Northwest Digest

Wire reports

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2005

House majority leader supports dismissal

JUNEAU - House Majority Leader John Coghill on Monday said he supports the decision to fire a Capitol security guard after a newspaper published a letter written by the guard about lawmakers and staff drinking alcohol in the Capitol.

Coghill said he had nothing to do with the Legislative Affairs Agency's decision to fire security guard Dan Bussard.

"All of us have our freedom of speech," Coghill said. "But it's also true that we are all accountable for what we say."

Coghill noted that his father Jack Coghill served in the Legislature in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, and enjoyed a "little shot of whiskey from time to time."

Bussard's letter was published in the Juneau Empire on Wednesday.

In it, Bussard wrote that it is not hard to find several people in different offices in the Capitol sitting around having a drink. He was fired soon after the letter was published.

House approves fish labeling resolution

JUNEAU - The state House of Representatives approved a resolution Monday, asking Congress to support labeling fish and fish products in the marketplace by country of origin and identifying whether the product is wild or farmed.

"It's so people know what they're getting and they can shop for the healthy, wild alternative," said the resolution's author, Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau.

House Joint Resolution 6 passed 37-0 with no debate and supports labeling of fresh, canned, smoked, cured and cooked fish and shellfish. The resolution, if approved by the state Senate, would be sent to President George W. Bush, Alaska's congressional delegation and the U.S. secretaries of agriculture and commerce.

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