Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO - Juneau
Rosemarie Alexander is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
The more than 30 speakers at Monday’s Save Our Schools hearing were preaching to the choir; that is, the Alaska House and Senate Democrats who called it to bolster their fight for increased public school funding.
The Parnell administration and two public employee unions have reached tentative agreement for a new three-year contract to begin in July. The Alaska Public Employees Association settled earlier this week; the Alaska State Employees Association finished late Thursday afternoon.
It may be months before the Federal Communications Commission rules on GCI’s application to take over two small television stations in Southeast Alaska and one in Anchorage. Commercial broadcasters have lined up to oppose the purchase and request a hearing before the commission, something the FCC is often reluctant to do. The question hinges on whether the merger is in the public’s interest.
Former Alaska Governor Bill Sheffield says it’s time for Alaska to build its own gas pipeline. Sheffield has been stumping the state on his own dime to promote the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline – or ASAP. The acronym is appropriate, he says, because Alaska is on the threshold of an energy crisis and needs the gas As Soon As Possible. Sheffield says some communities are already over the edge.
Dirt has been turned for the new State Libraries, Archives and Museum in the capital city. The project to hold Alaska’s treasures in one building is already underway, as contractor PLC Construction prepares the ground behind the current Alaska State Museum.
The 28th session of the Alaska State Legislature is underway. Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell gaveled in the House of Representatives a few minutes after 1 p.m., and the Senate about 2 p.m.
When legislators enter Alaska’s capitol building soon for the session, they won’t have to be concerned about falling debris. Gray lumber hugs the marble columns at the entrance to the Alaska State Capitol – to support temporary scaffolding meant to catch anything that might break off the 80-year-old building’s façade.
Bells across Alaska rang at 9:30 Friday morning in memory of the 26 victims who were shot to death one week ago at an elementary school in Connecticut.
Alaska joined with the rest of the nation on Monday to cast its Electoral College ballots for U.S. President and Vice President. The state has three electoral votes.
Alaska’s westernmost point is actually in the Eastern Hemisphere. Attu Island is the last in the Aleutian Chain, and closer to Russia than Alaska’s mainland. The fog enshrouded island doesn’t get many visitors, but earlier this month, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman and some of her crew called, each with their own unique tie to Attu.
British Columbia environmental officials have approved a new route to the Tulsequah Chief Mine that avoids several traditional Native use areas and eliminates the need for Taku River barging. A Canadian company hopes to re-open the old mine by 2015.
You may recall stories recently about two Alaska walrus pups going to new homes in big city zoos. The pudgy cute faces of Patak and Mitik were seen nationwide as the youngsters made their way to Indianapolis and New York City zoos. National reports indicated they were rescued from the ocean off Alaska. But that’s a pretty big place. KTOO’s Rosemarie Alexander narrowed it down with the help of a former Juneau resident who lives in Barrow and visited with one of the walrus pups.
The Holland America Oosterdam pulled out of Juneau at 6 p.m. Wednesday, ending the cruise ship season for the year. About 925,000 passengers visited Alaska’s capital city this summer, according to Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau President Lorene Palmer.
Need a bridge? It’s not the usual thing to see in the classifieds, but the state of Alaska wants to unload the 47-year-old Brotherhood Bridge, which spans Juneau’s Mendenhall River.
Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho is asking Canadian environmental officials to come up with a plan to treat Acid Rock Drainage from the Tulsequah Chief Mine at the headwaters of the Taku River.
The state of Alaska next month will ask the federal government to approve new education standards to replace the so-called No Child Left Behind program. The state has requested a waiver from the federal law, which has vexed educators for a decade. State education officials are now in the process of adopting new assessments to replace Adequate Yearly Progress.
Three Arkansas teenagers charged with the death of Kevin Thornton of Juneau will be tried individually. Hot Spring County Circuit Court Judge Ed Koon has ordered the case be severed. Kevin Thornton was visiting the Malvern area in July 2011, when he was allegedly assaulted by the boys, then ages 16 and 17. He died of his injuries a week later.
NOAA scientists are combing Alaska beaches again in their search for marine debris from the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.
A water treatment plant at the Tulsequah Chief Mine project in British Columbia has been shut down. Mine owners Chieftain Metals shut off the plant on June 22. The company says it cannot continue spending money on water treatment without any mine income.
Marine debris is nothing new, and a NOAA crew found little of note in last week’s survey of outside Panhandle beaches.