News From Senator Begich; November 8th, 2010: Take Time Out to Honor Veterans
November 10, 2010
Anchorage, AK Alaska Native Village Corp.
Association Annual Meeting
Sheraton Anchorage Hotel
10:30 a.m. (Alaska)
November 10, 2010
Anchorage, AK Women Veterans Recognition Ceremony
6:00 p.m. (Alaska)
November 11, 2010
Anchorage, AK Veterans Day Celebration
National Guard Armory
10:30 a.m. (Alaska)
November 11, 2010
Anchorage, AK Canadian Detachment Remembrance Day Ceremony
12:15 p.m. (Alaska)
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November 8, 2010 Take Time Out to Honor Veterans
I am looking forward to coming home to Alaska this week to participate in celebrations honoring Veterans Day. As always, I will join the traditional Veterans Day ceremony and the Canadian Remembrance Day, both Thursday at Fort Richardson National Cemetery . I’m also participating in the Women Veterans Recognition Ceremony Wednesday evening at the Loussac Library, focused on the growing role and importance of women in the military.
About a week ago, I was pleased to have a short weekend in Anchorage where I joined in a special tribute to former Senator Ted Stevens at the Alaska Air Carriers Safety Summit. It focused on Sen. Stevens’ many contributions to our state, combined with the major role aviation continues to play in Alaska. The weekend also included the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Alaska ALCAN Highway Celebration, dedicated to remembering the major contributions of the African American Army engineers in building the ALCAN Highway.
With the mid-term elections behind us, I am eager to join my colleagues in Washington next week and get back to business when Congress reconvenes Monday. There is much to do on behalf of Alaska and our country. Please continue to stay in touch and let me know your concerns and ideas for Congress’ focus in the coming months.
Senator Mark Begich Aviation Safety Summit
Sen. Begich spoke to the Alaska Air Carriers Safety Summit at the Anchorage Marriott about the importance of aviation safety and innovations in aviation technology. The evening also included a tribute to former Senator Ted Stevens.Honoring Aviation Safety
Sen. Begich, along with Rep. Don Young, Gov. Sean Parnell, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski at the Alaska Air Carriers Safety Summit dinner.Sen. Begich Proposes 5-Part Agenda for Next Congress
The message from last week’s election is that elected officials need to focus on getting America’s economy back on track. That’s Sen. Begich’s interpretation in a guest column sent to Alaska newspapers this week. “To me, there isn’t much confusion over voters’ message: elected officials are on a short leash and if we fail to produce, look for another job after the next election,” Begich writes. The senator proposes a five-part agenda for the next Congress: Create jobs by reigniting our domestic energy industry by opening new areas, including Alaska’s Arctic offshore regions, to increased oil and gas development; Reduce the debt by making painful but necessary budget cuts; Simplify taxes by extending middle class tax cuts and reforming the tax code; Reform education by overhauling No Child Left Behind and emphasizing local innovation and more focus on science, math and technology; and Fix a broken Congress by reforming Senate procedures to force business into the daylight and prevent abuse of delay tactics.
Salute to Veterans
Sen. Begich and his wife, Deborah, participated last Thursday in the Department of Labor's "Salute to Veterans and Their Families". Click on the photo for a link to the entire slideshow.
Begich Gets an “A” From Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans
Sen. Begich earned an “A” grade from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) for his support of improved programs and services for the nation’s veterans. The IAVA Action Fund released its congressional report cards, which have become a critical tool for holding elected officials accountable. Every senator and representative is graded based on voting record and leadership on key issues facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. “I am honored to receive such a high score from the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, since serving those who have served our country is one of the most important jobs I can do in Congress,” Begich said. Check the grades at: Did your representatives make the grade?
Celebrating Alaska’s History
Sen. Begich joined the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Alaska ALCAN Highway Celebration Prayer Breakfast. The event honors the historic contributions of the African American Army engineers who built the ALCAN Highway.
Mining Industry Flourishing with High Prices
With record high gold prices and strong demand for other minerals, Sen. Begich touted the important of Alaska’s mining industry in luncheon remarks to the Alaska Miners’ Association last Thursday. Begich noted recent industry successes in having federal officials, especially the Environmental Protection Agency, understand the importance of Alaska mines such as the Kensington north of Juneau and expansion of the Red Dog mine in Northwest Alaska to the new Aqqaluk deposit. The senator repeatedly pushed both projects with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Project sponsors for both mines actively engaged local stakeholders to gain their support. Begich said the industry’s outlook in the new Congress is strong, especially with the re-election of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, one of Congress’ biggest mining boosters.
Begich Keeps Up Pressure Against Frankenfish
Keeping the pressure on the Food and Drug Administration to reject so-called “Frankenfish,” Sen. Begich soon will introduce legislation in the Senate to declare genetically engineered fish unsafe for human consumption or require any such fish to be labeled. Companion bills to HR 6264 and 6265, sponsored by Rep. Don Young, the bills are unlikely to move in the remainder of this Congress but send a clear signal that Frankenfish is unacceptable, especially to Alaskans. “Congressman Young’s bills do the trick but I’m also talking to colleagues who want a more comprehensive approach to reform the FDA’s procedures for reviewing genetically engineered animals to make the process more open and transparent,” said Begich, who led the opposition to approval of genetically engineered fish in writing a stern letter to the FDA last month co-signed by 10 other senators. So far, the FDA has yet to respond.Greeting Old Friends, Making New Ones
On a recent Saturday, Sen. Begich spent the afternoon with the Filipino Community of Anchorage, Inc.
Norway and Alaska Share Northern Concerns
Begich greeted Norwegian Minister of Defense Grete Faremo and other officials of the Defense Ministry and Royal Norwegian Embassy at his Washington office late last month. “A fellow Arctic nation and staunch NATO ally, Norway shares many common interests with Alaska including oil development, fisheries and the future of the Arctic,” Begich said. “Speaking with the Defense Minister reminded me of the need for continued cooperation and coordination of our efforts.” Topics of discussion included Norway’s “High North” strategy, ratification of the “Law of the Sea” Treaty, Arctic domain awareness and military readiness, including the Luftforsvaret’s (Norwegian Air Force) planned acquisition of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The senator is looking forward to meeting Norway’s Foreign Minister during a planned visit to Washington in December.The Alaska Report November 2010
In the November 2010 edition of the Alaska Report, Sen. Begich talks about a number of issues important to Alaska that will be discussed in the coming months in Congress. Joined by staff member Elizabeth Wagner, Sen. Begich talks about education, energy, job creation and more.
Begich Accepting Applications for Internships
College-age Alaskans interested in internships in Sen. Begich’s D.C. or Alaska offices for Spring 2011 can apply now. The deadline for applying is November 10. Click on the following link for the application: http://begich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InternshipApplication.