ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY SYSTEM

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."

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Continued ferry service and shared fisheries taxes.

These are some of the new lobbying priorities under consideration as the Unalaska City Council prepares for meetings next month with its state and federal lobbyists.

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

This week, Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a bill that provides permanent fund dividends of $1,600, while maintaining vetoes on funding for programs like Medicaid and the Alaska Marine Highway System. 

With the budget now set, communities across the Aleutian chain are bracing for the effects of statewide cuts — some passed by the Legislature, others imposed through the governor's vetoes.

International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)

State ferries resumed sailing Sunday after an 11-day strike that affected thousands of travelers and freight shipments across Alaska.

That includes all passengers booked on last week's M/V Tustumena run between Homer and Unalaska, which was canceled due to the strike.

"Unfortunately, we did have two teachers and their families planning to take the ferry," said Superintendent John Conwell of the Unalaska City School District.

City of Unalaska

The Alaska Marine Highway System's top official lost her job last week to cost-cutting.

That's according to Department of Transportation officials who say Executive Director Shirley Marquardt's last day was April 30.

Her annual salary, including benefits, cost $181,300.

"As with any position, terms of separation are confidential," said AMHS spokesperson Aurah Landau in a statement.

Marquardt is a former Unalaska mayor with private sector experience in marine freight and seafood.

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