Matt Miller, KTOO - Juneau

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Matt Miller is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

It’s being called a marine heat wave. The combination of the strongest El Niño in recent history and the warm water anomaly known as the Blob generated the greatest amount of warm ocean water that has ever been recorded, possibly affecting marine life up and down the West Coast.

The criminal justice reform bill recently signed into law is intended to save money and reduce the state’s prison population by eliminating the factors that contribute to recidivism, or the revolving door of offenders repeatedly returning to prison. Listen now

It was built to protect and preserve Alaska’s most-treasured documents and artifacts for the next hundred years. The replacement for the old Alaska State Museum in Juneau was almost two decades in the planning and it took over three years to build. Download Audio

Governor Bill Walker will name someone to a seat on the Alaska Supreme Court within the next few days. Download Audio

Fisheries researchers are investigating why pink salmon, a staple of Southeast Alaska’s commercial fisheries, seem to be growing bigger every year while other, longer-lived salmon species are getting smaller in size.
(NOAA photo)

Federal fishery biologists expect only 30-million pink salmon, or humpies, will be harvested in Southeast Alaska 2016. That’s well short of 2015's disappointing harvest of 34 million fish and 2013’s record catch of 95-million pinks. Download Audio

Fisheries researchers say the appearance of a warm water anomaly in the northeast Pacific Ocean likely added a new wrinkle into recent predictions of Alaska salmon runs that are used by commercial fishing industry for the upcoming season’s planning. Because of the variability of West Coast salmon populations, a simple cause and effect may be impossible to pin down.

If you thought Alaska was pretty warm and dry this winter, you were right. In fact, it could come close to setting a record. Download Audio

Government leaders and policymakers from circumpolar nations say they rely on the very best and latest science to make decisions about how to adapt to climate change and a rapidly warming Arctic. They converged in Fairbanks last week at the same time as one of the largest groups of Arctic scientists met to brainstorm on the next round of new research. Download Audio

Every hotel is booked up solid in Fairbanks this week, and rental cars are hard to find. Over a thousand people from 30 different countries are in the Golden Heart City for a meeting of Arctic scientists and policymakers called Arctic Science Summit Week. One of the highlights includes a meeting of the Arctic Council, a multinational governmental forum created to address the Arctic’s pressing issues. Download Audio

Climate researchers say a giant mass of warm water in the Pacific Ocean may be responsible for unusual sightings of marine life in the North Pacific while also influencing North American weather patterns.

Scientists are increasingly worried about the possibility of more die-offs and other adverse effects on marine mammals and seabirds if the suspected cause, a huge anomaly of warm water in the northeast Pacific Ocean, persists into this summer. KTOO’s Matt Miller has more in the first of a two-part series. Download Audio

The operation to raise and dismantle the old tug Challenger is winding down in Juneau.

Fisheries biologists are worried that many of last year’s new pollock around Kodiak Island may not have survived recent warm ocean temperatures.

Imagine a small, but very busy high school science fair, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it was like at the Coast Guard’s open house on Tuesday to explain the imminent salvage of the wrecked tug Challenger. The neglected 96-foot World War II era vessel sank last September in Gastineau Channel just across from the Juneau Yacht Club. Download Audio

Former Juneau Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch has been fined $18,104 for asking for an oil company job while sitting as a state lawmaker who helped draft oil tax legislation. But his attorney said the opinion released by a legislative ethics committee may not be the final word on the matter. Download Audio

A former Juneau resident arrested last month in the Palmer area has been indicted on murder charges. A Juneau grand jury handed up an indictment on Friday charging Nora Edith Thomas, 28, with two counts of second degree murder.

Scientists from up and down the West Coast are gathering in Seattle this week for a conference on a giant mass of warm ocean water that has lingered in the Northeast Pacific. Download Audio

Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan said he expects that the $3.5 billion budget deficit will dominate the agenda during this legislative session. But will anything be accomplished to fill that gap? That’s a different story.

The University of Washington School of Law is hosting policymakers from Alaska and around the country for discussions on Arctic security and politics, development, transportation and shipping, environmental protection, and climate change.