I’m a trash picker; a collector of litter and self-appointed cleaner of the roadways.
When I was 10, my family moved from the crowded suburbs of Camp Hill Pennsylvania to the majestic mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, fulfilling my father’s dream of living in the wild west. Along with fresh air and an abundance of natural beauty, he discovered that the roadways were littered with soda pop bottles, beer cans, old tires, rotten tarps and a plethora of other discards.
Being a conservationist all his life, he knew something had to be done. It would start with us. My brother was three when my dad decided our small family of four would clean up the roadways. Thus began a family tradition.
Governor’s permitting bills cause injustice There has never been such a raid on the rights of the citizens in the State of Alaska as there is before you. Gov. Sean Parnell’s permitting initiative bills will take away any oversight by the citizens who have made this a great state. It will take away public comment [...]
Not only is exporting potentially toxic electronic waste to developing countries morally and environmentally unsound, it also works against our desire to encourage the creation of domestic green jobs.
It is no secret that Americans’ love affair with all things electronic is resulting in a glut of e-waste as items are upgraded, replaced, broken and discarded.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the amount of discarded electronics is growing two to three times faster than any other part of the waste stream. In 2011, 4.8 billion pounds of e-waste was generated in the US, but only about 25 percent of that amount was recycled domestically.
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner may authorize an activity on state land by the issuance of a general permit if the commissioner finds that the activity is unlikely to result in significant and irreparable harm to state land or resources.”
The language above is the lead statement of a bill introduced by the Governor and Natural Resources Commissioner to “streamline” Alaska’s permitting process. That Bill is HB 77. It passed the House and in a feat of cleaver political chicanery it passed out of Senate Finance despite overwhelming public testimony from around the state opposing it.
Though the bill didn’t pass this year, it can come up next year and constituents need to be ready.
It shows our Legislature is poised to turn over control of Alaska’s natural wealth to the virtually unfettered discretion of one man who is free to act “notwithstanding” any law the legislature may have enacted in the past to protect our natural resources.
The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is applauding Sen. Peter Micciche and other co-sponsors and members of the Alaska Senate for passing Senate Resolution 5.
The resolution encourages fishery managers to lower limits on Chinook by-catch in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, and supports increased coverage by fishery observers to obtain accurate estimates on by-catch. It passed with 18 yeas and no opposition.
It’s a rare year when the Alaska Legislature finishes on time in 90 days, without plans for a special session. The two previous years saw legislators slip into overtime when Gov. Parnell called them back to look at his unpopular oil tax credit bill. This time, should it be a surprise that a (mostly) obedient Legislature gets to go home on time?
The dust needs to settle from what got kicked up on the Senate and House floors. It will take us a few days, maybe months, to fully understand what’s up and what’s down in terms of the 73 bills passed. But from the position of post-session relief, here’s a short list:
Editor’s Note: April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to learn and exchange knowledge to support those with autism, their parents and teachers. Vicki Sarber, crowned Mrs. America, writes about her life and parenting. This is the first segment on the topic of being a parent of a child with autism on Sarber’s blog. By [...]
By Rick Steiner A universal truth in all major oil spills is that once the oil is spilled, the damage is done. In Alaska, damage from the 1989 Exxon Valdez persists today, 24 years later. In the Gulf of Mexico, serious impacts from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout are well documented, and will almost certainly [...]
By Steven Haycox Conflict of interest is difficult to define, particularly in the legislative branch of government. Does employment at some level in an industry that’s going to benefit from a particular vote constitute a conflict of interest for the employed legislator? And if so, should that preclude that legislator from voting if the conflict [...]
Best Beginnings-Homer invites you to join us in celebrating the Week of the Young Child, “Early Years Are Learning Years,” April 14-20.
The Week of the Young Child is celebrated nationwide, and Homer is proud to show our support for young children and the important people in their lives. This special week will be filled with fun activities honoring families with young children. The activities are all designed with families in mind to help promote the idea that early learning is very important in helping children succeed throughout life.