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City of Unalaska

Gov. Bill Walker has appointed Shirley Marquardt as the state’s new director of boards and commissions.

The former Unalaska mayor is moving to Anchorage to start her full-time job next month.

In her new role, Marquardt will vet candidates for the hundreds of appointments the governor makes each year -- from the Board of Fisheries to the Alaska Humanities Forum to the Marijuana Control Board.

Walker spoke highly of Marquardt when he visited the island in October.

Chrissy Roes

In June, PenAir introduced a new type of aircraft to Unalaska, aiming to solve a longtime problem: Manufacturers don’t really make planes for this type of island.

Nine months later, the airline thinks it’s finally found the answer in the Saab 2000.

The high-speed turboprop has earned a 90 percent completion rate for flights between Unalaska and Anchorage.

Annie Ropeik

After nearly 10 years, Unalaska has taken one of the final steps in making the Unalaska Marine Center a reality -- finding financing for the $44 million dock renovation.

Mayor Frank Kelty pushed the project forward at Tuesday's City Council meeting, after councilors split over whether to partner with the Alaska Bond Bank Authority.

Kelty broke the tie and voted to authorize the sale of city bonds worth $35 million, which will be shopped to investors for startup cash.

Sammy Hancock via Flickr Creative Commons

Unalaskans could soon pay double the sales tax when buying alcohol and tobacco -- if voters approve the hike at the next municipal election.

The City Council added the measure to the October ballot at a meeting Tuesday night, when councilors unanimously agreed to send the issue before voters.

Courtesy Jerry Morris

 

The news may sound familiar: There’s a volcano erupting in the Aleutian chain that’s a refuge for marine mammals and sea birds. But it isn’t Bogoslof, it’s Kasatochi — a volcano near Adak that erupted for the first time in modern memory in 2008. That eruption has given scientists the opportunity to study how life returns after cataclysmic destruction.

Kasatochi Island was an inactive volcano. It wasn’t supposed to erupt.

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