Senator Murkowski - eNewsletter 03-27-09
Murkowski Commemorates 20th Anniversary of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Senator Murkowski delivers remarks at a recent NOAA event commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.
This past Tuesday commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound. It was on March 24, 1989, that Alaskans awoke to the news that an oil tanker had run aground on Bligh Reef spilling nearly 11 million gallons of oil into the Sound. In the 20 years that have followed this disaster, we have made significant advancements in the areas of oil spill prevention, response and clean-up. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sponsored an event here in Washington to commemorate this tragic milestone. In my remarks to the forum, I warned against becoming complacent in the wake of improved safety since the Exxon Valdez disaster and that we must always remember the people whose lives and culture were forever changed.
Murkowski Congratulates Alaska's High School Champions
March Madness Comes to Alaska
The Lady Seawolves of the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Photo credit: UAA/Mike Dinneen.
And while talking basketball, I want to congratulate the University of Alaska Anchorage Lady Seawolves for going all the way to the final four of the Division II NCAA championships. The Lady Seawolves capped an incredible season with an appearance in the final four – a true testament of their hard work this entire season. Congratulations ladies and I look forward to watching you in action next year.
Secretary Salazar to hold OCS hearing April 14 in Alaska
If you are unable to attend the all-day meeting in person, you can submit comments in writing at www.MMS.gov. When there, select “Five Year Program,” and then select “How to Comment.” A final agenda with meeting details and information on how to participate will be posted here.
Keeping in Contact with Alaskans
In addition to my eNewsletter, I wanted to let you about my Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. My official Senate Facebook page is now up and running. I plan to post my latest statements, links to videos and pictures from state visits on my Facebook page. Also, I have an official YouTube page at youtube.com/senatormurkowski. On my YouTube page, you can watch my speeches from the Senate floor, interviews I’ve participated in and portions of committee hearings that you may have missed. I am also on Twitter at twitter.com/lisamurkowski. You can follow me on Twitter (@lisamurkowski) where I will post links to content of interest to Alaskans. I invite you to check me out on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and follow my work in the Senate for Alaska.
Senator Murkowski to Launch Teletownhall Meetings
To enable me to speak with you more frequently, I will be using a new program to hold interactive, town hall style meetings right over the phone. This program, known as a ‘teletownhall,’ enables me to spend an hour or so speaking with and taking questions from Alaskans just as if we were in the same room together. To participate, all that you need is a telephone.
Signing up for my teletownhalls is easy. All you need to do is click here and provide me with a telephone number.
Still on the Move
You may remember from my last eNewsletter that I had taken a fall while skiing at Alyeska a few weeks back. I am still on the mend and working here in the Senate. Recently, I was on my way to a meeting and received a call from President Obama wishing me a speedy recovery.
At my most recent constituent coffee, Keith and Florence Colburn came by for a visit. You may know Keith from the Discovery Channel series ‘Deadliest Catch.’ I enjoyed visiting with Keith and Florence and hope to see more Alaskans at future constituent coffees.
Rule Change on Travel Coming Soon
Under the new rule, travelers will be required to carry either a passport or a “passport card” for land and sea travel between Alaska and Canada starting June 1. Passport cards are similar to a passport, but are less expensive, fit in a wallet and are valid only for land and sea crossings.
Initially, Alaskans would have needed either a passport or a passport card for travel as of January 1, 2008. Senator Stevens and I cosponsored an amendment that delayed implementation of this rule until June 1, 2009. That date is now quickly approaching. If you regularly travel to and from Canada, or even through Canada to get to other parts of Alaska, I encourage you to visit here so that you may prepare for this rule change accordingly.
To try and reduce the costs of purchasing passports, I have joined several of my Senate colleagues in cosponsoring the Passport Card Travel Enhancement Act of 2009. If passed, this bill would allow Alaskans traveling by air to and from Canada to use the cheaper passport card instead of a standard passport.