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#09-13-2012 - ComFish News Roundup

Lawsuit seeks protection for Arctic ice seals
Posted 09/12/2012
by - Margaret Bauman
An environmental lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage claims the National Marine Fisheries Service has delayed Endangered Species Act protection for two ice-dependent ringed and bearded seals in the Arctic. The litigation filed Sept. 12 by the Center for Biological Diversity comes as Royal Dutch Shell is poised to begin a new era of exploration drilling in Arctic waters. In response to the Center’s 2008 petition, NMFS in late 2010 proposed protection for ringed and....

State Pilot Program to Allow School Districts to Use Food Grown and Harvested in Alaska
The State of Alaska is trying out a one year pilot program intended to get more Alaska grown and produced food onto the food trays of public school students. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story. (3:37)....

Students get cooking the healthy way
Posted: September 12, 2012 - 12:01am
FAIRBANKS — Learning about the economics and health attributes of locally grown foods had some tasty benefits for students in a Future Foods class at Barnette Magnet School. All eyes were on Chef Michael Roddey, as he chopped, pickled, saut√©ed, cored, diced, rolled and wrapped a variety of delectable dishes for students to taste test. To work his magic, Roddey, assistant professor, culinary arts and hospitality at UAF Community and Technical College, selected fresh vegetables....

Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association Brings Aleutians Together
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Wednesday, September 12 2012
Last night, the lobby of the Grand Aleutian hotel looked like the site of Alaska’s biggest family reunion. Carolyn Crowder was among those receiving hugs from Southwest Alaskans that she hadn’t seen in ages. She’s the health director of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, and she’s one of the planners of the conference that APIA is holding in Unalaska this week. The theme is “Wellness and Governance,” and it’s brought in a hundred people from St. Paul, Adak, Anchorage, and all the......

Facing higher costs, Assembly weighs Blue Lake options
by Ed Ronco, KCAW
September 11, 2012 1:03 am
For the Blue Lake dam, it all comes down to tonight.
During its regular meeting at 6 p.m., the Sitka Assembly will decide whether to spend more than $95 million on construction of a hydro expansion project. Sitka is years into a project to generate additional hydro power by raising the dam more than 80 feet. That cost is far above an engineering estimate, and way outside the city’s plan to finance the project. Last night, the Assembly spent more than three hours in a work session with engineers and consultants. They sifted through options. Tonight, they pick one. Whether they go ahead with the project or pull the plug, city officials say residents.....

Active oil, gas leases abound
By Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune
A total of 19 leases owned by four oil and gas concerns stretch inland from East End Road to Anchor Point, considered at various stages of activity for onshore work. Another dozen or so leases are along the Cook Inlet side clustered around Anchor Point and stretching down to Ninilchik. Buccaneer Alaska owns the most onshore leases, at 11 ranging in costs from $6.85 per acre to $28.70 per acre. Armstrong Cook Inlet has another five, Apache Alaska Corporation two and Hilcorp has several pending leases. A map provided by Alaska Division of Oil and Gas of active leases south of Soldotna shows a patchwork of potential oil and gas drilling activity in the years to come. Armstrong’s work at Anchor Point off the North Fork Road is now supplying natural....

Taking wind power to the (extreme) limit
We could supply all our energy needs without altering the global climate.
by Kyle Niemeyer - Sept 13 2012, 4:30am ADT
Is there not enough wind blowing across the planet to satiate our demands for electricity? If there is, would harnessing that much of it begin to actually affect the climate? Two studies published this week tried to answer these questions. Long story short: we could supply all our power needs for the foreseeable future from wind, all without affecting the climate in a significant way. The first study, published in this week’s Nature Climate Change, was performed by Kate Marvel of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with Ben Kravitz and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science. Their goal was to determine a maximum geophysical limit to wind power—in other words, if we extracted all the kinetic energy from wind all over the world, how much power could we generate? In order to calculate....

Fossil fuels, geothermal mapped in state report
Posted: September 12, 2012 - 12:01am
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys recently released a 144-page report detailing the geothermal and fossil fuel resources available to Alaska communities. Southeast Alaska was not gifted with vast resources of coal. Deposits are discontinuous....

Murkowski presses Obama official on late nuclear waste plan
By Zack Colman - 09/12/12 12:50 PM ET
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) pressed an Energy Department (DOE) official Wednesday for answers on why the Obama administration missed a summer deadline for finalizing a nuclear waste storage plan. “The government’s failure to address our nuclear waste issues is damaging to the development of future nuclear power and simultaneously worsening our nation’s financial situation,” Murkowski said during opening remarks at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “We need...

Tongass Roundtable to meet in Ketchikan
by Leila Kheiry
September 13, 2012 5:45 AM
The Tongass Futures Roundtable working group will meet Thursday and Friday in Ketchikan, and among other issues will discuss negotiations over land trades with the Alaska Mental Health Lands Trust. The Mental Health Trust was given parcels of land by the state to help fund mental health services in Alaska. Among those parcels is a large portion of Deer Mountain...

OPINION: Kitzhaber Plan for Columbia River Commercial Fishery is Misguided
By Robert Sudar
When Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced on August 8th that he would be asking the Oregon Fish and Wildlife (ODF&W) Commission to draft plans for moving the commercial non-Indian gillnet fishery out of the mainstem Columbia River and into off-channel “SAFE” areas, it caught everyone in the industry by surprise. Commercial fishermen have been focused on defeating Oregon Initiative 81, promoted by various sportfishing groups and funded primarily by Norman Brenden, a Vancouver businessman. Governor Kitzhaber is suggesting that voters turn down the initiative and instead back his plan. Most of the coverage so far of Kitzhaber’s plan has been based on statements from his office, from the Oregon Commission, and from a few of the major players in the issue. He claims...

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