Optimism for Alaska in 2018

As Alaskans, there's no doubt we face significant challenges, including high crime rates, domestic violence and sexual assault, thousands of Alaskans struggling with addiction, and a continuing recession that has left too many without jobs.

Tax hike for cruise industry dropped amid Alaska concerns

The cruise industry has dodged a tax increase after Alaska's U.S. senators helped strike the provision from the tax bill that passed the Senate. The bill approved early Saturday includes other provisions that Alaska Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan hailed as significant for Alaskans, including allowing oil and gas drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Alaska senators tell Trump they want mountain’s name to stay

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said the Alaska mountain came up during an hourlong meeting he and fellow Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski had with Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in March. Sullivan said during a weekend speech to the Alaska Federation of Natives that Trump asked if the senators thought the name change from Mount McKinley to Denali should be reversed, the Alaska Public Radio Network reported .

Trump’s sellout of American heritage

The last runs of heavenly wild salmon are trickling in this month, the buttery coho with flesh the color of fall foliage. After that, we'll have to settle for mostly farmed and frozen fish until next spring - no substitute for the real deal.

An Interview with Alaska Governor Bill Walker


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On August 25th, Governor Bill Walker, our second Alaskan born governor, arrived in Seward to spend some personal time here with his wife Donna in celebration of their fortieth wedding anniversary and to take part in the Lost Lake Run benefiting those with cystic fibrosis; a cause that is close their hearts as their daughter-in-law has cystic fibrosis. The governor mentioned that he likes to take the opportunity to thank those that participated in the run while raising money for a good cause.

Zinke calls to Alaskans draw look by watchdog

The Interior Department's internal watchdog is examining phone calls to Alaska's Republican senators from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke seeking support for the GOP health care bill. Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall said her office was launching a "preliminary investigation" of Zinke's July 26 calls to Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.

Tillerson might help Alaska’s gas project despite brittle relations with governor

Alaska could benefit if Congress confirms ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state despite Tillerson's tense relations with Gov. Bill Walker over Alaska's gas line project, some Alaskans believe. That's because the Alaskans hope that Tillerson, regarded as a no-nonsense deal-maker, will shift his focus away from the interests of ExxonMobil's shareholders to national needs that include energy security, presenting an opportunity for hydrocarbon-rich Alaska.

Spain’s ‘El Gordo’ lottery sparks celebrations across Madrid

The Mississippi fire marshal says investigators don't see politics as the motivation for the burning of an African-American church that was also spray-painted with the words "Vote Trump" a week before the... The Mississippi fire marshal says investigators don't see politics as the motivation for the burning of an African-American church that was also spray-painted with the words "Vote Trump" a week before the presidential... By The Associated Press The Alaska Volcano Observatory has issued its highest level of alert for aviation after what it says was a brief explosion of a volcano on the Aleutian Islands.

Obama Said to Use 1953 Law to Restrict Offshore Oil Drilling

President Barack Obama is preparing to block the sale of new offshore drilling rights in most of the U.S. Arctic and parts of the Atlantic, a move that could indefinitely restrict oil production there, according to people familiar with the decision. Obama will invoke a provision in a 1953 law that gives him wide latitude to withdraw U.S. waters from future oil and gas leasing, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced.

Agencies seek dispersant avoidance guidance

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are seeking public input to identify coastal areas around the Alaska Peninsula and southern Alaska where the use of chemical dispersants in response to oil spills should be avoided.....

Alaska’s U.S. Senate candidates don’t agree on much

The final debate between Alaska's U.S. Senate candidates Thursday night revealed three ideologically divided candidates, and one attempting to campaign in 2008. An Alaska Public Media Debate for the State showed the candidates - Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Libertarian Joe Miller, independent Margaret Stock and Democrat Ray Metcalfe - divided on key issues: Supreme Court, abortion, and how to get along in Congress.

Alaska Gov. Walker’s approval takes a hit post PFD-veto, but he’s still above Legislature

Even after his partial veto of Alaskans' Permanent Fund dividends, residents still are giving Gov. Bill Walker better grades than the Alaska Legislature for their responses to the state's budget crisis, according to a new Alaska Dispatch News poll. Walker's ratings suffered after his veto sliced this year's dividends to $1,022 from $2,052: Fewer Alaskans gave him an A or B grade, and more gave him Ds and Fs.

U.S. State Dept has interest in upstream Canadian mining projects

The U.S. State Department has taken a positive step to recognize the concerns some Alaskans have with upstream Canadian mining projects, but the issue is far from resolved, according to the members of Alaska's congressional delegation. Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield wrote in an Oct. 6 letter to the delegation that the State Department is actively engaged with Canadian officials to protect the watersheds that bisect the U.S.-Canada border along Southeast Alaska.

Alaska state agency apologizes for debate tweets aimed at Trump


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An Alaska state agency is apologizing after political comments aimed at Donald Trump were posted on its official social media site. KTOO reports that the posts to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Twitter account occurred during Monday night's presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, including one that referred to Trump as a "red-face mansplainer."

New AG has tightrope to walk for lands-into-trust path

Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth is working with stakeholders on the lands-into-trust issue after Gov. Bill Walker decided not to appeal a recent court decision allowing the transfers. Photo/Elwood Brehmer/AJOC New Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth has been given a tricky assignment by Gov. Bill Walker: forge a compromise on lands-into-trust, a contentious issue that is developing around the legal status of certain Alaska Native lands.

Voices of Alaska: Get out and vote

The right to vote is a foundation of our democracy and exercising that right is important. This year more than 19,000 Alaskans have registered to vote and most of them did it via our new online service.

Unions protest change in Alaska oil tanker escort contract

Two maritime unions with 250 Alaska jobs at stake have begun a campaign to stop the operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline from switching to a nonunion company for escorting oil tankers safely out of Prince William Sound, where the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil in 1989. Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.

Calendar

Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski , Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska. The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.