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Alaska and Yukon Headlines

Far from a 'facade,' legalizing marijuana means accepting a divine gift

Fri, 2014-01-17 16:05
Far from a 'facade,' legalizing marijuana means accepting a divine gift OPINION: The leader of a group working against a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Alaska said the regulations it calls for are a "facade." But the real facade is the effort being made to prop up the failed -- and devilish -- policy of prohibition.January 17, 2014

2013, The Year I Turned Old

Fri, 2014-01-17 16:05
2013, The Year I Turned Old

Filmmaker Josh Ramharter condensed his entire year into a 365-second video diary, one second for each day, no matter if it was mundane or epic.

January 17, 2014

Winter Camping and Snowshoeing

Fri, 2014-01-17 16:00

The summer season for sleeping outdoors is short, but there’s still a lot of Alaska out there in the winter with wonderful backcountry recreation and easy travel on snowshoes, when the rivers are frozen and it almost never rains. We’ll be talking about winter camping and snowshoeing. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. You can be comfortable, have great access to the backcountry, and sleep under the most amazing dome of stars.

HOST: Charles Wohlforth


  • Paul Twardock, Professor and Department Chair, Outdoor Studies, APU
  • Mark Haldane, REI
  • Dave Atchison, Alaska Tent and Tarp

PARTICIPATE: Facebook: Outdoor Explorer (comments may be read on-air)

BROADCAST: Thursday January 23, 2013. 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Thursday January 23, 2013. 9:00 – 10:00 pm AKT

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Audio will be posted following radio broadcast

Alaska is in better shape thanks to oil tax reform; we're voting against referendum

Fri, 2014-01-17 14:52
Alaska is in better shape thanks to oil tax reform; we're voting against referendum OPINION: Alaska's new tax policy now only rewards producers when they actually produce more oil. It’s a great step in the right direction, and we must give this law time to work.January 17, 2014

Mould remediation specialist to explore problems

Fri, 2014-01-17 14:32
Black mould has been found inside one wall at Yukon College’s local campus, but a general air quality examination of the building says it can still be used.

Offender guilty of another round of charges

Fri, 2014-01-17 14:30
Christopher Cornell, convicted last year of attempting to murder two peace officers, was found guilty late this morning

Flame-fighter poised to cap four-decade career

Fri, 2014-01-17 14:26
It was 45 years ago that an 18-year-old Whitehorse fire chief Clive Sparks took a job with the Yukon government that would set his career path in motion and take him through to retirement.

Arts in Alaska: Thriving, or just surviving?

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:55

Public Domain art by Mitch Featherston

Seven reasons the arts matter, according to Dee Dickenson, the John Hopkins School of Education:

  1. They are languages that all people speak that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhance cultural appreciation and awareness.
  2. They provide opportunities for self-expression, bringing the inner world into the outer world of concrete reality.
  3. They develop both independence and collaboration.
  4. They make it possible to use personal strengths in meaningful ways and to bridge into understanding sometimes difficult abstractions through these strengths.
  5. They improve academic achievement — enhancing test scores, attitudes, social skills, critical and creative thinking.
  6. They exercise and develop higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and “problem-finding.”
  7. They provide the means for every student to learn.

If the arts are this important, how well do we support them? Join me, host Kathleen McCoy, in conversation with Alaska artists and arts supporters on how arts in Alaska get funded. Questions we’ll consider:

  • Who funds the arts and why?
  • Are the arts considered a frill?
  • Are the arts forever a victim of capitalism?
  • What public good do the arts offer?
  • Why do we struggle to support the arts?


  • Jayson Smart, Rasmuson Foundation
  • Holly McQuinn, director, Alaska Design Forum and participant, Object Runway
  • Brooklyn Baggett, board member, Anchorage Community Works



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, January 8, 2014. 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, January 8, 2014. 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Alaska time)

SUBSCRIBE: Get Hometown, Alaska updates automatically — via email, RSS or podcasts


Shell needs to give more assurances about drilling safeguards off Alaska, agency says

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:43
Shell needs to give more assurances about drilling safeguards off Alaska, agency says The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management wants to know how Shell has improved the Discoverer drill ship and the company's oversight of it. Shell must submit new details before BOEM can decide whether to allow drilling in the Chukchi Sea this year. January 17, 2014

Curling siblings aiming high at junior nationals

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:31
It hasn’t been six years since the Wallingham siblings first got their introduction to the sport of curling.

Escape from Communist Czechoslovakia

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:29

On the next Addressing Alaskans, local librarian Jarmilla Henderson talks about growing up in Czechoslovakia and her narrow escape of the communist country in 1982. “The communists based their power on fear because people were so afraid. The pressure was immense.” Her talk was recorded at the Experience Theater in Anchorage at an event hosted by the Alaska Veterans Museum.

BROADCAST ON KSKA: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

SPEAKER: Jarmilla Henderson, librarian, Alaska Department on Veterans Affairs

RECORDED: January 11, 2014 at the Experience Theater

HOST: Alaska Veterans Museum


Addressing Alaskans features local lectures and forums recorded at public events taking place in Southcentral, Alaska. A variety of local organizations host speakers addressing topics that matter to Alaskans. To let us know about an upcoming community event that you would like to hear on Addressing Alaskans, please Contact Us with details.

SUBSCRIBE: Get Addressing Alaskans updates automatically via e-mailRSS or podcasts.


Audio will be posted following radio broadcast

Love left off national senior men’s roster

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:20
Wheelchair Basketball Canada released the roster for the 2014 Canadian Senior Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team today

Oil Spill Dispersants

Fri, 2014-01-17 13:00

Exxon Valdez tanker aground. Off-loading of remaining oil in progress. Photo courtesy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.

The response to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico involved an unprecedented amount of chemical dispersants.  If such a spill were to occur in Alaska, the use of dispersants is pre-authorized in certain areas. Should it be?

HOST: Steve HeimelAlaska Public Radio Network


  • Rick Bernhardt, Preparedness Section Manager, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Callers Statewide


  • Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).
  • Send e-mail to talk [at] alaskapublic [dot] org (comments may be read on air)
  • Call 550-8422 in Anchorage or 1-800-478-8255 if you’re outside Anchorage during the live broadcast

LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.

SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by e-mailRSS or podcast.


Alaskan poised to make first US Olympic snowboard slopestyle team

Fri, 2014-01-17 12:51
Alaskan poised to make first US Olympic snowboard slopestyle team A 21-year-old Anchorage snowboarder, Ryan Stassel, is one solid competition away from heading to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games on the first U.S. snowboard slopestyle team.January 17, 2014

Culturally Appropriate Health Care

Fri, 2014-01-17 12:04

Cultural diversity is increasing in the U.S. and in health care. On the next Line One, Dr. Woodard and his guests Dr. Benjamin Danielson of the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle discuss  the ways culture affects health care.


HOST : Dr. Thad Woodard, Anchorage pediatrician

GUEST: Dr. Benjamin Danielson, University of Washington Department of Pediatrics; Medical Director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle

LIVE BROADCAST: Monday, January 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Monday, January 20, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)


SUBSCRIBE: Get Line One: Your Health Connection updates automatically by:


Audio will be posted following radio broadcast


Is Alaska’s Economy Grounded?

Fri, 2014-01-17 11:34

World Trade Center Alaska Executive Director Greg Wolf says China is now the largest importer of goods from Alaska. Photo by Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau.

Alaska’s economy slowed in 2013. On Thursday, two economists offered different takes on what that means for this year at the World Trade Center Alaska‘s annual statewide economic forecast talk in Juneau.

Marcus Hartley ticked off how many jobs he expects various industries in Alaska to gain or lose in 2014.

“We see natural resources going up by 200 jobs; transportation and utilities going up by a little bit, a hundred jobs,” he said. “These are not big numbers, but they’re some winners.”

Hartley is a senior economist with Anchorage based consultants Northern Economics. He says other winners include health care, retail, and tourism.

And then there are the losers.

“Here’s my sector – professional business services – we’re saying that that sector is going to be hit pretty hard by government cutbacks,” said Hartley. “And then government is also very likely to lose jobs.”

“So total change, a whopping 450 jobs increase,” he said. “Not too bad. But really, if we’re in a big recovery, where’s all the jobs, dude?”

Hartley says reductions in state and federal spending, as well as the continued decline in North Slope oil production were behind a state economy that slowed in 2013. After several years of growth, he says, Alaska’s gross state product – a measure of total economic output – declined about $2 billion last year to $51 billion. He predicts it will be down another $1.8 billion this year to $49.2 billion.

“So the question is, are we grounded?” he asked

Hartley didn’t give a yes or no answer to that question. But he did say Northern Economics’ computer models painted an even bleaker picture of the state’s economic future.

“We basically threw out our models this year, because it was pessimistic,” Hartley said. “And we just didn’t feel like the world was going to jump off a cliff.”

World Trade Center Alaska Executive Director Greg Wolf was more bullish on the state’s economy. In 2013, he said companies operating in Alaska exported about $4.5 billion worth of goods and services overseas. He expects a similar amount this year.

“Trade represents new money coming into the economy,” Wolf said. “It sustains and results in thousands of both direct and indirect jobs. The overall effect, of course, it results in a stronger, more diversified economy for our state.”

In the past 20 years, Wolf says Alaska exports have more than doubled, from about $2 billion per year to between $4.5 and $5 billion.

“I think this sort of demonstrates that exports have been a pretty consistent part of the economy, and also a quietly growing part of the economy,” he said.

Wolf says Alaska’s biggest trade partners are in Asia. China buys about 28 percent of the goods exported from the state. Japan is second at 16 percent, followed by South Korea, Canada, and Singapore.

Seafood makes up about 50 percent of Alaska exports, followed by minerals and precious metals at 34 percent, energy – including liquefied natural gas, coal, and refined fuels – at 8 percent, and timber at 4 percent.

The Juneau Chamber of Commerce hosted the statewide economic forecast talk, which has been held in the Capital City for the past seven years. The economists were in Fairbanks earlier this week and will be in Anchorage on February 4th.

Fishing Crew Member Accused of Identity Theft

Fri, 2014-01-17 11:31

A crew member aboard a factory processor has been arrested in Unalaska and accused of stealing another man’s identity to get his commercial fishing license.

Just like rain gear or Xtratufs, commercial fishing crew licenses are essential for anyone working on a Bering Sea boat. And they’re pretty easy to get.

Robin Morrisett is a sergeant with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. He says all it takes to get a crew permit, is a driver’s license and a Social Security number.

“Some people say, ‘Ooh, we didn’t know that the pursers or the chefs, the cooks on the boats are supposed to have it.’ But they do [have to],” Morrissett said.

Twenty-five-year-old Luis Valenzuela was a cook aboard the Gordon Jensen, a 300-foot factory trawler owned by Icicle Seafoods. When troopers boarded the vessel earlier this month for a routine check, Valenzuela showed them his crew license.

But trooper Thomas Lowy says something about it didn’t look right.

“We found that that driver’s license didn’t come back to him. It came to another individual,” Lowy said. ”And that’s kind of what started the whole process — just trying to figure out who he was.”

The troopers worked with federal immigrations officials, and according to their research, they say that Valenzuela is actually an undocumented immigrant from Nogales, Mexico.

Valenzuela was arrested in Unalaska and charged with felony forgery, along with two misdemeanors. One is for participating in commercial fishing as an undocumented immigrant. And the other is for criminal impersonation.

He faces up to seven years in jail and $75,000 in fines.

It’s not clear whether anyone else is going to face legal action. When Valenzuela started working on the fishing vessel Gordon Jensen, he got his commercial crew license from a vendor aboard the ship.

But the troopers say they have no reason to believe that Icicle Seafoods found anything wrong with Valenzuela’s papers.

And to make matters more complicated, Icicle didn’t actually hire Valenzuela. They went through a Sitka employment agency called Alaska Chefs 4 Hire.

Trooper Sergeant Morrisett says that contractor has been cooperating with the investigation. But they didn’t respond to a request for comment by deadline.

Morrisett says the last time the troopers handled a case of alleged identity fraud was about two years ago.

“Here in Dutch Harbor, we have tons of people that are from other countries and stuff,” Morrisett said. ”We catch these once in a while.”

And considering how many vessels the troopers patrol — and many crew permits they look at — every season, that’s not a lot.

American Masters: Salinger

Fri, 2014-01-17 11:23

Shane Salerno’s 10-year investigation gets beyond the author’s – JD Salinger – wall of seclusion. American Masters’ 200th episode is the never-before-seen director’s cut of “Salinger,” featuring 15 minutes of new material. The intricately structured mystery reveals how World War II influenced his life, his writing methods, his relationships with young women, and literary secrets he left behind after his death.

  • Tuesday. January 21. 8:00 pm.

Rain in January? Southcentral Alaska motorists face tough travel conditions

Fri, 2014-01-17 10:26
Rain in January? Southcentral Alaska motorists face tough travel conditions Unseasonably warm weather made travel conditions difficult for commuters Friday morning. Police reported responding to more than 20 vehicles in distress and had to close a portion of Ingra Street after two tractor-trailers there became stuck.January 17, 2014

Anchorage Opera crowds the mic

Fri, 2014-01-17 09:48

Rachel Hastings and Emerson Eads from Rossini’s The Marriage Contract

Four guests, two shows, fifteen minutes. That’s what happens this week on Stage Talk when folks from Anchorage Opera come by to talk about Rossini’s The Marriage Contract and Schubert’s Die Winterreise, two offerings from the company this January and March.



ORIGINAL BROADCAST: Friday January 17th, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.

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Audio will be posted following radio broadcast.