Nathaniel Herz, Alaska Public Media

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska Public Media
Nathaniel Herz is an Anchorage-based journalist. He's been a reporter in Alaska for a decade, and is currently reporting for Alaska Public Media. Find more of his work by subscribing to his newsletter, Northern Journal, at Reach him at

Hackers have penetrated multiple Alaska agencies this year. Here’s what we know.

State officials have revealed few details about the attacks -- particularly the one that targeted the health department. While there are still many unanswered questions, here’s what we know — and what we don’t.

With new lawsuit, Alaska Gov. Dunleavy’s administration escalates budget feud with legislators

“When there is a dispute between branches of government, we need the courts to step in,” Attorney General Treg Taylor said in a prepared statement.
Two men stand looking at the camera behind a glass door

Anchorage government forgot to budget money for its mayoral transition. Now that’s being fixed.

Up to now, mayor-elect Dave Bronson's transition team was relying on volunteer labor and donated supplies. Members even brought in printers from home.

Email records: Little contact between Alaska Gov. Dunleavy’s former aide and oil company that hired him

Interest groups and some Alaska lawmakers have been scrutinizing Stevens’ move from state service to the private sector, saying the quick transition between them raises questions about whether Stevens is complying with state ethics laws.

Former Alaska Rep. LeDoux and her aide face new charges of felony voter fraud

LeDoux’s former legislative aide, Lisa Simpson, also faces two new felony charges, which could increase the pressure on her to cooperate with authorities in their efforts to convict her former boss.
People outside, looking through binoculars.

In Southeast Alaska, high-end tourism businesses feast as cruise industry weathers famine

Interest in private and small-scale Alaska trips is at an all-time high, making for a booming summer for some lodge, yacht and tour operators. But tourists are arriving in far smaller numbers than many of Southeast’s cruise-focused businesses are equipped to serve.
A ochre and white concrete building in a greay cloudy day

It’s masks off at the Alaska Capitol — but the public is still barred

The ban is keeping out summer tourists, forcing lobbyists to do business by Zoom and stopping Alaskans from witnessing key committee meetings and floor sessions in-person.
Am aerial view of snowy mountains

‘Send rescue now’: National Guard helicopter hoists two plane crash victims off frigid Alaska peak

"Send rescue now. We will not make it through the night," read a text message one of the pilots sent to his wife after his plane crashed on a peak in Wrangell -St. Elias National Park.

Alaska lawmakers set a limit on spending from the Permanent Fund. Now, many want to break it.

Alaska lawmakers are closer than ever to blowing past the cap they set as the maximum sustainable spending level from the Permanent Fund. The money would help fill short-term deficits and pay larger dividends.

Friends, colleagues remember Tlingit leader Kookesh as a man “of the people”

Albert Kookesh, the Tlingit leader, Indigenous rights advocate, culture bearer, politician and basketball player, died Friday at 72, and his death is reverberating across the state and his home region of Southeast Alaska.
A four story concrete building

Dunleavy administration waits to warn of layoffs as budget pressure grows

State lawmakers need to pass an operating budget by July 1 to avert a government shutdown, and that hasn’t happened yet, more than a month after the 90-day deadline on the legislative session instituted by voters.

Alaska lawmakers sprinted to the almost-finish. But now their work is stalling amid PFD dispute.

Lawmakers failed to pass a budget by the end of the regular session last week. Now, as a special session begins in Juneau, their momentum seems to have stalled amid disagreements over the size of the Permanent Fund dividend.
a person holds a Covid-19 vaccination record card

State to launch mobile platform for Alaskans to show they’re vaccinated

Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said his administration won’t require vaccine passports. But it is nonetheless getting ready to launch an online platform that Alaskans can use to look up and display their COVID-19 vaccination records.
A yellow circle bordered by green in a blue background.

Alaska sees sharp spike in coronavirus cases stemming from B.1.1.7 variant

CDC officials predicted months ago that B.1.1.7 would become the primary strain of the virus by March, and it’s now responsible for most of the country’s cases.

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy launches new tourism ads featuring outdated COVID vaccination data

Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has launched a national ad campaign promoting a post-pandemic revival of Alaska’s tourism industry. But the campaign relies on outdated data that claims the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is higher than it currently is.
A white man speakss into a microphone at a podium

Anchorage is trending blue. Here’s why it’s on track to elect a conservative mayor.

Political observers say Anchorage's mayoral election became an outlet for residents frustrated with the mask mandates and closures imposed by the city government — to which Forrest Dunbar, as a member of the Assembly, belongs.

New proposal from Gov. Dunleavy would put PFD in Constitution, along with rural electricity fund

The proposal aims to defuse long-running, time-consuming fights over the size of the Permanent Fund dividend and government spending. This year's PFD would be $2,350 if the plan is approved.

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy’s top rural affairs advisor departs, and tribal and fishing leaders wonder why

Moller was a trusted advisor to Dunleavy, having co-chaired his successful 2018 gubernatorial campaign, and his portfolio included work with the fishing industry and Alaska Native issues. The governor's office won't say if he resigned or was fired.
A white man with a suit and red tie

15 years after VECO scandal, Stevens’ new oil job renews old ethics questions

A decade after the VECO corruption scandal pushed lawmakers to pass sweeping ethics reforms, Ben Stevens — one of the scandal's central figures — has prompted new ethical questions by moving from a powerful government job to an executive post at oil company ConocoPhillips.

With fewer Alaskans eager for COVID-19 vaccines, more doses are going to waste

Since December, Alaska has recorded just 3,000 wasted doses out of a total of 500,000 administered, for a loss rate of less than 1%. But those data also show a sharp increase in waste this month, with two-thirds of all the lost doses — 1,985 — coming since April 1.