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KNBA News - Native leader says climate crisis calls for a change in the way people think

Nov 16, 2015

by Johanna Eurich

Alaska Native elders say it's time to stop talking about climate change and get to work. That's the message Larry Merculieff with the Native Science Commission brought to a group meeting in Anchorage this weekend.

He told members of Common Ground that Alaska Natives don't see climate change  -- they see a climate crisis. He says to solve the problems people will have to change the way they think. To explain the magnitude of the problem Murkulieff quoted a white elder... Albert Einstein.

"Einstein said you can't solve the problems that face humanity with the same consciousness that create the problems in the first place. He said the idea for my inventions or my insights into creation didn't come from logic. It came from somewhere else," said Merculieff.

Changes discussed at the Common Ground meeting range from imposing a carbon tax to slow demand for fossil fuels and helping develop alternative energy to eliminating regulations stopping the state from borrowing money to make buildings more energy efficient and using the Permanent Fund to help make the transition away from oil. 

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Nenana Mayor steps down saying city government was "a mess"

By Associated Press

The Interior city of Nenana will elect a new mayor in January following an abrupt resignation.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports former Mayor Alan Baker served less than two weeks in his elected role before resigning in an Oct. 29 letter, citing the mess of city government and its lack of record keeping.

Nenana Assembly members scheduled the Jan. 19 election during a meeting Thursday.

Mayor Pro Tem Robin Campbell said the three assembly members Baker nominated to fill his role declined to step in.

Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development local government specialist Jeff Congdon said Nenana has been without a treasurer and city clerk for years.

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Bethel seeks state declaration of disaster

By Associated Press

Bethel city council members are asking the state to help the city recover from a school fire.

KYUK-FM in Bethel reports the Kilbuck building fire burned for 12 hours on Nov. 3, destroying a Yup'ik immersion school and damaging the Kuskokwim Learning Academy.

The city council has declared a local government disaster.

Officials want Gov. Bill Walker to declare a state of emergency so that funds can be allocated for recovery. Walker said at the time of his visit to the site of the fire last week that his staff anticipated Bethel's declaration.

Funds would help repair equipment and rebuild the school, which contained asbestos. Bethel needs to hire certified crews to clear the debris.

City Manager Ann Capela and the Department of Homeland Security drafted the declaration.

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Petition to recall Barrow Mayor launched

By Associated Press

Residents are working to recall the mayor whose staff spent public money on purchases from and for her family members.

KTVA-TV reports 18 residents who applied for the recall petition against North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower began collecting signatures last week. They have until Jan. 8 to gather 492 signatures to force a new election.

In a statement, Brower said she is disappointed by the recall effort but that she respects the political process.

Petitioners cite the borough spending more than $8,400 to send Brower's daughters and grandchildren to basketball camp, as well as $7,000 that bought sealskin vests from her relatives.