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Arctic

 

Gov. Bill Walker's administration is reviewing a proposal to offer temporary royalty relief to an oil development company. Supporters say the move could cost the state more than $40 million but bring in a billion dollars plus over the life of the planned project.

AP Photo/NOAA, Corey Accardo

Due to shrinking and disappearing sea ice caused by climate change, tens of thousands of Pacific walrus have hauled out on shore near Pt. Lay, a village in Northwest Alaska far from their feeding grounds. During a press teleconference Wednesday (Oct. 1), Joel Garlich Miller, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the haul-out of 35,000 walrus this time of year in this location is a change from the past.

Experts discuss the need for a comprehensive, strategic approach to the Arctic

Arctic experts and policy leaders gathered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. to discuss leadership opportunities available to the United States when it assumes chairmanship of the 8-nation Arctic Council next year. As Liz Ruskin reports, discussions touched on development and the need for infrastructure, among other topics. Recommendations ranged from the lofty to the concrete.

Will Congress take the first step to building a deep-water port in the Alaska Arctic?

A U.S. House Subcommittee Wednesday considered a bill that would divide a 2,000 acre spit, Point Spencer on the Bering Strait, among the Coast Guard, the state, and Bering Strait Native Corporation, with the aim of creating a deep-water port. U.S. Congressman Don Young, of Alaska, says the project is badly needed for Alaska and for the nation.

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Drug abuse-related arrests in Alaska are on the decline

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA 90.3 FM

In 2009-2010, Alaska ranked among the top 10 states in several categories of illegal drug use, something law enforcement and court officials would like to change, but not at the expense of Constitutional rights. That's the message participants heard Wednesday at the "Reclaim Alaska: 2014 Substance Abuse Summit" hosted in Anchorage by the Aleutian-Pribilof Islands Association. Police dogs, searches, anonymous telephone tip lines, and employees' consents to searches are all useful tools in interdicting illicit drugs.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA 90.3 FM

Yesterday (Thursday) Alaskans shared some of the concerns about and hopes for the Arctic with the newly appointed U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic. Admiral Robert Papp is no stranger to Alaska, though. He first traveled above the Arctic Circle in 1976, during his first tour of duty in the Coast Guard, and returned several times as Coast Guard Commandant.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure committee heard about growing maritime traffic in Arctic waters and the need for a heavy ice breaker for search and rescue, oil spill response, and law enforcement services.  The U.S. Coast Guard said fiscal constraints don't allow it to build an ice breaker. The Navy testified ice breaking is outside its areas of responsibility. Despite USCG studies to the contrary, Alaska Rep. Don Young said he thinks leasing an ice breaker from the private sector could be done cost effectively.

A newly released federal audit shows veterans were able to get an appointment within 14 days at the VA hospital in Anchorage.

A deep water port in northwest Alaska wouldn't cut the high cost of living unless the oil and gas used the proposed port as a main base.

The Tlingit and Haida Dancers of Anchorage are practicing, and raising money, to go to "Celebration," a biennial arts, dance, and cultural event held in Juneau.

A health advisory is in effect for areas from Soldotna to Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna valley as some 200 firefighters work to contain a wildfire near Soldotna. Another 90 firefighters are working to contain the Tyonek wildfire that is headed toward Beluga, the site of the Chugach Electric powerplant at Beluga that supplies electricity to half of Anchorage.

Congressman Don Young, Alaska Republican, has proposed a measure that would set aside federal land in Northwest Alaska for an Arctic deep water port.

The NAACP and Anchorage Central Labor Council have called on candidate and Anchorage mayor Dan Sullivan to apologize for likening required payment of union dues to slavery.

A government report says despite the retreat of ice in Arctic waters, ship traffic is not likely to increase in the next decade.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation to lose 150 positions due to the 2013 sequestration and reductions to Indian Health Service funding for 2014.

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