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    U.S. lawmakers are looking for a way to save the Alaska cruise season. Canada banned cruise ships carrying 100 passengers or more from docking at its ports through February 2022 because of COVID-19, officials announced earlier this month. That’s bad news for cruises to Alaska or New England, as U.S. law requires cruise ships flagged from foreign countries to make stops in foreign countries. Many of the cruise ships that typically operate in the U.S. are registered in countries like the Bahamas or Panama. U.S. lawmakers are looking for a way to save the Alaska cruise season. (Celebrity Cruises) ROYAL CARIBBEAN ANNOUNCES SHORT CARIBBEAN CRUISES TO ‘REDEFINE’ GETAWAYS A group of representatives from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent a letter to Canada's ambassador to the U.S., Kirsten Hillman, warning of "economic devastation" and asking for Canada to reconsider its ban. "By closing Canadian ports to passenger vessels for another...
    Climate change has made its way into Alaska, causing mudslides, wildfires and record-breaking temperatures – but two new studies have added thunderstorms to the list of effects. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) warns that if greenhouse emissions are not curbed the number of thunderstorms will triple later this century. The increase of these violent storms would spark widespread flash flooding, landslides and lightning-induced wildfires. The studies found that sea ice around Alaska could soon give way to open water and create a substantial amount of moisture.  The moisture will combine with warmer temperatures due to greenhouse emissions, which will form the perfect mixture to fuel storms during the summer months.  Climate change has made its way into Alaska, causing mudslides, wildfires and record-breaking temperatures – but two new studies have added thunderstorms to the list of effects Alaska seems to have been lost in the mix when...
    A first-time mom who lives on a remote Alaskan island has opened up about how she had to quarantine nearly 800 miles away from her home for 10 weeks to give birth to twin daughters as the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Cara Lestenkof-Mandregan, 27, and her boyfriend, John Melovidov, are from St. Paul Island, which is located off the coast of Alaska in the Bering Sea. She told Good Morning America that the village's 400 or so residents have to take a three-hour flight to Anchorage for specialized medical treatment.    The healthcare aide, who works at the island's only medical center, found out she was pregnant in 2019. She thought she would only have to fly to the mainland a few times before giving birth — but then she learned she was having twins.   Isolated: Cara Lestenkof-Mandregan, 27, and her boyfriend, John Melovidov, quarantined in Anchorage, Alaska, for 10 weeks before...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The first shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Alaska within a few weeks, state health officials said. Early batches of vaccine will be prioritized for essential workers in health care, assisted living and emergency medical settings, The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday. Vaccines initially will be issued in limited quantities and likely will not be available to the general public until March or April. The state continues to work on plans to distribute supplies after the vaccines become broadly available. The mid-December timeline for arrival in Alaska was based on announcements by drug companies working to produce coronavirus vaccines. Pfizer Inc. said earlier this month that test results showed its vaccine is 95% effective and protects older people most at risk of dying. Moderna Inc. said this month that preliminary data from an ongoing study showed its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective. AstraZeneca...
    A provision of the 2017 tax law may make it difficult for Joe Biden to prevent oil drilling in the Alaska wildlife refuge. During his 2020 campaign for president, Democratic nominee Joe Biden pledged to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. However, as the Hill notes, the ability of the Biden administration to make changes to protect ANWR may be hampered by a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In July, the Biden campaign posted on its website a proposal it called "The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice." Included in its bullet points was the promise that among "Biden's Day One Unprecedented Executive Actions to Drive Historic Progress" would be Protecting America's natural treasures by permanently protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other areas impacted by President Trump’s...
    Alaska state House Speaker Bryce Edgmon (second from left) The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● AK Ballot: Alaska will be the first state in America to use the "top-four" primary system now that the Associated Press has called a victory for Measure 2, which passed by a narrow 50.5-49.5 margin. Starting in 2022, Measure 2 will require all the candidates for congressional, legislative, and statewide races to face off on one primary ballot, where contenders will have the option to identify themselves with a party label or be listed as "undeclared" or "nonpartisan." The top four vote-getters will advance to the general election, where voters will be able to rank their choices using instant-runoff voting. Measure 2 will...
    Seismic tests for geological formations that could contain oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska could begin in December under a plan proposed by the federal Bureau of Land Management posted online Friday. The Marsh Creek East Seismic Exploration project – to be conducted by the Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation – intends to survey 487.8 square miles with equipment that will produce three-dimensional images of the subsurface. Seismic exploration generates acoustic waves that are picked up by sensors as the waves bounce off subsurface formations, the Bureau of Land Management said on its website. From this information, images can be created that show subsurface topography and formations including those areas of potential hydrocarbons. The project would begin in early December by using forward-looking infrared radar – or FLIR – to search for polar bear dens. A second survey for bear dens would occur in January followed by the seismic...
    Third parties don't have the profile they had in 2016, but they may still spoil a handful of competitive Senate races deciding control of the chamber next Congress. A third-party candidate is poised to advantage the Republican nominee in Alaska, while in South Carolina, he will likely benefit the Democrat. And all this is taking place in an election cycle when Democrats only need to gain three or four seats for a Senate majority. Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan is in a lean GOP contest against Democrat-backed independent Al Gross, according to the Cook Political Report. Sullivan and Gross, an orthopedic surgeon and commercial fisherman, have routinely been polled within low single percentage points of one another. But those surveys have largely been head-to-head match-ups. Very few pollsters have asked respondents for their opinion of the Alaskan Independence Party's John Wayne Howe. A New York Times and Siena College...
    An unprecedented ‘mega-tsunami’ could be caused by a melting Alaska glacier, scientists have warned. The concerned experts claim the catastrophic event could even happen within the next 12 months if melting ice triggers a landslide of unstable rocks. If it’s not that soon, they think the ‘mega-tsunami’ is likely to happen within the next two decades. The potential disaster was warned about in May by scientists who wrote an open letter to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR). They’re worried about an area called Prince William Sound along the south coast of Alaska in the US. This region has seen glacier retreat, which has led to instability on the slopes of a mountain in Barry Arm above the Barry Glacier. The scientists wrote: “We, a group of scientists with expertise in climate change, landslides, and tsunami hazards, have identified an unstable mountain slope above the toe of Barry...
    An unprecedented ‘mega-tsunami’ could be caused by a melting Alaska glacier, scientists have warned. The concerned experts claim the catastrophic event could even happen within the next 12 months if melting ice triggers a landslide of unstable rocks. If it’s not that soon, they think the ‘mega-tsunami’ is likely to happen within the next two decades. The potential disaster was warned about in May by scientists who wrote an open letter to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR). They’re worried about an area called Prince William Sound along the south coast of Alaska in the US. This region has seen glacier retreat, which has led to instability on the slopes of a mountain in Barry Arm above the Barry Glacier. The scientists wrote: “We, a group of scientists with expertise in climate change, landslides, and tsunami hazards, have identified an unstable mountain slope above the toe of Barry Glacier...
    AN UNPRECEDENTED 'mega-tsunami' could be caused by a melting Alaska glacier, scientists have warned. The concerned experts claim the catastrophic event could even happen within the next 12 months if melting ice triggers a landslide of unstable rocks. 3The impact of the predicted tsunami could be felt over 10 miles awayCredit: (Briggs et al., open letter to ADNR, May 2020) If it's not that soon, they think the 'mega-tsunami' is likely to happen within the next two decades. The potential disaster was warned about in May by scientists who wrote an open letter to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR). They're worried about an area called Prince William Sound along the south coast of Alaska in the US. This region has seen glacier retreat, which has led to instability on the slopes of a mountain in Barry Arm above the Barry Glacier. 3A satellite impact shows the retreating Barry...
    Alaska is an unlikely chink in Senate Republicans' armor as they fight to hold onto their majority in the chamber. Senate Republicans are defending 23 seats on Nov. 3, and Democrats only need to gain three to four seats to clinch control, depending on whether President Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins at the top of the ticket. The Alaska Senate race between first-term Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan and independent political novice Al Gross wasn't originally considered a GOP vulnerability. The Sullivan-Gross contest is rated as likely Republican by the Cook Political Report and RealClearPolitics after Trump dominated in Alaska four years ago by almost 15 percentage points and 51% of the vote. But recent polls suggest Gross, an orthopedic surgeon and commercial fisherman whose father was the state's attorney general, is surging, with less than 30 days to go before Election Day. Alaska is a notoriously difficult...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage School District has established a target date of Oct. 19 to bring some students back into school buildings temporarily closed because of the coronavirus. Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop said officials plan to make an announcement this week about when and how in-person schooling could begin, Alaska Public Media reported. The district will start with elementary and special education students, Bishop said. The ability to bring students back largely depends on the number of COVID-19 cases reported in the state's largest city, which Bishop said adheres to the most recent guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control. “First and foremost they talk about how the community spread of the virus is paramount,” Bishop said. “And to work with your local health officials in getting kids back to school safely. So certainly our plan has considered that.” The target number of daily new...
    Politics threatening to derail approval of a large gold and copper mine in Alaska have Republican lawmakers worried that other mining projects around the country could face similar fates. “No president has done more for American mining and American mineral security than President Trump,” said Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican and the chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus. "However, on Pebble Mine, they were simply wrong." “More importantly, we can’t let this process be an example of how we do or don’t permit mining in America,” Gosar told the Washington Examiner, adding that domestic mining is critical for U.S. national security. “It should be a process driven not by radical NIMBYism but science, with an eye on making America more secure and the global mining footprint better.” The politics surrounding Pebble Mine may not directly translate to other pending mining projects. The controversial Alaska gold mine has seen an...
    Matthew Rozsa August 23, 2020 2:00PM (UTC) The pandemic raises the specter of millions of Americans struggling with unemployment for years to come, a process that automation had already started years ago. That could expedite the longstanding call from activists, business leaders and politicians like Andrew Yang to enact a universal basic income (or UBI) — a widely-beloved proposal for a universal social program that has boosters all over the political spectrum.  The premise of UBI is logical enough, perhaps more sensible in this political moment: Why should one's livelihood be jeopardized due to economic factors or disasters beyond their control? If something like a pandemic or a Wall Street meltdown can destroy innocent lives, shouldn't the government install a program that will protect them? And even if we didn't have cyclical economic crises, shouldn't people who lose their livelihoods because of technological progress like automation receive something better than a future of poverty? : With a universal basic income, the government would...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service has prohibited employees from providing witness signatures for absentee ballots while on duty, which could make voting by mail more difficult for some Alaska residents. The nationwide rule passed earlier this year could cause problems, especially for rural residents who often rely on postal employees to serve as official witnesses, The Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday. Each absentee ballot in Alaska and several other states must be signed by a witness who can verify the ballot was legitimately filled out by a particular voter. Without witness signatures, those ballots cannot be counted. Alaska ballot instructions say a voter's signature must be “witnessed by an authorized official or, if no official is reasonably available, by someone 18 years of age or older.” Postal officials are listed as an example of authorized officials, but Alaska voters have said postal clerks recently informed the residents...
    Washington (CNN)Donald Trump Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence's former top aide are calling on the Trump administration to block a controversial gold and copper mine proposed in Alaska that the Obama administration said would cause permanent damage to a critical salmon fishery. Nick Ayers, Pence's former chief of staff, wrote in a tweet on Tuesday that similar to "millions of conservationists and sportsmen" he is hoping President Donald Trump will tell the Environmental Protection Agency to block the Pebble Mine project, which has been a lightning rod for controversy for some two decades and has been widely assailed by numerous interest groups in Alaska and the lower states, and also faced opposition from many Alaskans.Shortly thereafter, Trump Jr. echoed Ayers' sentiments, writing in his own tweet: "As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding...
    By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Since the coronavirus pandemic began keeping visitors at home, the jaguars and chimpanzees at the Oakland Zoo have enjoyed the quiet, venturing out to areas of their exhibits they usually avoid. The bears and petting pigs miss the children, though, and are seeking more attention from zookeepers. Some things, however, haven't changed. The $55,000 in daily animal food costs have put the nearly 100-year-old zoo in a dire financial situation. “We have already lost the bulk of our summer revenue and are living off whatever reserves we have left, but they are going to run out at some point,” said Joel Parrott, president of the Oakland Zoo, home to 750 large animals. The zoo and hundreds of others across the country were ordered to close in March — the start of the busiest season for most animal parks — forcing...
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Since the coronavirus pandemic began keeping visitors at home, the jaguars and chimpanzees at the Oakland Zoo have enjoyed the quiet, venturing out to areas of their exhibits they usually avoid. The bears and petting pigs miss the children, though, and are seeking more attention from zookeepers. Some things, however, haven’t changed. The $55,000 in daily animal food costs have put the nearly 100-year-old zoo in a dire financial situation. “We have already lost the bulk of our summer revenue and are living off whatever reserves we have left, but they are going to run out at some point,” said Joel Parrott, president of the Oakland Zoo, home to 750 large animals. The zoo and hundreds of others across the country were ordered to close in March — the start of the busiest season for most animal parks — forcing administrators to deal with...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Wildfire smoke from Siberia has moved into Southcentral Alaska and left a haze lingering over the region that the National Weather Service said could remain for weeks. The agency said smoke from the fires began spreading over Alaska in early July, The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday. Until the fires in Russia stop, the haze will likely continue, although the duration is difficult to predict, said Patrick Doll of the National Weather Service’s Anchorage office. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it continued well into the month of August and perhaps even early September,” Doll said. Fires have burned almost nonstop in the Arctic Circle since April. NASA reported fires in Siberia and eastern Russia have released a record-breaking amount of carbon into the atmosphere as peat soils burn. Thunderstorms from the northern Siberian coast through the Kamchatka Peninsula about a month ago caused multiple lightning strikes...
    A RARE tsunami caused by crumbling mountains threatens to wipe out a sleepy Alaskan city, scientists warn. Home to nearly 300 people, the remote port town of Whittier may be crushed by waves standing hundreds of feet tall within the next year. 4 The receding Barry glacier 30 miles (50km) away has destabilised the massive mountainside it supports, Haika Magazine reports. Geologists issued a warning in May that, were the mountain to slide into the ocean, it could trigger a deadly tsunami. "The pending slide poses a unique danger, both for its enormous size, and for the remoteness of the mountain," Haikia Magazine wrote on Thursday. The mountain is not linked to any earthquake warning systems, making detection in the event of a collapse tricky. 4Whittier is surrounded by icy mountainsCredit: Getty Images - Getty According to geologists, due to Barry glacier's retreat only a third of a region of...
    SEATTLE (AP) — Alaska Airlines says its flight attendants can issue warnings to passengers who refuse to wear a mask which could lead to them being banned from future flights. Starting in early July, the airline will hand yellow cards to noncompliant passengers, advising them that it is their “final notice” and that a written report about them will be made, The Seattle Times reported. If a passenger continues to refuse, it will be noted in the report and a decision could be made to ban the passenger from future flights. “Overwhelmingly, those who fly with us understand and appreciate the importance of wearing masks and face coverings during this time of COVID-19,” a statement Tuesday on the airline’s blog said. “Our flight crews encounter moments when some travelers disregard or disobey our mask requirement. It creates tension and anxiety for many of our passengers who do have their face...
    Breaking News — An old problem that continues to sound the most current: whoever manages the troops and has no problem exercising violence to stay in power, almost always defeats the defenders of reason. PNAS. & nbsp; According to these researchers, who have analyzed ice cores extracted in Greenland, during the year 43 before our era, a huge volcanic eruption in the Aleutians left behind a giant crater 10 kilometers in diameter. The volcano’s proximity to the Arctic Circle should have caused currents running through the lower stratosphere layers to easily spread the particles throughout the entire northern hemisphere, where they must have partially blocked the passage of sunlight. “Data-reactid = “27”> That at least is what a team of glaciologists led by Joseph McConell, whose results have just been published in PNAS. According to these researchers, who have analyzed ice cores extracted in Greenland, during the year 43...
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