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Shannon Kuhn
 I never thought of Alaska as a real apple producer, but Edwards is proving it’s possible. 
Marc Lester
A few marijuana retail outlets have opened this year in Washington. Like Colorado, Washington’s law bans public use of marijuana. Smoking in vehicles is also banned. That means there’s nowhere for people to smoke marijuana save for private residences. Seattle police say they've focused on curbing public pot smoking through warnings, not citations.
Pat Race,Alaska Robotics

AKRN - The Deciding Vote

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of six Alaska Robotics News multimedia commentaries leading up to the 2014 general election. Look online for new videos each Monday and Thursday.I'm trying to have a conversation at Juneau's Alaskan Bar during a crowded open mic night. I'm making the right shapes but it's impossible to tell if the words are coming out of my mouth. It's just loud.The lead singer is perched on a wobbly stool with his face smushed up against the microphone. He's sweating like a beast and demanding attention through sheer force of amplification. The chorus is cliche but the words are 10 feet tall and impossible to avoid.He sings like he's running for U.S. Senate.I don't know why the messages become so simple and contrived in political races. It's as if we voters demand that all complex thought be boiled down to a sludge before serving. We invite the clanging and banging of the campaigns, the chest thumping candidates who make it a contest of who can do the most flips on a snowmachine rather than who can craft the best policy.Obamacare. Jobs. The Koch Brothers. These aren't thoughts, they're holes cut in a painted sheet of plywood for lazy politicians to stick their heads through. It's time we ask for more.Discourse is the exchange of thoughts and ideas through conversation. It's a concept that belongs in a science fiction novel. Fantastic creatures who can link minds and transfer knowledge through sound waves. Our aspiring leaders need to embrace this power and show us they can use it responsibly.I'm looking forward to more conversation and more debates as the election draws closer. I hope our candidates will work to distinguish themselves by thinking and communicating in meaningful ways. I want to see them as real people, I want to see them acknowledge and face complicated issues as if they were trying to solve a problem instead of sell a solution.It's closing time. The lights are up and the band is loading instruments into a dented van. This probably wasn't the best place to try to have a conversation, people don't come here for conversation.Created by Pat Race, Lou Logan, Aaron Suring, Jamie Karnik and many others, Alaska Robotics News is a political satire series focused on Alaska. The series was initially funded through Kickstarter and some cash donated in an unmarked brown paper bag. Alaska Robotics is a group in Juneau publishing short films, comics and many other creative works. Follow their projects online at AlaskaRobotics.com or in person at their gallery at 220 Front Street.The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Service Cougars' 12-0 home victory over the South Anchorage Wolverines in semifinal game of the Cook Inlet Conference flag football playoffs on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.
Marc Lester
Growers and retailers in the vicinity of Wenatchee, Washington, have been busy. Washington state this year began issuing permits for marijuana businesses. In this video, take a look at two large grow operations and hear from a store owner, lawmakers and citizens about how life has changed since Initiative 502 passed two years ago, legalizing recreational marijuana in Washington.What would legalized marijuana look like in the Last Frontier? Alaskans are in the midst of the debate surrounding Ballot Measure 2, the initiative seeking to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana. In late September, Alaska Dispatch News headed to Washington state to see how the fledgling industry is taking shape and how legalized marijuana is affecting the state’s economic and cultural landscape.For much more on the newest agricultural industry in central Washington, find this story by reporter Laurel Andrews.Watch this video on YouTube or Vimeo, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Marc Lester at mlester(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Marc Lester
Marijuana growers and retailers have been busy near Wenatchee, Washington, this year. Legalization of recreational marijuana was passed by voters in Washington in 2012 
Alaska Dispatch News

The Slotterhouse Five

Andrew McLean is considered one of the country’s finest ski mountaineers, a term he prefers to "extreme skier" because he climbs up mountains and then skis down them. He lives in Utah and skis the Wasatch mountains daily, but one of his favorite places is Alaska’s Wrangell and St. Elias ranges."The cool thing about skiing in the Wrangells is that you just get everything," says McLean. "You’ve got some of the highest peaks in North America. It’s got huge ski descents. You’ve got glaciers, steeps, powder, flats, just about everything you could look for." McLean calls his video Skiing Solidarity Peak. He has skied the Wrangell and St. Elias ranges a half-dozen times "and on one of those trips, I skied a region so stacked with massive slot-like couloirs we named it 'The Slotterhouse,'" McLean told Powder Magazine in its October issue.   
Marc Lester
Arctic Entries, now in its sixth season, has gathered about 250 stories from Alaskans.
Lori Montgomery | Washington Post
A high-tech charting effort is slowly gaining ground as part of an effort to improve aviation safety in the Last Frontier.
Cook Inlet Conference flag football playoffs at Anchorage Football Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014.
Bill Roth
Volunteers from the Engine 557 Restoration Company, an Alaska nonprofit corporation, are working on the "restoration to operation" of an Alaska Railroad S-160 class 2-8-0 steam locomotive built in 1944 and originally used by the U.S. Army during World War II.  The Alaska Railroad Corp. plans to operate the  locomotive on excursions to Portage during the summer.
Bob Hallinen
When the Mears Memorial Bridge was completed in 1923, spanning the Tanana River at Nenana, it represented the final link in the Alaska Railroad and was the longest in the state, a title it held until earlier this year.

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