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Sat Mar 14, 2015 at 01:52 PM PDT

Mardie Murie's words still resonate today.

by akmk

After years of traveling and studying the biology, ecology, and possible areas to be set aside for wilderness protection in Alaska with her husband Olaus, the Margaret and Olaus Murie celebrated over tears of joy news by telegram the designation of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) on December 6, 1960 by Secretary of Interior Seaton.

After Olaus' death from cancer in 1963, Margaret carried on as author, speaker, and wilderness advocate. In 1990, Mardy Murie, was invited to address a conference sponsored by the Alaska Humanities Forum on "Alaskan Lifestyle". Her words resonate today.

"How much of Alaska for change, for development, for profits, for jobs, for more populations? How much for the land itself as it now is, with all its potential gifts of subsistence living, of scientific discoveries, of healthful recreation, of inspiration? On this point do we have to split and declare war? I plead for a plan under which there will always be room for a healthy economy, for a healthy population, with a great deal of Alaska left alone.

I think my main thought is this: that perhaps Man is going to be overwhelmed by his own cleverness; that he many even destroy himself by this same cleverness; and I firmly believe that one of the very few hopes left for Man is the preservation of the wilderness we now have left; and the greatest reservoir of that medicine for mankind lies here in Alaska."

The full story and much inspiration lies in Mardie's book "Two in the Far North".

Her final words in the book to us, the next generation..

"The overriding thought throughout my days is that there is still hope for the preservation of the beloved natural world of both the Lower 48 states and Alaska. Perhaps my strongest perpetual hope, after these intervening years, is, as it was in 1975. Do I dare to believe that one of my great-grandchildren may someday journey to Sheenjek and still find the gray wolf trotting across the ice of Lobo Lake? Yes, I do still dare to believe."
I too dare to believe that my generation and the next generation and the next will continue to speak up for ANWR and for what remains as wilderness on this planet.

I'm particularly grateful this year that President Obama agrees.

Discuss

Missing Sekrit Army and Whoknu this Sunday afternoon.  So to bide the time..let's see if we can conjure her up.

 photo theforce_zpse9cc9577.jpg

Abaracadabara..we are doubly powerful.

 photo Titanic_zps979783c0.jpg

Sekrit Army has its tactics.

 photo stealin_zpsc06567e8.jpg

We'll call in the troops if necessary.

 photo snappin_zpse2a482fd.jpg

And use all our sekrit powers.

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In the spirit of the season.

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Hurry back, whoknu. We miss you.

Discuss

Using his legal authority to protect certain offshore areas from oil and gas leasing, President Obama today signed an executive order to do just that for Bristol Bay in Alaska.

http://abcnews.go.com/...

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he's removing more than 52,000 square miles of waters off Alaska's coast from consideration for oil and gas exploration or drilling.

The president said in a video announcement that Bristol Bay and nearby waters, covering an area roughly the size of Florida, would be withdrawn from consideration for petroleum leases. He called Bristol Bay one of the country's great natural resources and a massive economic engine.

"It's something that's too precious for us to be putting out to the highest bidder," Obama said.

 Bristol Bay has supported Native Americans in the Alaska region for centuries, he said.

"It supports about $2 billion in the commercial fishing industry," Obama said. "It supplies America with 40 percent of its wild-caught seafood."

To see the video of Obama taking this action, go here:
http://bit.ly/...

Though many are seeking broader protection for Bristol Bay that includes protection from the proposed massive Pebble Mine, Obama must stick to what is legally allowed by executive authority, which for now includes permanent protection from offshore leasing. It's a great start to giving Bristol Bay the recognition and long-term protection that is needed to keep this important food basket of the world protected.

Long live sustainable fisheries and healthy food.

Let the executive actions roll.

Discuss

The Sunderbans in Bangladesh continues to reel from a major oil spill after an oil tanker sank in the Shela river on Tuesday.

The tanker was retrieved on Thursday. Major impacts to this riverine mangrove forest habitat include threats to tigers, dolphins, otters, lizards, crocodiles, and the people living there.

These words sum it up:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

"This catastrophe is unprecedented in the Sundarbans and we don't know how to tackle this," Amir Hossain, the region's chief forest official, told AFP.

"The oil spill has already blackened the shoreline [and is] threatening trees, plankton, vast populations of small fishes and dolphins."

The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains the largest mangrove forest anywhere in the world...

The mangrove forests straddle the border between Bangladesh and India and are home to rare animals including Irrawaddy dolphins and around 400 Royal Bengali tigers, the largest such population on earth.

However, the region is now facing "a huge disaster due to ineffective attempts to tackle the oil spill," according to Bdnews24, a Bangladeshi news site.

Stories are unfolding that hint at high risks to people, including children, living in the area:

http://www.voanews.com/...

The Dhaka Tribune said Friday "very little" has been done so far "in tackling the environmental disaster" because local officials have not decided on an oil removal plan, including whether to use dispersants.

The newspaper said authorities have asked local people to manually collect furnace oil from the water's surface as it spreads through a wide network of rivers and channels in and around the forest.

A spokesman for Padma Oil Co., which owns the sunken barge, said the firm would buy any oil collected by villagers.

"It has no commercial value as it can't be used, but we are using the offer to encourage people so that the cleaning up process speeds up," said Rafiqul Islam Babul, according to the AFP news service.

"Villagers, including children, are going out onto the river in boats to collect the oil floating on the water using sponges, shovels and spoons," he added.

Stories indicate a major disaster with few solutions in sight.

http://ibnlive.in.com/...

No official estimate was issued on the extent of oil spillage but sources said it might have spread over 50 km on the waters of Shela where the tanker sank, and Pashur rivers.

Authorities, meanwhile, ordered an intensified campaign to remove oil from the waters as it had spread quickly through a wide network of rivers and channels in and around the forest. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said powdered chemicals would be sprayed from a vessel to subside the oil so that the risk of oxygen reduction in the water could be minimised...

The forest officials...began the use of fishing nets to sweep away oil since last night while the local administration also asked the residents at the neighbourhood to collect oil and sell the substance to the state-owned Padma Oil Company to get back incentives.

The government shut down a riverine route pierced through the Sunderbans for movement of vessels "until further order". The measures came following an overnight inter-ministerial meeting with the shipping minister amid calls from environmental activists to ban commercial vessels in the routes in and around the Sunderbans...

Locals said they spotted several forest animals like lizards and otters floating dead near the river banks. The scene of the accident is known as a sanctuary for dolphins and different rare aquatic animals and fishes.

The Sunderbans forest, which covers 26,000 square km in India and Bangladesh, is also the habitat of famous Royal Bengal Tigers.  

More on wildlife concerns:
The incident occurred near the UNESCO's World Heritage Site Sundarbans forest - of which 60% is in Bangladesh and the rest in India - home to the world's largest tiger reserve.

More than 400 Bengal tigers - declared an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2010 - are believed to live in the area.

Only 3,000 tigers are left in the wild, down from over 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century.The remaining global population is under severe pressure from poaching and loss of natural habitat...

Rubayat Mansur, Bangladesh head of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, said:"I visited the sunken trawler this morning. Only few hundred litres of oil remain inside, so almost all the oil has spilled into the Sundarbans."

He added that  oil dispersants were "not appropriate for the mangrove ecosystem" and urged local villagers to help collect the oil from nets that have been placed in the river to contain its spread.

Rare Irrawaddy and Ganges dolphins are also threatened by the spill.

How do we, as a planet, as people on this earth, ensure prevention and preparedness so these stories will not be repeated over and over and over until so much is lost?

This was a good place, where people lived right with the land. An oil company tanker and a cargo ship collided here in this amazingly special place. The consequences will be long-lasting.

Discuss

Mon Dec 01, 2014 at 02:36 PM PST

A New Dawn in Alaska?

by akmk

At Noon today Alaska moved forward into uncharted waters with the inauguration of the "unity" ticket of Governor Bill Walker (former R, now I) and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott (D).

Here's a photo from today's inauguration:
 photo walkermallottinauguration_zps30877226.jpg

Two items of note from today's speech by Governor Walker:

#1 We will begin the wheels turning to accept Medicaid expansion TODAY!!

#2 I VOW we will have open, transparent government.

Some key appointments have already been made. Walker's Chief of Staff is Jim Whittaker of Fairbanks who supported Obama in 2008.

I suppose it must be said that Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott supported Lisa Murkowski (not Scott McAdams) in 2012. Still it's hard not to like this first Native elected to such a high office in Alaska. He's down to earth, thoughtful, has devotion to family, and an endearing sense of humor.

Democrats and Progressives in Alaska are hurting over the loss of Sen. Begich. We now have no one in Alaska's national congressional delegation committed to the care of healthy watersheds and wild fish stocks or health care for all or strengthening Social Security.

Still the consolation prize of ridding Alaska of Gov. Sean Parnell (Palin's Lt. Governor and successor) is no small matter.

Alaska is currently facing many challenges with low oil prices combined with declining oil production and most politicians focused on meeting Alaska's energy needs and wondering what to do with severe budget shortfalls. May Alaska grow into the future stronger and healthier..united.

Wish Alaska luck and stay tuned.

 photo 1959841_746007752145241_8506372422245013607_n_zps65c59a5a.jpg

Discuss

Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 08:45 PM PST

AK-Sen: Oh Alaska...It's Not Over Yet.

by akmk

This was just posted in Alaska. Election officials estimate there may be up to 50,000 votes left to count.

http://www.ktva.com/...

Sen. Begich is not conceding. He is going to insist that every vote be counted. He is currently down 8,000 votes to someone who really doesn't represent Alaska.

These latest numbers of outstanding votes do provide a ray of hope.

Election night has come and gone, but some of Alaska’s biggest races have yet to be decided.

In the governor’s race, Bill Walker leads Gov. Sean Parnell by only about 3,000 votes.

In the U.S. Senate race, the division is wider. Dan Sullivan has an 8,000-vote lead over Sen. Mark Begich. But Begich has yet to concede. The incumbent senator is hoping that thousands of absentee and questioned ballots will go his way.

Alaska Division of Elections director Gail Fenumiai says she isn’t sure exactly how many ballots have yet to be counted but says the number is high. She estimates there could be as many as 50,000 votes that still need to be tallied.

“We don’t know the total number of questioned ballots yet because those were just voted yesterday at the polling places, and our regional offices are getting those back today,” said Fenumiai. “And then some have to be mailed back from our outlying precincts that can’t be delivered to our offices on election night.”

Fenumiai says there are currently more than 23,000 early and absentee ballots waiting to be counted. In addition, she says, the DOE is waiting to receive back almost 14,000 absentee ballots that were requested by residents currently living out of state. A rough estimate for questioned ballots is 13,000. Then, there are also ballots from more than 200 polling places where people voted absentee in-person.

This news is encouraging. Sen. Begich's rural outreach as Senator and in this campaign may yet be what could turn the tide.  Stay tuned.
Poll

The current election results in Alaska are

19%27 votes
16%23 votes
29%41 votes
34%47 votes

| 138 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Forrest Dunbar just solidly took command of Alaska and Alaska's issues on APRN's Talk of Alaska. He articulately and forthrightly answered every question directed his way with nuanced, in-depth, detailed answers that left no doubt about where he stands on any issue.

It's apparent that Forrest Dunbar is a statesman worth supporting. An Alaskan or a Congressional colleague can agree or disagree with him on an issue and trust he will dialogue with him or her respectfully. He will listen and he will respond. And each person will leave better informed and willing to work cooperatively to tackle the problems facing Alaska and the nation in a cooperative way due to his influence and effective approach.

Below is my summary of what I heard. I put it in blockquotes, though it is my summary of what I heard.

You can listen for yourself here:
http://www.alaskapublic.org/...

Currently living in Anchorage but feels connected to State as a whole. Believe good ideas can come from either side of the aisle. Grew up in Cordova..elementary school and high school. Consider Cordova my home.

Expect millennials, like me, people ages 20 to 34, to break for the Unity ticket for Governor in Alaska..Walker/Mallott. Younger voters are tired of partisanship.

We are being outspent 3 or 4 to 1, but we have multiple times more Alaskan contributors to our campaign.

There is a problem with lack of law enforcement in many areas of Alaska. Should work with tribes to provide public safety. Even Anchorage needs more attention to public safety.

On land use issues, both state and federal, we need to have locals at table when considering projects in order to effectively talk through issues. Current state government not doing that. Another reason I support the Unity Ticket.

Need to modernize and upgrade AK's energy grid to help lower energy costs. Would initiate federal legislation to provide low-interest loans to folks in Fairbanks with wood stove air quality problems to upgrade to lower emission heating units, such as pellet stoves.

Am a strong supporter of subsistence rights, local food, and traditional lifestyle. I support rural subsistence preference. Also folks who leave rural areas to work in cities to earn cash should be able to return home and participate in fish camp.

Campaign finance reform is an important part of my campaign. Citizens United was a mistaken decision. Please read Justice Stevens dissent.

On drugs, shift away from this being a criminal issue to more emphasis on this being a public health issue. Educators, law enforcement, and health care need to work together on this problem. Supports the initiative to legalize marijuana in Alaska.

Serving in both Peace Corp & the National Guard, which I did, is not contradictory. Both are about public service & making the world a better place.

New energy technologies can make economic sense in outlying rural areas in Alaska. On ANWR, need to go slow with any oil development. I am from Cordova and I remember Exxon Valdez spill. Keep locals at the table. If oil is developed in the Arctic, it must be with effective spill response facilities in place, and in small stages to ensure Gwichin' and other food gathering lifestyles are not impacted.

If you want to support Forrest Dunbar in any way, do it. His website is here:
https://www.forrestforalaska.com/

Recent polls have this race now a toss-up with definite "can win" for Forrest Dunbar.

 photo 10646962_554256018007626_7573101714352268960_n_zps519622b0.jpg

Poll

Are we there yet?

66%6 votes
33%3 votes

| 9 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Hard to get folks outside of Alaska to take Forrest Dunbar seriously, but really, the 30-year old challenger to Don Young in Alaska is rockin' and rollin'.

Forrest was just endorsed by the Juneau Empire, SE Alaska's largest newspaper.
http://juneauempire.com/...

Young and Dunbar aren’t so different despite their party affiliations. Dunbar is an “Alaska Democrat,” and by that we mean in most states he’d be considered a Republican based on his philosophies. Dunbar is pro-gun rights, supports resource development, wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and believes in Alaska’s right to self govern without federal menacing. He’s more of a moderate than most who carry a “D” behind their name.

Dunbar also believes in “meaningful” campaign finance reform and wants to put an end to unlimited Outside dollars being funneled into Alaska to influence our elections. He also believes in setting term limits for those serving in Congress.

Dunbar and Young differ on social issues, namely same-sex marriage and women’s rights. We encourage voters to not get caught up with voting based on these issues. No one in Congress, Democrat or Republican, has made any significant progress on these two issues in a long, long time. The right for gays to marry and for women to have abortions have and will continue to be decided by the courts. Electing a representative based on either of these two things is like voting for an Assembly member because of how they feel about the Juneau Access Project. Sure, they may have an opinion, but that doesn’t change the fact they have little to no power to do anything about it.

During the Empire’s two meetings with Dunbar, we were impressed with his knowledge of Southeast’s issues, from the Big Thorne Timber Sale to the threat of Canada’s transboundary mines. We had hoped to meet, or at least speak, with Young as well. An email to his spokesman this week went unanswered, though we weren’t surprised. In recent months when Young has reached out to Alaska media, it’s often been to apologize for something he said or did.

Dunbar received an Ivy League education, but is also very much a blue collar Alaskan. He spent his earlier years fishing before earning his law degree from Yale and joining the military. He’s also spent time working in the nation’s capital. Dunbar’s experience fishing, serving in the military and work with the federal government more than qualifies him for federal office.

 photo 10406602_555613101205251_3256014755442372760_n_zpsa26a5863.jpg

Forrest Dunbar's official website is here.
https://www.forrestforalaska.com/

Poll

Are you taking Alaska seriously yet?

79%38 votes
20%10 votes

| 48 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

While the spotlight has been on the Senate race in Alaska, one fresh young candidate, Forrest Dunbar, has been quietly getting himself around the state and connecting with Alaskans.

 photo 10406602_555613101205251_3256014755442372760_n_zpsa26a5863.jpg

30-year old Forrest Dunbar from Cordova with the big smile, positive attitude, savvy knowledge of state and national issues, is demonstrating that hard campaigning and a respectful attitude toward Alaskans, all of them, can, even with no initial name recognition and lack of big money in a campaign, actually beat the 81-year old, twenty-plus term Alaska Congressman, Rep. Don Young.

If you can help in any way, small donation, get out the vote volunteer time, now is the time to step up. Here's the official campaign website: https://www.forrestforalaska.com/

Fight for Veterans: Reckless cuts to veterans' benefits & healthcare, like those in the Don Young/Paul Ryan Budget, are unacceptable. Those who put their lives on the line for our country have earned our support, and I will keep the promises we have made to them.

Stand up for Women and Families: Women’s rights means equal pay for equal work, access to affordable healthcare, and control over personal medical decisions. This shouldn't be a partisan issue. When women are empowered our nation is strong.

Support Well-Paying Jobs: Alaska needs a Congressman who will preserve middle class jobs, push for further oil and gas development, and invest in the infrastructure needed for the sustainable, high-tech jobs of the future.
Run, Forrest, Run
Poll

Can Forrest Dunbar win in Alaska?

91%75 votes
8%7 votes

| 82 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Sun Oct 26, 2014 at 06:37 PM PDT

Yes We Did

by akmk

#YesWeDid is trending on Twitter. Dominated by folks across the country who remember and acknowledge everything Barack Obama has done for this country and now have his back.

Okay, there are a lot more out there. Feel free to add your own.

Discuss

A serious industry and regulatory failure resulted in a massive poison tailings spill from the Mt. Polly gold and silver mine in BC into the headwaters of the Fraser River watershed this past week.

Fraser River salmon runs are significant and important to many:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/...

About 1.5 to 2 million sockeye salmon, from the great Fraser River fishery shared by the U.S. and Canada, are headed for spawning beds in the Quesnel Lake region of British Columbia this summer, where they will run into a major mine disaster.

The Monday breach of a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine has dumped millions of liters of mine waste, with islands of debris already floating in Quesnel Lake.

The Quesnel-Horsefly river system is one of the mighty Fraser’s four largest salmon producing tributaries. An estimated 500,000 salmon are already headed up the Fraser River, with the rest expected in the river by the end of August.

The exact concentration of pollutants they will encounter from Monday’s disaster is not known.  What is known, from Imperial Mines records, is witches brew of toxic tailings in the pond:  Phosphorus, copper, Zinc, cobalt, selenium, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury...

“This area upstream from the Fraser River is a major spawning ground for salmon, both of which are integral to indigenous peoples’ culture and way of life,” Jody Wilson-Raybound, regional chief for the Aboriginal First Nations, said in a statement.

The Mount Polley mine is in the Cariboo region of central British Columbia.  Already, regional authorities have told humans not to use water from Quesnel Lake, Caribou Creek and the entire Quesnel and Cariboo River systems down to the Fraser River.

Damages may be permanent according to a Vancouver researcher.

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/...

The massive release of materials from a mine tailings pond near Quesnel, B.C. is “virtually impossible to clean up,” according to a marine researcher — and may have already damaged salmon habitat beyond repair.

Dr. Peter Ross heads Vancouver Aquarium’s ocean pollution research program and said on Wednesday the spill likely spells death for the fish that use the affected waterways.

“That means, sudden, lethal injury to any fish or their feed ... we expect that to be occurring now,” he said, referring to a large “pulse of toxic materials” washing downstream that heralds environmental impact to come.

Then comes the longer-term impact of silt and debris suffocating fish and their habitats.

“There have been cases where we’ve seen breaches of dams in the past that have filled in, essentially buried the gravel where different species of sockeye will spawn, and we’ve not seen a recovery,” Ross said.

Finally, anything that doesn’t get washed down can stay in riverbeds and be consumed by wildlife for generations to come...

Alaska and BC have the last best wild salmon runs on the planet, but if industry and government aligned with industry has its way, the future of these healthy watersheds and wild salmon runs are bleak.

The Red Chris mine is the next one ready to progress in BC. It's location is in the headwaters of the pristine Iskut-Stikine watershed.  Bloomberg reports:

http://business.financialpost.com/...

Imperial Metals Corp., the owner of a British Columbia mine where a burst dam unleashed a torrent of mine waste last week, said it doesn’t see any sign that the accident will delay the startup of another mine it’s developing in the province.

Imperial is trying to stem the leak from a pond at its Mount Polley mine after the Aug. 4 spill that released an estimated 10 million cubic meters (2.64 billion gallons) of water and 4.5 million cubic meters of ground-up rock. British Columbia investigators are working with the company to find the cause of the breach, while local residents still can’t drink or bathe in water from the area, pending further tests...

Besides the Stikine (exiting Wrangell/Petersburg), the Unuk (upstream of Misty Fjords near Ketchikan) the Taku (near Juneau), the Chilkat (Haines), the Kuskowim (Bethel), the Kobuk (villages of Kobuk, Shungnak, Ambler and Kiana), and Bristol Bay in Alaska, have huge mine projects pending. Many of these mines are trans-boundary (Iskut-Stikine, Unuk, Taku, Chilkat) which originate in BC and flow into Alaskan waters.

To keep these large mines out of the headwaters of salmon-bearing rivers in the future is going to require coordinated effort among many entities in both US and Canada.

Damages on our watch are unacceptable. Risks are unacceptable. We have to stop swallowing the snake-oil of "If the project is done right, there will be no negative impacts."

The truth is, there are always negative impacts.  Each of us must do our part to speak up again and again, as needed, to just say no to large mines in the headwaters of the last best salmon producing watersheds on the planet.

Poll

The best way to protect remaining wild salmon stocks is to:

88%15 votes
5%1 votes
5%1 votes

| 17 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

While Rep. Don Young appears entrenched until death do us part in Alaska's lone Congressional seat, 29-year old Forrest Dunbar has emerged as his most intriguing challenger to date.

First of all, he is taking actual potshots at the Paul Ryan/Don Young budget in this U-tube video.

http://youtu.be/...

In addition, Forrest Young's Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/...

indicates the Ivy League graduate and Alaska Young Democrat has an excellent mix of light-hearted humor along with some spirited sic-em toward 80-year old Rep. Don Young, currently seeking his 22nd term for US Congress representing the state of Alaska.

Do not underestimate the power of young Democrats in Alaska. Two years ago, Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, then a 25-year recent graduate of Yale, defeated several term Alaska Representative and co-chair of House Finance Committee, Bill Thomas (R).

Kreiss-Tomkins was named one of the country's 40 most outstanding young leaders recently by the Washington Post.

Forrest Dunbar's clearly serious "Forrest for Alaska" webpage has his bio, his take on issues, and your opportunity to donate.

http://www.forrestforalaska.com/

Forrest is a lifelong Alaskan whose parents moved to Alaska in 1978. Forrest was born in 1984, and the family spent the next seven years living in Eagle, on the Yukon River. Eagle is near the range of the Fortymile Caribou Herd, and to this day caribou is Forrest’s favorite type of meat...

After completing college and serving in the Peace Corps, Forrest earned an MPP/JD from the Harvard Kennedy School and Yale Law School. He spent his summers in Alaska, first representing low-income families with Alaska Legal Services, and then oil companies and native corporations for two Anchorage firms. Following law school, Forrest did research on Alaska’s drug laws, searching for policies that protected the public while being fiscally responsible and giving drug-users a chance for rehabilitation.

Today Forrest lives in Anchorage, where he is a member of Congregation Beth Sholom. He serves on the board of the You Choose Project, a non-profit working to prevent drug and alcohol abuse among Alaskan youth, is active in the Alaska Young Democrats, and recently commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Alaska Army National Guard.

On issues:

Veterens:

...Aside from Medicaid, there are a variety of other programs for veterans that need protecting and strengthening. Programs that help vets transition back to civilian employment are crucial for the health of our society, especially in a time of war. So is ongoing research and treatment for PTSD and traumatic brain injury, which affects far more of our veterans than previously understood, and for all manner of injuries veterans sustain-- on and off the battlefield.

The bottom line is this: veterans served our country, and volunteered to potentially make the ultimate sacrifice. We owe them our respect, our support, and the best efforts of our policymakers.

Equality:
...Alaska was the first state to ban gay marriage in our constitution. Let us transcend that ugly past, remove that language from our state constitution, and stand up for full equality for our LGBT community.
Campaign Finance Reform:
Our current campaign finance system is a disaster.  The "Citizens United" decision handed down by the Supreme Court contradicted the desires of the American people and the vision of the ratifiers of the U.S. Constitution.  Nevertheless, there are creative, statutory solutions that could be passed-- within the framework demanded by our current Court-- that would move our "pay to play" system back towards the "one person, one vote" ideal demanded by our republican values.
Higher Education:
Take meaningful action to reduce the cost of college and vocational education

The United States has rightly decided to invest in post-secondary education by providing comparatively low-interest loans to students.  The problem is that with this subsidy in place universities can continue to increase costs wildly out of line with inflation, knowing that the federal government will pick up the tab.  This has in turn caused an explosion in student loan debt that is drowning the younger generations.  We need to take direct action to reduce college costs, including threatening the availability of federal student loans for universities that allow their costs to spiral out of control.

On resource development, he takes the standard inevitable Alaska position in support of responsible development of Alaska's oil and gas resources, yet we will expect some more moderate tones and support for a greener energy policy in the US from Forrest Dunbar than we could ever expect from Rep. Don Young.

Stay tuned for a lively race for the US House in Alaska in 2014.

Poll

Regarding the Congressional race in Alaska in 2014

11%11 votes
9%9 votes
32%32 votes
9%9 votes
37%37 votes

| 98 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss
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