Anne Hillman, KSKA - Anchorage
ahillman (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Anne
Businesses in Anchorage have a tough time finding entry level employees. For some employers, the solution is hiring refugees — individuals who fled violence or persecution in their home countries and are trying to enter into life in the United States. Catholic Social Services uses money from the Office of Refugee Resettlement to help run programs that connect refugees with employers.
New phone books are arriving in Anchorage. You can recycle your old ones at drop offs around the city, and they’ll be turned into insulation and mulch.
Enstar gas prices are going up this summer, but the increase isn’t permanent. An Enstar representative says customers’ total gas bills for this year will be similar to years past.
The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission held a listening session today in Anchorage. The aim was to get more statewide input, especially from the Alaska Native community, on how the Commission should try to shape future Arctic policy.
Anchorage’s Parks and Recreation Department opened a new dock on Jewel Lake yesterday. Unlike the previous, weather-damaged facility that loomed 15 feet over the water, this one makes the lake accessible — to everyone.
Twenty-four people in Alaska have been diagnosed with HIV since January. Normally, that’s the total number of new diagnoses for an entire year, not just six months. Now Alaskans have a new way to help prevent HIV infections. The Center for Disease Control recently released new guidelines for a daily pill that can prevent new infections, though it’s not seen as a cure-all.
Some community members are concerned about proposed changes to the Anchorage Municipal Wetlands Management Plan. They say it weakens protections for vital areas. The plan’s update has been in the works for nearly four years.
The state’s Department of Health is reporting an increase in sexually transmitted diseases in Alaska. In 2013, Gonorrhea and syphilis infections were up more than 50 percent from 2012. Alaska was ranked first in the nation for Chlamydia infections in 2013. And in just the first five months of this year, 23 new cases of HIV have been diagnosed and reported. That’s one less than last year’s total.
The Anchorage Assembly approved the purchase of land to relocate Fire Station #3 at last night’s meeting. But they postponed most of the other major decisions and discussions, including the public hearing on the city’s labor laws.
Anchorage residents gathered at Mountain View Lions Park on Friday to celebrate World Refugee Day. The day honors people who have fled their home country, often because of war or ethnic persecution. About 120 refugees are resettled in Anchorage every year as part of a national program. Some of them spoke about their experiences.
Anchorage’s unemployment rate for May is 4.9 percent, one of the lowest rates in the state. Though that may seem like a good thing, it’s actually a barrier for growth in the state’s largest city. Businesses are having trouble finding reliable workers.
The remains of 17 service members who died in a 1952 plane crash near Mount Gannett have been identified by the Department of Defense and will soon be returned to their families. An Alaska National Guard Blackhawk helicopter crew discovered the crash site two summers ago on Colony Glacier during a training exercise. A team went back to the site to recover what they could later that month. Some of the family members reflected on the experience.
The state’s Department of Transportation is weighing it’s options for the redesign of the intersection of Seward and 36th.
For the first time in Alaska, and the United States, a company is flying drones over land for commercial purposes. BP is using Unmanned Aerial Systems to inspect roads, gravel pads, and pipelines on the North Slope. It’s the first time the Federal Aviation Administration has approved drones for this type of use, and it could open doors for other companies.
The National Archives in Anchorage is closing its doors to researchers in less than two weeks, despite impassioned pleas by historians and researchers. But they aren’t the only ones who use the stacks of historical records. Playwrights, federal and state agencies, and native organizations do as well. And the archives leaving could impact them all, to a degree.
More than 4,250 bikers turned out for Bike to Work Day in Anchorage on Wednesday. That’s more than double the participants for last year’s snowy event, when low numbers were blamed on the cold, wet weather. In 2012, about 3,800 bikers took to the streets and trails.
More than 4,250 bikers turned out for Bike to Work Day in Anchorage today. That’s more than double the participants for last year’s snowy event, when low numbers were blamed on the cold, wet weather. In 2012, about 3,800 bikers took to the streets and trails.
Anchorage is celebrating it’s 10th annual Bike to Work Day on Wednesday — an event aimed at promoting bike commuting in Anchorage. But Bike to Work Day isn’t the only time cyclists are on the road in the city. Data from the American Community Survey says that bike commuting in Anchorage is up 151 percent since 1990. It’s one of the top cities in the nation for bike commuters.
Anchorage Assembly members met Tuesday to continue the conversation about the municipality’s controversial labor law, AO-37. The labor subcommittee and community members debated Assembly Member Jennifer Johnston’s proposed revisions of the municipality’s old labor laws.