Alaska's King

This site is for the exploration and discussion of a Constitutional Monarchy, as well as important Alaska news and information. Feel free to post your comments.

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Location: Alaska, United States

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

NOAA ISSUES PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF ACMP AMENDMENT

Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced today that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) has issued preliminary approval of the State's amended Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP).

"This is a victory for State's rights. Securing preliminary approval of the state's program amendment has been a long process," said Governor Murkowski. "By asserting our vision of what is in the best interest of the state, we finally have a coastal management program that works for Alaska, and that's a huge success."

Alaska began implementing the ACMP in 1979. Dissatisfaction with the program's outdated and increasingly unwieldy and complex requirements grew until a bill was introduced to repeal the ACMP in 1997. Though that bill was never passed, in 2003 the Alaska State Legislature passed HB 191, mandating reform of the ACMP and calling for a simplified program that eliminated duplication of laws, while ensuring protection of coastal uses and resources.

Since passage of HB 191 in 2003, the state has been working with OCRM to finalize and describe the amended ACMP in a manner that satisfies the federal requirements of the Coastal Zone Management Act, while meeting Alaska's needs for management and protection of the state's coastal uses and resources. On June 2, 2005, the State submitted a formal request to OCRM to approve the program amendments. The submission of that request and program description concluded an arduous, detailed, comprehensive, and collaborative effort by the State and OCRM on the approvability of the state's coastal program.

In a letter to DNR Commissioner Tom Irwin dated June 27, 2005, OCRM responded to the State and issued preliminary approval of the amendments to the ACMP, confirming that Alaska has satisfied the procedural requirements and is likely to satisfy the applicable program approval standards of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. With preliminary approval, OCRM will initiate the process to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, and expects to complete that process and issue final approval of the ACMP amendments by December 31, 2005.

"This has been a tremendous effort on all accounts," said Commissioner Irwin. "It took the leadership of Governor Murkowski to kick-start this process, and the willingness of folks in the coastal areas to assist in the final push to get this preliminary approval."

"The ACMP program is valuable to our coastal communities," said Murkowski. "I am pleased that OCRM recognized its role to 'assist the states' in managing their coastal resources. Their preliminary approval of our amended ACMP plan is a significant victory."


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Where Cabbage Is King

Vegetable growing is big in Alaska. We mean really big: 39-pound turnip big, 75-pound rutabaga big. And then there's the cabbage....

It's a Bunyanesque stretch of a core truth that belies Alaska's frozen-north image: Alaska's an ideal place to grow really, really big vegetables.

As in, a 75.75-pound rutabaga. A 63.3-pound celery. A 39.2-pound turnip. World records, all.

With rich, glacier-ground volcanic soil and summer days that have 20 hours of sunshine — a lot of photo to go along with the synthesis — the fertile valleys here attract big-veggie growers the way Mt. Everest attracts climbers.

Alaska's agricultural industry is tiny. It took in about $50 million last year, ranking last among the 50 states. California grossed $27.8 billion.

But what it lacks in size, Alaska makes up for in, well, size.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Communities to Review USA PATRIOT Act Around Independence Day

Before Congress votes to reauthorize or amend controversial sections of the USA PATRIOT Act set to expire this year, a coalition of grassroots groups and national organizations plans to make sure Congress members hear their constituents’ concerns. From July 2 through 8, they will be holding educational and civic events dubbed “Patriot Days of Action” in cities nationwide to encourage people to consider how the Act affects civil liberties and to join in the growing national debate.

Community-based coalitions will also be visiting their Congress members’ district offices to discuss proposed legislation they see as antidotes to post-9/11 federal excesses –such as the SAFE Act, Freedom to Read Protection Act, the Restore FOIA Act, the Torture Outsourcing Prevention Act, and other liberty-restoring bills. Information about Patriot Days of Action, including event postings, suggestions, materials, and endorsing organizations, is at http://www.bordc.org/involved/weekofaction.php.

“Independence Day is a good time to expose our post-September 11 laws and policies such as the so-called PATRIOT Act to the ‘rockets’ red glare’ and to ask ourselves what our founding fathers and mothers would think if they were alive today,” said Nancy Talanian, director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), which is sponsoring Patriot Days of Action. “They would be disappointed to learn, for example, how the USA PATRIOT Act diminishes the Bill of Rights they fought so hard for, by weakening our rights to free speech and assembly, our right to be left alone if we are doing nothing wrong, and to receive due process of law. They would surely notice that the balance of power has shifted in many cases, so that the judicial and legislative branches no longer have oversight over certain executive branch actions.”

So far nearly 400 state, local, and county governments serving a combined population of 62 million have enacted resolutions and ordinances upholding their constituents’ civil liberties and criticizing laws and policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act that violate Bill of Rights protections. New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Dallas, as well as the state legislatures of Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, and Vermont have all passed resolutions. Organizations with resolutions include the American Library Association, the National League of Cities, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United Electrical Workers Union, and more than 50 campus bodies.

Organizations endorsing Patriot Days of Action include the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International USA, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Friends Committee on National Legislation, National Lawyers Guild, People For the American Way, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and several state and local organizations. Talanian hopes many cities will participate. “This is a critical moment for everyone who thinks they’ll ever need their civil liberties. We are seeing movement in Congress in both directions: A win in the House on the Bernie Sanders ‘Freedom to Read’ amendment to the Commerce, Justice, State, and Science Appropriations bill, and a defeat in the Senate with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s support of an expansion of the Patriot Act providing “administrative subpoena power” for the FBI.”

Talanian warns, “The people must speak up now or forfeit the rights we celebrate on Independence Day.”

Source: Press Release

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Alaska Governor Signs Bills to Invest Oil Windfall in Alaska

Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski signed the state's operating and capital budget bills at a ceremony in Anchorage Tuesday, investing part of the state's unanticipated $1 billion Fiscal Year 2005 oil windfall in K-12 schools and needed infrastructure around the state.

"We began this year with a clear vision to not only to craft a fiscal 2006 budget that meets our responsibilities to Alaskans, but to invest in the future of Alaska," Murkowski said. "We accomplished this with strong support for Alaska schools, a commitment to safe communities and a capital budget that puts Alaska to work."

"This budget represents a continuation of the commitment I made to Alaskans nearly three years ago to develop our resources, to develop our state and to build a better future for the next generation of Alaskans," Murkowski said.

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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Wasilla Man Offers Giant Mecha on eBay

For something different: "A news flash on the Palm Springs NewsChannel informs Techies with at least 40-thousand dollars to spare can bid on a towering mecha that shoots flames and has red glowing eyes.
Carlos Owens Junior of Wasilla, Alaska has listed his 18-foot handmade hydraulic exoskeleton on eBay.

The 27-year-old apprentice ironworker says he's selling the rust-red machine to fund construction of his next project -- a mobile amphibious mecha that would run on wheels or tracks.

Owens took almost two years and more than 20-thousand dollars to construct his prototype mecha in his parents' back yard. Unlike robots, which are operated remotely, mechas are operated by the person riding inside the frame.

It stands at 18ft tall, its over 8.5 ft wide, weighs in at 3000lbs.

From his listing: "This project has received international attention from many different press/media sources such as Stars and stripes magazine, FHM, CNET, G4 Tech TV,and the Associated press just to name a few, Links to these articles and more releases can be found at the following link as well as some video footage of the mech in action.

The first machine of its creation and design in the world designed for the specific purpose of troubleshooting the mechanical aspects of the first ever bi-pedal Mecha.



The NMX04-1A Prototype is an ( X ) type chassis Mecha meaning Anthropomorphic/humanoid."

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Free Government Research Reports

Submitted by an anonymous reader: "Ted Bridis of the Associated Press reports that more
than 8000 Congressional Research Service reports produced exclusively
for legislators are now available to the public for free
. The Center for Democracy & Technology's Open CRS project is a Web-based central clearinghouse that features several collections of government reports. The research service has '... a staff of more than 700 and a nearly $100 million budget ...' but 'CRS Reports do not become public until a member of Congress releases the report.' The Open CRS project wants your help in obtaining and adding reports to the database."

Monday, June 27, 2005

Mystery of World's Fastest-growing Lakes Solved

In Alaska, thousands of mysterious lakes are all the same shape and have grown steadily for thousands of years, the geological record shows. They are the fastest growing lakes known in the world.

Scientists have tried various ideas to explain the steady growth -- the lakes expand up to 15 feet every year -- and the lakes' consistent shape and orientation, but no theory has held up.

Now a scientist who has worked previously on puzzles as wide-ranging as the spiral shape of Mars ice caps says he's solved the terrestrial mystery.

The solution might also help explain a series of oddly similar lakes near the U.S. East Coast.

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Legislators seek advice on creating boroughs

We have some ideas about this: "The Alaska Legislature is forming an interim advisory commission to study the causes of economic hardships in rural communities and develop proposals to help them form local governments.

The resolution approving the Advisory Commission on Local Government says that in recent years, many small communities across the state have faced serious debt or have stopped providing local services."

The authors of the constitution had a vision for creating local government throughout the state, a vision that has been sidetracked.

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