Stephanie Joyce, APRN Contributor
Every March, the Alaska legislature shuts down so lawmakers can travel to Washington, DC to participate in the Energy Council. The Council is a non-profit whose stated mission is to facilitate discussion about energy and environmental issues. But the trips have frequently been criticized as taxpayer-funded junkets.
The federal government is cutting subsidies to the telephone company that serves Adak amid concerns about how the money is being spent.
It’s shaping up to be a busy year for Arctic shipping. The Russian government has already granted 218 vessels permission to transit the Northern Sea Route this summer — four times as many as made the trip last year.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld restrictions on fishing in the western Aleutians to protect an endangered stock of Steller Sea lions. The basic question the court addressed in their opinion was whether the National Marine Fisheries Service violated any statutes when it restricted fishing in the western Aleutians in 2011.
The State of Alaska has filed criminal charges against Aleut Enterprise, a subsidiary of the Aleut Corporation, over a fuel spill in Adak. The spill happened in January 2010, during a fuel transfer from the tanker Al Amerat to Adak Petroleum’s shore-based storage facility. A state investigation concluded that the fuel storage tank was overfilled, flooding a nearby stream.
The “pirate ratship” is no more. The Coast Guard seized the F/V Bangun Perkasa almost two years ago while it was illegally driftnetting in the North Pacific, a practice that’s banned by United Nations moratorium because of its indiscriminate harvest. Now, the ship is on its way to the scrapyard.
The Coast Guard hoisted a 43-year-old crewman with multiple injuries off the F/V Alaska Juris Friday afternoon. According to the Coast Guard, the crewman had been struck in the head with a box of frozen fish.
Seventy years ago, American forces recaptured the Aleutian Island of Attu from the Japanese, in the only ground battle fought on U.S. soil during the war. The fighting, which ended on May 30, 1943, took a heavy toll on both sides, but the battle is often forgotten by the history books. Earlier this month, in an effort to remember both the soldiers and the 44 Unangan villagers who lost their homes on the island, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service installed a memorial on Attu.
The equipment from Adak’s fish processing plant was auctioned off in one piece Tuesday morning. The City of Adak and the Adak Community Development Corporation jointly submitted the winning bid of $1.8 million.
It’s been a rocky 12 years since Adak was incorporated as a city. The community has survived power crises, crushing debt, and twice, the closure of its biggest business – the fish processing plant. But now, Adak is facing a new, larger setback. Tuesday, the processing plant’s equipment is being auctioned off, and if it leaves the island, Adak will be left without its economic engine.
In the wake of several high-profile cases of alleged scale-tamperingby Bering Sea groundfish vessels, the National Marine Fisheries Service is revising its regulations for weighing fish at-sea. The new measures are aimed at making it more difficult for vessels to under-report their catch.
Around this time last year, it looked like Adak’s jet service was in jeopardy. Alaska Airlines wanted to stop flying there, and it was only after much back and forth that they conceded to continue serving the community, on a trial basis.