Home News Roundup News Roundup: April 18, 2014

News Roundup: April 18, 2014

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News Roundup

Alaska

In the most unlikely survivor story of the year, a three year old Homer chihuahua named Ella was plucked from her yard by an owl, promptly struck by a “big truck” while in its clutches, and lived to yap about it. [ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWSPATCH]

Speaking of predators of the non-owl variety, APD is warning Anchorage residents of a jury duty scam that has defrauded at least two victims recently. If someone alleging to be an APD officer calls (especially from a blocked number) to inform you of an arrest warrant in your name and asks for a wire transfer, don’t. [ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWSPATCH]

Last October, we compiled a list of common scams that often pop up in Alaska. Most fall under “basic common sense,” but it never hurts to review. [ALASKA COMMONS]

On a brighter note, the University of Alaska Anchorage kicked off their third annual Safe Zone celebration week. Safe Zone helps train allies to understand some of the hardships and complexities that LGBTQ students face. Kudos, UAA. [THE NORTHERN LIGHT]

Other attempts at “safe zones” are a bit more embarrassing. This week, Representative Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) was forced to apologize after complimenting a resolution encouraging hospitals to promote breastfeeding with a press release describing the practice as “Smart and Sexy.” That’s a subreddit I dare not explore. [AMANDA COYNE]

There’s plenty of embarrassment to go around. Also this week, HuffPo announced that pro-Begich Super PAC, “Put Alaska First” tends to put D.C. Money first. “Nearly all of its funds have come from the national Democratic group, Senate Majority PAC, and most of that money has been paid to a Democratic media buying firm created to work with Senate Majority PAC and other national super PACs.” [HUFFINGTON POST]

Awkward is a bipartisan issue.

Good news! Russian president and Harry Potter villain, Vladimir Putin has no current plans to annex Alaska. When asked whether they would prefer the leadership of Putin over President Obama, the Anchorage Tea Party stammered for several minutes before responding: “Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say, ‘yes I agree,’ or ‘no I didn’t agree.’ I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason – nope, that’s a different one. I gotta go back to, see … Got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me, did I agree or not disagree with Obama on?” [THE GUARDIAN]

(Okay, that last part was actually Herman Cain responding to a campaign question on Libya. But I could see the same result. I just did, in my head. But I suppose you had to be there.)

Finally, if you’ve stuck your head out the window anytime recently in Anchorage, you know what time of year it is: Breakup. In Mountain View, that means it’s time for the annual Neighborhood Cleanup. And they need all the help from the community they can get. [MOUNTAIN VIEW POST]

The Lower 48.

While Alaska is going through bizarro-world politics, with Republicans rushing through a minimum wage bill that Democrats oppose, Oklahoma is behaving much more traditionally. Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a measure “prohibiting cities from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements[.]” The move is largely seen as a response to Oklahoma City, where a current initiative seeks to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. [ASSOCIATED PRESS]

In California, a months long battle between the town of Irwindale and Huy Fong Foods — the company that manufactures the hugely popular Sriracha Hot Sauce — could send the company packing. According to a lawsuit filed by the town, the factory releases fumes into the neighborhood that smell bad and cause some people to experience eye irritation. [CONSUMERIST]

And that’s only the second weirdest food story this week. KFC is marketing “chicken drumstick corsages” for teenagers headed to the prom. Because high school dances aren’t weird enough on their own. Dance at least one foot apart, no pecking, no nibbling — her or the chicken. [Consumerist]

To further complicate matters, scientists have discovered an insect with a new kind of female sex organ, which they’ve termed a gynosome. It’s described as a detachable penis of sorts. [IO9]

Know what this weekend is? Oh, yes, well, sure. Easter. But for people most likely to vote in the August Primary, it’s “420;” the odd pairing of Easter, Hitler’s birthday, and the widely accepted-by-stoners holiday for pot. Ryan Grim explains how the defacto holiday came to be a thing. [ALTERNET]

And on a positive note, a new group campaign going by the name Art Everywhere is replacing ads on billboards across the United States with works of fine art. The push is starting with signage at subway platforms. So, we’ll need some of those. Get on it, Juneau. [POLICYMIC]

Grab a map.

Another staple on Sundays has become the ridiculously popular HBO series “Game of Thrones,” based on the books penned by George RR Martin. And now, thanks to Google Maps, we can all enjoy a “street view” of Westoros. Enjoy the scenic landscapes and obstructing blurred objects everywhere. Hint: they’re all dead bodies. [POLICYMIC]

If that’s not your gig, how about a map of solitude? Another new map available shows all the areas in America where nobody lives. [GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON]

And, finally, a map yet to be written. Meet Kepler-186f, the Earth’s cousin and possibly the greatest chance of finding life outside of Earth. Hopefully George RR Martin didn’t get there first. [THE ATLANTIC]