NAVY FROGMEN LEARN TO FIGHT FREEZING TEMPS IN KODIAK (Kodiak Daily Mirror): For the past several years, the Navy SEAL base on Kodiak Island's Spruce Cape has functioned as part of basic SEAL training, emphasizing survival and navigational skills in cold, forested, coastal environments -- which happen to be identical to those in the Koreas, officers say. Six classes averaging 40 students go to Kodiak each year for a 28-day course. Read more on Spruce Cape military history here.
Also: Cold warfare: Future SEALs get northern exposure (U.S. Navy)
AMERICAN LION SKULL FOUND IN ALASKA UP FOR AUCTION (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner): The skull was originally found by a miner and has been in the possession of a private collector in St. Louis, says the auction house Bonhams & Butterfields. The skull has not been carbon-dated but is likely 20,000 to 30,000 years old. See a photo of an American lion skull here.
SHELDON JACKSON CAMPUS ON ‘ENDANGERED' LIST (KCAW/APRN): The campus of the former Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka has made the list of the state's 12 most endangered historic properties. The designation came just ahead of a recent decision by the Sitka planning commission to approve a new plat for the campus that leaves most of the National Historic Landmark intact.
CELL PHONE TOWERS SPROUT IN FAIRBANKS (Ester Republic blog): A Fairbanks blogger brings up-to-date the debate over Alaska Digitel's new cell towers in the city and the absence of zoning regulations that would strictly limit where they can go. The blog item also provides many links to earlier articles and columns.
INTER-ISLAND FERRY CUSTOMERS CAN MAKE RESERVATIONS ONLINE (Coast Alaska/APRN): Tickets can be booked and paid for through the Inter-Island Ferry Authority web site, interislandferry.com. Marketing Manager Len Laurance says the IFA hopes the system will increase ridership for the two ferries based on Prince of Wales Island.
BOWHEAD EYES TELL STORY OF LIFE AT SEA (KCAW/APRN): One way to determine the approximate age and health of a bowhead whale is by looking at changes in its eye lens. Sitka high school students recently had a chance to play scientist and do their own eyeball dissections as part of a Sitka Whalefest program.
BEAR SHOT AFTER REPEATEDLY TRASHING LODGE STORAGE ROOM (Kodiak Daily Mirror): An employee of Kodiak Sportsman's Lodge in Old Harbor shot and killed a 7-foot sow brown bear that had broken into a game cleaning and storage area at the lodge. Damages to the lodge are estimated at less than $1,000.
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM RECENT NEWSREADERS:
Higher pay credited for increase in village public safety officers (Alaska Newspapers Inc.)
Papa Pilgrim's Alaska: The darkest place (Outside)
Village safety is priority, says new top cop (Alaska Newspapers Inc.)
Chuck Bundrant: King of fish sticks (Seattle Weekly)
Energy prices aren't top reason for rural-urban shift, survey says (Alaska Newspapers Inc.)
Regenerating a mammoth for $10 million (The New York Times)
Fossils lend clues to Alaska's Eurasian roots (National Geographic)
Turkeys that survived fireworks fright ready for holiday ax (Valley Frontiersman)