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From Our Listeners

Alaska and Yukon Headlines

Legislature Considers $150m to Help Refineries

Tue, 2014-04-15 17:40

The Flint Hills refinery in North Pole plans to cease operation this spring, and the Parnell Administration warns Petro Star’s refinery in North Pole might be next. A bill crafted by the Administration would prop up Alaska’s three remaining oil refineries with $150 million in state funds. Even some legislators who are helping advance the bill say they’re uncomfortable with it.

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But Fairbanks Republican Representative Steve Thompson says he worries it’s not enough money. He says Fairbanks needs Petro Star’s Interior refinery, especially if it hopes to attract the new F-35 fighter units to Eielson Air Force Base.

“No jet fuel? Goodbye. F16s (will) move. That means Eielson is going to close. 1500 civilian jobs. We’re going to have empty houses in Fairbanks. The economy is going to tank further,” he said at a House Finance hearing Monday.

State Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash says the high price of North Slope crude makes it hard for in-state refineries to compete with fuel imported from Outside. The Administration originally proposed $300 million in refinery assistance, primarily to help Petro Star, which faces higher costs for crude delivery now that its neighbor, Flint Hills, won’t be contributing.

Anchorage Democratic Representative Les Gara says he wants the refinery to stay open, too, but he calls the bill pending in the House now “insane policy.”

“It’s a bailout, it’s a giveaway, it’s poorly crafted,” Gara says. “It costs the state $150 million over five years, and it gives $50 million to Tesoro who doesn’t even want the money. At a time when we can’t afford our schools we need to come up with smarter solutions than just giving money to companies.”

The bill would allow an Alaska refinery to collect $10 million a year from the state for five years. That would mean $20 million a year for Petro Star, which has refineries in North Pole and Valdez, and $10 million a year for Tesoro’s operation in Kenai. The companies would get the money in the form of tax credits, or in cash if the company doesn’t owe state taxes. The refineries would have to do is show they spent $25 million a year on infrastructure. Gara says the definition is wide open, to include buying or altering any tangible property. And, says Gara, there are no limits on what the refinery can do with its state money. Companies can “keep the money in profits, give the money to their executives, give the money to their share holders,” Gara says “There are no sideboards.”

He proposed offering the refineries low-interest loans instead, but his amendment failed 8-3 in the House Finance Committee Monday. Rep. Tammie Wilson, a North Pole Republican, says Petro Star is too close to the edge for loans.

“Where they’re at right now, they may not be here in five years,” she said. “They’re not going to get a loan for something in which the company might not be able to make it. We have to do something now to make them healthy.”

Petro Star is owned by Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. ASRC Senior Vice President Tara Sweeney, at the Capitol to press for the bill, says she’s doing what she can not to close the refinery.

“The refining industry in Alaska is not healthy. We’re down here working to ensure that it is, and the tools are there that are necessary to keep us afloat,” she says.

“If it does close, the state says it would lose millions of dollars a year in revenues.  But lawmakers who question the refinery assistance bill point out Petro Star hasn’t opened its books for them. Republican Rep Alan Austerman of Kodiak says he’s troubled by the lack of information they’ve received from the state, too.

“We’re just going based upon, a company come(s) to the state of Alaska saying that ‘we’re going to go out of business if you don’t give us some money,’” Austerman says.

Fairbanks Democrat David Guttenberg says the bill was dropped on them in the last days of the session with no meaningful analysis. He’d like not to vote for it but he says they’re in a bind.

“Here we are faced with this, you know, this is what we have. Is it the best thing? I don’t think so. Is it the only thing? Yeah,” Guttenberg says.

The bill cleared the House Finance Committee Tuesday. Sponsors hope to get it through both the House and Senate before the Legislature adjourns this weekend.

Nikiski LNG Plant May Reopen Soon

Tue, 2014-04-15 17:39

The ConocoPhillips LNG plant in Nikiski may be re-opening soon, thanks to a boost from the federal government. The Department of Energy announced Monday that it has approved a request from the company to resume LNG exports to Japan.

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Yukon Fishermen Prepare For Summer Of Conservation

Tue, 2014-04-15 17:38

Fishers on the Kuskokwim River are expecting unprecedented restrictions to bring more king salmon to spawning grounds. On the Yukon River, fisherman can expect a similar set of restrictions.

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Twenty years ago, king salmon runs on the Yukon averaged 300,000 fish. In 2013, biologists counted just 76,000 fish.

Stephanie Schmidt is the Yukon River Research Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“I think with this run size, we’re going to have trouble reaching our escapement goals even if there is no harvest on the Yukon river,” Schmidt said.

The forecast this year is for between 64,000-121,000 kings. Managers don’t expect to have any directed king openings. Still, some kings could be accidentally caught in gillnets intended for other salmon species or whitefish.

Schmidt says fishers will likely not be able to use gillnets unless many more kings than expected come into the river. Using non-traditional gear is the subject of current discussions between managers and fishermen.

“The the idea is can we provide opportunity to fisherman for subsistence fishing in a way that would allow them to catch those other species, especially the abundant summer chum salmon or the fall chum salmon that come in and are supposed to have a good run this year. Are there way* that they can target those species and not harm king salmon?” Schmidt said.

One gear type is dipnets, which allow for the live release of kings. Fisherman may also be using beach seines, and fish wheels with a live chute. There’s no firm fishing schedule set, but subsistence fishing will close according to law when the first pulse of king salmon enter the river. As breakup approaches, Schmidt says conversations with Yukon residents have been positive.

“Fisherman on the Yukon recognize the issue, they recognize that we’re in a situation where we need to conserve, and we need to get more king salmon on the spawning grounds if we’re going to give this run any chance of recovering,” Schmidt said.

On the commercial side, The Board of Fish tweaked the rules for commercial summer chum fisherman. Non-circular dipnets can be as large as 6 feet by 3 feet. The board did not pass a proposal from the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development association to allow for purse seines during times of king salmon conservation.

Some Southeast Chinook Runs Expected To Be Strong

Tue, 2014-04-15 17:37

King Salmon are expected to be plentiful in parts of Southeast Alaska this summer.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game this month announced a king salmon harvest quota allowed under the Pacific Salmon Treaty and based on the forecasts of Chinook returning to rivers and streams on the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada.

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MEA Official Accuses Anchorage Assembly Of Misusing City Funds

Tue, 2014-04-15 17:36

A Matanuska Electric Association official charges that the Anchorage Municipal Assembly is spending city funds on private interests.

Joe Griffith, MEA’s executive director, has contacted Anchorage officials with concerns that city money is being spent on one Assemblyman’s legal fight against a power station upgrade.

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In a letter to Anchorage Municipal Assembly chair Ernie Hall, MEA executive director Joe Griffith says that one Assembly member, Eagle River’s Bill Starr, is planning to spend city funds to fight MEA’s appeal of a Muni Planning and Zoning Commission decision. Griffith says this is clearly a misuse of public funds.

“The Assembly has had no role whatsoever in this process,” Griffith said. “Now they, so far, have not had to weigh in on it, so therefore, they have no formal position.”

“And yet they have chosen to fund the attorneys that are fighting MEA’s request of a review of the process that refused us the right to upgrade a substation.”

Griffith adds, that, by law, MEA must maintain it’s facilities to keep up with power demands.

The city’s planning and zoning commission had earlier denied a bid by MEA for a conditional use permit for the upgrade of the power company’s Justine Parks substation in Eagle River. Now MEA is appealing the commission’s decision to the Board of Adjustment.

According to Griffith’s letter, Starr has tapped the law firm of Ashburn and Mason to help him in opposing the power station upgrade.

Starr would not agree to a recorded interview. He says there’s no impropriety, because the city maintains legal counsel for Assembly members. He says the “Board of Adjustment process is complicated” and that he wants good legal advice on how the Board operates.

Starr says MEA wants to build the substation in a residential neighborhood, and that “the residents have a right to complain.”

Haines Residents Pursue Railroad Link

Tue, 2014-04-15 17:35

Some residents in Haines are pursing the dream of a railroad that may one day link the community to Interior Alaska, Yukon mines and to a future port facility. The state and other stakeholders aren’t dismissing the idea outright.

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Group Uses National Water Dance To Raise Compassion

Tue, 2014-04-15 17:28

A small group of people gathered Saturday in Anchorage to use art to make change. The National Water Dance was an effort to use the art of human movement to generate compassion for the nation’s streams, lakes and oceans.

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Soul to Soul: April 5-6, 2014

Tue, 2014-04-15 14:50

Here’s the music playlist from the April 5-6, 2014, edition of Soul to Soul with Marvel and Sherry Johnson. All tracks played are listed below in the following format:

  • Song Title
  • Artist Name
  • Album
  • Duration
  • Label

Secret Lovers
Atlantic Starr

Circles (Radio Edit)
Atlantic Starr

Fantastic Voyage (Extended)

Just Got Paid (Extended)
Johnny Kemp

Zhane – Request Line Instrumental Ripp

Murphy’s Law (Radio Edit)

STS Sweep 2014 – Old Skool Mixdown 1


Boogie Oogie Oogie (Radio Edit)
A Taste Of Honey

Cheryl Lynn

June Old 2 New 2004
STS Sweep

Love & Sex Pt. 2 (Snip Hitz)
Joe ft Kelly Rowland

Love & Sex Pt. 2 (Intro Outro)
Joe ft Kelly Rowland

Sensational [clean]

STS Sweep 2014
Liz Old Skool

I Aint Mad At Cha Featuring Danny Boy (Edited)

If I Could Build My Whole World Around You (with T
Marvin Gaye

STS Motown 2007 – Motown Today Tomorrow Forever


If I Could Build My Whole World Around You (with T
Marvin Gaye

Sugar Hill (Instrumental)

Cinca Terra (Original Mix)
Gilles Bineaux

Natural High
Shout Factory/TJL

What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
Jimmy Ruffin

Hold On (Lp)
En Vouge

When I Get Free (Edited)

Sweet Loving (Reggae)
Christopher Martin

LoveZone 2010 Theme – Love Rock the Best 2010 Jet Fades end


Slow Jam Mix Vol 4
Heatwave, Floaters, Surface

Slow Jam Mix Vol 5
RJ’s Latest Arrival, Howard Hewett

I Cant Tell You Why
Howard Hewett

Love & Sex Pt. 2 (Intro Outro)
Joe ft Kelly Rowland

Jet Passing Over
Sound Effect

STS Sweep 2014 – Old Skool Mixdown 1


Luther Vandross – Forever, For Always, For Love


When I Look In Your Eye

STS Sweep 2014 – Old Skool Mixdown 1


That’s The Way Of The World
Earth, Wind & Fire

When Can I See You

I Wish
Toni Braxton

Time – Gigolos Get Lonely Too_PN


Deniece Williams

Love No Limit (Jazz)
Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige – Never To Much


Cry Together
The O’Jays

(Goodnight My Love) Pleasant Dreams

I Do Love You
Midnight Players

Love Changes
Mother’s Finest

June Old 2 New 2004
STS Sweep

Blow In The Breeze [clean]

Ghetto Gospel (Edited)

Playa Cardz Right (Female) (Edited)
Tupac Shakur

Love & Sex Pt. 2 (Snip Hitz)
Joe ft Kelly Rowland

Sound Effect

Plainclothes officer helped nab distracted drivers

Tue, 2014-04-15 13:59
At $287 a pop and three points off each licence, Whitehorse drivers are facing more than $11,000 in fines and a total loss of 120 points.

Court hears of rollover which injured young woman

Tue, 2014-04-15 13:58
A Whitehorse man found guilty of impaired driving causing bodily harm for an incident in December 2009 went back to trial Monday,

Pair charged after robbery at local motel, police say

Tue, 2014-04-15 13:56
Whitehorse RCMP have arrested two men suspected of robbing the Casa Loma Motel in Porter Creek on April 5.

Native subsistence hunter may be Alaska's latest reality TV star

Tue, 2014-04-15 13:24
Native subsistence hunter may be Alaska's latest reality TV star The idea behind “American River Renegades” was to feature people who make their living along the water. For PJ Simon, a Koyukon Athabascan who grew up at the foot of the Brooks Range, that means subsistence fishing and hunting. April 15, 2014

In My Family: I am fine

Tue, 2014-04-15 13:22

Ethan Petticrew teaches Raven how to say, I AM FINE in UNANGAX.

Eagle River gymnast caps stellar college career with strong performance at nationals

Tue, 2014-04-15 12:59
Eagle River gymnast caps stellar college career with strong performance at nationals Amy Winczura ended her college career as one of Alaska’s most decorated gymnasts, with a 2013 national championship on the vault and six All-America honors.April 15, 2014

Simapalooza spells end of ski season

Tue, 2014-04-15 12:49
A jam-packed slate of activities helped skiers and snowboarders end Mount Sima’s season on a high note this weekend.

Squash Yukon hosts Kill Bill tournament

Tue, 2014-04-15 12:45
On the eve of the league’s playoffs, Squash Yukon hosted a fun tournament this weekend at Better Bodies.

Bowl for Kids Sake aims to raise $25K

Tue, 2014-04-15 12:44
The 23rd annual Bowl for Kids Sake is set to happen April 27 at Mad Trapper Alleys.

Star skier on hand for final Ski S’Cool event

Tue, 2014-04-15 12:42
Beautiful spring weather awaited the 100 children who participated in the final Subway day of the ski season April 4.

Shipping company using drones in the Arctic

Tue, 2014-04-15 10:38
Shipping company using drones in the Arctic A Montreal company is using unmanned aircraft to scout out ice conditions, thus helping ships avoid trouble and extra expenses. April 15, 2014

Canada’s Northwest Territories cuts northern allowance for staff in Arctic communities

Tue, 2014-04-15 10:38
Canada’s Northwest Territories cuts northern allowance for staff in Arctic communities The territorial government is paying a smaller premium to public employees working in remote towns. April 15, 2014

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