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It ought to be a holiday. Today that is. This is the official federal deadline for filing one's individual tax return. April 15 has been the deadline for Americans living in the United States since 1955. Before then, the deadline was March 15 and before that March 1. Other deadlines exist for Americans outside of the country, businesses and nonprofits.

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10/15/2012
CG proposals

Alaska wouldn't do well without the U.S. Coast Guard. With the advent of recent Arctic exploration and development, that dependence is growing.

Congress currently is writing the Coast Guard Authorization Act.

A few of the provisions key to Alaska involve expanding Arctic capabilities, assisting fishermen and preserving Coast Guard maritime history.

One key being proposed for inclusion in the final version of the act would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to study and report on the need for additional Coast Guard expertise in the Arctic.

Another proposal conveys the CGC Storis to the non-profit Storis Museum in Juneau. The vessel would be used to educate and memorialize the maritime heritage of the vessel and its activities in Alaska.

The final two proposals would protect Alaska fishermen from losing their permits by establishing them as property ineligible for seizure during legal actions, and exempt thousands of fishing vessels from one-size-fits-all permits pertaining to discharges.

All of these proposals are key to Alaskans; in some cases, to Alaska's visitors. Alaska's congressional delegation is intent on their inclusion in the Coast Guard act.

Alaskans are too.