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Archive for the ‘Alaskan Politics’ Category

By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK
ebluemink@adn.com

Published: February 7th, 2011 10:28 AM

The federal Environmental Protection Agency said today that it will review the suitability of large-scale development projects — such as the proposed copper and gold Pebble mine — in the Bristol Bay watershed.

The EPA said it is launching the review in response to petitions last year from tribes and other organizations opposed to Pebble. Those groups are worried about the potential impact of large-scale mining on Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon runs.

“The Bristol Bay watershed is essential to the health, environment and economy of Alaska,” said EPA Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran in a written statement.

“Gathering data and getting public review now, before development occurs, just makes sense. Doing this we can be assured that our future decisions are grounded in the best science and information and in touch with the needs of these communities,” McLerran said.

Though it rarely uses this authority, EPA can block waste discharges in areas it determines that development will result in too much harm to aquatic life, recreational areas and drinking water.

U.S. Rep. Don Young has filed legislation to remove EPA’s ability to block projects on that basis. Also, Gov. Sean Parnell last year sent a letter to the EPA opposing the Bristol Bay watershed review. Nine Bristol Bay tribes asked EPA to consider adding protections for the Bristol Bay Watershed under federal water pollution laws. Two other tribes asked the agency to delay any action on the matter until the companies seeking to develop Pebble apply for permits. The companies are not expected to submit permit applications until later this year at the earliest.

EPA said its review will focus on the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds, both downstream of the Pebble deposit.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Read more: http://www.adn.com/2011/02/07/1688653/epa-to-review-bristol-bay-projects.html#ixzz1DJ20gNZX

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Gone Fishin' | Photo: www.alaskaseafood.org

Gone Fishin' | Photo: http://www.alaskaseafood.org

In a world full of leaders with massive, blinding egos, ours takes the cake. To say that Sarah Palin is inconsistent is like saying Michael Jackson is not getting enough press coverage. Just days after announcing her ‘official’ premature extraction from Alaska’s highest office, Sarah Palin is now fishing in Bristol Bay. Yes, the very same Bristol Bay in which she is in favor of exploiting for mineral wealth via the Pebble Mine.

Her support of Anglo and Northern Dynasty Minerals is now common knowledge (see: https://tspey.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/down-but-not-out/) made more evident by the fact that the Palin family has taken gifts and paid trips from pro-Pebble Mine suppporters (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/25/AR2008092503988_pf.html).

In an age when one’s actions speak louder than their lies even steadfast supporters of Palin are now smacking into the broken glass-lined wall of reality. Yes, we have been hoodwinked into thinking that this person was much more than what she really is.

Alaskan politics of late has been marred with corruption. Speculation abounds that Palin’s decision may be a pre-emptive action against this nasty ‘c’ word. Alaskans have been forcefully spoon-fed this type of mush for too long. The time has passed for personal-gain politicos who have worn out their welcome.

The decision to quit makes no sense politically. What is the real reason for Palin’s fall? Family? Tired of the spotlight? Greed? So far up in Alaska, the latter is the speculative and all too common assumption.

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Sarah Palin announced today on KTUU Channel 2 News that she will resign as governor of Alaska effective in 3 weeks.

In a press conference from her Wasilla home held just minutes ago, Palin mentioned the various ethics complaints directed at her both personally and her administration as being one reason as to her early departure. Additionally, she mentioned that a vote of Palin’s family members had an influence in her decision to resign in just her first term as Alaska’s governor… more to follow…

FBI says Palin isn’t under investigation – ADN  7/6/09 – (The strange gets stranger…)

http://www.adn.com/palin/story/854318.html

Alaskans: Palin Had Gone Fishin’ On The Job – Huffpo 7/6/09 – (Interesting: Palin Fishing Bristol Bay today – Open Pit Mining tomorrow?…)

National politicians question Palin move – ADN 7/6/09

http://www.adn.com/palin/story/854613.html

Here’s What We Know About Sarah Palin’s Decision – Huffpo 7/4/09

‘Palin to resign as Alaska governor’ – ADN 7/3/09

http://www.adn.com/palin/story/852419.html

Gov. Sarah Palin to resign her office July 26 7/3/09

http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=10641495

‘Health director says she was forced out’ (by Palin) – 7/3/09

http://www.adn.com/palin/story/852044.html

“… One of the state’s top public health officials says she was forced out of office because Gov. Sarah Palin felt she wasn’t in step on social issues…” – ADN

Watch the FULL press conference at:

http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/

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Alaska is one of if not the wealthiest states in the country. How is it then that we are tip-toeing on the edge of a catastrophic nightmare?  The population, like the rest of America, is aging and doctors are not accepting new Medicare patients…

Couple this with an aging physician population, a decrease in the number of new primary care physicians, a low number of residency options in the state,  a lack of interest from a conservative majority state legislature and one’s view of our state of healthcare is as dismal as our recent cold snap.

Another problem is the existence of specific federal laws which tie the hands of many who want to provide healthcare to an increasingly desperate group aged 65 or greater. Medicare reimbursements to providers do not cover the costs of a patient’s visit and federal law prohibits patients to combine Medicare with any other existing private insurance plan.

There are providers who are willing. Many yet, who continue to provide care to long-time patients who turn 65 and beyond. Contrary to popular belief, many providers are spending time and thought on ways in which access to quality healthcare continues throughout life and is not based simply on a predetermined number.  

Thankfully, the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center still accepts new Medicare patients in Anchorage. The ANHC is a federally qualified community health center and therefore pays a higher Medicare reimbursement rate. 

The willing side is gaining momentum. With help from Rep. Les Gara and committed community leaders, ideas are being generated both in the short and long term needs of a state desperate for help.

For details on ideas brought forth by Rep. Gara and other community-minded leaders, visit:

http://www.adn.com/opinion/view/story/650500.html

AMA’s position:

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/01/12/edsa0112.htm

Business POV:

http://www.kiplinger.com/businessresource/recommend/archive/2008/medicare_reform.ncpa.html

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Kind of like voting...

Kind of like voting...

The election season is nearly over. The only thing that remains is the most important right and privilege of all Americans. While waiting in line today at the polls look at the faces of people who just voted. In its purist form, minus the millions of $ spent, minus the negative attacks punched and counter-punched, voting is truly a beautiful thing.

The past couple of weeks have solidified this notion in seeing hundreds of early voters in Alaska lined up for hours in 10-20 degree weather. Like die-hard steelhead fishermen standing mid-river pelted by storms, voters come out for the hopes of something worth all of the effort.

The powerful winds for the last eight long years has America straining to hold up an overhanging, top-heavy cornice.

There are two distinct choices in this election. One choice would continue to blow the wind upward and take away from the foundation. The other will provide a constant force that encompasses the whole mountain. This choice will thoughtfully look ahead and protect the valley below from catastrophe.

The beauty in voting lies in the fact that as an individual and as Americans, we can always strive to do better not just for ourselves but for our future generations.

“We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world – or to make it the last.” – John F. Kennedy

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Photo courtesy of the NY Times

Photo: NY Times

Thursday night on Letterman, John McCain made his belated appearance. During the first few minutes, there was a sense of nervous decency between the two. Dave seemed to have a hold on his understandable rage towards McCain for the senator’s bold faced lie to Letterman. His last scheduled appearance was suddenly canceled via phone by McCain just 1.5 hours before showtime. His reason is now well known in that he had to bail back to Warshington to lead his constituents in fixing the economic crisis. The problem is that McCain did not leave that day. He met with Katie Couric. He stayed the night in NYC.

When asked by Dave about this slight, McCain answered, “I screwed up.” 

Truer words could not be said.

So here are my ‘Top 10 Reasons Why David Letterman is Our Hero’:

10.  Dave let McCain return to the Late Show after lying to his face.

9.  Dave listened to McCain lie to his face again when McCain gave excuses about Obama’s alleged supporters shouting alleged hateful remarks towards McCain.

8. Unlike others in the mainstream media, Dave asked questions on our minds and did not let up.

7.  Dave went pitbull on McCain about Sarah Palin and did not release his jaws even when McCain started squirming in his chair. When Dave asked if Palin was his first choice to possibly lead the country for the next 4 or 8 years or through the next 9-11 attack it was so clear during McCain’s response (‘absssolutely’) that he was lying.

6. Dave asked McCain if he thought it was ok for Palin to say ‘Obama pals around with domestic terrorists’. McCain said, ‘Well he does’. Hmmm…

5. Dave answered by saying, ‘well Obama was 8 and Ayers was 28. So I’ll give her that one’. But she keeps saying terrorist(s) plural.’

4. McCain had no answer for ‘that one’.

3. The tension at this point during the grilling was so uncomfortably wonderful.

2. Dave then asked, ‘Isn’t it true that you are friends with G. Gordon Liddy and that you attended a fundraiser in his house?’

1. Oh snap Dave. At this point I was seated up in bed, wide-eyed with mouth open. They cut to commercial. When the show returned, the camera did not show the stage. Disorder. Cut to another commercial. Hmm, something was going on. Did the McCain volcano explode? Only the audience knows…

Ok I admit, the list is not really a top ten list per se but an observation of a REAL interview under the veil of late night comedy. Letterman was masterful. The crescendo of the discourse successively drowned out McCain’s usual repetitive rhetoric. Peeling away the thicker layers of McCain’s onion, Letterman revealed the delicate truth. The audience was treated to the real John McCain with his real-time lies and his lack of depth in regards to his VP pick.

The 15 minutes of McCain v Letterman was a classic bout of two heavyweights. Dave came out unscathed with McCain badly beaten and crawling to his corner. Nothing could save McCain this night. Nothing can save McCain in this election.

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Breaking News:

Troopergate hearing (Updated: 12-0 vote to release the report)

A group of 8 republican and 4 democratic Alaskan Legislators voted unanimously to release the findings of the Abuse of Power Investigation by Steven Branchflower.

Finding Number One (via Mudflats):

For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides

“The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.”

More from Mudflats:

http://mudflats.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/branchflower-public-report-released/

Anchorage Daily News: Troopergate report: Palin abused power

http://www.adn.com/palin/story/552393.html

The Branchflower Report PDF:

http://media.adn.com/smedia/2008/10/10/16/Branchflowerreport.source.prod_affiliate.7.pdf

 

Palins Repeatedly Pressed Case Against Trooper – NY Times, Oct. 9th

Troopergate from the beginning

State to review Palin per diem payments

The state finance director will review whether future per diem payments made to Gov. Sarah Palin for nights she stays in her Wasilla home should be considered income. 3:36 PM

Alaska Politics blog: Did Palins underpay taxes?

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