Anne Hillman, KSKA - Anchorage
ahillman (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Anne
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.
Five orphaned wolf pups found by medics working on the Funny River Fire are now being treated at the Alaska Zoo before they go as a family to their new home at the Minnesota Zoo.
Hooligan’s Lodging became one of Soldotna’s main hubs during the evacuation. Though most evacuees have returned home, the hotel is ready in case the fire moves toward the community again.
The Tyonek Fire is now considered 100% contained. It burned about 1,900 acres. Most of the crews and resources are now being used on the Funny River Fire instead, though some personnel and equipment will stay behind to make sure the fire stays under control.
Hooligan’s Lodging became one of Soldotna’s main hubs during the evacuation. Though most evacuees have returned home, the hotel is ready in case the fire moves toward the community again. KSKA’s Anne Hillman stopped by.
The Anchorage Police Department arraigned two suspects on Thursday in a sexual assault case from 2003. They say they re-opened the case after a DNA sample from one of the suspects matched the sample taken from the victim nearly 11 years ago when she reported the crime soon after it happened.
Smoke from regional wildfires is causing concerns for air quality conditions in Anchorage. The municipality’s Department of Health and Human Services said the air is unhealthy for all people and advises everyone to stay indoors.
The village of Eklutna is now protected as a special area within the city of Anchorage. The Anchorage Assembly unanimously voted on Tuesday to create an overlay district to protect the 800 acres that are considered the to be the oldest continually inhabited Athabascan site in the region.
The Anchorage School Board voted to increase the 2014-2015 school budget by $26.5 million on Monday night, which takes the total up to almost $770 million. With the additional money the district will only lose 57 teachers instead of 143. Other funds will go toward charter schools, early literacy programs, and updating aging science teaching kits.
The Anchorage School District released their suggestions for adjusting next year’s budget on Friday. Under the superintendent’s proposal, the district would cut 57 classroom teachers instead of 143. The proposal does not add back in more than 48 support staff positions that were cut in the initial budget.
Seniors from most of Anchorage’s high schools are graduating this week and next. The district’s high schools rank among the most diverse in the nation. East high tops that list with more than 2000 kids from every corner of the world. Grads spoke about how all that diversity affected their education.
The Alaska Supreme Court listened to oral arguments Tuesday in a case that challenges whether or not same-sex couples should receive survivor benefits.
Things look a little different in Mountain View these days. The community in north Anchorage just finished their 25th annual community-wide clean-up. This year they were joined by other city residents to improve their green space as well.
The city will not be increasing the $11.8 million they plan to use for non-motorized transport projects in the 2015 to 2018 Transportation Improvement Program. The Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions advisory committee took comments on the plan on Thursday. A dozen people spoke in favor of increasing the money used to mark bike lanes and improve the trail system.
Students from Lake Otis Elementary spoke about their first experiences biking to school and the lessons they learned on the way.
The community of Tok hosts a thick, growing forest of spruce trees, and a thinning, shrinking population of people and businesses. Like elsewhere in rural Alaska, high-energy costs and a lack of jobs are causing people to leave. But the trees may be the solution to bringing people back.
Wednesday the State released details about the new deal that will replace the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. It makes the state a partner in the development of a natural gas export line from the North Slope. But the government is also still moving ahead with their back-up plan, the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline.