Articles & Op-eds


Biden administration to appoint Arctic ambassador

by Riley Rogerson

The Biden administration announced plans to appoint an Arctic Ambassador, the U.S.'s latest effort to increase its influence in the Arctic amid growing tensions with Russia and China. The Ambassador-at-Large for the Arctic Region will promote U.S. policy in the region and work with the other seven Arctic nations, Indigenous groups and other non-governmental entities, according to a State Department statement. In recent years, U.S. officials have pushed to protect national security and economic… Continue Reading


Borough receives $2.5M for CNG bus conversion

by Amanda Bohman

Almost $2.5 million was awarded to the Fairbanks North Star Borough from the Federal Transit Administration for Compressed Natural Gas buses and vans, according to a borough news release. The funds come from the FTA's bus and low-and-no-emission grant program as part of the overall Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. Borough Mayor Bryce Ward called the grant "a massive step in the right direction" for the borough's plans to swap out its public transit buses and vans with en… Continue Reading


OPINION: The State Department must step up on Arctic diplomacy

by Lisa Murkowski

When it comes to Arctic policy, there is no shortage of steps we can take. One is ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, to prevent other nations from making territorial claims that deprive the U.S. of vital access and resources. Another is passage of my Arctic Commitment Act, which focuses on regional security, shipping, research, and trade. But the quickest and most obvious step is for the State Department to elevate its efforts on Arctic diplomacy, which the Biden administration can immed… Continue Reading


Bipartisan senators introduce bill to guarantee abortion rights

by Sheri Walsh

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would guarantee federal access to abortion, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, despite a lack of Republican votes to pass the bill. The Reproductive Freedom For All Act would codify abortion rights and contraception access. It was co-authored by Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. "After the Supreme Court gutted … Continue Reading


Murkowski gets late Rep. Don Young’s 900-pound totem pole in Capitol Hill office

by Jared Gans

A 900-pound totem pole found yet another home in an Alaska lawmaker's office on Capitol Hill on Saturday. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a tweet that the pole, which has stood in the office of the late Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), has now been moved to her office. She said the pole was originally belonged to former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who served in his seat for 40 years. Murkowski said she now occupies what was once Stevens' office, so the totem pole will be returning to its hom… Continue Reading


Murkowski proposes bipartisan Lactation Spaces for Veteran Moms Act

by Ripon Advance News Service

Every U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center would have a designated lactation space under a bipartisan bill introduced on July 21 by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). "Right now, only half of VA medical centers have a nursing room, so we need to change that," Sen. Murkowski said. "I'm proud to support female veterans by ensuring our VA facilities have nursing rooms that are accessible for employees, veterans and their partners." Sen. Murkowski signed on as the lead original co… Continue Reading


Murkowski and Sullivan advocate for speedy approval of major Arctic oil project

by Riley Rogerson

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan are calling on President Joe Biden's administration to promptly advance the Willow oil project in a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Willow is a ConocoPhillips project on the North Slope that could yield over 180,000 barrels of oil per day and generate billions in state revenue. The Biden administration released a draft supplemental environmental impact statement earlier this month - a step in the federal approval process. The pro… Continue Reading


OPINION: Alaska wins with America’s Outdoor Recreation Act

by Lee Hart and Lisa Aangeenbrug

Outdoor recreation is a cornerstone of Alaska's economy and culture, buoyed by the state's majestic glaciers, vast tracts of rugged wilderness, and pristine national parks. With?34,000 miles?of coastline and?222 million acres?of national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests and more, it comes as no surprise why visitors flock to the state in droves each year. As many come to appreciate all Alaska's natural beauty has to offer, it is important we ensure everyone has the necessary access to t… Continue Reading


Murkowski presses Interior secretary to advance drilling in Cook Inlet and accelerate wildfire mitigation

by Riley Rogerson

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski urged the Interior Department to advance drilling in Alaska's Cook Inlet and distribute wildfire prevention funding during a Senate hearing Wednesday. Murkowski, a Republican, questioned Interior Secretary Deb Haaland about the department's proposed five-year offshore drilling plan, which includes 10 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and another in Cook Inlet. The Biden administration has made clear that it may not move forward with any of the proposed sales. "I feel s… Continue Reading


After spike in suicides, Alaska’s U.S. senators sponsor act aimed at improving military mental health

by Riley Rogerson

WASHINGTON - Alaska's U.S. senators have introduced legislation aimed at improving quality of life and expanding mental health resources for military personnel amid a rise in U.S. Army Alaska soldiers dying by suicide. The Don Young Arctic Warrior Act would boost pay by $300 a month for service members who perform cold weather operations, among other benefits. The act also seeks to train and retain more behavioral health providers to work with the military by authorizing annual bonuses up to $5… Continue Reading


Murkowski, Portman unveil resolution to support Ukraine’s reconstruction

by Ripon Advance News Service

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Rob Portman (R-OH) recently signed on as cosponsors of a bipartisan resolution that would recognize the American people's commitment to rebuilding Ukraine following Russia's unprovoked war on the country. "The United States must continue to play a leading role in the fight to defend democracy. Russia's ruthless and illegal invasion of Ukraine is a threat to the global rules and norms we hold dear," said Sen. Murkowski. "That is why I strongly support the def… Continue Reading


OPINION: Alaska faith leaders applaud Senate passage of gun safety bill

by Matthew Schultz, Abram Goodstein and Heather Robertson Barbour

One of the strongest values of a faith community is to be welcoming. We all want meaningful communal experiences at our places of worship. Unfortunately the value of security often clashes with being welcoming. Faith communities across the country are scared. They are scared to let violence through the doors of their homes, their places of worship and their schools. At congregations we respond to this fear by attempting to be more secure. But this is only an attempt. We lock our entrances, insta… Continue Reading


Former defense secretary Mattis says Alaska has growing role in national defense

by Linda F. Hersey

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that Alaska's role in military defense is growing as the Arctic warms and the Pacific becomes the "primary theater in a tumultuous century." "Geography is reality, and Alaska's reality is that it will play a key role if we're to hang on to the promise of democracy in this world," Mattis, a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general, said in a speech before the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. (Read his speech here.) Mattis was the keynote speaker… Continue Reading


Sen. Murkowski to introduce bipartisan bill increasing funding for substance misuse resources

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Alaska US Senator Lisa is joining Democrat senators Maggie Hassan and Ben Ray Luján in introducing the "Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act. The act reauthorizes and strengthens the Substance Abuse Block Grant program by requiring that funding goes to evidence-based services, including medication-assisted treatment. Senator Murkowski said the program has helped Alaska and states across the country increase prevention, treatment, and recove… Continue Reading


Sen. Murkowski hosts Fmr. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis at Fairbanks banquet

Fairbanks, Alaska (KINY) - This past weekend, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski hosted retired Marine Corps four-star General and former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis as her guest of honor at the Fairbanks Military Appreciation Banquet. Organized by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce and sponsored in part by a number of Alaska businesses, this annual event honors military members and their families across Interior Alaska. "It was a true privilege to have Secretary Mattis join us and sp… Continue Reading


‘Fentanyl is a different animal’ - Alaska mother touts new education bill as fentanyl continues to kill

by By Peter Zampa

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The synthetic opioid fentanyl continues to kill Americans, and Alaskans are dying at the highest rate in the country. An Alaska mother lost her son in October 2021 and is trying to prevent others from suffering the same fate. "He loved Alaska. He loved the outdoors," said Sandy Snodgrass, the mother of Bruce Snodgrass. Sandy wants everyone to see his face. The face of a normal kid from Alaska who loved fishing and the mountains, who died at 22 because of fentanyl. "Fent… Continue Reading


Murkowski Announces First Round of Funding from the Infrastructure Law’s Bridge Investment Program

Washington, DC (KINY) - There is over $2 billion allotted for bridge projects. U.S Senator Lisa Murkowski today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration opened the application process. The application process is for the competitive Bridge Investment Program (BIP) established through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA,) which Murkowski helped write, negotiate, and shepherd into law. A total of $2.36 billion in BIP 2… Continue Reading


Legislation filed to support, improve quality of life for military serving in Alaska

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan have introduced the Don Young Arctic Warrior Act. In a press release, the senators state the legislation would alleviate the hardships faced by service members in Alaska. Sullivan also offered the legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2023, which will be considered next week in the Senate Armed Services Committee. In addition to proficiency pay and allowances for basic necessities, the bill incre… Continue Reading


Military service celebrated with glitz and glamor at annual banquet

by Amanda Bohman

A $600-a-table banquet at the Carlson Center on Saturday honored military members with glitz, glamor, a dinner of beef tenderloin, awards, speeches and live music by the band Avalanche. Jim Mattis, who served as defense secretary under former President Donald Trump from 2017-2019, was the keynote speaker. The banquet drew a U.S. Senator, a former Alaska governor, state legislators, local leaders, political candidates and some of Alaska's top military brass among the 700 people in attendance. … Continue Reading


Kenai, borough look to extract rock for bluff stabilization

by Ashlyn O'Hara

The Kenai Peninsula Borough and the City of Kenai have hashed out an agreement that would allow the city to use rock materials taken from borough land near Seldovia to help stabilize the Kenai bluff. The agreement, which will be considered by the borough assembly at its June 21 meeting, is the latest step forward for the Kenai Bluff Stabilization project. The project, which has been in the works for decades, aims to stabilize roughly 5,000 feet of bluff on the north shore of the Kenai River, st… Continue Reading

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