Month: August 2021

first_imgBusiness | Community | Economy | Juneau | Local Government | SoutheastGastineau Apartments demolition pushed back to AprilSeptember 22, 2015 by Elizabeth Jenkins Share:Inside the burned out Gastineau Apartments. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)The Gastineau Apartments won’t be coming down until April. That’s according to city Engineering Director Rorie Watt, who delivered an update at Monday’s Juneau Assembly meeting. Originally, the city wanted a demolition plan by August and bids solicited by September.“However, what we’re hearing from contractors is that we’re giving an inadequate amount of time for the completion of the project,” Watt said. “We’ve seen major commercial contractors who would be suited for this kind of work pick up the bid documents, steer away. Call us up and say, ‘Too much risk. Not enough time. Not interested.’”Now, the bidding process will extend into October with awards announced later that same month.NorthWind Architects previously expressed concern that rainy fall weather would make the demolition more difficult, especially with respect to erosion of the hillside behind the apartments and managing stormwater pollution.Assembly member Karen Crane said an extension could save the city money, but the building needed to be gone by spring.“There can’t be any more slop over from that date because you know, then we’re running into tourist season and then there’s a big problem,” Crane said. “So the contract needs to be written pretty tightly that’s it’s down by the 30th of April or else something drastic.”Although it’s taken months to formalize the plans, the demolition should only take three to four weeks.The city has appropriated $1.8 million for the entire project, which it hopes to recoup through a lien against the property owners. Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgSouthcentral | Sports | University of AlaskaUAA women prepare for national title game against Lubbock ChristianApril 1, 2016 by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage Share:(Photo courtesy Sam Wasson/UAA Athletics)The University of Alaska Anchorage’s women’s basketball team is playing in the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II national championship game on Monday, where the Seawolves will face off against Lubbock Christian in Indianapolis.Coach Ryan McCarthy took the reins of the UAA women’s basketball program in 2012, and the team has seen consistent improvement every season since.But, McCarthy said this is the first year he and his team talked about winning a national championship from day one.“Maybe that’s me being young and naive, I never thought, ‘Man I really think we’re the best team in the country,’” he said. “But this year, I really believed it, and I think more importantly, the girls that were playing believed it, and I think they believe that right now.”The Seawolves have 38 wins – an NCAA Division II record – and 2 losses this season.Despite the record, McCarthy said all the pressure is on their opponent — undefeated Lubbock Christian.“They’re the team that’s undefeated. Everyone says they’re number one in the nation and so if they lose, people are gonna ask them what happened. If we lose, no one is gonna ask us that question, because they’re the number one team — it would be an upset if we win,” McCarthy said. “So, we weren’t even number one in our own region. I’m excited, I think we get to be loose, and come in there and play our game.”The players agree with that sentiment.Junior forward Alysha Devine, a Wasilla High School graduate, said after 40 games, the jitters are gone and it comes down to preparation.“Coach told us, you know, ‘You’re not nervous if you’re prepared.’ And I really think that we are prepared and we are preparing within the next few days, too, it’ll just keep getting us more confidence and we’re in a great place right now, and I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “And I’m sure the nerves will get there before the game, but all the preparation will pay off.”And with 11 days between games, which is unusual in a collegiate basketball season, the Seawolves have plenty of time to rest and prepare.Senior guard Jenna Buchanan, a Galena High School grad, said it hasn’t quite sunk yet in that she and her teammates will be playing in the biggest game of their career in less than a week.“You know, I think it’s exciting. I haven’t really given much thought how big a stage it is, really. I think I’ll do that once we get there. But, I’m just excited to play,” she said. “I was counting the sleeps till our game last night, and so I’m just ready to go.”And, with only a few sleeps left to go before the big game, Coach McCarthy said the countdown has begun – not just for the season, but for the college careers of Jenna Buchanan and the team’s other seniors.“After this, it’s done, it’s over, that’s the way America works,” he said. “No more playing college basketball, but what a great way to end it on the grandest stage of them all.”The UAA women’s basketball team will play against Lubbock Christian for the NCAA Division II National Championship in Indianapolis at 11 a.m. Alaska time on Monday.The game will be aired live on the CBS Sports Network – which is only available in Alaska on an expanded Dish Network package or Direct TV.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgArts & Culture | Environment | SouthcentralHomer artist combats invasive plants with papermakingMay 24, 2016 by Shady Grove Oliver – KBBI, Homer Share:Some of Homer artist Desiree Hagen’s tools of papermaking, including molds and deckles of various sizes, soda ash for pulp processing, sizing, cotton linters, and mordants. (Photo courtesy Desiree Hagen)Earlier this month, local artist and KBBI volunteer Desiree Hagen received an individual artist award from the Rasmuson Foundation. She plans to use the grant on a community art project making paper out of invasive plants in the Homer area. She hopes to help remove the species and create awareness of their effects on the ecosystem.KBBI’s Shady Grove Oliver spoke with Hagen about her art.SGO: First of all, can you describe the scope of your project so people can have an idea of what you’re hoping to create with this?DH: So, my hope and goal is to be able to engage a lot of people both in the papermaking process and in plant identification and learning about what is growing all around us. I had this idea for the project because I thought it would be a good way to merge science and art together and have people who don’t consider themselves creative, being able to do this craft project, and people that are creative and don’t know a lot about plants, being able to teach and educate them about what’s around us.SGO: In terms of the physical part of your project, I see you’ve got some stuff on the table. Can you tell me what that is and then physically what you will be doing?DH: I have a couple of different examples of paper I’ve made from local plants. I have a nettle paper. Nettle paper is interesting because it will change color and consistency throughout the season. So, right now what you’re looking at is a piece of green paper but it will actually change brown if I harvest the nettles later in the season when the fiber is more straw-like.This is made from seaweed. This is all pushki. This is from an invasive plant I really think is beautiful and want to find more of. (It’s) hemp nettle which is an invasive plant that grows in pretty much every garden. I also wanted to add that with this project, another aspect of it is by engaging a lot of people, it’s my hope that we can find these places where these invasive plants exist and as a group can harvest them together in one swoop so that we’ll be able to have the necessary biomass to create a lot of paper.SGO: Something that I’m noticing looking at your paper is that each type of paper made from different plants have very distinctive qualities. Some of them seem chunkier, other ones seem like they have strands going through them. The seaweed really stands out to me because it’s the only light color paper. How do you notice those coming out during your process and what are some other differences you’ve noticed?DH: Yeah, well, there’s all different variables. The thing about making paper, for me, is that each one can be kind of an experiment. I have my model of what I know works but then I can cook things for longer periods of time or add certain things. The seaweed paper that you see looks white because it has cotton added to it. I did this because I had heard that seaweed is kind of difficult to make paper out of so this was my first attempt at it so I wanted to add another fiber that would bind with it.SGO: You know, the other thing I was noticing is that one of the darker ones smells.DH: When I show my paper off to people, I’ve noticed a lot of people smelling it. I notice it too when I’m cooking the fibers. They all have distinct smells when you cook them with the soda ash. It’s interesting. I don’t think it’s a bad smell at all.SGO: They smell like the plants that they came from. It kind of smells to me like when you open up a tea cabinet and there’s loose leaf tea with the variations. For the public, what will this project need for community engagement and what’s the timeline you’re looking at?DH: For this project, I have until September. What I’m hoping is that there’s a way that it could be organized where we find people who, for example, are maybe farmers and they say, ‘Oh, I have an entire field of hemp nettle and I just need help with having it eradicated. I just want it off my property.’ Then, I have people who will come in with me and help me harvest it and then we’ll process the fiber, make it into pulp, and make it into paper. It kind of works a lot with this place-making idea of exploring places around town where, for example, they want to put in trails or have existing trail systems that need work. Well, why don’t we as a group go and explore these areas and see what’s growing there and be able to identify all these native plants? One part of identifying invasive plants and what doesn’t belong here is also being able to identify what are native plants? What are they good for? What do we use them for? What are they and what do they do?SGO: Finally, is there anything you want to add that I didn’t ask you about?DH: Just to encourage people to get involved in the project. There’s a Facebook page: Alaskan Invasive and Native Paper Project. Hopefully, we’ll be posting things about where we’ll be harvesting. I guess I just hope that people resonate with the project and if they need help weeding that there are some people out there that are really enthusiastic about doing it.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgFederal Government | Nation & World | NPR NewsSenate confirms Jeff Sessions as Attorney GeneralFebruary 8, 2017 by Jessica Taylor, NPR Share:Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is sworn in before testifying during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his confirmation hearing last month to be attorney general. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call Inc.)The Senate has confirmed President Trump’s nominee Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general, bringing an end to a bitter confirmation fight that has dredged up past accusations of racism against the Alabama senator.The vote was largely along party lines, 52-47, with only centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting yes. Sessions himself voted “present” on his own nomination.During the past month, Democrats have brought up the past allegations of racism against Sessions, which sank his nomination by President Ronald Reagan three decades ago to be a federal judge. The then-U.S. attorney admitted he had made insensitive remarks and called some top civil rights groups such as the ACLU “un-American.”In his confirmation hearing, Sessions pushed back, saying that his comments were taken out of context.“I did not harbor the kind of animosities and race-based discrimination ideas I was accused of. I did not,” Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee, though he admitted that, “I didn’t know how to respond and didn’t respond very well” during his first failed confirmation.However, his nomination had drawn some strong and unprecedented rebukes from his colleagues across the aisle.Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was formally silenced by the Senate after she read a letter Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote in 1986 objecting to Sessions’ ultimately unsuccessful nomination to the federal bench. The unusual rebuke came because of a rule barring senators from using “any form of words impute to another Senator.”Last month, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., became the first sitting senator ever to testify against a fellow senator’s confirmation, arguing he has concerns regarding Sessions’ commitment to defending minorities, the LGBT community and voting rights. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the legendary civil rights leader with whom Trump got into a spat just before his inauguration, also testified against Sessions.Sessions is the former Alabama attorney general and was first elected to the Senate in 1996. He is one of the most conservative senators in the GOP conference and has been an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration.It was that shared worldview that led Sessions to become the first senator to endorse the billionaire real estate mogul back in February 2016. One of Sessions’ former top aides, Stephen Miller, left his office to work for Trump’s campaign and is now a senior White House adviser for policy who has had a heavy hand in crafting many recent executive orders.With Sessions’ confirmation, Trump will have one of his closest allies at the Justice Department at a critical time when the president needs help defending his controversial immigration and travel ban in the courts.Last month Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, after she announced she would not defend his executive order on immigration, replacing her with Dana Boente, the top federal prosecutor in suburban Virginia. Now, Sessions will assume the role of overseeing the defense of the executive order that halts people from seven Muslim-majority countries from coming into the U.S. and stops any resettlement of Syrian refugees.Over the weekend, a federal judge temporarily blocked the ban from taking effect. On Tuesday night, Washington v. Trump was heard before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where the Department of Justice argued that the president has wide purview over immigration and implementing national security measures and that the ban should be reinstated.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit this story:last_img read more

first_imgArts & Culture | JuneauJuneau makes top 10 list for most ‘arts vibrant’ small communitiesApril 28, 2017 by Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO Share:Juneau made a top 10 list for most “arts vibrant” small communities. That’s communities with a population under 100,000.“We were thrilled!” said Meghan Chambers, an executive assistant at Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. “I mean, the word vibrant is already in our branding, so that’s helpful for us.”The National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University in Dallas published the data-driven list earlier this month. Juneau’s No. 8 ranking out of 937 communities is based on 12 per capita measures, includingThe number of people employed by arts and culture institutions,The number of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the area,Revenue and expenses of those institutions, andState and federal funding of the arts.The No. 1 community was Breckenridge, Colorado.“To be ranked No. 8 on the vibrant list … is really exciting and proves that we’ve been working really hard and our efforts are seen nationally,” Chambers said.Across the metrics, Juneau was No. 1 in one area: federal arts grant dollars per capita. That could become moot in the next ranking if President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget goes through. He’s proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgJuneau | Public Safety | SoutheastNo tsunami danger after 5.0 quake in British ColumbiaSeptember 16, 2017 by Tripp J Crouse, KTOO Share:A screen capture from the National Weather Service website shows where a 5.0-magnitude earthquake struck on Saturday. The National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer said it wouldn’t trigger a tsunami.About 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Juneau residents may have felt little more than a slight shake.That’s because a 5.0 magnitude earthquake near Kelsall Lake, British Columbia, which is about 60 miles northwest of Haines, struck at a depth of 3 miles.Dave Nanney has owned and operated the Chilkat Eagle Bed and Breakfast for almost 20 years in Haines. He said at first, it felt like a heavy equipment driving by.“Sometimes the big machines rumble, and it feels like a tremor,” Nanney said. “It was very subtle.”He said there were about three shocks.According to the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, a quake of that size isn’t going to make a tsunami.“It’s just not nearly big enough, even though we got reports as far away as Juneau that it was felt,” said Chris Popham, a senior tsunami specialist with the National Tsunami Warning Center.A quake would need to be significantly larger and closer to the coast to trigger a tsunami warning.“We’d be issuing a warning for a 7.1 , but for a 5.1, 5.0 or so that’s a thousand times less energy,” Popham said. “This quake would have needed to be a thousand times bigger – and honestly it would have needed to be a lot closer to the coast to issue a warning.”Popham said a 7.0 would need to be within about 30 miles of the coast for the center to issue a warning. Today’s earthquake was too far away and far too weak for a warning.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgCrime & Courts | SoutheastKetchikan man arrested in fatal stabbingJanuary 16, 2018 by Maria Dudzak, Alaska Public Media Share:A 38-year-old Ketchikan man was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with second-degree murder.Police officers responded to a report of two males fighting Friday night at a Tongass Avenue home. The caller stated that one man was injured and lying on the floor, while the other had left the area.When officers arrived, they found the victim, Aaron Dixon, 31, with multiple stab wounds to his upper body, Ketchikan police Sgt. Andrew Berntson.“We also found a large, approximately 8-inch blade, kitchen-style knife covered in blood on the scene,” he said. “The officers performed first aid and CPR until EMS arrived and transported the subject to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.”Five other people were in the house at the time of the alleged murder, one adult and four children, Berntson said.Police identified a suspect as Darrell Taylor Ryan, 38.Ryan was arrested at a Woodland Avenue residence at about  1:30 a.m. Saturday.Ryan admitted to stabbing Dixon, Bernston said.“Part of his statement was that during the altercation he did feel threatened, and so that was the reason he stabbed Mr. Dixon.”Dixon’s body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for autopsy.Ryan is being held at the Ketchikan Correctional Center without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 22 in Ketchikan District Court.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgFederal Government | Nation & World | NPR NewsTrump Cabinet turnover sets record going back 100 yearsMarch 19, 2018 by Tamara Keith, NPR Share:President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting on June 12, 2017. From left are, Vice President Pence, foreground, then-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the president. Price was fired by Trump last year, Tillerson was fired last week. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP)Last week, when #firingFriday was trending on Twitter and White House aides had to be reassured by the chief of staff that no changes were imminent, President Donald Trump embraced the uncertainty in public statements.His willingness to say “you’re fired” to so many people, so early in his administration, is just another way Trump is unlike those who have come before him.No elected first-term president in the past 100 years has had this much Cabinet turnover this early in his presidency. And going back to Ronald Reagan, the churn in top-level staff in the Trump White House is off the charts.“There will always be change, and I think you want to see change,” Trump said Thursday, not quite tamping down the latest rumors of possible Cabinet departures. “And I want to also see different ideas.”In just under 14 months on the job, Trump has had more Cabinet turnover than 14 of his predecessors had in their first two years. Trump has already tied Presidents Ford and Harding, with three departures each. Ronald Reagan had four Cabinet departures and they all came well into his second year in office.The three Cabinet members Trump has already replaced are Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who was pushed out after controversy over flying in charter aircraft; Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who became chief of staff over the summer; and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who was fired by tweet recently over policy and personality clashes.Several other members of the Cabinet are either clouded in controversy over possible misuse of public funds or otherwise earning the ire of President Trump. Other presidents with early Cabinet turnover saw departures for entirely different reasons.Herbert Hoover’s first war secretary, James Good, died suddenly 258 days into his tenure. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first treasury secretary, William Woodin, fell ill, writing after just nine months on the job “the state of my health will not permit me to remain in this position.” He died a few months later.Over the approximately 100-year period reviewed for this story, there were Cabinet shake-ups and shuffles, secretaries who departed to take on new roles either in the administration or on the Supreme Court. There were resignations amidst policy disagreements, and perhaps most remarkably there was an agriculture secretary who served in the job for less than 90 days, while waiting to take office as governor of West Virginia.First term “dream team”Typically in the first two years, a president has his dream team Cabinet in place and they are working hard to enact his vision. Then midterm elections come, people get tired and Cabinet shake-ups begin.“Other presidents wanted to save face for themselves and not look like their Cabinet is in disarray,” said James Pfiffner, explaining one of many possible reasons for the typical early stability in presidential Cabinets.Pfiffner is a professor of public policy at George Mason University who specializes in presidents and their Cabinets. Also, he says most presidents have a political background and choose Cabinet members they know and are compatible with who have long-established histories navigating Washington, D.C. Trump’s original Cabinet included a number of outsiders, perhaps most notably Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who came from Exxon Mobil and who Trump didn’t know beforehand.“President Trump doesn’t pay much attention to tradition or usual decorum or norms of the presidency,” Pfiffner said, pointing out that Trump puts a premium on personal rapport. “And so he does what he feels like, and continues to.”For this analysis, NPR looked at the first two years of Cabinet departures for presidents going back to Woodrow Wilson. We didn’t count holdovers from previous administrations (especially prevalent when a president took over following a death or resignation), instead focusing on Senate-confirmed secretaries in each president’s first two years and how long they lasted. Which jobs are considered Cabinet positions has changed over time, so we opted to use the same definition as the U.S. Senate historian. This means Trump’s chief of staff and CIA director aren’t part of the count, and neither is the administrator of the Small Business Administration (a position presidents Clinton and Carter had to refill early on).As to whether Trump’s tally of turnover is likely to rise anytime soon, press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether the president had offered assurances about job security to VA Secretary David Shulkin or HUD Secretary Ben Carson. And all she would say was: “We don’t have any personnel changes at this time.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit this story:last_img read more

first_imgArts & Culture | SoutheastHaines Hammer Museum adds 1,600 tools to its collectionDecember 2, 2018 by Claire Stremple, KHNS Share:Inside the Haines Hammer Museum. (Claire Stremple/KHNS)The Haines Hammer Museum is well-stocked with hammers. There are over 2,000 tools in their collection — and the number nearly doubled when a barge arrived Thursday with 1,600 new specimens.The museum may be closed for the season, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t keeping busy. When doors reopen this May, their collection will be nearly twice the size. Museum founder Dave Pahl opened the Hammer Museum in 2002. It is the world’s first museum dedicated to the history of the hammer.“Well our non-profit hammer museum has just received an awesome, awesome collection from a longtime hammer collector in Mesa, Arizona, ” he said.When Arizona hammer collector Jim Mau died, his wife donated their entire hammer collection to the Hammer Museum. The Mau collection isn’t just hammers either. It took Pahl, his wife Carol, and the Hammer Museum board all day to unload all the archival material that came with the new hammers.“It’s a lot,” Pahl said with a laugh. “If it was firewood, there’d be at least half a cord there. So we’re busy!”It took 8 days to pack the hammers in crates for shipping. The Pahl’s put five thousand pounds of hammers on a truck from Mesa, Arizona to Seattle, Washington. The hammers made the last leg of the journey by barge.“We were on pins and needles hoping that everything was surviving the trip alright,” Pahl said. “And  it got here just as we packed it five weeks ago!”The trip wasn’t cheap—it cost about $5,000 to get the hammers to Haines. That may seem like a lot of of trouble for a bunch of old hammers. But spend a few minutes talking to Pahl and you’ll learn these aren’t just tools, they’re a window into history.Dave Pahl with one of his historic hammers. (Claire Stremple/KHNS)“This is cheesemaker’s tool. You are able to withdraw a sample to check the quality of the cheese …” Pahl held up a long-handled hammer with a tiny head. The handle is concave; made to pull a sample out of a wheel of cheese for a quality check.“And then there’s a little hammer on the top, so you can close the crate back up after you’ve had your snack. There’s a hammer for every trade imaginable.”Many of the new hammers from the Mau collection are Maydole hammers, named after the blacksmith who designed them at the turn of the century.“David Maydole in 1840 invented the wedges for securing the hammer head to the hammer like we still do today,” explained Pahl. “He is memorialized among tool collectors as one of the captains of industry.”Maydole never got a patent for his invention, but his New York manufacturing company was once the nation’s largest.The new hammers are in storage at the Fort Seward barracks until they are processed and added to the museum. The Hammer Museum is located on Main Street, across from the Sheldon Art Museum. Entry is free for locals. The Museum is closed for the season but will reopen in May.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgEducation | Environment | Oceans | SoutheastKetchikan High School’s Saber-Toothed Salmon take state ocean science bowlMarch 16, 2019 by Leila Kheiry, KRBD Share:Ketchikan High School Tsunami Bowl team, the Saber-Toothed Salmon, won the 2019 Alaska Tsunami Bowl. (Photo courtesy of Tsunami Bowl)Ketchikan High School’s Tsunami Bowl team, Saber-Toothed Salmon, won the state championship late last month in Seward, and is headed to National Ocean Science Bowl competition April 11-14.Team coach Julie Landwehr and the team members showed off the state trophy during Wednesday’s Ketchikan School Board meeting. Landwehr said the team worked since the start of the school year on the competition.“Alaska has a piece that’s a 15-page research paper they have to write and present” she said. “It kind of seeds the Quiz Bowl competition. Then they have questions about anything about ocean topics in a Quiz-Bowl-type competition. This is the No. 1-team in the state. We beat South Anchorage, Wasilla, Mat-Su, Cordova. So many schools.”The team members are Caity Pearson, Talisa McKinley, Remy Howe, Anne Coss and Laura Sherrill.The national competition in Washington, D.C., will offer career events, as well as two days of competitions for the 25 winning teams.The nationwide competition focuses on ocean science. The theme this year was “Observe the Ocean: Secure the Future.”Share this story:last_img read more

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