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#03-24-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

Laine Welch: Limits, observers among reasons for quiet halibut start
Published: March 23, 2013 Updated 8 hours ago
By Laine welch — Fisheries
It was unusually quiet along the waterfront as the 2013 halibut fishery got under way last Saturday. Most of the first fish landed go to Homer, Kodiak and Petersburg, and processors there said there wasn't the usual chatter......

Coast Guard honors 4 civilians for rescuing family
Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013 11:11 am | Updated: 11:14 am, Sat Mar 23, 2013.
Shannon Haugland / Daily Sitka Sentinel | 0 comments
SITKA, Alaska — Four volunteer rescuers were honored this month by the U.S. Coast Guard in a ceremony at Air Station Sitka. The Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award was presented to Don Kluting, Tyler Orbison, Gerald Gangle and Howard Merkel of Sitka for their part in the Jan. 21, 2012, rescue........

Polar bear scientist probe finds problems in offshore oil agency
Jill Burke
March 23, 2013
The arduous scrutiny directed at federal Arctic wildlife biologist Dr. Charles Monnett over the past few years came down to little more than a reprimand. But the fallout rippled through the nation's offshore oil agency. A letter obtained by Alaska Dispatch under the Freedom of Information Act shows why Monnett's employer, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), rejected two of three findings made by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). It took the two agencies nearly six months to release a handful of pages related to a....

Washington Watch: Oil-and-gas revenue ‘sledding’ tough
Advocate Washington bureau
March 24, 2013
........Landrieu’s OPEN Act went nowhere and died at the end of the year, and Vitter has acknowledged his bill is destined for a similar fate under the Democratic-led Senate unless he can amend parts of his bill onto other pieces of legislation. The reason? The expansions of drilling access, which are nonstarters with many Senate Democrats. So Landrieu and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, last week filed the Fixing America’s Inequity with Revenues Act, or FAIR Act, that they proposed as a more practical bill that could see “the finish line.” The legislation speeds up revenue sharing and lifts the $500 million cap, but it does not expand drilling access beyond what President Barack Obama has proposed. Murkowski is on board because Alaska is about to have more offshore energy production. The FAIR Act also includes state revenue sharing for alternative and renewable energy production both offshore — such as wind and wave energies — and on land to entice more Democrats to join in support......

Mar 23 2013
Begich Votes No On Democratic Budget
Says Alaskans Want Real Cuts; Passing Off Debt to Our Children is Not an Option
Consistent with his long record in the Senate of fighting for serious spending cuts and a balanced budget, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich voted early Saturday morning against the proposed Democratic Senate budget, which would still leave the country with a $400-$600 billion deficit in ten years and fall short of addressing the nation's current $16 trillion debt. "While I am happy that Congress is finally talking seriously about our fiscal crisis, this budget didn’t go far enough,” said Begich. “Alaskans expect us  to finish the job and make this staggering deficit manageable. Passing this problem off to our children is not an option. We got ourselves into this mess and have a responsibility to get ourselves out.  We can either make the tough choices now or face an even tougher road ahead.”.......

US Senate passes Warren's fishery assistance plan
AP /  March 23, 2013
........... The bipartisan amendment, introduced by Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, was included......

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