Joaqlin Estus, KNBA - Anchorage
Joaqlin Estus is a reporter at KNBA in Anchorage.
Alaska’s chronic shortage of alcohol and drug detox services recently got worse when one of only four residential detox centers in the state temporarily closed. A state Board of Nursing clarification about staffing requirements forced the Ernie Turner Center in Anchorage to close its program in late July.
Statistics from national organizations that gather and share information on sex trafficking show it isn’t a problem in Alaska. But local experts don’t believe that’s accurate. The Salvation Army is hosting events in Anchorage this weekend to raise awareness of the problem.
Inupiaq Yup’ik actress Irene Bedard, best known as the voice of Pocahontas in Disney’s animated classics series, is returning to Anchorage, where she grew up, and launching a film production company.
Melting sea ice in the Arctic is opening the door to increased maritime traffic, which brings with it risk, opportunity and the need for safe harbors and services such as search and rescue. Those are a few of the issues participants are tackling at a conference hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Institute of the North in Anchorage.
Former state Senator Al Adams Senior passed away this morning in Anchorage after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Adams was known for his tireless support and advocacy for rural and Alaska Native issues.
The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, Office of Native Affairs and Policy is visiting remote villages, hub communities, as well as Anchorage and Fairbanks to learn about the obstacles Alaska Natives face in accessing the Internet. The visiting officials also held a training session Friday in Anchorage.
Regional Advisory Councils, or RACs, have criticized the Federal Subsistence Board for not giving their recommendations enough weight. At their meeting Wednesday, board members worked to give due deference to the input of one RAC.
Dozens of rural villages are getting broadband Internet access for the first time, opening the door to new economic, employment, tele-health, and educational opportunities, and creating demand for technicians to service the computers, servers, and other equipment needed to maintain high speed connections.
Conference attendees in Anchorage last week defended a controversial Small Business Administration program. About 280 people attended a National 8(a) Association conference in Anchorage to learn more about the program that helps small businesses compete for federal contracts, but has come under increasing Congressional scrutiny in recent years.
Northern pike are native to other parts of the state, but not Southcentral Alaska. Biologists are experimenting with new tactics to wipe out northern pike that have been introduced to waterways in the area since the 1950s. They’re also working to educate the public on why it’s important not to illegally stock waterways with pike.
Soon, Alaskan travelers won’t have to fly nearly around the world to get to the other side of the Bering Strait. A Russian airline company is planning to launch direct flights between Anchorage and the Russian Far East for the summer season.
Rural Alaska Native college students say traditional culture and mentorships protect against suicide.
The debate over federal consultation with corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and tribes continued today at a meeting of the Federal Subsistence Board. The Chairman said the policy on consultation with ANCSA corporations is based on an addition to a 2005 appropriations bill, so the board has to follow the law.
The 2012 Native Youth Olympics, or NYO Games, start Friday and continue over the weekend at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Parents, teachers, and coaches will help some 600 Alaska students, grades 7-12, compete in activities such as the high kick, seal hop, and wrist carry.
At the end of the regular session, legislators adopted a bill to extend a film tax credit incentive program for ten years. It will be funded at $200 million over 10 years starting in 2013. It adds to incentives created in 2008 so film companies will be able to get a base 30 percent tax credit for expenditures in Alaska, with additional credits for local hire, films made in rural Alaska, and during the off season.
Legislators have passed a bill to require insurance companies to cover medically necessary treatment of autism, a disorder that affects sensory perceptions and the ability to communicate and interact with others.
A program using tax credits to encourage film and television producers working in Alaska will get another hearing today. Representative Mia Costello of Anchorage chairs the Finance subcommittee reviewing Senate Bill 23, the film subsidy tax credit act that sunsets next year. In her mind, there is still a lot to resolve before moving the bill. Read More
Alaska U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich recently wrote to Indian Health Service Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux asking why the agency isn’t meeting its obligation to pay the full costs of running health clinics in rural Alaska.
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A clan conference held last week in Sitka showed Southeast Natives stepping up their participation with both federal and state agencies in fisheries management.
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Alaska Native leaders from across Alaska were in Anchorage last week for a conference to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. They heard from birth mothers, young adults affected with FASD, and a number of people working to end the nation’s leading preventable birth defect.