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Copyright vEsti24
Sep 25 2013
GSA Removes MSC Reference in Guidlines PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 September 2013

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    Alaska Senator Mark Begich convened a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard to explore ways to make sure current and future sustainability certifications benefit both the seafood industry and consumers. Begich and others have been at odds with organizations that rely solely on the Marine Stewardship Council’s sustainability endorsement in choosing seafood– especially since Alaska salmon no longer carries the MSC stamp of approval.
    To start the meeting, Begich had Sam Rauch, the acting assistant administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Darren Blue of the General Services Administration explain how their agencies formulate procurement procedures, which in at least one case this year prompted the National Parks Service to declare Alaska salmon unsuitable for serving in parks. Before describing how those decisions were made though, Blue had an announcement for the subcommittee:
    “I’d like to establish GSA’s view that US managed fisheries do not require third-party certification to demonstrate responsible practices. GSA has worked with HHS, NOAA, and other agencies to revise our health and sustainability guidelines for federal concessions and vending operations to ensure they provide absolute clarity on this matter,” Blue said, adding, “Chairman Begich, I’m pleased to report that in the days since we provided you with our written statement, GSA and HHS have finalized the revised guidelines, and they no longer reference a third-party certification requirement.”
    Rauch pointed out that all stocks managed by NOAA Fisheries should be considered sustainable.
    “We are required to manage for sustainability. When people ask me why it’s sustainable, I can tell them why. It is a transparent process that is adaptive. It’s not a point in time. You have to have a system that will constantly evaluate the fishery and adjust as appropriate. That’s what we have with the federal system, that’s what the State of Alaska has for salmon,” Rauch said. “So I would agree with you Federally-managed and in certain cases, state-managed fisheries are the pinnacle of sustainability.”

Sep 25 2013
Furry Juneau Bar Patron Asked to Leave PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 September 2013

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Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO
    Throwing out patrons who overstay their welcome is a common late night practice in some Alaska bars. But one guest Monday night in Juneau’s Alaskan Hotel & Bar was especially unwelcome.
    A 12-second clip of grainy black and white security camera footage is making its rounds on social media.
    The clip shows a black bear’s brief visit Monday night to the lobby of the Alaskan Bar. C. Scott Fry, the hotel and bar manager, was next door in the hotel lobby. He watched the black bear pass his door on the sidewalk.
    “And as soon as he got to the bar door, it made a left and walked in like he wanted to have a beer,” Fry said.
    Ariel Svetlik-McCarthy was tending bar last night. She says it was quiet up to that point. She realized the bear was inside …
    “…And then, freaked out. And went, ‘No bear! Get out! No! You can’t be in here!’”
    Within seconds, the black bear obliged. It looked underage, too, she quips.
    Area management biologist Ryan Scott with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recalls bears visiting Bartlett Regional Hospital and private homes. But, he says bears going inside buildings is rare.  
    As far as this incident, “Sounds to me like they did great,” he said, “And it’s good news the bear did oblige.”

Sep 24 2013
Begich Continues Defending Alaska Salmon PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 September 2013

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    A few weeks ago a Hollywood fitness guru wrote an article in People Magazine about the benefits of eating a diet rich in seafood, and decrying the difficulty in being certain you’re being served wild seafood instead of farmed.
    The line from Harley Pasternak’s column that probably caught Alaska Senator Mark Begich’s attention was this: “You may be surprised to learn that wild-caught fish is not really superior to farm-raised fish….”
    Of course, those are fighting words in Alaska.
    “To say that farmed fish is better than sustainable, wild-caught Alaska seafood is totally wrong,” said Begich. “When you think of farmed fish, and the things that could happen and the things they have to pump into them to get them to grow faster, the disease that can occur from the habitats they’re in, compared to wild Alaska salmon? I think he was just missing the boat here.”
    To be fair, Pasternak, who is also a television host and author of diet books, didn’t come right out and say farmed salmon is better than wild salmon. But he did point out two things that many readers may have had a hard time separating:

Sep 24 2013
The Big Read Kodiak Kicks Off This Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 September 2013

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            Kodiak can expect to see a lot of Edgar Allan Poe-themed events in the coming months, starting this weekend. Saturday marks the community kick of The Big Read Kodiak, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts. The goal is to promote literacy among all generations using various community gatherings, events and celebrations.
    Kodiak’s Big Read will take place over six months under the theme of Edgar Allan Poe. Sarah Short has helped organize the program and said Poe was chosen for many reasons, including his historical relevance to Kodiak.  

             “The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe have graced our shelves for a very long time from Nellie Erskine’s library in what is now the Baranov Museum. They’ve also been at the A. Holmes Johnson Memorial Library and we are looking forward to pulling them off the shelves in the new public library. And so it serves as a vehicle for us to celebrate literacy throughout the ages in our community and in each of the libraries we have loved over all of the years.”
    Short said Saturday’s kick off is meant to really get the ball rolling for the months ahead. It will feature a performance by Isle Bells, as well as visiting performance artist and Poe enthusiast Michael Oakes of the Live Oakes Educational Theater in California.

Sep 23 2013
70-MPH Winds Spoil a Sunny Sunday PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 September 2013

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    A strong low pressure system swept past Kodiak over the weekend, bringing with it sustained winds of 50 mph and gusts to 70, as measured at the Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport.
    Many trees were reported to have been knocked down by the wind, with one causing a fire when it hit electrical lines near the Kodiak Landfill. Power was out in the Monashka area for over an hour as the power couldn’t be restored until the fire was out.
    At least two barges came loose of their moorings in Womens Bay. One fetched up on Mary’s Island in the bay and another went aground east of Lash Dock.
    Northwest winds are expected to continue gusting to 50 mph today, decreasing to 15 to 30 during the afternoon. West winds 10 to 25 are forecast for tonight, shifting to the southeast and bringing rain tomorrow.

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