Tiny but tenacious: arctic-alpine plants are engineers and warning bells

BY: - June 8, 2023

Purple saxifrage, snow pearlwort and drooping saxifrage. (Photo by Sarah Watts) When most people consider the arctic, or high-altitude mountain landscapes, they think of endless snow, ice and bare rock. But pastel-colored flowers, sometimes just a few millimeters wide, bloom in these dramatic places too. The miniature flowers not only weather some of the toughest […]

(Photo by JimVallee/iStock Images)

It’s never too early for voters to get engaged

BY: - June 7, 2023

As cities, states and our nation face many political, economic and social challenges, who we vote for in upcoming elections carries monumental importance. All we need to do is to look at the state of things to know that we need to change the direction and the unraveling trajectory we are on. Many state legislatures […]

Accessory dwelling units can be used to reduce housing shortages. (Getty Images)

How building more backyard homes and in-law suites can help alleviate the housing crisis

BY: and - June 6, 2023

  To many people, the image of a nuclear family in a stand-alone house with a green lawn and white picket fence still represents a fulfillment of the American dream. However, this ideal is relatively new within a broader history of housing and development in the U.S. It’s also a goal that has become increasingly […]

(Photo by Eyecrave Productions/Getty Images)

How killing pensions rousted teachers in Alaska

BY: - June 1, 2023

At first, I didn’t take it seriously. “What politician in their right mind,” I thought, “would want to strip Alaska public employees of their pensions, especially since they have already been denied Social Security?” It was 2005, and conservative legislators were pushing to do just that. Moreover, this was way beyond a strictly local effort. […]

A 200-mile road project would connect Ambler Metals’ proposed copper mine to the Dalton Highway. (Alaska Division of Mining, Land and Water map)

Ambler delays, a North Slope tax dispute and growing opposition to Alaska’s LNG project

BY: - May 27, 2023

In this week’s digest of short news items from across Alaska, there are some updates on delays to the Ambler mine and road projects, a simmering tax dispute involving Hilcorp and the North Slope Borough and a new obstacle for the Alaska LNG gas pipeline project.  The executive leading development of a major mine in […]

These are Alaska’s priorities for fishery management council

BY: - May 26, 2023

Alaska’s federal fisheries for halibut, pollock, Pacific cod, crab, and other groundfish are economically important at the local, state, and national level.  These fisheries provide an economic base for many of our coastal communities through jobs and income from fishing, processing, industry support services, transportation, and shipping.  Sustainable management of these fisheries is critically important […]

Alaska Permanent Fund account that pays for state budget, dividends is under pressure

BY: - May 25, 2023

For 41 years, Alaskans’ bank accounts have been refilled with dividends – usually more than $1,000 – from the  $76.6 billion Alaska Permanent Fund. More recently, the fund also has been the biggest source of money paying for state government. But what if there was no money available for either dividends or the state budget?  […]

Ice algae sampling on an Arctic ice floe. Mario Hoppmann/Alfred Wegener Institute, CC BY-NC-ND

Microplastics: We found startling quantities in the algae essential for all Arctic marine life

BY: , and - May 23, 2023

Last summer, we travelled to the remote Arctic Hausgarten observatory area in the eastern Fram Strait (west of Svalbard, Norway) on a research ship. The samples we collected there included ice cores, sea water and ice algae from large packs of floating ice called ice floes. These form 1–2 meter thick “plates” of sea ice […]

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks about the state's spring revenue forecast on March 21, 2023, at the Atwood Building in Anchorage. (Photo by Sophia Carlisle/Alaska Beacon)

Gov. Dunleavy and Kim Kardashian in the same place? A new tourism lodge in Girdwood?

BY: - May 19, 2023

This is my weekly digest with short items of news from across Alaska. It’s time for some news doughnuts — my analogy for these high-calorie pieces of information. This week, I’ve got items on a new Girdwood tourism venture led by some familiar names, a major Anchorage-area trail project, renewable energy feuding and some seafood business […]

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is seen on Sept. 19 in Fairbanks. This portion of the pipeline, 450 miles south of Prudhoe Bay, has been transformed into a visitor pullout and is a tourist attraction. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaskans deserve to know more about companies profiting from our natural resources, like Hilcorp

BY: and - May 16, 2023

On June 28, the Alaska Supreme Court will hear arguments on the city of Valdez’s cases related to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska’s approval of the BP-Hilcorp deal. Alaska Supreme Court oral arguments are open to the public and will also be livestreamed. Though the seduction of the summer outdoors is strong, Alaskans need to […]

Vic Fischer, the last surviving author of Alaska's constitution, sits with wife Jane Anvik and listens to U.S. Senate candidates speak at the Oct. 22, 2022, forum at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Vic Fischer at 99 still makes an imprint on Alaska

BY: - May 13, 2023

I recently had the privilege of hanging out with former state Sen. Vic Fischer. When people learn his age he’s often asked what’s your secret to a happy long life. Without hesitation, Vic answers, “Love, family and a sense of purpose.” Then he adds, “But there are few more insights I can share. If you […]

Alaska trollers will feel pain and unnecessary hardship from ruling on orca lawsuit

BY: - May 12, 2023

As president of Seafood Producers Cooperative, representing nearly 400 fishermen-owners, who reside in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, I want to convey our great disappointment and frustration with the recent ruling concerning the Wild Fish Conservancy and their lawsuit directed at our Salmon Troll fleet.  SPC and its fishermen-owners have been the premier producers, processors […]