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#03-17-2013 - ComFish News Roundup - #Sláinte

Alaska Senate set to approve anti-Frankenfish resolution
By Casey Kelly
Posted on March 17, 2013 at 6:00 am
A resolution opposing genetically engineered salmon is likely to pass the Alaska Legislature this week. The so-called “Frankenfish” resolution cleared the Senate Resources Committee on Friday, its last stop before a vote on the Senate floor. The resolution unanimously passed the House about a month ago. Seward High School sophomore Griffin Plush was in Juneau last week with Alaska Youth for Environmental Action. He says....

Genetically modified potatoes are studied, criticized in Ireland
By Adrian Higgins, Published: March 16
Carlow, Ireland — Ewen Mullins is the face of modern Ireland: Young, cosmopolitan, highly educated, he is a plant scientist whose work on a genetically modified potato inherently looks to the future. But Mullins also must think back to one of Ireland’s darkest chapters, the Great Famine of the 1840s. “It’s always there,” he said. “It’s not something we forget or something we should be allowed to forget.” From his laboratory and greenhouse in a research farm outside Carlow, 42-year-old Mullins deals daily with a disease that not only afflicts his native land but haunts it: the potato blight, a pernicious rot caused by...

Invasive aquatic species response bill advances to Finance
HB 89 addresses how to respond to outbreaks rapidly
Posted: March 14, 2013 - 9:52pm  |  Updated: March 15, 2013 - 12:14am
A bill crafted to address outbreaks of invasive aquatic species in Sitka and other locations around the state moved ahead in the Alaska House of Representatives Wednesday, although allocations included in the bill for temporary state employee positions were stripped out. Homer Republican Rep. Paul Seaton’s House Bill 89 would create a rapid response fund and....

Sea otter bounties likely not legal, but popular with some
Proposal put forth by Southeast's Stedman
Posted: March 14, 2013 - 9:52pm  |  Updated: March 15, 2013 - 12:12am
..............“I think that we could accomplish the goal of allowing the sea otters to spread through Southeast at a lower number and not devastate our beaches and … our clam beds and our crabs,” Stedman said. Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, asked whether Stedman has received a legal opinion and if he could share it with the committee.  “It conflicts with federal law,” Stedman admitted. But Stedman suggested that there may be ways to tweak his bill. “If this mechanism is not palatable with the attorneys … we could always move the funds to the tannery, or what have you, to help encourage the same solution,” said Stedman.....
Assembly declines to form energy committee
March 14, 2013
After a civic presentation on “Lemonade Day 2012” by Wrangell teen Helen Decker, three attempts to pass a motion that would have set up an “energy committee” to study future divestiture plans from the Southeast Alaska Power Agency, the decision to form such a committee was halted after disagreement over membership was raised. Assembly member James Stough modified the original motion, saying he wanted to see membership in the committee include citizens or officials from Petersburg and Ketchikan, Wrangell’s partners in the two-dam SEAPA pool. “The committee makeup should be Assembly members, public....

Rearden's wrong; proposed dam is for people, not for mines
Elaine Brown
March 16, 2013
Dear Alaska Dispatch,
Nuvista Light and Electric Cooperative read, with interest, Don Rearden’s commentary about Senate Bill 32 (which Don named HB 32) and the Chikuminuk Lake Hydroelectric Project. We hope you will consider sharing the following information with your readers. We are in the early stages of investigating the Chikuminuk Lake Hydroelectric Project, which is a long studied project. We will not commit to this project unless Chikuminuk is a good fit for the region and does no harm to subsistence resources. SB 32/HB 137 would allow Nuvista to do this, namely study and gather appropriate environmental, geological, and....

A look at tidal energy generation
Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013 8:08 pm
By Daniel D. Grota Valley Voices
There is another vital source of energy generation we need to look at. At first I had a lot of trouble finding out about it until KTUU Channel 2 News did a story about it last month. The video by Blake Essig was enlightening and very informative, and it gave me links for more information in this promising technology that could be a great boon to this state. Alaska biggest export besides seafood is energy. Most of this is oil, coal extraction and, if everything goes OK in it’s development, natural gas for both in state and....

Railroad cutbacks miss Seward
March 14, 2013
The Alaska Railroad Corporation announced significant cutbacks last week as part of a corporate restructuring effort based on a $45 million downturn since 2011. ARRC primarily attributes the budget gap to lower federal funding in combination with higher matching requirements as well as expenses for unfunded federal mandates for updated safety systems including Positive Train Control. The PTC system alone requires a $15 million investment per year. Federal Transit Administration funding....

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Danish commandos 'monitoring hippies' on Arctic offshore rig #artcticloons

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