Home News Roundup News Roundup: November 15, 2013

News Roundup: November 15, 2013

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The Alaskans
Severe storms in Western Alaska caused massive damage to several coastal communities last weekend, destroying homes and utilities – and more flooding could be on the way.
CIRI, owner of the Fire Island wind power farm, has declared the project a success and plans to double its capacity by installing 11 new wind turbines by 2015. Wind energy is growing rapidly in Alaska, but it is still significantly more expensive per megawatt hour than natural gas ($97 vs. $60-65).
Uncle Don had some “minor chest discomfort” while traveling in Southeast earlier this week, but he got checked out and everything is fine.
A campaign is under way to get a Hollywood Walk of Fame star for Ray Mala, the first Alaska Native movie star (and the first non-white star, period).
Krispy Kreme is coming to Anchorage and the Mat-Su. Donut lovers, rejoice.
The Feds
The federal Indian Law & Order Commission commission has blasted the status of criminal justice in Alaska’s villages, unanimously concluding that “Alaska’s approach to criminal justice issues is fundamentally on the wrong track.” The Parnell administration claims it is working to improve things, but the commission is not impressed. They did commend the work of the judicial branch, though, particularly that of Supreme Court Chief Justice Dana Fabe.
Holland America’s proposal to charter flights between Fairbanks and Dawson City was shot down by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, claiming that they do not have sufficient staff to screen additional flights in Fairbanks. Senator Murkowski is not amused.
President Obama backtracked on a piece of health reform yesterday, announcing that people whose insurance plans would otherwise have been cancelled for noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act can keep those plans through the end of 2014 if they so choose.
Everyone Else
A 15-year-old in Massachusetts found an offensive definition of the word ‘gay’ in Apple’s system dictionary. One hour after writing an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, she received a phone call from Apple, and the caveat “often offensive” has been added to the entry.
Alaska’s not the only place confronting questionable online tactics around health reform – California’s attorney general has already pulled the plug on ten fraudulent websites claiming to be that state’s healthcare portal.