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#08-29-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Begich Says $50-Million Seafood Promotion has Broad Support
Aug 28, 2012
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A new national plan to promote American seafood abroad was announced on Friday by Alaska Senator Mark Begich. He says growth in sales could be better, and thinks a national marketing council - funded with $50-million per year - would increase sales. He says the plan has....

Mat-Su may end up giving away controversial $80 million Susitna ferry
Suzanna Caldwell | Aug 28, 2012
M/V Susitna - Catamaran Ice Breaking Ferry for...
M/V Susitna - Catamaran Ice Breaking Ferry for Alaska (Photo credit: jay galvin)
An $80 million ice-breaking ferry envisioned as a speedy link across Knik Arm between Alaska’s largest city and remote Port MacKenzie seems to be increasingly viewed as a ferry to nowhere that will never carry Alaska passengers but could suck hundreds of thousands of dollars a year out of Matanuska-Susitna Borough coffers. So for the first time on Tuesday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly asked Borough Manager John Moosey to put the Susitna ferry on a federal surplus registry and list it for sale by a broker. Conceivably, the borough may give the 195-foot vessel away – if it can find somebody who wants it. In a 23-minute meeting, borough assembly members discussed whether to allocate more than a half-million dollars to pay for a year's worth of insurance and maintenance for the $80 million ship that’s still docked in Ketchikan. Instead, the assembly agreed.....

My turn: Scientific review underscores fishermen's concern with pebble
Posted: August 28, 2012 - 10:04am
As a Bristol Bay fishermen my family depends on our jobs and income from Salmon. I follow the debate around large-scale mining in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska’s greatest wild sockeye salmon fishery, as best I can. Because the State of Alaska has done nothing over the years to address concerns about large-scale mine development in the region I was among many Alaskans who asked the Environmental Protection Agency to get involved and address....

Aomori told to stop shipping Pacific cod after isolated cases of high cesium readings
August 29, 2012
With its rich fishing grounds, the far northern and mostly rural prefecture of Aomori is reeling from a ban on shipments of Pacific cod after two instances of fish were found with exceptionally high readings of radioactive cesium. The ban, imposed by the central government on Aug. 27, comes at a bad time as local fishermen had anticipated good hauls of the fish in the weeks ahead. Pacific cod features in traditional "nabe" hot pot dishes that grace Japanese dinner tables during autumn and the gloomy winter months. Hauls of Pacific cod in Aomori Prefecture totaled 1.4 billion yen ($18 million) last year. Local officials are puzzled by the....

Arctic summit closes on reminders of slow development, potentially rapid change
Craig Medred | Aug 27, 2012
The Arctic Imperative Summit wrapped up in Girdwood Monday with an illustration of how slowly things move in the Far North and a warning about how quickly that could change. As former North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta pointed out in closing remarks, the Sioux Indians roamed the North American Great Plains in much the same way for thousand of years until the westward rush of development overran and swamped them. That was more than 100 years ago, and the Lakota have never fully recovered. "I'd like to talk to you very briefly about Sitting Bull," the great Sioux chief, said Itta, an IƱupiat Eskimo. "He would never sign a treaty." Sitting Bull did not sign because he knew....

Remote Alaska to stockpile food, just in case
By BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press – 15 hours ago
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska is known for pioneering, self-reliant residents who are accustomed to remote locations and harsh weather. Despite that, Gov. Sean Parnell worries a major earthquake or volcanic eruption could leave the state's 720,000 residents stranded and cut off from food and supply lines. His answer: Build giant warehouses full of emergency food and supplies, just in case. For some in the lower 48, it may seem like an extreme step. But Parnell says this is just Alaska. In many ways, the state is no different than the rest of America. Most people buy their groceries at stores, and rely on a central grid for power and heat. But, unlike the rest of the lower 48, help isn't a few miles away. When a fall storm cut off Nome from its final fuel supply last winter, a Russian tanker spent weeks breaking through thick ice to reach the remote town. Weather isn't the only thing that can wreak havoc in Alaska, where small planes are a preferred....

WaPo: Canning: This could be your year, first-timers
By Bonnie S. Benwick, Published: August 28
Some of the most accomplished cooks around — the ones willing to scout the best ingredients and splurge on the really good pots — have never put up food in jars. It’s not all that difficult to identify stumbling blocks. No family role models. Memories of seasonal family servitude. Misperception or laziness. Fear. The fact that canning and preserving in America has been trending for a decade is both a blessing and a curse. For every enthusiast with a blog and a jar lifter, there’s an essayist bent on exposing the posers among a genuinely interested, growing population. Yet the activity continues to empower home cooks. Talk about rewarding: You can sail past.....

AUGUST 29, 2012 · 9:55 AM
Energizing ideas — Sen. Murkowski highlights Alaska’s challenges, possibilities in state tour with visiting senators
By Jenny Neyman
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, head out from the Kenai Municipal Airport on Monday after a tour of Cook Inlet oil and gas facilities. Even when coming from other energy-producing states, it’s good for lawmakers to get a firsthand look at Alaska and the unique challenges and opportunities it has for energy production, said Sen. Lisa Murowski, R-Alaska, while playing host and tour guide to senators from North Dakota, Louisiana and Oregon in recent weeks. “Particularly for people that are in policy-making positions, they need to understand that their knowledge base might not necessarily translate to what actually happens here,” Murkowski said.....

Sen. Begich To Introduce Legislation Creating Arctic Port Authority
By Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage | August 28, 2012 - 5:24 pm
The state of Alaska is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to locate a site for a deep water port. Alaska Senator Mark Begich says he plans to introduce legislation creating an Arctic Port Authority to facilitate Alaska’s future international shipping needs. Begich made the announcement over the weekend at Arctic Imperative Summit. Senator Mark Begich is a strong supporter of greater icebreaking capacity in Alaska’s Arctic waters. Begich’s remarks during his talk at the Arctic Imperative Summit pointed to the cooperation of Nome area Sitnasuak Native Corporation and Vitus Marine in bringing life- giving fuel to Nome last winter. “People back in Washington would say....

Wired: We Don’t Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena
When Golden Valley Electric Association of rural Alaska got an administrative subpoena from the Drug Enforcement Administration in December 2010 seeking electricity bill information on three customers, the company did what it usually does with subpoenas — it ignored them. That’s the association’s customer privacy policy, because administrative subpoenas aren’t approved by a judge. But by law, utilities must hand over customer records — which include any billing and payment information, phone numbers and power consumption data — to the DEA without court warrants if drug agents believe the data is “relevant” to an investigation. So the utility eventually complied, after losing a legal fight earlier this month. Meet the administrative subpoena (.pdf): With a federal official’s signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation. Via a wide range of laws, Congress has authorized the government to bypass the Fourth Amendment — the constitutional guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that requires a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge. In fact, there are roughly.....

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