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10/21/14

Alaska Railroad announces new midweek winter departures for 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Railroad is launching special midweek Aurora Winter Train departures starting on February 24 and continuing weekly through March 18. In addition to its regularly scheduled Saturday northbound and Sunday southbound services, the train will also head north from Anchorage to Fairbanks on Tuesdays and back south on Wednesdays. This midweek service conveniently coincides with most Alaska school spring breaks, as well as a number of exciting winter events and activities in both cities, providing residents and visitors alike the opportunity to ride the rails from both cities. During these added dates, a special round-trip fare is offered at only $230 between Anchorage and Fairbanks, and children ages two to 11 ride for only $115. “We’re...

Posted at 06:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

Emergency Order Closes Bull Harvest in Afognak Island Registration Elk Hunt; Cows Remain Legal Game

(Kodiak) – Hunting for bull elk is closed by emergency order in all portions of Afognak, Kodiak, and adjacent islands that encompass registration permit hunt area RE755. Hunters participating in RE755 may harvest cow elk only. Back-to-back deep-snow winters in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 have reduced Afognak Island elk numbers and the population has not yet fully recovered. An extensive road system built to accommodate expanded logging has increased hunter accessibility and raised the vulnerability of bulls. Limiting the harvest to cows is expected to boost Afognak’s bull-to-cow ratio while still allowing an elk harvest. Cow elk harvests will be closely monitored to ensure overharvest does not occur and that population objectives are maintained.  Because the revised...

Posted at 06:18 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

House Bill 278 provides Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program with $6 million in grant funds, largest in program’s history

$6 million grant creates opportunity for additional Middle School Academies for Alaska students ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) is offering eight additional Middle School Academies annually as a result of the $6 million grant afforded through the recent passage of House Bill 278. The grant will be distributed in increments of $2 million per year starting this year. This is the single-largest grant in ANSEP’s 20-year history. This funding will support 12 Middle School Academies per year, resulting in 650 Alaskan middle school student participants each year. Gov. Sean Parnell signed H.B. 278 into law on May 14, 2014. Middle School Academies are residential science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences...

Posted at 06:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

Municipality of Anchorage’s 2014 General Obligation Bonds Rated “AAA” by Standard & Poor’s

Mayor Sullivan is pleased to announce that the municipality’s 2014 general obligation bonds have again been rated AAA, the highest rating assigned by Standard & Poor’s (S&P). In addition, S&P affirmed its AAA long-term and underlying rating of the municipality’s existing general obligation bonds, citing the outlook as “stable.” Last year, the municipality was upgraded from AA+ to AAA following an upgrade from AA the year prior. This year’s AAA rating reaffirms S&P’s confidence in the city’s financial management and its economic outlook. A bond rating is issued after thorough review of the municipality’s finances, management and the condition of Anchorage’s economy including Anchorage’s relationship to...

Posted at 06:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

BOEM to prepare Environmental Impact Statement for Potential Cook Inlet Lease Sale

Agency seeks public comments through Dec. 8, 2014 ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced that it will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in support of a potential oil and gas lease sale in Cook Inlet, off Alaska’s south central coast. The Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS, which will be published in the Federal Register on Oct. 23, 2014, will open a public comment period extending through Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. During this time, BOEM will hold public scoping meetings and accept comments through www.regulations.gov. The Notice is available at www.boem.gov/ak244/ The EIS analysis will focus on the potential effects of leasing, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in the proposed lease sale...

Posted at 06:01 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

Begich Gets Firsthand Look at Alaska’s Preparedness for Ebola

Providence Hospital has gone “above and beyond” U.S. Senator Mark Begich toured Providence Hospital in Anchorage on Monday in an effort to ensure the Alaska health care community is prepared to respond and contain Ebola in a worst-case scenario that the deadly disease emerges in Alaska. “After my call with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last week, I wanted to see firsthand how Alaska hospitals are preparing and what additional information or resources they might need from the federal government.  I learned a lot from the staff at Providence Hospital today, and offered my assistance.  It is very reassuring to see in-person how Providence is going above and beyond federal standards to contain any kind of outbreak like Ebola.  The staff...

Posted at 05:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

State asserts ownership of lands, awards leases at ANWR boundary

(Anchorage, AK) – Following a thorough review of the western boundary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the Division of Oil and Gas today awarded two Beaufort Sea leases pending since 2011 and published tract maps for the Nov. 19 North Slope and Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sales that accurately reflect the boundary. The division’s actions are based on the State’s assertion that it owns roughly 3,000 acres of tidal and submerged lands along the Beaufort Sea coastline that were  improperly mapped as part of ANWR. “I’m pleased that we are now able to award these leases to the 2011 bidders and clarify the acreage that is available for oil and gas exploration in this highly-prospective region,” said Natural Resources Commissioner...

Posted at 05:38 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

Invasive species workshop slated Oct. 28-30 in Anchorage

The Alaska Invasive Species Workshop Oct. 28-30 in Anchorage will highlight invasive species management around the state, with an emphasis on elodea and other aquatic plants. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will host the workshop at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown hotel. Workshop coordinator Gino Graziano said elodea is a concern because the aquatic freshwater plant grows so fast it can reduce fish habitats and create difficulties for recreational boaters and for pilots landing on lakes. “It’s the only aquatic weed in Alaska that’s been targeted for eradication,” he said. The plant, grown in aquariums, has been found in rivers and lakes in Southcentral, the Kenai Peninsula, Cordova and Fairbanks. Presentations will...

Posted at 05:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

Campus event to celebrate Diwali

The Namaste Indian Student Chapter at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will host a Diwali celebration at the Wood Center Carol Brown Ballroom Saturday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. The event will include cultural presentations by Indian students and members of Indian families in Fairbanks, as well as a sumptuous Indian meal with desserts. Diwali is a vibrant festival observed in India. It celebrates the victory of good over evil and knowledge over darkness. Tickets are $15 for ages 12 and over, and $10 for children ages 6–12. Children under the age of 5 attend for free. Namaste India will donate $2 from every ticket sold to UAF’s campaign for United Way of the Tanana Valley. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, as the event usually sells out. For more information or to...

Posted at 05:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

10/21/14

Mad Dog Graphx Wins Three from International Davey Awards

Anchorage, AK – Graphic design firm Mad Dog Graphx has won three honors in the 2014 Davey Awards. A brochure designed for Anchorage Park Foundation won Gold, and Mad Dog's annual report for Food Bank of Alaska and a holiday poster created for Benchmark Construction each won Silver. The Davey Awards is an international creative award focused exclusively on honoring outstanding creative work from the best small firms worldwide. The 2014 Davey Awards received nearly 4,000 entries from ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms. Michael Ardaiz and Kris Ryan-Clarke are the creative team behind Mad Dog’s biting edge designs. Founded in 1996, Mad Dog offers a range...

Posted at 05:33 PM | Permalink | Comments

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