Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau
Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
An Alaska Airlines jet with 64 people onboard simulated what would happen if a plane crashed on approach to Juneau International Airport. The event took place on Saturday. Everyone on the plane survived and many ate lunch with the emergency responders who came to rescue them. The fake crash was part of a live drill, involving airport officials, first responders, and nearly 75 volunteer victims.
It’s football season in Alaska. The sport continues to gain popularity in the 49th state, where the first official high school football championship game was played less than 25 years ago. But in Alaska and nationally concerns over football’s safety have grown, and more and more parents are refusing to let their children play youth football because of the risk of injury. Football officials at all levels have responded by trying to make the game safer.
Juneau officials are keeping an eye on legislation making its way through Congress that would allow states to collect sales tax on online purchases. The U.S. Senate this week voted 69-27 in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act.
The borough assemblies from Haines, Skagway and Juneau will meet Friday afternoon in the Skagway Assembly Chambers for what’s being billed as “The Northern Lynn Canal Neighbors Summit.”
The time has come to stop talking and start acting when it comes to changes in the Arctic. That was the message of a talk to the Juneau World Affairs Council this week by Alaska Dispatch owner and publisher Alice Rogoff. Next week she will be in Washington, D.C. with Iceland’s President to announce a new nonprofit designed to promote international cooperation on Arctic issues.
Protesters with the anti-abortion Center for Bioethical Reform held up large signs across from the state capitol building in Juneau this week, depicting graphic images of aborted fetuses.
The Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a “Stand Your Ground” bill on a 33-5 vote. House Bill 24 expands what’s known as the “castle doctrine,” which allows people to use deadly force to protect their homes and businesses from intruders.
A resolution opposing genetically engineered salmon is likely to pass the Alaska Legislature this week. The so-called “Frankenfish” resolution cleared the Senate Resources Committee on Friday, its last stop before a vote on the Senate floor. The resolution unanimously passed the House about a month ago.
As the State of Alaska has grown, the Capital City of Juneau has adapted and grown along with it. Two former legislators on Tuesday discussed those changes and the challenges Juneau has faced over the years. The talk was part of the Alaska Legislature Centennial Commission program, which took place in the Capital City this week to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Legislature.
About a hundred state workers held a rally outside the State Office Building in Juneau Thursday to show solidarity with union leaders negotiating new contracts.
A proposed monument in Juneau to Japanese Americans interned during World War II got a big boost last weekend. The Gastineau Channel Historical Society donated $5,000 to the Empty Chair Project, and a fundraising concert raised nearly $2,000. Organizers have been collecting funds for about a year and need about $6,000 more to meet their $40,000 goal.
Long-time Juneau resident Jean Rogers is being remembered as a loving mother, beloved children’s book author, and patron of the arts. Rogers died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 93.
The Alaska House of Representatives has come out against genetically engineered salmon, or as critics call it, “Frankenfish.” Representatives unanimously approved House Joint Resolution 5 on Wednesday. It urges the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reconsider a preliminary finding that genetically modified fish would not significantly impact the environment. The resolution also urges the agency to require labeling for GM salmon, if the product is ultimately approved.
Alaskans marked Elizabeth Peratrovich Day on Saturday, in honor of the Tlingit woman whose testimony to the Alaska Territorial Legislature helped pass the Anti-Discrimination Act in 1945. A small crowd gathered at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau to hear a talk from Barbara Cadiente-Nelson, a board member of Sealaska Native Corporation, the Douglas Indian Association, and a member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood.
It’s no secret that the high cost of energy in rural Alaska is a barrier to economic development and one of the primary reasons many residents are leaving village life behind. In some rural Southeast communities, electric bills are up to 275 percent higher than the national average, and some households spend as much as 50 percent of their income on home heating fuel.
The United States Postal Service will scale back hours at two Juneau post offices next month. Notices went up at the Douglas and Auke Bay post offices earlier this week. Starting March 4th, the Douglas station will only be open 1 to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Auke Bay will be open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. That’s a reduction of three and half hours every weekday at Douglas, and an hour and a half at Auke Bay.
Tlingit elder and original Sealaska Native Corporation board member Clarence Jackson passed away Thursday at the age of 78. He’s being remembered for his contributions to the Native land claims movement, and for being an ambassador for Tlingit culture in both the business world and his personal life.
More than 50 high school students taking an “Intro to Mining Occupations” course through the University of Alaska Southeast had quite the guest speaker on the first day of class Tuesday. Governor Sean Parnell urged them to follow their passions, whether they end up working in the mining industry or not.
Alaska’s economy weathered the Great Recession better than most states, and should hold steady for the foreseeable future. But depending on who you ask, there could be gloom on the horizon. World Trade Center Alaska brought its annual Statewide Economic Forecast Luncheon to Juneau on Thursday, where two economists offered differing predictions for the state’s fiscal future.