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From Our Listeners
Southeast Alaska News
FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks will once again have a local drop-in center for people with mental illness, months after the previous provider dissolved amid financial problems.
The daytime center will be located at Fairbanks Community Mental Health Services, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. The center is set to open Jan. 6.
The service will be staffed by volunteers and will provide games, television, a light lunch and a place to socialize. It will be open weekdays between noon and 4 p.m.
ANCHORAGE — As the deadline to certify an initiative to ban setnetting nears, fishing groups are filing legal opinions with the state opposing the measure.
The Kenai Area Fisherman’s Coalition and the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association have each sent a letter to the state offering a legal opinion on the ban. The Alaska Salmon Alliance also plans to weigh in.
ANCHORAGE — Being a mechanical contractor is Nick Pepperworth’s day job. His second job — although he won’t admit it — is being a hero.
Over the last seven years he has raised more than $198,000 for Alaska’s Salvation Army through its online Red Kettle campaign and annual Season of Giving fundraiser lunch that kicks off every bell ringing season.
Pebbles and Jacques will be home for Christmas, even if home is the Gastineau Humane Society shelter.
The queen-sized tortoiseshell cat, Pebbles, has been in and out of the shelter for at least the past seven years. Jacques, a skittish retired sled dog, came to the shelter in September 2012 and — according to GHS Executive Director Chava Lee — has no intentions of ever leaving.
And that’s okay by the volunteers and veterinary technicians who take care of the animals — dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits and chinchillas — every day.
Don’t start the New Year singing, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” Several local agencies have holiday safety tips to keep you, the little ones and your furry friends happy, healthy and all in one piece.
The Juneau Empire gathered all the following safety advice from the SouthEast Regional Health Consortium, the American Red Cross of Alaska and the Gastineau Humane Society so everyone can have a happy and safe holiday season.
Hundreds of Ketchikan residents gathered at Ketchikan General Hospital on Christmas Eve
to pray. Standing in a cold, light drizzle of rain, they cheerfully circled the entire hospital, linked hands and prayed for those inside the building. The group, led by organizer Rhonda
Bolling, also sang Silent Night and ended the event with The Wave.
Here is an audio postcard of the second annual prayer circle.
An old hemlock tree fell on a transmission line this weekend in Sitka, causing a three hour city wide power outage.
The outage started at 11:38 p.m. Friday(12/20/13) when the fallen tree broke an insulator on three main conductors that transfer hydro power from Green Lake and Blue Lake into town. The tree trunk is alongside Sawmill Creek Road between the Raptor Center and the Indian River bridge. Its proximity to the road made it easier for crews to respond. Power was completely restored by 3:15 a.m. on Saturday.
Christopher Brewton, the Utility Director for the City and Borough of Sitka, says they were able to figure out fairly quickly where the line had failed. ”Our Blue Lake plant is manned 24/7 so we always have an operator on duty. So, typically on a system of outage of this magnitude they instantly know that there’s big trouble. Calling and asking them what is going on isn’t really in your best interest. That’s going to slow down our restoration process.”
Brewton says Sitkans should feel free to contact the Electric Department if they are the only ones experiencing an outage. But, if the entire neighborhood loses power, its best to wait it out.
Moorage rates in Sitka’s harbors are going up next week. Invasive tunicates are being monitored in ANB harbor – there’s no immediate cause for concern. An old hemlock tree fell on transmission lines this weekend in Sitka causing a three hour city wide power outage. Alaska Public Radio Network reporters present Clement Clark Moore’s The Night Before Christmas.
The Salvation Army in Petersburg wrapped up its distribution of Christmas food baskets and gifts to children and families in need on Friday. The church and its volunteers gives out holiday turkeys and other food supplies right before Thanksgiving and Christmas each year and also has a program for people to donate gifts to local youngsters. Joe Viechnicki talked with Salvation Army lieutenants Caleb and Christin Fankhauser Friday just after the food distribution and asked about how the season’s gone so far.
For mobile-friendly audio, click here:
Donations through the red kettle program will be collected downtown through Christmas Day.
Southeast Alaska’s Dungeness crab fleet has exceeded expectations for the season, thanks to a strong catch during October and November.
“The fall season looked pretty good compared to past seasons. We came in at right at a million pounds for the fall season,” said Adam Messmer, Fish and Game’s assistant shellfish manager for Southeast.
The last two years, the fall catch has been around half that. The increase comes despite a drop in the number of crabbers out fishing this fall, with 87 permits fished in October and November. The million pounds of crab puts the combined summer and fall catch at 2.6 million pounds, well above the projected catch from the first week of the summer season.
“The projection was at 2.17 (million), which was below our threshold for 2.25, that’s why we had a shortened season for the summer, to try and take that into account,” said Messmer, adding “But, the fall season, nobody really knew it was gonna be as good as it was.”
Most of the region has a two-month summer and two-month fall season. The summer season was shortened by one week this year because of a low projected catch.
This year’s combined summer and fall catch tops last years and is on par with the catch from the year before that. It’s still well below annual harvests that have sometimes topped five million pounds during the past decade.
The price during this year’s fall season was similar to last year, at $2.53 a pound. That means the value of the fall catch was over two and a half million dollars at the dock.
A few areas near Sitka and Ketchikan remain open to Dungeness crabbing through the end of February.
Trying to stay in front of holiday calamity, Santa puts his best boot forward and assures young listeners that problems with his new website will not affect this year’s delivery of presents. With North Pole social media chief #Blinky@Blinky and KCAW’s Robert Woolsey.
Listen to iFriendly audio.
You hear them every single weeknight of the year, on Alaska News Nightly, bringing you the events of the day from our huge state.
But how well do you really know them?
This is Clement Clark Moore’s holiday classic, The Night Before Christmas — from some of the most familiar voices on our airwaves.
Shady Grove Oliver
Ariel Van Cleave
Anna Rose MacArthur
Thanks to Ariel Van Cleave at KBBI in Homer for creating our News Before Christmas!
ANCHORAGE — London-based mining giant Rio Tinto announced Monday it plans to conduct a review of the Pebble Mine prospect in southwest Alaska, including whether to cut its ties with the proposed project.
The company said in a statement that the strategic review will consider whether the project fits with the “strategy of investing in and operating long life and expandable assets.”
ANCHORAGE — The rent for the Anchorage Legislative Office will increase five-fold once renovations are complete.
The state has entered into a 10-year, no-bid agreement with developer Mark Pfeffer for the downtown Anchorage location, where Anchorage lawmakers have their non-session offices, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
The rent will be $3.4 million a year, and Anchorage brokers, developers and others in real estate said there were properties in midtown that would be cheaper.
ANCHORAGE — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Monday rejected a proposed land swap with the state of Alaska to build a road through a remote Alaska national wildlife refuge that shelters millions of migratory waterfowl.
CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster says hunters who donate wild game to food banks should be eligible for a tax deduction to cover the costs of processing.
The bill she’s introduced with Congressman Don Young of Alaska also would provide tax credits for processors who take part in charitable donation programs, and protect against the use of spoiled meat for charitable donations. A similar bill was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York earlier this year.
Signature gatherers for a petition to raise the minimum wage in Alaska have collected more than 32,000 signatures, according to petition sponsor Ed Flanagan.
“We’re in good shape and we’re going to make it,” Flanagan said.
Federal funding through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act will be exempt from sequestration next year, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office.
The Secure Rural Schools program was created to stabilize funding for schools and roads in rural areas — like Southeast Alaska — where logging activity has declined.
The Alaska Constitution Party has put in a candidate for lieutenant governor.
Jim Moore of Haines filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission Monday.
The party’s leader, J.R. Myers, filed as a candidate for governor in October.
Because the Alaska Constitution Party is not recognized as a political party in Alaska, both candidates will have to gather signatures to qualify to appear on the general election ballot.
AUBURN, Maine — For 3 ½ years, a black stone urn of C.J. Twomey’s ashes has sat on a shelf in his parents’ Maine home, not far from the door he walked out of one beautiful April day shortly before shooting himself.
Now, his mother is using social media to enlist the help of strangers to scatter his ashes from Massachusetts to Japan in the hope that her adventure-loving son can become part of the world he left behind.