Gardentalk – Late summer preparations

first_imgGardentalk | Juneau | OutdoorsGardentalk – Late summer preparationsAugust 27, 2015 by Matt Miller, KTOO Share:These trees, just planted on the grounds of the new State Library, Archives and Museum, have yet to develop a root system to survive the fall and winter winds. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)Master gardener Ed Buyarski says it’s a good idea to stake up vulnerable or young trees with undeveloped root systems in advance of gusty winds that usually blow through Southeast Alaska in the late summer and early fall.Listen to Buyarski discuss staking tips and preview Saturday’s Food Festival on this week’s edition of Gardentalk.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Highlights“I got to inspect a very nice dolgo crabapple tree that got snapped off at the base, unfortunately,” Buyarksi says. “It was weird winds, swirling all over the place.”He also has some tips for storing bulbs before they’re planted later this fall.“We can get them now, bring them home, and put them in a cool place,” Buyarski says. “Make sure they’re not in plastic bags that don’t breathe.”Also, this Saturday’s Food Festival features local produce vendors and workshops. It starts at 9 a.m. at the JACC.Share this story:last_img read more

Juneau Symphony begins season with “New Beginnings”

first_imgArts & Culture | Juneau | KRNNJuneau Symphony begins season with “New Beginnings”October 22, 2015 by Scott Burton, KTOO Share:The Juneau Symphony season premieres this weekend with a performance called “New Beginnings.” The concerts will be Troy Quinn’s first shows as the new conductor. He said that their first piece, Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” is especially fitting.“It was his first arrival here to America … and so it’s kind of appropriate for me to be here, my first new arrival, and that’s our big work,” Quinn said.They’ll also play Shastakovich’s “Festive Overture,” and Massanet’s “Meditation” from his opera “Thaïs” with special guest violinist Luanne Homzey. Quinn said he is enjoying his work in Juneau — a position with a unique job description.“‘Conductor’ really comes from the word ‘to teach,’ so the Latin word,” Quinn said. “So there is the teaching element involved with it. And it’s also to inspire the musicians to play at their most passionate and capable level. You know, the conductor doesn’t make a sound.”Saturday’s concert is at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s at 3 p.m. at Juneau-Douglas High School. Both performances include one-hour pre-concert conversations with Quinn. Sunday’s concert will also be broadcast on KRNN and Tickets begin at $17 and can be purchased at this story:last_img read more

Alaska Public Media and Electionland want to hear about your vote!

first_imgFederal Government | Nation & World | Politics | State GovernmentAlaska Public Media and Electionland want to hear about your vote!November 7, 2016 by Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media Share:Alaska Public Media is participating in Electionland, ProPublica’s project covering access to the ballot and problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election.And we need your help!After casting your ballot, let us know what your experience was like. How long did you wait? Was the process routine or different this year? By marking it, you’ll help us spot any problems or patterns emerging at the polls.You can tell us about any issues at your polling place or voting precinct in a few different ways.Text the words “Alaska Public” or “Electionland” to 69866 to participate by text message, and get a reminder on Election Day.On social media, you can use #Electionland in tweets and Facebook posts to help flag any potential problems. That helps us spot claims and get to work verifying them.You can find more information about ProPublica’s national Electionland project here.Share this story:last_img read more

Obama bans future oil leases in much of Arctic, Atlantic

first_imgShare this story: Arctic | Energy & Mining | Federal Government | Nation & World | OceansObama bans future oil leases in much of Arctic, AtlanticDecember 20, 2016 by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media Share:The Kulluk, an Arctic drill rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell. In 2012, the rig ran aground off Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak Island. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis/U.S. Coast Guard)President Obama on Tuesday put nearly all waters in the U.S. Arctic off-limits for future oil and gas drilling. The White House announced the decision in conjunction with a similar statement from the Canadian government covering its Arctic waters.The president used a rarely deployed power in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to remove areas from leasing consideration for an indefinite period of time. The law includes no way for the next president to reverse his decision.Since Shell halted its exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea last year, no company has seemed close to returning to federal waters in the Arctic. But Alaska officials and industry trade associations have been desperately trying to keep the door open to future activity in the area.Joshua Kindred of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association looked with dismay at the map of the president’s new withdrawals.Outgoing President Barack Obama ordered offshore oil and gas leasing off-limits in much of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. (Graphic courtesy Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)“It looks like it’s virtually the entirety of the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea that would be exempt so, yeah, that’s about as absolute of a withdrawal as can be,” Kindred said.The White House cited the area’s important ecology, subsistence and the health of marine mammals in explaining the decision. The action drew immediate praise from environmental groups. By acting jointly with Canada, supporters say the U.S. isn’t merely pushing development into Canadian Arctic waters. But Kindred said the announcement does nothing to lessen the risks of Russian drilling.“And by us not having our own energy companies in the region, we are less prepared if there was an incident in the Russian Chukchi Sea, just miles away from U.S. Arctic waters,” Kindred said. “So it is a very sort of reactionary way to approach this.”Obama made the withdrawals, just as environmental groups requested, using a provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act known as 12(a). It does not affect the rights of existing leaseholders.Obama also left 2.8 million acres of the near-shore Beaufort, close to the existing oilfields and pipelines, outside of his withdrawal.Though created with the stroke of a presidential pen, the Obama withdrawals could be tough to get rid of.“12(a) says the president has the power to withdraw these lands. It does not give the president the power to un-withdraw lands previously withdrawn,” University of California-Hastings Law professor John Leshy said. Leshy was the top attorney in the Interior Department under President Bill Clinton.Leshy said there’s “substantial doubt” President Donald Trump could issue an order undoing the Arctic withdrawal.“It’s never been done, so we don’t have any judicial test of this,” Leshy said. “But there is related law that basically said when Congress gives the president the authority to do something, and does not give the president authority to undo it, the president doesn’t have the authority to undo it. So it is permanent.”On the other hand, the law professor said it’s clear Congress can pass a bill to cancel a 12(a) withdrawal.Alaska Congressman Don Young said he doesn’t buy the argument that the incoming president can’t cancel Obama’s decision.“If I was the president, I’d just go ahead and tell his secretary of Interior, Mineral Management, to put it up for lease,” Young said. “Let them take it to court.”Young, in a press release, called Obama’s action a “cowardly move by a lame-duck president.”“I say he’ll go down as one of the worst presidents we’ve ever had,” Young said.Young said he thinks the House will move a bill next year to undo this order and lots of other Obama decisions. He says it would easily pass the House but Young declined to speculate on its fate in the Senate.Editor’s note: This story has been expanded.last_img read more

State gasline corporation quietly opens office in Tokyo

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Energy & Mining | Nation & World | State GovernmentState gasline corporation quietly opens office in TokyoJanuary 19, 2017 by Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau Share:Chief Oil & Gas Advisor John Hendrix, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation President Keith Meyer, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack gave a news conference on Friday Sept. 30, 2016, to discuss their meetings with potential Asian markets for Alaska’s LNG in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Updated | 5:20 p.m.Last weekend, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation announced that it had opened a new office in Japan. But, it only made the announcement in Japan. Now, one lawmaker is questioning how the agency is spending its money, and why.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) hired Nick Shiratori. He’s a former employee of Mitsubishi-subsidiary Diamond Gas Shipping and he’s been marketing the oil and gas industry since 1979. But, they didn’t announce the new office or Shiratori’s appointment in Alaska.  Grace Jang is a spokesperson for Gov. Bill Walker’s office. “Let me start off by saying, this is not a new office,” Jang said. “The state of Alaska, for 36 years, has had a representative in Japan.”She said that the Governor’s office has paid for a consultant in Japan for decades. What has changed is that the $130,000 budgeted through June for Shiratori’s position and his $5,300 per month Tokyo office space will be paid for by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation. Corporation spokesperson Rosetta Alcantra said Shiratori will be doing a mix of marketing and communication for the corporation. “Mr. Shiratori has over 37 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Certainly that comes with a large network of folks that he has contact with and so we’re hoping that he can help provide that connection for us,” Alcantra said. The AGDC is tasked with managing Alaska’s gasline projects. Among them, is the massive Alaska LNG project that’s expected to cost $45-65 billion to build.  It would include an 800-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from the North Slope to Cook Inlet where it could be compressed into a liquid form and shipped to buyers. But, the corporation hasn’t yet taken control of the project and is still negotiating with its former partners —  BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon — over a federal export permit and control of the land needed to build the project. Lawmakers had mixed responses to news of the office in Japan.  Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks, said he sees it  as an asset to the state. “I certainly think in the international markets where our products play, you have to have a presence,” he said.The Fairbanks Democrat said the state has had offices and consultants in Asian countries for decades and that they play important roles in marketing natural resources. But Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, said she thinks the corporation is misspending the money the legislature appropriated to it.“We have no information about this Japanese office,” she said. “At the same time we’re here in Juneau, wondering how we’re going to balance the budget, considering taxing citizens, reducing education funding, dealing with healthcare costs. And $100 million is sitting in the treasury of the AGDC and we don’t know what it’s being used for. So there is huge, there is huge concern.” Giessel also said the corporation was not transparent in its decision to open the new office. She chairs the Senate Resources committee and says she attends most of the corporation’s board meetings. Unlike the board’s much-publicized decision to open a satellite office in Houston last year, the Tokyo office didn’t get any public attention. Representatives from the gasline corporation are due in front of Giessel’s committee next week. She said there will be plenty of questions about how it spends its money. Original story | 11 a.m. ThursdayThe state gasline corporation has opened a satellite office in Tokyo.State officials and the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation have been working to market the state’s natural gas reserves to Asian markets.Masatoshi Nick Shiratori confirmed by phone late Wednesday evening that he is running the new office in Japan.Shiratori previously worked at Mitsubishi subsidiary Diamond Gas Shipping before he joined the state’s gasline team.A spokesperson for the corporation confirmed this morning that the office is open. But, they have not yet announced it publicly.Alaska’s gasline corporation is tasked with managing the massive Alaska LNG project that is expected to cost $45 billion to $65 billion to build. It’s still negotiating with ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips to take over the project.In its current form, the LNG project would include an 800-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from the North Slope to Cook Inlet.Share this story:last_img read more

House passes bill to provide benefits to survivors of police, firefighters

first_imgInterior | Public Safety | Southcentral | State GovernmentHouse passes bill to provide benefits to survivors of police, firefightersMarch 13, 2017 by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media Share:Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, during a House Floor session in January. He supported a bill that would provide health insurance to survivors of police officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)The state House passed a bill Monday that would provide health insurance to the families of police officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty.House Bill 23 was prompted by the shooting deaths of Trooper Sgt. Patrick “Scott” Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich in 2014. State law didn’t require that their dependents continue to receive health insurance.While Governors Sean Parnell and Bill Walker have ordered that survivors continue to receive coverage, lawmakers want to make it permanent.Anchorage Rep. Chuck Kopp, a retired police officer, said officers would appreciate it if the bill becomes law.“It’s hard to imagine what a spouse and what children go through every day when they see their father or their mom gearing up to go to work because the unknown is always there,” Kopp said. “Will this be the last time?”The House passed a similar bill last year, but the Senate didn’t pass it. Supporters are hopeful that its early progress this session will lead to it becoming law.The current bill passed after a debate over a series of amendments. Six amendments were defeated. They would have applied the benefits to a wider range of public workers or would have made them voluntary.North Pole Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson supported an amendment that would have allowed municipalities to opt out of paying for the benefits.“We’re going to make the municipalities come into it, whether or not they want to or not,” Wilson said. “I think most of them will do it in some form or another. But why are we forcing them to do it?”Bill sponsor Anchorage Democratic Rep. Andy Josephson said it’s necessary to pay the benefits.“This is about the soul of the state of Alaska,” Josephson said. “This is about saying to the dependents: ‘You have suffered the unimaginable and we’ve got your back.’ ”The Senate State Affairs Committee passed its version, Senate Bill 48, on Friday. It’s been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.Share this story:last_img read more

No injuries in Seward Street fire, though several businesses affected

first_imgBusiness | Community | Juneau | Public SafetyNo injuries in Seward Street fire, though several businesses affectedApril 16, 2017 by Quinton Chandler and Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO Share:Firefighters and emergency personnel work a fire Saturday night, April 15, 2017, in the 200 block of Seward Street in downtown Juneau. (Photo courtesy Tripp J Crouse)A firefighter attempts to start a chainsaw Saturday night, April 15, 2017, as a fire dumps smoke into the 200 block of Seward Street in downtown Juneau. (Photo courtesy Tripp J Crouse)12 read more

Kenai assembly member charged with DUI after early morning four-wheeler ride

first_imgCrime & Courts | Local Government | SouthcentralKenai assembly member charged with DUI after early morning four-wheeler rideJuly 20, 2017 by Shaylon Cochran, KDLL-Kenai Share:Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly member Jill Schaefer was arrested this week.Assembly member Jill Schaefer of Kenai faces charges of driving while intoxicate and refusing breath tests following an incident involving a 4-wheeler early Monday morning.Kenai police were called about 1 a.m. Monday with a report of a four-wheeler making laps around the neighborhood.Schaefer was identified as the operater and charged with driving under the influence and later, refusing a breath test.Following Blaine Gilman’s resignation from the Assembly earlier this year, Schaefer wasas chosen by the Assembly to take his seat representing the city of Kenai in February.Her term is up in October.Share this story:last_img read more

Coast Guard medevacs man suffering chest pain aboard fishing boat in Southeast Alaska

first_imgPublic Safety | Search & Rescue | SoutheastCoast Guard medevacs man suffering chest pain aboard fishing boat in Southeast AlaskaJuly 28, 2017 by Emily Kwong, KCAW-Sitka Share:A man suffering from chest pain was hoisted from a fishing vessel Wednesday night by the U.S. Coast Guard Wednesday night.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a medevac request the F/V Kindred Spirit, saying a crew member was suffering symptoms of a stroke. They were located in Stephens Passage near Port Snettisham.A Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka medevaced the man to Juneau.Pilot Lt. Robert McCabe said the hoist was one of the most challenging the Air Station has ever done because of the low visibility. Weather on scene was 11 mph winds with light rain and scattered showers.Port Snettisham is about 30 miles southeast of downtown Juneau, Alaska.Share this story:last_img read more

While residents oppose Donlin’s waste plans, industry groups and Native corporations voice support

first_imgEnergy & Mining | SouthwestWhile residents oppose Donlin’s waste plans, industry groups and Native corporations voice supportFebruary 2, 2018 by Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK-Bethel Share:Andrea Gusty, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for The Kuskokwim Corporation, testifies in support of Donlin’s waste and wastewater draft permits in Anchorage on January 26, 2018. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/APRN)The tone of a hearing in Anchorage on two draft permits for the proposed Donlin Gold mine was very different from those held in the region where the mine would be located.Those who gave public comments to state regulators Jan. 26 in Anchorage expressed trust and support for the proposed project.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The Anchorage comments came from industry groups and Native corporations.Five people testified. Each spoke in enthusiastic support of the mine’s waste and wastewater plans, and the Donlin project overall.That reaction differs sharply from the comments delivered weeks before by rural Kuskokwim residents at similar hearings in Bethel and Aniak.There, the majority of residents living downriver of the proposed mine said that they didn’t want it.To them, the project’s potential economic benefits weren’t worth its risks to a river, land and culture built on subsistence.But in Anchorage, the industry groups and Native corporations saw it differently.“Development and traditional subsistence Alaska Native lifestyle does not have to be mutually exclusive,” said Andrea Gusty, who grew up on the Kuskokwim in Aniak. “They can exist in harmony,”Gusty is vice president of corporate Affairs for the Kuskokwim Corporation. The Native corporation owns the surface rights to the proposed mine site and has built a strong partnership with Donlin Gold.TKC calls Donlin’s plans “environmentally and socially responsible.”“Not only does TKC trust their ability to do it right,” Gusty said. “We will make sure it is done right. Because Donlin has worked with TKC and our shareholders every step of the way.”Gusty has confidence in the three-step water cleaning process outlined in one permit, which requires the mine’s wastewater to meet state standards for drinking water or aquatic life water.Donlin also has worked closely with Calista Corporation, the regional native corporation that owns the sub-surface rights to the mine.Like TKC, Calista is in full support of Donlin.“The Donlin Gold prospect will provide opportunity for jobs,” said Donna Bach, who grew up in Bethel and works as Calista’s government affairs liaison. “I think there’s a lot of pride and fulfillment, not just in the environmental, responsible way in which it’s being handled, but also to bring pride back to a region that needs jobs.”Trade groups echoed the potential benefits of more employment for a region with few jobs and no industrial base.During the mine’s exploration phase, 90 percent of its camp workers were Alaska Native corporation shareholders or descendants.During the life of the proposed mine, Donlin predicts 50 to 60 percent of its workers will be Alaska Native corporation shareholders or local hires.“Donlin remains a poster child in our industry of what you can do to ensure that communities benefit from an operation in their region,” said Alaska Miners Association Executive Director Deantha Crockett.Crockett predicts that Donlin will not only boost the economy of the Kuskokwim region; it would grow the economy of the entire state at a time when revenue from its main natural resource, oil, is declining.Public comments on Donlin Gold’s waste and wastewater draft permits will be accepted through Feb. 13.Share this story:last_img read more