Articles & Op-eds

11.21.09

Anchorage Daily News: Alaska senators don't see health bill passing as it stands now

A day after Alaska's senators voted against each other on health care reform, both said that plans to offer people the option to buy government-run health insurance won't survive the upcoming Senate fight as written. As the Senate prepares for combat over overhauling national health care, this so-called "public option" is a key battleground. Unlike a handful of centrist senators who have indicated they won't support health care reform that includes a public option, Democratic Sen. Mark Begic… Continue Reading


11.20.09

KTUU (NBC): Letters to Santa will be answered after all

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The United States Postal Service has agreed to resume a program that answers children's letters to Santa sent to North Pole, Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced on Friday. Deputy Postmaster General Pat Donahoe told Murkowski during a phone call that the USPS had reconsidered its position not to allow Alaskan volunteers to answer letters addressed "Dear Santa, North Pole." Donahoe told Murkowski the program would resume as in previous years, but with new security requirem… Continue Reading


11.20.09

The Associated Press: Postal Service retreats on Santa letters ruling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ North Pole elves have good reason to celebrate again, thanks to a decision by the U.S. Postal Service to resume a Santa Claus letter program that's thrilled children from around the world for decades. ``It's great!'' Gabby Gaborik, chief elf among several dozen volunteers, said of the agency's Friday announcement that it's reversing a recent decision to drop a program begun in 1954 in the small Alaska town of North Pole. The program was suspended over privacy concerns. … Continue Reading


11.19.09

Arctic Sounder: Murkowski comes for a visit

About 100 people, including students, teachers, aides, parents and administrators, came to listen, meet and ask questions of Sen. Lisa Murkowski at a community meeting Nov. 12 at the Kotzebue Middle/High School cafeteria. Community members and Dr. Norm Eck, Northwest Arctic Borough School District superintendent, introduced Murkowski; and she presented the book "Recess at Twenty Below" and a United States flag to June Nelson Elementary School student council president, Margie Baker, along with … Continue Reading


11.19.09

KTUU: Santa’s elves get support from congressional delegation

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A rallying cry came across the country for North Pole, Alaska. People are outraged at the United States Postal Service's decision to end a popular program that has local nonprofits answer letters to Santa, and Alaska's congressional delegation is urging the Postal Service to review it new policies. When UAF journalism students produced a documentary on the popular decades-old Santa's Helper program in North Pole, they didn't realize it might be one of the last years for th… Continue Reading


11.18.09

USA Today: Postal Service to block 'Dear Santa' letters to North Pole, Alaska

The U.S. Postal Service, citing security and privacy concerns of children, will no longer forward "Dear Santa" letters to the Alaska town of North Pole, putting in jeopardy the town's 55-year-old volunteer letter-answering effort by the town. The concern is that names, addresses and other private information about small children could get into the wrong hands. Postal Service officials note that a postal worker last year in Maryland recognized a volunteer in the agency's Operation Santa program… Continue Reading


11.18.09

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: New postal rules halt ‘Dear Santa’ letters to North Pole

FAIRBANKS- The U.S. Postal Service will no longer forward "Dear Santa" letters to Kris Kringle's elves in North Pole, citing security concerns and putting in doubt the future of a volunteer letter-answering effort that dates back 55 years. North Pole Mayor Doug Isaacson has called on Alaska's congressional delegation to intervene, saying the Postal Service is "running roughshod" over the city of North Pole, whose very identity is tied to Christmas. "What grinch would conceive of something so s… Continue Reading


11.11.09

KTUU (NBC): Murkowski holds town hall on healthcare

PETERS CREEK, Alaska -- While the president prepares to come to Alaska for his first visit to the state, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich talk health care reform. Murkowski held a town hall meeting Wednesday night, while Begich talked about health care reform with reporters. Murkowski got an earful about health care reform at the town hall meeting. "Government likes to play this red herring trick with us where you stand here and tell us your ideas and the progressives stand there and give… Continue Reading


11.11.09

Anchorage Daily News: Murkowski slams Dem health-care plans

At a town hall meeting in Chugiak Wednesday night, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski propped up a foot-high stack of paper next to her at the podium -- the 1,900-page health care bill passed by the House last week. "We can pull this thing back," she told a supportive crowd. Murkowski, a Republican and an outspoken opponent of Democrat-led health care reform bills, wants much more limited legislation. She spoke to 150 to 200 people at Mirror Lake Middle School. Unlike previous town halls in Anchorage,… Continue Reading


11.03.09

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski, Fairbanks North Star Borough hope for census plan review

FAIRBANKS - Sen. Lisa Murkowski is asking the U.S. Census Bureau director to review the agency's plans for counting the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Borough officials said they're worried that the Census Bureau's approach will lead to an undercount of the area's population, since nearly half of local residents receive their mail at post office boxes. Census Bureau policy allows its questionnaires to be sent only to physical addresses. If the mail is returned to the bureau as undeliverable, an… Continue Reading


10.29.09

Reuters News Service: U.S. states vie to land F-35 fighter bases

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Vermont, Utah, Florida, Idaho and South Carolina moved closer Thursday to landing operating bases for Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. The U.S. Air Force also said locations in Idaho, Florida, New Mexico and two in Arizona were being examined as potential training bases for the radar-evading, single-engine jet, now in early production. Attracting the F-35, the Pentagon's costliest acquisi… Continue Reading


10.29.09

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska officials rip F-35 decision

Eielson Air Force Base will not be home to a group of F-35 fighters, the Department of Defense says. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that a year ago the Pentagon considered Eielson one of the top six contenders, but now it has fallen to the point where about 65 bases are deemed more suitable for the new jet. She said, the Air Force had scheduled meetings in the Interior in November 2008 to begin preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. "Those meetings never occurred. Today we learned that … Continue Reading


10.26.09

KSRM Radio: Murkowski Glad to See Review of Subsistence in Alaska

Last week, U.S. Senator Murkowski spoke in front of the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention on the same day that it was announced that there would be a federal review of rural subsistence in Alaska. She told the Alaska Federation of Natives that it is appropriate for the federal government to look at the issue of rural subsistence. According to Senator Murkowski, the Department of the Interior and Congress needs to get to the bottom of why the subsistence management system is not working. S… Continue Reading


10.23.09

KTUU (NBC): Alaska's delegation fights to base F-35s at Eielson

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski, along with Sen. Mark Begich and Rep. Don Young, have sent a letter asking Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to station the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Alaska's Eielson Air Force Base. Although Eielson is competing with many other U.S. bases, Murkowski says the state's geographic location is strategically important. "We're sitting here as close as anyone could be to the hot spots in Asia, right at the top of the globe," Murkowski said. "We litera… Continue Reading


10.23.09

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska legislators push Eielson as new home for F-35s

FAIRBANKS - Alaska's congressional delegation has sent a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force urging him to station the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Eielson Air Force Base. The letter, dated Oct. 1 and signed by Rep. Don Young and Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, calls Eielson "the perfect base geographically" for the fighters, given the large amount of available airspace. The letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley also touts the strategic importance of Alaska in facing poss… Continue Reading


10.20.09

Op-Ed: Cut Exports of Rare Earth Minerals

Clean energy technologies face a range of obstacles. The credit crunch has slowed capital investment, disputes have arisen over which lands are suitable for infrastructure, and the electric grid has sometimes proved incapable of handling new generation. Over the long run, however, our most difficult challenge may be our most fundamental: ensuring a stable supply of the raw materials needed to manufacture clean energy technologies in the first place. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, our … Continue Reading


10.13.09

Op-Ed: Congress, not the EPA, Should Lead Climate Battle

Congress is currently engaged in one of the most complex policy debates of our time -- how best to mitigate climate change without harming the economy. Even as congressional debate continues, however, the Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with a plan of its own. The agency recently announced it will regulate emissions from all facilities that emit more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year, starting as soon as six months from now. Here's the catch: The EPA hailed this a… Continue Reading


10.10.09

Alaska Public Radio Network: Murkowski and EPA Feuding

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is in a fight with the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA recently opposed a Murkowski-sponsored amendment, which would've weakened the Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Murkowski sent the EPA's administrator a letter this week saying she's "extremely disappointed" by the way the EPA handled its response to her proposal. You can <a href="http://aprn.org/2009/10/10/murkowski-and-epa-feuding/">listen to the audio here.</a>… Continue Reading


10.09.09

Bureau of National Affairs (BNA): Murkowski Seeks Information on Opposition By EPA to Greenhouse Gas Amendment

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) wrote Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on Oct. 7 questioning Jackson's opposition to an amendment Murkowski had filed in the Senate to temporarily suspend EPA authority over greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. According to the letter, EPA staff failed to respond to Murkowski's request for analysis of her amendment to the appropriations bill funding EPA and other environmental agencies, but the staff did contact outside entit… Continue Reading


09.22.09

The Hill: Senator: Make sure climate bill won't 'kick the economy in the head'

by Originally published by The Hill newspaper on September 22, 2009

Congress should take care to not "kick the economy in the head" when it passes climate change legislation, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaksa) said Tuesday. Murkowski told reporters during a conference call that while the Congress should address climate change, it should do so at its own pace, and examine other alternatives beside the "cap and trade" system currently under consideration. "I appreciate the president's commitment to addressing this, and that Congress does need to act on climate chang… Continue Reading

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