Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
Alaska Native dog mushing great George Attla has died. The sprint champion known as “The Huslia Hustler” died of cancer on Sunday at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 81. Attla’s impact spanned from success in racing to helping village kids connect with mushing.
A statewide group is fighting a proposed change in Alaska’s judge selection process pushed by a Fairbanks Senator.
A statewide group is fighting a proposed change in Alaska’s judge selection process pushed by a Fairbanks Senator. “Justice Not Politics Alaska” director Heather Arnett says the group is opposed to Republican Pete Kelly’s resolution, which proposes doubling the number of public members appointed by the governor, to the Judicial Council, which selects state judge candidates.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued updated standards for wood fired heaters. The EPA wood heating appliance emissions standards reduce smoke by two thirds compared to current levels set in 1988.
The state has proposed purchase of Fairbanks Natural Gas as part of a plan to increase the volume of Cook Inlet gas available in the interior. The governor has indicated that could begin as early as next year, but the timeline may stretch out longer.
More visitors are expected to head to Fairbanks in 2015. Interior tourism operators got a preview of prospects for the upcoming season during a recent conference in Fairbanks. Most of the expected visitor increase is tied to cruise ship and airline industry changes.
Governor Bill Walker’s latest move to advance the state backed Interior Energy Project with the purchase of a private natural gas utility is expected to expand availability and lower the price of gas in Fairbanks.
State and local leaders are trying to determine if natural gas from Cook Inlet gas is viable option for Interior’s need for a lower cost, cleaner energy source. At issue are some of the same costs that derailed an earlier focus to bring in North Slope gas.
Fairbanks Democratic State Representative Scott Kawasaki has pre-filed a bill that would set up a system for compensating people wrongfully convicted of crimes.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks anticipates cutting between 200 and 250 jobs this year. That from UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers, who in an address to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce yesterday focused on the affect of slumping oil prices on state funding for the university.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued the first ever federal standards for the disposal of coal ash by electric utilities. The toxin containing ash has gotten national attention in recent years due to spills in the Lower 48, but the situation is different in Alaska.
Alaska skiers continue to post top results at the U.S. cross country ski championships in Michigan.
Areas of Fairbanks and North Pole suffered poor air quality this a week as cold stagnant air allowed smoke from wood burning and other combustion to accumulate. The situation is nothing new and the focus of state and local plan to clean up the air. Fine particulate pollution is a known health hazard, and that’s confirmed in a locally produced report.
University of Alaska President Pat Gamble is anticipating budget cuts that will force the institution to downsize, and focus on its core missions. Gamble plans to retire at the end of the 2015 school year, but he’s looking beyond his tenure to help the university prepare for the future.