Indigenous languages throughout North America are teetering on extinction. In Southeast Alaska, less than 200 people can speak Tlingit, Haida, or Tsimshian. But a Tlingit language expert suggests indigenous language loss can be prevented by addressing it at three levels.
Lance Twitchell says it’s time for a dramatic shift in the way Alaskans look at endangered languages, like Tlingit. Twitchell is an assistant professor of Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast. “Sometimes we say the language is dying, we don’t have many speakers. And some of these things get so insurmountable in your mind that you don’t really know where to start,” he says.
The first place to start, Twitchell says, is at the individual level. He says it’s important to speak as much as you can on a daily basis:
“I tell students, ‘Find something that that’s the only thing you speak Tlingit to – dog, cat, steering wheel, shower head, mirror – and make that switch.’”
Since the 1800s, Alaska Natives have experienced discrimination, forced assimilation, and boarding schools that prohibited children from speaking their language. Twitchell says due to post-traumatic stress disorder and intergenerational trauma, many students of Tlingit have a fear of failing or being chastised:
“Our grandparents experienced great violence for our language, our parents experienced great neglect with our language, we are trying to look at all those things so that our children and grandchildren will just speak.”
Learning the language is an act of healing, Twitchell says. At an individual level, it’s not about changing the world, but by trying to speak a Tlingit word every day.
The next step is making a dramatic shift at the community level. One way to do this is by implementing language into place. “When I want to Hawaii, I came off the plane and the first thing I heard was Hawaiian, and I thought, ‘That’s what we need to do,’” Twitchell says. “We’re trying to put Tlingit on the ferries, so that when you get on the ferry and you’re pulling into Hoonah, you can hear Tlingit telling you about this place Xunaa.”
Twitchell says community also means surrounding yourself with other Tlingit speakers and doing everything with them, “You guys shop together, you eat together, you do a lot more things together, and it’s a challenge.”
Rebuilding an endangered Native language also requires non-speakers. Twitchell advises non-speakers to be encouraging and supportive of those trying to speak a second language.
Twitchell says it’s up to the community to make room for Tlingit through the implementation of language immersion spaces, like a Tlingit daycare or a community center where only Tlingit is spoken:
“If you want to learn French, you can go to France. If you want to learn Spanish, you can go to different countries. If you want to learn Tlingit, you have to manufacture a place where Tlingit really exists.”
The state also must be involved in the rebuilding of a language, Twitchell says. Part of this involves admission. “We see a trail of responsibility that does go to federal governments, state governments, and religious organizations as far as what has put us in this situation with our languages,” Twitchell says. “So there has to be conscious efforts made to reverse language shift.”
Linguist Alice Taff says the language resurgence in Southeast Alaska is part of a worldwide movement against language loss, “Every nation in this planet has small language communities that are standing their ground against language loss. And it’s a relatively new phenomenon that there is a pushing back from within the communities saying, ‘This is us and we are going to use our own voices.’”
Of the estimated 20,000 Tlingit people in the world, Twitchell says only 140 can speak the language. He says the dramatic shift that needs to be made at the individual, community, and state levels is not a matter of tolerating Tlingit speaking but embracing it.
The Bureau of Land Manage is planning do a quick field season at the Red Devil mine to try to stop the large tailings piles from eroding into Red Devil Creek and sending more metals into the Kuskokwim River. But there are more than 250,000 cubic yards of contaminated ground at the site.
Red Devil Creek runs right past the abandoned mine site, where leeched metals like mercury, arsenic, and antimony enter the water system and make their way towards the Kuskokwim. Earlier projects have plugged old mining shafts and removed barrels of chemicals, but the biggest legacy of 40 years of mercury mining is the rocks. Those continue to leech chemical into the watershed. Mike McCrum is the Red Devil Project Manager.
“We’re looking at the groundwater, we’re looking at sediments in the creek, and we’re looking at the large piles of tailings on site that were left by the mining operation. And we’re looking at those three media in different way because they each present their own set of problems,” said McCrum.
The four site wide alternatives address each of those areas of concern. The first option is to take no action. The second would involve putting an 8 foot high fence around the site to keep people and wildlife out. The third actually addresses the tailings and moves them to higher ground in an on-site repository.
“Which is sort of like a landfill, we’d prepare the ground, put them all in one place we would cover them with some sort of material that would help prevent snowmelt and rainfall from infiltrating into the pile and leaching metals,”said McCrum.
The 4th and most extensive option involves digging up the tailings and shipping all of the material to the Lower 48 for disposal in a special facility.
The BLM hopes to have the feasibility study done by next summer. It’s currently making the rounds in a multi agency in depth analysis.
“These are documents that BLM is developing with its contractor, but then it’s extensively reviewed by the EPA, by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources…,” said McCrum.
The BLM would then turn the studies into a proposed plan and bring it out for public input before the final record of decision and work could go ahead. That could still be a number of years. A link to the project website is here.
The Paxson Lodge is closed. The owner of the roadhouse at the junction of the Richardson and Denali highways says he shut the lodge down due to slow business and high operating costs. It’s the latest of several Richardson Highway roadhouses that have closed down in recent years.
Students at Dillingham’s Alternative School had the opportunity to train for an Emergency Trauma Technician certification this month. An ETT can provide basic medical care in emergency situations, and graduates in years past have not only helped save lives in their communities, but have also gone on to further careers in the medical field.
Anchorage Police say a 57-year-old woman was found dead after spending the night in a tent in Anchorage.
She was found just before 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
An initial investigation has found no foul play was involved.
Police have identified the woman as Phyllis Ayaprun.
About 6,500 Alaskans will see their emergency unemployment benefits come to an end on Saturday, according to the state Department of Labor.
The federal program was enacted by Congress in 2008 at the beginning of the recession, which is still affecting the economy in certain states. In the past five and a half years, it has been extended nearly a dozen times.
The idea was to provide an additional safety net for the long term unemployed, beyond the 26 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits.
“Tiers were added to it to allow more benefits, and then it was reduced,” says Bill Kramer, chief of Unemployment Insurance for the State of Alaska.
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers both the state and federal unemployment compensation programs. Kramer says people who qualify for emergency unemployment can apply to receive benefits for this week, but that will be it.
In the past when Congress allowed the program to lapse, the state was able to continue paying existing claims with money from the Emergency Unemployment Compensation fund. This time around, Kramer says that funding has not been renewed.
“The way Congress did this particular program, December 28 is the end of the program,” he says. “So even if an individual just established an emergency unemployment claim with us last week and they may have many weeks of benefits in their balance, we can only pay through this week.”
Alaska Senator Mark Begich, a Democrat, says the program should have been extended as part of the recent budget deal in Washington, D.C. Now he’ll work to renew it when Congress reconvenes in January.
“There’s no question the economy is growing, but there’s certain areas of the country that are still hurting, as well as in our own state,” Begich says.
The national unemployment rate was 5.6 percent when the program started. It topped out at 10 percent in October 2009, and now is down to 7 percent.
Begich says any bill reauthorizing emergency benefits will have to overcome a filibuster from Republicans, some of whom he says are philosophically opposed to unemployment insurance.
“I don’t get it. They complain the economy hasn’t rebounded, but then they don’t want to help with an unemployment extension. And then when people like myself say, well the economy is getting better, they say, well it’s really not as good as it could be,” Begich says. “So, there’s a lot of double speak that goes on in Washington from some of these guys who have been there way too long, and this is one of them.”
Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski says she’s open to extending the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, but wants to review a three-month extension proposed by Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed and Nevada Republican Dean Heller.
“We recognize that the unemployment numbers are coming down,” Murkowski says. “Alaska, we’re just a little bit below the national average, but in places like Nevada and Rhode Island, where the two sponsors are from, unemployment is well over 9 percent.”
Both Murkowski and Begich say the emergency program should not last forever. Republican Alaska Congressman Don Young said via email that an extension would cost $25.2 billion over the course of year, which should require offsetting budget cuts.
State Unemployment Insurance Chief Bill Kramer says the Department of Labor is encouraging people whose benefits are about to expire to take advantage of the state’s network of 22 Job Centers, as well as online employment services.
“There’s resume workshops, they can do interviewing skills, depending on certain criteria if it’s more vocational training that they need in order to bring their skills to something where they can be more employable, they might be able to help that way,” Kramer says. “There’s just a whole host of services available to try and help people get back to work.”
Kramer says the Job Centers can help individuals over the phone as well.
Alaska’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in November, the 61st straight month below the national average.
It’s quiet in the U.S. Capitol these days, but the pressure is on one groups of lawmakers – the appropriators – among them Alaska’s two senators, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich.
They have until Jan. 15 to complete a dozen spending bills. If they don’t, we could see another government shutdown, or, less drastically, a type of budget purgatory Congress has been resorting to what’s called a “Continuing Resolution.”
A seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee used to be quite a lofty perch.
The late Ted Stevens became one of the most powerful Alaskans to ever live by becoming chairman of that panel. It allowed him to send billions home in earmarks.
Now both Alaska senators are on the committee, but it hasn’t amounted to much. Congress has been too divided in recent years to let the appropriators do their work, and anyway it banned earmarks due to public outrage – outrage that was partially inspired by Alaska projects. Alaska Congressman Don Young says it’s been a blow to the state.
“They’re both on appropriations, but what can they do?” Young said. “They can’t really do … and without earmarks they don’t have the clout that we used to have. This is the reality of life. We are being totally ignored.”
Young says when Congress won’t exercise its full power of the purse, it’s ceding power to the executive branch.
Earmarking, or slipping special home-state projects into a spending bill, usually late in the process, did help lawmakers pass appropriation bills in years past, but critics said it
wasn’t right that a few powerful lawmakers could direct money so specifically and with so little scrutiny.
Sen. Murkowski says the recent stalemate has been frustrating. She is the top-ranking Republican on the subcommittee that writes the spending bills for the Interior Department.
“But our bill hasn’t made it to the floor for consideration since I’ve been ranking member because we’re not moving those appropriations bills forward,” Murkowski said.
She hopes we’re now seeing a return to the normal process. Congress this month did finally pass a budget resolution, which is kind of the starting gun for appropriations.
Here’s how it’s supposed to work. The president submits a thick budget to Congress in February. It’s nonbinding — just a request really. In April, lawmakers are supposed to pass a “budget resolution” – a blueprint saying how much they want to spend and how they’ll pay for it. Then the appropriation committees can get going. Committee leaders divide the money pie among 12 subcommittees, each of which crafts a spending bill. When they’re all passed, they fund government for a year. But bitter divisions have derailed the process in recent years. Instead of detailed appropriations bills, lawmakers pass resolutions to just keep the money flowing, usually at the prior year’s level. A Government Accountability Office (or GAO) report says it’s a wasteful process: Agencies are paralyzed by uncertainty, then get all their money late in the year and are in a rush to use it.
Sen. Mark Begich says spending becomes a blunt instrument without appropriations, a process that gives him and Murkowski a chance to shape the bills to meet Alaskan needs.
“We were continuing programs, through these crazy things called continuing resolutions, that did not need to be funded anymore but we were funding them because that was format,” Begich said. “Now we can appropriate strategically and surgically remove programs that are no longer efficient, not necessary anymore and do the right kind of budget balancing that’s critical.”
So the members and staff of the appropriations committees are racing the clock. To move things faster, they’re likely to roll all the bills into a big package called the omnibus. If it’s not signed into law by Jan. 15, they’ll have to pass another continuing resolution.
Interior low temperatures dipped into the 50 below range again today, as a cold snap that began Monday, deepened across the interior. Among the coldest readings this morning were minus 55 at Eagle and 54 below at Ft. Yukon. A strong inversion has kept hilltop temperatures in the 10 to 15 below range, while sinking the deepest cold into valleys. The Fairbanks bowl has also suffered from accumulated emissions.
Overfishing charges against former State Senator Albert Kookesh and two other men have been reinstated by the Alaska Court of Appeals.
In 2009, Kookesh and three others – Rocky Estrada, Sr., Stanley Johnson, and Scott Hunter – were fishing for sockeye salmon at Kanalku Bay near his hometown of Angoon. A state wildlife trooper observed them catching more salmon than allowed under their subsistence permits, and issued citations.
Kookesh, Estrada, and Johnson challenged, saying the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cannot establish catch limits. They argued the only way to enact limits is through the Alaska Board of Fisheries.
A District Court judge agreed, and dismissed the charges against the men.
The Court of Appeals in ruling today (Friday) said the board of fish can delegate authority to the department. The case was returned to the District Court.
Kookesh says he and the other defendants would like to continue fighting, but their attorney – Tony Strong of Juneau – has been disbarred for an unrelated matter.
“We have to find another one. We have to find people like AFN or Tlingit and Haida or somebody else to step up with us,” Kookesh said. “To me it’s an important question, to other people it may not be. But I think the Native community sees this as a question that we have to take to courts to have the State of Alaska recognize that we have a concern here.”
While the case hinged on the narrow issue of who can set catch limits, Kookesh says the men are really challenging the state’s overall subsistence policy.
“We appealed the bag limit of 15 fish per family per year in Angoon,” Kookesh said. “Fifteen fish per family per year, and that’s what we appealed on, because less than two or three miles away we had seine boats getting thousands and thousands of fish intended for that area, sockeye bycatch there. Nobody cited them. But when you’re a commercial boat in Alaska, you can get all you want.”
Kookesh also says fish and game did not get input from Angoon residents before enacting the catch limit.
Mike Mitchell, an attorney with the Alaska Department of Law, says the state is pleased with the Appeals Court’s decision. He says it affirms a longstanding form of fishery regulation, and bolsters the ability of fish and game and the board of fisheries to manage and conserve salmon for all user groups.
Kookesh, a Democrat, served eight years in the Alaska House of Representatives followed by eight years in the state Senate, representing a largely rural district. He lost his seat in 2012 after the state Redistricting Board put him in the same district as Sitka Republican Bert Stedman.
(Note: This story has been updated with reaction from Albert Kookesh and the Alaska Department of Law)
Human skeletal remains discovered in KCAW’s basement in 2011 were removed from the Cable House on Friday.
The bones were identified as Alaskan Native and are now in the custody of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.
The human remains were initially found by construction workers, in the midst of structural improvements to the historic Cable House, home of Raven Radio, in October of 2011. New information revealed that the bones are Native Alaskan, likely Southeast in origin. The bones remained in the basement undisturbed until Friday (12-20-13). That was when they were exhumed from the Cable House basement, and turned over to the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.
Brian Kemp an Assistant Professor at Washington State University, tested mitochondrial DNA in a tooth, and identified the remains as Native American. He also screened DNA on sex chromosomes, and found that the tooth had belonged to a female. Kemp said that given the data available it is not possible to trace the bones to a specific population because the DNA sequence is widely common in Native American lineage.
While the remains are believed to be old, and likely predate the 103-year-old building that houses Raven Radio, Kemp does not know how old. He says radiocarbon dating is required to determine the age of these remains.
Joan Dale, an archaeologist with the Alaska Heritage Resources Survey inspected photographs of the remains. After considering the shape of a skull, Dale said they are most likely Southeast Alaska Native.
Sitka Tribe of Alaska staff with the assistance of Forest Service Archaeologist Jay Kinsman exhumed the bones.
KCAW General Manager Ken Fate said the removal process went well, under the guidance of Jay Kinsman. Overall, it was a well-coordinated effort between KCAW, STA, and the Forest Service.
The Sitka Tribe of Alaska will determine a suitable location for interment of the remains.
The Chena River is getting cleaner. The waterway that winds through the heart of Fairbanks had been plagued by oil and sedimentation from runoff, but local efforts have turned things around.
Hair is important, especially in high school, but that didn’t stop a few dozen students at Bethel’s Kuskokwim Learning Academy boarding school from shaving off their hair in support of a teacher undergoing chemotherapy. It was also a chance for some students to remember family who died from the disease.
In a corner room at the school, two classroom chairs are doubling as make shift barber chairs. More than a dozen students stand in line waiting for their turn in the seat.
“I think you could just shave it off,” Brenda Woods says.
At 16, she has a pretty round face and a full head of thick dark hair. She says it’s all coming off in support of Connie Sankwich, a teacher who has stage two ovarian cancer.
“I was thinking about it for a couple of days but I thought that I’d just cut it short but after I watched those other guys hair get their hair shaved I thought that I should do the same because short hair doesn’t look like it’s supportive to the people of cancer in my opinion,” Woods says.
Stan Corp dutifully buzzes away. He’s run a barber shop in Bethel for over 20 years and is volunteering his services at the school.
Doug Boyer, Principal at Kuskokwim Learning Academy stands nearby. He’s tall, towering over his students as he also waits for his turn in the chair. He says Sankwich is a beloved teacher who taught a character building class.
“The main concept of the program is that a small act of kindness will start a chain reaction of kindness,” Boyer says. “The students now wanted to come back and the chain reaction has started to blossom and now they wanted to show their respect to her.”
Most of the students are Yup’ik Eskimo, some are from Bethel, others from nearby villages. Venessa Egoak is a 19-year-old from Bethel. She plans to shave her hair, going from about two feet in length to a quarter of an inch.
“I’d probably be supporting my two uncles who had cancer,” she says, choking up. “I do miss my uncles. I just wish cancer didn’t get them.”
After a long process of clipping, buzzing, and more buzzing, Egoak heads to the nearest mirror to check out her new look. She smiles at her reflection.
“Gonna get cold a lot,” she says laughing. “And I’m glad I did cut my hair.”
Victoria Passauer watches as a classmate gets her haircut and unconsciously runs her fingers through her long wavy auburn hair. She’s planning on donating about a foot of it for Locks of Love, which makes wigs for children. She’s supporting Sankwich and her mother who died from cancer about five years ago. She says she died in just a few months and was never able to go through treatment.
“So I never got to really, like, do that for her,” Passauer says, with tears in her eyes. “So…..I’m kind of doing it for her too.”
The ponytails are piling up on the table. Corp will mail them to a Locks of Love organization in Florida.
KLA student David Evon announces that he’s going to shave all his hair off. His black hair isn’t short for a guy. He hasn’t cut it in 11 months and it hangs down to his eyes.
“She was one of my favorite teachers here in KLA,” Evon says. “She was very helpful and kind and generous and I hope she gets better soon.”
A few hours later, Connie Sankwich sits on her couch under a blanket, looking at pictures of the school event. At 49, she’s lived a healthy lifestyle and never dreamed she’d get cancer.
“I cried like a baby when I had to cut my hair,” Sankwich says, laughing at the memory. “People would say things like ‘it’s just hair, hair’s over rated, it’ll grow back, you know. Of course, trying to make me feel better . . .it didn’t make me feel better. So. . . .to see the kids do this and to see all the staff and kids at KLA doing this. . .cutting their hair for me when they don’t have to. . .I just can’t believe the support that they’re giving.”
In the end, 25 students and staff cut their hair for Sankwich. She’ll carry their support with her in the coming months as she travels to Anchorage for chemotherapy.
This week, we’re heading to Port Heiden, a community of about 100 people on the Alaska Peninsula. Scott Anderson is mayor of Port Heiden.
Anchorage’s venerable Mulcahy Stadium, which turns fifty years old next year, may be torn down to make way for parking lot expansion at the Chester Creek Sports Complex. That’s the plan proposed by the muni’s Parks and Recreation department, according to John Rodda, department director.
Rodda says, originally, new parking lots were planned at the site of the two grass ballfields West of Mulcahy, but that plan posed traffic problems. He said, within the past year, another idea hatched
“And then a new group of us got together and came up with the idea, that , you know ‘why should we have disjointed parking- that just complicates things even further – puts people further away from the venues. Why don’t we do this in a holistic sense, with all of the parking being centralized, so you’ve got access to Sullivan, Ben Boeke, the Anchorage football park and Mulcahyy all in one general area. “
The new plan moves Mulcahy to the site of the two ballfields, and uses the old stadium site for a new parking lot. Rodda says the move will open up about 400 new parking spaces. But Rodda says, the new stadium will have many advantages
“We tried to incorporate and include elements that were beyond, I would say, the traditional ball park, because this new facility should enhance and should invite other public uses. We could use it for a farmers’ market, or a car show, or other event stageing. Special events, corporate picnics. There’s all kinds of elements that we are trying to make this park freindly for, and yet take care of the parking problem. “
Parks and Rec approved the plan in November, and a design by the architectural firm USKH is nearing completion. Rodda says stakeholders in the plan have been notified, although the project has not been widely publicized.
Under the proposal, the current Mulcahy will be torn down and a new stadium built about one block away. The new stadium will be a bit smaller than the current 3500 seat stadium. The new one will have one thousand grandstand seats and fifteen hundred “informal” seats.
“I’ll call it more casual seating, because we’re using artificial turf. We’re actually sloping it, and almost to give it a feel of sitting out on a grassed area, and actually watching the game, I’ll call it, from the cheap seats. And people will actually be able to expand along both lines [of the baseball field] and actually have additional seating down there.”
Rodda says the plan has the backing of the city administration.
Rodda says the city has close to four million dollars in legislative grants earmarked for parking expansion at the Chester Creek Complex, and will request more than twelve million dollars from the legislature for the stadium rebuild. He says the balance is expected to come from sponsorships.
Mulcahy is used by the Anchorage Bucs and the Glacier Pilots summer college baseball teams.
If the plan is approved by city planners and gets the green light from the Anchorage Municipal Assembly, construction could begin in 2015.
One year ago Shell Oil’s drilling rig had not gone aground and changing the state’s oil tax regime was just the Governor’s dream. Nobody expected Congress to be so gridlocked that budget sequestration would kick in, and the prospects for the Affordable Care act were not good. A lot has changed.
HOST: Steve Heimel, Alaska Public Radio Network
- Tony Hopfinger, editor, Alaska Dispatch
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LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.
The volume of sea ice in the Arctic is 50 percent higher than it was last fall, satellite measurements show.
In October 2013, the European Space Agency satellite CryoSat measured 9,000 cubic kilometres of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean, said an ESA news release Monday. At the same time of year in 2012, it measured just 6,000 cubic kilometres — a record low.
The satellite, launched in 2010, is designed to measure sea ice thickness across the Arctic Ocean, allowing scientists to monitor changes in volume and not just surface coverage.
Despite the short-term rebound, sea ice volumes remain low compared to historical averages, scientists say.
“It’s estimated that there was around 20,000 cubic kilometres of Arctic sea ice each October in the early 1980s, and so today’s minimum still ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years,” said Andrew Shepherd, a co-author of the study, in a statement. Shepherd, who is a researcher at University College London, was part of a team that presented the study last week at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting in San Francisco.
Both the surface coverage and volume of Arctic sea ice are monitored by scientists as climate indicators.
In September, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre reported that Arctic ice cover at its summer minimum this year was 5.1 million square kilometres. That was also up 50 per cent from last year’s record low, but the sixth lowest on record. The seven lowest levels have all been recorded in the last seven years.
Coverage vs. Volume
Scientists had noticed that generally, since CryoSat was launched in 2010, Arctic sea ice volumes haven’t varied as much from year-to-year as sea ice coverage.
Because of that, they hadn’t expected an increase in volume comparable to the increase in surface coverage, said Rachel Tilling, lead author of the new study, in a statement.
“But it has been, and the reason is related to the amount of multi-year ice in the Arctic,” added Tilling, a researcher at the U.K.’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling.
Multi-year ice survives more than one summer without melting and is considered an indicator of “healthy” Arctic sea ice cover, the ESA reported.
About 90 per cent of the increase in sea ice volume this year is from the growth of multi-year ice, which now averages about 20 per cent or 30 centimetres thicker than last year, the release said.
Last week, the NOAA issued its annual Arctic report card, which found that Arctic temperatures in 2013 were cooler compared to the past six years, although they remained warm compared to the 20th century.
“The Arctic caught a break, if you will, in 2013,” said Martin Jefferies, the University of Alaska geophysicist who edited the report card, at the AGU conference. “But one year doesn’t change the long-term trend toward a warmer Arctic.”
With a file from The Associated Press
The state appeals court on Friday reinstated charges of excessive fishing against a former state senator and two others.
A wildlife officer in August 2009 cited former lawmaker Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, and others for catching more sockeye salmon than allowed under a subsistence fishing permit.
The men challenged the citations, and a district court sided with the men. The court said the Board of Fisheries should have set limits and not delegated that authority to the Department of Fish and Game.
The appeals court disagreed, saying the Board of Fisheries has the authority to enact regulations and delegate that authority.
The cases against the fishermen will return to district court.
A woman is suing the Municipality of Anchorage, claiming she was falsely arrested for drunken driving after she refused to give her phone number to a police officer.
The Anchorage Daily News reports Nancy Means is seeking to have the municipality scrub any evidence of her arrest.
Officer David Burns saw a minivan with hazard lights flashing Nov. 25, 2011. He found Means and three passengers in the disabled minivan.
Burns said he smelled a slight odor of alcohol. He sought and received her license and insurance information, but she refused when he asked for her phone number.
Burns then arrested her for operating a vehicle under the influence. A later breath test listed her blood-alcohol level at .000.
City attorney Dennis Wheeler says the arrest was proper.
The state has issued an air quality advisory for the Fairbanks area through Saturday.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports cold air and temperature inversions are behind the poor air quality.
The advisory from the state Department of Environmental Conservation covers Fairbanks, North Pole and surrounding areas.
It also deems the air quality in Fairbanks as “unhealthy,” the third-worst category behind “very unhealthy” and “hazardous.”
People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion. Others should limit any prolonged exertion.
Alaska State Troopers say a privately-owned ATM was stolen from a Palmer restaurant.
The Anchorage Daily News reports the machine was taken from RW’s Hamburger House Saturday morning. It weighs about 200 pounds, and troopers suspect it would require more than one person to take it.
Restaurant employee James Tickney says burglars forced their way into the building’s back door and dragged the ATM about 25 feet outside.
He says there was about $4,700 in the ATM when taken.
Troopers ask anyone with information to call 907-745-2131 or Mat-Su Crime Stoppers at 907-745-3333.