Articles & Op-eds


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


APRN: 50th Annual AVCP Convention Kicks Off in Bethel

by By Daysha Eaton

Leaders from around the state gathered in Bethel Tuesday for the 50th Annual Association of Village Council Presidents Convention. Dignitaries and political leaders form across the state attended. The Association of Village Council Presidents Convention opened at the cultural center in Bethel Tuesday. Julie Kitka, President of the Alaska Federation of Natives was the keynote speaker. She reported on two major wins in the courts for Alaska Natives this year, highlighting a federal judge's order… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Alaskans Deserve a Fix for Obamacare

by By Sen. Lisa Murkowski

It has now been more than four years since then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi explained to Americans why she had to push the health care reform bill through in such a rush: "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in the bill ... and get away from the fog." Now it is 2014, the fog is lifting, and we are watching the "Affordable Care Act" (ACA) fall apart under its own weight, and contradictory legal interpretations. The Obama administration has now unilaterally delayed or changed over 3… Continue Reading


CQ Weekly: Russia's Arctic Grab

by By Megan Scully, CQ Staff

President Barack Obama has described the Arctic as "peaceful, stable and free of conflict." Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski calls the icy region a "zone of peace." White House analysts and government agencies have put the odds of a military clash in the Arctic about as high as war on the moon. But heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow threaten to upend an era of Arctic collaboration and cooperation. Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea has already begun shifting the di… Continue Reading


KTNA 88.9 FM: FDA Considers Backing Off New Spent Grain Regs

A new change in a proposed FDA regulation could mean good news for farmers in the Upper Valley. The regulation in question regards controls for animal feed. The original proposal would have made it more costly for brewers to sell or donate spent grain to farmers across the country. A press release from Senator Lisa Murkowski's office on Monday says that the FDA is now considering exempting brewers, and other businesses that are already licensed to produce food for humans, from the new animal … Continue Reading


Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman Editorial: In Search of Solutions to VA Staffing

Would it be too bold of us to say that perhaps the Veterans Administration could solve the issue of how to provide care to Valley veterans without its meager clinic in Mat-Su? We aren't advocating for its closure. But we do appreciate the out-of-the-box work around that is serving VA patients during this time when the clinic is staffed with just one nurse practitioner. A press release arrived today saying the VA will increase by $25,000 to $35,000 what it pays in-coming doctors and dentists. W… Continue Reading


OP-ED: Standing Up for Every Child

The statistics sound like they come from another county. A one in five chance of committing suicide, a one in ten chance of being abused, twice as likely to be placed in foster care, and a one in three chance of living in poverty. But these are the odds, right here, in the United States for Native American children living in North Dakota, Alaska, Oklahoma, California, and across the country today. Most Americans are vaguely aware of the problems confronting Native Americans, particularly on … Continue Reading


A good salmon flip-flop

Changes in government policy concerning seafood aren't always welcomed in Alaska, but a change noted by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Monday is good news indeed for Alaska's fishing industry. The General Services Administration has refused, upon review of their policies, to allow non-governmental organizations that "certify" sustainable fishing practices to dictate the sources of fish the federal government purchases, according to a release from Murkowski's office. The fact is, third party "cert… Continue Reading


Murkowski honored by NRECA

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has presented Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, with a distinguished service award for her leadership in support for rural electrification. "Senator Murkowski is a true friend of electric cooperatives and a leader on energy issues," said Jo Emerson, chief executive officer of NRECA, who presented the award to Murkowski on Aug. 29. "Her bipartisan approach to solving some of our country's most difficult problems offers a bright spot in our nation'… Continue Reading


Gold miners near Chicken cry foul over 'heavy-handed' EPA raids

When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn't quit know what to think. Did it really take eight armed men and a squad-size display of paramilitary force to check for dirty water? Some of the miners, who run small businesses, say they felt intimidated. Others wonder if the actions of the agents put everyone at ri… Continue Reading


Alaska Sens. Murkowski, Begich pressing on Eielson's future

FAIRBANKS-Alaska's two U.S. senators continued their push this week to convince the Air Force to keep a squadron of F-16 fighter aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base. Sen. Mark Begich, in a Friday interview from Anchorage, said he is "80 percent assured that the F-16s will continue to be placed here at Eielson." Begich, a Democrat, said he met recently with Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the Air Force chief of staff, and came away feeling positive about Eielson's future. "I feel very good where we are… Continue Reading


Interior Secretary Hears From King Cove Residents on Proposed Izembek Land Exchange

KING COVE, Alaska - Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spent Friday in King Cove, hearing from community leaders and residents on a controversial land exchange proposal that would allow King Cove to complete a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, to neighboring Cold Bay. Frequent stormy weather prevents many flights into and out of King Cove. Cold Bay has an all-weather airport that King Cove residents say they need access to, especially when there is a medical emergency. "In … Continue Reading


OP-ED: Save lives with a road from King Cove to Cold Bay

The proposal to build a life-saving road to connect the Alaska Peninsula communities of King Cove and Cold Bay is most persuasive when you listen to the stories of those who live there. Della Trumble watched the plane carrying her daughter crash when it tried to land at King Cove's treacherous airport in 2010. That's why she has spent her life fighting for a road to cross a small sliver of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to the all-weather airport at Cold Bay. Or consider the story of Sar… Continue Reading


Murkowski sportsmen's bill picks up support, but politics may hamper passage

An Alaskan senator's bill to promote hunting and fishing opportunities on federal lands has picked up the support of some of her high-ranking Republican colleagues, though Democrats remain on the sidelines. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's S. 1335 includes a bipartisan measure to require the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to facilitate hunting, fishing and target shooting on hundreds of millions of acres of federal lands. Other provisions would reauthorize a revenue-neutral land acquisition… Continue Reading


Murkowski's U.S. Energy Trust Fund deserves support

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - In a small, specialist corner of the U.S. Senate, lawmakers are demonstrating how much can be achieved with a more bipartisan approach to policy. Lisa Murkowski, the senior senator from Alaska and highest-ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has published a discussion draft for a law that would establish an Advanced Energy Trust Fund. The draft ³American Energy Innovation and Production Act² would create a Trust Fund to pay for … Continue Reading


EDITORIAL: Oversee Spying - Senator's 2003 Effort is Relevant in 2013

Shortly after Lisa Murkowski's arrival as a new senator in Washington, D.C., she put a substantial amount of her time into an idea that ultimately didn't get far - curbing the ability of federal agencies to spy on U.S. citizens with virtually no oversight. A decade later, the topic is suddenly all the rage. That must be simultaneously frustrating and gratifying to Alaska's senior senator. In July 2003, just eight months after becoming a senator, Murkowski publicly launched what became a multi… Continue Reading

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