AKLEG

Hope McKenney/KUCB

 

Hundreds of people rallied around the state Tuesday to restore the Alaska Marine Highway System's regional ferry service. The fleet has been largely idle since the last mainliner in service broke down last month.

In Juneau, state and tribal leaders told 200 people gathered around the Capitol steps that for smaller coastal communities, regular ferry connections are a matter of survival.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The City Council's top priority is the "stabilization" of Unalaska's commercial flights.

On Tuesday, councilors voted unanimously to update their state legislative initiatives ahead of a lobbying trip to Juneau next month.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Following budget cuts to the Alaska Marine Highway System, Unalaskans are anxious to see how many ferry sailings will be available this summer.

The state's draft schedule shows four trips for the M/V Tustumena along the southwest route — far fewer than the eight to 10 scheduled in recent years.

Josh Good (TOP LEFT) AND HOPE MCKENNEY/KUCB (TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM)

The threat of declining state and local funding dominated last week's Candidates Forum focused on the school board.

In the race for seat D, first-time candidate Josh Good and incumbent Denise Rankin agreed on many issues facing the Unalaska City School District, while touting their different credentials to voters.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska needs to be ready to fight for state funding in fiscal year 2021.

City lobbyist Dianne Blumer delivered that message Tuesday to the City Council.

She said she expects Gov. Mike Dunleavy to continue pushing for steep budget cuts to education, health care, and other state services that are critical to the community.

"It's not a promising picture," said Blumer. "I hate to be the gloom and doom here, but I anticipate the cuts that didn't happen this year are going to be taken up again for next session."

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