Important Change in International Travel Requirements

Effective January 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 19 and older should no longer expect that they will be able to prove identity and citizenship by relying on an oral declaration alone. Travelers will be asked to present documentation proving citizenship and identity when entering the United States at land or sea ports of entry.

For a complete list of acceptable documents and more information visit http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/land_travel/chnge_in_proced.xml.

Senator Murkowski Announces 2008 Service Academy Nominees

I recently announced my nomination of 34 Alaskans for appointments to the United States military academies. These are all exceptional candidates who have demonstrated excellent leadership capabilities and character. I am immensely proud of these honorable and courageous students and their desire to serve our nation.

Nominees were selected based upon their academic record, class standing, and potential for leadership. The following is a list of nominees and their hometowns:

Air Force
- Lance Beissner, Anchorage
- Landon Grover, Palmer
- Weiran Man, Anchorage
- Robert Stephenson, Elmendorf
- Mitchell Young, Eagle River
- Adam Failing, Valdez
- Bethany "Paige" Blackburn, Soldotna
- Tyler Schultz, Anchorage
- Christopher Klein, Anchorage
- Tyler Stearns, Anchorage

Military Academy
- Todd Graham, Anchorage
- Cody Huggins, Wasilla
- Patrick Everson, Eagle River
- Michael Regan, Fort Wainwright
- Charles Schulz, Anchorage
- Ryan Montgomery, Anchorage
- Kaitlin Todd, Wasilla
- Grant Hicks, Willow
- Joshua Mokracek, Soldotna
- Emily Balingit-Clark, Eagle River

Naval Academy
- Evan Christman, Anchorage
- Chris Paulson, Kodiak
- Christine Hansen, Haines
- Derek Kalbfleisch, Anchorage
- Chelsea Burr, Anchorage
- Geraldramir Rivera, Anchorage
- Chadwick Vance, North Pole
- Vincent Jovene, Elmendorf
- John Lerch, Eagle River
- Samuel McLaren, Fairbanks

Merchant Marine
- Emily Balingit-Clark, Eagle River
- Cody Huggins, Wasilla
- John Lerch, Eagle River
- Joshua Mokracek, Soldotna
- Geraldramir Rivera, Anchorage
- Chadwick Vance, North Pole
- Chelsea Burr, Anchorage
- Ryan Montgomery, Anchorage
- Matthew Helzer, Anchorage
- Christopher Klein, Anchorage

Senator Murkowski Speaks at the Alaska Forum on the Environment

On Monday, February 11 Senator Murkowski addressed the Alaska Forum on the Environment:

" Alaskans are environmentalists. We all share a deep love and respect for the outdoors. It's part of our DNA, just like our being ornery. I think some in the Lower 48 learn in time to love their environment - we in Alaska have an instant appreciation and respect for the beauty that surrounds us.

Congress has actually been busy - shocking, I know - when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable-energy issues. During the past three years Congress has done more to promote energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy since the first fuel-economy standards were set in 1975. The two energy bills we passed have done more to promote new technology and push construction of renewable and alternative energy projects in this nation than ever before.

Clearly, however, there is still more work to be done. We need to fully fund the research and demonstration and construction aid proposed in the bills, and pass legislation to extend and enlarge the tax incentives proposed to help promote renewable energy. "

Senator Murkowski Announces the Open Application Period for Native Language Preservation Grants

I am pleased to announce that the application period for grants under the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act is now open. The deadline for applications is March 12, 2008. The grants are provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and are intended to help Native Americans in assuring the survival and maintenance of their languages.

Senator Murkowski Urges Indian Health Care Upgrades

I am fighting for passage of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments of 2007. The legislation would reauthorize and update the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which governs the operation of the American Indian and Alaska Native health care delivery system. The Senate will resume consideration of the bill on Monday, February 25.

This bill is intended to bring new hope for Indian health, to provide American Indians and Alaska Natives with a level of health care services that is on par with what other Americans enjoy. Their needs have been neglected for far too long. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act was last authorized in 1992. The bill takes a comprehensive approach to improving Indian health care, including:

- Increasing the number of Indians entering health professions,
- Authorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Fund to address backlogs in health care services to Indians,
- Authorizes Facilities Construction,
- Addresses Social Security Act provisions,
- Authorizes a variety of health services for urban Indians,
- Makes organizational improvements within the Indian Health Services, and
- Authorizes a variety of behavioral health programs.