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Liz Ruskin, APRN

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

Murkowski Bill Would Impel Izembek Road, Undo EPA Efforts

An appropriations bill authored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski would undo two of the Obama administration’s highest profile environmental efforts, and compel a land exchange to build a road in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, to connect King Cove and Cold Bay.

June 16, 2015
Industry Chafes at Relief Rig Rule for Arctic Drilling

Industry Chafes at Relief Rig Rule for Arctic Drilling

The safety of drilling in Arctic seas was debated at a congressional hearing this morning. Advocates of development say requiring a relief rig isn’t necessary for blowout response.

June 16, 2015
Sockeye Map Shows Modest Fire Growth For Monday

Sockeye Map Shows Modest Fire Growth For Monday

The fire grew modestly on Monday, to 7,555 acres. (A previous estimate of 8,500 acres was revised downward.) Today’s forecast calls for warm, dry weather with possible dry thunderstorms. The Type 1 Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team takes command of the firefighting effort at 7 a.m.

June 16, 2015
AK: Ice Dance

AK: Ice Dance

New York dancer and choreographer Jody Sperling had a rare opportunity last year. She was an artist-in-residence aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy while it was on a research mission in the Arctic. Alone on vast ice floes, she danced while no one watched.

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June 12, 2015

Rep. Young Lobbies To Offer Land Allotments For Alaska Native ‘Nam Vets

Congressman Don Young’s subcommittee on Native affairs took testimony today on a bill to re-open land allotment selections for Alaska Natives who served in the military during the Vietnam War.

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June 11, 2015

U.S. House Bill Seen as Aviation Boon, Housing Bane

The House this week passed a transportation and housing bill. Rep. Don Young says it includes programs important to Alaska aviation, while the White House says it shortchanges homeless programs and transit.

June 11, 2015

Village Crime Victims Need Intervention, Senators Told

A U.S. Senate committee today heard pleas for better treatment of crime victims in Native communities. Gerad Godfrey, chairman of an Alaska victims’ compensation panel, recommends sexual assault rapid response teams for Alaska villages.

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June 10, 2015
Rep. Don Young Marries on 82nd Birthday

Rep. Don Young Marries on 82nd Birthday

Alaska Congressman Don Young tied the knot today, on his 82nd birthday. Young married 76-year-old Anne Garland Walton, a flight nurse from Fairbanks. She says his birthday cakes will never be the same.

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June 9, 2015
Sen. Sullivan Moves D.C. Office to Hart Building

Sen. Sullivan Moves D.C. Office to Hart Building

Sen. Dan Sullivan is out of the basement. His staff announced today that they’ve moved to their new office location in the nation’s capital, on the 7th floor of the Hart Building.

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June 8, 2015

FEC Hits Sullivan Campaign With $3k Fine

The Federal Election Commission slapped Sen. Dan Sullivan’s campaign with a fine of nearly $3,000 for failing to disclose donations. The total amount of the donations in question comes to just over $25,000. Most — if not all – of them appear to be from out of state.

June 5, 2015
The Gray Eagle Has Landed… In Fairbanks

The Gray Eagle Has Landed… In Fairbanks

The U.S. Army has decided to base nine Gray Eagle drones at Fort Wainwright. The delegation says 128 military personnel, plus family members, will begin moving to the area next month.

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June 4, 2015

Alaska Senators Vote to Reform Patriot Act

The U.S. Senate today voted to curtail the National Security Administration’s collection of bulk phone data. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was an early sponsor of the reform. Sen. Dan Sullivan says he became convinced the bill was a good revision to the controversial parts of the 2001 Patriot Act.

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June 2, 2015

Rep. Young’s Fisheries Bill Passes House

A bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act passed the U.S. House this evening, largely on party lines. Alaska Congressman Don Young says the bill makes practical revisions to continue a law that has restored the health of America’s fisheries. Opponents says it weakens environmental law.

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June 1, 2015

U.S. House Votes to Sell Midtown Lot to Muni

The House today voted to sell a 9-acre lot in Anchorage to the Municipality, at fair market value. The property at 40th and Denali Street, once intended for the National Archives, is one of the largest undeveloped lots in Midtown.

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June 1, 2015

Alaska LNG Gains Milestone With Export License

The federal Energy Department announced today it will license Liquified Natural Gas exports from Nikiski, even to countries that don’t have a free trade agreement with the U.S. The authorization is conditional on winning final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But Sen. Lisa Murkowski says it’s a big boon for the project to bring North Slope natural gas to market.

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May 28, 2015

For $1B Radar, It’s Clear

The Missile Defense Agency today confirmed Clear Air Station as its preferred location for a new type of radar system, called Long Range Discrimination Radar. The selection of Clear helps solidify Alaska’s role as host to the ground-based mid-course missile defense system, designed primarily to shoot down warheads from North Korea.

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May 22, 2015
Y-K’s Facebook Phenom Helps Kick Off Arctic Council Chairmanship

Y-K’s Facebook Phenom Helps Kick Off Arctic Council Chairmanship

A Tooksook Bay teenager who became a singing sensation on Facebook performed for ambassadors and Arctic VIPs at the State Department in Washington D.C. last night. Byron Nicholai was introduced by Secretary of State John Kerry at a reception to mark the beginning of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

May 22, 2015

Sen. Sullivan: Prepare for Long War

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is one of five freshmen on the Senate Armed Services committee, and he’s carving out a place for himself among the national security hawks. Today, as the committee heard from two architects of the 2007 surge in Iraq, Sullian said the president should prepare Americans for prolonged war and win their support for ongoing combat.

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May 21, 2015
Photo: NOAA

White House Says Veto Likely on Young’s Fisheries Bill

The U.S. House this evening began debate on a bill by Alaska Congressman Don Young to renew the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation’s primary fishing law. Actually, lawmakers just debated how they’re going to debate the legislation. Meanwhile, the White House yesterday issued a policy statement criticizing Young’s bill, suggesting the president would veto it. 

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May 20, 2015
Murkowski, Cantwell Bill Pushes For Icebreakers

Murkowski, Cantwell Bill Pushes For Icebreakers

U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington and Lisa Murkowski have introduced a bill that would allow the Coast Guard to build as many as six heavy icebreakers.

May 20, 2015