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Showing posts from October, 2011

Coast zone program loss hurts state's beluga whale case

Image via Wikipedia ALASKA VS. FEDS: Suit seeks to overturn endangered listing but program cited is expired. By RICHARD MAUER Anchorage Daily News Published: October 30th, 2011 10:21 PM Last Modified: October 30th, 2011 10:22 PM Back in February, the Parnell administration told a judge that Cook Inlet beluga whales didn't need the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act because the state was perfectly capable of protecting them itself, in part because of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. But in a notice belatedly filed in the case Friday, the Alaska attorney general's office acknowledged the state had lost that conservation and enforcement tool four months ago. The program expired July 1 when the Alaska Legislature failed to renew it this year, first in its regular session and then in two special sessions. The February assertion and Friday's notice were made in a lawsuit brought by the state in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeking to ov

Kelly 2 B.C. Paper: ISA virus is serious, so what's B.C. doing about it?

By Dale Kelley, Special To The Sun October 31, 2011 3:07 AM While fishermen are alarmed to learn about the discovery of a European virus in wild British Columbia salmon, the news comes as no great surprise. Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) has erupted in every country that farms salmon. Why would anyone think Canada is immune? Despite the presence of this disease in East Coast farms, British Columbia still allows the importation of non-indigenous Atlantic salmon eggs from other countries. It was just a matter of time. When Alaska banned fish farms, the top reason was to avoid disease spreading to our wild stocks. What was at stake was no mystery: Norway had already killed entire populations of wild fish due to parasites and disease introduced by imported salmon. Our state wisely chose to avoid such risk; yet folks to the south of us put us squarely in the path of what Alaskans feared the most. As the representative of Alaska fishermen who rely exclusively on the health of wild fis

Family legacy of ocean conservation (Oceana Juneau)

By MELISSA GRIFFITHS JUNEAU EMPIRE Following a career path that has been serendipitous and fulfilling, Susan Murray, senior director of the Pacific offices of Oceana, returned Wednesday from a trip to Juno Beach, Fla., where she received the Blue Friend of the Year award from the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Murray joined Oceana in 2003, two years after the organization formed and one year after it set up Pacific headquarters in Juneau, but she has had close ties to ocean conservation since childhood. In her teen years, Murray had the opportunity to spend summers in Juno Beach with her grandmother, who was fondly known as “The Turtle Lady.” For a teenager, it was a dream; they would sleep until noon, sunbathe during the day and at night they would take to the beaches with flashlights to search for loggerhead turtle nests until 3 a.m. Murray’s grandmother, Eleanor Fletcher, noticed an abundance of turtle nests on the.........

F/V Anthony G with another great video

9th Circuit gives OK for Southeast Alaska timber sale

Associated Press Published: October 30th, 2011 11:32 PM Last Modified: October 30th, 2011 11:33 PM KETCHIKAN -- A federal appeals court has affirmed an earlier court ruling that the Logjam Timber Sale on Prince of Wales Island can move forward.......

Union officials, Alaska delegation questions post office closure

by Dermot Cole Oct 30, 2011 FAIRBANKS — The Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base post offices are money-makers, not money-losers. For that reason alone they should stay open, according to two officials of the postal workers union in Fairbanks. Local 1416 President Denise Young and Vice President Heidi Gabriel wrote to USPS District Manager Dianne Horbochuk in recent weeks to object to the proposed military closures. They said the military provides the office space and perhaps the military can help with utility costs to improve the financial picture. Young’s letter says the two-person Fort Wainwright office had revenues of $642,414 over the......

As Alaska's glaciers retreat, scientists look for links to climate / Begich note to Huffpo in 2008 (photos)

As Alaska's glaciers retreat, scientists look for links to climate USGS glaciologist Shad O'Neel tries to figure out what makes state's glaciers advance, decline Posted: October 30, 2011 - 12:11am By Pat Forgey JUNEAU EMPIRE While Alaska’s glaciers and ice fields are dwarfed by the huge ice sheets of Antarctica, or even Greenland, they play a disproportionate role in the rise of sea levels, said Shad O’Neel, a glacier researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey. “Glaciers are an important player, even though they’re not that big,” he said. “That means they’re changing more rapidly than the ice sheets” of Antarctica and Greenland.” Changing Views at Ground Zero for Global Warming Mark Begich Posted: May 15, 2008 02:46 PM Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich is a candidate to represent Alaska in the U.S. Senate If you'd asked me four years ago, I would have said globa

California: Web mapping tool models climate change (video) / Why California's Cap And Trade Program Is A Big Deal

California: Web mapping tool models climate change By Larry Dignan | October 31, 2011, 2:00am PDT At UC Berkeley’s Geospatial Innovation Facility software developers are building a Web-based mapping tool to help scientists prepare for the changing climate conditions in California. The team.......   Why California's Cap And Trade Program Is A Big Deal BY   ARIEL SCHWARTZ Mon Oct 24, 2011 The state's program will be able to test the theories about whether cap-and-trade reduces pollution without destroying businesses. If it works, expect other states to quickly follow....... In the orb.... (from our library) Up to 300 Megawatt Worth of Keepal

Artificial tongue distinguishes 18 different types of canned tomato

By Sharif Sakr posted Oct 31st 2011 7:58AM Taste tests are fun -- unless you're in Italy, in which case they're drawn-out and rancorous. That's why scientists in Milan are trying to remove humans from the equation, by using..........

No bread, pasta or sugar: Stone Age-style restaurant serves only food that was available to our caveman ancestors

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER Last updated at 5:58 PM on 29th October 2011  At first glance, Berlin's Sauvage restaurant looks much like many of the German capital's other trendy eateries. But take a closer look at the chalkboard out front and you'll discover they are embarking on a culinary shake-up that takes its inspiration from the Stone Age. Proudly announcing a 'Real Food Revolution - Paleolithic cuisine!', there is no cheese, bread or sugar available, only fare accessible to our hunter-gatherer ancestors more than two million years ago..... Back to basics: Sauvage kitchen assistant Kawan Lofti holds a dish made entirely of ingredients which our Stone Age ancestors would have used

New Bill Would Make Selling Fake Maple Syrup a Felony (5 years in prison)

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 8:33am by   Jonathon M. Seidl MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont couple thought they were getting a sweet deal on real Vermont maple syrup when they found a good price for it on the Internet. The man who was selling it told them he was a trucker from Rhode Island who passed through Vermont and that he would meet them in Brattleboro to give them their syrup, said Henry Marckres, a.........

China tangles with Internet access

Image via CrunchBase By MICHELLE QUINN | 10/30/11 10:46 PM EDT Updated: 10/31/11 8:45 AM EDT SAN FRANCISCO — Internet giants like Google and Twitter have had to beat a retreat from China after being blocked or restricted, and now, some tech lobbies are stepping up pressure on Congress and the White House to do more. They say companies shouldn’t have to engage in their own foreign policy. “It’s disappointing that neither party in Congress nor the administration seems to have grasped its importance and taken strong positive actions to advance and protect the open Internet and communication and the commerce that flows over it,” said Ed Black, chief executive officer and president of Computer and Communications Industry Association, which represents some of these tech firms in lobbying for open markets. The Internet has made it easier for companies to trade across borders and reach customers in foreign markets, but tech stalwarts and small e-commerce firms alike are being forced to

Alaska Governor Parnell to Promote International Trade #Asia #LNG #Seafood

Image by Getty Images via @daylife - October 29, 2011, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell will conduct an economic trade mission with energy and seafood officials in Europe next week. The focus will be on increasing Alaska’s international trade in seafood and building on the state’s global reputation as a leader in oil and gas production. “We are meeting with businesses that are serious about investing in Alaska and creating jobs here,” Governor Parnell said. “More than ever, we need to grow Alaska’s presence in the global economy to create more Alaskan opportunity.” The trip is part of a larger state effort to promote international trade and attract foreign direct investment. Governor Parnell noted that 2011 exports may exceed 2010 exports by as much as 30 percent, topping the $5 billion mark for the first time. In 2010, exports increased by 27 percent beyond the previous year. Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Commissioner Susan Bell

Denial disappoints Chuitna petition's supporters

LAINE WELCH FISHERIES Published: October 29th, 2011 06:49 PM Last Modified: October 29th, 2011 06:51 PM The decision took nearly two years but last week the state denied a citizens' petition aimed at protecting Cook Inlet fisheries from coal mining. The petition, by the Chuitna Citizens Coalition and Cook InletKeeper, asked that buffer zones be required to protect salmon streams of the Chuitna River if a coal mine is built. In a 109-page decision, state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan claimed the petitioners' request would "ban all surface coal mining on these lands." The Chuitna strip mine, so called because it removes wetlands and overlay, would be the largest coal mine in Alaska. Plans by developer PacRim of Delaware call for the removal of 11 miles of Middle Creek, an important salmon spawning stream. PacRim claims it will be able to restore the stream after 25 years of strip mining. Sullivan agreed that reclamation of areas subjected to strip

Should state help fund bypass mail in rural Alaska?

Scott Woodham | Oct 29, 2011 TO: U.S. Congress CC: U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa; U.S. Postal Service Subject: The American Dream Dear lawmakers, Right now you're in the process of handling a reform act that's going to try to help the U.S. Postal Service survive financial tough times by cutting services and managing with a smaller budget. Judging from the list of post offices across the country being studied for closure by USPS officials, the tough times are apparently severe. Many small-town and village post offices in Alaska were on the chopping block, but were....

Ketchikan vessel owners... 'Much-needed space'

KTN Daily op-ed 10/29/2011 Much-needed space Both pleasure craft and commercial boat owners decry the insufficient harbor space in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. An estimated 100 boat owners are on a waiting list for a slip. Other than waiting, their other options are private moorage — if they can get it — or taking their boats to other towns, some as far as three travel days away. The transit costs time. Time is money, and money is in shorter supply with increased fuel prices and other expenses. The City of Saxman's planning and design for a new harbor is No. 6 on the community Legislative Liaison Priority List, along with airport, hospital, shipyard, bridge and trestle projects. No. 6 is a high priority; the numbers prove it. The economic and maritime outlook confirm it. It is needed, should be funded and built. If it's built, the boats will fill it, and it's likely the...

Protect wild salmon stocks from industrial fish farms

Originally published Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 4:00 PM Efforts to promote and sustain the recovery of Northwest salmon stocks are undercut by a proposal for a huge new farmed fish operation, and fears among scientists after the discovery of a potentially devastating virus. PUGET Sound does not need another giant fish farm to produce Atlantic salmon as the region nurtures the return of wild salmon and worries about a nascent salmon virus. Seattle Times reporter Craig Welch laid out plans by an Oregon company, Pacific Seafood, to more than double the amount of farmed fish grown in local waters. The proposal would produce 10 million pounds of salmon a year in cages in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The news comes as two Canadian researchers found........

Don't try this at home

But if you do remember to open the front door.... ;-) A funny making the rounds this morning on Google+

Alaska sues over Pebble mine initiative

By BECKY BOHRER Associated Press Published: October 28th, 2011 06:06 PM Last Modified: October 29th, 2011 01:00 AM JUNEAU -- The state of Alaska on Friday sued to invalidate the results of a voter initiative that could stop a massive gold and copper mine near one of the world's premier salmon fisheries. Residents of Lake and Peninsula Borough recently voted 280-246 to ban large-scale resource extraction, including mining, that would "destroy or degrade" salmon habitat. The measure was aimed at........ APRN Audio >>

Alaska Airlines Local Access Revived

5:32PM Fri October 28, 2011 During peak fishing season, it can be hard to get off the island if you didn’t book months in advance.  This past week, it’s been impossible. On the heels of a month of flight delays and cancellations, Alaska Airlines temporarily suspended the program that guarantees locals a seat on flights in and out of Unalaska.  Now it’s back. No one likes the feeling of being trapped, which is how the community access program came about. In peak seasons the seafood industry buys every available seat on Alaska Airlines flights to and from Unalaska, leaving locals with last-minute travel needs stranded on the island. So about four years ago Mayor Shirley Marquardt approached Alaska Airlines with a request.  She wanted them to create a program that would allow locals to get a seat, even when the flights were full.  And Alaska agreed. “And at that point he said, ‘What we’re going to do is basically overbook the..........

LightSquared Proposes Another GPS Interference Fix Another Antenna, This One by PCTEL

Jailbroken iPhone with real GPS by Karl Bode 17 hours ago ............. This morning an e-mail arrived in our inbox from LightSquared announcing that the company had cooked up another fix in the form of a new antenna by a company named PCTEL. According to LightSquared, the new antenna is headed for testing in New Jersey at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, and is another option that high-precision users can install (at their own expense) to avoid interference concerns. "Despite claims by some GPS device manufacturers that an interference solution would take ten years and billions of dollars to develop, the private marketplace has ............ More >> Deep background

F/V Alaskan Leader Under Tow After Engine Room Fire

Oct 28, 2011 Jay Barrett/KMXT             A Kodiak-based freezer-longliner is being escorted into the port of Dutch Harbor today, after fire knocked out its starboard main engine. The 150-foot Alaskan Leader reported to the Coast Guard last night that it had an engine room fire, which the crew successfully extinguished at about 9:30 p.m. The ship was..........

Consumer Reports: One-fifth of seafood mislabelled #COOL #SupplyChain UNITED STATES Friday, October 28, 2011, 23:50 (GMT + 9) A Consumer Reports investigation has found that more than one-fifth of 190 samples of seafood obtained from retailers and restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were misrepresented. The fish was revealed to be mislabelled as different species of fish, incompletely labelled or misidentified by employees. The report appears in the December 2011 issue of the magazine and online. Consumer Reports sent the fresh and frozen fish samples to an outside lab for DNA testing. They determined that: Only four of the 14 types of the fish bought -- Chilean sea bass, coho salmon and bluefin and ahi tuna -- were always labelled properly. 18 per cent of the samples did not match the..... Consumer Reports Magazine: December 2011 Mystery fish The label said red snapper

Fish on Fridays: 10 Tips on Sustainable Sushi #3 If you can find wild Alaska salmon on a sushi menu, order it

By Michael Conathan | October 28, 2011 ..................... #3. Salmon vs. salmon There are really only two types of salmon (sake) in the world: wild and farmed. Given the way each tastes, they might as well be different animals altogether. If you can find wild Alaska salmon on a sushi menu, order it. It will make you happy. Farmed salmon, frankly, pales in comparison, literally and figuratively. Its trademark coloration typically comes from a feed supplement and fails to attain the deep, rich hue of its wild cousins. Further, internationally sourced salmon in particular may include other additives and antibiotics. There are a few U.S. salmon aquaculture facilities and they operate under more strict environmental and health regulations. But when the fish hits the rice, it doesn’t wear a flag. Unless you can verify the source, probably best to steer clear......

Tennessee man sentenced for selling wildlife parts online

Anchorage Daily News Published: October 28th, 2011 09:34 PM Last Modified: October 28th, 2011 09:34 PM ................ In a plea agreement, Jia admitted selling a raw walrus tusk -- legal only for Alaska Natives to sell -- and a polar bear hide and black rhinoceros foot, which are also illegal to sell, to an undercover agent in 2010, according to the U.S. attorney's office.......

ADN/McClatchy: FCC: Changes would mean faster Internet in rural areas

Image via Wikipedia SUBSIDIES: Current system is "out of whack," spokesman says. By CURTIS TATE McClatchy Newspapers Published: October 28th, 2011 09:54 PM Last Modified: October 28th, 2011 09:55 PM WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that proposed changes to subsidies for rural telephone service are intended to help customers in remote areas gain access to faster Internet service and better wireless phone service, and some industry groups say that reflects what consumers are choosing already. FCC spokesman Mark Wigfield said the Universal Service Fund, which everyone who gets a phone bill each month pays into, needs to be........ .............. Lawmakers who represent rural states had expressed some concerns about the changes. Earlier this month, Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and Rep. Don Young wrote FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to say that the Universal Service Fund is the only thing that prevents rural Alaskans from b

Cutter Healy completes third of four 2011 science missions

DUTCH HARBOR, Alaska — The Coast Guard Cutter Healy moored at the Coast Guard pier in DutchHarbor Thursday having completed the third of four Arctic science missions planned for 2011. The most recent mission was to service passive acoustic, chemical and physical moorings and evaluate hydrographic measurements for the yearly assessment of the western Arctic boundary current which flows from Barrow Canyon to the continental slope of the Beaufort Sea. Passive acoustic moorings measure marine mammal calls. Chemical moorings quantify air to sea gas exchange and physical moorings measure water properties and circulation in Barrow Canyon. During the past three weeks Healy's crew travelled more than 5,750 miles from the Beaufort Sea north of Barrow to M’Clure Strait at the entrance of the Canadian Archipelago servicing hydrographic moorings, conducting sub-bottom profiling and conductivity-temperature-depth measurements. Healy carried out more than 160 conductivity-temperature-de

NE: New NOAA data purports to show cod in dire straits

Image via Wikipedia October 27, 2011 By Richard Gaines Staff Writer Gulf of Maine cod, the lifeblood of the inshore fishing fleet centered around Gloucester, appears to have undergone a dramatic and inexplicable decline in recent years, according to an authoritative marine scientist on the NOAA Science Center team. Steven Cadrin, a member of the New England Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee team, told the Times today that the assessment of Gulf of Maine cod — which is preliminary and subject to peer review — points to a finding that even a complete ban on landings would not allow the iconic stock to rebuild fully by the April 2014 deadline called for under fishery management plans. "The stock can't meet the rebuilding deadline with no fishing," said Cadrin, an.............

Pollock Fleet Struggles With Bycatch as Season Closes

6:02PM Thu October 27, 2011 The Bering Sea pollock B season is grinding to a close. As of Saturday, 77,000 metric tons of fish remain unharvested. That’s about 10 percent of what the fleet’s allowed to take this fall. Both the catcher vessels and factory trawlers have reduced their effort substantially, according to NOAA’s latest catch report. Many crews have already packed up and flown home even if they still have fish on the table. Camilo Neto is the captain of the Starward, and his crew left the island on Tuesday. He says that with the sluggish pace of fishing, the low price, and.......

Denby Lloyd seeks Kodiak fisheries analyst job

The Associated Press Published: October 26th, 2011 11:01 AM Last Modified: October 26th, 2011 11:02 AM KODIAK -- A former commissioner for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is seeking to become the fisheries analyst for Kodiak Island. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports Denby Lloyd interviewed Monday before a.....

Good News for TERRA SW? FCC Unveils Rules for $8 Billion Rural Broadband (4mb) Internet Fund (Very Important for Alaska)

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Published October 27, 2011 | Associated Press WASHINGTON –  Federal regulators have unveiled a plan for overhauling the $8 billion fund that subsidizes phone service in rural areas and for the poor. It redirects the money toward broadband expansion. The Federal Communications Commission's plan, adopted Thursday, establishes a new "Connect America Fund" for mobile telephone and broadband in rural communities and needy areas. The money will continue to come from a surcharge on consumers' and businesses' monthly phone bills. Rates should stay flat or decline for most consumers, FCC officials said. The size of the fund will be capped at $4.5 billion annually. To receive money for network expansions into designated areas, telecommunications companies will be required to enter a bidding competition. The FCC also approved new rules for the complex system that governs how phone companies pay each other for phone calls. The ch

Halibut Fishing Restrictions Under Consideration for 2012 (KTUU Video)

by Jackie Bartz Channel 2 News 1:26 p.m. AKDT, October 26, 2011 ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Halibut fishing restrictions are a hot topic this week, as charter operators work with federal regulators on a management plan for the flatfish in Alaska waters....,0,3304533.story Related >>  

The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett

Oct 27, 2011 Coming up this week, we have a follow up on the salmon virus found in British Columbia wild stock; a former fish and game commissioner wants to be Kodiak's fisheries advisor, and New Zealanders share their tricks for turning left over fish parts into useful stuff. All that at and why is Senator John Kerry so mad at Jane Lubchenko? We had help this week from KDLG's Daysha Eaton in Dillingham, Jennifer Canfield in Kodiak, and KUCB's Alexandra Gutierrez in Unalaska. Audio >>>

Valdez: Coast Guard awards contract to eliminate pollution threat

VALDEZ, Alaska – The Coast Guard awarded a contract Monday to remove the source of pollution from the sunken landing craft Sound Developer in Cordova to Global Diving and Salvage, Inc. out of Anchorage and Seattle.   The project involving the 117-foot landing craft is expected to begin in early November with an end goal of removing the pollution threat from the waterway. In order to do this, Global Diving and Salvage will refloat the Sound Developer and transport it approximately one mile northeast of the small boat harbor to a City of Cordova owned mudflat on New England Cannery Road. "Moving the vessel to the mudflat increases safety and access for the responders, creates a better worksite space increasing the range of equipment that can be used and marginalizes the impact of weather on oil removal operations," said Lt. Roberto Trevino, Marine Safety Unit Valdez. Once relocated, Global Diving and Salvage will remove and dispose of all oil contamination to th

Massachusetts: re: Boston Globe: Scrutiny vowed on fish labeling

State lawmakers, AG consider action Brown, Kerry talk with US regulators October 27, 2011|By Jenn Abelson, Globe Staff State officials say they will improve oversight of seafood sales in Massachusetts after the results of a Globe investigation published this week revealed widespread mislabeling at area restaurants, and few controls to protect diners from potential health risks and overpaying for fish. The Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure is expected to schedule an oversight hearing on seafood substitution in the coming weeks. The Patrick administration and members of the state’s congressional delegation - including both senators - also are reviewing the matter. And a prominent local restaurateur said he will change his menu in response to the Globe’s findings..... Archive

Near record surge in Atlantic salmon production over summer

Uploaded October 27, 2011 Marine Harvest said that the surge in Atlantic salmon production in July, August, and September was the greatest since 1996. The flood of salmon is crashing the market, and little relief is predicted until 2012, when consumers should see the full benefits of lower prices...... Video >>

Alaska's per-capita GDP tops national average by 50 percent

Associated Press Published: October 26th, 2011 08:02 PM Last Modified: October 26th, 2011 08:03 PM JUNEAU -- Alaska had a $49 billion economy last year, with the largest single piece of that coming from oil and mining. State labor department economist Neal Fried says.....

Alaska Dispatch on Facebook in the Arctic

Image via CrunchBase Server farms: A new industry in the Arctic? Facebook thinks so. Mia Bennett | Eye on the Arctic | Oct 27, 2011 Editor's note: Some entrepreneurs and politicians have suggested Alaska should create a server farm next to its Arctic oil and gas fields, where the servers could be kept cool and powered easily. Apparently, though, they never got around to asking Mark Zuckerberg if Facebook would be interested in Alaska. A lot has been said about the competition for the Arctic’s natural resources, like oil and gas, fisheries, and minerals. Little has been said about using the cold as a resource. Now, of all companies, Facebook is intending to capitalize on the Arctic’s frigid climate by building a data center in LuleĆ„, on the coast of Swedish Lapland. The city, Sweden’s seventh-most populated, already has a sizable IT industry and a large university, so it is not terribly surprising that after reportedly considering 40 locations in the country, Facebook chose