Articles & Op-eds


Op-Ed: More tribal support one answer to suicide epidemic

Last month I convened a roundtable discussion in Bethel on an issue of grave importance to Southwestern Alaska -- youth suicide. Joined by the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, we held a learning session to figure out where we are going wrong and how to change the desperate condition we find ourselves in regarding the Native youth suicide rate. Alaska has known for more than a decade that the rate of suicide among Native youth is the highest… Continue Reading


Associated Press: Dozens of dignitaries attend Stevens' funeral

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ When former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens made a commitment, people could bet their lives that he would follow through, Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday at the funeral of the Senate's longest serving Republican. Stevens, who died along with four others last week in a plane crash in southwest Alaska, was remembered by Biden and other speakers as a fierce defender of Alaska and its way of life. The funeral Wednesday marked the end of three days of remembrances that began … Continue Reading


KTUU: 'Ted Stevens was Alaska'

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Thousands of mourners paid their last respects to Sen. Ted Stevens Wednesday afternoon. Stevens' funeral service was held at Anchorage Baptist Temple, and drew crowds of military service members, former staffers, U.S. dignitaries and Alaskans. His casket was escorted in by military pallbearers and a large number of honorary pallbearers to "Amazing Grace" played on bagpipes. On stage were displayed Stevens' set of giant green fists, representing the Incredible Hulk, to who… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Dignitaries remember Ted Stevens’ achievements, goals at former senator's funeral

ANCHORAGE - Ted Stevens was Alaska. That was Vice President Joe Biden's assessment of the long-time senator Wednesday as he eulogized his friend and colleague. "I have no doubt Alaska is written in Ted's heart," Biden told a crowd of several thousand mourners and dignitaries who gathered at a memorial service at the Anchorage Baptist Temple. Biden recounted how, as a freshman senator, Stevens made a point of introducing himself shortly after Biden's first wife and young daughter were killed i… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Murkowski: “Ted Was Alaska”

Listen to APRN's story here. Thousands of mourners and a long list of dignitaries gathered at Anchorage Baptist Temple this afternoon to say goodbye to Senator Ted Stevens. It was a somber occasion, but there were also plenty of laughs as those who knew the Senator shared their favorite stories. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski quickly set the theme for the ceremony. Murkowski talked about the number of young Alaskans Stevens helped raise. She said he would recognize their talent and help encour… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Fellow politicians remember Ted Stevens

FAIRBANKS - For more than 40 years, Ted Stevens towered over Alaskan politics, an icon who inspired generations of Republicans and yet still garnered the respect of Democrats. The 86-year-old's sudden death in a plane crash Monday near Dillingham shocked those who were closest to him. Rep. Don Young, who served in the House for almost the entirety of Stevens' Senate career from 1968-2009, issued a statement Tuesday extending his condolences to the family of the man whom he called a "close pers… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Lisa and Frank Murkowski mourn Ted Stevens

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was emotional as she spoke about Ted Stevens today to reporters at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. "He was the most remarkable mentor… He was pretty legendary for his gruff demeanor. (But) he was the softest touch. He was as gentle as any man, he was so loving towards his family," she said. A reporter asked Murkowski whether Stevens had been happy in recent years, given his legal problems and his defeat in the 2008 election. "I think he had lost faith i… Continue Reading


Ketchikan Daily News: Murkowski Talking Timber

The current federal administration is proving difficult to work with on issues involving timber harvest and supply in the Tongass National Forest, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. "We're dealing with an administration that I don't think fully understands and appreciates the Tongass," Murkowski said Friday in Ketchikan. "I think they view this as something that should not be touched. I don't think that they understand how management has worked or how it can work." While the adminis… Continue Reading


KTUU: Begich, Murkowski agree on need for oil spill legislation

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- As the U.S. Senate kicks off its August break, Sen. Mark Begich says oil spill legislation is at the top of its to-do list once the recess is over. At a press conference Friday, Begich said lawmakers have been working together to form legislation that would hold the oil industry responsible in the event of an oil spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate spent last week working on a draft of a bill, and it was completed Friday. Begich says the bill addresses abo… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska Sens. Murkowski, Begich split on support for Kagan

FAIRBANKS - With Elena Kagan's place on Supreme Court all but assured following a Senate vote likely to take place today, Alaska's two senator's have different views of President Obama's second nominee for the high court. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski took to the senate floor Wednesday to oppose Kagan's nomination. The senator said that she was particularly disturbed by Kagan's views on the Second Amendment. In confirmation hearings, Kagan noted the precedent set when the Supreme Court struck… Continue Reading


The Hill: Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski emerges from her father’s shadow . . .

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has long been considered the quiet GOP politician from Alaska, especially when compared to former Sen. Ted Stevens, Rep. Don Young and her father. But Murkowski's voice is being heard now more than ever, and she has emerged from the shadow of former governor and Sen. Frank Murkowski, who appointed her to the upper chamber in 2002. Murkowski agrees she has a different style than some of her male counterparts from the Last Frontier. "I think it's fair to say that women have … Continue Reading


The Hill: . . . insisting there is no ‘blood war’ between her and former Gov. Palin

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's endorsement of her more conservative GOP primary challenger caught her by surprise but strongly disputes the notion that there is a "blood war" between two of the most powerful families in Alaska. "It was a bit of a surprise, and only because she has been supportive of my work on behalf of the state of Alaska and has publicly said so," Murkowski said in an interview. Palin joined the Tea Party movement in endorsing little-known atto… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: The Demise of the Spill Bill

The decision this week by the Majority Leader to table oil spill legislation was deeply disappointing to everyone who wanted to see constructive policy come out of the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. More than 100 days have passed since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank to the ocean floor. What we've learned in that time has made clear that our offshore energy regulations need reforming. Even though this has been a difficult year for the Senate, I had faith this disaster would bring us to… Continue Reading


Homer Tribune: Villages get COPS

Many Alaska villages - such as Nanwalek, across Kachemak Bay - often go for months, and even years without a public safety officer. Historically, the pay has been so low, many VPSOs qualified for food stamps. In Nanwalek's case, a strong tribal chief system means the village doesn't go without law enforcement. "We have our own system for taking care of a situation. I will get up at 2 in the morning, at 6, if necessary," said First Nanwalek Tribal Chief Wally Kvasnikoff. "We do pretty good keep… Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Bill passed to extend permit moratorium for smaller vessels

A two-year moratorium on permit requirements for certain smaller vessels has been extended for an additional three years. The moratorium applies to permits for discharges for commercial and charter fishing vessels less than 79 feet long. This exempts these smaller vessels from having to apply permits otherwise required by the Clean Water Act. Recreational vessels were exempted two years ago. The bill to extend this moratorium until Dec. 17, 2013 was signed by President Barack Obama late Frid… Continue Reading


Lisa Murkowski battles for GOP hearts as Palin grows louder in Alaskan expanse

FAIRBANKS, ALASKA -- In the perpetual daylight of Alaskan summer, Sen. Lisa Murkowski spotted Rich Doran tying one of her campaign signs to a tree on the bank of the Chena River. "So how you be?" Doran greeted her, as she climbed a grassy slope. "I be fine," Murkowski said, admiring the sign. "Got good friends supporting me." "Between your dad and you," responded the craggy-faced Doran, who was wearing campaign buttons boosting both Murkowskis and former Republican senator Ted Stevens, "I'… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Bill to Mitigate Yukon Fishery Failure Passes in US House

A supplemental appropriations bill passed by the US House Tuesday includes $5 million to help mitigate the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery failure. The request for the funding was made by Senator Lisa Murkowski. The bill now goes to the White House for the president's signature. The disaster assistance helps fishermen and communities affected by the fishery failure for the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery. In 2008, the commercial salmon harvest was 89 percent below the five-year average, a… Continue Reading


The Tundra Drums: $5 million in disaster relief aid passes Congress for Yukon River fishermen

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House has passed a 2010 supplemental appropriations bill that includes $5 million requested by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to help mitigate the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery failure, her office reported in a written statement. The bill now goes to the White House for President Obama's signature. The $58.8 billion supplemental bill, which cleared the Senate in May, provides funding to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, replenish the Federal Emergency… Continue Reading


The Associated Press: Sen. Lisa Murkowski wants review of 800-mile Alaska pipeline system

JUNEAU, Alaska - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has asked the operator of the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline system to conduct a safety review of the line, saying it's critical the public have the highest level of confidence in its maintenance following a power outage in May. The call by the Alaska Republican follows a recent meeting with Kevin Hostler, a former BP executive and outgoing president of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. State Rep. David Guttenberg agrees with the need for confidence in the r… Continue Reading


KTUU: Alaska delegation asks feds to replace lost Coast Guard helicopter

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's congressional delegation has sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, requesting funding to replace a lost Coast Guard helicopter. The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter assigned to Air Station Sitka crashed earlier this month off La Push, Wash., killing three crewmen. "Alaska has more coastline than any other state in the nation. The loss of a helicopter from Air Station Sitka reduces the ability of the Coast Guard to respond to maritime … Continue Reading

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