Articles & Op-eds

11.16.11

Alaska Native News: Senator Wants “First-Hand Account” of Western Alaskan Conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Lisa Murkowski yesterday announced that a member of her staff will be visiting the communities of Nome, Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Kotzebue and Kivalina to assess the damage of the recent winter storm on much of western Alaska last week. "Though I was receiving continuous updates from state and federal authorities when the storm was threatening so many of our vulnerable villages, now that the skies and seas have calmed I want a first-hand account of where western Alaska… Continue Reading


11.14.11

Op - Ed: Obama's Oil Abdication

Last week the Obama administration proposed a modest expansion of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in its first concessions on offshore production since last year's Deepwater Horizon spill. The five-year plan would, however, keep Atlantic and Pacific sites off-limits in order to avoid a controversial decision before the 2012 election. As we continue our endless debate on whether we should have more Outer Continental Shelf development and where, all our neighbors… Continue Reading


11.10.11

Associated Press: Murkowski criticizes Keystone pipeline delay

Alaska's senior senator is criticizing the Obama administration's plan to delay a decision on a massive oil pipeline. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the decision sends a message to the world that - quote - "the United States lacks a clear energy policy and is willing to turn its back on its neighbor." The administration announced Thursday that it's delaying a decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to allow time to study possible new routes that avoid environmentally sensitive parts of Nebra… Continue Reading


11.09.11

Op - Ed: Town hall meetings show Alaskans get it

Last week, I traveled our state and engaged with Alaskans in one of the most important conversations facing our nation: the state of our economy. I'd like to thank everyone who attended one of our town hall meetings. My biggest takeaway from last week? Alaskans get it. They see what's happening and know federal spending is on an unsustainable trajectory, as the nation continues to dig itself deeper into a debt approaching 15 trillion dollars. That's 1,500 billion dollars -- tough to visualize b… Continue Reading


11.04.11

Op - Ed: The road ahead: Reflections on Native suicide summits

I took the opportunity of AFN this year to convene a field hearing through the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, with the intent of taking our dialogue on Native youth suicide to a next phase, one of informed national involvement. We in Alaska have been living with the harrowing reality for years, but I wanted to bring a Senate spotlight to our soil to fully bring about movement to fight this epidemic. And the focus lasted beyond that single event. Following the hearing, First Alaskans Institu… Continue Reading


10.01.11

Op - Ed: Bypass mail benefits more of Alaska than just the Bush

As Washington lawmakers begin the process of helping the United States Postal Service regain a firm financial footing, some are suggesting changes to Alaska's bypass mail system. A House of Representatives subcommittee recently adopted an amendment that singles out Alaska and would require the state to pay for bypass mail service -- an expense that ran to $70 million dollars last year. Similar legislation has since been introduced in the Senate. I believe this is a flawed approach, not only bec… Continue Reading


08.12.11

Alaska Public Radio Network: Murkowski Unveils Early Education Legislation

Senator Lisa Murkowski unveiled the "Early Intervention for Graduation Success Bill" on Friday at East High School in Anchorage. Murkowski says this legislation would not introduce a new program, but would expand on dropout legislation that is already in place. Alaska has long struggled with high dropout rates, which have been up to twice the national average. Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent, Steve Atwater, says that in just a couple weeks, he and teachers will see ki… Continue Reading


08.11.11

Anchorage Daily News: Schools labeled as 'failing' too quickly

Alaskans know that the No Child Left Behind Act, or NCLB, has shortcomings. One major fault is a one-size-fits-all accountability system on schools that are vastly different from one another. As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, I'm working to fix the law while still giving parents and communities solid information to help schools improve. Until that process is complete though, let's all be honest about how our schools are really doing. It's not as bleak as… Continue Reading


08.10.11

Associated Press: Alaska senator remembers her mentor 1 year after crash

JUNEAU -- U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is remembering her mentor, Ted Stevens, on the one-year anniversary of his death in a plane crash in Southwest Alaska. Murkowski issued a statement Tuesday calling Stevens a "giant" and describing him as the architect and father of Alaska. Stevens was revered by many Alaskans for bringing home federal aid and projects to build up the state. Stevens served 40 years in the U.S. Senate. He left politics in 2008 when he was convicted on corruption charges. A fe… Continue Reading


08.09.11

Fairbanks Daily News - Miner: Sen. Murkowski leads delegation on Alaska tour

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski is using a historic gathering to make a simple point this week: Alaska is different. Murkowski is leading a delegation that includes Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Interior Appropriations Subcommittee chairman Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., on a busy three-day tour of the state. It began on Monday, with stops in Anchorage and a tour of the Alaska Fire Service headquarters at Fort Wainwright. Trips to the North Slope and Denali National Park will follow during the n… Continue Reading


08.08.11

Ketchikan Daily News: Murkowski in Ketchikan

Sen. Lisa Murkowski arrived in Ketchikan on Friday to start a multi-day trip through her home state after a busy week in Washington, D.C., that saw the passage of critical federal debt legislation - and the resignation of key Murkowski aide Arne Fuglvog following the announcement of a fisheries-infraction related plea agreement that's expected to result in jail time and significant fines for the longtime Petersburg fisherman. Murkowski addressed both issues and others with local media early Fr… Continue Reading


07.29.11

Tundra Drums: Murkowski wants troop pay protected

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is co-sponsoring the Protecting Military Pay Act of 2011, legislation prioritizing payment of military salaries in the event of a worst-case scenario funding gap. The Alaska Republican said today that she remains optimistic about finding resolution to the stalemate over national debt and deficit, but while expecting the best, preparing for the worst. "And that means looking out for our men and women serving overseas who are putting their life on the line defend… Continue Reading


07.26.11

Anchorage Daily News: Review of rural postal service draws Alaska senators' fire

Alaska's U.S. senators raised concerns Tuesday with a U.S. Postal Service plan that could result in the consolidation or closure of post offices in rural Alaska. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that while changes are needed within the cash-strapped agency, a post office is a necessity, not a convenience in terms of Alaska's way of life. Most Alaska communities aren't connected to a road system, and often in those areas, the post office is where people go to get prescriptions and food, cond… Continue Reading


07.22.11

Associated Press:

JUNEAU -- Alaska's U.S. senators split on whether to consider a House-passed bill requiring steep spending cuts and passage of a balanced budget amendment to increase the nation's debt limit. Democratic Sen. Mark Begich voted with the majority Friday in blocking the legislation. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted for debate. Aug. 2 has been identified as the date by which the government will exhaust its ability to borrow money and pay its bills. Murkowski and Begich have said it would be di… Continue Reading


07.11.11

Anchorage Daily News: Shell officials brief Murkowski on Arctic drilling plans

As national attention increasingly focuses on Shell's exploratory drilling program in the Arctic, its top Alaska officials held a briefing for Sen. Lisa Murkowski and local media Friday where they stressed their efforts at oil spill prevention and recovery. For the past five years, Shell has been trying to organize a summer of drilling on offshore federal leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas where it believes there are commercially viable oil deposits. But the company has been unable to a… Continue Reading


07.04.11

Op - Ed: Elizabeth Peratrovich: an Alaska hero

The Fourth of July, our Independence Day, is a time to recognize the American heroes -- from the founders to soldiers who have devoted, risked or lost their lives in the name of our freedom. It's an especially important day this year for Alaskans as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Elizabeth Peratrovich's birth. Quite appropriately, Elizabeth was born on Independence Day. There are few names in Alaska's history that exemplify progress and lasting, timeless impact more than Elizabeth Perat… Continue Reading


06.30.11

Seward Phoenix Log: Murkowski adds military benefits to appropriations bill

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said today that language she inserted into a military appropriations bill will reap benefits for Alaska's military community in the form of construction projects and a thorough vetting of health care for Alaska's veterans. The new language in the 2012 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill raises the bar on the Department of Veterans Affairs and requires new benchmarks be considered when determining whether vets will be required to fly to … Continue Reading


06.20.11

Peninsula Clarion: Fishing For Support: River guides take wounded soldiers out on the Kenai

The fourth annual Wounded Warriors project went off without a perceivable hitch this weekend, with the weather even cooperating to make the two-day event particularly sweet for the participating service members. More than 100 soldiers who have been wounded in action while serving in the military came together Friday and Saturday to enjoy good food, good company, and good fishing on the Kenai. The Kenai River Professional Guide Association once again organized the event, with local and statewide… Continue Reading


05.29.11

Op - Ed: He made Alaska a better place for all

When one thinks about the giants of Alaska's history the names of Reverend Dr. Walter Soboleff and Elizabeth Peratrovich immediately spring to mind. Elizabeth is well remembered for her advocacy in the struggle for Native civil rights and equality, and her contemporary Reverend Walter Soboleff, will always be remembered for his vision of peace and spiritual love connecting all people, across the man-made barriers of race or culture. This weekend we grieve the loss of Reverend Dr. Walter Soboleff… Continue Reading


05.28.11

Op - Ed: VA struggling to serve Alaska's veterans

On Memorial Day, Alaska welcomes Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki for his first visit since taking office in 2009. Alaska is proud to be the state with the most veterans per capita in the country: 77,000 and growing. Unfortunately, Alaska is also the state in which the VA may be most challenged to effectively serve its beneficiaries. The VA is aware it must adapt to the unique challenges of Alaska's geography. While the VA has categories like "rural" and "highly rural" for the Lower 48… Continue Reading

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