State news in brief for Thursday, Nov. 21

Certification expected for Bristol Bay initiative


JUNEAU — A state elections official expects a proposal to require legislative approval of large-scale mining activity in the Bristol Bay region to be certified next month.

A Division of Elections’ tally shows the proposed “Bristol Bay Forever” initiative had gotten more qualified signatures than required. But division director Gail Fenumiai said the verification process wasn’t finished yet and the proposal hasn’t yet been officially certified to appear on next year’s ballot. She said she expects that to happen around mid-December.

The proposal would require legislative approval for a “large-scale metallic sulfide mining operation.” That’s defined as a mining proposal to extract metals including gold and copper from sulfide-bearing rock and directly disturb at least 640 acres of land.

It would almost certainly have bearing on the proposed Pebble Mine project.

Hearing scheduled on proposed pay raises

JUNEAU — A public hearing has been scheduled on a proposal recommending pay raises for Alaska’s governor, lieutenant governor and principal department heads.

The State Officers Compensation Commission plans to hold the hearing Dec. 4 in Anchorage. A final report is due early next year.

The commission has recommended raising the governor’s salary from $145,000 a year to $150,873 and the lieutenant governor’s salary from $115,000 to $119,658. Each would get another 2.5 percent increase beginning July 1, 2015.

Commissioner salaries would go from $136,350 to $146,143, with increases of 1 percent beginning July 1, 2014, and 2.5 percent beginning July 1, 2015, in line with an employee compensation bill that passed during the last legislative session.

Reward offered after rash of thefts in Gustavus

JUNEAU — Residents and business owners in Gustavus are offering a reward to catch whoever is behind a recent rash of thefts in the southeast Alaska community.

KTOO reported the first item taken was a camera from a car on July Fourth. Since then, the Fireweed Gallery reported $400 cash and $230 worth of cigarettes were stolen. More recently, Alaska State Troopers say a resident had $2,000 worth of wild game traps stolen.

There isn’t a full-time law presence in the town near Glacier Bay, and Mayor Sandy Marchbanks said the burglaries have changed the character of the town.

The reward is $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to contact troopers at 465-4000. Callers may remain anonymous.

Hard Rock plans late spring Alaska opening

ANCHORAGE — Officials with Hard Rock Cafe International have announced a new restaurant will open in late spring in downtown Anchorage.

The cafe will be in the former Rumrunners Old Towne Bar location.

Hard Rock Cafe Anchorage said in a release that the 13,600-square foot restaurant will seat 275 people with room for private events and live music. Among the amenities will be a 52-inch, high resolution touch screen wall — like a giant iPad — which allows people to browse the company’s music memorabilia collection.

General manager Scott Brokaw said the restaurant plans to hire more than 100 employees.

A “Calling All Artists” contest is open until Dec. 6, with winning designs featured on T-shirts and pins for the grand opening.

Online: Hard Rock Cafe Anchorage Facebook page:


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