Citing money issues, governor cancels state picnics

    Alaska's money woes will mean no state community picnics hosted by Gov. Bill Walker this year. A spokeswoman says the Walker administration instead will focus on outreach efforts at smaller events that encourage local economic development.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's money woes will mean no state community picnics hosted by Gov. Bill Walker this year.

    Anchorage television station KTUU reports Walker has canceled the events.

    A spokeswoman says the Walker administration instead will focus on outreach efforts at smaller events that encourage local economic development.

    Katie Marquette says the decision to skip picnics is primarily financial. She says it takes a lot of staff time to organize picnics.

    She also says the governor recognizes that many small businesses are struggling and that donating for community picnics might be difficult.

    The picnics are a chance to speak directly to the governor. Marquette says Walker plans to attend community events such as farmers' markets that will give the public other chances to interact with the governor.

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