VANCOUVER -- A $165-million endowment established by the governments of Canada and the United States to fund key salmon projects on the West Coast has been so badly battered by the economic downturn there may be no grant money available for 2009. This could shut down more than 100 projects in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Alaska that last year got about $10-million in funding.
Trappers will be able to set marten traps closer to some Juneau trails next winter. The board also added five trails to the 13 where trapping is restricted in the Juneau area.
THE FUTURE OF THE POLES: A special project of Scientific American published online this week includes articles on the Northwest Passage (with slide show of spectacular satellite images) and conflicting international claims on Arctic Ocean resources. Also: a slide show and profiles of eight polar animals facing "promise and peril," including the polar bear.
SciAm interviews scientists who say that while the Arctic Ocean ice cap may melt sooner than anyone thought possible, the fabled Northwest Passage shipping route through the Canadian archipelago may remain too dangerous for large ships for years to come.
Climate models predict that even as sea ice disappears from the Arctic Ocean in the summer, the northern part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago will remain a stronghold for multiyear ice. That means hard, ship-wrecking multiyear ice in all the channels of the Northwest Passage. "Even in 2040, when there is no more summer ice in the Arctic, the archipelago will still be clogged with ice," says Bruno Tremblay, a Canadian scientist.
2012? THE CLOTHES? POST-CAMPAIGN BLAME GAME? Those are the hot topics as Gov. Palin remains in demand for interviews by the national media. We'll give you the links to see Palin interviews online:
NBC's "Today" show today with Matt Lauer: Story, video and slide shows.
Fox News "On the Record" over the weekend with Greta van Susteren: Transcript, video, photos.
Palin reflects on her run (Anchorage Daily News): Article, video, photos
McCain owes Palin straight talk tonight (Wall Street Journal editorial)
Where's John McCain's honor when we need it? We'll find out tonight, when the Arizona Republican appears on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. In the week since the election, McCain's campaign team has leaked some nasty stuff about Sarah Palin. ... So it will be telling if McCain stands up for his partner and says how offended he has been by what some of his staffers have done to her.
TARGETING 'SCOFFLAW' DRIVERS: Public radio station KSKA reports today on the results of the municipality's new law targeting drivers who don't pay traffic tickets. When police encounter a driver who has accumulated at least $1,000 in unpaid moving violations, they impound or seize the vehicle. So far, 78 vehicles have been taken. The municipality has an excellent "Scofflaw" Web page devoted to the program. It includes searchable lists of all scofflaws and the top 50, led by one Eldridge Bradley, whose 75 unpaid citations amount to $8,783.
There's no 'whole truth' in traffic court (ADN, May 2008)
City puts traffic scofflaws on notice (ADN, April 2008)
BRISTOL BAY FILM AT BANFF FESTIVAL: The documentary film "Red Gold" - exploring the culture of salmon fishing in Bristol Bay and how it might be affected by the open-pit Pebble Mine -- was a fan favorite at the Banff Film Festival in Alberta, Outside magazine reports. "The footage is stunning, the characters poignant," Outside says. See a preview of the film here. The Daily News reported on the filmmakers' project last year - see the story here. Trout Unlimited helped fund the film, and mine advocates had feared they wouldn't get fair treatment. The DVD is available here.
UNMANNED-AIRCRAFT PROGRAM SOARS: The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner writes about "Martha," a UAF experimental aircraft that had successful test flights in October. (With pictures.)
She can fly up to 20 hours at a time, is equipped with video and camera equipment powerful enough to identify a person from a mile away but remains lightweight and compact enough to fit in a large suitcase. She cost the university $100,000, and researchers are trying to prove she is worth every penny - and more - by finding uses for her beyond the most common use of unmanned aircraft - military reconnaissance.
PILOT KEEPS OUTPOSTS SUPPLIED THROUGH LONELY WINTERS (Kodiak Daily Mirror):
As a pilot for Island Air, Mike Gerber flies mail to people inhabiting the most remote places on Kodiak. For many ... Gerber may be the only person they see all winter.
BRIDGE PROJECT MEANS END FOR HISTORIC FAIRBANKS STORE (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Historic photos of downtown Fairbanks often include the Samson Hardware store, which has sat on the northern bank of the Chena River since the city was founded a century ago. Company manager Mike Pederson said the store will need to close Dec. 15 so it can meet a mid-January eviction deadline.
Return to Alaska Newsreader through the day for new links.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM RECENT NEWSREADERS:
Matanuska Creamery ready to churn out ice cream (Alaska Journal of Commerce)
Interior veterans cemetery idea grows in popularity (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Proposed Izembek refuge road raises drilling fears (Washington Post)
36 Crazyfists plans Anchorage concert DVD (Roadrunner Records)
Homer saloon braves winter for a change (Homer Tribune)
Shopping at Sarah Palin's favorite 'thrift store' (L.A. Times)
Sarah Palin as gay icon (Black Book)
Find previous Newsreader columns here.