Alaska News

Mallott, Walker Talk of Joining Forces

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-09-01 16:10

Download Audio

The deadline for making candidacy changes for the November general election ballot is tomorrow and talks have reportedly been going between Democrat Gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott and independent candidate Bill Walker about a possible unity ticket. Just how that would be done and what would become of running mates Craig Fleener and Hollis French remains to be seen. The Mallott campaign said the media can expect some sort of availability Tuesday.

Categories: Alaska News

Change Coming to Lower Kuskokwim School District

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-09-01 16:08

Download Audio

Students returned to classes recently across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Jacob Jensen says change is on the horizon for the district with the largest number of rural students in the state.

This year, the Lower Kuskokwim School District has new leadership at several schools. Superintendent, Jacob Jensen, says of the five schools in Bethel, three have had principal turnovers. Jensen.

“So we have three new principals. So the principal at Gladys Jung is the principal that’s been with LKSD for quite a long time at LKSD, I believe he’s on year 12, Chris Carmichael. The principal over at Immersion is a longtime LKSD employee, Mike Smith, who had retired and decided it did not suit him and came back. And then the new principal at BRHS has been a principal in Alaska for, I think nine years, her name is Elizabeth Balcerek,” Jensen said.

The district is looking to reorganize behind the scenes. Right now, the district does a lot of what’s called site-based management, which means schools and principals have a lot of autonomy to do things like, set their own calendar, run their own lunch programs and hire their own staff. But Jenson said LKSD, for a number of reasons, is looking at more centralization.

“Possibly looking at things like having a centralized food service, as opposed to having each individual site kind of run their own, centralizing a lot of our technology has already happened,” Jensen said.

“We’re looking at possibly maintenance, you know centralizing that. You know purchasing. We try to order the same types of vehicles and snow machines and four wheelers but we don’t really have any policies about that. So kinda looking at all those type of things.”

Jensen said LKSD is one of a handful of school districts in rural Alaska that still allows schools such autonomy. He says while local input and control are important for the district, officials may have to make serious budget changes in response to pressure from limited state and federal funds. He says the district can be more efficient with some centralized services.

Besides consolidating management of LKSD, Jensen says, district-wide accreditation is another major goal he hopes to accomplish this year.  Jensen says, also new this year, students will take fewer tests. That’s a result of the state’s waiver from No Child Left Behind.

“As far as the waiver, it doesn’t do a whole lot different other than listeners should know that it was by this year all of our students had to be 100 percent proficient, which was an unrealistic goal,” he said. “So the state got a waiver and now we’re working on what is called a growth model so we’re making sure that kids are growing each and every year.”

In addition, the state high school graduation exam is no longer being given due to a proposal by Governor Sean Parnell that was approved by the state legislature this past year.

“It made it difficult for some students that could not pass that high school graduation exam,” Jensen said.

“It caused some difficulties for some students who wanted to get into the military and go on to post-secondary options. I thinking it was a good idea when they put it in place. It was a little bit difficult in implementation. So, what’s happening now is that kids just have to meet the qualifying criteria of the school district.”

Jensen says two other state tests have also been eliminated, the ‘Terra-Nova’ and the State of Alaska Standards Based Assessment test also known as the SBA, which is being replaced with the Alaska Measures of Progress Test, or AMP. Students will take the AMP online. Jensen also notes that all children in the district can now eat breakfast and lunch for free. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast do better in school, and Jensen says he’s hopes the meals will help students excel.

The Lower Kuskokwim School District stretches about 100-thousand square miles and is about the same size as the state of Ohio. The district, made up by 28 schools with more than 4,000 students, has an operating budget of about $80 million.

Categories: Alaska News

Freedom Summer Marks 50th Anniversary

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-09-01 16:06

Download Audio

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, when civil rights activists from across the United States joined together to register black voters in the Deep South. It was a summer marred by violence and filled with hope for much of the country. But in Alaska,things were different.

Rosa Foster darts around her small kitchen making oatmeal. Formal china is on the table, family photos line the walls and shelves. The hyperactive 81 year old jumps –from story to story as she puts away the tub of margarine and box of sugar.

We settle onto the couch in her crowded den, the TV constantly on in the background. She alternates between telling more stories and answering her phone as her oatmeal grows cold.

Foster moved to Anchorage from Virginia in 1961 with her husband, who was in the military, and their two young children. She says she met her neighbors, who were all welcoming.

Foster recalls the intricate details of getting her first job as a third grade teacher at Fairview Elementary. The way she tells it, she went to the school district administration and demanded exactly where she would teach and what level.

She was one of the first black teachers in the city but she says she didn’t feel like any of the other teachers or the students treated her any differently, not like in Virginia.

Foster says when they bought a house in Airport Heights in 1963, some of her friends were a bit concerned.

But her friend thought the Fosters might be okay since they both had white-collar jobs. Foster says she became fast friends with her neighbors and taught them about her family’s way of doing things.

Williams says he decided to join them and he did find a place where people of different colors were friends.

He says there were black-owned construction companies building for the government and black-owned clubs serving the community. But not everyone agrees that Anchorage was a relative utopia in terms of race relations. Richard Watts Jr. moved to Anchorage as a small boy in 1949.

In 1951, the home of a black family in Rogers Park was torched. After that, Watts’ parents helped start the Anchorage NAACP. Watts says the black community was only allowed to live in certain parts of town.

No one would sell them a house in west Anchorage, so his family bought a home in the eastern part of Nunaka Valley. To shop, they drove to the Carrs Brothers on Gambell in Fairview because the store sold things like pigs feet and chitlins for cooking southern soul food.

So in 1963, when Watts was 16, the NAACP started a boycott. For three weeks Watts joined others picketing in front of the store. And when the boycott ended, he was hired as a bagger.

Watts says it was a comfortable place to work, and he was quickly promoted. Within a few years he was a store manager, then a director of groceries. Now he’s in charge of the beverage and tobacco divisions.

But Rosa Foster says not all of the stores were as progressive as Carrs. She recalls trying to buy shoes at JC Penny’s for her children and being ignored by the sales clerk.

She hurries off to answer another call, her cold breakfast long forgotten.

Categories: Alaska News

Forecasters Keeping Eye Out for an El Nino

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-09-01 16:05



Normal
0




false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE













MicrosoftInternetExplorer4














DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99"
LatentStyleCount="267">
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/>


















UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/>
Name="Default Paragraph Font"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/>

UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/>

UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/>



/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Download Audio

Weather forecasters have their eye out for an El Nino this fall and winter. The equatorial Pacific Ocean warming has been observed in its early stages this summer.  National Weather Service Alaska region climate science and services manager Rick Thoman is tracking conditions that signal El Nino.

 

Categories: Alaska News

Complaints Filed Against Statewide Public Officials

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-09-01 16:03



Normal
0




false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE













MicrosoftInternetExplorer4














DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99"
LatentStyleCount="267">
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/>


















UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/>
Name="Default Paragraph Font"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/>

UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/>

UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/>



/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Download Audio

Three Kenai Peninsula residents have filed complaints with the Alaska Public Offices Commission against statewide public officials for failure to disclose gifts.

Categories: Alaska News

Heat Pumps Tap Ocean’s Thermal Energy

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-09-01 16:02

Engineering consultant Andy Baker says the thermal energy in the ocean is clean, efficient, unlimited. (Photo by Robert Woolsey. KCAW-Sitka)

Download Audio

Using seawater to heat large buildings in Alaska is no longer a pipe dream.

Andy Baker, an engineer with YourCleanEnergy LLC, helped design an ocean-sourced heat pump system for the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward which will pay back the community’s investment in less than nine years — just in fuel savings.

Baker spoke to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce about practical applications for a technology that has quickly moved from theory into reality.

There’s a big difference between talking about an innovative heating system that’s on the drawing board, and talking about one that’s now used in places like Seward, NOAA’s research lab in Auke Bay, and the Whistler Village and Convention Center in Vancouver.

Baker described how the thermal energy carried in the current along Alaska’s coastline originated on the equator. Resurrection Bay, which supplies the Seward SeaLife Center, has a staggering amount of energy available.

Baker tried to describe it in terms Alaskans might understand:

“Here’s the real ah-ha picture. This was taken by the CEO of the SeaLife Center in 2009. In November, the seawater temperature is 50 degrees, the outdoor air temperature is 22. You see the latent heat of that body of water. It’s just a big hot tub steaming off. This bay is two miles wide and 11 miles long. So we’ve calculated the volume of the bay, and we know it raises 15 degrees in temperature over each summer season. We calculated how much heat that was, and if you tried to heat that bay using the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, you would have to burn it for 50 days, 600,000 barrels a day, at 85-percent efficiency. So it’s 20 percent of TAPS, in just one bay.”

The disparity between ocean and air temperatures in the fall in Seward is because of the warm current. The difference isn’t quite as extreme in Sitka, but the result is the same: A basically limitless supply of seawater at a stable temperature that never freezes.

Baker says the taxpayer-owned SeaLife Center turned off its two oil-fired boilers in 2012 and began to realize savings of $10,000 a month in fuel, or $120,000 a year. This will pay back the original investment in a little under nine years.

Air-source heat pumps have been gaining ground in Sitka. Blatchley Middle School has heat pumps, the remodeled Harrigan Centennial Hall is slated to get them, and dozens of homeowners have installed residential versions.

Only the Sitka Sound Science Center has been actively pursuing seawater heat pumps, and has installed an upgraded seawater intake for its aquarium that can be adapted to heat pumps.

Baker says there’s a common misconception that heat pumps circulate corrosive seawater. Not true. The seawater raises the temperature of a coolant loop through a heat exchanger, and then is returned to the ocean.

And for corrosion-resistance, the heat exchanger — like the one in Seward — is made from titanium.

“And so this is really the star of the system,” Baker said “There’s no moving parts. That’s a $28,000 unit. It’s about 7-feet tall. There are 126 plates in it. In advance of it is an in-line filter that traps particles, so we don’t have clogging in the plate exchanger. And the Science Center here is looking at having a similar system — similar hardware, but on a smaller scale. And this is one of the most important investments. If you do this right and size it right, you’ll have plenty of heat coming into your system.”

Baker also discussed expanding a seawater system beyond a single building — into a neighborhood district. The concept is already in use in Scandanavia. It functions like any utility, electricity or drinking water, but it this case it would be a coolant loop. Residents could connect heat pumps to it, or not. And cities understand pipes.

“For the city it just means that they’re not in the heat business, they’re just pumping a loop of cold water around. That’s something you already do with your water system.”

Baker touched on some other advantages of seawater-sourced heat pumps: Unlike air-source, they don’t become inefficient as the air cools down. Just the opposite. The greater the difference between the air temperature and the water source, the better they perform. There’s also no pollution — especially when the electricity is coming from hydropower.

Baker said that liability — which can be mitigated in other forms of alternative energy like biomass — is off the table for seawater heat pumps. He cited other tangible benefits like more jobs for people to run and maintain neighborhood districts, and lower costs for residents and businesses in the winter. But he said not all benefits would be tangible.

“If you do a project like this, people will start to identify your town with that innovation. People respect that. They look for that leadership.”

Baker says that the Seward project benefited from two grants from the Alaska Energy Authority’s emerging technology fund. He described the Alaska Renewable Energy grant fund as “more problematic,” since it assigns communities like Sitka and Juneau lower fuel costs than elsewhere. Baker felt that if the AEA accurately reflected the cost of oil in its grant formula, Sitka would have had seawater heat pumps last year.

Categories: Alaska News

Ketchikan Welcomes New US Citizens

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-09-01 16:01



Normal
0




false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE













MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

























































































































































/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Download Audio

Eighteen Ketchikan residents became U.S. citizens a few days ago. The ceremony took place in the courtroom of Ketchikan’s historic downtown federal building.

Categories: Alaska News

State Ferry Union Averts Strike

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 16:43

Alaska Marine Highway System captains and deck officers have avoided a strike that could have shut down ferry service across the state this weekend.

Download Audio:

The ferry LeConte docks in Skagway in 2009. (J Webber/Creative Commons)

Instead, the International Organization of Master, Mates and Pilots will return to the bargaining table with state officials. Earlier this month, the union rejected a tentative contract agreement that included no pay increase this year, a 1 percent raise next year and a 2 percent increase in 2016. MMP asked the state to reopen negotiations, or members would go on strike this Saturday.

Union representative Ron Bressette (briss-ette) says the proposed wage increase does not go far enough, and will force members to continue working overtime.

“They have to man the ships and they just don’t have adequate personnel to do that anymore. So one of the concerns is that they have to look at paying the deck officers enough and paying them an industry standard wage in order to recruit and retain new deck officers as well as keep the deck officers that they currently have.”

Administration Commissioner Curtis Thayer says Alaska Marine Highway workers are already well compensated, and the state needs to shrink the agency’s growing budget.

“They’re in line with what has been accepted with the other bargaining units across the state. The wages are the same. The state is in a fiscal situation where we don’t have a lot of money to give.”

Both sides have signed an agreement to reopen negotiations as soon as possible with a federal mediator. If mediation fails, language in the agreement says either party could declare an impasse, setting up binding arbitration.

Masters, Mates and Pilots represents about 100 licensed captains and deck officers.

The largest union for state ferry workers agreed this week to a contract similar to the one rejected by MMP. The Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific represents about 650 Alaska Marine Highway employees. A third ferry workers’ union – the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association – has yet to vote on its tentative contract agreement.

Categories: Alaska News

Appeals Court To Rehear Tongass Exemption Case

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 16:41

The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit released an announcement today (Friday) that it would rehear the Tongass Roadless Rule exemption case.

Download Audio:

The Roadless Rule was established more than a decade ago, but the Tongass was granted an exemption. A lawsuit challenging that exemption was filed in 2009 by a coalition of conservation groups and the Organized Village of Kake. A U.S. District Court judge agreed with the petitioners, but the State of Alaska appealed that decision to the Ninth Circuit.

In March, a three-judge panel of the appeals court issued an opinion that the Roadless Rule should not apply to Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. But, Friday’s announcement states that the full 11-judge panel will review the case.

Categories: Alaska News

Comment Period on FEMA Disaster Declaration To Close

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 16:41

Sunday, Aug. 31, is the deadline for comments to FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on a policy carrying out a law that would allow tribes to request emergency and major disaster declarations.

Download Audio:

As it is now, only state governors can request a federal disaster declaration. Tribes had requested the change saying it would save time if they didn’t have to wait for state action when they’re often the only governmental entity in the area.

Ken Murphy, director of FEMA region ten, which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho, says requests for disaster declarations do have strings attached:

“hazard mitigation plan.”

FEMA in most cases only pays for 75 percent of the disaster and the government, in this case the tribal government, would be responsible for 25% of the cost. And then, some of the paperwork that’s required, such as having an emergency operations plan, or a hazard mitigation plan, are a part of the disaster declaration process.

Some tribes have already suggested that the criteria be changed to accommodate smaller tribes.

A summary of comments received as of August 8th is available at the FEMA website. The agency is accepting comments electronically at its website through Sunday.

Categories: Alaska News

Cold, Wet Front Drops 3 Inches of Snow On Deadhorse

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 16:40

A cold front is ushering in wet, chilly conditions across much of the state. The Alaska Department of Transportation reported three inches of snow in Deadhorse earlier this afternoon.

Download Audio:

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Berg in Fairbanks is tracking the system sweeping in from the northwest.

Snow is expected in the northern Brooks Range and North Slope through today (Friday). It will remain rain to the south, but a seasonal wakeup call, the first widespread frost is expected across the interior as skies clear tonight and early tomorrow (Saturday).

For much of Southcentral Alaska, temperatures on Sunday morning are expected to be in the 30′s. In the northern Susitna valley, temps could dip into the 20′s.

Berg expects the cool down to continue into next week.

Decreasing daylight contributes to the cooling. Fairbanks is losing more than six minutes of light per day, and Anchorage is losing more than five minutes per day.

Categories: Alaska News

‘You’ve Got To Defend It’ – Denali Celebrates Wilderness Act 50th

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 16:39

Denali National Park is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act in the next weeks. A series of events marking the historic conservation legislation is planned.

Download Audio:

Denali Park spokeswoman Kris Fister says the park’s been hosting events throughout the summer about the Wilderness Act. She says tonight’s talk by Keim at the Murie Science and Learning Center talk will outline the history of the landmark environmental legislation – and the challenges that lie ahead.

Frank Keim treks through fall foliage last month during the Northern Alaska Environmental Center’s 18th annual Run for the Refuge. This year, Keim led the center’s annual celebration of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Credit Northern Alaska Environmental Center

“He will be taking an in-depth look at the Wilderness Act,” Fister said, “exploring the intent of its founders and their aspirations for the future.”

Keim says he’ll talk about his personal connection to wild places, which he’s chronicled over the years through his writings and photos, and share some thoughts about why it’s essential to preserve those places.

“I do this with photos that I’ve taken over the last 40 years in these wildernesses, in these wild places that I’ve been in, that I’ve traveled in. By canoe, trekking, rafting, et cetera,” he said.

Keim has seen a lot of that backcountry since coming to Alaska in 1961, both as an explorer and guide. He graduated from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and taught there before heading out west to work as a schoolteacher for 21 years in the Yukon River delta.

He’s a writer, poet, photographer and longtime environmentalist. He helped commemorate the first Earth Day at UAF, and helped found the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. And he’s served on its board and in leadership positions with the Audubon Society.

Keim says he’s gained a deep appreciation for wild places after a lifetime of tramping about in them. And he’s come to understand the importance of preserving them.

In an interview at his home in the Goldstream Valley, Keim says protecting wild places is an ongoing challenge that wilderness advocates must be prepared to meet in the coming years.

“Just because you’ve got the wilderness doesn’t mean it’s going to stay forever,” he said. “You’ve got to defend it, you know, you’ve got to protect it.”

Keim says that’s why he looks forward to presentations like tonight’s, so he can pass along that message – especially to young people, to prepare them to take up the challenge and take over leadership of the environmental movement.

Categories: Alaska News

Alaska News Nightly: August 29, 2014

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 16:38

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn

Download Audio:

State Ferry Union Averts Strike

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska Marine Highway System captains and deck officers have avoided a strike that could have shut down ferry service across the state this weekend.

Juneau Police Reach Community One Cup Of Coffee At A Time

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

With the recent unrest in Ferguson, Mo., police departments across the country are under a lot of scrutiny. Questions are being raised about use of force, police militarization and racial profiling.

Comment Period on FEMA Disaster Declaration To Close

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Sunday, Aug. 31, is the deadline for comments to FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on a policy carrying out a law that would allow tribes to request emergency and major disaster declarations.

Cold, Wet Front Drops 3 Inches of Snow On Deadhorse

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A cold front is ushering in wet, chilly conditions across much of the state. The Alaska Department of Transportation reported three inches of snow in Deadhorse earlier this afternoon.

‘You’ve Got To Defend It’ – Denali Celebrates Wilderness Act 50th

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Denali National Park is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act in the next weeks. A series of events marking the historic conservation legislation is planned.

NSF Earmarks $1.5M for Native Students Studying STEM Subjects

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

A $1.5 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation will fund a five-year pilot project to help American Indian and Alaska Native college students achieve advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM subjects.

AK: Haines Songwriter Dreams Big, Courts Her Inspiration’s Ear

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

It’s hard not to dream big among the tall mountains and wild sea in Southeast Alaska – especially in Haines where Christy Tengs serves dreamers and misfits alike in her family’s downtown institution, the Pioneer Bar and Bamboo Room. Even she has a dream – to meet the famous person who has inspired her and propelled her to become a star in her hometown.

300 Villages: Anvik

This week we’re heading to the Yukon River community of Anvik. William Koso is the mayor of Anvik.

Categories: Alaska News

NSF Earmarks $1.5M for Native Students Studying STEM Subjects

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 16:38

A $1.5 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation will fund a five-year pilot project to help American Indian and Alaska Native college students achieve advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM subjects.

Download Audio:

National Science Foundation program officer Sally O’Connor says the “Lighting the Pathway” project is aimed at full-time college students, undergraduate or graduate, majoring in science, math, computer science, or engineering. She says NSF wants to encourage Native Americans with an aptitude for STEM subjects to reach their full potential. “There is so much talent in the Native community,” says O’Connor, “and it’s mainly untapped. And hopefully this project will make a little dent into that and bring out the talent so that they can become leaders in our country.”

O’Connor says several factors contribute to the low number of Native Americans with advanced degrees and tenured faculty positions:  a lack of role models in STEM, and inadequate academic training, which she says is related to inadequate funding of schools on reservations and in rural areas. “I mean if we provide them with the same resources we give the best schools in the cities, those students would be well prepared,” said O’Connor. “But the sad fact is, that is not happening.”

Participants will receive a stipend of $2,500 dollars over two years, plus funding to travel to meetings and program events. Each student will be teamed up with a mentor, an expert in the field they’re studying, to set goals and get some training and support to achieve them. The project itself will be evaluated to find out what works and what doesn’t, to help in the design of future programs.

Herb Schroeder is Vice Provost and Founder of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP, at University of Alaska Anchorage. He says the mentoring is important to get students socially and academically prepared for college. But he says ANSEP starts at an earlier age. This year, it’s working with 868 kids in middle school. “In our mid school, 83% of the kids finish algebra 1 before they graduate from 8th grade. And the national average for that is 26%,” says Schroeder. “So, then they’re on track in their freshman and high school. They can immediately take math and science courses from university professors that count for university credit and high school credit. And that’s how we’re getting the students hyper prepared.”

Schroeder says students can also apply for scholarships through ANSEP. “The students, once they arrive at the university, are eligible for scholarship funds. It’s merit based scholarships that are five thousand dollars a year. Plus we connect the students with internships with all of our partner organizations so they can make up the difference that they need to go to school.

And for the students who go to graduate school, ANSEP kicks up the financial support. “Once they’re in graduate school, we offer stipends for students for masters and PhD students of $30,000 total over the course of their graduate studies,” says Schroeder. “Plus we pay their tuition and connect them with research projects so that they can complete their degree programs.”

To provide that level of support, ANSEP has 70 partners who help support the $7.5 million dollar program.  Still, Schroeder hopes ANSEP students will be able to take advantage of the national program. “I’ll certainly encourage my students to apply for some of that funding,” says Schroeder. “Every dollar helps.”

For more information, visit the American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s webpage.

Categories: Alaska News

3 Officials Accused of Failing to Disclose Gifts

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 13:58

Three Kenai Peninsula residents have filed complaints with the Alaska Public Offices Commission against statewide public officials for failure to disclose gifts.

The three complaints were all filed August 25th with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, or APOC.

They were filed against Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell, and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, Ed Fogels.

Homer resident Elaine Chalup filed the complaint against Fogels. It states that in 2013, he failed to report attending the Kenai River Classic and accepting numerous gifts from the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, or KRSA. The Classic is a fundraising event for fisheries education, research, and management.

Fogels says he did report the attendance and gifts, but not to APOC.

“I did disclose it internally, with our departmental ethics process, to our ethics officer. That was filed with the Department of Law. So, it was all in the open,” Fogels says. “I did not realize I was also supposed to file that with APOC, so that was my mistake.”

He says he’s already taken steps to rectify the problem.

“As soon as the complaint was originally filed on me, I called APOC to find out and verify and I found out that I had made a mistake. I went back right away and amended my APOC filing for 2013.”

According to the KRSA financial disclosure forms for that year, Fogels was given a gift estimated at $6. That’s the estimate for a pair of gloves. Other items KRSA gave out included a shirt, a baseball cap, a jacket, and a gear bag. In total, they are worth about $162. But, KRSA notes that promotional items with KRSA’s name on them do not count as gifts, so that reduces the gift amount to just the $6 pair of gloves.

Fogels’ disclosed gifts came to a much higher dollar value.

“My disclosure for 2013 was that the total value of the gifts were for $565 and the gift was for meals, and the fishing down there to participate in the event.”

Another Homer resident, Garland Blanchard, filed the complaint against Commissioner Campbell. According to the filing documents, Blanchard shares a PO Box with Chalup. The complaint states that in 2011, Campbell failed to report attending the Classic or accepting numerous gifts. KRSA discloses Campbell received a gift estimated at five dollars, which was the cost of the pair of gloves in that year. Campbell was unable to be reached for comment by deadline. Her office stated she is out of the office for a few days.

Kasilof resident Benjamin Clare filed the complaint against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. It states that Treadwell failed to report his daughter attended the Classic in 2013, failed to report the gifts she accepted, and failed to report the waived entry fee of $5,000.

According to Treadwell’s financial disclosure documents, he reported a gift in the $250-1000 range.

Treadwell was approached for comment. He declined to speak on tape, but said he would be requesting that the complaint be dismissed and said it is not valid and is groundless.

Treadwell, Campbell,and Fogels have until Sept. 11 to file their responses.

Categories: Alaska News

GUBERNATORIAL FISHERIES DEBATE

APRN Alaska News - Fri, 2014-08-29 10:54

Candidates for Alaska governor will be in Kodiak on August 28 to take part in a unique debate that focuses on a single topic:  Alaska’s seafood industry. Airing live on KSKA and statewide from 7:00  to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 28.

Listen now:

“Chinook salmon, Yukon Delta NWR.” (Photo: Craig Springer, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Incumbent Governor Sean Parnell faces stiff competition from two opponents: Democratic candidate Byron Mallott and Independent candidate Bill Walker.

Since 1990 Kodiak has hosted fisheries debates for candidates vying both for Alaska governor and U.S. Congress.  The event has always attracted 100 percent participation by candidates.

“The fishing industry is Alaska’s biggest employer, and it produces over 60 percent of our nation’s wild caught seafood. Seafood also is Alaska’s top export by far,” said Trevor Brown, director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event.  “The fisheries debate lets candidates share their knowledge and ideas about this vital industry to a statewide audience.”

The fisheries debate is set for Thursday, August 28th from 7-9 p.m. at the Kodiak High School auditorium. The lively format will include written questions from the audience and ‘lightening rounds’ where candidates compete to ring in first to answer questions. There is no admission charge to attend.

For a live webstream of the event, visit Kodiak Public Broadcasting’s website at http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6007.

Sponsors for the governor candidates’ fisheries debate include: Alaska Groundfish Data Bank , Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, Trident Seafoods, Kodiak Island Borough, City of Kodiak, Horizon Lines, Samson Tug & Barge, Alaskan Leader Fisheries, Groundfish Forum and Alaskan Quota & Permits in Petersburg.

Categories: Alaska News

Pages