News from Senator Begich; August 29, 2011: Begich Showcases Alaska
August 29, 2011 Begich Showcases Alaska
August 23, 2011 - Anchorage's KTUU reports news from Sen. Begich's and the USPS that 25 Alaska post offices off the road system are safe from closure.
Spending August at home has been refreshing and productive. Whether I'm in a restaurant or getting home repair supplies at the hardware store, I've come across many friends and had great conversations with Alaskans every day.
Over the last few weeks I've taken federal officials to Fairbanks, Homer, Dillingham and New Stuyahok to show them how decisions made in Washington, D.C., impact the lives of Alaskans.
I hosted the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dr. Jane Lubchenco, in Anchorage, Homer and Fairbanks. Together we opened a new satellite facility in Fairbanks, which will help keep Alaskans safe by predicting weather patterns. In Anchorage and Homer we met with commercial fishermen and charter boat owners and operators to discuss the future of Alaska's oceans and how to keep our fisheries sustainable for generations.
I also brought FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to Anchorage, Dillingham and New Stuyahok to stress the importance of affordable and accessible broadband in rural Alaska. I toured Kanakanak Hospital's telemedicine programs in Dillingham and even got an ear check in New Stuyahok using their telemedicine cart. High-speed Internet is essential to expanding these programs and bringing health care, education and commerce to Alaska's communities, no matter how far from the road system they are.
When we head back to Washington at the end of this month, our focus will be on reducing the nation's debt and deficit and keeping our economy recovering and creating jobs for Americans. In the meantime, I hope you get a chance to visit the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. Maybe Jacob and I will see you on the Zipper.
Senator Mark Begich
- 25 Rural Alaska Post Offices Saved from Closure
- Begich Brings Administration Officials to Hear Alaska's Story
- Alaska's Oil & Gas Industry, NOAA Agree to Share North Slope Scientific Data
Useful Links 25 Rural Alaska Post Offices Saved from Closure
Officials of the U.S. Postal Service informed Sen. Begich they are removing 25 Alaska post offices from a list for possible closure. Sen. Begich welcomed this announcement as good news for communities off the road system which depend on their post offices for deliveries of food and medicine. Prior to this decision, Sen. Begich talked directly to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe expressing concern about the impacts on Alaska if post offices are closed. Originally 36 Alaska post offices were identified for review. There are still 11 post offices facing review.August 23, 2011 - Anchorage's KTUU reports on Sen. Begich's report that 25 Alaska post offices off the road system are safe from closure. August 23, 2011 - Sen. Begich tastes Alaska oysters with the Homer Mariculture Facility and the Kachemak Bay Shellfish Growers. Begich Brings Administration Officials to Hear Alaska's Story
There is nothing like hearing directly from Alaskans on their home turf. That's the view of Sen. Begich as he continues to welcome officials from across the Obama Administration to the 49th State. Begich hosted NOAA Administrator Lubchenco for a series of meetings in Anchorage, Homer and Fairbanks including discussions with Cook Inlet oil and gas producers about how to streamline and expedite permitting; the importance of accurate weather forecasting to Alaskans across many industries; and a trip to Homer to talk directly to fishermen impacted by the pending catch share rule. Sen. Begich also brought the importance of high-speed Internet, particularly in rural Alaska, directly to FCC Chairman Genachowski. The chairman went to Dillingham with Begich to see the progress on the $88 million TERRA-SW project which will bring "middle mile" broadband service to 65 communities in Southwestern Alaska. The two also held a roundtable discussion in Anchorage with several broadband users such as hospitals and universities about the value high-speed broadband brings to medicine, education and the overall economy.August 25, 2011 – While in New Stuyahok Sen. Begich received an ear checkup with a telemedicine cart to show FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski the benefits of rural broadband. August 25, 2011 – Sen. Begich and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski visited Dillingham to cut the ribbon on GCI's TERRA-SW project.
Alaska's Oil & Gas Industry, NOAA Agree to Share North Slope Scientific Data
Sen. Begich helped usher in a new era of cooperation as representatives of Alaska's oil and gas industry joined with NOAA in signing a Memorandum of Agreement to share scientific information from research in Arctic waters. NOAA Administrator Lubchenco joined representatives from Shell, ConocoPhillips and Statoil for a signing of the agreement which includes sharing of data to include meteorology, coastal and sea currents, sea ice changes, biological science and mapping. The goal is to work together and more efficiently as oil and gas opportunities open up in the Arctic. "We often hear about the conflict between agencies and industry on development projects. This is about cooperation and it can only mean better and safer development of Alaska's resources," Begich said at the signing.
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