Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau
Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
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.
Most people only drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. But next time you tip a bottle of Amber, Pale or IPA from Juneau’s Alaskan Brewing Company that’s exactly what you’ll be drinking: Green beer, as in good for the environment.
The retired U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, perhaps bolstering its chances of becoming a museum on Juneau’s downtown waterfront.
The Juneau chapter of Veterans for Peace hopes to block a proposed gun store with an indoor firing range from being built near the airport. The owners of the facility, which is under construction, plan to allow customers to fire automatic weapons in the range under the supervision of store employees. The veterans group wants the Juneau Assembly and Planning Commission to take a closer look at the proposal.
An Alaska Airlines jet flying from Seattle to Anchorage was diverted to Juneau International Airport late Sunday night. According to a release from the airport, Flight 731 experienced engine failure and diverted to Juneau at approximately 11:10 p.m. with 167 passengers and crew on board. The plane landed without incident. Passengers were re-booked on morning flights to Anchorage.
How do you get 135 third, fourth and fifth graders to learn and apply Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion? Have them design and build paper roller coasters.
Juneau has perhaps the tightest housing market in the state. The average assessed value of the Capital City’s single family homes is nearly $350,000. Rents are also among the highest in the state. The average rental unit in Juneau currently goes for more than $1,150 dollars a month.
Bartlett Regional Hospital must repay the state and federal governments close to a million dollars for six years of Medicare and Medicaid billing errors. The hospital also may have to pay penalties for the errors, which violated federal law.
Former Juneau Assembly Member and Deputy Mayor David Stone died unexpectedly Tuesday evening after collapsing at home. He was 55 years old. Former Mayor Bruce Botelho served with Stone for nine years on the Juneau Assembly, starting in 2003. He described him as a bridge builder, who would often mentor new members.
An unattended candle likely caused last week’s fire at the Gastineau Apartments in downtown Juneau. Fire Marshal Dan Jager said an investigation determined the blaze started in the bedroom of an apartment on the fourth floor, in the back corner of the building.
The Juneau Assembly had nothing but glowing reviews for the city’s emergency responders at its first meeting since Monday’s fire at the Gastineau Apartments downtown.
The meeting was originally scheduled for Monday night, but canceled due to the blaze just blocks from City Hall. It was held today yesterday at noon instead.
Despite the praise for firefighters, the incident raised other issues for city officials to deal with.
Fire officials are still working to determine the cause of last night’s fire at an apartment building in downtown Juneau. The four-story Gastineau Apartments will be written off as a total loss. But fire crews were able to keep the blaze from spreading to other buildings along South Franklin Street.
Bartlett Regional Hospital is severing its longstanding ties with Quorum Health Resources. The Tennessee-based company currently provides discounted supply purchases and management consulting to Juneau’s city-owned hospital. For more than two decades Quorum also employed Bartlett’s chief executive and chief financial officers.
Juneau’s new mayor says the Capital City needs to take on a bigger leadership role in Southeast Alaska. Just after being sworn-in Monday night, Merrill Sanford urged his fellow Assembly members to reach out to other communities in the state, especially Southeast.