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Alaska and Yukon Headlines
Tribal leaders from around the state will be gathering in Anchorage this week to address the suicide epidemic. It’s sponsored by the Alaska Tribal Leaders and is their 13th annual summit meeting. All 229 tribes in Alaska are invited.
According to the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, Alaska had 1,369 suicides between 2000 and 2009, an average of 136 per year. That gives Alaska the highest rate of suicide per capita in the country.
Mike Williams Sr. of Akiak is one of the organizers. He says suicide is devastating Alaska, particularly the Native villages.
“And my hope is that we are going to be identifying the underlying causes that is affecting the devastation in our communities, especially in these last 20 years,” Williams says.
Alaska Native men between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest rate.
Bill Martin of Juneau is co-chairing the event with Williams. Martin is the former President of the Central Council of the Tlingit Haida Indians of Alaska. In a written statement he said, “tribal governments can no longer ignore this issue. . .it is only we, their elders, their tribes and their families, who can end it.”
Williams says they hope to walk away with two resolutions. One would include an action plan for rural Alaska to deal with suicide. Another would help in “restoring the people.” He says some state and federal policies have come to the villages that have had adverse affects on them, such as the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. In 1971, ANSCA extinguished aboriginal hunting and fishing rights.
Williams lives in a remote community of about 300 residents.
“Living in a small community like Akiak I feel like I’m being left out and our voices are not heard,” Williams says.
He says the resolutions coming out of the summit meeting will be sent to Alaska’s 229 tribes, and to the state and federal government offices.
Williams says they will likely encompass a variety of solutions to address different needs around the state.
“I think each community has different ways of dealing with this issue and one size does not fit all,” says Williams.
The conference starts Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel.
Scheduled speakers include Native American fishing rights activist Ed Johnstone of the Quinault Nation and Brian Cladoosby, Chairman of Swimonish Tribe, both from Washington.
Speaking from Alaska will be Doug Modig, a Tshimsian from Metlakatla, and Allen Levy of Anchorage.
Williams says they are all looking for positive solutions in addressing the suicide crisis.
“I have all the faith and confidence that we can do it and if we come out and saving one person out of this conference, that’s a huge message and that is a success,” Williams says.
Tribal leaders from the Lower Yukon village of Alakanuk will be presenting on how they have successfully dealt with suicide. The village hasn’t seen suicide in recent years after elders got together and faced it head on the local level.
Geophysical Institute is forecasting strong auroras at the end of the week. Some of that activity could be in response to changes in the suns magnetic field. Over the next few months, the sun will undergo a magnetic flip. Is an event that happens every eleven years, but scientists have only been able to monitor what happens at the solar poles since the 1970’s.
Much like the Earth, the sun has a magnetic field with a north pole and a south pole. But in just a few months, the sun’s negatively charged north pole will have a positive charge. Its south pole will switch from a positive charge to a negative charge. “It’s part of the normal process,” says Roger Smith. “The sun has cycles of activity,” Smith is the Emeritus Director of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. “If you have your cup of coffee in the morning, and you have cream on the top, and you spin it up with a spoon, you see some circulation,” he explains. “What’s happening on the sun, it’s the same as having the spinning on the top of your cup reverse and go the other way.”
Because the sun is so hot, charged particles in its magnetic field move in a constant fury. Those particles interact with others throughout the solar system, causing auroras among other things. Smith says this “flip” stirs up those particles and gases that stream off the sun. “The sun actually in a larger scale behaves like a comet,” says Smith. “All the gases that stream off, stream off into a tail, and it takes a long time for anything that’s got into that tail to propagate down, so there will be a ripple effect which will go on for possibly years,” he explains.
This year, the sun’s magnetic reversal is asymmetric, meaning the north pole is changing faster than it’s south pole. But Smith says that might be normal. Because of limitations in technology, this is only the fourth time scientists have been able to record an event like this. “To be able to detect the polarity of the magnetic field on the sun, you need optical techniques that are relatively advanced compared to 100 years ago,” says Smith.
A magnetic reversal could affect some radio transmissions and satellite communications. Here in Alaska, Smith says it’s more likely we’ll see the effects in the form of medium level auroras.
With climbing season over, mountaineering rangers in Denali National Park have turned some of their attention to conservation. A team just returned from the Muldrow Glacier after spending two days picking up decades-old trash from climbers that has begun melting out of the ice.
Alyeska Resort in Girdwood is best-known for its wintertime activities, but the skiing destination has been beefing up its summertime slopes as well for extreme mountain bikers.August 20, 2013
Anchorage Community Works started remodeling a warehouse in Ship Creek this May and have been moving at locomotive speed to get the space ready for use. They’ve remodeled bathrooms, constructed a 300+ square foot stage, built an art studio, and created a shared workspace, among other things. Needless to say, the space is a true center for collaboration.
Anchorage Community Works, or “The Works,” will celebrate its grand opening with a concert featuring local experimental rock titans, Historian. Supporting acts (a smorgasbord of other headlining bands) include Ghost Hands, Young Fangs and Matt Hopper.
Join The Works on August 23rd for a grand opening the likes of which Anchorage has not yet seen. “We’re celebrating the opening of a space that will hopefully transform the Anchorage music, art and business communities simultaneously… and together,” says Anchorage Community Works Board President, Brooklyn Baggett.
This event is all ages and tickets are $10. Tickets are available online now at theworksgrandopening.eventbrite.com. Tickets are also available at the door (cash only).
The next event at Anchorage Community Works will be The Works and Spenard Roadhouse Present: First Friday Late Salon, September 6th, a First Friday event featuring the art of Nathan Hurst, music by Hot Club of Nunaka and featuring special guests Momentum Dance Collective, for their season opener. More information on this and other upcoming events can be found at www.anchoragecommunityworks.com.
Omaar shines a light on key events in Muhammad’s life, including the Night Journey to Jerusalem, his departure from Mecca and the eight-year war with the Meccan tribes.
- Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 8:00pm
Omaar investigates key events during the later part of Muhammad’s life, including the introduction of the moral code known as Shari‘a and the concept of jihad.
- Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 9:00pm
Omaar examines the world into which Muhammad was born, his marriage to his first wife, Khadijah, as well as his first revelations and the profound impact they had on his life and on the lives of those closest to him.
- Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 7:00pm