Economy & Environment

COMMENTARY
A look into the heart of the glacier. CC BY-NC-ND

Listening to the song of melting glaciers

BY: - September 28, 2022

August 22, 2022. Kongsvegen glacier, 20 km west of Ny Ålesund, Svalbard archipelago, Norway. This is it, we have reached the bottom of the glacier. It is 327m under our feet. After drilling into the ice for six hours, our hot-water jet blasts into the sediment. The hose that connects it to the surface stops […]

Special investigation finds Gov. Dunleavy wasn’t involved in firing of former Permanent Fund CEO

BY: - September 28, 2022

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy did not orchestrate the firing of former Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. executive director and CEO Angela Rodell, a special investigation has concluded. “The governor’s office had no impact or influence upon the decision,” special investigator Howard Trickey told members of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee on Thursday. Trickey’s investigation, ordered […]

Manchin seeks bipartisan ‘sweet spot’ for a new try at his energy permitting bill

BY: - September 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators from both parties said Wednesday they hope to negotiate an energy permitting reform bill yet this year, reviving efforts to streamline the process after West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III had to pull back his plan amid broad opposition.  The Manchin proposal was attached to a must-pass government funding bill […]

A fish camp in the Nome area, seen on Sept. 24, shows damages wreaked by the remnants of Typhoon Merbok. The day before, President Biden declared a major disaster for a vast stretch of western Alaska that had been slammed with high winds and floods caused by the remnants of that typhoon. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell, Rep. Mary Peltola and Sen. Lisa Murkwoski were among the officials who surveyed the damages in and around Nome. (Photo by Jeremy Edwards/FEMA)

Typhoon Merbok spotlights Alaska’s need for science and climate-resilient infrastructure

BY: - September 28, 2022

When the remnants of Typhoon Merbok were barreling toward western Alaska to unleash what turned out to be the region’s strongest storm in more than half a century, meteorologists knew what was coming. What they could not predict was the exact level and location of flooding – devastation that prompted a federal disaster declaration on […]

A bridge, completed in 2020, over the Nenana River connects to the Nenana-Totchaket Road. State officials have said it opens up access to the Nenana-Totchaket Agricultural Project lands as well as opportunities for recreation and subsistence uses. (Photo by John Whipple/Alaska Division of Agriculture)

Nenana-area tribe opposes state’s 20-mile road expansion

BY: - September 26, 2022

Some Nenana-area residents and tribal members say a state road project outside Nenana should be paused after what they describe as a failure by the state to adequately engage the public. The state wants to build 20 miles of new road to open access to agricultural opportunities and improve food security. But tribal members say […]

Plastic buckets used for human waste, known as "honeybuckets," await pickup outside a home in Teller on Sept. 2, 2021. Teller is one of the Bering Strait villages lacking piped water service or flush toilets; residents use plastic-bag-lined buckets for toilets, with the contents collected for disposal by a city crew. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Study links lack of running water to prevalence of ear infections among rural Alaska children

BY: - September 26, 2022

Bering Strait region children in households without running water are much more likely to get middle-ear infections, a newly published study confirmed. Data from screenings of more than 1,600 schoolchildren in various communities in that part of western Alaska found that lack of running water – a chronic problem in rural Alaska – corresponded to […]

U.S. House candidates suggest smaller role for federal funding in Alaska

BY: - September 23, 2022

Three of the four candidates running to represent Alaska in the U.S. House said on Thursday that they oppose a recent national federal infrastructure law and are concerned about the amount of federal spending in Alaska. The statements from Libertarian Chris Bye, Republican Sarah Palin and Republican Nick Begich III are a significant shift from […]

The flooded village of Golovin in the Bering Strait region is seen from a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft on Sept. 18. Golovin was heavily damaged by flooding and winds driven by Typhoon Merbok. Coast Guard crews were among those assessing damages from the historic storm. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ian Gray/U.S. Coast Guard)

Alaska officials seek 100% federal coverage of disaster aid for storm-damaged communities

BY: - September 22, 2022

Alaska officials are asking that the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide 100% of the funds necessary for western Alaska communities to recover from damages inflicted by Typhoon Merbok. That would match the 100% response funding that was committed to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Fiona in President Biden’s federal disaster declaration. Typically, FEMA covers […]

Broadway in Skagway is seen in this photo. (Photo by Walter Bibikow/Getty Images)

USDA to spend $500 million extending high-speed internet to rural America

BY: - September 22, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will send more than $500 million in loans and grants to telecommunications providers to bring high-speed internet to rural areas across 20 states, Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday. The department will spend $360 million in grants and $141 million in loans through its ReConnect Program to benefit sparsely populated communities, […]

At Alaska governor candidate forum, Gara and Walker advocate tax changes

BY: - September 21, 2022

In a Wednesday candidate forum hosted in Fairbanks by the Alaska Chamber, Democratic governor candidate Les Gara and independent candidate Bill Walker said that if elected, they would seek new state revenue to pay for a variety of projects and reverse years of cuts to state services. Both men are seeking to unseat incumbent Republican […]

COMMENTARY
A kelp forest in the Sitka Sound is seen in this photo. (Alaska ShoreZone Program Photo/NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC; Courtesy of Mandy Lindeberg, NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC)

Ever heard of ocean forests? They’re larger than the Amazon and more productive than we thought

BY: , and - September 20, 2022

Amazon, Borneo, Congo, Daintree. We know the names of many of the world’s largest or most famous rainforests. And many of us know about the world’s largest span of forests, the boreal forests stretching from Russia to Canada. But how many of us could name an underwater forest? Hidden underwater are huge kelp and seaweed […]

Oil price drop endangers plan to fund Alaska schools a year early

BY: - September 20, 2022

North Slope oil prices are expected to run well below spring predictions, endangering a bonus year of K-12 school funding approved by Gov. Mike Dunleavy and state legislators.  The change to the state’s outlook was made public in a notice published Monday by the Alaska Department of Revenue. The notice was part of a department […]