House approves measure to control drones

We’ll have more later, but for now here is link to Sponsor Statement for House Bill 255.
Sponsor Statement HB 255

 

Houses passes bill to allow VPSO to carry guns

HB 199 would allow Village Public Safety Officers to carry guns while on duty

  • Supporters say it’s a vital safety issue
  • Opponents say VPSOs are not Alaska State Troopers, and don’t go through same tough hiring and training process

 

A measure to allow Village Public Safety Officers to carry firearms in the line of duty took a big step forward on Monday when it was passed by the Alaska House.

The controversial measure would allow VPSOs who meet training standards to carry firearms while on duty.

  • Supporters say the measure is an important element in allowing the remote law enforcement officers to protect themselves.
  • Opponents argue that VPSOs are not Alaska State Troopers but are hired by the over-seeing area Native association and do not receive the same employment screening and training standards that troopers do.

House Bill 199 will now be forwarded to the Senate for consideration.

Resources:

BASIS listing — Which shows all activity related to HB 199 by the Alaska Legislature

Good comments in summary of meeting on HB199. Lots of good comments from both sides of the issue. Worth ready through to get an overview of different perspectives from testimony and comments during informational hearing. Will open PDF document.

Sponsor Statement by Rep. Bryce Edgmon for HB 199.

Facebook page set up by Tom Madole’s widow. Madole was killed in the line of duty.

(Note: Sad photos of children at funeral. Regardless of a person’s stand on the guns and VPSOs issue, it is heartbreaking to see those who dedicate themselves to protecting us be shot down. Especially sad to think of family left behind–Maggie.)

VPSOs are not Troopers — Editorial in Fairbanks Daily News Miner

Article by Alaska Dispatch on HB 199

Newsletter from Rep. Bryce Edmon to constituents — See Page 6 for info on HB 199. Will open in PDF document.

BASIS listing — Which shows all activity related to HB 199 by the Alaska Legislature

Sponsor Statement by Rep. Bryce Edgmon for HB 199.

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Flags lowered to honor Alaska’s last territorial governor, services Friday in Fairbanks

Flags lowered to honor Alaska’s last territorial governor, services Friday in Fairbanks

Michael “Mike” Stepovich dies at 94.

Was Alaska Territorial Governor 1957-58.

 

Photo & Video: Courtesy of Fairbanks Daily News Miner

Alaska flags are flying at half-staff this week to honor the last living territorial governor, Mike Stepovich.

Stepovich died last week at the age of 94. He was in a California hospital after suffering a bad head injury in a fall earlier this month. His services will be held in Fairbanks on Friday. Despite a home in Medford, Stepovich maintained his Alaska residency and returned each summer.

“Alaska has lost a true pioneer,” Governor Parnell said in a press release announcing the death. “Governor Stepovich was a strong, selfless figure. His love for our state is a great legacy that will endure for generations of Alaskan,” he said.

Anchorage Daily News columnist Mike Dunham said that in some ways, Stepovich was the John Kennedy of territorial Alaska. He was optimistic and constantly promoting Alaska and statehood Outside.

Stepovich’s constant promotion of statehood to the American public played an important role,” said Dunham. “No one could see the smiling, handsome young Alaskan charming the panel on “What’s My Line?” without liking him and, by extension, the people whom he represented….Here was proof that Alaskans weren’t just parky-clad hunters, whiskered sourdoughs or capitalist robber barons,” he said.

Stepovich was born in Fairbanks, and served three terms in the Alaska Territorial Legislature before serving as governor from 1957 – 1958. Following his state service, Governor Stepovich returned to his law practice in Fairbanks.

State flags were lowered to half-staff on Valentine’s Day and will remain lowered until Governor Stepovich’s funeral, which the Fairbanks Daily News Miner says will be Friday morning the 28th.  Flags will be raised to full-staff Saturday morning.

Stepovich on Cover of Time Magazine June, 1958. Photo by Mike Dunham ADN.

Resources:

Anchorage Daily News, Mike Dunham Column

Press Release from Governor Sean Parnell’s Office

National Native News Coverage of Mike Stepovich’s Passing

Stepovich lived in Oregon much of year, still claimed residence in Fairbanks where his service will be

Alaska History Course Online

 

For a lot of fun and interesting material

on Alaska’s history and early legislators

go to the Alaska Humanity Forum’s

 

Alaska History & Cultural Studies website.

 

Governor Parnell: State must pay down pension debt

Alaska State of the State Address 2014

Photo from Gavel Alaska’s video of Alaska 2014 State of the State Address.

The LegHead Report Radio Show for Thurs. Jan 23 State Pension Funding

 

Alaska’s financial situation is secure, but there is one huge debt looming over Alaskans that must be dealt with. That was a key statement from Alaska Governor Sean Parnell in his State of the State Address to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature.

The big debt is unfunded state pensions and if it is not tackled soon Alaskan will struggle to keep up with an ever-growing burden that sucks more and more available funds from other budget items.

Gov. Sean Parnell’s comments in State of State Address 2014 courtesy of Gavel Alaska.

Governor Sean Parnell speaking during Wednesday’s State of the State Address to the Alaska Legislature. Thanks to Gavel Alaska for today’s audio.

RESOURCES:

360 North / Gavel Alaska video of Alaska State of the State Address 2014

 

 

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