ALASKANS MAY SEE STEVENS AS VINDICATED, BUT WILL ANYONE ELSE? (NPR.org): This morning, many Alaska politicos - and former constituents - predicted that the Justice Department's blockbuster decision to drop its case against Ted Stevens would largely eliminate the shame that shadowed him. In Alaska, anyway. How the rest of the country ends up viewing the dismissal is very likely a different story, says Anchorage pollster Marc Hellenthal. ALSO:
Stevens' sense of entitlement (Washington Post editorial): "This extraordinary reversal cannot erase or forgive the ugly behavior that gave rise to the indictment in the first place."
Ted Stevens for governor (Dan Fagan, The Alaska Standard): "Let me be the first to say it: Ted Stevens for governor in 2010."
When prosecutors step over the line (Room for Debate blog, NY Times): Three legal scholars examine how prosecutorial misconduct happens, and how often.
Sen. Begich's unreasonable response to a miscarriage of justice (Amanda Coyne, Alaska Dispatch): "A man's rights were grossly violated by the federal government. As our senator, it's Begich's responsibility to protect Alaskans against such violations and to ensure that those who do so are held accountable. But the way Begich's tepid response is worded, it makes me wonder if he'll extend that protection only as in so long as it doesn't negatively affect him or his political career."
APRIL FOOLS! THE GREAT SITKA VOLCANO ERUPTION (Museum of Hoaxes): The "eruption" of the dormant volcano Mount Edgecumbe in Sitka in 1974 (photo here) was a doozy of an April Fools' gag that was three years in the planning. Renowned local prankster Oliver "Porky" Bickar convinced a helicopter pilot to lift old tires, fuel and smoke bombs into the Edgecumbe crater. Porky then set fire to the works, creating a column of black smoke easily seen from 13 miles away in Sitka. Read more about Porky's most famous prank here. It is listed as the 16th-greatest April Fools' joke of all time at the Museum of Hoaxes. Porky died in Sitka at age 79 in 2003 -- his obituary is here. No word on whether Porky was investigated for pollution violations. ALSO:
> CONFICKER 'WORM' PUTS ALASKA ON MILITARY ALERT! (Security Fix blog, The Washington Post): A nuclear missile installation near Elmendorf Air Force Base briefly went on a full-scale military alert after technicians manning the bunker suspected that several of their control systems were infected with the Conficker computer worm.
TODD PALIN SAYS SECRET SERVICE ENJOYED HIS COMPANY (Men's Journal via AP): In an article in the May edition, Todd Palin tells Men's Journal about his Secret Service protection during the campaign. "They liked cruising around with me," he said, "because we went to the Arctic Cat snowmachine factory and then drove up to North Dakota, went to a Penn State-Michigan football game, went to a NASCAR race. Rough duty, hanging out with me." He also defends wife and family in the controversy over GOP purchases of VP campaign clothing for Gov. Sarah.
BIG SHOTS: VOLCANO PHOTOGRAPHERS FIND THEIR WORK IN DEMAND (Redoubt Reporter): Through the power of digital cameras and the Internet, and a world that's becoming insatiable for instantaneous imagery, Peninsula residents are being deputized as newshounds by virtue of having cameras, having something spectacular to point them at and being willing to share. With photos
RESEARCH WILL LOOK AT PARADOX IN YUP'IK HEALTH (Alaska Public Radio Network): A UAF scientist has been awarded $2.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to study why Yup'ik Eskimo people struggle with high rates of obesity but have a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes than others. Early indications are their diet and genes protect them.
IN A WORLD OF DYING LANGUAGES, CANADIAN TV SHOW TRIES TO BEAT THE CLOCK (National Post): The third season of "Finding Our Talk" premieres tonight on Canada's Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and the first episode focuses on First Nations communities in Quebec. The challenge of preserving indigenous languages is a worldwide one, however, and the show will also dedicate episodes to languages in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Guatemala and Bolivia. DVDs of seasons 1 and 2 are available here.
PENINSULA PRINT SHOP OFFERS FREE HELP TO JOB SEEKERS (The Redoubt Reporter): Peninsula Printing is offering unemployed job seekers what it calls a "career assist package": 100 business cards, 50 resumes, 50 pieces of blank stationery and 50 blank envelopes for free.
COMMENTARY: CAN COMMERCIAL FISHERIES EVER BE SUSTAINABLE? (Straight.com): "Until the start of the 20th century, commercial hunting was an important industry in North America. Hunters would wander off into wild regions, kill as much game as possible, and then transport the carcasses back to big city markets. It was commercial hunting that almost caused the extinction of bison, extirpated elk from east of the Mississippi, and reduced deer and moose to temporary rarity. By now ... it should be obvious even from our removed terrestrial perspective that most marine species/ecosystems are equally incapable of supporting commercial harvest."
MORE FOOLIN': OBAMA NAMES CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING NEW NATIONAL PASTIME! (Faster Skier): President Obama has named cross-country skiing the new American National Pastime, replacing baseball, which has held the spot for three-quarters of a century.
Return to Alaska Newsreader through the day for new links.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM RECENT NEWSREADERS:
Getting rape conviction in Barrow was uphill battle (The Arctic Sounder)
Rep. Doogan outs anonymous blogger (Alaska Dispatch)
Point Hope hurts in aftermath of hunting charges (The Arctic Sounder)
In a volcano's plume, a storm rages (National Public Radio, Nature)