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Liz Ruskin, APRN

lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

Wasilla Principal Says Congressman Young Offended Grieving School

The principal of Wasilla High School says Congressman Don Young offended her students at a school assembly yesterday. Young, known for brash talk throughout his four decades in office, spoke to students about suicide and gay marriage in a manner Principal Amy Spargo describes as hurtful.

October 22, 2014
With Millions Pumped into U.S. Senate Race, Voters Near Their Limit

With Millions Pumped into U.S. Senate Race, Voters Near Their Limit

About $46 million has been spent so far to convince Alaskans to either vote for Sen. Mark Begich or challenger Dan Sullivan. One clear effect: Voter annoyance is rampant.

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October 20, 2014

State Disputes ANWR Boundaries

The state of Alaska has launched the opening salvo in a border dispute with the federal government over the western edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. At stake is a 20 thousand acre wedge of land that the federal government counts as part of ANWR. But in a letter to the BLM today, the state asserts the government has mapped ANWR incorrectly. The state says the wedge of land between the Canning and the Staines River is actually outside the refuge, according to a 1960 legal description of the refuge border.

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October 17, 2014

Elections Chief: Parties Say What They Want in Voter Pamphlet

The Division of Elections voter pamphlet is arriving in mailboxes across the state. Way in the back is a page that caught some voters by surprise. It’s a negative ad against Sen. Mark Begich.

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October 10, 2014

In New Ad, Begich Pledges to Work on Fixing Health Care Law

For those who want to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, one strategy has prevailed from the start: Bind him to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. A new ad from Republican challenger Dan Sullivan is typical of that approach.

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October 7, 2014

Profile: Rep. Young, Still Punching, Seeks Another Term

Congressman Don Young doesn’t hold back. At 81, he still thunders his opposition to the federal government when he gets worked up about it.

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October 3, 2014

Sullivan Allowed to Keep In-State Tax Credits in Maryland

Maryland tax collectors had good news for Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan today, and perhaps bad news for his campaign. Maryland authorities say he doesn’t have to repay about $5,000 in homestead tax credits he received from 2006 to 2008, for a home he owned in Bethesda. Only owners claiming a home as their principal residence are entitled to the credits.

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September 30, 2014

How Should U.S. Lead in the Arctic?

Arctic experts and policymakers gathered at a Washington, D.C. think-tank today to focus on how the U.S. might wield its leadership when it assumes the chairmanship of the Arctic Council next year. Recommendations ranged from the lofty to the concrete.

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September 30, 2014

Another Begich Ad Alleges Alaska’s U.S. Senators Co-operate

Sen. Lisa Murkowski keeps trying to shake him off, but Sen. Mark Begich continues to insist they have a good working relationship.

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September 29, 2014

Seismologist Says It’s Time to Talk About Earthquake Early Warning

Yesterday’s 6.2 earthquake in Southcentral Alaska struck without warning. Because that’s what earthquakes do here in Alaska. But state seismologist Michael West says now is the time for Alaskans to discuss the possibility of building an earthquake early warning system.

September 26, 2014

US Chamber of Commerce Pledges “Full Weight” to Sullivan

A new Dittman Research poll shows Republican Dan Sullivan is six points ahead of Democrat Mark Begich in the U.S. Senate race. The research was funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It ran a pro-Sullivan ad in April and today officially announced it’s endorsement of Sullivan.

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September 25, 2014
Forrest Dunbar: The Millennial Who Aims to Unseat Don Young

Forrest Dunbar: The Millennial Who Aims to Unseat Don Young

The Alaska Congressman’s Democratic challenger is a Yale-educated attorney, raised in Eagle and Cordova. Dunbar is a first-time candidate running a serious campaign on a relative shoestring.

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September 24, 2014

Murkowski Backs Sullivan in TV Spot

U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan has a new campaign ad featuring the person he hopes to call a colleague: Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

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September 23, 2014

Murkowski Presses FDA To Clarify Spent-Grain Rule for Brewers

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, along with beer-makers around the country, is celebrating a recent clarification from the Food and Drug Administration about spent grains.

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September 22, 2014

Alaska Delegation Review 113th Congress

The U.S. House and Senate are on recess now. When lawmakers return it’ll be after the November election for a lame duck session that will end the 113th Congress.

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September 19, 2014

Alaska Delegation Divided on Arming Syrian Rebels to fight ISIL

Congress today approved President Obama’s request to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight the terrorist group known as ISIL, but no one in the Alaska delegation was happy about it.

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September 18, 2014

Sullivan Supports State Minimum Wage Boost He Once Opposed

In a reversal, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan says he supports a ballot measure that would increase the state minimum wage.

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September 16, 2014

Outside Money Favors Begich, But He Assails It

The U.S. Senate this week blocked a constitutional amendment aimed at reversing Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision allowing corporations, unions and associations to spend unlimited amounts on elections. Sen. Mark Begich, who has railed against outside spending in the race, voted for the amendment, although so far the outside spending has tilted heavily in his favor.

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September 12, 2014

Alaska Delegation Critical Of President’s ISIS Plan

President Obama outlined a plan Wednesday to defeat the terror group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS. He is calling for airstrikes, as well as for the U.S. to support the Iraqi military and Syrian fighters attacking ISIS on the ground.

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September 11, 2014

Russia Builds Military Bases in Arctic

Russian news outlets report ships have unloaded pre-fabricated buildings to create military installations on Russia’s Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt. Both are about 300 miles from Alaska’s Point Hope.

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September 10, 2014