Office of the Governor, June 12, 2003
Governor’s Federal Efforts of Behalf of Rural Alaska
The State administration is taking a number of steps at the Federal level in Washington, DC to support the funding needs of rural areas and local
communities. These steps can be described briefly as follows:
Fiscal Relief to States and localities:
Pursuant to new Federal law, the State will soon receive $25 million in "Flexible assistance" for use in funding essential programs or to satisfy Federal mandates.
This amount will be followed by another $25 million at the beginning of the next Federal fiscal year, which begins on October 1, 2003.
State Appropriations Request for Rural Alaska
The State has submitted a number of appropriations requests to Congress for programs and services that benefit rural Alaska. These programs encompass a
broad spectrum of activities, including education, law enforcement, and economic development. Specific examples include:
· Rural Law Enforcement
· Alaska Frontier Health Initiative
· Various road projects
· TB Program
· Rural Diesel Fuel Health Assessment
· Rural EMS Training
· Suicide Prevention Program
· Rural Prosecution Support Team
· Community Health Aide Training
· Drug Abuse Resistance Education
· Rural Alcohol Interdiction
· Fishing Industry Assistance
State Appropriations Requests for Specific Communities
In addition, the State has requested Federal appropriations for projects and programs in particular communities. These include:
· Chena Hot Springs
· Chignik Bay
· Chignik Lagoon
· Chignik Lake
State Support for Budget Requests Submitted Directly by Local Communities
Staff of the DC Governor's office has met with representatives of a number of Alaska communities to discuss their local priorities and projects. In almost every
instance, the State has expressed strong support for these priorities and has communicated its support for specific projects to the Alaska Congressional
delegation. Because of the large number, particular projects are not mentioned here. These communities include:
· Aleutian Pribilof Islands
· North Slope Borough
· Mat-Su Borough
· Calista/Donlan Creek
In a number of instances, State agencies submit applications for Federal grants which benefit rural Alaska. In addition, upon request, the State often supports
grant applications submitted directly by local communities/organizations representing rural Alaska. These organizations include:
· Alaska Federation of Natives
· Kawerak, Inc.
· Norton Sound Health Corporation
· Tanana Chiefs
Saturday, July 19, 2003
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Tokyo making case for claim to rich sea floor
The Asahi Shimbun
The Asahi Shimbun
The government plans to spend up to 100 billion yen on undersea research to establish its claim to the continental shelf around Japan in time for a 2009 U.N. deadline.
Land, infrastructure and transport minister Chikage Ogi said Tuesday Cabinet ministers had agreed to cooperate on the project. So far only the Japan Coast Guard has been carrying out the research.
Exploration of the seabed indicates the continental shelf area the government is eyeing contains possibly tens of trillions of yen worth of natural resources of the kind Japan currently has to import.
The government plans to cover the 100 billion yen cost of the project with state budgets, and may give the research work to private firms equipped with the appropriate research vessels.
A Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ship that is capable of carrying out the drilling work will only be available for 70 days this year.
To make matters worse, the education ministry's two sonar mapping ships are not available for the research this year.
Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, which took effect in 1994, a coastal nation can claim continental shelf up to 650 kilometers from its coast, provided it establishes that the shelf is geographically continuous with the country's land and shares a similar geological structure.
Japan must meet a May 2009 deadline to apply for U.N. approval of its claim.
The Japan Coast Guard's research so far suggests that Japan may be able to claim about 650,000 square kilometers of new continental shelf-an area 70 percent larger than Japan's land mass. But the United Nations' screening criteria is proving to be more strict than Tokyo had originally anticipated.
Ogi said Japan could possibly become a nation rich in natural resources if its claim to the continental shelf gets U.N. approval.
``There will be gold, silver and cobalt equivalent to 5,000 years (of domestic consumption) each, manganese equivalent to 1,000 years' consumption and natural gas equivalent to 100 years' consumption. In terms of money, the value will amount to tens of trillion yen,'' she said.
Ogi said Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had accepted her request that he lead the government in carrying out the ``national project'' of researching the shelf.(IHT/Asahi: July 10,2003)
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Sunday, July 13, 2003
Bill proposes $33 million for Greely airfield
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
FAIRBANKS (July 13, 2:45 p.m. ADT) - A draft military spending bill in the U.S. Senate proposes to spend $33 million on the airfield at Fort Greely where the Department of Defense is building a missile defense system.
The money is one of many Alaska projects funded in the fiscal 2004 defense appropriations bill, which the Senate Appropriations Committee recently finished.
Alaska GOP Sen. Ted Stevens, committee chairman, said the bill fully funds the Bush administration's request for missile defense funds.
"This additional funding will greatly enhance the capabilities of the ground-based midcourse missile defense program in Alaska," Stevens said in a news release.
The bill also contains $22 million to continue work on Fort Wainwright's power plant and central heating system renovation.
The Army has been rebuilding parts of the plant and adding pollution control technology in recent years. Another $20 million would go to the Air Force for radar upgrades at Gakona.
Stevens said many of the projects in the proposed defense spending bill support the coming Stryker Interim Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright and Fort Richardson. Such brigades, of which there are already two in Washington state, are supposed to be able to deploy anywhere in the globe within four days.
However, a recent Government Accounting Office report noted that the goal remains out of reach. The committee also added $3 million, above the Bush administration's request, for Alaska National Guard counter-drug work.