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Alaska Dispatch News

Fast Food for Polar Bears | The New York Times

LA PEROUSE BAY, Manitoba -- The sea ice here on the western shore of Hudson Bay breaks up each summer and leaves the polar bears swimming for shore. The image of forlorn bears on small rafts of ice has become a symbol of the dangers of climate change.And for good reason. A warming planet means less ice coverage of the Arctic Sea, leaving the bears with less time and less ice for hunting seals. They depend on seals for their survival.But the polar bears here have discovered a new menu option. They eat snow geese.Because the ice is melting earlier, the bears come on shore earlier, and the timing turns out to be fortunate for them. As a strange side-effect of climate change, polar bears here now often arrive in the midst of a large snow goose summer breeding ground before the geese have hatched and fledged. And with 75,000 pairs of snow geese on the Cape Churchill peninsula - the result of a continuing goose population explosion - there is an abundant new supply of food for the bears.What’s good for the bears, however, has been devastating to the plants and the landscape, with the geese turning large swaths of tundra into barren mud. Nor does it mean the bears are going to be OK in the long run.What is clear is that this long-popular fall destination for polar bear tourism has become a case study in how climate change collides with other environmental changes at the local level and plays out in a blend of domino effects, trade-offs and offsets.“The system is a lot more complicated than anybody thought,” said Robert H. Rockwell, who runs the Hudson Bay Project, a decades-long effort to monitor the environment.READ MORE: For Hudson Bay polar bears, a climate change twist
James Gorman
A warming planet means less ice coverage in the Arctic, leaving polar bears with less time and less ice for hunting seals. They depend on seals for their survival. But the polar bears of Canada's Hudson Bay have discovered a new menu option. They eat snow geese.
The Washington Post
Increasingly, more and more communities are facing a choice between compassion and conviction when dealing with veterans who commit crimes after returning from war with PTSD, including one complicated case in Interior Alaska.
Alaska Dispatch News
Anchorage reporter Charlo Greene quit on air during KTVA television's 10 p.m. broadcast Sunday evening, revealing herself as the owner of medical marijuana business Alaska Cannabis Club and stating that she would be using all of her energy to fight for legalizing marijuana in Alaska.Greene had reported on the Alaska Cannabis Club during Sunday night’s broadcast. At the end of the broadcast, she announced that she was the owner of the club, and that she would be quitting her job as a reporter to work full-time on her business.Note: Video contains one use of strong profanity.Read more: KTVA reporter quits on-air, reveals herself as owner of Alaska Cannabis Club
Beth Bragg
Sled dogs shared the trail with a 110-pound Great Dane and a 15-pound Cavalier King Charles spaniel Sunday when dryland sled-dog racing made its Alaska debut in Chugiak.
Zaz Hollander
A new building for Valley Pathways, the alternative school near Palmer, marks the end of 14 years in portable classrooms that helped forge the small school's unorthodox identity. 
Loren Holmes
A confident Service Cougars flag football team handed Dimond its first setback since the 2011 season, halting the Lynx’ winning streak at 42 games Saturday.
Lisa Demer
The city of Bethel’s new pool and fitness center is set to open in early November after decades of bake sales -- and a $23 million state appropriation in 2012.
Doyle Woody
Service used two clutch plays from Gil Williams, who denied Dimond twice on point-after conversion attempts, to beat the Lynx 14-12 in a Cook Inlet Conference game at Dimond Alumni Field.
Tara Young

Park(ing) Day Anchorage, Alaska

Drivers making their way through downtown Anchorage on Friday were greeted with a strange sight. Instead of parked cars, some metered spaces were filled with artificial turf, lawn chairs and people making s’mores.The idea behind Park(ing) Day, as it is called, is to call attention to the need for more urban open space and to generate debate around how public spaces are used.Organized by the Anchorage Park Foundation and the Anchorage Economic Development Corp., 10 groups set up "pop-up parks" throughout town. The materials used varied, from artificial turf and a fake Christmas tree at the Urban Camp Site to real sunflowers, a Buddha statue and a soapbox at the People’s Park, outside Side Street Espresso.Photos: Park(ing) Day transforms parking spots into parksWatch this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Loren Holmes
Drivers making their way through downtown Anchorage on Friday were greeted with a strange sight. Instead of parked cars, metered spaces were filled with artificial turf, lawn chairs and people making s’mores, part of Anchorage's first Park(ing) Day.
Bill Roth
Palmer farmer Ben VanderWeele and his crew were harvesting potatoes on Wednesday.