APRN: Alaska News
With the state facing a deficit of more than $4 billion, the budget is arguably the most important issue facing the Alaska Legislature this session. The House Finance Committee is now hearing from the public on its cuts, in preparation for any changes it might make to the spending proposal.
Last summer, Shell asked the government to extend its offshore drilling leases in the Arctic. Today, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski pressed Shell’s case to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in a Senate hearing. Murkowski says Shell needs certainty to continue to invest billions of dollars in its Arctic operations.
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan today engaged the head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy, in a testy exchange. Sullivan’s focus was the EPA’s proposed rule for the Clean Water Act. But first the senator extracted some crow from McCarthy for dissing gifts given to her when she visited Alaska last year. Sullivan says her reference to a jar of moose meat that could “gag a maggot” was disrespectful to Alaskans.
Legislators, aides and others heard an alternate viewpoint on Medicaid expansion from a senior fellow with an organization that has referred to the “dangers” expansion poses in states that opt for it.
The Alaska Health Care Commission would be eliminated in proposed funding cuts from the House finance committee. The Commission makes policy recommendations to the legislature and the Governor to improve the health of Alaskans and control health care costs.
The state is once again looking to move the Wildlife Trooper patrol vessel Stimson from Unalaska to Kodiak. And this year, the change seems poised to go through.
A researcher from University of California Irvine is in Dillingham to collect the experiences of sexual assault victims. The project is trying to figure out the cause of the disproportionately high number of sexual crimes in rural Alaska.
Fairbanks’s mayor and police chief rolled out a new approach to law enforcement last night. The community policing program is getting started in crime-plagued South Fairbanks.
A new book, out just in time for this year’s race, documents stories of the Iditarod. Lew Freedman, a former Anchorage Daily News reporter and author of numerous other books on Iditarod legends, gets people who race or love and support the race, to tell their own stories. The book is called Iditarod Adventures, Tales from Mushers Along the Trail. Freedman starts with Martin Buser. He says he’s had a question he’s wanted to ask Buser since 1991.
Alaska House Finance Committee Hearing Public Input On Budget; Murkowski Seeks Lease Extensions for Shell; Sullivan Jousts with EPA’s McCarthy; Medicaid Expansion Event Brings Out Lawmakers, Davidson; Budget Cuts Would Eliminate Health Care Commission; P/V Stimson Likely to Move From Unalaska to Kodiak; Researcher Investigating Alaska’s Sexual Assault Issues; Mayor, Chief Pitch ‘Community Policing’ At South Fairbanks Meeting; ‘Iditarod Adventures, Tales from Mushers Along the Trail’ Documents Race Stories
Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she’s forming an Arctic caucus — a group of senators that will meet to advance discussion among senators and staff about issues important to the Arctic and its people.
President Obama infuriated Alaska’s political leaders when he announced in January he would ask Congress to protect more land within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, forever off-limits to oil drilling. Some, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, predict Obama will act on his own to bar development, by using the Antiquities Act to declare ANWR a national monument. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said today that’s not in the works.
Drop by the Alaska Public Media studios at 3877 University Drive, Thursday, 5 to say thanks to APRN’s Steve Heimel. We are hosting a special community get-together from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The long-time Talk of Alaska host, and morning news producer and reporter is leaving Alaska Public Media after many years of dedicated service. Enjoy the fellowship and the many Steve Heimel stories that will be floating around. You won’t want to miss it.
The Calista Corporation announced a record dividend Tuesday, totaling just over $5 million. The dividend amount is $3.80 per share, which works out to about $380 for the average shareholder with 100 shares.
The majority of House Bill 75 spells out regulations for marijuana that mirror measures in place already for alcohol, granting local communities leeway with registering protests and setting civil fines.
Proposed cuts by Alaska lawmakers to early education programs could cost the state a lot more in the future. Program proponents say supporting parents and children from birth to age 5 is crucial to a child’s and the state’s development.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter affirmed on Tuesday the need for a U.S. military strategy for the Arctic as Russia builds its military in the north.