PETERSBURG HARBOR GARBAGE MAY BE VIDEO-MONITORED (Petersburg Pilot): "One of our biggest costs in the harbor is our garbage. It's around $90,000 a year now," harbormaster Jim Stromdahl said. "Today ... I looked in there and someone had been doing roofing on their house and the extra tin was in there. There were baby carriages. We're getting tons of garbage other than from the harbor."
'SPIRIT BEAR' SUBJECT OF ANIMATED FILM (Vancouver Courier): Simon Jackson has come a long way from his humble roots as an idealistic West Vancouver high school kid who fell in love with bears and started a letter-writing campaign to help endangered animals. Today, at age 23, Jackson is executive producer of "The Spirit Bear," a computer-generated animation film set for global release in early 2010 to coincide with the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
The "spirit" or Kermode bear is a whitish subspecies of the black bear found on the British Columbia coast and as far north as Juneau. See a YouTube video here and the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition site here.
PALIN BROUGHT UTAH PARTISANS CLOSER TOGETHER ON ONE ISSUE (Salt Lake Tribune): Gov. Sarah Palin's polarizing quest for the vice presidency actually brought Utah Republicans and Democrats closer together on at least one issue - whether women with small children should be in the work force.
HOT LINE CAN HELP RURAL-TO-URBAN TRANSITION (Alaska Newspapers Inc.): You recently left rural Alaska and need help in the big city? Dial 211. A human being will answer questions about medical options, child care, housing assistance, food pantries, and a ton of other services you might need.
‘BLACK WAVE' PUTS OIL SPILL ON FILM (Cordova Times): Robert Cornellier of Montreal's Macumba Productions has been coming to Cordova for five years. He attended community events and filmed local residents to hear their Exxon Valdez stories. Cornellier quickly discovered that there were 2,500 residents in Cordova and there were 2,500 stories.
CHRISTMAS AT NORTH POLE (The Associated Press): North Pole, Alaska, is just one of a number of U.S. places with Christmas names that see a lot of out-of-towners this time of year. Sometimes, the post office is the main attraction; sometimes, there are holiday light displays and Santa visits. Here's a look at Christmas in Christmas, Fla.; Santa Claus, Ind.; Bethlehem, Pa.; Noel, Mo.; and North Pole.
EX-WASILLAN PUTS IDITAROD EXPERIENCE TO WORK IN MICHIGAN OUTHOUSE RACE (Grand Rapids Press): Candy Gibson coordinated Iditarod volunteers for several years. Now she is seeking volunteers for the fifth annual Outhouse 500, Coopersville's quirky effort to get the community outside in winter.
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM RECENT NEWSREADERS:
Navy SEAL candidates learn to fight the freeze (Kodiak Daily Mirror)
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.)