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From Our Listeners

Alaska and Yukon Headlines

Swimmers impress in Yukon championship

Wed, 2014-04-30 13:13
Whitehorse Glacier Bear swimmers splashed to success at the Yukon Championship Invitational Meet this past weekend.

Yukon trio shines in Vancouver Sun Run

Wed, 2014-04-30 13:11
Three Yukon runners strung together impressive performances at the Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday.

In move toward sovereignty, BIA moves to allow tribal land trusts

Wed, 2014-04-30 12:37
In move toward sovereignty, BIA moves to allow tribal land trusts In a letter Wednesday, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said it will call for the removal of rules limiting tribes from placing land into trust -- a change that steps toward promoting tribal sovereignty in Alaska.April 30, 2014

The effects of climate change on human health in the North

Wed, 2014-04-30 12:33
The effects of climate change on human health in the North Northern residents need a strategy to adapt to changes that have imperiled food supplies, made conditions riskier for travel across the country and promoted wider spread of diseases among humans and animals, a Canadian research team says.   April 30, 2014

John Muir's adventures in Alaska stirringly recalled in new book

Wed, 2014-04-30 12:32
John Muir's adventures in Alaska stirringly recalled in new book Author Kim Heacox shines a new light on the northern travels of well-regarded naturalist John Muir, who made the first of his Alaska visits in 1879.April 30, 2014

Report: Human effect on climate raises big questions about Arctic's future

Wed, 2014-04-30 12:31
Report: Human effect on climate raises big questions about Arctic's future Some believe that the Earth is moving beyond its current geologic era and into what's known as the "Anthropocene," a period in which humans and their activities are driving change on the planet. A new study examines some of the biggest concerns for the Arctic in the Anthropocene.April 30, 2014

AK Beat: Former state Rep. Carl E. Moses passes away

Wed, 2014-04-30 07:25
AK Beat: Former state Rep. Carl E. Moses passes away Carl E. Moses, former state representative for the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula, has passed away.April 30, 2014

If water costs 65 cents a month in Anchorage, why is your AWWU bill more than $90?

Tue, 2014-04-29 20:11
If water costs 65 cents a month in Anchorage, why is your AWWU bill more than $90? In Anchorage, water is so plentiful that the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility said the actual average cost of the water used by a local household is just 65 cents a month. So where does the rest of the money charged in an AWWU bill go?April 29, 2014

New study helps scientists better understand the world of walruses

Tue, 2014-04-29 20:05
New study helps scientists better understand the world of walruses Scientists have discovered something of a sweet spot for walrus habitation in the northern Bering Sea, where ideal ice and weather conditions meet abundant food sources and create a haven for the hulking marine mammals.April 29, 2014

Making sure feral cats can't reproduce isn't enough to stop suffering

Tue, 2014-04-29 20:05
Making sure feral cats can't reproduce isn't enough to stop suffering OPINION: Spaying or neutering feral cats so they don't reproduce is not enough to prevent them from suffering in a cold, dangerous environment like Alaska, and it's not enough to prevent people from abandoning unwanted animals. Those of us who care about cats have to be strong enough to do the right thing.April 29, 2014

Researchers examine glaciers' effects on ocean acidification in Prince William Sound

Tue, 2014-04-29 20:03
Researchers examine glaciers' effects on ocean acidification in Prince William Sound Researchers suspect that melting glaciers pose a double-whammy for acidifying oceans, but this summer, three underwater "gliders" and sensors attached to a tour boat will be deployed in Prince William Sound to gather further information.April 29, 2014

Facing poor school attendance, Alaska educators turn to fines, prizes

Tue, 2014-04-29 20:02
Facing poor school attendance, Alaska educators turn to fines, prizes Sponsors of an ordinance before the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly say fines for excessive absences from school may help increase student attendance -- and, in turn, graduation rates. The fines would be levied at parents, while students ages 16 and older would pay the fines themselves.April 29, 2014

Gov. Parnell Says He Took Immediate Action On Sexual Assault Allegations

Tue, 2014-04-29 17:25

Governor Sean Parnell is defending his decision to wait four years to request a federal investigation into reports of a sexual assault problem in the Alaska National Guard. Anchorage Daily News columnist Shannyn Moore wrote Sunday that Parnell first learned about misconduct in the Guard in 2010, when he was approached by three guard chaplains. Parnell says he took those charges seriously, but lacked the details to prompt an investigation until February.

Governor Sean Parnell discusses his proposed FY15 budget. Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage.

He says after the initial concerns were raised, he went to Major General Thomas Katkus to make sure the systems were in place to protect guard members. Then in February, Parnell says he was able to talk with a guard member who provided specifics.

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Based on what you’ve heard from victims and others, how big of a problem do you think sexual assault is in the National Guard?

I think one allegation is too much and I take every allegation seriously, because I am concerned about Alaskans who suffer from sexual assault and violence. It’s been a core part of who I am fighting for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. So, I take every assault allegation seriously. So, in 2010 when the chaplains first came to speak with me and they made allegations that sexual assault was occurring on Guard members I questioned them and asked for detail, and they could not provide it because they were under duty of confidentiality to the people they counseled, but immediately after that I took action and went right to the Guard, to the general, and asked him to talk to me about what he knew of sexual assaults occurring in the Guard. And he went through the cases that had been filed at that time; spoke about how any cases that involved allegations of criminal activity, as in sexual assault, are not only investigated but they are also referred to local law enforcement – like the Anchorage Police Department. And I made sure that for the safety of the victims and any future victims in the Guard that there was, and is, a reporting process that’s safe for anybody in the Guard to utilize; that there’s an investigation process that is complete and accurate and directed that appropriate penalties be assessed. Now, that’s outside the criminal context, but the criminal context goes directly to law enforcement. I had only those general allegations of sexual assault, but I still took action to make sure that there was a system in place that works for victims of sexual assault.

Those general allegations persisted but they were the same allegations about events that occurred years ago. And then on Feb. 26th, Senator Dyson, came to me and said he had specific detail. Before when he spoke to me he had general allegations and he asked me to call a guard member who would provide me with specific detail about how the system wasn’t working. I made that contact within 24 hours of Sen. Dyson’s [call], personally spoke with a Guard member. That Guard member provided me with two instances where, if the allegations were substantiated, that the system would have failed our Guard member. And at that point, I realized I needed to get an independent assessment of the entire reporting and investigation structure. So I called in the National Guard Bureau, they have a complex investigation review team – I did that within 24 hours and that team is on the ground now in Alaska, doing their work to make sure that victims are safe.

Some people will think why was it four years? In hindsight do you wish you would have come forward four years ago, what do you think could have been done differently?

At the time I took immediate action to make sure that every victim of a sexual assault had been referred to law enforcement. I made sure that anyone who had concerns  about what was happening in the Guard had a safe reporting structure, but without specific detail about how the system was otherwise failing, that’s all I could do, is what I believed. And still believe that. But, on the other hand, once I got specific information about how the structure was actually failing, in other words the who, what, where, when why – the same thing you reporters ask – even though I pressed for that earlier and nobody could or would provide me with that, the second I got that kind of information I took immediate action with the National Guard Bureau to get them in there and get an independent look at what was happening.

Talk more about the specifics? What exactly were you needing for you to have that ability to actually ask for an investigation?

So, 4 years ago I was told there is a problem with sexual assault in the Guard. That is the sum and substance of what I was given. When I went to Guard leadership to inquire about that they said that yes they had specific instances where sexual assaults had been reported, that those had been referred to law enforcement for investigation, like the Anchorage Police Department. And they also detailed the reporting structure for any kind of alleged malfeasance in the Guard that was in place. And I had detailed for me, here’s the list of cases that are pending; here’s the list of cases that have been resolved in the past. But when it came specifically to the sexual assaults, when that kind of criminal activity was brought forward, that went immediately, as I was told, to law enforcement, which I think is appropriate.

One of the problems with sexual assault cases is there often isn’t enough information and it’s very difficult for victims to come forward. Did you consider that when you decided not to pursue an investigation earlier? What would you say to a victim of sexual assault about the statement that you didn’t have enough specifics? Do you think that’s enough of an answer for someone?

What I did is an internal state investigation. Meaning, I went in, my office went in and we made leadership tell us exactly what they were doing to protect sexual assault victims. When I had an actual specific set of facts related to how the system had failed, or – in this case – was alleged to fail, I asked the National Guard Bureau, as an independent assessing body, to come in and look at what I had been told and also look at the entire system to make sure we protect our guard members.

The Choose Respect campaign has been a big focus for you. Are you concerned this will damage the momentum or image you’re hoping to get across to Alaskans about coming forward when these things happen?

Well, absolutely. Anyone who knows me would say I care deeply about victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. And I’m more concerned than anything that victims may not come forward.  Because I know from speaking with many across the state how difficult that already is, and I don’t want to make that more difficult. That’s why I launched the immediate investigation, even when I had the barest of details, and now that I have specific details, I’ve called in the National Guard Bureau to help because I think it’s beyond us at this point.

When do you expect the investigation to conclude, when will you have a report and will you commit to releasing that report publicly?

I already have. I have made that commitment. The review team from the National Guard Bureau let me know they would be on the ground, in Alaska in the month of May. They said that it would take several months after that to complete the report and make that available to me. I already committed to making that report public, with the exception of any confidential victim information that should not be put forward, because I do want to protect the privacy of the victims. So, that’s been my commitment and remains so.

You’re still standing behind General Katkus. Do you have confidence in him? Do you wish he would have come to you sooner?

General Katkus has been very forthright. When I started asking questions about sexual assault cases, he came forward right away, showed me the cases that had been transferred to law enforcement, showed me how they have tracked cases, detailed how they investigate cases. And he’s been very proactive about holding what the Guard calls “sensing sessions,” meaning going into guard units and informing people about how to report acts of sexual harassment, acts of sexual violence. So General Katkus has been very proactive in that regard, and that’s what I know at this point.

Do you think he could have done more within the Guard itself to make sure this behavior was not at all tolerated?

From what I know now, the answer is no. But again, I’ve asked the National Guard Bureau to come have that independent look to make sure our Guard members are safe. General Katkus has told me at every turn that’s his desire and mission, he understands it, gets it and he has the systems in place that demonstrate that. I have asked the National Guard Bureau to make sure that those systems truly work for victims because we care deeply, and I care deeply, about protecting Alaskans.

Did you talk to anyone beyond General Katkus about the chaplains’ concerns?

Yes, in fact, our office talked with numerous Guard members. All of which had the same general allegations. There was one victim who came forward and spoke with a member of my office. Her case was also being investigated by Anchorage Policed Department at that point in time, so the answer is yes, we spoke with a number of people.

Mike Nizich-yYour chief of staff- was using his personal e-mail account to correspond about this issue. Why was that?

I spoke with Mr. Nizich and understand that was at the request of the chaplains who wanted to go outside the official channels. However, I’ve asked Mr.  Nizich to check his personal e-mail for that and his recollection is that it’s one email. I’ve asked him to check for that and move it to the state account, which is protocol to follow. And that will be a part of the public record at that point.

McHugh Pierre was asking questions. Who asked him to have the chaplains sign confidentiality statements?

I don’t know that but I do have a copy of what he apparently asked to be signed. It’s a statement that was emailed to all Department of Military and Veterans Affairs employees. It says employees aren’t authorized to give statements on behalf of department without first coordinating the request with one’s supervisor, which is standard operating policy in any department or any business that you don’t speak for the business, you don’t speak for the department. without first coordinating it with your supervisor.

He also spoke with people on base about wanting to know how information was getting out. It almost feels a bit like a witch hunt. Does that concern you that oftentimes it takes people acting outside of the normal channels to get this information out and at the end of the day, that’s the main mission, is it not?

Well that’s true and that’s why I asked these questions. Again, there’s nothing that stops the employee, as long as they’re not speaking on behalf of the department. In other words they’re speaking as a person, as an Alaskan who’s concerned, that’s not what this statement addresses though.

But the chaplains weren’t’ saying they were speaking for the department, they were raising concerns about people who were alleging sexual assault.

And I don’t condone the activity you just described. I do, on the other hand, understand when supervisors are asking their employees not to represent the department in certain things. In this case, I don’t have all the facts, but I don’t condone trying to stop what you’re describing.

So you’re saying you wouldn’t condone McHugh Pierre asking them to be quiet?

No. But again, I don’t have evidence is that’s what he did. What I evidence is that he asked them not to speak on behalf of the department without coordinating that with a supervisor.

What have you taken away from this process? Do you think there are changes that need to be made? Are you frustrated by the process are there things that need to be done differently?

I am frustrated when Alaskans in the Guard don’t feel like they are protected; that’s entirely frustrating. And it’s frustrating to me when I don’t have enough information to take action beyond what I did. In other words, I took action, I made sure that the systems were in place to protect Guard members; and that the people were in place, like an independent investigator – a safe route for people to report, but until the end of February, until then I didn’t have verified facts that alerted me I needed to bring the National Guard Bureau in. So, I do get frustrated when Alaskans are reporting harm and are continuing to report harm, even though, from all appearances, the system is in place and the checks and balances are in place to assure their safety – including referrals to law enforcement agencies.  So if indeed we find there is wrongdoing, I ‘ll take steps to punish that and make it right, there’s no question about that.

Chamber comes out anti-Begich. That’s the U.S. Chamber

Tue, 2014-04-29 17:24

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest Outside group to launch campaign ads in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race. The national business lobby has a 30-second video spot running this week that hits Sen. Mark Begich and supports one of his Republican challengers, former Attorney General Dan Sullivan.

Anchorage Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Halcro immediately issued a statement to say the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a separate organization.

“We just wanted to notify our members that these ads, which are identified as produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have no affiliation with the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce,” Halcro said.

Likewise, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce says it doesn’t endorse federal candidates. The Alaska Chamber, though, IS a member of the U.S. Chamber. President Rachael Petro says the U.S. group notified her of the ad but says the Alaska Chamber had no input.

“We just have no opinion on this topic and we have nothing to do with those ads,” Petro said.

The  ad includes footage of a sunrise or sunset that appears to be shot in Alaska, although, oddly, the speeded-up video shows a sun moving the wrong way through sky –from the right side of the frame to the left.

Sullivan’s older brother, Frank Sullivan, who runs the Ohio company that makes Rust-Oleum and other coatings, sits on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber.

Watch the video here.

Prudhoe Bay Flowline Springs Leak, Sprays Oil

Tue, 2014-04-29 17:23

Source of spill, April 29, 2014 (Photo/Sartz-ADEC)

A flowline to a well operated by BP at Prudhoe Bay leaked on Monday. Before the spill was under control high winds resulted in a spray of natural gas, crude oil and water that covers an area of tundra larger than 20 football fields.

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According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, operators with BP were working at a well, when a flowline leaking.  Ashley Adamczak is an Environmental Program Specialist with DEC.  She says 30-mile-an-hour winds on the North Slope sprayed leaking natural gas, water and crude oil across an estimated 27 acres of snow-covered tundra.

“What has not been delineated at this time is the part that has been moderately or lightly misted,” Adamczak said.

The leak was isolated roughly two hours after it began. With temperatures still below freezing on the North Slope, Adamczak says the entire well pad has been shut down in order to protect other wells from freezing or leaking.

“There [are] millions of miles of pipe and thousands of wells on the North Slope, then spills do happen,” Adamczak said. “Fortunately, we don’t get a lot of these spills coming through, but I can’t say that this is the first time that a spill like this has occurred.”

It’s still unclear how many gallons of gas, oil and water have spread across the tundra. Adamczak says cleanup will be challenging.

“Due to the fact that a lot of it was spilled to tundra, they have to go out there with less aggressive means, so that they don’t actually make the response activities cause more of an impact than the spill did, so a lot of the cleanup will probably be done with hand tools and that’s a lot of area to address with hand tools at these temperatures,” Adamczak said.

DEC is working with the North Slope Borough, BP Exploration and the Environmental Protection agency to respond to the incident.  There’s no estimate on how long it will take, but Adamczak says the agencies hope to complete cleanup before migrating geese start to arrive on the North Slope.

Breakup Creating Havoc For Ice Dredgers

Tue, 2014-04-29 17:22

The early break-up of sea ice has left winter gold-dredging operations scrambling to haul equipment back to shore – and not everyone has fared well so far.

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Jesse Strickling is part of the Lazy Gator mining operation that got cut off from shore when the chunk of ice they were staged on detached Sunday.

Heavy equipment at the edge of the sea ice in Nome on Monday afternoon. (KNOM photo)

“It was pretty crazy. We’d been running our little tails off at the end of the season trying to get the last bit of gold we could,” Strickling said. “We went out there, got everything packed out, packed up and got ready to leave and turned around to go home and there was an open lead there. We all kind of freaked out for a couple minutes.”

At stake were trucks, all-terrain vehicles, and mining equipment worth about $100,000 all together—not counting tens of thousands of dollars in gold.

That evening, Alaska State Troopers followed up on reports of a stranded mining party.

“We were dispatched at approximately 5:30 for some people that were stuck on an ice flow,” Matt Johnson, the chief of Nome’s Search and Rescue operations, said. “And we traveled up the west beach about 8 miles with a Zodiac Raft and brought two individuals back to the shoreline.”

Strickling and others told rescuers they had things under control, though two crewmembers were exhausted from hours of work and accepted a ride back in to town. Johnson says rescue operations connected to mining operations have risen the last few years.

“We’ve definitely had to respond more this year than we have in the past for gold miners,” Johnson said. “In the past it’s been for people that have been out hunting and can’t get back to shore, and now we’re having to respond out for people that are leaving the shore and going out to sea.”

Spenser McClesky is in his second season dredging on the ice. He says last year there were just five crews, but this year that had jumped to 11 or 12, partly from economic pressure for operations to stay profitable year round. And partly from Discovery Channel’s Bering Sea Gold franchise.

“It’s really crazy that the ice is leaving this early and that we’re even having this issue,” McClesky said. “Usually the ice doesn’t leave for a couple weeks, everybody expected us to have a couple more weeks, but now it looks like the season is over.”

There is very little regulation of the expanding cottage industry on the ice. Officials at Nome’s port and city office say they are not responsible for offshore property or safety issues. Department of Public Safety spokesperson Megan Peters says Search and Rescue mobilizes to save lives, but not property.

Charlene Bringhurst works for the Department of Natural Resources handling mining permits and leases. She says that regulatory and reporting protocols with her agency, along with the Department of Natural Resources and Coast Guard are built around the summer season on open water. In the winter there is no state or federal agency with safety or environmental oversight present in Nome to monitor gold dredging on the ice. If operators do spill fuel or lose equipment in the water, they’re responsible for reporting it to DEC and DNR. But neither agency has boots on the ground until the summer.

The Lazy Gator crew made another attempt Monday night to get back the last of their equipment. They cut out a large section of ice beneath the trucks and towed them toward the solid ice-shelf attached to shore. They were six feet away when the float ran ashore. But they got lucky.

“We had to just wait it out. The tide came in and pushed it up onto the beach,” Strickling said. “It started pressure-ridging pretty good and we drove the trucks off. Really lucky though, we didn’t lose any equipment, there was no trash left behind, or it didn’t sink any trucks or anything like that.”

With the ice float buckling and breaking beneath them, the drivers gunned the trucks and got them to shore inside a 30 second window.

How Can We Improve Our Food Security?

Tue, 2014-04-29 17:21

The reliability of the food supply is not something most communities devote much thought to. Agriculture, transportation, and grocery stores all work pretty well – even in relatively isolated parts of Alaska like Sitka. And depending on where you live, there can be abundant wild foods.

But a recent report called “The Sitka Community Food Assessment” reveals that our food system is vulnerable – especially to the unpredictable costs of fuel.

Lisa Sadleir-Hart coordinated the assessment about what Sitka – and communities like it – can do to become more food-secure.

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First Mega Cruise Ship Docks In Ketchikan

Tue, 2014-04-29 17:20

About 850,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to visit Ketchikan this season. And the first mega ship of the year – Holland Cruise Line’s Volendam – docked in the city yesterday. The cruise started in Japan and Ketchikan was the final stop before the cruise ends in Vancouver.

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The Volendam cruise ship docked in Ketchikan Monday. (KRBD photo)

An employee at the Ketchikan Visitor Center is explaining the city’s bus system to a tourist couple wearing rain gear. The center is filled with tourists from the Volendam who are taking shelter from rain and asking questions about Ketchikan.

Kerry is the visitor services coordinator here.

“I think we’re off to an okay start,” she said. “It’s always exciting, the first ship is always kind of exciting. There’s a lot of energy in the air.”

Bill and Terri Heaver from Williamsburg, Virginia, were heading out of the center and into town. They were on the cruise for their 50th anniversary. Terri said she was hoping to see eagles.

“I had no idea Alaska was so vast,” said Bill.

Outside of the visitors center, it’s cold and rainy. But that’s driving people into the shops lining downtown Ketchikan. A lot of those shops have been closed all winter, and are just opening for the season today.

Bill and Terri Heaver are tourists from Virginia. (KRBD photo)

“It’s really exciting because when the winter’s here it’s kind of like a ghost town downtown,” said one employee at the jewelry shop Alaska Bear Company. “So when the cruise ships come in it’s like the downtown is really alive.”

A tourist  named Corrine from Singapore said it was her second time in Ketchikan.

“[It's a] fantastic place, magnificent glaciers, scenery,” she said. She was on the cruise with her father.

While most tourists were positive about Alaska, some had criticism.

“I just want to say, Juneau, for being the capital of Alaska, needs to improve itself a lot,” said a tourist name Kel, who is from Calgary. “It left a really bad impression on people on the ship because it’s so run down, a lot of intoxicated people on the streets.”

The only complaint tourists seemed to have about Ketchikan was the rain. The next cruise ship docks in town May 4th. About 850,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to visit Ketchikan this season.

 

Traveling Music 5-4-14

Tue, 2014-04-29 17:18

Traveling Music

Shonti Elder

5-4-14

Concerts mentioned:  Ruthie Foster Trio, Saturday, May 10, 7:30 PM, Discovery Theater, PAC; and Sunday May 11, 6:00 PM, Vagabond Blues, Palmer

 

Format:

Song Title

Artist / Composer

CD Title

Label

Duration

 

The Titanic

Ruthie Foster / Traditional

Let It Burn

www.ruthiefoster.com

2:51

 

Rise, Oh Fathers / No Time To Tarry Here

St. Mary’s Praise Singers / traditional

Peace Like A River

www.Godsview.org

2:30

 

Go On Traveling

The Mammals / Michael Merenda

Rock That Babe

Signature Sounds

3:08

 

Don’t Want To Know

Ruthie Foster / John Martyn

Let It Burn

www.ruthiefoster.com

6:21

 

Apeman (NOT eggplant!)

The Mando Mafia / Ray Davies

Get Away

mandomafia.com

4:20

 

Don’t Mind Me

Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka, Lucy Kaplansky / Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Litvin

Red Horse

Red House Records

4:04

 

Coal Tattoo

Kathy Mattea / Billy Edd Wheeler

Coal

Captain Potatoe Records

3:17

 

You Don’t Miss Your Water

Ruthie Foster, with William Bell / William Bell

Let It Burn

www.ruthiefoster.com

3:59

 

Find My Way Back

Tim May / Tim May

Find My Way Back

FGM Records

3:32

 

Never Been So Lonely

The Mando Mafia /  Jordan Puryear, Dirk Powell, Rick Friend)

Get Away

mandomafia.com

4:48

 

We Carry On

Tim McGraw / Tom Douglas, James T. Slater

Live Like You Were Dying

Curb Records

4:12

 

Love in the Middle

Ruthie Foster / Eric Bibb

The Truth According to Ruthie Foster

www.bluecornmusic.com

4:42

Alaska News Nightly: April 29, 2014

Tue, 2014-04-29 17:09

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.

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Gov. Parnell Says He Took Immediate Action On Sexual Assault Allegation

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Governor Sean Parnell is defending his decision to wait four years to request a federal investigation into reports of a sexual assault problem in the Alaska National Guard. Anchorage Daily News columnist Shannyn Moore wrote Sunday that Parnell first learned about misconduct in the Guard in 2010, when he was approached by three guard chaplains. Parnell says he took those charges seriously, but lacked the details to prompt an investigation until February.

He says after the initial concerns were raised, he went to Major General Thomas Katkus to make sure the systems were in place to protect guard members. Then in February, Parnell says he was able to talk with a guard member who provided specifics.

Chamber Comes Out Anti-Begich – That’s The U.S. Chamber

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest Outside group to launch campaign ads in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race. The national business lobby has a 30-second video spot running this week that hits Begich and supports one of his Republican challengers, former Attorney General Dan Sullivan.

Prudhoe Bay Flowline Springs Leak, Sprays Oil

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

A flowline to a well operated by BP at Prudhoe Bay leaked on Monday. Before the spill was under control high winds resulted in a spray of natural gas, crude oil and water that covers an area of tundra larger than 20 football fields.

Breakup Creating Havoc For Ice Dredgers

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

The early break-up of sea ice has left winter gold-dredging operations scrambling to haul equipment back to shore.

How Can We Improve Our Food Security?

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

The reliability of the food supply is not something most communities devote much thought to. Agriculture, transportation, and grocery stores all work pretty well – even in relatively isolated parts of Alaska like Sitka. And depending on where you live, there can be abundant wild foods.

But a recent report called “The Sitka Community Food Assessment” reveals that our food system is vulnerable – especially to the unpredictable costs of fuel.

Lisa Sadleir-Hart coordinated the assessment about what Sitka – and communities like it – can do to become more food-secure.

First Mega Cruise Ship Docks In Ketchikan

Emily Files, KRBD – Ketchikan

About 850,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to visit Ketchikan this season. And the first mega ship of the year – Holland Cruise Line’s Volendam – docked in the city yesterday.  The cruise started in Japan and Ketchikan was the final stop before the cruise ends in Vancouver.

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