Articles & Op-eds


Op-Ed: Nuclear Deal Enriches Iran, Not Peace

Flashback: It's Jan. 21, 1981. Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th president of the United States, but that's the second headline of the day. The top news was that 52 American hostages and diplomats were released by Iran after 444 days of captivity, just moments after President Carter left office. Iran viewed Carter as a weak leader who could be bullied around. The supreme leader could reasonably expect that life under President Reagan would be much tougher because Reagan understood the con… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Wishing Pres. Obama a productive visit to Alaska

As Alaskans, we take great pride in welcoming visitors to our beautiful state. That is especially true when our guest is the President of the United States. When President Obama announced he would visit at the end of August, I thought of how exciting the experience would be for him -- of the breathtaking scenery he will see, of the spectacular wildlife he will encounter, and of the amazing people he will meet. I hoped the president's trip would highlight the importance of cooperation and colla… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Health Care Reform Leaving Alaska Care Far From Affordable

The Affordable Care Act has unfortunately become one of the most ironically named pieces of legislation for Alaska in history. Affordable for whom, exactly? Insurance costs here in Alaska continue to rise as Alaska's health care providers are struggling to work within the law for our high-cost, high risk state. Last month, we heard news that Premera needs to increase premiums by 38 percent for 2016; MODA also intends to increase its premiums by 30 percent in 2016 - this on top of double-digit in… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Alaska Delegation United to Make Alaska VA Work for Veterans

Sometimes things seem too good to be true. Last year when the Phoenix VA waiting list scandal broke, and even as we began to discover that VA facilities in other parts of the country weren't meeting wait time standards, things were better in Alaska.It's not that Alaska VA didn't have staffing challenges like facilities in the Lower 48. Some of our challenges like staffing Wasilla with one doctor -- who ultimately quit -- when two were called horwere even more difficult to fix than they might be … Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Leaving Behind No Child Left Behind

Twenty-two to zero. In sports, that sounds like a convincing football score. In the halls of the United States Senate, though, such unanimity is nearly unheard of. But I am proud to tell Alaska's parents, students and teachers that this is exactly the result we got after weeks of consensus building and constructive negotiating to draft the Every Child Achieves Act - the antidote to the flawed No Child Left Behind law - as it passed out of committee and was sent to the Senate floor for debate. T… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Time for U.S. to Lead on Arctic

The U.S. assumed the Chair of the Arctic Council last month in an international event held in Canada and attended by leaders from around the world. Unfortunately, it seems like this barely registered to most Americans. A recent study found only 32 percent of U.S. residents are either clearly or vaguely aware of the Arctic Council's existence. Alaskans, who have a natural affinity for the Arctic, didn't fare much better, with only 35 percent aware of the Arctic Council. When you compare this … Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: Carter: US Arctic Defense Policy Falls Short

by By Erica Martinson

The U.S. military needs a better Arctic defense policy and has lagged in recognizing it is falling short, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a congressional hearing Wednesday. Carter's remarks came in response to questions from Sen. Lisa Murkowski at an appropriations committee hearing. Carter didn't provide details of what might be coming. "But I think a plan that is more than aspirational is needed," he told the panel, offering to work with Murkowski "to that end." Murkowski and Sen. D… Continue Reading


Letter to the Editor: Saluting Hydropower

I want to congratulate the City and Borough of Sitka on successfully finishing the Blue Lake Dam expansion project. I wish I could be there this week to celebrate with you, but I trust you will have a wonderful dedication ceremony. I toured the Blue Lake site many years ago and saw its potential to provide clean, stable, and affordable energy for Sitka residents. Like many, I had high hopes for this development to one day deliver lower energy… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: Murkowski, King Seek to Enlist Other Senators in an Arctic Caucus

by By Yereth Rosen

Coming soon to the U.S. Capitol is a new group of lawmakers: the Senate Arctic Caucus. As of Tuesday, the group was just a nucleus of two -- Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who is part of the Senate's Democratic minority. But this week, Murkowski said, she and King are formally inviting other senators to join. "What I am trying to do is raise awareness about all things Arctic. I'm trying to allow members to see and appreciate that the Arctic… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Keystone XL - Good for Alaska

by Senator Lisa Murkowski

I understand that some Alaskans are wondering how the Keystone XL pipeline is relevant to Alaska. It's a fair question that I believe deserves an answer. Alaska has a unique history with large-scale infrastructure projects, including energy projects of great magnitude. Prudhoe Bay is a world-class oil field and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is a true modern marvel. But Alaskans are also a little nervous right now. Even The New York Times has described a sense of "economic anxiety" that hang… Continue Reading


APRN: Small Businesses Struggle To Comply With Health Insurance Requirement

by By Annie Feidt

Starting this month, businesses in Alaska with more than 100 full time workers have to provide health insurance. And under the Affordable Care Act "full time" is any employee who works more than 30 hours a week. Senator Lisa Murkowski is sponsoring legislation that would change that threshold to 40 hours. Many restaurants owners in Anchorage are watching the legislation closely. It just after the lunch rush at Crossbar in midtown Anchorage and Sous Chef Roy Martinez is grilling steak, plating f… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Alaska Beer Week Celebrates Alaska Small Business

Alaskans like to work hard and play hard -- and sometimes there is a market waiting to be tapped where the two overlap. Case in point, Alaska's thriving small brewing scene: a great example of Alaskan small business success. One of the little known facts about our state's economic picture is that we currently have 22 licensed breweries making high-quality craft beer, from Sitka to Silver Gulch, and I understand there are another eight in the works to be built and developed -- even in Hoonah! In… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: New Congress Brings New Hope for Alaska

For the first time in eight years, Republicans control both chambers of Congress. While our eight-vote majority in the Senate is not enough to unilaterally overcome filibusters or presidential vetoes, it is enough to restore regular order and actual debate on important issues. The changes we are bringing to the Senate - including longer work weeks and an open amendment process - will create opportunities for bipartisan coalitions to promote policies that strengthen Alaska and our nation.In this… Continue Reading


Roll Call: Murkowski’s Energy Manifesto Hiding in Plain Sight

by By Geof Koss

There's plenty of speculation about what Republicans will do on energy in the 114th Congress, and while a lot of details remain to be sorted out, the House and Senate chairs with primary jurisdiction have dropped plenty of hints about their thinking. Incoming Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has been hiding her agenda in plain sight since February 2013, when she unveiled Energy 2020: a Vision for America's Energy Future. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, … Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Embrace Challenges, Rewards of Being an Arctic Nation

As Alaskans and the rest of America emerge from their election bunkers and turn on their televisions again, we are faced with another pressing issue of lasting importance: making the Arctic a national and international priority in a manner that benefits those who live in the far north. Five months from now, in April 2015, the United States will assume the chair of the Arctic Council, the intergovernmental forum among the eight nations with territory inside the Arctic Circle and that includes ac… Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: Murkowski Singles Out Mat-Su Veteran

by By Andrew Wellner

As the U.S. Senate introduced legislation Sen. Lisa Murkowski co-sponsored to try and combat the problem of suicide among veterans Monday, she mentioned one Valley veteran by name. "Today I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation with a number of my Senate colleagues to bolster America's efforts to improve mental health care and suicide prevention resources for veterans. It's named after Clay Hunt - a Marine who fought in Afghanistan - but it could be named after R.K. Butts or any of our Alaska-ba… Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman Editorial: Health Care a Daily Thank-You to Vets

Every year at about this time we write a pretty similar editorial thanking the service men and women among us for their time spent protecting this country. This year, we have quite a bit more to say. That's because this year we wrote a series of stories about problems at our local Veterans Administration clinic. The clinic, on Seward Meridian Parkway, has had more trouble than even an Alaskan facility should in recruiting and keeping doctors. There has not been a doctor there since August. Th… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch News: In the Tale of Two Arctics, Alaska is Losing Out

by By Mia Bennett

Over 1,400 delegates from 34 countries listened to his remarks. Announcing the dates for the next three Arctic Circle meetings, he expressed, "Arctic Circle will transform Reykjavik into a dynamic Arctic village every October for years to come." Reykjavik epitomizes the "magnificent" and cosmopolitan Arctic, but that only represents one part of the North. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, able to attend in person this year thanks to the lack of a government shutdown, painted a different pi… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Evidence Supports ‘No’ Vote on Marijuana

by By Sen. Lisa Murkowski

On Nov. 4, Alaskans will consider Ballot Measure 2, an initiative to legalize the sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes. And those who support that commercial trade are investing heavily in hoping you will vote "yes." Make no mistake about it, marijuana - like tobacco and alcohol - is big business. Like alcohol and tobacco, the costs of marijuana to public health, public safety, our youth and lost productivity are similarly high. It's not surprising that Outside investors would r… Continue Reading


The Hill: Murkowski Questions Value of Icebreaker Repairs

by By Ramsey Cox

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she isn't convinced refurbishing one of only two polar icebreakers is a smart federal investment. Murkowski visited the Polar Sea, which is stationed in Seattle. The ship was commissioned in 1977 and has recently needed major repairs. "After seeing the Polar Sea firsthand, I am even more concerned with the status of the U.S. icebreaking fleet. This vessel was a workhorse for decades but is far from being returned to active duty," Murkowski said Tuesday. "I… Continue Reading

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