With the Stroke of a Pen, Trump Claims Victory in the Decades-Long Battle Over Alaskan Oil

President Donald Trump signed tax reform legislation that also ends the battle over oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that has divided lawmakers for decades.

Trump not only signed tax cuts into law on Friday, he also delivered Alaska lawmakers, Republicans and conservative groups a major political win in a political battle that’s raged since the 1980s.

It’s been “an unnecessarily long and contentious battle,” Tom Pyle, president of the free market Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s a huge win for Alaskans. It’s a huge win for Americans.”

The Republican tax bill finally gives congressional authorization to open the 1.5 million acre 1002 area along Alaska’s Arctic coastline to drilling.

The so-called coastal plain is just 8 percent of ANWR’s total area, but environmentalists and Democrats have fought tooth and nail to keep it off limits to drilling.

Pyle, who headed Trump’s Energy Department transition team, said the historic decision will finally allow companies to do modern assessments of ANWR’s oil and gas resources. The last survey was conducted in 1998, estimating ANWR held as much as 10 billion barrels of oil.

“We’ve come close a few times, but until now we never got over the finish line,” Pyle said.

Previously, Republicans had never gotten approval to open ANWR out of Congress. In 2005, Senate Republicans got ANWR language in the 2006 budget bill, but it was stripped out by House Democrats.

Alaska lawmakers from both parties have long pushed to ANWR’s coastal plain area for drilling. They’ve faced stiff resistance from environmental groups and most Democrats who worry drilling could harm caribou and exacerbate global warming.

Now, with majorities in both chambers, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski pushed through a reconciliation bill to raise $1 billion over 10 years through opening the 1002 area to oil and gas drilling.

A 2012 Congressional Budget Office report projected that opening the 1002 area to drilling would generate $5 billion in revenue over 10 years. Oil prices have come down since then, so in reality, revenues may not end up being that high.

Environmentalists still plan on doing everything possible to keep oil and gas exploration out of ANWR, including suing the Interior Department to throw up hurdles to future lease sales in the area.

“Opening the door for oil companies to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will devastate Alaska’s wildlife and push us farther down the road of climate disaster,” Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

“And doing it to fund tax cuts for billionaires is a sick joke,” Hartl said.

The League of Conservation Voters made a last-ditch attempt to rally support against the ANWR provision, arguing the “provision would do irreparable damage to one of America’s most magnificent and wildest landscapes.”

ANWR is the country’s largest wildlife refuge, spanning more than 19 million acres in northeastern Alaska. Few people live there and few ever travel to the region, which environmentalists say is a delicate ecosystem worthy of protection.

President Dwight Eisenhower first protected the area in 1960 at the urging of environmentalists, and the area became a wildlife refuge in 1980 under legislation signed by President Jimmy Carter. That 1980 law also set aside the 1002 area specifically for potential oil and gas development.

It’s been a political battle ever since.

Oil and gas companies say they’d only need a 2,000-acre space in the 1002 area for drilling operations — that footprint could be even smaller due to technological advances.

Environmentalists argued for years caribou, polar bears and other animals could be harmed by drilling operations — despite decades of drilling in nearby Prudhoe Bay not degrading the environment.

“Now, ANWR opponents have adopted a new set of talking points, claiming that we shouldn’t drill in ANWR because the price of oil is too low,” Will Yeatman, a senior fellow at the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute, said in an emailed statement.

“This suggests that if the price was right, they would support drilling,” Yeatman said. “Out of the other side of their mouths, environmentalists claim that any drilling is unacceptable, because it would contribute to supposedly catastrophic climate change.”

“By stark contrast to the reasoning of ANWR opposition, drilling is supported overwhelmingly by citizens of the state — 78 percent in fact, as well as by the governor, state legislature and the entire congressional delegation,” Yeatman said. (For more from the author of “With the Stroke of a Pen, Trump Claims Victory in the Decades-Long Battle Over Alaskan Oil” please click HERE)

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Native Alaskans: Polar Bears All Over the Place

To climate change fanatics, polar bears are the eye candy for the worldwide call for action on global warming. There have been news reports about the sad shape they are in, with their coats going brown, their food supplies drying up, and their ice floes melting. Conclusion: The bears are set to starve.

Welp, turns out there are too many of them now.

According to Marc Morano’s Climate Depot:

2 New Papers: 92% Of Polar Bear Subpopulations Stable, Increasing – Inuit Observe ‘Too Many Polar Bears Now’

So, instead of furtive bears withering away on ice floes and starving due to loss of habitat, rising sea levels or whatever the global warmers claim, what we actually have here is a bear explosion, with bears so well fed that they’ve gotten fat. (Read more from “Native Alaskans: Polar Bears All Over the Place” HERE)

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Key Political Activist Battles Cancer, Rejects Conventional Treatment

As many of you know, Charlie and Regina Largent are not only close friends of mine, they have also been incredible defenders of liberty in Alaska. Both Charlie and Regina have been engaged in a major way in every one of my statewide races. The Largent’s have also been instrumental in other efforts, including establishing a local chapter of Alaska Right to Life on the Kenai Peninsula, where Regina served as the founding President of that board.

During my last race, in October 2016, Charlie’s position as an HSE manager on the North Slope was eliminated. As Charlie was actively involved at the time in social media, warring against our “senior senator,” this seemed a little too coincidental. But even though he lost his job, Charlie continued to work harder than ever as a volunteer on the campaign.

Three months later, on January 14, 2017, Charlie was diagnosed with Stage III esophageal cancer.

While the Largent’s made plans to start treatment locally in Soldotna, research on this (aggressive) type of cancer – and the limited experience with esophageal cancer of the doctors in Alaska – led to the decision to seek treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. An important consideration for this transition was to get to a facility where surgeons have conducted thousands of esphagectomies – a risky and life-changing surgery.

Please make your most generous donation HERE and select the benevolence fund so that Charlie can receive the care he needs.

So, a week and a half after diagnosis, Charlie, his wife Regina and two of their three children (the oldest staying behind as she was attending college full-time in Soldotna), borrowed my RV that I had stored in the lower-48, and drove on to Houston to for treatment at MD Anderson, staying at a nearby RV park. In order to afford this “all hands on deck” fight for his life, Charlie cashed out his retirement to cover living expenses for his family of five.

Headed to Houston in the borrowed RV where, despite the circumstances requiring travel, the kids still enjoy being kids. 🙂

During this chaotic and frightening time, close friends – and friends of close friends – shared with the Largent’s their own experiences with cancer in their families and, out of these shared experiences, it became clear to that there was much to be learned beyond the standard one-size-fits-all box of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. A monumental research effort ensued, both by the Largent’s as well as some of their close friends, where they found published studies reflecting horrendous 5-year survival rates for Charlie’s cancer when using the official “standard of care” (where the efficacy rate of highly toxic chemotherapy is about 2%, meaning for Charlie’s cancer, chemotheraphy fails about 98% of the time and, even the addition of radiation still promises between 85% and 90% death/failure rate within 5 years).

Friends shared personal stories of their own battles with cancer (or close family members’ battles), where they rejected the toxicity and high failure rate of the “standard of care,” instead pursuing a broad range of natural treatments that attacked the cancer from many angles (first and foremost of which is rebuilding the immune system). One close friend had completely rejected chemo and radiation, utilizing a strict diet and consistent IV immune-building therapy where her tumor shrank and was eventually cut out with no live cancer cells remaining. Another friend shared her grandmother’s story, who had suffered an aggressive breast cancer where, after surviving a tough bout of chemo and radiation, cancer reared its ugly head once more but this time the grandmother beat it naturally, with immune-building supplements and a strict diet.

Please make your most generous donation HERE and select the benevolence fund so that Charlie can receive the care he needs.

While at MD Anderson, a “top 1%” cancer facility, Charlie received important testing to determine whether his cancer had spread to other areas of his body (brain, stomach cavity, etc). Thankfully, although his tumor was large, it had not spread, so was still considered Stage III. Charlie had a team of doctors on his case and, at each meeting, he asked very open-ended questions about the powerful adjuncts to therapy that were well-documented to support a person’s immune system and overall health during a cancer fight (e.g., ascorbic acid by IV, cucurmin, fasting before chemotherapy, etc). Each time he asked about one of these powerful adjuncts – supported by multiple published studies and scientific evidence – his question was completely brushed off by the cancer “expert,” where he was told more than once, “don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” Because his health continued to deteriorate while in Houston, largely because of an unaddressed internal bleed, Charlie would later say that the cancer center was “ready to chemo and radiate a half dead guy.”

During this same short time-frame, the Largent’s research continued in the integrative world of natural medicine, where the importance of rebuilding a compromised immune system played a key role across the board for natural cancer fighting strategies. The Largent’s highly recommend these websites for anyone wishing to dig into this topic, including: www.thetruthaboutcancer.com ; www.bestanswerforcancer.com and www.mercola.com. A major development for Charlie at this time was that when MD Anderson conducted an endoscopy a little over three weeks after his initial diagnosis, it was clear that his regime of supplements, juicing, and strict diet had had a profoundly positive impact on his cancer. In fact, the GI specialist said Charlie’s tumor could have been “half again bigger,” but it had (at worst) not grown at all in over three weeks and (at best) appeared to have shrunk by 2 cm! This “remission” was not at all what any of the doctors would have expected to see from an esophageal cancer patient who had not yet received “treatment.”

Alongside the friends who shared their non-toxic cancer fighting strategies, the Largent’s also met (by phone) a friend of a friend, “Greg,” who had just gone through conventional treatment, including an esophagectomy, after having a fairly smooth ride through the chemo and radiation regime that often devastates (or even causes death) for many cancer patients. Greg’s case was compelling, particularly since he was about the same age as Charlie and, at diagnosis, was in similar condition physically (including tumor size). He seemed to have sailed through treatments and appeared to be on the road to recovery. In fact, often, when Regina shared her research in the natural cancer fighting strategies with Charlie, he would say, “well, look at Greg and how well he has done!”

Then came the text message. It was March 2nd, about 60 days after Greg successfully completed his “standard of care” cancer treatment and surgery, and right at the time Charlie had to decide one path or the other – he had even been mapped and tattooed for radiation, and Regina had information on the ready for facilities in Reno and in Mexico where he could receive non-toxic immune building integrative treatment. The text, from Greg, simply said: “they just found a tumor in my colon and said it’s my esophageal cancer strain.” That hit like a ton of bricks – the secondary cancer spread meant Stage IV and almost certain death. [Footnote: Tragically, Greg died this past September

At this point Charlie had a series of conversations that helped counter the suspicious fears he had of opting for Mexico (where you can’t even drink the water!) over the “Cadillac plan” cancer treatment at MD Anderson. One of those conversations was with Rick Abbott, another Alaskan and a dual Stage IV cancer survivor who had gone to Mexico for treatment and who, after following a strict diet and regiment of natural supplements, was cancer free 5 years after being told in 2011 by oncologists in Alaska and Washington that he was terminal with no treatment options other than palliative care. His story is compelling and can be found here.

Here’s an amazing part of the Largent’s journey so far. While in Houston, they ran into the parents (pictured above) of a long-time dear friend of Regina’s from Dillingham, Alaska and ok, that happens. But there’s more! Once in Mexico, at the small (22-bed or so) International Bio-Care hospital, they met EIGHT people from, not just Alaska, but from the Kenai Peninsula where Charlie and Regina live! Apparently Rick Abbot’s astounding story of terminal-to-cancer-free recovery continues to reverberate. Additionally, three naturopathic medical students from Bastyr University toured the facility during the Largent’s stay, one of whom (pictured here with Charlie & Regina) turned out to be close friends of their sister-in-law (who is in her final year at Bastyr and set to graduate as a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)). As a side note, they also enjoyed meeting and getting to know a number of wonderful Amish families.

Once Charlie decided the direction for treatment (Mexico), everything moved quickly. Kids and pets were flown back to Alaska and travel arrangements to Mexico quickly fell into place. Charlie and Regina spent 3 weeks in Tiujuana for in-patient treatment (at the International Bio-Care Hospital that had successfully treated Rick Abbot as well as another friend in Regina’s Bible study group). Charlie’s treatment included daily IV infusions (8 hour nutrition feeds alternated with half-day cancer fighting feeds), hyperbaric chamber, hyperthermia and very nutritious organic meals and vegetable juicing. Just 3 days into treatment, the internal bleeding stopped (for the first time in months), and in 3 weeks, Charlie was in better physical shape than he had been in a few years. Because esophageal cancer is highly aggressive and adaptable (in the top 5 fastest growing), the doctors advised that he return in 6 months.

The International Bio Care hospital in Tijuana, Mexico put Charlie on an organic mostly raw veggie diet (fish or chicken a few times a week, but no red meat). A big change for a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but after just 3 weeks on a strict diet and daily IV therapies, he left with better blood work (tumor markers went DOWN) and felt so much healthier than he had in years.

Once back in Alaska, Charlie had to wait about a month to get in to see Dr. Robert Thompson, a local doctor who offers integrative treatment within the context of an IRB study. This internationally certified study includes doctors in the Lower 48 as well as doctors in countries outside the United States and is based upon the published results of pioneering work by Dr. James Forsythe in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Forsythe’s successful protocol can be found here. Also, a great interview with Dr. Forsythe can be found in breast cancer survivor Suzanne Somers book “Knockout.” For comparison, the dismal results of “standard of care” in cancer centers across the nation can be reviewed here, “Top doctors: Chemotherapy one of dozens of procedures shown to ‘give no benefit’”.

During the month Charlie waited to get in for his first consult with Dr. Thompson, he continued bi-weekly IV therapy with a local ND and followed a fairly strict diet. He did, however, suffer a couple of setbacks that left him in almost worse shape than when he started treatment after his diagnosis. First, Charlie had a j-tube placed as a precautionary measure due to location of his tumor at the esophageal junction and, while recovering from that surgery, he contracted a devastating virus that laid him out for days (thus further weakening his already compromised immune system). Also, after weeks of heavy iron supplementation Charlie’s cancer advanced quickly to close off his ability to eat or drink by mouth where he also suffered dramatic weight loss over the course of about three weeks. This was a frightening time for the Largent family. At times Charlie could not even swallow his own saliva and getting sufficient nutrition through a tiny j-tube took around the clock effort.

Charlie’s first Insulin Potentiated Therapy (IPT) with Dr. Thompson (as part of an international “IRB” study). In mid-June when this photo was taken, Charlie was receiving all of his fluids and nutrition via a J-tube (due to the tumor blocking his esophagus). Within just a week of starting IPT, however, his esophagus opened up and he was again able to eat normally!

Everything changed quickly once Dr. Thompson came on board. At the initial consult, Dr. Thompson told Charlie in no uncertain terms to “get off the iron, it will advance your cancer!” This caused no small amount of concern since multiple doctors had advised higher doses of iron because of his anemia – even weekly iron shots. The fact that excess iron is harmful (and especially for cancer patients) is not well known even in the medical community, but an in-depth explanation by a well-known neurosurgeon can be found here, as well as additional in-depth information here”>here, as well as additional in-depth information here.

Doctor’s are amazed, given the deadly aggressiveness of esophageal cancer, that Charlie continues to be able to (viably) fight. This is because they are used to seeing patients who, after just a few weeks of the standard chemo and radiation regiment, are physically in similar condition to those found in concentration camps (emaciated and malnourished). In fact, a more than a couple doctors have expressed overt surprise that his cancer has not metastaticized. During a recent telephonic consult, a Thorasic surgeon with the Swedish Institute in Seattle who had reviewed Charlie’s records, commented that Charlie’s condition (almost a year after diagnosis) is “quite remarkable.” Also a nurse working in a cancer hospital ward told the Largent’s that Charlie was “the healthiest cancer patient [she’d] ever seen!”

Once Charlie got off the iron and started his 5-days per week treatment with Dr. Thompson, his symptoms (difficulty swallowing and extreme fatigue) quickly turned around. Amazingly, within 7 days of being in Dr. Thompson’s care, Charlie went from complete reliance on his feeding tube for nutrition to eating by mouth normally. The treatment (and cessation of the iron) had definitely pushed back hard against the recent tumor progression.

A substantial problem quickly developed, however. Despite carrying Blue Cross insurance for most of his adult life and never, ever, even meeting his deductible, once Charlie’s treatment fell outside of the “standard of care” (i.e., that recommended by MD Anderson), every single bill submitted by his IRB MD was denied for a myriad of different “reasons.” Even more troubling, within the two inch tall stack of medical claim denials, it was discovered that mid-year, Charlie’s $2000 out of network deductible transformed (without notice) into a $6000 out of network deductible! And because his IRB doctor was not getting reimbursed by insurance, the Largent’s quickly had to start selling assets to pay the doctor upfront costs for the monthly $6k plus medications and supplies. The doctor currently carries forward a substantial balance on Charlie’s account for the cost of his time and his staff’s time and absent this exceptional generosity, Charlie would have been unable to continue this life-saving treatment.

As if the blanket denials for all of Charlie’s integrative treatments weren’t bad enough, some time between April 2017 and June 2017 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska arbitrarily increased his out-of-network deductible THREEFOLD, from $2,000 to a whopping $6,000! Although appeal preparations are in the works, this is just the type of shenanigan that can mean life or death for a cancer patient who clearly needs treatment sooner rather than later.

Without a doubt, the Largents have a long insurance battle over the payment denials, but their hope is that any “win” they manage to achieve as they fight the blatant discrimination against integrative natural treatment will provide an easier path for those who subsequently choose a path outside of the pharmaceutical box.

Currently, the Largent’s have paid out-of-pocket for medical treatment (including travel), in excess of $60,000. This does not include the $40,000(+) in medical bills that have stacked up due to insurance company denials. And due to the aggressive nature of Charlie’s cancer, delays with treatment caused by insurance claim denials could prove deadly. The Largent’s obviously need help to meet these demands and to continue providing for their family’s ongoing living expenses.

Providentially, the Largent’s local church has set up a tax-deductible fund to assist with catastrophes like this and is standing by to help the Largent’s. Please make your most generous donation HERE and select the benevolence fund so that Charlie can receive the care he needs.

The Largent’s are so thankful for the many friends and even friends of friends, who have reached out to encourage, to give a helping hand, and especially, to pray for Charlie and his family. Despite the roller-coaster fight for Charlie’s life, they know they are BLESSED.

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Melania Trump Visits Military Families in Alaska

Melania Trump might have been a fashion model at one time in her life, but she had no qualms ripping off a chunk of messy play dough and getting her hands dirty, just like the three preschoolers seated at the table with her Friday at a military base in Alaska . . .

It’s not the heady stuff of the official visit with her husband to Asia but hundreds packed the Arctic Oasis Community Center to get a glimpse of the first lady as she toured programs for children and youth at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. She made a refueling stop at the Anchorage base en route back to Washington, D.C., after spending the last week with President Donald Trump in South Korea and China. The president continued his official visit to Asia.

Trump didn’t make a public speech or address reporters, but did take time to shake hands and talk briefly with parents and military members who flocked to the community center. (Read more from “Melania Trump Visits Military Families in Alaska” HERE)

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2010 Redux: Corrupt Murkowski, RINO McConnell Tell Roy Moore to Withdraw, Encourage Write-In Campaign

Murkowski Encouraging Write-In Campaign Against Judge Roy Moore

By Paul Blumenthal. It’s no surprise that Senate Republicans don’t really like Moore even though many of them have endorsed him since his primary victory. That sets up an easy change of heart for Republicans to back a write-in candidate. In fact, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has already spoken to [loser Luther] Strange about a write-in campaign.

That is a process Murkowski knows well. She is one of three Americans to win a U.S. Senate seat by running a write-in campaign. In 2010, she lost the Republican primary to tea party challenger Joe Miller. This was a very similar situation to Moore’s defeat of Strange. Both Miller and Moore were backed by far-right groups railing against the Republican establishment.

Murkowski waged a write-in campaign and won the general election with 39.5 percent of the vote [in a fraud-laced campaign in which thousands of ballots were unlawfully cast for her].

Strange could run regardless of whether Moore withdraws from the race. If Moore does not withdraw and Strange runs a write-in campaign, it sets up a race among Moore, the Republican; Jones, the Democrat; Strange, technically an independent; and any other write-in candidates. If Moore withdraws, the recipient of the most votes among Jones, Strange and other write-in candidates would win. (Read more from “Murkowski Encouraging Write-In Campaign Against Judge Roy Moore” HERE)

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Swamp Dwellers Murkowski, McCain, Thune, Flake, Toomey, Others Demand That Judge Roy Moore Exit the Race: “Guilty Until Proven Innocent”

By Washington Post. McConnell, in a formal statement on behalf of all Republican senators, said, “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”

Other Republican senators weighing in included Jeff Flake of Arizona, David Perdue of Georgia, John Thune of South Dakota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called on Moore to step aside as well — and without couching his statement with “if true” language.

“The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying,” McCain said. “He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”

Moore has denied the allegations and given no indication that he will exit the race. “Our children and grandchildren’s futures are on the line,” he tweeted Thursday. “So rest assured — I will NEVER GIVE UP the fight!” Moore also emailed a fundraising pitch off the revelations. “I believe you and I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values,” he wrote.

The state Republican Party has the power to disqualify Moore from the election, according to the Alabama secretary of state. If that happens, McConnell and other Republicans would face the challenge of figuring out which candidate would run in Moore’s place — and how to win an election in which it is too late to replace the former judge’s name on the Dec. 12 ballot. (Read more from “Swamp Dwellers Murkowski, McCain, Thune, Flake, Toomey, Others Demand That Judge Roy Moore Exit the Race: “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” HERE)

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Financially Troubled Woman With Cloudy Background Makes Allegations Against Moore Timed to Turn Election

By Washington Post. [Leigh] Corfman, 53, who works as a customer service representative at a payday loan business, says she . . . thought of confronting Moore personally for years, and almost came forward publicly during his first campaign for state Supreme Court in 2000, but decided against it [because, among other things,] her background — three divorces and a messy financial history — might undermine her credibility. . .

Corfman describes herself as a little lost — “a typical 14-year-old kid of a divorced family” — when she says she first met Moore that day in 1979 outside the courtroom. She says she felt flattered that a grown man was paying attention to her. . .

After her mother went into the courtroom, Corfman says, Moore asked her where she went to school, what she liked to do and whether he could call her sometime. She remembers giving him her number and says he called not long after. She says she talked to Moore on her phone in her bedroom, and they made plans for him to pick her up at Alcott Road and Riley Street, around the corner from her house. . .

She remembers an unpaved driveway. She remembers going inside and him giving her alcohol on this visit or the next, and that at some point she told him she was 14. She says they sat and talked. She remembers that Moore told her she was pretty, put his arm around her and kissed her, and that she began to feel nervous and asked him to take her home, which she says he did. . .

She says that Moore drove her back to the same house after dark, and that before long she was lying on a blanket on the floor. She remembers Moore disappearing into another room and coming out with nothing on but “tight white” underwear. (Read more from “Financially Troubled Woman With Cloudy Background Makes Allegations Against Moore Timed to Turn Election” HERE)

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Alaska Just Made Number 1 on a Horrible List

Sexually transmitted diseases are getting worse in the United States, increasing for the third year, with 2016 reaching an all-time high.

By PJ Media. According to the Centers for Disease Control and data analysis by Backgroundchecks.org, here are the ten most sexually diseased states in America:

1. Alaska
2. Mississippi
3. Louisiana
4. Georgia
5. New Mexico
6. North Carolina
7. South Carolina
8. Arkansas
9. Delaware
10. Oklahoma

(Read more from “Alaska Just Made Number 1 on a Horrible List” HERE)
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Alaska at the Top of Another Horrible List: This One for Violent Crime

By Sheiresa Ngo. Alaska wins the No. 1 spot as the most dangerous state. WalletHub researchers found this state has the most assaults per capita. In addition, FBI crime statistics revealed among cities with 100,000 people or more, Anchorage, Alaska, has some of the highest reported crime, with 1,692 violent crimes, nine murders, 326 robberies, 6,853 property crimes, and 1,055 aggravated assault cases in 2016. (Read More from this story about the top violent crime states HERE)

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Pedophile Who ‘Killed Elderly Couple and Raped Two-Year-Old’ Had Been Released From Prison for Almost Identical Attack Just HOURS Earlier

A man charged with murdering an elderly couple and sexually assaulting their two year old grandchild had been released from prison just hours earlier after serving time for a similar attack.

Jerry Active, 24, broke in to the house where Touch Chea, 71, and his wife, Sorn Sreap, 73, were babysitting their granddaughter and allegedly beat the couple to death and raped the little girl.

The toddler’s parents returned to their home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday night to find Active naked in their bedroom with the two-year-old.

A few hours earlier Active had been released on probation after serving part of a seven-year sentence for a similar crime committed in 2009.

Active broke into a house and sexually assaulted an 11-year-old while her parents were asleep, before attacking three members of the family. (Read more from “Pedophile Who ‘Killed Elderly Couple and Raped Two-Year-Old’ Had Been Released From Prison for Almost Identical Attack Just HOURS Earlier” HERE)

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Why I Am Voting Against Marijuana Commercialization in Fairbanks

Have you wondered how we got to this point, where just recently the Planning Commission approved a grow operation in a residential neighborhood, with most of the neighborhood coming out, and hundreds of pages of documentation on the problems with this facility including falsehoods in the application itself?

I realized recently where the disconnect came from. A few years ago, the assembly set up the zoning regulations for marijuana businesses. The mayor at the time had come in with pretty strict buffer zones like we had done before with strip clubs. The assembly decimated those buffer distances and how they were measured (and since then has made the method even more tilted in the marijuana businesses’ favor). One thing the assembly did do, though, is recognize that they didn’t have a good defense for residential neighborhoods, so they amended the ordinance to add a conditional use process for those operations in general use zoning areas that were adjacent to a lot with a residence on it.

A conditional use process notifies everyone in a certain radius of a public hearing before the Planning Commission (with regular zoning permits there is no zoning notification to the neighbors). The intent of putting this amendment in there was so that the Planning Commission would look carefully at the neighborhood, and if they determined it was residential in character, they could deny the permit. There have been conditional use permits denied in the past for other reasons. The disconnect seemed to occur because that intent didn’t get communicated to the Planning Commission. At the time, there was a lot of turnover on the commission and a lot of training going on, and what came out is that many of the members now believe that if something meets the code otherwise, then it should be given that permit.

Think about that, if we only had to determine if something met the regular permit part of the zoning code, then why would we have a conditional use hearing at all. The Planning Department could just take care of that, as they do with regular permits.

So now we’re at this point where extremely weak zoning regulations combined with inadequate decisions from the Planning Commission have resulted in all conditional use permits for marijuana businesses in residential neighborhoods being approved. The problem now is that even if the assembly fixed that, which it hasn’t shown any interest in doing, then those places would still be grandfathered in and degrading those residential neighborhoods, their property values, and their desire for a peaceful life.

After that approval has happened, the assembly still has the full discretion to protest a license based on the fact that it doesn’t fit the residential character of the neighborhood. While the assembly has been notified when those establishments are in residential neighborhoods, they have yet to exercise that discretion and protect any of them.

So the propositions on the ballot are completely about the overreach of government allowing these places to be put in residential neighborhoods and next to schools, churches, day cares, youth centers, drug treatment facilities, and other sensitive uses. The opposition has tried to raise the specter of businesses being put out of business, but I hope everybody realizes that those business owners all knew this was coming and chose to take the risk anyway. It’s also been seen that not only do the taxes not cover the cost of regulation but also that we have loopholes in the law, like Colorado, that will enable many to get around the taxes.

State law protects an initiative for two years from being modified by the assembly, but after that they can change it as they like. So, if you vote “yes” on borough Proposition 1 or city of Fairbanks Proposition A, then it’ll effectively be like hitting the reset button. They can come back in two years with much better zoning laws protecting residential neighborhoods and re-implement the businesses.

If you’re still on the fence, please consider that the industry-controlled state Marijuana Control Board is about to allow on-site consumption, which was not legally allowed by the 2014 voter initiative that legalized marijuana. That will allow people to drive into or next to your neighborhood and smoke pot right there. They are allowed to stay open until 5 a.m. and can open at 8 a.m. This will add a level of misery to what your neighborhood will already be experiencing beyond what you’ve already read about in the recent letters to the editor.

We get one chance to protect our neighborhoods. Please vote “yes” on Proposition 1 or Proposition A.

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Lisa Murkowski Extorts Senate’s Obamacare Repeal Over Medicaid Exception for Alaska Natives

By MJ Lee, Lauren Fox, Phil Mattingly and Tami Luhby. As the Republican Party’s last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare hangs by a thread, a revised version of the Graham-Cassidy bill was circulated to Senate Republicans on Sunday with the aim of winning over key votes. . .

And time is ticking. The vehicle that Republicans are using that allows them to advance a bill without any Democratic support is set to expire at the end of September, making the next several days critical.

[In response to Murkowski’s demands,] the revised bill says Native Americans and Alaska Natives enrolled in Medicaid expansion prior to 2020 could continue to be eligible after that point, according to documents circulated Sunday night to senior Senate aides and obtained by CNN. The state’s sizeable native population and that group’s unique health needs has been a serious concern for Murkowski. (Read more from “Lisa Murkowski Extorts Senate’s Obamacare Repeal Over Medicaid Exception for Alaska Natives” HERE)

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It’s All Coming Down to Liar Murkowski Again

By Tami Luhby and MJ Lee. Sen. Lisa Murkowski could determine the fate of the Republican Party’s last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare.

Sound familiar? The Alaska Republican has been here before.

It was less than two months ago that Murkowski was one of three GOP senators to vote against legislation to gut the Affordable Care Act, effectively killing her Republican colleagues’ campaign to repeal the health care law . . . (Read more from “It’s All Coming Down to Liar Murkowski Again” HERE)

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Vatican Recalls U.S. Diplomat in Child Porn Investigation

A senior member of the Vatican U.S. embassy staff in Washington was recalled after a request from U.S. prosecutors for him to be charged and tried in a child pornography case, Vatican and U.S. officials said.

The diplomat, a priest, is suspected of possessing, though not producing or disseminating, child pornography, including images of prepubescent children, the Associated Press reported, citing a U.S. source who is familiar with the investigation and speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The Vatican said in a statement on Friday that U.S. State Department notified the Vatican Secretariat of State of “a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images.”

The Holy See said it recalled the priest in keeping with the practice of sovereign states, and that he is currently in Vatican City. (Read more from “Vatican Recalls U.S. Diplomat in Child Porn Investigation” HERE)

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