KNBA - KBC

Kivalina

Local governments win against oil companies on value of taxable property

By Associated Press

The Supreme Court in Alaska has upheld a ruling that the trans-Alaska oil pipeline was worth far more than a billion a year the pipeline owners claimed for the years 2007 through 2009. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the court late last month affirmed a Superior Court ruling in 2011 that the pipeline was worth $8.9 billion to $9.6 billion those years.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

The slide show above gives glimpses of life in the dozens of villages in Alaska that lack flush toilets and running water. 

To find out more, click on the links below, Parts 1-5, to see and hear the series "Kick the Bucket: Rural Sanitation in Alaska." 

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

May 1, 2015

Over the past four days, we have brought you stories that go out into the field for an in-depth look at Alaska's rural sanitation situation - a series we call "Kick the Bucket."  We have seen how the lack of modern sanitation is linked to disease as people strain the limits of their clean water supply. And we have looked at the implications of decreasing funding and looming maintenance expenses in villages with a limited cash economy.   Today we’ll wrap up the series by trying to look into the future.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Village Safe Water Program

April 30, 2015

What if you didn’t have piped water and sewer, and the government wasn’t picking up the tab to get you some? How would you find a low-cost system that you could keep running through the winter? In this segment of “Kick the Bucket,” find out how experts are looking for answers to rural sanitation issues in Alaska.

Villagers and people in the water and sewer business can name dozens of ways systems have failed due to parts that shattered in the cold, say, or components that had to be flown in from Europe and installed by a Lower 48 specialist.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

April 29, 2015

Even rural communities that have raised the money to build modern sanitation systems face the threat of their ultimate failure due to the lack of funding for operations and maintenance, wiping away whatever health gains were achieved.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Environmental Health and Engineering Department provides technical assistance to water treatment plant operators in the region. Here’s a bit of the conversation during a recent teleconference.

Legislators cut funding for a rural school the state is legally obligated to build

By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance committee slashed more than $40 million in state dollars from the capital budget. A rural school project the state is legally obligated to complete was among the reductions.

www.north-slope.org

Climate change and Alaska Natives: Food security

By Joaqlin Estus

Here's the second in our series on Climate Change and Alaska Natives.

Wild foods are important to Alaskans, and especially to rural residents, but, subsistence users and scientists say climate change is affecting wildlife populations, access to subsistence resources, and food preservation.

Climate change and Alaska Natives: 

Shores bare of sea ice expose Kivalina to fierce fall storms

By Joaqlin Estus

Here’s the first in a series of stories on climate change and Alaska Natives. We’ll start by hearing about impacts to Kivalina, an Inupiaq village of about 400 people founded by missionaries in 1905 and located 80 miles northwest of Kotzebue.