AJOC EDITORIAL: Game over for Wielechowski

If Sen. Bill Wielechowski is true to his word, we’ve heard the last from him about changing Alaska’s oil taxes.

Back on June 10, 2014, Wielechowski and now-former Sen. Hollis French (who Gov. Bill Walker appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission last year) issued a “very simple challenge.”

“If SB 21 produces new oil, even ONE additional barrel, and this production results in increased revenue to the state, even ONE more dollar we will drop our support for revising oil taxes,” Wielechowski said.

BLM announces largest-ever NPR-A lease sale

In keeping with the Trump administration’s energy policies the Bureau of Land Management announced Wednesday that it will be putting more of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska up for bid than ever before in the agency’s annual fall lease sale.

According to a BLM Alaska release, oil and gas explorers will be able to bid on 900 tracts covering 10.3 million acres in the NPR-A before bids are opened Dec. 6 in Anchorage.

The largest NPR-A offering to-date was in 2004 when 5.8 million acres over 508 leasable tracts were made available.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Bloodied but unbowed in the fight to protect PFDs

Now is the time to enshrine Permanent Fund Dividends in the Alaska Constitution to protect your share of Alaska’s mineral wealth from politicians, and to tell your legislators that they must do the hard work to eliminate the deficit.

For the last three years, a debate has raged about Alaska’s fiscal future — how are we going to pay for the essential state services we all need to maintain the quality of life we all expect.

Quintillion completes 1,400-mile Alaska fiber optic network

Journal Staff

A new broadband option for northern Alaska communities is a step closer after the last segment of the Quintillion Subsea Cable System was installed this month.

Alaska crews aboard the Alcatel Submarine Networks C/V Ile de Batz completed the Alaska portion of the international fiber optic system that will eventually link London and Tokyo via the Arctic.

The system is on schedule to be in service this December, said Quintillion interim CEO George M Tronsrue III.

Campaigns continue to remind Alaskan ivory products are legal

Alaskan ivory carvings are not only gaining a bad rap from a ban on elephant ivory. Rural economies are suffering in the confusion.

Fossilized ivory and walrus ivory carvings created by Alaska Natives are the focus of a renewed public relations campaign to stress to other states that there is no ban on legally obtained Alaska ivory artifacts and art pieces.

At the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage in a recorded message played Oct. 19, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke used part of his address to reassure delegates.

State appeals habitat initiative ruling

The ballot initiative proposed to strengthen laws protecting salmon habitat is headed for a supreme resolution, which doesn’t bother the initiative’s primary sponsor.

On Oct. 20 the state Department of Law appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court to have a Superior Court ruling upholding the initiative on constitutional grounds overturned.

FISH FACTOR: Latest fishing facts by the numbers

Alaska’s fishing fleet of 9,400 vessels would span nearly 71 miles if lined up from bow to stern.

And Alaska’s fishing industry catches and processes enough seafood each year to feed every person on the planet one serving; or a serving for each American every day for more than a month.

Those are just a few of the fish facts highlighted in the annual “Economic value of Alaska’s seafood industry” report by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute compiled by the McDowell Group.

EDITORIAL: Time to break up the 9th Circuit

Faribanks Daily News-Miner

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should be broken up, split into two or three smaller and perhaps more regionally aware circuits. It’s been the unrelenting plea of Alaska officials for decades, it seems.

It should be broken up for many reasons.

The 9th Circuit is the largest of the nation’s 13 federal appellate courts. It is based in San Francisco and hears appeals from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington and the territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Why would credit unions try to prevent Alaskans’ day in court

Recently, this paper ran a curious op-ed by Dan McCue, a senior vice president at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. He argued that credit unions would be hurt if Congress does not block a new rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, that restores Alaskans’ day in court.

UAA nursing school steps up to shortage

In the United States, health care is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, in 2014, 11.8 million workers were employed in the health care industry, with 2.7 million of that workforce represented by registered nurses.

With the average age of nurses being 50 or older, and 30 percent of that workforce preparing to retire, public and private health care organizations across the country, including in Alaska, are bracing for a nationwide nursing shortage.

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