Tag Archives: Sean Parnell

Vanity Fair Discovers Sarah Palin is Loud and Secretive

Excellent detailed piece on Sarah Palin by journalist Michael Joseph Gross in the October 2010 issue of Vanity Fair

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Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury

Former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin speaks at the "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on August 28, 2010.

Even as Sarah Palin’s public voice grows louder, she has become increasingly secretive, walling herself off from old friends and associates, and attempting to enforce silence from those around her. Following the former Alaska governor’s road show, the author delves into the surreal new world Palin now inhabits—a place of fear, anger, and illusion, which has swallowed up the engaging, small-town hockey mom and her family—and the sadness she has left in her wake.

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In Spite of Sarah Palin’s Objection: Cooks Inlet Whales to Get Hatitat Protection

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is no friend to the endangered Cook Inlet Beluga whales.

In October, 2008, former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin strongly objected, when the US Fisheries Service listed the Cook Inlet beluga whale as endangered. In addition, before making the decision to quit as governor, Palin threatened to sue over the endangered status of the whale.

On December 1, 2009, after an October 29th notice of intent to sue by Center for Biological Diversity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finally announced habitat designation for the Cook Inlet beluga whale. The proposal would encompass 3,016 square miles to include parts of Cook Inlet (the whale’s primary summer habitat), mid-Cook Inlet; also the western shore of lower Cook Inlet, and Kachemak Bay on the eastern side.

“While today’s proposal is an important step toward protecting the Cook Inlet beluga, protections for the species remains far from complete,” said Brendan Cummings, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity in Anchorage. “Critical habitat designation should be promptly finalized and expanded to include the lower Inlet. Moreover, the Fisheries Service needs to prepare a recovery plan and stop freely handing out permits to industry allowing the beluga’s habitat to be developed and disturbed.”

The Endangered Species Act was a law enacted in 1973 to protect threatened species and by extension, the specie’s habitat.

Endangered Species Act (5)(A) The term “critical habitat” for a threatened or endangered species means—(i) the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act, on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection.

The ESA law is clear that vital habitat in which an endangered animal lives must to be protected to promote the growth and health of the population. Industry and politics should not supersede the ESA designation, although attempts to do so occur on a regular basis.

Far too often, federal agencies face political pressures and will delay taking action until they are forced by conservation groups, like The Center for Biological Diversity, to uphold the laws within the ESA.

After Sarah Palin left Alaskan politics, lieutenant governor Sean Parnell was sworn in to take her place. Parnell took up Palin’s stand on protecting industry–over wildlife.

“Listing more than 3,000 square miles of Cook Inlet as critical habitat would do little to help grow the beluga population, but it would devastate economic opportunities in the region,” Governor Parnell said. “The beluga whale population has been coexisting with industry for years. The main threat facing belugas was over-harvest, which is now regulated under a cooperative harvest management plan. Belugas are also protected under the Marine Mammal Act.”

Yet, hunting the whales became illegal a decade ago and they have continued to decline. According to statistics from NOAA, the estimated Cook Inlet beluga whale population has dwindled from 1,300 individuals down to 300 whales.

NOAA’s official announcement contends: recovery of Cook Inlet whales is potentially hindered by severe stranding events; continued development within and along upper Cook Inlet; industrial and municipal activities that discharge or accidentally spill pollutants; disease; predation by killer whales and losses of available prey to fishing or loss of prey habitat. Protecting habitat is essential to the beluga whales’ recovery.

The Cook Inlet whale is one of five species of beluga or white whales and is a genetically distinct in comparison to the four other distant populations of belugas. Normally, belugas move from pod to pod, but that is geographically not possible for the Cooks Inlet whales.

Belugas tend to be the most social, playful, and interactive of the cetacean species and are the only whales known to swim backwards, making them popular attractions at theme parks.

NOAA’s announcement signals the opening of a public comment period that will remain open until January 31, 2010. The designation will not be finalized until spring. Once the designation is final, federal agencies would have to consult with NOAA’s Fisheries Services to make sure there would be no adverse effect to the whale’s habitat before permits for new development could be issued.

Sarah Palin has moved on from her failed bid as John McCain’s Vice president and her short stent as governor of Alaska; to the media spotlight of her book tour promoting “Going Rogue.”

But Governor Parnell, true to his predecessor Sarah Palin and her kill-baby-kill attitude toward wolves, polar bears, whales, and other wildlife—has indicated the state will review all legal options regarding the listing and the proposed critical habitat protection.

The fight may not be over, so it is vitally important to encourage NOAA to proceed with the designated protection of the whale’s habitat and restore this vital natural resource for all Alaskans and nature lovers for generations to come.

Send comments to: Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources, Alaska Region, NOAA Fisheries, ATTN: Ellen Sebastian. Comments must be identified by “RIN 0648-AX50” and sent by any one of the following methods:

Electronic submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal website at http://www.regulations.gov
Mail: P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK, 99802-1668.
Fax: 907-586-7557
Hand deliver to the Federal Building: 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, Juneau, AK

Perhaps, at long last, the smiling white faces of Cooks Inlet whales will begin to frolic in clean, undisturbed, pristine waters, and be recognized as the valued natural asset they are to the region and to the world.

More information the status of the Cook Inlet WhaleCenter for Biological Diversity

Jean Williams
Examiner.com

“Going Rogue” Review: Sarah Palin Shows She Knows How to Hate; Needs Injection of Pinocchio Serum

Outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (2nd L), her husband Todd (C) look on as incoming Governor Sean Parnell (2nd R) is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Daniel Winfree (L) during the annual Governor's Picnic July 26, 2009 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. Parnell' wife Sandy held the bible for the ceremony. Craig E. Campbell was sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor.

Outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (2nd L), her husband Todd (C) look on as incoming Governor Sean Parnell (2nd R) is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Daniel Winfree (L) during the annual Governor's Picnic July 26, 2009 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. Parnell' wife Sandy held the bible for the ceremony. Craig E. Campbell was sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor.

Last July in Fairbanks, with Todd smiling at her side and Piper sitting in her lap, Sarah Palin watched Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell take the oath to fill out her term in office as Governor of Alaska. Then she vanished. For the past four months the Forty-Ninth State has seen neither hide nor hair of the woman. No speeches at chambers of commerce luncheons. No sightings on the street. No Sarah cheering on the sideline at Wasilla Warriors girls basketball games. No Sarah sitting in the pew on Sunday worshiping at the ChangePoint and Anchorage Baptist Temple evangelical mega churches. She’s been gone. Disappeared.

It now turns out that while Alaskans were hunkering down for winter Sarah was in San Diego working for a woman named Lynn Vincent, the ghostwriter HarperCollins hired to cobble together Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah’s first person account of her it-only-would-happen-in-America rise from small town mayor to small state governor to Republican Vice Presidential candidate to popular culture icon.

Since Tuesday when Going Rogue was released nationwide copies of the book have been flying off the shelves at Barnes & Noble in Boise and Grand Rapids and not flying off the shelves in San Francisco and Seattle.

Since I already have enough to read, I had intended to give Going Rogue a pass until I had time this weekend to motor over to the Anchorage Barnes & Noble and give Ms. Vincent’s word-smithing a skim. But on Monday I learned that I’m in the book. Not surprisingly, that piqued my interest. And then yesterday a friend lent me a copy.

I’ve now read it. Here’s the review.

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Alaska Fights Federal Government to Reverse Polar Bear Threatened Species Status

Polar bears stranded on melting ice.

Polar bears stranded on melting Arctic ice floes.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he has the best interest of polar bears at heart, but he doesn’t intend to let the federal government’s expanded protection for bears get in the way of the state’s continued prosperity.

Like his predecessor, Sarah Palin, the governor is suing the federal government to overturn the listing of the iconic symbol of the Arctic as a threatened species, a move made last year that he believes could threaten Alaska’s lifeblood: petroleum development.

“Currently some are attempting to improperly use the Endangered Species Act to shut down resource development,” Parnell says. “I’m not going to let this happen on my watch.”

As Alaska North Slope wells dry up, the state is turning to potential offshore discoveries to refill the Trans-Alaska pipeline and ensure the long-term prospects of a $26 billion proposed natural gas pipeline. Protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act could thwart that, Parnell says, adding that they’re not needed.

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Alaskans Await Progress on Palin Pipeline Plan

Strategic projects 30 years in the making - proposed routes for the Alaska and MacKenzie natural gas pipelines to western Canada and the lower 48 U.S. states

Strategic projects 30 years in the making - proposed routes for the Alaska and MacKenzie natural gas pipelines to western Canada and the lower 48 U.S. states

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Sarah Palin hit the vice presidential campaign trail last year and touted what Alaska could provide for the rest of America — a natural gas pipeline to help lead the country to energy independence.

When a pipeline might be built remains a giant question for Alaskans who need the project to support a vulnerable economy and for the Lower 48 states that need the gas. But an expert who spent more than 25 years in the Alaska Department of Revenue says it may never happen under Palin’s plan.

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Alaska’s North Slope Mapped for Polar Bears Habitat

Alaskan habitat mapped for polar bears.

Alaskan habitat mapped for polar bears.

A vast swath of icy sea, barrier islands and coastal land on Alaska’s oil-rich North Slope will be granted special protection because of its importance to the threatened polar bear, under a proposal released this week by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The agency proposes that 518,000 sq km of coastline and shallow Arctic Ocean waters be designated as critical habitat, a status of heightened protection afforded under the Endangered Species Act.

The area, which would be the largest ever designated for an Endangered Species Act-listed population, overlaps the territory with the largest existing oil fields in the United States where companies operate and plan to explore more.

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Still Waiting for Sarah Palin Emails – One Year Later

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Public records requests made more than a year ago for Sarah Palin’s e-mails still haven’t been filled by the state, and the Alaska Democratic Party chairwoman alleges it’s an attempt to bury the past.

I think they’re hiding something, I think this is a travesty of justice,” state Democratic Party Chairwoman Patti Higgins said Wednesday. “The law says they have 10 days to do it.”

Public records in Alaska are generally supposed to be provided within 10 days, although the state can extend the deadline for more complicated requests.

State officials say this is no cover-up, but rather a case of massive requests that have overwhelmed the state’s resources. Assistant Attorney General David Jones said the 11 largest public-records requests from last year remain unfilled; most of them, he said, require the review of between 2,900 and 30,000 documents.

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