (http://bit.ly/2ekYcSD) that the state is looking at selling between $2.3 billion and $3.3 billion in bonds to help fund the state teachers' and public employees' retirement systems.

Officials with the state Department of Revenue have said the market's interest in the bonds would ultimately determine the size of any sale.

The deal could help Alaska take advantage of low interest rates if investment returns on the bond revenue exceed the interest rate at which they're sold.

 

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