NASA satellites document massive polar land ice loss (The Associated Press): More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska has melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming. See also:
Landlocked polar bears find new food source (FoxNews): Scientists and other observers have discovered that some polar bears in the Hudson Bay region of Canada have found a new food source - snow goose eggs - that might help them adapt to loss of sea ice. See also:
Goose eggs may help polar bears weather climate change (Science Daily)
Murkowski says she'll cooperate with Obama energy team (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner): Sen. Lisa Murkowski vowed Monday to work with President-elect Barack Obama's new energy team to fight global warming and move the nation toward a "balanced energy policy." The Alaska Republican is expected to be the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee next year.
Don Young: Trophy hunter (Politico): Alaska Rep. Don Young, ousted last week from his top GOP seat on the House Natural Resources Committee, has a warning for "young rams" who go after him: "I'm going to go back and kick their ass!" He adds of his committee ouster, "It was the right thing to do," but, he admits, "it hurts."
Obama's likely nominee for Interior secretary opposes ANWR drilling (The Associated Press): President-elect Barack Obama has his green team. And for environmentalists, it is a dream team. A transition official said Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado was Obama's choice to run the Interior Department, which oversees oil and gas drilling on public lands and manages the nation's parks and wildlife refuges. Salazar, 53, has opposed drilling in the Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. See also:
Obama's choice of Salazar disappoints progressives (Beyond Chron)
Outgoing senators write history (Politico): Departing senators have signed their desks for at least a century. The more famous the signature - think John F. Kennedy's on Joe Biden's desk - the more coveted the desk becomes. Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Rodham Clinton have signed their desks, and so has Alaska's Ted Stevens.
Bringing snow measurement into the space age (Idaho Statesman): Rather than trudging up a mountain with a measuring stick and scales to determine snowpack depth and water content and the composition of snow layers, an international group of scientists is working on "snow radar." It would provide the same information from a helicopter and - possibly soon - from a satellite, and skiers, snowmobilers and other outdoors enthusiasts could benefit.
Palin discusses church fire, Blagojevich with Van Susteren (Fox News): Gov. Sarah Palin, in an interview on the Fox show "On the Record With Greta VanSusteren," wouldn't speculate on whether the arson fire at her Wasilla church might have been motivated by her membership. She also said she wondered how long Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich thought he might "get away with" his alleged scheme to sell Obama's Senate seat. See the video here.
PFD recipients can donate via click (Coast Alaska, APRN): Backers hope a new charitable-giving program will help Alaska service groups hit hard by the nation's economic downturn. But its proceeds will not make it into nonprofit groups' coffers until later next year. See also: Pick. Click. Give.
Century-old Fairbanks hardware retailer closes (KUAC): Fairbanks has said a temporary goodbye to a local retail institution. Samson's Hardware on Friday closed the doors at a location on the Chena River it had occupied for 104 years.
Fairbanks council gives $10,000 to Yukon Quest (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner): Yukon Quest officials walked away with $10,000 from the Fairbanks city budget Monday after making a plea before council members for additional funding. That's half the amount they were hoping to receive from the bed tax committee.
The Tlingit quarterback: William Paul's big game 100 years ago (The Whitworthian): On Nov. 7, 1908, tiny Whitworth College of Tacoma made a name for itself in the world of college football by beating the University of Oregon 16-10. On the Whitworth team were two very unusual players: Ernie Tanner, the first African-American on any Northwest football team, and William Paul, a Tlingit from Sitka who later became the first Native elected to the territorial legislature and a civil rights leader.
Soldotna looks for somewhere to bury its dead (Peninsula Clarion): In 1995, the Soldotna Comprehensive Plan recommended the city have its own cemetery. Last week, after ongoing battles over where to put one, the city council moved to form a committee to seek a compromise site.
Is Rudolph a cross-dresser? (Huffington Post): When I was assigned this interview with a bunch of reindeer, I could not have known how difficult it would be to get to the bottom of the Rudolph myth.
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM RECENT NEWSREADERS:
‘Sunshine vitamin' hard to come by in winter (Juneau Empire)
Alaska Internet speed among slowest in nation (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Clear for landing - a little too clear (The Redoubt Reporter)
Colorado dog "breeder" has Alaska dreams dashed (KXLF video, Butte)