The Lower 48 has been on the offensive against the flu virus for weeks. But in Unalaska, most people didn’t have access to vaccines until late November.
An attempt to tailor flu prevention around Unalaska’s unique population didn’t go over well with locals.
Kathy Whitman has lived in Unalaska for years, and in that time, she’s learned not to take chances with her health.
“Out here it’s really kind of a concern because if you get sick, you’re pretty much looking at a trip off the island. You know, you’re having to go to Anchorage to get fixed,” Whitman said.
That’s why Whitman tries to get a flu shot as early as she can every year — typically in October. But when she called the Iliuliuk Family & Health Services clinic asking about her vaccine this year, Whitman was told she’d have to wait — all the way through November.
“I don’t think that this was a wise choice to be made,” Whitman said. ”You know, they’re taking a chance with our health, and if it was just my health — but it’s the whole community, you know? Once one person gets it, it kind of goes like wildfire, generally.”
While there is a risk in skipping a vaccine or waiting too long to get it, clinic director Eileen Conlon Scott says the flu shot can wear off.
“Every year we end up with a lot of people getting the flu at the end of the season because they get inoculated too early,” Scott said.
And clinical director Ramona Thompson says Unalaskans could wait until Christmas and still be protected.
“Honestly, it wouldn’t even bother me if it didn’t come until then,” Thompson said. ”I mean, it would probably bother the community, but I don’t feel like it’s a concern until the processing plants start ramping up.”
Thompson says Unalaska’s flu season happens later than in the Lower 48 — usually, from January through April. That lines up with the processing A season, when lots of workers come to town from out of state and possibly bring illnesses with them.
Even though clinic staff had a reason for giving out vaccines later this year, they didn’t notify patients that they were changing the schedule.
Scott says she got at least ten calls in October from locals like Kathy Whitman who wanted to know when they’d be able to get their shots.
And not everyone could wait. Some of the school’s highest-risk employees were inoculated by a visiting nurse in early November. And some kids under 18 who were also at risk, got their vaccines on time from a stockpile at the clinic.
One other high risk group is the seafood processors — the people who clinic staff say might be a driving force behind Unalaska’s flu season.
UniSea is the biggest processing plant in Unalaska. To cut down on sickness, they’re running a mini flu clinic out of their office here, and at company headquarters in Washington State.
But not everyone participates. And UniSea’s human resources director, Michelle Cochran, says they don’t require employees to get vaccinated before they start work. So it’s pretty much a given that some people are going to get sick.
“Every year, you know, there’s some sort of illness that goes on, and I think a big part of that is just people entering a new environment — you know, who knows what they’re bringing with them?” Cochran said.
Cochran’s also on the board of directors for the Iliuliuk clinic. While the board didn’t have a part in the decision to offer flu shots a little later this year, Cochran says she thought it made sense.
And the clinic’s not giving up on the idea that a later vaccine could be better. But next year, they’re going to give patients an option.
The clinic will be prepared to give flu shots starting in October. But they’ll be recommending people wait until November, so they’ll be protected from getting sick when it really counts.
Speaking an endangered language at home is the essence of language revitalization, according to author Leanne Hinton. She’s written the book Bringing Our Languages Home and was recently in Juneau for the Tlingit Tribes and Clans Conference.
Mischa Jackson and her husband are speaking Tlingit to their 10-month old baby Michaelyn.
“We do little words and phrases and commands at home and try to expose her as much as we can to elders that speak conversationally, so she can just hear it. And she loves to hear it. It gets her attention better than English does,” Jackson says laughing.
Jackson herself doesn’t speak the language well. Her family has roots in Klukwan, but Jackson grew up in Anchorage, then lived in southern California. Her mother taught her Tlingit songs, and that’s about it.
By speaking Tlingit at home, Jackson wants to give her daughter something she didn’t have. Jackson’s husband, on the other hand, was exposed to the language growing up in Kake. “Her dad got to listen to his grandparents and he’s a much better speaker because of it, whereas for me, I can’t make the same sounds as easily as he can, so I know it makes a huge difference,” says Jackson.
Jackson is doing exactly what Leanne Hinton recommends for parents who may not speak a language but want to make it a part of their home.
“All it really takes is dedication to the language. It doesn’t even take fluency because you can be learning with your children,” Hinton explains. “Like many of the families I know started from scratch when their children were already born and as they learned, they were bringing it home bit by bit and making it more and more the language of their home.”
Hinton is professor emeritus of language at the University of California Berkeley. She specialized in American Indian languages, sociolinguistics, and language loss and revival. She’s written a number of books on keeping endangered languages alive and says speaking the native language at home is the key.
Home, she says, is the last place where it disappeared.
“To get it back into the home again is the one time that the language is actually going to become naturally acquired again by children so that actual native speakers are occurring. Once people are learning it at home and using it, then you feel like you’re beginning to be out of danger for the language,” Hinton says.
Hinton says ideally parents would only speak the endangered language at home, but that’s usually not the case. “Most of the people that I’ve interviewed are lucky if they use it 50 percent of the time, and 50 percent of the time is actually a fairly good ratio,” she says, “but you want more for an endangered language if possible.”
Parents, like Jackson, who speak their Native language at home will likely face some challenges when their children go to school and their peers and teachers are speaking English. Hinton says children may then refuse to speak the Native language at home, but there are ways to tackle this problem.
“One way is to start trying to talk about how important it is to use the language but that may not go over with a 5-year-old,” says Hinton. “Some parents just simply won’t respond to their kids if their kids talk to them in English. They’ll talk to the kids in their endangered language and if the kids talk back in English, they just say, ‘I don’t understand.’ Sometimes that works quite well.”
Another option is making language a game. Imagine jars with pennies inside. Every family member gets one. If a person catches another saying something in English that could be said in their indigenous language, that person gets to take a penny out of the other’s jar and put it into their own jar.
At this point, Jackson doesn’t have to worry about those challenges yet. She says her daughter Michaelyn isn’t saying much, in English or in Tlingit, “Every once in a while we laugh because it sounds like she’s says, ‘dlaa,’ like she’s saying, ‘haa dlaa,’ so we crack up whenever she does that.”
That’s Tlingit for, ‘Gee whiz.’
Clarification: KSKA would like to clarify a statement made in a story aired today (Tuesday, Dec. 3). The reporter failed to indicate that there was a door charge for a luncheon meeting of the Institute of Transportation Engineers set for noon at the Aviation Heritage Museum featuring speaker Steward Osgood of Dowl HKM .
A consultant says that the Bragaw Street extension into Anchorage’s UMed district could cost more than originally planned.
Community members from Alaska towns as large as Anchorage and as small as Allakaket are in Juneau for the second annual Prevention Summit sponsored by the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. The council is under the state Department of Public Safety.
The three-day summit at Centennial Hall brings together teams from 19 communities. Each team has at least three members.
“They’re victim service providers, first responders such as maybe law enforcement or healthcare providers, tribal representatives, as well as just people interested in preventing violence in their community,” says council executive director Lauree Morton.
Teams will be working on strengthening existing prevention strategies and developing new ones.
“It’s an opportunity for communities across the state to get together and talk to each other about what is working and what else they want to do to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault,” Morton explains.
The summit features presenters from around the state and outside the state, many who are experts in their field. One of the workshops will be with Green Dot, a national non-profit organization that is working with several communities in Alaska on an intervention program.
Morten says youth from Juneau and Sitka will also be highlighted at the summit, “young adults who are actually implementing strategies in their high schools on reducing violence.”
First Lady Sandy Parnell kicks off the second annual Prevention Summit Tuesday at 11 am. Opening remarks will also be made by Morton, Alaska Native Sisterhood grand president Freda Westman, and Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand President Bill Martin.
The state of Alaska is looking for partners to research a new source of natural gas called methane hydrates.
It could bring in new revenue for the state far down the road, but some environmentalists worry the risk of releasing that much methane is too great.
Methane hydrates are methane gas that’s trapped in ice crystals in the subsurface of the ocean floor and in the permafrost. Tests by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2012 in Alaska showed that the resource existed on the North Slope, but no one has commercially extracted methane hydrates anywhere in the world.
The state’s Director for the Division of Oil and Gas, Bill Barron, says the state and the federal Department of Energy are working together to research the potential in Alaska.
“But that’s why we’re doing these tests. This is very new technology. You can heat it and melt the water and that will liberate the methane,” Barron said. “There is a way to use carbon dioxide to exchange the carbon dioxide for the methane within the ice and liberate the methane and use it for CO2 sequestration.”
Barron says producers can use many of the same types of drills and well casings used in standard oil and gas drilling. But because methane hydrates are stored in the earth in a different way from typical natural gas, they need to research ways to release it safely and without melting the permafrost.
“You’re trying to strike that balance between how much recovery you get with what the impact is,” Barron said. “Right now we don’t think the impact will be at all substantial. We think that just a few degrees may be enough to liberate the methane.”
Meaning that the permafrost column will stay intact. Barron says this theory is based on research and on evidence from wells that have already struck and recovered some methane hydrates.
But Richard Charter says producing methane hydrates could be very risky. Charter is a senior fellow with the Ocean Foundation and has been on the Department of Energy’s methane hydrate advisory committee for 10 years. He says the main risk is a giant blow out that could release significant amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.
“Are we going to trigger a release that we can’t control of natural gas, particularly in the ocean, that we can’t shut off at a time when global warming is a problem and then further accelerate global warming?” Charter said.
Charter says drilling onshore is safer than offshore, where the risk is triggering a subsea landslide along with a release of methane. But either way, he says it’s different from conventional gas drilling because melting the hydrates leads to geological instability. He says the development of methane hydrates is at the point where researchers and industry players have to get it right.
“With hydrates we’re about where Thomas Edison was when he had his early light bulbs, some of his early light bulbs blew up,” Charter said. “So when you’re in the experimental phase of something with as large a scale of potential risk as hydrate exploitation certainly appears to have, you want to be extra careful because when you are learning is when you can have very large accidents.”
State and federal energy experts will be meeting with industry representatives in Denver on December 11 to see who wants to partner with the government to conduct the research and development work.
Charter says industry interest is based on methane’s potential for being the next big energy resource.
“If you could get a sufficient quantity of it to make it economically exportable, and by export I mean Asia as a market, then all of the sudden it’s a game changer for Alaska,” Charter said.
Methane extracted from hydrates can be transported along with natural gas from conventional sources either in a gas line or as LNG on a tanker.
Japan is the furthest along with methane hydrate research. The country drilled and extracted the resource from an offshore well in March.
A survey of oil company managers and executives has given Alaska poor marks for its business climate.
The annual report by the Fraser Institute, a conservative Canadian think tank, stacks Alaska up against other states and countries in an effort to develop a “policy perception index.” The respondents weren’t kind to the 49th state.
The survey asked about 16 factors, including taxation, environmental regulation, political stability and security.
Nearly 900 oil and gas industry professionals responded.
Alaska came in 79th place, right in the middle. You might see that as a glass-half-full result, but Pakistan wasn’t far behind and it put Alaska just below Tunisia, where a terror attack killed 40 foreign workers at a gas plant in January.
Larry Persily, federal coordinator of Alaska gas pipeline projects, notes the survey was conducted between February and May, so it’s impossible to say how many respondents were aware the Alaska Legislature rolled back taxes on the oil companies in April. Persily says the controversy itself plays a role.
“Oil and gas taxes is an emotional issue in Alaska. It’s in the news constantly. There’s referendums. There are political battles. The industry is aware of that and it certainly colors industry’s perception,” he said.
He also points out the report gauges perceptions, not actual conditions. Still, Persily says perceptions can sting.
“You don’t want that out there. It’s toxic but I think we also have to understand this is a self-reporting survey, it’s not a statistically accurate sample, so we should be concerned about it, but it shouldn’t ruin our day,” he said.
Bob Pawlauski, of the state Oil and Gas Division, says the Legislature made several changes this year that makes Alaska more friendly to industry. It provided flexibility to give companies more time to develop their leases, and it eased some of the permitting requirements. Not to mention the tax rollback. Former Anchorage Mayor Jack Roderick is working to get that repealed. He says the survey is an industry PR tool.
“Of course they’re speaking for their corporate interests,” Roderick said.
The industry named Oklahoma its favorite place this year. At the bottom of the pile is Venezuela.
You can read the survey here.
The chief of the agency’s Alaska office, Clint Johnson, said an investigator with the NTSB and another from the Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday
reached the site where a single-engine aircraft went down near the village of St. Marys.
He said investigators will be at the accident site for a day or two. They’ll collect evidence and interview witnesses.
Johnson says it’s too early to draw any conclusions about why the plane crashed. Another NTSB investigator in Anchorage also is hoping to interview survivors of the crash.
The Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 crashed at around 6:30 p.m. Friday. It left Bethel on a scheduled flight for Mountain Village and eventually Saint Marys but never reached Mountain Village.
Premera Alaska won’t increase premium rates for Alaskans who decide to extend their plans for another year.
The company previously had to cancel plans that didn’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act for 5,400 members in the state.
Last month, President Obama allowed insurance companies to continue offering those plans through 2014.
Premera Alaska spokesperson Eric Earling says the company decided to forego the normal rate increases, given the short timeline.
“Just made more sense to continue plans at their current rate so the only time if a members on an individual plan that’s being extended, that they would see their rate change is if they move into a new age band for the year,” Earling said. “Otherwise their rate would stay the same as long as they stay on it through 2014.”
Earling says members will automatically stay on their current plans, unless they call Premera to cancel. He says members can decide to buy an Affordable Care Act plan instead on the healthcare.gov marketplace anytime before March 31. That’s the only way to qualify for a subsidy to purchase insurance. Earling says there’s no way to predict how many people will go that route.
“The big question is, is someone eligible for a subsidy?” Earling said. “And if they’re eligible for a subsidy they may want to go to the exchange to buy one of the new plans to access that subsidy. But for those folks that aren’t eligible for a subsidy or very little subsidy, staying on their current plan might make the most financial sense.”
Moda Health is also planning to extend plans for customers who had their insurance canceled under the Affordable Care Act. The company says it doesn’t know yet if rates will increase.
December first was World AIDS Day. The annual observance started in 1988 to increase awareness and prevention of the disease.
The United Nations estimates that more than 35 million people worldwide were living with HIV in 2012. About 70 percent were in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 4 percent in North America.
A misjudgement of just a few dozen yards in the placement of a small house on a remote part of Kodiak Island over 30 years ago will likely result in a family’s hopes, dreams and history literally going up in smoke. The family doesn’t live on their homestead on Dry Spruce Bay full time anymore, but they’re heartbroken at the prospect of losing it.
It’s expensive to travel in and out of Alaska. And for Puni Timu, that price tag has kept her from seeing her parents for more than a year and a half. Puni went to Kodiak High School where she was a star player on the girls’ basketball team. When she graduated, she signed with the University of Jamestown’s basketball team in North Dakota. It’s been a long time since Puni last saw her parents and her teammates recently decided to something extraordinary for her.
A plane crash near the remote western Alaska village of Saint Marys killed four of the 10 people aboard, including an infant boy, an Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman said Saturday.
The pilot and three passengers died in the Friday night crash, spokeswoman Megan Peters said.
Peters said she had no immediate word on the six survivors’ condition but an airline spokeswoman said she understood they were injured.
The single-engine, turboprop Cessna 208 was a Hageland Aviation flight from Bethel to Mountain Village and Saint Marys, said Kathy Roser, a spokeswoman for Era Alaska airline. Hageland is part of Era Alaska, Roser said.
Jim Hickerson, president of Hageland Aviation, also told the Anchorage Daily News the six survivors were injured.
The wreckage was found about 4 miles east of Saint Marys.
Troopers and an air ambulance service responded to the scene, Peters said.
The dead were identified as pilot Terry Hansen, Rose Polty and Richard Polty and the infant, Wyatt Coffee.
The survivors included Melanie Coffee, Pauline Johnson, Kylan Johnson, Tonya Lawrence, Garrett Moses and Shannon Lawrence.
No ages or hometowns were immediately available, Peters said.
An emergency locator beacon signal helped pinpoint the crash site, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson said.
There was no immediate word on what might have cause the crash. The NTSB planned to send two investigators to the scene Saturday. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email requesting crash information.
The temperature in the area Friday night was about 18 degrees.
Saint Marys, with a population of about 500, is roughly 470 miles from Anchorage.
Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich of Alaska are co-sponsoring an amendment to move forward building four heavy icebreakers. The amendment is attached to the Defense Reauthorization Bill in the senate. It would allow the Navy to begin shopping contracts for bids on all the components necessary to build the costly boats.
Congress is so stuck in partisan mire it hardly passes any bills these days. So it would seem unlikely it could pass anything as controversial as opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. Still, two campaigns, Arctic Power and Alaska Wilderness League, remain on the job in Washington, D.C. One has been fighting for 20 years to allow oil development on the coastal plain of the refuge, the other working just as long to ensure that day never comes.
These days, Arctic Power operates out of a hotel-like building in the fashionable Penn Quarter area of Washington, known for its proximity to galleries and restaurants. It’s actually an apartment building. Campaign chief Adrian Herrera says Arctic Power recently emerged from warm shut-down status. For a few years, it had no real office.
“The last Alaska Legislature grant allowed us to lease this office and have a second employee, so we’ve have this operation for a year,” he says.
Herrera’s own apartment is in the same building, so his is a very short commute.
Arctic Power was founded in 1992, so long ago its torch has passed to a new generation. Adrian Herrera’s father is Roger Herrera, a former BP executive who ran the campaign for years. The second employee now working with Adrian is Michael Shively, who also has family roots in resource development advocacy. His uncle is John Shively, CEO of the Pebble Mine partnership.
Herrera says he understands Alaskans are frustrated Arctic Power’s work isn’t finished yet. When Congress created the Arctic Refuge in 1980, a section of the law, numbered 10-02, left the fate of its northern edge in limbo. Polls show Alaskans overwhelmingly favor oil drilling there, but that would take another act of Congress, and polls show most Americans hate the idea. So Arctic Power keeps trying, even now, with the Senate and the White House in the hands of committed opponents of ANWR development and the nation awash in oil from North Dakota and Texas.
Herrera says it’s the central conundrum of ANWR: Alaskans believe in responsible oil extraction while other Americans want this distant place locked up.
“It’s the difference between the people who live there and find their living off the land, who eat and work on the land every single day, and a state that gets nearly its entire income from that land use, versus people who’ve never been there,” he says.
But Herrera says circumstances can shift suddenly in Washington, and Arctic Power needs to be ready. When gasoline prices climb, for instance, lawmakers are more inclined to open ANWR.
“ So in this world of Capitol Hill and politics you never say never,” Herrera says. “Absolutely realistically speaking, would Harry Reid allow a bill on ANWR to reach the floor of the House? Very unlikely. Would the president threaten to veto it, absolutely, down to the last minute …. (But) you fight the fight until the very end. You don’t give up … . I mean, yes, realistically, if it came to the floor under current situations — Well, it probably wouldn’t even come to the floor, but is the debate still going on in hearings? Absolutely. Are the public still listening? Absolutely.”
Financially, Arctic Power has had fat years and lean years. Oil companies pulled out long ago, so the group’s primary funder has been the state of Alaska, which has contributed $12 million over the years – sometimes a million or two a year, sometimes a tenth of that. Still Herrera calls it a grassroots organization.
“Not all our funding does come from the state,” Herrera says. “We have a considerable amount of our funding that comes from private donations (reporter, off mic: Like what percentage?) … I’m not at liberty to say that.”
Public records on file with the IRS show other contributions are miniscule. The most recent, a lean year ending mid-2012, shows private donors gave Arctic Power $1,200. They were outspent 100-to-1 by the state. The group did better at bingo – receiving $20,000 in charitable gaming receipts from an Anchorage bingo parlor.
In Arctic Power’s war room – the living room of an open-plan two-bedroom suite – lists of bill numbers are tacked to the wall, favorable bills in black ink, bills they don’t like in red. Herrera says the group is no longer solely devoted to opening the coastal plain of ANWR. These days, they’re also working to encourage development to the west, in the National Petroleum Reserve- Alaska, and off-shore — all with the aim, he says, of filling the trans-Alaska Pipeline.
He says the work is largely research and outreach, and shepherding visitors around Capitol Hill to help make the case.
”Our goal is to really monitor the Hill and as much as possible convince the public, convince state legislatures around the nation, other coalition groups … to support the effort,” he says. “What’s good for Alaska is good for America. That’s been our message from the beginning and it will be until the job is done.”
About a mile away, just off the Capitol grounds, is the headquarters of Alaska Wilderness League, on the second floor of an unremarkable office block. Some 10 people work here, and 10 more in Alaska field offices. While Arctic Power’s budget recently doubled to $300,000, Alaska Wilderness League has an annual budget of more than $3 million. It initially focused only on the Arctic refuge but has since expanded into other Alaska issues, including logging. Despite its healthy budget, Arctic campaign director, Lydia Weiss, says they don’t lobby in fat-cat style.
“I don’t take members of Congress golfing. I don’t buy them steak dinners. We don’t have that sort of budget. That’s not how it works. I pick up the phone and I ask for time to meet with staff people and I sit down and do it the old fashioned way. And I tell them about this place and I tell them about the dynamics and I dispel myths and usually I win their support.”
Alaska Wilderness League chooses the more evocative route. They always call it the “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge” and the “coastal plain,” never “ANWR” or “10-02 area.” They use beautiful photographs and deploy interns dressed in polar bear suits. Weiss makes no apologies for the bear costumes. At rallies and protests, everyone from tourists to members of Congress wants to pose for photos with the bear. Weiss says the fur suits work as intended by drawing attention and, she says, reminding people what’s at stake.
Weiss, originally from New York state, also freely admits one of the worst accusations flung at her side: She’s never been to this coastal plain she’s devoting her career to.
“As if having been there is a threshold that one has to pass to care about the place!” She says. “It costs thousands of dollars for somebody to get into the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If that’s a threshold for being able to care about this place, that’s a recipe for making sure that only the richest most elite people in American are allowed to weigh in on it. I’m not one of those people. I never had any expectations of going to the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But one of the things that makes me proudest as an American is our wilderness ethic. And I, like most Americans that care about this place … like to know that America can do this right and we can protect our most special places. Not for us, and not for recreation but for future generations and for the wildlife that depends on it.”
A few years ago, when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House, Alaska Wilderness League was playing defense. Now, Weiss says, is the time for her side to gain ground.
“When there’s an immediate threat to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we all, this entire community,… comes together to defend it, and we always win,” she says. “There is less attention on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when that immediate threat isn’t there, and Alaska Wilderness League was founded and exists today in part to make sure we’re taking advantage of opportunities for offensive gains when the threats aren’t as immediate.”
Senators who champion their effort, Maria Cantwell of Washington and Mark Kirk of Illinois, recently introduced a bill that would declare the coastal plain of ANWR a wilderness area, forever off-limits to oil development. It’s a recurring favorite for environmentalists but people on both sides of the issue say the same thing when asked about its chances of becoming law: It would be hard to get anything this controversial through Congress.
Alaska Pacific University’s Kikkan Randall claimed a silver medal in the women’s classic-style sprint race in this season’s opening World Cup event in Kuusamo, Finland. It was the first day of cross-country ski racing.
The reigning world champion and three-time Olympian finished behind Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk in the 1.4 kilometer classic sprint race.
“I felt really strong all day and my skis were excellent in every round,” Randall said. “There is a big climb near the end of the course and my strategy was to save some energy to come over the top strong and carry the speed to the finish.”
Randall has never made the podium in a classic-style sprint race.
“She looked increasingly strong throughout the day,” U.S. coach Chris Grover said.
“Both her striding and her double-poling looked very powerful and efficient.
Two other American women placed in the top 30. Sadie Bjornsen came in 16th. Ida Sargent finished the race in 26th place. There are two more days of racing for both men and women.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Georgetown University took home the Great Alaska Shootout crown, beating the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team 92-78 in the championship game.
After the game, both coaches had similar ideas on the deciding factor of the tournament.
“As Mike Tyson said, ‘Everyone has a game plan until the first hit,” Georgetown head coach Jim Lewis said. “And you have to be able to be flexible and adjust on the fly, if you will.”
Though UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy spoke to the same general topic, his outlook differed.
“To play a team like Georgetown that’s as athletic as they are, there’s no way we can simulate that in practice; or, there’s no way you can game plan for a team that is that athletic,” McCarthy said. “I mean, at our level we just don’t see teams like that – ever.”
In the Seawolves’ first game of the tournament, they were able to overcome a 14-point halftime deficit against UC Riverside and win in a double overtime thriller, but Georgetown’s 12-point lead going into the half was too much for UAA to overcome.
Coach McCarthy said after Tuesday’s game, the Seawolves were mentally exhausted.
“Your team has a tank of emotion and once it’s empty you can’t refill it, and I think that we used up a lot of that emotion – I mean, a double overtime game where it’s just I think emotionally just absolutely drains you,” he said.
Senior forward Kylie Burns said despite the championship loss, there are some things the team can learn from and bring into the regular season.
“Mental toughness, just because you’re down, doesn’t mean you can’t ever come back,” she said. “Energy is a huge thing, too, because that can get you going, and it’s not even a basketball skill.”
UC Riverside took third place, beating Nicholls State 74-64.
The men’s tournament continues through Saturday.
A two-year effort to improve medical care in Delta Junction got a big boost earlier this month in the form of a $400,000 grant that will enable the Interior Alaska Hospital Foundation to open a clinic by March. Now, foundation members have launched a drive to raise at least $150,000 for a pharmacy they’d like to open along with the clinic.
An oil and gas exploration well drilled in the Nenana Basin has not yielded a commercially viable deposit. Doyon Corporation vice president of lands and resources Jim Mery says the nearly nine thousand-foot well, about 16 miles west of Nenana, has inspired the corporation to keep looking.
Mery stresses that the well is only the second deep drilling that’s happened in the Nenana Basin, where Doyon has leases on about 400,000 acres of state land. He says the company is actively planning additional exploration work.
Monica Gokey, APRN-Anchorage
This week we’re heading 80 miles southwest of Bethel to a village the locals call “Kwig.” Andrew Beaver is the tribal administrator in Kwigillingok.
The new motion picture “Icebound,” about the Alaska serum run to Nome, is just one of many films coming to the Anchorage International Film Festival in early December. Also, “The Frozen Ground,” which only had limited theatrical release in Alaska.
HOST: Steve Heimel, Alaska Public Radio Network
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LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.