Articles & Op-eds


Arctic Sounder: Movers and shakers in 2018

by Shady Grove Oliver

This year, it was both the people and the land itself that broke records and barriers across the Northwest Arctic and North Slope. Quakes shattered previous standards in the Arctic and shook up residents visiting Anchorage. Women and men alike stepped forward to call for more accountability in the justice system and to reach out a helping hand to those in need. As 2018 comes to a close, we take a look back at some of the most moving stories in the Sounder over the past 12 months. Youth step u… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Officials push to keep dozens of earthquake sensors slated for removal across Alaska

by Alex DeMarban

Alaska officials are working to keep in place a statewide seismic network that's scheduled to be decommissioned next year but is vital for understanding earthquake and tsunami risks in the nation's most seismically active state. The National Science Foundation next year plans to remove more than 150 seismic sensors it installed in Alaska in recent years, closing out a $50 million project that vastly improved the state's limited seismic network, said Mike West, state seismologist. But West and … Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Honoring Ted Stevens

by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski

Today is a special day in Alaska's history. Fifty years ago, on Christmas Eve in 1968, Gov. Wally Hickel appointed a young veteran and attorney named Ted Stevens to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate. That proved to be an exceptional choice and a great man would go on to become one of the longest-serving Republican senators of all time, the "Alaskan of the Century," and a beloved icon across our state. To be sure, even before Ted came to the Senate, he had played a key role in shaping Alaska's f… Continue Reading


ADN: The last earthquake shook Alaska hard. Let’s make sure we’re even better prepared for the next one.

by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski

The recent magnitude 7.0 earthquake was a deeply unsettling experience for many Alaskans. Roads collapsed, homes were damaged, and several schools will be shut for extended periods. While we remain grateful that no one was seriously injured or killed, this event - and the now more than 5,000 aftershocks that have followed - are stark reminders of the destructive forces of nature that are present in our state. A question that many Alaskans have asked is, "What comes next?" We're no strangers… Continue Reading


Maui Now: Bill to Expand AMBER Alert Advances in US Senate

Maile Amber Alert. Maui Now. The US Senate unanimously passed legislation authored by US Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that will expand the AMBER Alert system to include all US territories. The national AMBER Alert network distributes alerts on highway billboards, TVs, radio, and cellular phones to mobilize the public when a child is missing or abducted. It has helped rescue more than 900 children to date. "AMBER Alerts have helped save hundreds of children. … Continue Reading


Chugiak Star: In Chugiak-Eagle River, earthquake recovery will be a long-term effort

by Matt Tunseth

As the New Year approaches, it's becoming clear to Chugiak-Eagle River residents the ramifications from the Nov. 30 earthquake will be felt for months and years to come. Two special community meetings were held in Eagle River in the past week to help disseminate information about earthquake recovery efforts and allow residents to share their stories. The first, on Friday, featured Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) incident command… Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Sitka woman testifies in DC about missing, murdered Alaska Native women

by Alex McCarthy

When she got to the names of the victims, Patricia Alexander's voice began to break. Alexander, the co-chair of the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's (CCTHITA) Violence Against Women Task Force, was testifying before the U.S. Senate Commitee on Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. The committee was holding a hearing specifically about missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women. Alexander, who was one of three women testifying, first thanked the senator… Continue Reading


Arctic Sounder: Savanna's Act passes U.S. Senate

by Shady Grove Oliver

A bill calling for more law enforcement focus on cases of missing and murdered indigenous women has passed the U.S. Senate. Savanna's Act is named for 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, of the Spirit Lake Nation, who was murdered in North Dakota in 2017. The act passed unanimously on Dec. 6 and has now moved to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. "This legislation combats the epidemic of murdered and missing Native women and girls by improving the federal government's re… Continue Reading


Cordova Times: Earthquake hazards reduction legislation becomes law

by Margaret Bauman

Bipartisan federal legislation that modernizes safety programs to help states like Alaska prepare for and respond to earthquakes has been signed into law as the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act. President Donald Trump signed the measure into law on Dec. 11. "Not even two weeks ago, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck just a few miles north of Anchorage, and there have now been close to 4,000 aftershocks," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who introduced the bil… Continue Reading


Bristol Bay Times: $23 million grant set aside for Emmonak dock

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, announced a $23.1 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant for Emmonak, to construct a permanent dock and barge/landing craft ramp and to renovate approximately 3.5 miles of high-use service roads. The grant is through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program, previously known as TIGER grants, which provides support for capital projects that generate economic development and improve… Continue Reading


KTUU: Murkowski, Dunleavy respond to Zinke resignation announcement

by Beth Verge

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is set to depart his position in the administration at the end of the year, according to a tweet sent by President Donald Trump early Saturday. The president chose Zinke in December 2016 to serve in the cabinet-level position and said in a followup tweet that the White House would announce a replacement next week. Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said shortly after that she is disappointed Zinke will no longer continue his role within the Department of the In… Continue Reading


KTVA: Murkowski discusses quake recovery, federal aid

by Chris Klint

Alaska's senior U.S. senator visited the state Friday on a wide-ranging trip, addressing topics from federal assistance after the state's recent 7.0 earthquake to the prospects of a possible government shutdown over a pending appropriations bill. Lisa Murkowski spoke with reporters at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. She said federal assistance has been proceeding well ever since rapid action from the executive branch on the day of the Nov. 30 quake. "We were on the phone with the Secretar… Continue Reading


KTVA: Alaskan gives Senate testimony on missing, murdered women

by Jennifer Summers

An Alaska Native testified Thursday in front of a U.S. Senate Committee addressing missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women. Alaska's senior senator, Lisa Murkowski, was among those who heard testimony from Patricia Alexander, a representative of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. "While violence against Native women occurs at higher rates than any other ethnic group in the United States, it is at its worst in Alaska, Alexander said. "A fu… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Media: Murkowski: Disaster aid for Alaska likely to be linked to relief for California wildfires

by Liz Ruskin

The federal government has kicked in the first $5 million to help Alaska deal with the immediate effects of the earthquake. But the big money will have to come from Congress. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said disaster funds for Alaska will likely be included in a bill with aid for the victims of the California wildfires. "What we've been told is we'll have that opportunity when the wildfires are addressed in January," she told reporters at the U.S. Capitol. Congress is working on a disaster spending b… Continue Reading


KTUU: Murkowski, Sullivan say federal aid is on the way

by Richard Mauer

Alaska's two U.S. Senators toured the areas hit hardest by Friday's 7.0 Cook Inlet Earthquake and said federal relief was on the way. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Republicans, said a supplemental funding bill for the Alaska quake and California wildfire disasters would likely come before Congress in January. The U.S. Transportation Department has already authorized $5 million for emergency road repairs. The time between now and January gives Alaskans the chance to develop an ac… Continue Reading


High Country News: Congress sends bill bolstering earthquake program to Trump

by Emily Benson

At 8:29 a.m. on Nov. 30, part of the rock slab underneath the Pacific Ocean 7 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska, shifted, causing a magnitude 7 earthquake. As Anchorage was preparing for the day, the quake ripped apart roads, shattered windows and ruptured water and gas lines in and around the city. While officials are still assessing the damage, the biggest impacts appear to be to infrastructure - there were no reports of deaths caused by the quake. The response to such an event is extensive an… Continue Reading


Cordova Times: Coast Guard Authorization Act heads to White House

by Margaret Bauman

The Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, which passed the U.S. Senate earlier this month, was approved by unanimous consent in the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 27, and now goes to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it by year's end. The bill, which is identical to one passed by the Senate on Nov. 14, includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, which provides a permanent exemption for commercial vessels, including fishing vessels, under 75 feet from the need to obt… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Taking Care of Our Military

by Lisa Murkowski

This month we gathered to honor our nation's heroes, those who have worn the uniform to protect our nation and defend our freedom. While Veteran's Day is a great opportunity to thank those who have served, that "thanks" cannot be limited to just one day. We should always remember to voice that gratefulness we have for the freedoms and liberties our military has secured for us and continues to protect. That's why we must do all we can to support those who have served -past and present. And this … Continue Reading


Fox News: Alaska earthquake claimed no lives, officials say, but infrastructure damage is another story

by Paulina Dedaj and Greg Norman

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the state of Alaska on Friday morning, churning up roads and sending office workers running to the streets in scenes locals described as pure "anarchy." The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was centered about five miles north of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Republican Rep. Donald Young said at a press conference Friday evening that an initial assessment found that the earthquake was not deadly. "We're quite pleased to report that there's been no… Continue Reading


Arctic Sounder: Alaska ranks fourth for missing and murdered indigenous women

by Shady Grove Oliver

As Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) noted on the Senate floor last year, Canada has invested more than $42 million in investigating the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls from its so-called Highway of Tears in British Columbia. "How much have we invested here?" she asked during a press conference on Nov. 14. "About zero," she said, looking around the room. "About zero is what we're told. We have more than a duty to act on this." Murkowski recently co-sponsored legislation calling o… Continue Reading

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