The Dahl Memorial Clinic invites the public to their Yuletide Open House Wednesday December 11th...
Submit and View KHNS Postings
Please use the following links to submit or view on-air messages :
Submissions must be approved and may be edited for content before appearing on the website or read on-air. If you would like a confirmation, please email the station at email@example.com. LPs are processed as soon as possible, please allow 3-5 days for process of PSA's . If submitting after 5pm or over the weekend announcements will not be approved until the following weekday.
From Our Listeners
Thanks to our Generous Underwriters, Sponsors and Grantors
Alaska and Yukon Headlines
With a little ingenuity, an inexpensive camera assembly captures astonishing close-up photos of snowflakes.December 3, 2013
Community members from Alaska towns as large as Anchorage and as small as Allakaket are in Juneau for the second annual Prevention Summit sponsored by the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. The council is under the state Department of Public Safety.
The three-day summit at Centennial Hall brings together teams from 19 communities. Each team has at least three members.
“They’re victim service providers, first responders such as maybe law enforcement or healthcare providers, tribal representatives, as well as just people interested in preventing violence in their community,” says council executive director Lauree Morton.
Teams will be working on strengthening existing prevention strategies and developing new ones.
“It’s an opportunity for communities across the state to get together and talk to each other about what is working and what else they want to do to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault,” Morton explains.
The summit features presenters from around the state and outside the state, many who are experts in their field. One of the workshops will be with Green Dot, a national non-profit organization that is working with several communities in Alaska on an intervention program.
Morten says youth from Juneau and Sitka will also be highlighted at the summit, “young adults who are actually implementing strategies in their high schools on reducing violence.”
First Lady Sandy Parnell kicks off the second annual Prevention Summit Tuesday at 11 am. Opening remarks will also be made by Morton, Alaska Native Sisterhood grand president Freda Westman, and Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand President Bill Martin.
The state of Alaska is looking for partners to research a new source of natural gas called methane hydrates.
It could bring in new revenue for the state far down the road, but some environmentalists worry the risk of releasing that much methane is too great.
Methane hydrates are methane gas that’s trapped in ice crystals in the subsurface of the ocean floor and in the permafrost. Tests by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2012 in Alaska showed that the resource existed on the North Slope, but no one has commercially extracted methane hydrates anywhere in the world.
The state’s Director for the Division of Oil and Gas, Bill Barron, says the state and the federal Department of Energy are working together to research the potential in Alaska.
“But that’s why we’re doing these tests. This is very new technology. You can heat it and melt the water and that will liberate the methane,” Barron said. “There is a way to use carbon dioxide to exchange the carbon dioxide for the methane within the ice and liberate the methane and use it for CO2 sequestration.”
Barron says producers can use many of the same types of drills and well casings used in standard oil and gas drilling. But because methane hydrates are stored in the earth in a different way from typical natural gas, they need to research ways to release it safely and without melting the permafrost.
“You’re trying to strike that balance between how much recovery you get with what the impact is,” Barron said. “Right now we don’t think the impact will be at all substantial. We think that just a few degrees may be enough to liberate the methane.”
Meaning that the permafrost column will stay intact. Barron says this theory is based on research and on evidence from wells that have already struck and recovered some methane hydrates.
But Richard Charter says producing methane hydrates could be very risky. Charter is a senior fellow with the Ocean Foundation and has been on the Department of Energy’s methane hydrate advisory committee for 10 years. He says the main risk is a giant blow out that could release significant amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.
“Are we going to trigger a release that we can’t control of natural gas, particularly in the ocean, that we can’t shut off at a time when global warming is a problem and then further accelerate global warming?” Charter said.
Charter says drilling onshore is safer than offshore, where the risk is triggering a subsea landslide along with a release of methane. But either way, he says it’s different from conventional gas drilling because melting the hydrates leads to geological instability. He says the development of methane hydrates is at the point where researchers and industry players have to get it right.
“With hydrates we’re about where Thomas Edison was when he had his early light bulbs, some of his early light bulbs blew up,” Charter said. “So when you’re in the experimental phase of something with as large a scale of potential risk as hydrate exploitation certainly appears to have, you want to be extra careful because when you are learning is when you can have very large accidents.”
State and federal energy experts will be meeting with industry representatives in Denver on December 11 to see who wants to partner with the government to conduct the research and development work.
Charter says industry interest is based on methane’s potential for being the next big energy resource.
“If you could get a sufficient quantity of it to make it economically exportable, and by export I mean Asia as a market, then all of the sudden it’s a game changer for Alaska,” Charter said.
Methane extracted from hydrates can be transported along with natural gas from conventional sources either in a gas line or as LNG on a tanker.
Japan is the furthest along with methane hydrate research. The country drilled and extracted the resource from an offshore well in March.
A survey of oil company managers and executives has given Alaska poor marks for its business climate.
The annual report by the Fraser Institute, a conservative Canadian think tank, stacks Alaska up against other states and countries in an effort to develop a “policy perception index.” The respondents weren’t kind to the 49th state.
The survey asked about 16 factors, including taxation, environmental regulation, political stability and security.
Nearly 900 oil and gas industry professionals responded.
Alaska came in 79th place, right in the middle. You might see that as a glass-half-full result, but Pakistan wasn’t far behind and it put Alaska just below Tunisia, where a terror attack killed 40 foreign workers at a gas plant in January.
Larry Persily, federal coordinator of Alaska gas pipeline projects, notes the survey was conducted between February and May, so it’s impossible to say how many respondents were aware the Alaska Legislature rolled back taxes on the oil companies in April. Persily says the controversy itself plays a role.
“Oil and gas taxes is an emotional issue in Alaska. It’s in the news constantly. There’s referendums. There are political battles. The industry is aware of that and it certainly colors industry’s perception,” he said.
He also points out the report gauges perceptions, not actual conditions. Still, Persily says perceptions can sting.
“You don’t want that out there. It’s toxic but I think we also have to understand this is a self-reporting survey, it’s not a statistically accurate sample, so we should be concerned about it, but it shouldn’t ruin our day,” he said.
Bob Pawlauski, of the state Oil and Gas Division, says the Legislature made several changes this year that makes Alaska more friendly to industry. It provided flexibility to give companies more time to develop their leases, and it eased some of the permitting requirements. Not to mention the tax rollback. Former Anchorage Mayor Jack Roderick is working to get that repealed. He says the survey is an industry PR tool.
“Of course they’re speaking for their corporate interests,” Roderick said.
The industry named Oklahoma its favorite place this year. At the bottom of the pile is Venezuela.
You can read the survey here.
The chief of the agency’s Alaska office, Clint Johnson, said an investigator with the NTSB and another from the Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday
reached the site where a single-engine aircraft went down near the village of St. Marys.
He said investigators will be at the accident site for a day or two. They’ll collect evidence and interview witnesses.
Johnson says it’s too early to draw any conclusions about why the plane crashed. Another NTSB investigator in Anchorage also is hoping to interview survivors of the crash.
The Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 crashed at around 6:30 p.m. Friday. It left Bethel on a scheduled flight for Mountain Village and eventually Saint Marys but never reached Mountain Village.
Premera Alaska won’t increase premium rates for Alaskans who decide to extend their plans for another year.
The company previously had to cancel plans that didn’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act for 5,400 members in the state.
Last month, President Obama allowed insurance companies to continue offering those plans through 2014.
Premera Alaska spokesperson Eric Earling says the company decided to forego the normal rate increases, given the short timeline.
“Just made more sense to continue plans at their current rate so the only time if a members on an individual plan that’s being extended, that they would see their rate change is if they move into a new age band for the year,” Earling said. “Otherwise their rate would stay the same as long as they stay on it through 2014.”
Earling says members will automatically stay on their current plans, unless they call Premera to cancel. He says members can decide to buy an Affordable Care Act plan instead on the healthcare.gov marketplace anytime before March 31. That’s the only way to qualify for a subsidy to purchase insurance. Earling says there’s no way to predict how many people will go that route.
“The big question is, is someone eligible for a subsidy?” Earling said. “And if they’re eligible for a subsidy they may want to go to the exchange to buy one of the new plans to access that subsidy. But for those folks that aren’t eligible for a subsidy or very little subsidy, staying on their current plan might make the most financial sense.”
Moda Health is also planning to extend plans for customers who had their insurance canceled under the Affordable Care Act. The company says it doesn’t know yet if rates will increase.
December first was World AIDS Day. The annual observance started in 1988 to increase awareness and prevention of the disease.
The United Nations estimates that more than 35 million people worldwide were living with HIV in 2012. About 70 percent were in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 4 percent in North America.
A misjudgement of just a few dozen yards in the placement of a small house on a remote part of Kodiak Island over 30 years ago will likely result in a family’s hopes, dreams and history literally going up in smoke. The family doesn’t live on their homestead on Dry Spruce Bay full time anymore, but they’re heartbroken at the prospect of losing it.