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

State boards and commissions are great way to get involved in making changes in Alaska

State boards and commissions are great way to get involved in making changes in Alaska

PHOTO: Chena Ridge from the Division of Forestry’s website. The Alaska Board of Forestry helps manage and determine policy for Alaska’s forest lands.

 

You don’t need to run for public office to have a real impact on life in Alaska and in the way the state does business.

Why not stick your name in for a state board or commission?

Monday January 6, 2014 Edition of The LegHead Report

 

RESOURCES: Here are some useful links to help you get info and apply for a board or commission position.

Governor’s Office of Boards and Commission

List of Active Boards and Commissions – includes a ton of info on each board, what they do, who’s on it, etc.

List of Vacancies on Alaska Boards and Commissions–These are the ones to target if you’re ready to take the leap and apply for an open spot.

How to Apply for an Alaska Board or Commission Position

 

 
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, unveiled last week in Anchorage, proposes cutting $1.3 billion out of general fund spending and eliminates 150 state positions.

In a speech at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Parnell prefaced the details of his budget by comparing the process to a family budget.

He also said that the state’s economic situation is getting better.

(Listen to audio report above for details.)

BELOW: Full video of Governor Sean Parnell’s speech to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce where he unveiled his proposed FY 2015 Budget.

 

Resources:

Governor’s Press Release:

December 12, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today unveiled his FY 2015 budget, proposing $1.3 billion less in general fund spending than the current year and 150 fewer positions….(Continued)

Video Link

 

 

http://www.leghead.com/2786/

A week of Statehood History

June 30 is anniversary of the passage

of the Alaska Statehood Act

TLHR June 24 Mon 49th Star Statehood Commission

            Sunday June 30 marks the anniversary of an important date here in Alaska. It’s the day in 1958 when the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act which authorized the Territory of Alaska to take its place among the other 48 states in the Union.

            If you’re a history buff, or would just like to look at some cool old photos, be sure to check out the Alaska Statehood Commission’s website.

            It was created several years ago to mark the 50 Anniversary of statehood, but is just a relevant today in that it’s always fun to read about how Alaska became a state and to glance at funky old photos and videos.

            Including this one about Alaska’s 49th Star…

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