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Summer 2011 Digest Cold Ocean Chemistry Page
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Researcher pioneers uses for UAV technology 38
Volunteers cover the campus in flowers
www.uafsunstar.com University of Alaska Fairbanks
The Sun Star The Sun Starâ€™s mission as a campus voice for UAF is to report the news honestly and fairly, announce and chronicle events and provide a forum for expressions of opinion.
Welcome to the first ever Summer Digest of the Sun Star.
Editor in Chief Heather Bryant Multimedia Editor Jeremy Smith Ads Manager Jordan Shilling Reporters Jeremia Schrock Kelsey Gobroski Andrew Sheeler Alyssa Dunehew Photographers Jeremia Schrock Alyssa Dunehew Advisor Lynne Lott
Contact Editor in Chief email@example.com
This past summer saw the production of a summer Sun Star, with over 70 pieces of content being published. During this summer, the Sun Star published weekly articles, columns and photos. The staff covered events such as the Goldstream Valley fire to the recent redistriciting controversey. UAF is a unique year-round community where there is always something going on. This digest is a look at the major stories and events of the summer of 2011. Cheers, Heather Bryant Editor-in-Chief The Sun Star
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Taking a look at the past year Over the last year, the Sun Star published 440 pieces of content and Heather Bryant / Editor-in-Chief interviewed 347 people. In the summary, each issue is broken down. May 12, 2011 This past year has been a tumultuous time for the Sun Star. In No- You can see how many pieces of content were in each section. For example, you can look at the Aug. 31 issue and see that it was vember of 2010, Sun Star staff realized that budget numbers weren’t adding up — far more was going out than was coming in. Since then, 16 pages and it cost $2,377.24. There was $1,837.61 in ads sold. The the Sun Star has had a long road to getting answers about the actual student government fee paid for $539.63. In that issue there were four fiscal health of the paper. There still aren’t clear answers and there articles in campus life, three in news, three in politics, one in the West might not be for some time. What I hope to do in the coming weeks is Ridge report, two columns and the blotter. Ten writers and two photographers and graphic designers were published in that issue. There resolve lingering issues from the past year so we can move forward. The Sun Star is paid for in part by 7 percent of the student gov- were 14 unique photos and five unique graphics. Information like this ernance fee. That amounts is important for making futo approximately $32,000. ture decisions. We can look That’s a lot of money for the UAF is a very diverse campus filled with at the trends and see what students to contribute. Bepeople with many interests. The Sun Star tries areas are being covered and cause of that, the Sun Star to publish content that reflects the diversity and which ones aren’t being holds itself accountable to interests of our readers. covered enough. You can the students. We strive for use this information to see transparency. if your interests are being Over the past week, I represented. If they are not, have compiled a summary let us know. When you have of the fall 2010 and spring 2011 print issues. In this PDF, you can find how much each issue cost something going on, contact us or stop by. We do our best to cover and how much advertising was sold for that issue. The difference is the as many things as possible, but we can’t cover it if we don’t know it’s amount covered by the Sun Star’s share of the student fee. The costs happening. In the next week, the Sun Star will be putting out a reader survey. listed include staff hours, the cost of content by both staff and freeI urge you to participate. The Sun Star is your newspaper; please take lancers and printing costs. Other information gathered includes how many pieces of con- the opportunity to give us feedback that will help improve the quality tent were published in each section of the paper. UAF is a very diverse and value of the Sun Star. campus filled with people with many interests. The Sun Star tries to publish content that reflects the diversity and interests of our readers.
LARS greets summer with new arrivals Four calves were born between April 30 and May 8, 2011. The two females and two males push the herd to 29 muskoxen. May 26, 2011. Heather Bryant/Sun Star.
Heather Bryant / Sun Star Reporter May 30, 2011 Four muskox calves were born the last part of April and first week of May at the Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station. The two females and two males put the total number of muskoxen in LARS’ herd at 29. The pairs of cows and calves have been staying in the shade to deal with the heat wave Fairbanks has been experiencing. At this point, the cows are very protective of their young, rubbing their heads on stumps and fallen trees before charging people at the fence.
“Rubbing the head is a warning sign,” said John Blake, the veterinarian for LARS. “On the tundra, they don’t have anything to rub on. The males will rub their heads on their legs.” Two orphan calves have also been staying at LARS. On May 12, an Alaska Fish and Game researcher observed a calf about a mile away from a herd at the North Slope. According to Fish and Game, the researcher found tracks in the area indicating a grizzly bear may have chased and scattered the group. The researcher was unable to reunite the calf with the herd, and the calf had become too weak to survive on its own. On May 13, Fish and Game was notified that Alyeska workers in the same area had spotted another calf several miles from the herd. A veterinarian working for Alyeska was given permission to transport the calf to Fairbanks. “First time mothers often don’t go back and look for their calf after being separated,” said wildlife biologist Beth Lenart in a Fish and Game press release. “It’s not uncommon, and nature takes its course. What is very unusual is that the calves were noticed by trained staff in the field, that LARS was able to temporarily house the calves, that transportation was available, and that requests for muskox calves to permanent homes had been approved and were on file. Things fell into place.” Both calves are currently being bottle-fed until they are old enough to eat grain. One was transferred to the Alaska Zoo on May 26. The other will be joining the herd at LARS.
One of the two orphaned calves brought to the Large Animal Research Station from the North Slope. Their herd was scattered by a grizzly bear and Fish and Game was unable to reunite the calves with their herd. Unable to survive on their own, the calves were brought to LARS. One has been transferred to the Alaska Zoo, the other will join the LARS herd.
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ASUAF senate special ASUAF amends bylaws, session to certify sets summer agenda elections, allocate funds Andrew Sheeler / Sun Star Reporter May 8, 2011 ASUAF senators met for what they thought was the last time of the spring semester on Sunday, May 8. They received more than they bargained for when students Josh Hovis, Ashleigh Strange and Michael Farrell showed up to protest the senate’s decision to amend its election bylaws. SR 176-007 was the bill Hovis and the others were referencing. The bill amends the senate bylaws by removing the requirement that the senate clerk read all ballot entries. ASUAF Presidentelect Mari Freitag said that some of the entries written were morally offensive to her and that “if we read one of them, we have to read all of them.” Joshua Luther, a former ASUAF senator who now works for the statewide-based Coalition of Student Leaders said that the some of the write-ins, which contained profane language, were an “abuse of the system.” Strange, Hovis and Farrell each took turns addressing the senate during guest remarks, each strongly condemning the bill to change the bylaws and the senators who were pushing for it. Strange and Hovis both read from prepared remarks, and both said that if the write-in votes were not read aloud, as the bylaws dictated, then those were votes that didn’t count. Hovis told the senate that by not reading all the votes aloud, the senators were in dereliction of their duty.In addition, Strange said that her votes on certain parts of the online ballot were not counted and that several of her friends votes were also unrecorded. Strange’s formal written complaint, as well as a written complaint from Michael Farrell mean that the senate will meet one more time this academic year, in a special session on Friday, May 13. After several minutes of debate, the senate was deadlocked on the vote to amend the bylaws. The four in favor were Senators Dillon Ball, Jennifer Chambers, Robert Kinnard and Chelsea Holt. The four senators opposed were Hollie Seiler, Mary Strehl, John Netardus and Ean Pfeiffer. Senate Chair Ryan Duffy broke the tie in favor of amending the bylaws. The senate clerk will not be required to read the election results out loud. The subject of summer was also on the agenda for ASUAF. According to ASUAF President Nicole Carvajal’s 2011-12 budget, ASUAF expects to collect roughly $25,000 over the summer in student fees. A summer committee is appointed to spend the funds. By a vote of 5-3-0, Jennifer Chambers beat Hollie Seiler and Arthur Martin (respectively) to be named summer chair. Senators Seiler and Martin will join Chambers on the committee, as well as Sen. Pfeiffer and the absent Sen. Joshua Cooper. Seiler submitted a bill, SB176-027, that would provide the summer Sun Star with a pre-paid ad purchase of $3,000 with which to operate until the beginning of the next fiscal year in July. At that time, an additional $5,607 in ads will be purchased from the the Sun Star. The approximately $8,607 constitutes an ad-buy in both The Sun Star website and the fall 2011 paper edition of The Sun Star. The bill was passed near unanimously, with Sen. Ball abstaining and Sen. Jesse Cervin having left before the vote took place.
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Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter May 25, 2011 A streamlined version of the ASUAF senate will be in operation over the summer months. According to Sen. Jennifer Chambers, the summer committee chair, the five-member ASUAF summer committee intends to meet at least twice a month to discuss legislation, as well as to plan and coordinate events. The summer committee includes Sens. Jennifer Chambers, Ean Pfeiffer, Hollie Seiler, Joshua Cooper and Arthur Martin. All were on the senate this past spring semester. During a May 24 interview, Chambers stated that her primary goal for the summer is to prepare the senate for the 2011-2012 academic term. “I’m really concerned about the senate being set up and ready to go [for fall],” she said. Chambers, who was on the committee last summer, added that during the previous year some senators “slipped between the cracks” when it came to understanding their responsibilities within ASUAF. Such slippage is something she hopes to avoid in the coming term. Using a portion of the senate’s $10,500 summer budget, Chambers hopes to create a training video for new senators. She also plans to print enough “blue books” for every incoming senator. A blue book is the defacto guidebook for senators and includes a copy of the ASUAF constitution, bylaws and the senate’s rules of procedure. Chambers stated that she was surprised at the amount the committee would have to operate with over the summer. “It’s odd that we have that much money,” she said. Another aspect of the committee’s revitalization program includes better promotion for the senate as a whole. Senate Bill (SB) 176-029, which was sponsored by Chambers, allotted $1,000 for purchasing promotional materials. However, the money has to be used by June 30 or else it will be sent into the senate’s rollover account. The senates first meeting was scheduled for May 24, but was canceled due to lack of quorum (only Chambers was in attendance). The next meeting will be scheduled for sometime between May 30-June 3. A breakdown of the summer committee’s operating budget is as follows:
• • • •
Summer program takes UAF to the market Heather Bryant / Sun Star Reporter May 30, 2011 The sun is shining again, and that means its time for the farmer’s market. Though, the growing season is just getting started, the market still has plenty to offer with a variety of foods, goods and gifts. This year, the Student Activities Office is offering a free shuttle service to the Tanana Valley Farmers’ Market every Wednesday. Mary Farrell works at Facility services, and used her lunch hour to take advantage of the program. She was the first to get on the shuttle on May 25, the program’s first day. “I like the farmer’s market,” said Farrell. “Its such a nice day, I thought I would catch the bus over there and have some lunch. Its fun.” The Farmer’s Market Express leaves the Wood Center bus stop each Wednesday at noon and 1 p.m. with return trips at 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. The service is provided to all UAF affiliates including students, staff and faculty and is part of the SAO’s Explore Fairbanks program.
1,500 - A line in this year’s budget allows the senate to spend up to this amount from their general rollover account. $3,000 - Funding left over from last summer’s committee, which must be spent by the end of the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year (June 30). $1,000 - Funding allotted from SB 176-029 that will be used for the expressed purpose of purchasing promotional items and must be spent by the end of the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year (June 30). $5,000 - This amount cannot be spent until 2011-2012 Fiscal Year that begins on July 1.
The total amount of the summer committee’s operating budget is $10,500.
Matt Schantzen, vice president of the Zombie Research Society, carries a “pro-zombie” sign during a May 29 event. The event was Fairbank’s second annual Thaw of the Dead zombie walk. The theme was dead celebrities and Schantzen came dressed as “Zombie Lenin.” Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
“Thaw of the Dead” breaks up quiet holiday weekend Kelsey Gobroski / Sun Star Reporter May 30, 2011 Drops of blood discolored the pavement under a cloudless Sunday sky behind Immaculate Conception Catholic Church off Illinois Street. Soon, a group of celebrity zombies would lurch to Clay Street Cemetery where they would attack paparazzi. For now, they paid rapt attention to Marcus Mooers’ announcements as he held out a “brain on a stick” as incentive for the hungry automatons, who pulled inspiration from movies like “Dawn of the Dead” and “Zombieland.” “What do we want?” Mooers said. “Braaaaaains!” the crowd replied. “When do we want them?” “Braaaaaains!” On May 29, more than 30 zombies attended the second annual “Thaw of the Dead” a zombie walk led by Zombie Research Society (ZRS) Fairbanks chapter president Mooers, with help from the chapter’s vice president Matt Schantzen. The walk was a celebration of Fairbanks earning full chapter status from ZRS. Similar zombie walks, like July’s “Red, White, and Dead” in Seattle, can draw more than 4000 participants. Mooers designed “Thaw of the Dead” to be a warning for Alaska residents. “If this was the zombie apocalypse about this time of year, they would
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unfreeze,” Mooers said. Antonio Pacheco, a journalism student, dressed as undead Charlie Sheen. He wrote “winning” across his (L-R) Zombies Antonio Pacheco, Matt Schantzen and Nannette Pierson “attack” paparazzi member Tarah Sickels. The attack was a staged event during the May 29 Thaw of the Dead zombie walk. The event’s theme was dead celebrities which Pacheo (Charlie shirt in fake blood – a mix- Sheen), Schantzen (Vladimir Lenin), and Pierson (Janis Joplin) took and ran with. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star ture of corn syrup, chocolate Temperatures rose to 80 in Fairbanks as the undead shuffled back “So are we,” the zombie replied. syrup, and food coloring – from the cemetery in blistering heat until buildings blocked out the sun. Mooers had hoped for more than 100 zombies, he said – if, in the fuwith a prosthetic latex-and-toilet-paper gash on his arm. “Oh, shade of giant building,” Mooers shouted. “Shaaaaaaade!” the zomture, the event draws more participants, he would be willing to include Melanie Lindholm found the event through Facebook and thought bies moaned. costume prizes. The permit for this zombie walk cost $100 and fees, he it would be a fun way to spend a Sunday, she said. She came as Corpse “Hey, zombies, turn around,” Christine McCormick said, clutching said. Bride, with her husband, Kyle, dressed as zombie Jesus. her camera as the zombies passed by her house while returning to Im Mooers and Schantzen try to integrate weapon familiarity and di Clay Street Cemetery caretaker Frank Turney read about the event maculate Conception Catholic Church. “Thank you!” saster preparedness into the Fairbanks zombie subculture, an approach in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and greeted the undead when they McCormick thought the idea was great, she said, especially since that helped Mooers earlier this month. On May 20, the Moose Mountain arrived. both children and adults were involved. The time of year and place were Fire was about a mile from Mooers’s home. He could hear trees exploding. “Don’t be afraid of this cemetery, no one talks back,” Turney said. also fitting. “You got the tourists – perfect,” she said. Mooers already had everything he needed — clothes, weapons, food, and “Well, these guys will.” Mooers said. The walks can be disconcerting to Fairbanks newcomers. During the water — in a “go bag.” The zombie walk rose into crescendo twice when the zombies atfirst “Thaw of the Dead” in 2009, the horde passed by a group of dining “If you’re ready for the zombie apocalypse, you’re ready for any apoctacked paparazzi Tarah Shickel and Shawn Colburn. Few pedestrians and cars witnessed the horde in downtown Fairbanks Sunday afternoon tourists, Mooers recalled. One tourist walked up to a zombie and said, alypse,” Mooers said. – almost as if the zombies were late to their own apocalypse, Mooers said. “We’re trying to eat our lunch here.”
Facility repurposing high on regents agenda
Fire strikes abandoned house off College Road A fire fighter from the University Fire Department sprays water onto the smouldering rubble of a home off of Shanly St. May 29, 2011. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter May 29, 2011 A building off of College Rd. burned early Sunday morning. Staff of the University Fire Department received the call at 2:20 a.m. As of 4:25 a.m., the department reported no fatalities and had yet to enter the building’s basement. According to Chief Jim Styers, the house was abandoned and has burned three times within the past several years. The fire reached a nearby electrical pole and caused a power outage to the College Mall. David McConnell, a GVEA employee, stated that while there were burned wires he was unsure of the total extent of the damage. “There was a lot of fire,” said Styers, who estimated that the flames reached 50-60 feet. The building is located on Shanly St, just off College Rd.
Christine Lundberg, who lives next to the house, believed that the home had long been a fire risk. She stated that she often saw teenagers smoking in the building. “I knew something like this would eventually happen,” Lundberg said. Lundberg added that the heat from the fire was so intense she could feel it radiating through the window on her door. The Lundberg home and the abandoned structure are less then 100 feet apart. Lundberg’s boyfriend, Jimmy Hayes, moved the couples R.V. and truck into the Gulliver’s Books parking lot for fear of the fire spreading and igniting the vehicles gas tanks. According to Lundberg, her granddaughter Carla had never been more afraid in her life. “She was so scared, she kept saying, ‘I don’t want to die!’”
Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter May 26, 2011 Between June 1-3 the University of Alaska Board of Regents (BOR) will meet in Fairbanks for their third meeting this year. The BOR, which has scheduled five meetings for 2011, will discuss a wide-range of topics affecting UAF. Several of these topics include the approval of a planned retrofit of the Atkinson Heat and Power Plant, the construction of a new dining hall and student housing, the re-purposing of both the Lola Tilly Commons and Constitution Hall, and an update on the proposed construction of the UAF Engineering Facility. The Atkinson Heat and Power Plant, which was built in 1964, provides heat, light and water to the UAF campus. The regents will discuss both a retrofit and a potential addition to the 45-year-old building. An estimated retrofit would cost $40 million while a building addition would cost between $140-$180 million. The proposed addition would allow UAF to replace the power plants boilers and turbine while reducing the number of improvements needed at the existing plant. Both the improvements and an addition would be completed by 2017. The board will discuss plans for constructing a new dining facility to replace the Lola Tilly Commons. According to the boards official agenda, the Commons is “outdated, inefficient and located too far
from a majority of...freshmen.” The Lola Tilly would be repurposed to act as the student welcome center and bookstore. The project would cost between $7.5-$9 million with completion scheduled for spring 2013. The regents will also discuss the construction of additional housing (approximately 500 new beds) for upper division and graduate students. The project would cost between $12-$15 million and be completed by fall 2013. Also on the agenda is the potential re-purposing of Constitution Hall for student clubs. Constitution Hall currently houses the Alumni Office, bookstore and the college radio station KSUA. The repurposing would be completed by summer/fall 2013, but an estimated cost has not yet been provided. The BOR will hear an update from Ira Fink & Associates, a national university consulting firm, on the design completion and construction of the UAF Engineering Facility. The firm will have approximately a year to develop a design for the new building with the BOR expecting to approve a design sometime in 2012. Since the plan is still in the development stage, neither cost of construction, site or time line is available. The BOR will convene in Room 109 of the Butrovich Building for public testimony at 10:00 a.m. on June 2 and 9:00 a.m. on June 3.
Fire fighters from the University Fire Department spray water onto the smouldering rubble of a home off of Shanly St. May 29, 2011.Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
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Cold Ocean Chemistry: Ocean Acidification turns Alaska’s seas into science lab Kelsey Gobroski / Sun Star Reporter May 30, 2011 Jessica Cross loves ocean spray. The oceanography graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks accompanied two lead scientists and a lab technician to deploy a research buoy in March. The weather in the Gulf of Alaska was fair, and they wore bright survival jackets and hard hats. They released the buoy, went home and waited. Jeremy Mathis was in Washington, DC in late April when he felt a rough tug from his research in Alaska. His new buoy wasn’t broadcasting. The Gulf of Alaska was silent. They had tested it in the lab – the new buoy was supposed to stream real-time data about ocean chemistry back to researchers. But nothing, save for spurts of information, was coming in. The buoy is tethered to the sea floor, telling scientists what a location in the ocean looks like at multiple depths, Cross said. “The buoy should send data everyday automatically,” Mathis said. “When it didn’t, we knew there was a problem.” In April, the buoy still held the data it was collecting internally, but had no way to back itself up without a satellite link, Cross said. Satellite reception starts going funny at high latitudes like Alaska, she said. The only way to know how to adjust the buoy is to put it in the sea and wait for it to soak. When Mathis returned to Fairbanks on May 2, he set to diagnosing what was wrong and how to fix it. The buoy is part of Alaska’s response to a flurry of research on what will happen to ocean chemistry in the wake of climate change. If you could put cameras in Alaska’s oceans and fast-forward from 1900 to 2100, you would see life change – ocean temperatures rise, populations of shelled animals flounder and entire ecosystems move north with the sea ice retreat. Without a drop in carbon dioxide emissions, the oceans will continue to harmfully acidify and warm. They will keep changing even when humans stop contributing to the oceans’ new chemistry because the oceans and atmosphere take time to balance out. Scientists know the oceans will change. The changes will be widespread. They do not know what this means for ocean life as we know it – but something will happen. The life that humans depend upon for food and recreation probably won’t be the same. Alaska’s oceans will become Earth’s guinea pig. Scien-
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tists can use Alaska to know what to expect elsewhere, because Alaska will change first and will likely change the most. They can chase these effects up the ocean currents, moving ahead to teach communities what to anticipate. Research today helps humanity mitigate tomorrow. In the middle of March, three students greeted me at UAF’s Ocean Acidification Research Center in Irving. Cross hoisted herself onto a cabinet counter, motioned with an empty Pepsi bottle, and explained what is happening to the oceans.
This buoy was deployed in Resurrection Bay in May 2011. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Mathis.
Plants are the basis of the food chain on land and at sea, Cross said. Little plant-like organisms called phytoplankton munch up carbon dioxide near the surface of the ocean, turning it into oxygen in the same process, photosynthesis, that governs trees and tulips. Once their food is gone, the phytoplankton die. They sink a little, and zooplankton, small floating creatures, gobble them up. The zooplankton also die and sink, down in the ocean where sunlight doesn’t reach, into the grasp of bacteria. Bacteria are the mushrooms of the ocean, Cross said. They break up the zooplankton and reduce them to carbon dioxide. This carbon sinks further, and the ocean absorbs it. That carbon dioxide builds up and interacts with the ocean to produce hydrogen
ions. Ocean acidification happens when the oceans compensate for all the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Since the Industrial Revolution, there has been a 25 percent gain in hydrogen ions in the oceans. If humanity were to stop pumping out the carbon dioxide that sinks into the oceans, this process would only continue – another 25 percent, and another 25 percent, thanks to an irreversible lag. Alaska’s known for its extremes, but contemporary ecosystems depend on yearto-year cycles keeping the same ups and downs. Destructive fire rejuvenates forests, but plants and animals also rely on the steady hand of constants: permafrost, glaciers, sea ice. It is the same in the ocean. The marine ecosystem depends on the cycles of ocean currents and extreme seasons. The Alaskan coastline is a “hotbed of activity,” Cross said. Phytoplankton blooms intensely in the spring in Alaska, because the cold waters here absorb more carbon dioxide than tropical regions. Carbon dioxideladen water, which normally drifts deep in the oceans, surges upward once it hits the continental shelf and funnels through underwater canyons around Alaska. The water stirs together, and the new water drifts from the Bering Sea, through the Bering Strait to the Chukchi Sea and on to Canada, Cross said. “In other regions, you may see similar processes, but here they’re so extreme and so easy to document and see and look at,” Cross said. Alaska will be the first to experience ocean acidification. Soon, scientists will be able to watch. Mathis is deploying another buoy in the Bering Sea, and will place one in the Chukchi in October. Mathis fixed the Gulf of Alaska buoy by boosting the satellite signal. The newborn buoy system will be wobbly at first, but slight adjustments like these will give oceanographers eyes into the seas’ chemistry. The oceans are changing now. “We are already finding places where the environment could be harmful to certain species during different times of the year,” Mathis said. There is no way to reverse ocean acidification, but Alaskans try to understand them as scientists, fishers, and consumers. Alaska’s oceans will change first – perhaps the Arctic can lead the world in its mitigation of ocean acidification, too.
Cold Ocean Chemistry: UAF tackles mystery of Alaska’s oceans Kelsey Gobroski / Sun Star Reporter June 1, 2011 On the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s West Ridge in Irving, there is a room that is very orange. The room houses the offices of graduate students who conduct research for the university’s new Ocean Acidification Research Center (OARC). Toy Nerf guns lay behind orange cabinets for impromptu battles. “We love coming to work,” graduate student Jessica Cross said. Their research pieces together major changes happening in Alaska’s oceans. When oceans suck up the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a series of chemical reactions inundates them with hydrogen in a process known as ocean acidification. Humans can’t stop this, but they can try to understand. Alaska is the best seat in the house for seeing how well marine ecosystems can adapt. The challenge is in finding the best way to probe the different aspects of ocean acidification. Jeremy Mathis and his graduate students use the OARC to tackle Alaska’s place in the oceans’ conundrum. Mathis opened the center on West Ridge in fall 2010 as an umbrella for his students’ research. His group spent a collective 500 days at sea last year, Mathis said. The students work in the field under Mathis’s guidance. “They are the ones who get to do most of the
cool science,” Mathis said. The center anchors the many moving parts of related student projects. It also serves as the megaphone for broadcasting that research to the public. Mathis visits schools and gives public lectures. When Mathis teaches children, he sets them up with a beaker of seawater and instructs them to blow into it using straws. Carbon dioxide from the mouths of 40 children can give seawater the acidity of lemon juice. In the wake of ocean acidification, oceanographers seek to find out how much hydrogen is in the ocean, how much carbon dioxide is from humans and what the ocean floor tells us about climate back in the day. They can calculate this, and OARC provides some of the results of those calculations to the public. Some lecture attendees try to catch them by saying climate change doesn’t exist – they ask for proof. The logic of ocean acidification is a series of steps, and the first few steps are often mentioned in these lectures as “assumptions” to save time. Sometimes the crew doesn’t have proof on hand for the beginning of this logical process. At that point, when asked about the basics of climate change, “it becomes your word against theirs,” Cross said.
The center facilitates collaboration as much as friendship among the students. Sometimes experimenting with fellow students yields a better understanding than approaching a professor “because if you’re wrong, you’re wrong together. Then you learn together,” said Kristen Shake, another OARC graduate student. Stacy Reisdorph, another student, wrote a term paper that overlaps with one of Cross’s classes. “So I can lean over and say, ‘Hey, Stacy. Help me understand this. You’ve already written the paper,’” Cross said. The students also crawl through each other’s data, looking for patterns and missing pieces. They play off each other’s strengths, each approaching the data differently. “When you all start feeding off of each other, it’s like when you’re watching a cop show and one of them starts to tell a story, and the rest of them all start chiming in,” Cross said. It will be the same in the scientific community – chemists, biologists, ecologists, geologists, and countless other disciplines cannot possibly tease apart this problem on their own. Scientists know ocean acidification will impact the world, but the many moving parts – ecosystems – make acute predictions difficult.
Cold Ocean Chemistry: Scientists unravel state of ocean ecosystem Kelsey Gobroski / Sun Star Reporter June 3, 2011 Elena Fernandez set down a copy of Suzanne Collins’ novel “Catching Fire” on the oceanography commons’ conference table in the O’Neill Building. “I live and breathe fish,” Fernandez said. “I don’t need to read about fish, too.” Fernandez, a graduate student with brown hair, brown eyes, and embroidered clogs, traveled to Newport, OR for her thesis. Fernandez studies the anthropologic implications of ocean acidification – that is, how recent and future changes in ocean chemistry might impact humans. More specifically, whether tomorrow’s oceans could sustain Pollock fisheries. Alaska Pollock, a mottled silvery fish around Alaska and Russia, is the largest commercial fishery by weight in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. Its white meat has been used in everything from McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, frozen fish sticks, and surimi – an imitator of other seafood – according to the SeaFood Business Magazine website. Biologists find that each fish population differs in its response to ocean acidification. Fernandez took the young Pollock for her experiment from the chemical mess of Puget Sound in Washington. Her fish responded within their comfort zone to what oceans might look like 300 years from now, she said. “Will we have fish sticks in the future? The results show we will,” Fernandez said. Oceans are, of course, not one organism – they look like a whole other Earth compared to what we see every day on land, with countless creatures and communities. Experiments look at species, even populations, of animals. No one question can lead scientists to discovering ocean acidification’s impact on life as a
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whole. To understand an engine, they must look at every individual part. Plankton, Pollock, snowshoe crabs, corals, salmon, whales – each responds differently. Scientists slowly check species off the list. Even if some fish survive, the food chain might cave out from under them. Fish eat some plankton, and other plankton eat fish corpses. If these creatures have shells, they may be in danger. A German biologist found
a snail-like plankton’s shell dissolves under acidification. Ocean acidification, in addition to adding hydrogen, robs water of usable calcium carbonate, a key ingredient in many marine shells. Predators only marginally surviving ocean acidification’s impact on their bodies would be more sensitive to their food source diminishing. Russell Hopcroft, of the School of Fish-
eries and Ocean Sciences, urges caution. Many oceanographers moved to ocean acidification when the concept (and with it, funding) first blossomed, he said. With this enthusiasm comes a curiosity to know results as quickly as possible, he said. Worst-case scenarios are the easiest questions to ask, Hopcroft said. Many biologists study what happens to today’s marine creatures in tomorrow’s oceans. Ocean acidification’s impacts are new and far-reaching, and scientists can’t prophesy what will happen. They try to seek limits in different scenarios and observe oceans in real time. Experiments are meant to be a warning bell, not a crystal ball. It is difficult to mimic adaptation How resilient Alaska’s ecosystems are remains to be seen. However, the questions do not negate the widespread changes. It turns them into an invisible enemy. With research and models, that fog could lift enough for Alaskans to learn how to react. Jessica Cross, one of Fernandez’s fellow students at OARC, likes being around other oceanographers at sea. Eventually, the researchers start really talking to one another. They discover how their research relates. They introduce someone to Josh Whedon’s television series “Firefly.” They bond by saying and doing crazy things out of exhaustion. The whole experience of being on the ocean is daring. “Thinking about the absolute hubris of standing on a piece of wood in the middle of the ocean … It’s an incredible feeling that man has figured out how to stand on top of water. It’s bold, and terrifying, all at the same time,” Cross said. There are those moments at sea when you’re alone, with only the sound of the engine, she said. “You can climb up, to the uppermost deck on the ship, and turn 360 degrees, and see nothing but horizon.”
Sen. Mark Begich (center) poses for a photo with this summers crop of students at the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. On June 2, Begich gave a speeh which extoled the importance of higher education and wished the students good luck in their future studies. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
Begich stresses education to RAHI students Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter Sen. Mark Begich (center) poses for a photo with this summers June 5, 2011 crop of students at the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. On June 2, BeSen. Mark Begich gestures during a June 2 speech to students gich gave a speech which extolled the importance of higher educaof the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. The institute was founded to give tion and wished the students good luck in their future studies. Jeremia rural high school students an opportunity to transition more easily Schrock/Sun Star into college life. Begich espoused the values of higher education and After speaking, Begich fielded a number of questions from the hoped that all of the students would graduate the program and excel students present. Marina Anderson, from Craig, asked Begich what at the university level. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star his thoughts were on the potential reopening of the Bokan Mountain On June 2, Sen. Mark Begich (D) spoke to students of the Rural uranium mine on Prince of Wales Island. The mine has been closed Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI). Begich’s speech coincided with the since 1971, but was purchased by UCORE Rare Metals, a Canadian first day of class for the students and doubled as both an update on mining company, in 2007. The company is considering reopening the legislative issues and a discussion on the importance of higher educa- mine. tion. RAHI is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and was Begich stated that he was unfamiliar with the mine and stressed developed to help rural high school student that mining itself wasn’t necessarily a bad transition to a college setting. thing. He added that the mining industry “College life is an experience to say the could operate side-by-side with the fishing least, but it also opens the door for so many industry and cited Kensington Mine near Juthings,” Begich said. Begich, an entrepreneau as an example. neur and businessman since his early teens, “With regards to the mine in your comstressed the importance of higher educamunity, I’m not as familiar with it,” he said. tion in both the business world and beyond. “But, now that you mention it, guess what? “Every day that I sit in the U.S. senate, or when I’m going to be very familiar with it.” I was mayor or when I am doing business, Anderson, who is studying molecular you’re learning all the time,” he said. biology, feels that the issue is important to Sen. Mark Begich gestures during a June 2 speech to stuBegich added that the RAHI program is dents of the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. The institute was the future of her community. Craig, an isoexciting and incredible and hoped that those founded to give rural high school students an opportunity to lated town of the southwest coast of Alaska, transition more easily into college life. Begich espoused the who finish the program will continue their values of higher education and hoped that all of the students is based around the fishing industry. An inwould graduate the program and excel at the university education at the university level. dustry she feels could be threatened if the level. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Begich imparted to the students the mine is reopened. two most important lessons he’d learned as “He has a lot on his plate,” Anderson said, senator: patience and relationship building. “Widen and broaden the hopeful that Begich would look into the issue soon. “When he is aware spectrum of the people you associate with,” he said. “Because that of something he goes after it,” she added. alone will add to your ability to learn what’s out there.”
Goldstream Valley sees the start of fire season Heather Bryant / Sun Star Reporter May 20, 2011 A fire began burning Friday, May 20 just north of the Goldstream Valley. As of Saturday, it is a 700 acre wildfire. UPDATE: As of Sunday, May 21 the fire on Moose Mountain is approximately 800 acres. In an interview with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Division of Forestry information officer Pete Buist said the fire is in good condition. He estimated that a fire line had been cut around 60 percent of the fire. There will be a community meeting at 7 p.m. on Sunday May 21 to update the neighborhood on the fire.
Moose Mountain fire update Heather Bryant / Sun Star Reporter May 25, 2011 As of May 25, there are 331 people working on the Moose Mountain fire according to press release by Rob Allen, the incident commander. The fire reached 941 acres in size over the weekend. Recent rain in the area has helped reduce smoldering.Â The fire threat is high around the state, with warm temperatures, low winds and little precipitation. There are currently 19 active fires around wildfires in Alaska.
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Photos by Heather Bryant
Blessing at Troth Yeddha’ signals first step in repatriation Heather Bryant / Sun Star Reporter June 5, 2011 A long time ago, the University of Alaska Fairbanks had a very different name. Troth Yeddha’ is what the Tanana Athabascans called the hill where UAF now sits. The native people would come here to pick Troth, which are wild potatoes. Troth Yeddha’ translates to wild potato hill. Today, Troth Yeddha’ park sits on the land between the Museum of the North and the Reichardt building. Chief Peter John of the Tanana Chiefs Conference of Interior Alaska blessed the ground. “The grandfathers used to come to talk and give advice to one another about what they were going to do,” said Chief Peter John according to the Alaska Native Language Center website. “When they learned this place would be used for a school, the university, they came here one last time, to decide what they should do. They decided that the school would be good and would carry on a very similar traditional use of this hill–a place where good thinking and working together would happen.” On May 28, Troth Yeddha’ park hosted another blessing.
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Members of tribe communities around the state of Alaska have begun the process of repatriation. Repatriation is the return of human remains or artifacts to the tribe or village they came from. Attendees gathered on the warm Saturday afternoon to bless the human remains at the Museum of the North. The museum currently houses remains from 32 tribes and villages in Alaska. “A lot of remains were brought up here to the university and there were some studies done on them,” said Benno Cleveland as he introduced the ceremony “A lot of the remains are still here and haven’t been brought back to their communities where they came from.” Bob Maguire had approached the museum about starting the process of repatriation. However, Maguire passed away in March of 2011 from a heart attack. “I met with Bob and Cora Maguire,” said Angela Linn, the collection manager for ethnology and history at the Museum of the North. “The group of us decided this was something for the community to take the reins on.”
Organizing the event was a group effort led by Candyce Childers. Childers asked Benno Cleveland and Diane Benson to take part. All of them cited continuing Bob Maguire’s work as the reason they participated in the event. “Bob Maguire wanted the ceremony to draw attention to what happened to the remains that are still at the museum,” said Benson. Linn explained that the repatriation law is complicated and requires people to get their communities involved. “Our hands are tied at the museum level, we can be advocates and help educate people,” said Linn. “If people if wants these things to be returned they have to start the process.” During the ceremony, Benson read the list of the tribes and villages that have remains in the museum. “These remains are from all over the state,” said Benson. “The way we treat those remains, affects who we become and where we are going.” Approximately 40 people gathered to participate and observe the blessing ceremony. Another blessing was held in Hawaii at the same time. Kumu Karen Leialoha Carroll, a Hawaiian spiritual leader and teacher, and her Kahu Ohanna, students, held a ceremony simultaneously in support of the one here. “It was kind of them to do so,” said Childers. Benno Cleveland had one last reminder for attendees before the end of the Alaskan ceremony. “We have to remember we all live in this world together and somehow someway we need to continue to build the bonds that we have with one another and try to understand each other and continue to try to help and respect one another.”
Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter June 4, 2011 Cody Rogers (background) and Damian Snook, both Wood Center employees, arrange flowers to be planted during UAF’s June 1 Campus Planting Day. This was Rogers sixth event and Snook’s first. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star It’s summer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), which means the usually snow-covered campus is bathed in sunshine. Soaking up the sun on the morning of June 1 was a group of students, staff and community members. They were all on campus and out-ofdoors for one reason: it was Campus Planting Day. This month saw the 17th annual Campus Planting Day. Managing the event was Cheri Renson, UAF’s Director of Public Events. According to Renson, community flower groups organized the first event to beautify the campus for summer visitors. Now, the event is now handled by Facility Services. Renson stated that UAF grows most of it’s own flowers and estimated that 30,000 seeds were planted last fall in preparation for the summer. There are close to 130 different flower beds spread throughout the campus and each one has it’s own history and tradition. The Wood Center flowerbeds have been traditionally planted by the building’s staff, the Top of the World Garden Club has a bed nearby, and the Business Office always plants the flowers outside of Signers Hall. “There are so many beds that you kind of drive by and not even realize they’re there until their blooming in flowers,” Renson said. One woman taking part in the planting is Sally Wien. Wien, a member of the Top of the World Garden Club, has been taking part in Campus Planting Day for a decade. “I just enjoy being outdoors,” she said. “I enjoy making the campus pretty for the tourists and for the
Cody Rogers (background) and Damian Snook, both Wood Center employees, arrange flowers to be planted during UAF’s June 1 Campus Planting Day. This was Rogers sixth event and Snook’s first. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
students that come in the summer.” Wien has a deep, personal connection to the university. Her father was former UA president William O’Neill and she herself graduated from UAF in 1962. Wien added that the program she graduated from is no longer offered, but that her B.S. in Science and Home Economic Education has served her well. Another individual who has been involved with the planting day for sometime is Cody Rogers, Director of the Student Activities Office. Rogers began planting flowers at UAF six years ago, first as a student and later as a staff member. “I enjoy the flowers a lot in the summertime, so it’s a great way to spruce up the area around the wood center,” she said. Carrie McGee takes part in the university’s June 1 Campus Planting Day. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star “It’s very nice to get out,” Rogers added. “Especially when your office doesn’t have a window.” Rogers’ office is currently housed inside the Wood Center. This was the first time Alex Roberts, a junior in psychology, had taken part in the event. Her boss, Damian Snook of New Student Orientation, asked her if she wanted to spend part of her workday outside planting flowers. “It was nice to have a chance to come out here for a few hours and make the campus pretty,” she said. “I like planting flowers. I like being outside. “It’s a great way for me to give back to the campus...in a fun way,” Rogers said. Sherry Modrow, the wife of Chancellor Rogers, was planting flowers with Wien. This was the first of many planting events she hopes to participate in. What was most nice about it? “Being out in the sunshine and seeing friends,” Modrow said.
“It’s very nice to get out, especially when your office doesn’t have a window.”
The pretty campus UAF goes green (literally) 20
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Carrie McGee takes part in the university’s June 1 Campus Planting Day. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
Meet Mari Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter June 8, 2011 Mari Freitag was elected president of the Associated Student of the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (ASUAF), the universities student government, during the spring semester of 2011. This past May also saw Mari chosen by Governor Parnell as the next student regent. She is set to serve a two-year term, ending in 2013. She is currently a junior and is pursuing a degree in Political Science with minors in Justice and Biological Sciences. She has been involved in the Residence Hall Association, New Student Orientation and the Nanook Traditions Board.
I’ve aspired to be like for a long time. I interned with her in D.C. for a month (in the summer of 2008) and I just really respect the way she handles herself and how she deals with all the things that come with being a politician. There are a few different regents that I think are going to end up being people I aspire to be like, as well. Then I’ve got people on campus like Joe Hayes and a few other people that I know I can always go talk to and they’ve been through all this before. Joe Hayes was student regent and president at the same time too, so he knows what I’m going through. I’ll probably be talking to him a lot.
Sun Star: You’re president of ASUAF,
SS: How do you handle stressful situa-
the student regent, and a member of the Nanook Traditions board. Oh, and a full-time student. How do you plan to wear so many hats at once? Mari Freitag: Really good time management. Even when I was just vice president and a full-time student and pretty much all of those things except president and student regent I had scheduled my entire semester out before the semester had started. I had a big desk calendar and everything’s written on there and I plan on doing that again. I’m also going to learn how to delegate really well, since I can’t obviously do it all myself.
SS: Do you look to anyone for leadership inspiration? If so, who? MF: This is going to sound really corny, but Lisa Murkowski’s been the type of person
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MF: It depends on what kind of stress you’re talking about? If you’re talking about the stress that is something that’s very uncomfortable that’s going on I try and remove myself from the situation and do what I think is best. Stress as in being overwhelmed? I make a really big list because half the time when I’m overwhelmed with stuff and stress it’s because I think I’m going to forget something. So, if I just make a list I’m usually fine. SS: According to poll results from the most recent ASUAF election, students seem to be either ignorant or apathetic when it comes to their student government. But, this is also nothing new. Any plans to try and fix that? MF: Yeah, I do, that’s one of my biggest
goals, actually. One of the things I ran on was on being more transparent to students and to have more student outreach. At the same time, what I was going to try and do is for those students who do know anything about ASUAF they’re usually pretty frustrated with the way it works. So, I’m going to try my hardest to try and fix that because I pretty much get along with everybody in the senate. I’m going make everybody sort out their differences and do what’s best for the students. As far as student outreach goes, I’m planning on trying to get in to as many classrooms at the beginning of the semester as I can. I’m going to try and get our P.R. director Rosemary (Paz) to make a pamphlet and I’m going to schedule an event maybe two weeks into school and I’m going to pass out pamphlets and tell people about the event and be like ‘I’m your president, Mari, and this is what your student government does for you. This is what you can get from us; this is what you can make us do for you and that kind of stuff. I plan on doing that and I’m hoping to have a few forums. The problem with forums is nobody ever really shows up because it’s either at a bad time or they don’t want to take time out of their day to attend it. I’ll either figure out a way to get people to attend it or do something else. We’ll see.
SS: You were Vice President last year. Did that help prepare you for your new role as president? MF: Yeah, it did. I learned a lot about what the president is responsible for and I learned a lot about what’s important to people that look at the president and what they expect. So, I think that’s the best preparedness that I have because I saw what people expected of the president. So, I know what people want so I’m going to try and fulfill that and still get everything done.
SS: Do you have any goals as president? MF: Yeah, one of my goals is to do more student outreach and to get the executive and the legislative to get along again. I was incredibly frustrated how that did not happen this year, because that was one of the things I wanted to do as vice president was to get rid of the brick wall that seems to be up between the executive and the legislative. It became worse and I was very frustrated with that. I would like to get involved with the
plus-minus grading system and residence life policies.
SS: What about as regent? MF: I have a better answer for this question then I would have a couple days ago. I was reserving this answer for after the Coalition (of Student Leaders) met and the students hashed out what they wanted to do in the next year and it was pretty clear that [it is] going to be reforming academic advising throughout all the MAU’s (Major Administrative Units – those being the three primary campuses of UAF, UAA and UAS) is a really big thing. The students want it, Chancellor Rogers really wants it and President Gamble also acknowledged that it should be addressed. I would really love to see a law school in Alaska but that’s kind of a huge feat so I don’t even know if it’s feasible at this point.
SS: So, you’re first Board of Regents meeting was last week. How did you feel being part of the process? MF: It’s funny because I was so nervous I couldn’t even move. But, as soon as I sat down, Fuller Cowell, the chair, had everybody introduce themselves. After that we started going and I had read enough about the agenda that I felt like I was prepared for the meeting. Which made me feel a lot better about it. So, I felt really at home on the board very quickly. A lot more quickly then I thought I would have. I also pushed myself to talk at least once during the day, both days. I just tried to talk when I had something to say instead of just sitting there like a little scared school kid. Which I kind of am. SS: If you had to pick three-words in which you hope to define your ASUAF administration, what would they be? MF: That’s really hard. I don’t know if I can answer that yet, but what I would like my administration to be is approachable and effective. Things that were in my platform. I really just want us to make sure we get the job done and that we don’t let down people. There are very high expectations for my administration, I feel like, as with most when they start out, everybody kind of thinks it’s going to be really good or really bad. I think a lot of people think we’re going to be good, so I just hope we don’t let them down.
Regents give approval across the board Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter June 6, 2011 Student government budgets approved The BOR approved the budgets of all the student governments within the UA system. The Associated Students of the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (ASUAF) budget for FY 11-12 will be just over $532,000. The Regent vote was unanimous at 10-0 in favor. UAF dining and residence hall RFP approved The Regents unanimously approved a request for proposal (RFP) for UAF to look into expanding it’s dining and housing options for students. The RFP covers a possible dining addition to the Wood Center, a repurposing of the Lola Tilly Commons and the construction of new dorms for students. According to Chancellor Brian Rogers, “the facilities we have for housing are quite dated.” Rogers intends to have the new dorm facilities available by 2019. During a discussion with the Facilities and Land Management Committee, the chancellor mentioned to those present what UA President Patrick Gamble had told him during a tour of the Lola Tilly last year. The president remarked that he recognized much of the equipment being used by dining services as equipment he had seen used over 30 years ago in the military. UAA revamps health programs The BOR unanimously approved a reorganization of the health programs at the University of Alaska – Anchorage (UAA). The College of Health and Social Welfare was renamed the College of Health. The WWAMI program was moved out of the College of Arts and Sciences and into the newly named college. According to the WWAMI website, the program “ is a collaborative medical school among universities in five northwestern states” – Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. The Division of Allied Health was also moved from its original college (the College of Career and Technical Education) to the College of Health. The division will be renamed the School of Allied Health. UAF to see new power plant Also unanimously approved by the regents was a plan to maintain and eventually replace the Atkinson Heat and Power Plant. The plant, built in 1964, provides heat, light and water to the UAF campus. Maintaining the plant while a permit and financing are secured for a new facility will cost an estimated $40 million over the next five to seven years. The current plant, labeled the “house of horrors” by Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Scott Bell, will eventually be replaced by a new facility. The new facility is estimated to cost between $140 million to $180 million. According to Chancellor Rogers, if UAF can construct the new facility within the next seven years, the campus may be able to avoid spending the entire $40 million allotted for maintenance. Both the improvements and an addition would be completed by 2017. UAA gets expanded sports arena The board authorized UAA to begin developing a 5,600-seat sports arena. The project will not exceed $109 million. The vote was 9-1 in favor of the arena, with Regent Kirk Wickersham voting against it. Part of the project’s funding comes from the legislature’s Capital Budget ($34 million according to the Juneau Empire) that Governor Parnell has yet to sign. Juneau and Kenai to get new halls The board unanimously approved $16 million for a student-housing complex at Kenai Peninsula College. The board also approved an addition to Banfield Hall, a student housing facility located on the University of Alaska – Southeast (UAS) campus. The addition will cost approximately $8.5 million and is subject to FY12 legislative appropriation and the governor’s approval of the Capital Budget.
University of Alaska (UA) President Patrick Gamble speaks during a June 4 meeting with the Coalition of Student Leaders. Seated to his left is Associated Students of the University Alaska - Fairbanks (ASUAF) President and Student Regent Mari Freitag. Jeremia Schrock/ Sun Star
Power plant to get new lease on life Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter June 6, 2011 The Atkinson Power Plant as seen from the railroad track which supplies the facility with coal. The facility is nearing the end of it’s 50 year life span. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Last week, the University of Alaska’s Board of Regents (BOR) approved a two-track plan for maintaining and ultimately replacing the University of Alaska – Fairbanks’s (UAF) Atkinson Heat and Power Plant. The plant, built in 1964, provides heat, light and water to the UAF campus and is nearing the end of its 50 year life span. In a discussion with the boards Facilities and Land Management Committee, Chancellor Brian Rogers stated that the aging plant has already forced UAF to purchase heating oil on several occasions. UAF currently spends roughly $7 million a year on coal. Rogers added that closing the plant for a year (and purchasing heating oil instead of coal) would raise the universities heating costs to $33 million. During the discussion, Rogers stated that by the time the plant needed replacing, he had hoped natural gas would be a viable option. “We can’t wait much longer to see if it will,” he said. Rogers noted the opposition to coal power on campus, but stated that the only realistic alternative to coal would be natural gas. Due to the lack of natural gas development, Rogers said that the only viable economic option was the continued use of coal. UA President Patrick Gamble added that the loss of power during the middle of winter would have a devastating effect on the univer-
sity. If power were lost during a cold snap, students would be forced to find new homes and countless research projects would be irreparably damaged. “We could never handle the heat” of such a public relations mess he said, adding that the only thing keeping the plant going is the people who work there. The first part of UAF’s two-track plan involves maintaining the current plant while a permit and financing are secured for a new facility. The estimated cost of maintaining the plant is $40 million over the next five to seven years. However, maintaining the current plant is easier said then done. “We’re starting to label the power plant ‘the house of horrors’,” said Scott Bell, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities. Bell stated that some parts of the power plant are difficult-to-impossible to access while the plant is fully up-and-running. That means UAF may not know something is wrong until the plant has already begun to fail. The new facility is estimated to cost between $140-$180 million. According to Rogers, if UAF can construct the new facility within the next seven years, the campus may be able to avoid spending the entire $40 million allotted for maintenance. The proposed addition would allow UAF to replace the power plants boilers and turbine while reducing the number of improvements actively needed. Regent Robert Martin stated that he was “ready to support whatever it takes to get a new plant.” “The need is clear and palpable,” said Regent Kirk Wickersham. “You could explain it in one sentence to anybody.”
The Atkinson Power Plant as seen from the railroad track which supplies the facility with coal. The facility is nearing the end of it’s 50 year life span. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
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Denali Park Road Lottery goes online-only
Kelsey Gobroski / Sun Star Reporter June 6, 2011 Denali National Park and Preserve, normally limited to tour buses, opens to a few personal vehicles after the flood of tourists recedes in mid-September. The Road Lottery provides 1,600 winners a chance at planning their own day trip in the park between September 16 and 19. The National Parks Service (NPS) accepts entries between June 1 and June 30. Starting this year, participants must enter online at Rec.gov. “It provides opportunities for Alaskans to visit the park,” public affairs officer Kris Fister said. There are Alaskans who may want to enjoy the local resource, but without the confinement of tour busses. “We value it as a tool to connect with folks who live here,” Fister said. Normally, the Park Road is open only to tour buses after Savage River. Thirty years ago, buses would stop running between Savage River and Wonder Lake by Labor Day, and that portion of the park would open to the public. Eventually, more than 1,000 vehicles would travel the 85-mile road each day, Fister said. The park had to remain well staffed late into the season to keep up with everything. People aggregated in well-trodden spots, campfires were everywhere, and pets endan-
gered the wildlife. “We were tasked with protecting resources and ensuring safety, and that wasn’t happening,” Fister said. In 1990, park officials decided to continue giving locals a chance at independently exploring the park, but made the option open to a scarce few by creating the lottery, according to Rec.gov. At first, participants mailed in their entries to the lottery, but forms sometimes got lost. The majority of entries are submitted online now, and participation has gone up since the option became available. In 2007, there were 8,000 entries, and after introducing online applications, participation hovers around 10,000 entries. In addition to being online-only, the road lottery changed websites – from pay. gov to rec.gov . At pay.gov, the park had to manage its own database – rec.gov covers that, as well as provides features such as automatic notification, Fister said. Rec.gov will accept entries until June 30. Each entry costs $10, and winning participants must pay an additional $25, as well as an entrance fee of $20 per vehicle if they do not have annual passes. To apply, sign up for an account with www.recreation.gov, search for Denali National Park, click on the “apply now” button,
enter the date you’re available, and fill out the rest of the provided form. The winners will be announced on www.nps.gov/dena by July 15, according to the park website. Update, June 8: In light of public complaints, the National Park Service has reversed its decision to accept entries for the road lottery by online submission only. Complaints included not wanting submit credit card information online, lack of internet access, and confusion about the new system, according the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer. People can submit the entries by mail or online. Telephone submission will be available starting June 17. All submissions will be accepted until June 30. To apply online, go to www.recreation.gov To apply by phone, call (877) 444-6777 between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mail entries to: Road Lottery Denali National Park and Preserve P.O. Box 9 Denali Park, AK 99775 Include first and last name, desired lottery dates on the back of the envelope and a check or money order $10 payable to the National Park Service.
Sustainability Director updates community on new initiatives Andrew Sheeler / Sun Star Reporter June 7, 2011 Slightly fewer than 20 people showed up Tuesday night, June 7, to hear Michelle Hebert, UAF Sustainability Director, discuss the projects that her office is undertaking. The lecture was part of the Alaska’s Land and Sea Lecture Series held each Tuesday at Schaible Auditorium. “I know that many of you will say ‘She’s preaching to the choir,’” Hebert said, as she polled the audience on how many of them shopped using cloth bags and how many were aware that UAF students voted to create a 10-year fee to fund sustainability initiatives on campus. That fee, paid by every UAF student taking 3 or more credits, will amount to $2.5 million over the life of the fee. Chancellor Brian Rogers has pledged to match that amount, granting the Office of Sustainability a $5 million budget. Hebert said that she and her students were trying to cram as much as they could in to that “10-year window.” Among those projects was the recycling program at UAF. “This is probably our most visible, and our most popular program at this time,” Hebert said. “Last week we hauled 32 tons of garbage to be recycled.” Currently, UAF accepts paper, glass and a variety of plastics, as well as cell phones and batteries, to be recycled. Hebert said that most of the recyclable waste that shows up in the Nenana Parking Lot bins comes not from UAF, but the community. She called this part of UAF’s public service. Hebert also highlighted the extensive composting that takes place on campus and the growth and usage of local, organically grown vegetables and herbs in the campus dining halls. In the Lola Tilly Complex alone, mushrooms are grown in the basement, lettuce is grown in the front using hydroponics and there is Photo by Todd Paris. an herb garden on the third floor. While Hebert spoke optimistically about future plans, including plans to install solar panels on the rooftop of the Student Recreation Center, the optimism wasn’t infectious. “I’m kind of pessimistic about sustainability in Fairbanks,” said Avery Africa, a senior geology major from western Washington. Africa said that her pessimism came from an institutional inability to be sustainable despite the best efforts of motivated individuals. An example of that would be the university watering the grass in the middle of the day when it would be more efficient to do it at night, she said. Despite her pessimism, she said that people like Hebert are “making an effort. They’re trying to do the best they can.”
Bonanza! The hidden treasure of Alaska’s state recreation sites Jamie Hazlett / Sun Star Columnist June 24, 2011 Now that the tour buses and cruise ships are ferrying loads of visitors in and out of Alaska’s more famous sites and cities, what’s a starving college student to do? You want to get out and enjoy the summer, but all of the main attractions are overflowing with people and the price of everything related to travel has skyrocketed. Maybe you’re limited to day excursions by your busy summer course or work schedule. You may even be completely unaware of what the Interior has to offer aside from Denali. Dig out your roadmaps, fellow travelers, and introduce yourself to Alaska’s state recreation areas. Much more than the run-down settings of horror movies past and present, state recreation areas offer access to a variety of different places and activities. Some of these opportunities are surprisingly close at hand. Been to Fred Meyer lately? If so you’ve probably driven past the Chena River State Recreation Site, located just over the bridge on University Avenue. This is a great place to head if you’re new to the concept of camping out or you want to give your new gear a test run. Better yet, go a little farther afield and venture into the quartermillion acre Chena River State Recreation Area, home to the locally well-known Angel Rocks and Granite Tors trails as well as many less popular spots. Easily accessible from Chena Hot Springs Road, a day spent hiking here comes with the ultimate perk of being close to the hot springs themselves when it’s time to relax. If you’re looking to explore further, head south on the Richardson Highway towards Delta Junction. Between Fairbanks and Delta you’ll pass five different state recreation or historical sites, and a further four designated recreation areas lie to the south of Delta. Each site has its
own unique characteristics. Those particularly interested in being on the water or looking for a more highly developed campground might give the Harding Lake or Quartz Lake State Recreation Areas a try. People with a more rustic bent ought to head for the smaller Donnelly Creek State Recreation Site, about 30 miles south of the junction with the Alaska Highway. History buffs should take a peek into the past at the Big Delta State Historical Park, which makes for a great day trip from Fairbanks. Don’t forget to stop off at the Knotty Shop, just south of Eielson Air Force Base, for great ice cream. If you aren’t into tent camping but want to spend a night or two away from the stress of schoolwork and summer employment, consider reserving one of the many public use cabins around the Interior. Public use cabins are available from several different government agencies, including the state Parks and Recreation Division and the Bureau of Land Management, and can be a great alternative to carrying a tent, especially on longer hikes. Some locations, such as North Fork Cabin in the Chena River State Recreation Area, are road accessible year round; others, such as the cabin at the Fielding Lake State Recreation Site, require alternate transportation during the winter months. While these cabins are slightly less cost effective, coming in at between 20 and 50 dollars a night, most of them sleep at least four people, with a few ranging up to eight or nine guests. Invite a few friends, and suddenly your nice, dry cabin is cheaper than the cost of risking a rainstorm under a tarp. Regardless of whether you’re new to the state, a born and bred sourdough, or somewhere in between, the state park system has something spectacular to offer you, and at a much lower price than you’d pay to stay at the swanky hotels on the Denali Strip. Even the most seasoned backcountry explorers are sure to find someplace new to discover on the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, which outlines destinations beyond the Interior for those heading out on the road. This summer, let the tourists have the big name spots; you’ll be too busy exploring an Alaska they’ll never see. For more info, visit: AK Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation BLM Public Use Cabins
The Liberty Falls Recreation area. Photo by Heather Bryant
The Sun Star
Barenaked Ladies flash through Fairbanks
UAF investigates cracked window mystery Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter June 17, 2011 For the past week, several rooms in Moore Hall, at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF) campus, have been closed for maintenance. The reason for maintenance goes back to January when several windows mysteriously cracked on the Kuskokwim Way side of the building. At the time, Facilities Services investigated to see if it was a foundational issue. They determined it wasn’t. Moore Hall is a freshman dorm and is set up as lodging for visitors during the summer months. UAF Design and Construction (a department within Facilities
Services) is investigating the source of the cracked windows while also looking into why the buildings facade has begun to fall off, said Marmian Grimes, UAF’s Senior Public Information Officer. Grimes added that while there is zero concern for the buildings structural integrity, Facilities Services is still unsure as to what caused the windows to crack and the facade to come loose in the first place. Rooms ending in 09 and 10 have been closed to inhabitants for the summer. While no conection has been established between the window and facade issues, Design and Construction is investigating it. “It’s an interesting puzzle to be sure,” Grimes said.
Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies waits side stage with the rest of the band at the Blue Loon’s all-ages summer concert, June 3. Alyssa Dunehew/ Sun Star
A contracting firm is investigating potential issues at Moore Hall, including issues with both cracked windows and the facade. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
ASUAF Briefs – June 29, 2011 Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter July 1, 2011 The following minutes were compiled from notes taken during the June 29, 2011 ASUAF meeting in senate chambers at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF). Present: • Jennifer Chambers, summer committee chair • Josh Cooper, senator • Arthur Martin, senator Absent: • Ean Pfeiffer, senator Guests: • Robert Kinnard III, senator • Jeremia Schrock, reporter
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Alyssa Dunehew / Sun Star Reporter June 11, 2011 It’s officially summer here in Fairbanks, and the Blue Loon has already put on their annual outdoor all-ages summer concert. Hailing from Scarborough, Ontario, the popular ‘90’s band Barenaked Ladies (BNL) made a stop in Fairbanks before heading to England, pleasing the crowds for a solid two hours of rockin’ entertainment on Friday evening, June 3. There was a good chance that every woman in the crowd swooned as lead singer Ed Robertson donned one of his many acoustic guitars and flashed a beautiful white smile. The band was very personable, and is well known for their comedic banter, improvised rapping and beatboxing between songs. They led hilarious conversations amongst each other, sharing memories of the previous day’s moose encounter while driving to Chena Hot Springs. “We had no business being in a Ford Focus!” screamed Robertson into the mic, making swerving gestures with his arms, suggesting the moose were specifically on the
hunt for Canadians. BNL proved to be a refreshing twist to the past few Solstice concerts, as the band is more soft rock than some of the others brought up in previous years such as Puddle of Mud and Third Eye Blind. The weather stayed refreshing as well, only drizzling for the last hour of the concert. Jim Creeggan, BNL bassist for 21 years was excited to be in Fairbanks for the first time, and seemed to be relaxed after the release of their latest album. “We toured like crazy last year, promoting our record, ‘All In Good Time’, and now we’re starting to write for the next record, and playing outdoor shows said Creegan. “I love playing the summer shows.” The opening band Roman Candle was much more impressive local band than expected, and frontman Matt Hopper gave the crowd a look at their new album titled “Jersey Finger”, which is not actually an insult to New Jersey, Hopper said, as one of their members is actually from Jersey. Their sound is a mix of soft folk, blues, and indie rock, with psychedelic riffs reminiscent of Tom Petty The Heartbreakers. Hopper was raised in Alaska but currently resides in Boise, ID. He has worked with many different bands and artists throughout his life. The new Roman Candle album is available for download from www. digstation.com. BNL was welcomed by an audience with a wide age range. Lathrop High School student Kelsey Monahan said she grew up listening to the band because of her parents, and was glad to be able to get back into their music before the concert. Nile Henderson, a soon-to-be UAF Freshman, said, “As soon as I knew they were coming, I thought, ‘Oh, I need to dig those old CD’s out.” It was interesting to see the amount of adults at the concert who probably knew the music better than the younger half of the crowd. Another all-ages concert happening at the Blue Loon this summer will feature Papa Roach.
Summer BBQ bill SB 17X – 002 Summer BBQ will allot $1,500 to allow ASUAF to hold a barbeque for UAF students on July 15. The bill was adopted by consent. Summer BBQ prize bill SB 17X – 003 Summer BBQ Prizes will use part of the $1,500 allocated in SB 17X – 002 to purchase prizes from the UAF Bookstore. The senate committee plans to purchase the items next week. The bill was adopted by consent.
A crowd member holds up his lighter and sways to the music Alyssa Dunehew/ Sun Star
Barenaked Ladies drummer Tyler Stewart catches bassist Jim Creeggan at the end of their comedic improvisation routine. Alyssa Dunehew/ Sun Star
Campuses unite to discuss students’ futures Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter June 10, 2011 Brian Rogers, Chancellor of the University of Alaska - Fairbanks (UAF), gestures during a June 4 meeting with the Coalition of Student Leaders. Seated next to him are (L-R) presidents Dara Friday (Bethel) and Shauna Thornton (Kenai). On June 4-5, the Coalition of Student Leaders (CSL) convened at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF) to discuss student concerns. Representatives attended the summit from all three major universities, several of the University of Alaska (UA) systems satellite campuses and from the communityat-large. Peter Finn, CSL speaker, began the summit with a recap of the coalitions accomplishments over the year. According to Finn, the coalition helped negotiate a student pay raise and petitioned the legislature to increase need-based scholarship. The organization also took part in what Finn labeled “an epic tuition battle with the Board of Regents (BOR).” The coalition was also involved with petitioning the board to amend their nondiscrimination policy. The Board did so in February. “That was a big victory,” Finn said. Finn’s term as speaker came to an end during the summit and he extolled the organization to improve relations between student groups and the regents. “Relations between the regents and student groups hasn’t been that great in the past,” he said.
Nookraker My student government can kick your student government’s ass
Community and state leaders gathered at the Coalition of Student Leaders (CSL) June 2 summit to discuss a wide-range of student concerns. From closest table working left: Murray Richmond (aide to Sen. Joe Thomas), Rep. Bob Miller (D-District 7), Joe Hayes (UAF Alumni Director), Rep. David Guttenberg (D-District 8), Ryan Buchholdt (USUAA president), Sonia Lodhi (a senator from UAS), Dani Gifford (senator from UAS), Nicholas Pennington (Kodiak College Student Association president), Jarmyn Kramlich (a senator from UAS), Mari Freitag (ASUAF president and student regent), Peter Finn (exiting CSL speaker), Ashton Compton (former student regent), Dara Friday (Kuskokwim Campus president), Shauna Thornton (Kenai River Campus president), Brian Rogers (Chancellor of UAF), and Meredith Cameron (aide to Rep. David Guttenberg). Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
Finn also presented former student regent Ashton Compton with an award for her work on the BOR. Nicholas Pennington (right), president of the Kodiak College Student Association, talks to Chancellor Brian Rogers (left) and Sonia Lodhi, a student representative from the University of Alaska - Southeast, during a June 4 meeting with the Coalition of Student Leaders. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star The coalition also selected Nicholas Pennington, the president of the Kodiak College Student Association, as their new speaker. Last year, Pennington reformed Kodiak’s student government. It had not met since 2008. Shauna Thornton, president of the Kenai Peninsula College (KPC), updated the coalition on the prolonged budget battle facing the campus. In an effort to balance the Kenai Borough budget, Mayor David Carey is pushing to cut approximately $650,000 in funding to KPC. According to the Peninsula Clarion, that number represents 5 percent of the college’s budget. Thornton said that students at KPC were
working together to ensure that the budget was not cut. Joining the coalition were university and state officials. UA President Patrick Gamble, Chancellor Brian Rogers and Alumni Director Joe Hayes joined Reps. David Guttenberg ( DDistrict 8 ) and Bob Miller ( D-District 7 ) for a dialogue with the coalition. “It’s a whole different world out there today,” Gamble said, compared to his time in college. He added that his biggest concern during school was to make sure he didn’t schedule a lab on a Friday. Rep. Guttenberg applauded the coalition on their yearly advocacy trip to Juneau. “One of the biggest things is when students come down,” he said. Guttenberg also pushed the coalition to do more, encouraging them to go directly to a legislator’s office if need be. “Get in their face,” he said. The coalitions primary goal over the next year is to encourage better student advising and more mentorship. “It’s a bit of a beast when you’re trying to manage your way through it [the advising process],” said Ryan Buchholdt, president of the Union of Students of the University of Alaska - Anchorage (USUAA). “The students want it, Chancellor Rogers really wants it and President Gamble also acknowledged that it should be addressed,” Freitag said. Nicholas Pennington (right), president of the Kodiak College Student Association, talks to Chancellor Brian Rogers (left) and Sonia Lodhi, a student representative from the University of Alaska - Southeast, during a June 4 meeting with the Coalition of Student Leaders. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star
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Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter June 13, 2011 For those who haven’t read my column, or who don’t interact with me on a regular basis, you should know that I can be a pretty political dude. As such, I always have ideas as to how to make the system better – whichever system that happens to be. In this case, the “system” in question is the student government. Now, before you read on, know this: I am not writing to torpedo any individual or organization. I’m writing this column to share ideas that have occurred to me during my time at UAF. As it happens, I’m the Sun Star’s go-to guy for reporting on the student government. I attended almost every senate meeting during the spring semester. I wrote a weekly column whose primary focus was politics at the university-level and penned an update on ASUAF that gave highlights from their latest meetings. I know every student representative (both legislative and executive) and can find common ground with all of them. So, to the point of the matter: if I were involved with the student government what would I do? Revitalize the image – Many students either don’t like or don’t care about their student government, which is a shame. Our tuition goes to it, which means it’s our responsibility to make sure it flourishes. There is a project underway in the summer committee to get the word out about ASUAF via cool swag for students. It is the perfect start to revitalizing the organizations image. The ideas presented below are where I would go next.
Make it a council... – There are 20 seats in the senate. During the 2010-11 term there were never 20 senators. Fewer senators (like 5-7) in a council would, in theory, be easier to schedule with. You’re juggling 5-7 schedules versus upwards of 20. Having fewer senators means you can actually pay them for their services, which leads me to my next idea. ... and pay ‘em – You may not know this, but the only paid positions in the legislative branch of ASUAF are the senate clerk and senate chair. That’s it. The other dozen-and-ahalf-or-so senators (it fluctuates constantly) are not paid. Moreover, this gives more incentive to students to vote if they actually control a senator’s job status. If anything, it gives senators a reason to be productive since it’s a) a job for which they’re paid and b) the student population controls their employment status. Free food! – Free food is one of the simplest ways a student government can give back to it’s constituent in an obvious and helpful way. The food doesn’t always have to be an outdoors BBQ event ala-Spring Fest, but even just free donuts or fruit every month in the Wood Center would be nice. Yes, ASUAF provides hot water and coffee to students in their offices. In the back of the Wood Center, where most students don’t go. Why not move it up to a table near the lower entrance? I know I’d stop by for a hot cuppa in January. Plus, you’d have to find someone to man it which means paying someone which means more money in student pockets. Sponsor more events – The best example of this was during Fall 2010. The public relations committee sponsored a debate between senate contenders Scott McAdams and Joe Miller. It was a huge success. It was awesome. However, I would never limit the student government to just sponsoring political debates. Why not underwrite a solid (and famous) speaker to come up once a semester or once a term? Then, there’s always the Concert Board. I know from personal experience that some of the best events put on at UAF are concerts. It works and people love it, therefore we should do it more.
Establish student work programs – Seriously. Think an ASUAF version of FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) of the 1930’s. Just a few ideas? Pay students to take part in a campus beautification project, pay poll workers during student election season (the budget already allots money for this), or commission students to create a new work of art for somewhere on campus. If there is one thing that shows “we care” its underwriting student-interest projects that will leave an impact on UAF long after said students have left and graduated. It develops a sense of community. My parent/friend helped make _____ , how cool is that? Fund student projects - ASUAF’s current Student Travel Grants ($22,000 for FY11-12) are the perfect example. Why not a few more for, say, academic achievement? It wouldn’t have to be for thousands of dollars. As a student who has earned and spoken to students who have earned scholarships or grants, even $500 helps. It pays for a class. A months worth of food or part of your rent. This is to say nothing of the club council allotment, which will be $33,400 for FY11-12. Don’t forget the numerous student organizations that go to regional or national competitions every year. A couple clubs I would help sponsor more? Phi Alpha Theta and the Society of Automotive Engineers, for starters. Some might say that giving so much space and attention to the student government is ridiculous. Well, it isn’t, and let me tell you why. There is a common complaint among students that ASUAF doesn’t care about students. Well, how can we expect them to care if we don’t? I know that several former and current senators and members of the executive branch had/have a genuine interest in the well-being of their fellow students. They are hard-working people who deserve our support just as much we deserve theirs. We’re all students and it’s our collective dime that is spent or not spent. I know I want to see where it goes...won’t you help ensure our student government can kick ass come fall?
UAF, Institute of the North form arctic research partnership Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter June 24, 2011 The University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF) and the Anchoragebased Institute of the North have formed a partnership to address Alaska’s evolving role in the Arctic. The partners will collaborate on research and public awareness projects by pooling their scientific and financial resources. The partnership plans to research numerous topics vital to Alaska and the circumpolar north. Some of these projects include surveys of existing and needed infrastructure, navigation rights, oil and gas development, potential new aviation routes and the impact of tourism on an increasingly accessible Bering Sea. “We have a changing landscape and we’re not sure of all the implications of that changing landscape,” said Mike Sfraga, vice chancellor at UAF. Sfraga co-leads the collaborative project with Nils Andreassen, the managing director of the institute. The late Gov. Walter Hickel and current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell formed the institute in 1994 to help Alaskans understand and responsibly use the state’s natural resources.
When asked if they saw the potential for students to become involved, both Sfraga and Andreassen agreed there was “definitely” potential. While hesitant to commit to student involvement immediately (the partnership wants to score some successes before incorporating students), Sfraga added “this has the right ingredients for students.” The partnership will research topics and release their findings to the public. They will encourage legislators and policymakers to incorporate the findings into policy. A workshop about the Bering Sea is scheduled for August. “Alaska is in danger of not having a role in making decisions that affect our peoples and communities,” said Andreassen in an email. Both Andreassen and Sfraga underscored the importance of the partnership’s research having a genuine impact on global Arctic policy. “Alaskans must be present at a national and international level to effect [sic] change and to have a meaningful impact on policy decisions,” Andreassen added. “We make the United States an Arctic nation,” said Sfraga. “Therefore, we should have a significant influence in that dialogue and in that decision making.”
Alaska is in danger of not having a role in making decisions that affect our peoples and communities
Murder by Death to knock the (Pub’s) doors down” Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter June 20, 2011 This coming Friday, June 24, the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF) Pub will reopen for one night only to host visiting alternative band Murder by Death. According to the events Facebook page, the band sounds like a mix of Johnny Cash and the Decemberists. The event is being put on by the Student Activities Office. As part of their Alaska tour, the band will also play venues in Denali, Healy, Talkeetna and McCarthy. Murder By Death Friday, June 24 concert announcement. The four-member band is comprised of Adam Turla (guitar, vocals), Dagan Thogerson (drums), Matt Armstrong (bass), and Sarah Balliet (cello, keys). The band is as based around Turla’s voice as the band Mumford and Son’s is around Marcus Mumford. Murder by Death has released five albums since forming in 2000 and hails from Indiana. Look for them to play such favorites as “Brother”, “White Noise,” and “Comin’ Home.” Their latest album, Good Morning, Magpie, released in 2010, peaked at #200 on the Billboard 200 chart. The song “Comin’ Home” (from the bands 2008 release Red of Tooth and Claw) was featured in a trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s film Inglorious Basterds. Opening for Murder by Death will be campus favorites Feeding Frenzy. The five-member group played roadside gigs in Austin, TX during March’s South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. The band was ranked #81 in PASTE magazines “100 Bands at SXSW.” “Murder by Death has been a favorite band of mine for years now, and I can imagine my 16-year-old self would be soiling himself right about now,” said Ryan Bateman about opening for Murder by Death. Bateman plays banjo and sings in Feeding Frenzy. Bateman, who works for SAO, is no stranger to interacting with visiting bands. “I’ve generally found that it’s more comfortable just to get to know them casually rather than making it an exercise in fanboyism,” Bateman said. “As tough as it is not to just say ‘Holy crap I love your music,’” he added. Advance tickets for the show are Students $10/General $15 while tickets at the door are Students $15/General $25. All tickets can be purchased at the Wood Center, College Coffee House, and Grassroots Guitar.
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Mick Durham takes over Nanook Men’s basketball Daniel Thoman / Sun Star Reporter June 24, 2011 Although Mick Durham has only been the head coach of the UAF Men’s Basketball team for a few weeks, he’s been looking forward to coming to Fairbanks for quite some time. He has been here before, as the head coach of the Montana State University program during the Top of the World Classic. He loves the community here and feels it’s a great fit for basketball, he said. Durham is replacing Coach Clemon Johnson, who left to take a position at his alma mater, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College. Johnson coached the Nanook men’s team for the last four seasons. Durham’s coaching credentials are impressive, one of the leading factors contributing to his hiring, according to Forrest Karr, UAF’s Director of Athletics. Durham has spent the last three years as an assistant coach at New Mexico State University, where the team went 55-44 during his tenure, and was the head coach at Montana State University for 16 years, where he had the second-most wins in the program’s history. In a public meeting on June 21, Durham expressed excitement at taking over the program, and said that he was most looking forward to “getting in the gym.” He also wants to get to know the team once school starts back up. Durham admitted that the program had kind of lost its way in the last few years, but also said that the most recent banners lining the halls of the Patty Center were not that old. When asked what he thought the team needed, Durham quickly said “we need big guys”
and added that size was going to be an important factor when he went recruiting in July. He also said that the team needed “stability and loyalty.” “We need to play fast and be unselfish,” said Durham on how he wants the Mick Durham. Photo courtesy UAF Athletics Department. Nanooks to play this year. “We also need to be tough.” The subject of defense was discussed at the meeting and, based on his own experience as a point guard, Durham said man-toman would be the primary defensive strategy. Durham’s other major concern was reconnecting with the community- the trait that made him want to come up to Fairbanks. He spoke of a need for the team to both “entertain the fans, but be disciplined” and said that one of his major goals was to get both students and people from the community back in the seats of the Patty Gym.
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Starting the conversation Emergency repairs to close Moore Hall Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter June 27, 2011 Moore Hall and parts of Hess Recreation Center, located at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, will be closed for emergency repairs come July. The concrete parapet, which surrounds the top of Moore, is beginning to break apart due to stress from the roof. This past week, falling debris from the parapet, fell onto a parked vehicle. The current parapet was installed incorrectly, said Marmian Grimes, UAF’s Senior Public Information Officer. During a building’s lifetime, it will move and flex due to changes in ground structure and climate.
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While movement is expected, the parapet’s faulty installation meant that extra stress was placed on it, which resulted in cracking. Parapets are generally added to structures to prevent the spread of fires. UAF Design and Construction, a department within Facilities Services, will remove and replace the parapet. Work is expected to take five weeks, “but with projects [on] an older building like this, you never know,” said Grimes. The work is not expected to affect the structural integrity of the building. Grimes also added that the building’s age helped accelerate the parapets deterioration. Moore Hall was first opened in
1966. During the summer, Moore is used as a hotel for tourists and summer employees. Once guests have checked out, or have been relocated, construction will begin. The project will cost $800,000 and will use discretionary funds leftover from the Skarland Hall Bathroom renovation. In addition to Moore and Hess Recreation, the front parking lot and lower part of Kuskokwim Way will also be closed. Design and Construction is still unsure if the issues with the parapet are related to several windows that cracked in January.
Heather Bryant / Editor-in-Chief July 1, 2011 Recently, I requested salary information for all employees of UAF including rural campuses. The information the Sun Star will receive includes: • Employee name • Position • Salary • Department and/or campus • Longevity • Contract duration (9-month, 10-month, etc) • Part-time or full-time status The Sun Star will publish this information in a searchable database. I hope to have it online by the end of August. However, there are many influencing factors. Following the information release announcement, many people questioned why we are doing this. The short answer is that the University of Alaska system has increased tuition on a regular basis over the past few years. Budgets are getting tighter and money is getting harder to come by. Many factors contribute to University costs. However, at UAF personnel costs represent approximately 60 percent of the budget according to Marmian Grimes, the UAF public information officer. With today’s economic climate, it is important to ensure transparency in how the University of Alaska spends the money it receives. A salary database allows both students and the public to see how their tuition and tax dollars are utilized. Other projects such as this have yielded fascinating insights into their universities. Stories that can come from a project such as this include looking at pay differences between genders, comparing the number of adjunct faculty versus associate or full professors. With budget shortfalls many departments have had to let people go or make other cutbacks, how much are departments paying for salaries? These are just a few of the many uses that will result from the project. Ultimately, this database is a tool that will help us better understand how the university uses its resources. It will add a layer of accountability to the way the university functions. All information to be published is already publicly available. We are simply creating a mechanism for easier access and understanding. This project is not unique. There are currently 43 similar databases covering universities in 15 states. These databases are managed by both student and community newspapers. Database reporting has been one of the most important recent developments in journalism. Many outlets, such as the award-winning nonprofit ProPublica, both report news and make their sources and hard data available for readers to see for themselves. This is an important evolution in the way journalists inform the public, because the public now has the information in their own hands. A number of questions about the project have been related to the publishing of the database. There are questions about why we are publishing the database instead of just reporting on the data. The Sun Star will be writing stories based on the data the information release contains. We will create graphics to help interpret the data and to make it more understandable. That is our responsibility. However, with the data itself public, we hope to create a discussion with you. The Sun Star could have requested the salary information, determined what was newsworthy and published stories accordingly. However, that is a very limiting direction to take. I decided to publish a searchable salary database, because I believe journalism isn’t an enterprise to be carried out behind closed doors. Doing so is both hypocritical and short-sighted. As a reporter, it’s my job to add transparency to activities and entities that affect the public. As an editor, it’s my job to give transparency to how we report on those things. Historically, journalism is made up of reporters gathering information, realizing the impact on the public and writing stories informing the public. Journalists are tasked with finding out things that the public needs to know. This is done so people can form opinions and take action accordingly. However, that process requires a large assumption. It assumes that the journalist will always see the story or all the stories, and that they will recognize it from a variety of perspectives. It assumes that a single person can do what in reality requires a diverse group. Journalism should not be a one-way street. We report. You are informed. The end. I would much rather see a dialogue occur where you can participate. For you to participate in any effective or meaningful way, the information must available. When the database goes online, we encourage you to use it. If you see something you have questions about, let us know so we can follow up on it. I welcome questions and discussion. Please feel free to post any questions or comments you have below. Also, we have started a Facebook discussion on our page. Even though the information hasn’t been published yet, I look forward to starting the conversation with you. If you have any questions, please contact me. You can reach me at (907) 474-5078 or send me an email at email@example.com. Heather Bryant UAF Sun Star Editor
Alaskan ex-pat pens Hemingway biography Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star (to name a few) Hemingway’s Reporter views on war, sex, homosexuJuly 1, 2011 ality, marriage, fatherhood, When Marty Beckerman hunting, dietary habits and was a teenager growing up in suicide. His main argument – Alaska – and writing a humor oftentimes tongue-in-cheek column for the Anchorage – is that even with HemingDaily News – he was obsessed way’s “booze-inhaling, animalwith becoming the next Dave slaughtering, war-glorifying, Berry. However, a readhairy-chested, retro-sexual” through of “The Heming Way” (to quote the book’s subtitle) will attest that Beckerman is lifestyle, there is still somenot the next anybody, which is thing worthy of admiration in exactly the way he likes it. “It’s the man. better to be the first you, then “We shouldn’t follow his the next somebody,” Beckexample in munching a bullet erman said. sandwich and blowing our Beckerman’s book douheads off,” said Beckerman. bles as part parody and part “We’re so afraid of death betribute, but it’s also a solid cause maybe we’ll die of skin and interesting biography of cancer [or something else].” the (in)famous 20th century What example should we author and journalist Ernest follow? Hemingway’s zest for Hemingway. Beckerman’s life. What’s the point of living meshing of humor and hisa long life if isn’t a good life, or tory is reminiscent of Marvin at the very least, a colorful one, Kitman’s “The Making of the argues Beckerman. President 1789: The UnauBeckerman sees his work thorized Campaign Biography as a response to the “neuof George Washington” and tering of the American man.” Mark Steel’s “Vive la RevoluAccording to Beckerman, “evtion: A Stand-up History of the erything we learn comes from French Revolution.” The only Wikipedia, but not adventure.” real difference between the Life was the exact opposite three is that Beckerman is the for Hemingway, who, in addimore irreverent and sardonic tion to being an accomplished of the bunch. writer, was not afraid to galliOne of the books first paragraphs helps set the tone for Becker- vant, carouse or drink his way through existence. man’s humorous and clever biography: Such a life is something Beckerman, a gonzo journalist, empaMankind has accumulated more collective knowledge than ever thizes with. Beckerman’s exploits include receiving a Spermine (made before – go check Wikipedia – but the individual man knows less. We from human sperm) “beauty treatment,” spending a day on a porn set, can all search Google and update our worthless status messages, but and testing Cosmopolitan magazines recommendations for a spicier few of us can skin a fish, boudoir (hint: his genitals navigate by starlight, climb end up rope-burned). If to the apex of a mounthere is one thing Beckerman Few of us can skin a fish, navigate by starlight, tain or transform majestic is, it’s colorful. “The Heming climb to the apex of a mountain or transform creatures of the Southern Way” is worth a read, if not majestic creatures of the Southern Hemisphere Hemisphere into piano for the history, then for his into piano keyboards. keyboards. lampooning of modern Beckerman’s book American masculinity. strikes much the same tone throughout, as he covers
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Hinder becomes Blue Loons next“Nightmare” Alyssa Dunehew July 6, 2011 Double necked guitars, rip-roaring crowds, and four hot rock stars are scheduled to hit the Blue Loon this Friday, July 8. The popular rock band Hinder will be performing for an all-ages show Friday evening, promoting their December 2010 release of “All American Nightmare.” The band gave Alaskan crowds a preview of the new album last fall at the Palmer State Fair. As a crowd member, I can say that the concert was fantastic with the crowd energetically rocking out to their Hinder favorites, such as “Lips of an Angel” and “Get Stoned.” The crowd also really enjoyed the song “Hey Ho” from the upcoming album. This is a concert moshers won’t want to miss. Don’t forget to take a listen to the new album and pick out your favorites. The gates open at 6 p.m. for the all-ages outdoor concert. Tickets are $35 in advance available online, at Gulliver’s books and at the Blue Loon.
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UAF professor to test UAV’s for Coast Guard Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter July 5, 2011 Gregory Walker has been tapped to assist the United Stated Coast Guard (USCG) in testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) for installation on their polar icebreakers. With the potential for a more ice-free arctic looming on the horizon, the USCG is hoping to have a UAV installed on the icebreaker Healy by fall 2012. Walker is currently is the manager of the University of Alaska (UA) Unmanned Aircraft Program based at the Poker Flat Research Range. Currently the Coast Guard Cutter Healy is the only U.S. icebreaker in the polar north and three total in service. While icebreakers are equipped to carry a helicopter, the climate’s harshness has led the USCG to view their use as unsafe in the Arctic. According to the USCG and Walker, this is a problem. Without aircraft, ships can only see as far ahead as the bridge allows them. Satellite imagery, while helpful, is also problematic in that it can only show open water and ice (which is oftentimes covered by puddles of water, but still solid). Equipping a UAV on the Healy would radically change how the vessel moves in Arctic waters, Walker said. While icebreakers can travel through thick ice (which is what their designed for), it burns more fuel and can make patrols longer. The installation of a UAV would allow the ships crew to choose the easiest route. While the process has begun, the first UAV will most likely not be installed on the Healy until early fall 2012. “The military is developing them and I’m trying to find scientific and technical applications to use them,” Walker said about the UAV program.
Scientists use UAV to study Stellar sea lions Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter July 5, 2011 Between June 14-15, researchers from the Poker Flat Research Range tested the AeroVironment Puma AE, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that they hope will aide scientists in studying the decline in western Alaska’s Stellar sea lion population. Since the 1970s, the National Marine Mammal Laboratory has monitored sea lion populations by conducting annual fly-overs, collecting images and video. However, an aerial survey of wildlife can be both dangerous and expensive. For example, renting a de Havilland Twin Otter (DHC-6) can cost up to $4,500 per day. “It’s not cheap,” said Gregory Walker, manager of the University of Alaska (UA) Unmanned Aircraft Program based at Poker Flat Research Range. The aircraft UA now owns can cost about $3,500 per day to operate. The unmanned craft Walker tested costs as little as $1,000 per day. Walker will eventually pick two new unmanned vehicles, pushing the universities total to 11. While the AeroVironment Puma AE Walker recently tested is likely to be one of the two, he hopes to evaluate at least two more. “It’s very promising,” he added. While Walker doesn’t believe he’ll ever find the perfect aircraft, he’s impressed with the Puma AE. He stated that the craft is lightweight (only 14 pounds), easy to install, waterproof, and durable. It is also quieter, which means the animals photographed will be less
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likely to notice it. The Puma AE was originally designed by the U.S. Navy to protect Navy SEALs during beach assaults. “Soldiers won’t break it. Fisherman won’t break it,” Walker said. “It’s tough.” Durability is important for Walker, since the current fleet of UAVs are both large and fragile. Owning a craft that can be both handlaunched and which can land in open water is important. The only major drawback to the Puma AE, is its inability to fly in winds over 30 knots (34.6 mph). Stellar sea lion populations in the western Aleutian Islands have decreased since the 1970s. As a result, the animals were placed on the endangered species list and fisheries near their habitat were closed. According to 2005 study released by the Alaska Sea Grant/Marine Advisory Program, such closures have forced small-vessel fisherman to travel farther out to sea, which has increased costs and hazards. The recent test was partially underwritten by the North Pacific Fisheries Foundation, which hopes better data collection will ultimately lead to the fisheries being reopened. Walker stated that the new aircraft will be used for work outside of monitoring sea lions. Some of the work listed included arctic ice surveys, responding to emergencies, and oil exploration. According to Walker, having newer (and better) unmanned craft will put UA ahead of other research institutions. With the new craft “we can do things that other universities can’t,” he said.
Serial burglar apprehended on UAF campus
Google+ and the buzz wave of change
Andrew Sheeler / Sun Star Reporter July 11, 2011 Police have detained a man whom they believe to be behind a string of recent thefts on campus. Charles Bottler Jr., 20, of Fairbanks was arrested by UAFPD on June 25 after being spotted on campus in violation of a criminal trespass order. Bottler Jr. was detained and confessed to stealing from several on-campus vehicles, court records say. The reported thefts began on June 15 and ran all the way through June 23. The authorities believe the theft occurred in the Hess Village family housing parking lot, some time on June 15. Bottler Jr. reportedly stole four sealed boxes and a sealed bubble mailer from an unlocked car. Contents of the stolen packages included: four German chocolate bars, a bag of cookies, a bag of chocolate popcorn, a small crystal vase, a bird house, 15 VHS tapes with recorded shows, a $50 check, a DVD/VHS player and several personal photographs. The second theft occurred a day later, this time in the West Hess Village parking lot located behind the Moore-Bartlett-Skarland dorm complex. Another vehicle was broken in to, and Bottler Jr. allegedly stole a duffel bag containing a computer and several computer accessories. A security camera caught a man bearing Bottler Jr.’s likeness stealing from vehicles in the North Upper Dorms parking lot on the night of June 21 and again on the night of June 22. Both times, the same vehicle was targeted. An iTouch, an iPod and $25 were stolen over the course of the two nights. An off-duty campus safety officer spotted Bottler Jr. on campus on the evening of June 25 and recognized him as being banned from campus property. Bottler Jr., a former UAF janitor with contracted cleaning service GCA, was also identified by two of his former co-workers. Police say that Bottler Jr. admitted to the thefts, after being read his Miranda rights. He led police to a spot in the woods near the Hess Village parking lot, where he had left the opening packages stolen on June 15. He then allowed police to enter his home, where police recovered the DVD player believed stolen from the Hess Village lot and a duffel bag containing the stolen computer and many of its accessories. Both the computer and the DVD player had been partially disassembled. A monitor that was stolen could not be found. Bottler Jr. is charged with theft in the third degree and criminal trespass in the second degree. Both are misdemeanor offenses.
Jeremy Smith / Sun Star Columnist July 6, 2011 For those who don’t know, I used to host a radio program that covered various tech issues called General Protection Fault. On this program, back in 2001, I reviewed search newcomer Google with these words, “Good search engine. Fairly inclusive. May be onto something.” Seeking total digital domination, Google has also cornered the free email (Gmail) and mapping (Google Maps/Earth) markets. Now it’s time for Google to get social. Google’s first attempt was with Wave, something they described in 2010 as “both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.” It was basically a communication and online collaboration platform rolled into one package. Attempt number two, Buzz, was designed to share videos, photos, links, and status updates just like Facebook or Twitter. The big difference was that it was all through Gmail. Both of these failed, sort of. I say sort of, because aspects of these technologies have been baked into Google+, the search giant’s answer to Facebook. With a simple and elegant interface created by a former Apple designer, Google+ builds off another Google service, Profiles, and adds in all of the social features (friending, posting, liking) that you find on Facebook with the ability to follow people like you can on Twitter. Circles is the Google+ way of creating groups of friends that you can selectively share content with and control how they can connect back to you. Hangouts is a quick way to set up a video conference with up to 10 people while Sparks is an integration of Google’s email alerts honed down to its essence: letting you know about stuff you are interested in. What’s the problem? Other than privacy concerns, which are a little vague at this point, none so far except Google itself. Google has a history of trying to build up buzz (ha) for products by doling out limited access to what they term ‘beta’ projects. Google Wave invites at one point were selling on Ebay for $70, and Google+ is no different, although the price is at a much more reasonable $15. Remember, these are FREE SERVICES. Being that they want to test out the service before doing a full release, invites are limited, which means that the people using it are
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also limited. This, of course, leads to frustration because this is a social service and I have only been able to find three people to move around in my Circles. (Special thanks to Ephy for the invite!) I’m interested in seeing what happens when people I actually know have the chance to use this. Will they want to leave Facebook to jump into the thick of it with Google? This brings me to the biggest issue I have with Google+: the complete and total lack of Google Apps support. I use a Google Apps account to manage all of my emails and communication needs. That means personal emails, work emails, Sun Star emails and just about everything else all comes into one account. I am logged in to my Gmail account all day long: managing emails, reading RSS feeds, chatting and more with no annoying ads to be seen. To use Google+, I have to actually log out and then log back in using my vanilla, ad-filled Gmail account, just in order to join this social revolution. Considering that I pay for my Google Apps account, I would assume they would, oh I don’t know, release a feature for the paid version of their product before adding it to the free one. Granted I am in the minority except when I consider that thousands of businesses and universities use Google Apps as the basis of their online communication infrastructure and this is potentially cutting out a very large and lucrative group of customers. Along with the Google+ rollout in a few months, Google is also making some huge changes across all of their properties: • Rebranding Picasa and Blogger into Google properties • Removing private Profile accounts • Adding a black bar across the top of all the Google services (including the search page) • Changing the look and spacing of Gmail pages • Upping the number to 10 accounts that Multiple Sign-In supports With all of these changes, Google is going to have to start dealing with the same level of uproar that Facebook faces when a margin is shrunk or the text size is adjusted. Once Google+ rolls out to everyone, I am sure even more problems will surface. And no, the last change in the list that Google is making, the one about Multiple Sign-Ins, still doesn’t fix my problem.
Tunes at the top of the world A jaunt to the Dawson City Music Festival Jamie Hazlett/Sun Star Reporter official website before you go to decide where you’ll be spending most July, 11, 2011 of your time. Food will be available from festival vendors as well as The world of music has many gatherings where performers come Dawson’s established restaurants, or you can opt to bring your own. together to share their songs. Think Coachella. Think Lollapalooza or No outside alcohol will be allowed in the events, but beer gardens will the Isle of Wight Festival. Think Dawson City. be open for anyone 19 and over. Wait, many of you are thinking. Dawson City? As in, that little If you find yourself needing a break from the heat and crowds, place in Canada that has all of 2000 residents? check out Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall, the oldest casino in Indeed, this tiny town in the Yukon Territory annually plays host Canada. You do have to be at least nineteen to enter, but once you’re to bands both local and international. This weekend (July 15-17) will inside there’s a wealth of gambling opportunities and other amusemark the 33rd year of the event, and the festival’s official website boasts ments. Those looking for a less raucous experience should head for that the musical stylings will range from “traditional drumming” to the Dawson City Museum, which features re-enactments, costumed “high-octane blues-rock, a fiddling aviator, and a yam puppet.” A interpreters, and even a train shelter featuring four restored locomoglance at the lineup leaves tives from the Klondike no doubt that there will be Mines Railway. something for every taste, Fans of a good story and a weekend pass to the ought to head for the Jack event ($129.00 per person) London Interpretive Muguarantees entrance to all seum, which features his of the festival’s outdoor reconstructed log cabin. venues. Admission to the Just down the street is the smaller indoor events are home of another famed covered by the pass, but writer of the North, Robert these events are limited to Service. Other sites relating building capacities, so get to Dawson’s golden past are there early. Tickets can be the S.S. Keno, the Palace purchased from the festiGrand Theatre and Claim val’s official website. #6. The steamer Keno was Parents will be responsible for carrying pleased to hear that chilgoods and raw material bedren are welcome at this tween Dawson and the rest family-friendly event, of the world, and is now although they are prohibopen for the public to walk ited from the beer garthrough and explore. Built The Acorn mainstage at the Dawson City Music Festival. Photo Credit: Aaron Woroniuk dens. Saturday will feature in 1899, the Palace Grand KidFEST, with face painting, craft projects, children’s entertainers and offers a glimpse into the pastimes miners had to look forward to on more, designed specifically to make the little ones a part of the festival. their rare trips to town. Finally, Claim #6, the spot from which the Daytime and evening events make it possible to fit naptime around Klondike Gold Rush was launched, is an ideal spot for anyone bitten the can’t-miss shows. by the gold bug; visitors can pan for the precious metal at no charge, Dawson City is admirably easy to access from Fairbanks. Flights and may keep any that they find. are available, or you can take the scenic route and drive. Road-tripAlthough Dawson City offers so many different attractions no pers will follow the Alaska Highway from Delta Junction to just past excuse is needed to visit, the Dawson City Music Festival makes for a Tok, where the Taylor Highway takes off. Thirty miles past the town great one. Take a little trip across the border and check out our Canaof Chicken, the Top of the World Highway intersects the Taylor and dian neighbors’ music scene. While you’re there, you are sure to gain heads towards Canada. The Top of the World will take you over eighty a better appreciation for the mutual history that binds Alaska and the miles of phenomenal views before dropping you straight into Dawson Yukon Territory together. A weekend of adventure, pain-free learning City itself. Anyone driving should be aware of the fact that a portion of and great music; now that’s something to party about. the Taylor Highway is gravel; additionally, double-check that you have your passports before leaving home. Once you’re in Dawson, options abound. You can vie for a hotel room or take advantage of the summer temperatures and camp at one of the city’s numerous campgrounds. RV parking is also available. The various festival events take place throughout town, so check out the
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Film festival seeks submissions
Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star Reporter July 13, 2011 July 15 is the submission deadline for films to be entered in the Never Sets Film Festival (NSFF). The festival is intended to “celebrate and connect the Alaska film community via short film and screenplay competitions,” according to the NSFF Facebook page. The NSFF festival will hold community showings around the state in select cities on August 6 where audience-goers can vote for their favorite films. The top vote getters will then compete for statewide honors on September 8 and 9 in Anchorage. According to Festival Director Woodruff Laputka, venues for the community showings are still being selected. Organizers are currently scouting for locations in Juneau, Barrow, Kotzebue, and Bethel. Submission guidelines can be found at: http://neversets.org/registration/ The event will be free to the public.
Explore Fairbanks invites students to Chena Lakes Alyssa Dunehew/Sun Star Reporter July 13, 2011 UAF Sudent Activities Office is inviting students to join them at Chena Lakes Friday, July 15. The shuttle ride is free of charge, and leaves the Wood Center bus hut at noon. If you are looking for a free Friday afternoon in the sun, email SAO at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and UAF ID, and they’ll put you on the list. This is the first year they’ve offered a trip to Chena Lakes. Chena Lakes is “the perfect summer destination for sun bathing and enjoying the water view. There is plenty of room for games and activity,” according to SAO’s Facebook page. What happens at the lake is up to students; the office will be bringing volleyballs and possibly some other games. Any other suggestions for lake fun can be sent to them for consideration, or call the office at 474-6029.
Cocktails and Cyanide brings murder mystery to Schaible auditorium
Andrew Sheeler / Sun Star Reporter July, 20, 2011 Somebody has been murdered by poison and it will be up to the Schaible Auditorium audience to figure out who did it. That’s the premise behind the Wednesday, July 20 lecture titled “Cocktails and Cyanide” being held by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Deborah Blum. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. and is free to the public. Blum, a journalist, is the author of several books, the most recent of which is The Poisoner’s Handbook. Her work has also been featured in such news outlets as The New York Times, Slate, The Wall Street
Journal and Huffington Post. As the name of the lecture implies, Blum will spend Wednesday evening talking about the history of poisons, those who used it to kill and those who sought to uncover such heinous crimes. The lecture is being sponsored by UAF Summer Sessions, and it was Summer Sessions employee Vanessa Spencer’s idea to bring Blum up. Spencer said that last year she had read a piece by Blum in Slate about the dangers of raw milk. That story piqued Spencer’s interest. She continued to follow Blum’s work and eventually came up with the idea of asking Blum to come speak at UAF. Blum has promised that her lecture will be as entertaining as it is informative, and plans to include the audience in a murder mystery exercise as a way of getting them more involved. Spencer said she expects a decent turnout for the event at Schaible, which seats roughly 230 people. Following the lecture, Blum will hold a book-signing.
Duct tape flotilla to take over Chena River Heather Bryant July 15, 2011 The 15th annual Red Green Regatta is scheduled for July 24, when dozens of duct tape rafts will launch into the Chena River at Graehl Park. Thousands of people are involved as participants and spectators each year according to Gretchen Gordon, director of development and outreach for KUAC, the event’s host. “It’s our biggest community outreach event for KUAC and AlaskOne,” said Gordon. The Regatta had a record number of
Red Green Regata 2010. Photo courtesy of KUAC.
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participants last year with approximately 90 crafts on the water. “It’s a fun thing to do,” said Gordon. “And if it’s a nice day then it’s a great way to spend a Sunday.” The event is not a race but a showcase for showing appreciation for the Red Green Show. Judges will be cruising among the participants and will be picking winning crafts that have imaginative use of duct tape and the Red Green theme. “It’s really all about ingenuity and how we Alaskans like to slap things together with
duct tape,” said Gordon. The deadline for early registration is July 15, however, entries can still be registered up until the event starts. Check-in and registration starts at 10 a.m. on July 24, and the crafts launch at 11 a.m. The rafts will float to Pioneer Park where the award ceremony will be held. For entry information and to see photos of last year’s Regatta check out the KUAC: 15th Annual Red Green Regatta website.
Red Green Regata 2010. Photo courtesy of KUAC.
Redistricting is a bloody mess, but adequate Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Columnist August 11, 2011 Redistricting is, first and foremost, a necessary process within a healthy and functional democracy. A shifting of the socio-economic and geographic lines improves the chances for a district’s constituents to be better represented. Better representation means having a representative with a good understanding of your wants and needs, can sympathize with your concerns, and who can speak on your behalf at the state legislature. While it is impossible to elect a representative who will make everyone within a district happy, with accurate redistricting it is possible to ensure that a good deal of those in the district will, at the very least, find their representation adequate. In a state the size of Alaska, sometimes adequate is the best we can hope for. The process of redistricting is simple in theory, but complex in reality. In theory, once every ten years – every time a census is completed – political districts are redrawn to accommodate changes in a regions socio-economic status as well as shifts in overall population. The goal is to shape districts that are relatively equal in population and that are homogeneous both socially and economically. It is a challenging process, one that requires dedication and a thick-skin. Like any task worth undertaking (and it most certainly is) it demands much from those who undertake it. It is believed, in fact, that Ron Miller, who directed the board until early March, died only because of the strain the position placed on him. An article in the Anchorage Daily News quoted board attorney Michael White as stating that “you go into your public hearings, and people are screaming and yelling.” In the same article, a friend of Millers added that “he worked himself to death.” It is fair to say that the redistricting process is so demanding that it is even hazardous to one’s health. It is well known that the board has been heavily criticized from the beginning. With four republicans and one democrat, it isn’t surprising someone would call foul. However, this unevenness is nothing new. In 2000, the redistricting board put in place by thenGov. Tony Knowles was dominated by five democrats and no republicans. While a governor will no doubt choose board members they feel to be qualified, there has most certainly been a trend toward choosing members of ones own political party. While such a precedent is not fair, it is also not wrong nor illegal. One’s political persuasion does not dictate one’s intellectual capacity or one’s powers of reasoning. Even then, such politicizing shouldn’t matter. The demands placed on the board by both state and federal laws are difficult to maneuver around and very nearly bind the boards (metaphorical) hands. They board has to make sure the new districts have equitable populations, they have to make sure that both rural Alaska and urban Alaska is represented, districts must be contiguous geographically and all districts must be socially and economically equal. In addition, the districts must not discriminate against “a group that has been consistently excluded from the political process” (i.e. Native Alaskans). In short, the board doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. Does that mean I approve of the boards plan? No. It’s weird and splotchy, like a Rorschach test. And, come on, you want to lump the Goldstream Valley and Ester with communities toward the Bering Sea? You still want to put parts of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in a district with Eagle, Galena, and Holy Cross? Delta Junction should be in the same district as Cordova? It’s absurd and takes on the form of a Lovecraftian horror. For the College area specifically, little will change. Most university students will still be able to vote for popular incumbent Rep. David Guttenberg (currently District 8D) . The only changes affecting UAF, is that the campus now finds itself no longer actually in Guttenberg’s new district, which would be District 6C. Under the boards plans, UAF would be part of a restructured District 8D which would include territory from the original Districts 8D and 7D. The plan is considered so bizarre and unfair that the Fairbanks North Star Borough has moved to sue the board over it’s proposed plan. The City of Petersburg is also joining in on the lawsuit. Lawsuits aside– and this is very important – the new districts aren’t really all that weird when compared to their predecessors. Go ahead, open the boards two plans and view them with the current district placement. What is really at the issue is members of the Fairbanks North Star Borough will now share a representative with huge swaths of rural Alaska and that a good number of representatives will be switching District numbers. Is it fair? No, not as things stand, but it’s adequate, and in a state the size of Alaska, it’s as good as we’re going to get.
Construction season sweeps across UAF Heather Bryant/ Sun Star Reporter July 15, 2011 Its often joked that Alaska has two seasons: winter and road construction. For the University of Alaska Fairbanks, this summer has been laden with construction projects. From the major projects such as building the Life Sciences Research and Teaching Facility to repairs like fixing Moore Hall, workers are spread around campus. What are some of the things students and faculty expect to see different this fall? Arctic Health SNRAS Research Greenhouse: The West Ridge greenhouse was removed in the spring of 2011 to make way for the new Life Sciences building. The new greenhouse will be located on the southwest wing of the Arctic Health Research Building. It will house the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. Facility Services expects the project to be completed in early 2012. Arctic Health West parking lot improvement: In anticipation of the increase in parking on West Ridge, the Arctic Health West parking lot will have the remaining dirt portion paved over. Lights and head bolt outlets are also being added. Moore Hall: At the beginning of July, Moore Hall and parts of the Hess Recreation Center were closed for emergency repairs. The concrete parapet that surrounds the top of the building began to break apart.
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The parapet was installed incorrectly,” according to Marmian Grimes, UAF’s Senior Public Information Officer. The age of the approximately 45-year-old building is also considered a factor. The parking lot was closed down and University crews are replacing the parapet. Hess Village: The outsides of three buildings in Hess Village are going to be redone with vinyl siding. Porches and decks on the buildings will also be replaced. Lathrop and Nerland Hall: Old carpet and tile will be removed from parts of Lathrop and Nerland Hall. New carpet, tile and stair treads will be installed. Stuart Hall: Bedroom windows in Stuart Hall have been re-sized and replaced. Cutler Apartments: This summer saw that continuation of work in the apartments with interior renovations and the installation of energy efficient windows in Building 400. UAF Life Sciences Research and Teaching Facility: The headline project for UAF is the Life Sciences Research and Teaching Facility. Construction began in the spring of 2011 and workers are currently working on the steel framing. The building will house teaching and research labs, classrooms and office space for life science research and teaching. The building is estimated to be complete by the fall of 2013.
Above: The construction site at the Life Science Teaching and Research Facility. Top right: Crews work on the structure that will eventually hold rock and ice climbing walls. Right: Construction workers repair the parrapet surrounding Moore Hall. Below: The construction site where the SNRAS greenhouse will be located.
Bombing simulation brings area emergency responders to UAF for training Heather Bryant support. This particular group provides victims or bad guys as needed July 29, 2010 for training scenarios said Lorna Illingsworth, Executive Director of On Wednesday, July 27, emergency responders from around VIP. Fairbanks rushed to the scene of a simulated bombing at the Uni The simulation included moulage, realistic looking injuries for versity of Alaska Fairbanks. The training exercise was part of a series emergency responders to practice on. Kelly Shufeldt, a volunteer of emergency preparedness drills being conducted by UAF. Simula- from Eilson Air Force Base, was on hand to touch up the “wounds” tions included bomb threats at the Butrobefore the simulation began. “We all met vich building. The Wednesday exercise was this morning and did a mass assembly of practice in the event a bomb or similar event wounds,” said Shufeldt. actually occurs. Leading up to the training Responders from the University Police events this week, were emails from the and Fire Department, Fairbanks Fire DeChancellor’s office reminding people that partment, Eilson Air Force Base, Fairbanks the simulations were only exercises. “ExInternational Airport, the North Pole Fire ercises like this one are vital to help ensure Department, and the campus community our campus and first responders are well emergency responders were among the parprepared to deal with emergencies at UAF ticipants in the exercise. and the surrounding community,” stated “You see the whole spectrum of Fairthe email. “They also offer departments and banks here,” said Michael O’Hare, Deputy individuals an opportunity to practice how Director of the Alaska Division of Homethey would respond in a real emergency.” land Security and Emergency Management. “Its important to have emer“You’ve got the entire community.” O’ Hare gency management embedded in the Bottles of fake blood were on hand to touch up any was in Fairbanks observing training events University,” said Roberta Carney, Deputy wounds that may need more blood. Heather Bryant/ Sun Star. taking place throughout the week. Director of the Alaska Division of Home A pile of rubble, cars and brush was asland Security and Emergency Management. sembled in the Taku parking lot. Volunteers “There are so many people here.” played the role of victims, covered in fake wounds and blood, placed Following the exercises will be a survey for the campus commuthroughout the wreckage. The group Volunteers in Policing put to- nity to give feedback on the drills. gether the team of 36 victims. VIP has a number of teams for training
Triage tags help emergency personnell quickly identify who is in need of immediate care. Heather Bryant/Sun Star.
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Above: Firefighters prepare a “victim” to be removed from the rubble as a brush pile burns in the background. Heather Bryant/Sun Star.
Officer Kyle Carrington, University Police Department, performs a pat down on the “suspect” during a training exercise, Wednesday, July 27, 2011. Heather Bryant/Sun Star.
Botton: CERT volunteer Ruth Olson, restrains a “victim” trying to reach out to his mommy, the grey doll. Heather Bryant / Sun Star
The Salary Project Heather Bryant / Editor-in-Chief July 17, 2011 As I stated in my previous editorial, the Sun Star recently requested salary information for all employees of UAF, including rural campuses. We will use the information to create a searchable database, write articles and create infographics that help our readers understand what the information shows us about our campus and its employees. The database is a research tool, only a component of our coverage. We can’t assume and guess what stories will develop during this project because we will be following where the data leads. I can assure readers we are approaching this with an open mind. One example of a story already developing through this project is how our university is funded. I received an email from someone wanting to know “what tax dollars go ‘directly’ to the university.” I can tell you from the Proposed FY12 Operating and Capital Budget Distribution Plans that an estimated 45 percent of the university’s funding will come from state appropriations. Another 16 percent is expected to come from tuition. We will be tackling this in an upcoming article explaining the university’s funding sources and how the money is distributed between the campuses. I have also received questions and comments concerning the fact that the information is already public, so there is no reason to publish salary information alongside names. It’s true anyone can ask for the details from UAF’s public information officer or Human Resources office. But, public records laws add stipulations that can influence how quickly information is released and what fees may apply. In this instance, the Sun Star, being a newspaper, is accepted as requesting the information on behalf of the public. It’s not available on any website or in any publication at this point. We are creating a channel for the public to access information that all have a right to inspect and consider. People have expressed concern that this will be bad for morale and will create animosity between departments. There are at least 40 other databases like this across the country and all of those universities have continued to operate with employees able to look at the salaries of coworkers and others. Knowing a person’s salary makes him or her accountable. Additionally, it empowers all employees. It would be very hard to gauge whether an offered salary is fair without access to salary information. Yes, supervisors may be put in the position of explaining why a particular employee makes more or less money than someone else, but that supervisor was already required to explain that to HR and that explanation should hold up to scrutiny. Using employee morale as a reason not to attach names with salaries is asking for bliss by means of ignorance. If the database reveals pay discrepancies, would you really rather not have found out? Disparities can’t be addressed if they are concealed. Privacy is also a concern many have. This database is publishing very few facts not already searchable about employees. All university employees are listed in the E-directory. If security is your concern, the campus directory poses far more of a threat than a database listing your name, title and salary. Student employees aren’t being included in the database because there are some privacy laws that apply to students. Additionally, student jobs have a higher turnover rate than faculty and staff jobs, meaning the data on their employment is less reliable. The purpose of this database is to add a layer of accountability and transparency to how the University operates. As we move forward, we may be able to add statewide positions and possibly even UAA and UAS positions to the database. That last question I want to address is this one. How is this good journalism? There are many ways to define good journalism. Our mission as we see it at the Sun Star is giving our readers the best and fullest grasp of facts. If you have any questions, please contact me. You can reach me at (907) 474-5078 or send me an email at email@example.com. Heather Bryant UAF Sun Star Editor
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