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Steve Heimel, APRN - Anchorage

sheimel (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8454 | About Steve

Kodiak Fishermen Target A Niche Consumer Market

Small boat fishermen out of Kodiak have found a premium market for their catch, based on the idea of buying local. The jig fishery uses gear as light as ten pounds, and is open to anyone who buys a permit. A number of restaurants are willing to pay more for fish caught that way.

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June 17, 2014

Potential PSP Case Reported From Clam Beach Clams

A man reported possible symptoms of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning after consuming clams gathered near Clam Gulch on the Kenai Peninsula Saturday – one of the few beaches the state monitors.

June 17, 2014
(Photo courtesy Alaska Marine Conservation Council)

Local Fishing & Local Markets

If food security can also be job security for fishermen, you could call it a win-win situation. Sustainability labeling is catching on in the U.S. after making a difference for years in European seafood sales. And now even in Alaska, some large customers are making deals with fishermen who promise to fish sustainably.

APRN: Tuesday, 6/17 at 10:00am

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June 13, 2014

Proposition 1

Alaska’s budget is based on oil taxes, and the Legislature changed the oil tax structure last year to allow the industry more income when prices are high. In August Alaska’s voters are being asked whether they want to repeal that change.

APRN: Tuesday, June 1, at 10:00 a.m.

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June 6, 2014
Managing Predators

Managing Predators

Managing predators is not easy, but it’s harder to manage people. Predator populations are spreading in the Lower 48 states, and farmers are not happy. Meanwhile in Alaska the tourists are arriving, the bears are out and so are the moose calves.

APRN: Tuesday, 6/3 at 10:00am

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May 30, 2014

Parnell Signs Budgets, Spares Veto Pen

Governor Sean Parnell signed the state operating and capital budgets Wednesday afternoon in downtown Anchorage, beginning with a speech to the Rotary Club, in which he said the Legislature met the spending targets he laid out for it.

May 28, 2014
Evacuation Order Lifted for Funny River Road Residents

Evacuation Order Lifted for Funny River Road Residents

Residents of the Funny River Road community were allowed to start returning to their homes as state fire officials lifted the evacuation order at 9 am this morning. Although all evacuation orders have been suspended at this time, residents were cautioned that there is still an evacuation advisory in place which could result in another evacuation order should conditions change.

May 27, 2014

Crews Fighting to Keep Funny River Fire Away from Homes

Firefighting crews battled to keep the Funny River fire from expanding toward homes and cabins on the Kenai Peninsula. People evacuated from about 1,000 households waited it out through Sunday night at shelters, and homes of friends and relatives. The fire has been spotted at times across the Kenai River.

May 26, 2014

Solar Energy from the Ocean

Solar energy technology has greatly improved over the last few years, but who would have thought that the ocean could be used as a solar collector? And who would have installed the technology to do so? That’s what’s now being done at the Seward Sea Life Center. And now they’re seeking to spread the energy.

APRN: Tuesday, 5/27 at 10:00am

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May 23, 2014

Seismologist Delivers Cautionary Notes

If you have lived in Southcentral Alaska for a year or more, you are almost certain to have felt an earthquake. But a damaging quake is something else again. Experts tell us a quake as powerful as the Great Alaska Earthquake of fifty years ago isn’t likely any time soon, but it doesn’t take a Magnitude Nine to do big damage.

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May 20, 2014

Earthquake Awareness: State of the Art

The earth is restless in Alaska, with more earthquakes than all the other states combined – plus volcanoes and tidal waves. The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 was critically important scientifically, and that science has made remarkable advances in recent years.

APRN: Tuesday, 5/20 at 10:00am

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May 16, 2014
Wilderness in Alaska

Wilderness in Alaska

Whether you call it locking up land or protecting it, wilderness designation raises some profound cultural, biological and management
questions. As it turns 50 years old, is the Wilderness Act showing signs of age? Or has it barely reached maturity? Nowhere in the country is there more wilderness than Alaska.

APRN: Tuesday, 5/13 at 10:00am

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May 9, 2014

Apache Selling Gulf Of Mexico Offshore Interests

The oil and gas company exploring the west side of Cook Inlet is getting a cash infusion. Apache is selling off some of its Gulf of Mexico offshore interests to a mining company – Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold – for $1.4 billion.

May 9, 2014
(Graphic courtesy National Weather Service)

National Weather Service Issues El Niño Watch

There could be more warm and cloudy weather on Alaska’s coast and more wildfire danger in the Interior this summer if a temperature trend in the waters of the Pacific Ocean along the equator continues.

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May 8, 2014

National Science Foundation To Deploy Seismic Sensors In Alaska

Alaska is the place to be if you want to study earthquakes. In a year, it has as many earthquakes as all the other states combined. Scientific study of those quakes is beginning to ramp up significantly as the National Science Foundation deploys a new network of seismic sensors this summer.

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May 6, 2014

Alternative Public Education Opportunities

For many years policy leaders have been talking about ways to bring more education choices to rural Alaskans. Now those options are beginning to appear. Legislation has passed to benefit charter schools and boarding schools around the state.

APRN: Tuesday, 5/6 at 10:00am

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May 2, 2014

Report Outlines Emerging Arctic Research Issues

A report is out today from the National Academy of Sciences outlining emerging Arctic research issues. The report says among other things that a refuge of Arctic sea ice is likely to remain in the summers into the foreseeable future, raising questions about shrinking rather than vanishing wildlife habitat.

April 29, 2014

Seward’s Icebox

What was William Seward thinking when he pushed the purchase of Alaska from Russia? What would most surprise him if he could see Alaska now? Seward’s Day is a state holiday; a town and a highway are named after him; but who was he? Two historians will help us understand why we’re not part of Russia, on the next Talk of Alaska.

APRN: Tuesday, 4/29 at 10:00am

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April 25, 2014
Oil and gas planning areas in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Oil and gas lease areas are shown in 
orange, with seismic survey areas shown in gray. Selected oil and gas wells, some in Alaskan state waters and some 
in federal waters, are shown as purple dots. Some coastal communities and cities are also shown.  (Image from the National Research Council)

What Needs To Be Done To Respond To An Arctic Oil Spill?

The National Research Council released a report on what needs to be done in order to be able to respond to oil spills in Arctic waters. Environmental groups were quick to respond that so much needs to be done that it would be better to not drill at all.

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April 23, 2014

Legislature Passes Gov. Parnell’s LNG Pipeline Plan

The House voted 36-4 on the measure Sunday. The Senate later voted 16-4 to agree to the House changes. Senate Bill 138 would set state participation at about 25 percent in a project also being pursued TransCanada, the Alaska Gas-line Development Corp., and the North Slope’s major players. It would allow the project to move to a stage of preliminary engineering and design and cost refinement.

April 21, 2014