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Last week, House Bill 77 was declared dead in the Senate, for the 2014 legislative session. The bill would have limited the ability of Alaska Native Tribes and citizens to protect land and water resources in the face of a new natural resource permitting process for the Department of Natural Resources...

Hal Shepherd

Editor's note: This article was written for publication by a federal agency whose goal is to transparently coordinate permitting and construction of a pipeline that delivers Alaska's natural gas to the Lower 48.

GOYANG, South Korea -- Anxiety is rising in the liquefied natural gas business over the slow rollout of North American LNG export projects. Anxiety about supply. Anxiety about pricing.

The worry was simmering at the big Gastech Conference & Exhibition held March 24-27 in Goyang, South Korea, as LNG buyers and sellers fretted that the world's constrained supply could last beyond the next few years...

Bill White

Last month, James Mooney, a soft-spoken man who bears a striking resemblance to Conan O’Brien, tried to describe to the Alaska Legislature what it’s like to be falsely labeled a sex offender. The Legislature was considering Senate Bill 108, a bill that would require the Alaska Court System to end its inadvertent experiment in public shaming. Through its CourtView database, any member of the public with access to the internet can search all court cases filed in this state -- including criminal cases that ended in dismissal or acquittal by a jury. The bill would require the court system to restrict access to these dismissed cases...

Marcelle McDannel

The Alaska Senate is still holding SJR21 open for a vote. That resolution seeks to change the makeup of the Alaska Judicial Council, a measure which is designed to award the governor with complete control over the appointment of judges. If enacted, politicians will become judges, plain and simple....

Lance Parrish

The gas line legislation working its way through the Legislature holds the best chance yet for monetizing Alaska’s North Slope gas resources. We should move ahead with eyes wide open, but we should definitely move ahead.

Shortly before our legislative session began, the Parnell administration signed a Heads of Agreement with TransCanada, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Exxon Mobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips. This document defined the handshake agreements and laid out a path for the Alaska LNG Project. A condition of that HOA was “enabling legislation” that would make certain law changes required for the project to proceed...

Eric Feige

Senate Bill 108, introduced by Sen. Fred Dyson, provides a simple and sensible answer to an important question: What should happen with the record of a state court criminal case when no convictions were obtained and the case is now closed? More specifically, when a defendant was acquitted of all charges in a case, or when all criminal charges in a case have been dismissed by the prosecutor, or when a defendant was acquitted of some of the criminal charges in a case and the remaining charges were dismissed.

Under the current language of SB 108, the approach is straightforward. Four months after such a case is closed, the court record is designated as confidential. This means, simply, that the court record is no longer offered for general public viewing...

Mary Geddes

As a reporter, there are stories you stumble upon about which you don't even want to know. Corey Akerelrea was one of those stories.

He was a bright young man, possibly too bright, who committed suicide in Scammon Bay. I never knew Corey, except in the virtual world, and only then after his death. I encountered his story last summer while researching a series of stories on Alaska's failed war on alcohol .

Corey had Tweeted his suicide online. I can't remember how exactly this was discovered, but it chills me still to think about how his death unfolded...

Craig Medred

I should have been suspicious when one friend said she came down with food poisoning on the ferry on her way home from a winter Outside. But her husband didn't, and no one else on board seemed to either.

Or Sunday night when Dave (of the terrific Dave and Mandy folk duo) needed a stool to sit on, and did not attend the pre-concert potluck because of food poisoning. Or even on Sunday when I felt a little queasy in church, and a long walk did not perk me up enough to rally for Norm's annual Aloha birthday party, which always signals the arrival of spring...

Heather Lende

JUNEAU -- A legislative effort to boost the minimum wage in Alaska, partly aimed at lowering voter turnout in August by eliminating a campaign issue, has reached the House floor for a full vote with a minimum of review.

That’s because it has as much to do with the survival of the oil tax cut approved a year ago as with the survival of people earning the minimum wage.

The bill, introduced six days ago by the GOP leadership, is set for a vote in the House Sunday following a single committee hearing at which the testimony was almost entirely negative.

If the Legislature approves the bill to raise the minimum wage, an initiative to do the same thing would not be on the ballot, perhaps removing an incentive to vote for a portion of the electorate...

Dermot Cole

Senate Bill 108 bars public access to criminal records when all charges have been dismissed or when a defendant is acquitted at trial. The bill aims to provide the defendant, presumed innocent until proven guilty, with privacy after being criminally exonerated. Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse, and our communities will suffer if SB 108 becomes law.

Important information would be lost. Unless the offender is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the criminal case, courts will hide the record that, one, police investigated and recommended charges; two, a prosecutor independently reviewed and agreed to file charges; three, a judge reviewed the complaint and independently found probable cause; or four, a grand jury voted to indict...

Taylor Winston

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