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Alaska is about to set out on a path toward a bad deal for a natural gas pipeline. We are being lulled into thinking decisions made today do not matter because there will be plenty of opportunities for the Legislature and public to weigh in later. In fact, many major decisions will be approved by an unelected board and not be subject to legislative approval or public review. The rest will be made piecemeal so that the public and Legislature do not see the cumulative impact of the decisions being made. And much of the information that goes into decision making will be kept confidential, available only to legislators who sign confidentiality agreements...

Lisa Weissler

Republican in Name Only? A RINO? No, in my opinion he's a DEMOCRAT running for state House on a Republican ticket. He approached me at our district convention portraying himself as a conservative. He visits churches in our district and takes the same approach with them. The problem with that? He and his wife contributed (often the max) to democrats Mark Begich, Ethan Berkowitz, Tony Knowles, and yes, Barack Obama. And they contributed to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee too.

Look for yourself. At the Federal Election Commission's web portal , enter the last name Colver and first name Jim to see his contributions, and then enter the last name Colver and the first name Marie to see his wife's...

Carol Carman

JUNEAU -- As the Legislature moves toward approval of a complex gas pipeline bill, no one can answer two big questions: Will a pipeline be built? And if so, how much cash will the state collect?

They can't be answered because it is impossible to say right now how much natural gas will sell for in Asia over the long run or how much a pipeline across Alaska would cost. Much more work on engineering, financing and marketing remains before we'll know if a pipeline will become a reality.

Consultants appearing before the Legislature have said as much, but the urge to attach a specific revenue prediction -- without acknowledging that it may be way off -- remains a powerful one.

It happened again on Tuesday during a presentation before the House Finance Committee...

Dermot Cole

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

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