Articles & Op-eds

03.02.19

Reuters: Iditarod sled dog race across Alaska starts with pageant, crowds

by Yoreth Rosen

Fifty-two mushers and their dog teams drove through Alaska's largest city in bright sunshine on Saturday to start the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Downtown Anchorage was temporarily converted into a noisy dog lot, with trucked-in snow covering the streets. Bundled-up spectators - including dignitaries such as Governor Mike Dunleavy and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski - gathered to cheer, snap photos and get autographs from the dog drivers headed out on the annual 1,000-mile (1,609-km) trek to Nome… Continue Reading


03.01.19

Seafood Source: New icebreaker being built to patrol Alaskan waters

by Ben Fisher

The spending bill passed by the United States Congress earlier this month to avoid another partial government shutdown includes USD 655 million (EUR 576 million) to build the country's first polar icebreaker in a decade, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The bill also provides funding for four new Coast Guard cutters in Alaska, and USD 20 million (EUR 17.5 million) which will go towards building materials for a second icebreaker, according to U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). Two of th… Continue Reading


02.27.19

Alaska Public Media: Native Vietnam vets get another chance to claim 160 acres

by Liz Ruskin

Congress on Tuesday passed a massive public lands bill sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The bill expands national parks and wilderness areas, creates new national monuments and sends money to states for parks and recreation. Among its 600 pages is a provision to help Alaska Native veterans of the Vietnam War era by allowing them to select up to 160 acres of land. But critics worry about a land grab. There's some history to this issue. Nelson Angapak has been working for years to get land for f… Continue Reading


02.25.19

Arctic Today: A breakthrough in an Alaska cold-case murder shines a light on violence against Indigenous women in the Arctic

by Melody Schreiber

On April 26, 1993, the body of a young woman was found in a bathroom at University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Sophie Sergie, a 20-year-old Yupik woman from Pitkas Point, had been raped and killed. She was visiting friends in their dorm, Bartlett Hall, at the university where she'd been enrolled before taking time off to earn money for orthodontic work. She was last seen around midnight, when she left her friends to smoke a cigarette. Her body was found in a bathtub the following day. Her assailant's… Continue Reading


02.25.19

KTVA: Murkowski responds to Pebble Mine impact statement

by Angela Krenzien

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released its draft environmental impact statement for the Pebble mine project in southwest Alaska, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski is responding. Murkowski says she's started to read through the 1,400-page document and its supporting materials. She encourages Alaskans to do the same, saying it's critical to understand the potential impacts of the mine. "As I have said before, we must have confidence that Bristol Bay's world-class fisheries are fully protected, and … Continue Reading


02.25.19

Anchorage Daily News: ‘Uncle Ted is back’: The story behind the new bronze Ted Stevens statue at the Anchorage airport

by Marc Lester

Ted Stevens resisted the idea that the airport named for him should also bear his likeness when he was alive, his daughter Lily Stevens Becker said. He didn't care much for the fanfare. After his death, it took years for the family to get comfortable with the idea of seeing his life-size image cast in bronze. "But now I think it's time," Stevens Becker said. On Saturday, hundreds surrounded a 631-pound statue of Stevens as it was uncovered at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Some … Continue Reading


02.22.19

KTVA: Murkowski-backed bill would help Alaskans prepare for landslides

by Angela Krenzien

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, along with four other U.S. senators, is introducing legislation that would help communities prepare for and respond to landslides. The National Landslide Preparedness Act would establish a National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program at the U.S. Geological Survey, which would identify and understand landslide risks and prepare for future landslides. "Alaska has been dealing with the impacts of landslides for decades, most recently as a result of the Southcentral earthquake … Continue Reading


02.22.19

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Murkowski, Sullivan worried Alaska could lose military funding to border wall

by Erin McGroarty

Alaska's two Republican senators said they are concerned at the possibility of Alaska military funding being redirected toward President Donald Trump's border wall effort. Trump declared a national emergency regarding the Southern border last week, a move that will likely take funding from the Department of Defense to fund the border wall. That is, if the declaration doesn't run into any legal roadblocks. Democrats in the House and Senate are already questioning the legality of the declaration… Continue Reading


02.22.19

Anchorage Daily News: Delegation wins $655 million for polar icebreaker, plus other funds for new cutters coming to Alaska

by Alex DeMarban

The spending package Congress passed last week to avoid another government shutdown provides $655 million for construction of the first polar icebreaker in decades and additional money for new Coast Guard cutters in Alaska, Sen. Dan Sullivan's office said. It's the first time in 40 years the nation is building a new icebreaker, and more will be built in the future, Sullivan, R-Alaska, said Thursday. The appropriations bill also includes $20 million to begin acquiring materials for a second iceb… Continue Reading


02.21.19

Smoky Mountain News: Congress moves forward on Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorization

The U.S. Senate voted Feb. 12 to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an important funding source for conservation projects nationwide. The bill was introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, with a bipartisan list of co-sponsors. Though Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, is not included on the sponsor list, he introduced a related piece of legislation this month that also attempted to permanently reauthorize the fund. "The Land an… Continue Reading


02.21.19

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska's congressional delegation lauds icebreaker funding

by Erin McGroarty

Alaska's congressional delegation are celebrating the bicameral passage of a federal government spending package that will not only keep the federal government from shutting down but also funds the construction of a new polar icebreaker for the United States Coast Guard fleet, something the state's three members of Congress have been pushing for. The funding bill included $655 million for the design and construction of the icebreaker, $20 million for materials for an eventual second icebreaker,… Continue Reading


02.21.19

Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski: Cutting state funds makes it more difficult to unlock federal cash

by James Brooks

Gov. Mike Dunleavy's cost-cutting budget proposal may make it more difficult for Alaska's congressional delegation to deliver federal money to Alaska, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday during her annual visit to the state Capitol. Alaska's two U.S. senators normally stay away from legislative issues when they deliver their annual addresses to the Alaska Legislature, but Murkowski obliquely and directly addressed aspects of the governor's planned $1.8 billion budget cut. In a news conferenc… Continue Reading


02.13.19

Alaska Journal of Commerce: Murkowski leads major lands bill through Senate

by Elwood Brehmer

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was happy to talk with reporters after shepherding the first omnibus lands bill package through the Senate in years with overwhelming support. The U.S. Senate passed the Natural Resources Management Act Feb. 12 on a 92-8 vote. The legislation addresses a plethora of "small matters that in local communities can really make a significant difference," Murkowski said in a conference call with Alaska reporters. "When we can come together on a bipartisan basis - move something o… Continue Reading


02.13.19

KNBA: Native language revitalization bill moves to full U.S. Senate

by By Tripp Crouse

A bill that supports the revitalization of Native American languages has moved to the full U.S. Senate. According to a news release from Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, she and New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall introduced the bill (S. 256 Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act) to improve a grant program that funds language learning. Four tribes in Alaska currently receive funding from that grant program: Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indain Tribes of Alaska; Chicka… Continue Reading


02.13.19

Bloomberg: An Epidemic of Violence Against Native American Women

by Bloomberg Ed-Board

Americans may be largely unaware of the extreme and pervasive dangers facing American Indian and Alaska Native women. According to a National Institute of Justice study, more than half have been sexually assaulted. More than a third have been raped - a proportion more than double that of white women. For girls and young women aged 15 to 24, homicide is the third leading cause of death. And thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls have simply gone missing. It is a crisis th… Continue Reading


02.13.19

Washington Post: The Senate just passed the decade's biggest public lands package. Here's what's in it.

by By Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni

The Senate on Tuesday passed the most sweeping conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country and establishing four new national monuments honoring heroes including Civil War soldiers and a civil rights icon. The 662-page measure, which passed 92 to 8, represented an old-fashioned approach to dealmaking that has largely disappeared on Capitol Hill. Senators from across the ideological spectrum celebrated home-st… Continue Reading


02.13.19

Alaska Public Media: Big win for Murkowski: Public lands bill passes Senate

by Liz Ruskin

The U.S. Senate today passed a massive public lands bill, and to the delight of its sponsor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the vote was overwhelming. "92-8, which is a pretty good tally," said Murkowski, chair of the Energy and Natural Resources committee. The bill is an amalgamation of more than 100 bills, requested by 50 senators. Many provisions deal with local issues in Western states, like changing the boundaries of a federal refuge or allowing access to public lands. But the bill creates or exten… Continue Reading


02.13.19

Anchorage Daily News: Giant lands act passed by US Senate includes allotments to Alaska Native veterans and improved volcano monitoring

by Alex DeMarban

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Tuesday that the sweeping lands package she sponsored includes wide-ranging benefits for Alaskans, including Alaska Native veterans who never received their federal land allotment. The measure will help some individual areas, such as requiring the federal government to convey sand and gravel resources to the Alaska Native village corporation in Utqiagvik, creating a revenue source. "Small matters that in local communities can really make a significant d… Continue Reading


02.12.19

FCW: Murkowski optimistic on funding deal: 'We're going to get this figured out'

by Chase Gunter

On the sidelines of a federal union legislative conference, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she thought lawmakers would avoid a repeat of the partial government shutdown that saw 800,000 federal employees furloughed or working without pay. "You know what, it's Monday," she said. "Friday is a lifetime away. We're going to get this figured out." Murkowski's optimism appeared well founded, as congressional negotiators said late Monday night that they had reached an "agreement in principle" … Continue Reading


02.12.19

Federal News Network: Agencies, AFGE begin preparations for another government shutdown

by Nicole Ogrysko

With less than a week now until the latest funding deadline expires this Friday, agencies are officially preparing for another government shutdown. Guidance from the Office of Management and Budget instructs senior agency officials to begin preparations one week before the possibility of a lapse in appropriations. The American Federation of Government Employees is also preparing for the possibility. "We informed our members that a shutdown is possible," AFGE National President J. David Cox tol… Continue Reading

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