On the decision to fold these titles, Anton says, “These shutdowns are part of an ongoing process to right size our portfolio; like the builders in our audience, we simply had too much inventory. They had an oversupply of houses; we had an oversupply of advertising-driven media. Supply must match demand.” These changes come on the heels of Hanley Wood embarking on a “digital-first” approach that includes the centralization of editorial resources to Hanley Wood headquarters in Washington, D.C. At the time, Anton reiterated the importance of print to the company, “I emphasized that part of the process would be to make sure the magazines are protected and, in fact, would benefit from this reorganization–we will NOT stopping printing magazines.” In early August, Moody’s Investor Services said Hanley Wood revenue has fallen “below the level at which the company can cover its fixed costs and it continues to consume cash”, and the company will mostly likely have to restructure. Anton would not comment on the size of Hanley Wood’s debt or an impending restructure, saying only, “We strongly believe the company has sufficient liquidity to fund day-to-day operations in the foreseeable future.” Like the construction industry it follows, b-to-b publisher Hanley Wood continues to trim its business operations. FOLIO: has learned Building Products magazine will fold with its last 2011 issue, as will Big Builder magazine. These closures follow the sale of Pro AV to NewBay Media in mid-September.Though the website will still operate, eBuild.com (a directory of building materials and construction tools) will no longer develop its online product directory. Frank Anton, CEO of Hanley Wood LLC, tells FOLIO: in an email, “Our audience increasingly uses manufacturers’ websites to collect product information.”Anton says these changes are partially due to changing consumer habits, “Product tabloids [like Building Products] are no match for online search.”Big Builder’s closure is a result of the still struggling construction sector. “This magazine, which served a large volume builder market that has almost been destroyed by the housing downturn, no longer attracted sufficient advertising,” says Anton.
Photo sharing social media site Pinterest has ended its invite-only registration process and is now available for anyone to sign on. The platform has been one of the fastest-growing social sites since its launch, becoming the third most popular behind Facebook and Twitter, according to an Experian study earlier this year. While analytics wonks have been closely monitoring Pinterest’s growth curve, with some noting a recent slow-down, the site will likely spike in the near term now that the gates are open. In hindsight, the company has been ramping up for the public opening by introducing new categories and broadening others. In July, Pinterest added to its category menu to include Quotes, Tattoos and Weddings. Other category names were expanded—Pets became Animals and Prints & Posters became Illustrations & Posters, for example. And in May, Japanese ecommerce company Rakuten invested an Internet-bubble worthy $100 million in Pinterest, valuing the company at a reported $1.5 billion.
The DOD Education Activity has completed a draft assessment of the physical security of the department’s schools, following a request three months ago by the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The draft now is being reviewed by defense personnel officials and the military services. “We are looking at working with the services on how we can we improve, and what resources we can employ to prevent the unthinkable,” DODEA Director Thomas Brady told Military Times. No one has broached the possibility of arming teachers or other school employees, Brady said. … The Air Force Community Partnership (AFCP) program last week published the first edition of its new quarterly newsletter. (Scroll down and click on the “AFCP Newsletter” link in the right margin under “AFCP Resources.”) The inaugural issue highlights the service’s latest partnerships, the recent delegation of authority to installation commanders to enter into intergovernmental support agreements (IGSAs) and the program’s focus on enterprise-wide initiatives. Since the AFCP program began in 2013, 62 participating installations have forged 335 agreements with host communities, generating more than $50 million in savings to the federal government; 10 IGSAs have been signed to date, with at least seven in the pipeline.Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Joe Harwood Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Email News Sting To Receive Smithsonian Honor In September Smithsonian To Honor Sting sting-receive-smithsonian-honor-september Twitter Facebook GRAMMY winner to be honored at event celebrating “music, philanthropy and American culture”Philip MerrillGRAMMYs Aug 25, 2017 – 3:53 pm Dan Rather will be the moderator for “An Evening with Sting & J. Ralph” on Sept. 8 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, an event honoring the composers and celebrating “the important connections between music, philanthropy and American culture.”J. Ralph and Sting co-wrote “The Empty Chair” for the documentary Jim: The James Foley Story, about the director’s childhood friend, a conflict journalist murdered in Syria on a widely seen video.The song’s poignant American folk feel seems centuries old while completely in the moment, narrating the view from the deceased’s perspective. Sting gave a moving performance of “The Empty Chair” at the 89th Academy Awards.J. Ralph’s latest symphonic composition will have its world premiere at the event, after the discussion and Sting’s performance. With music featured on the soundtracks for the films Dude, Where’s My Car? and Lucky Number Slevin, J. Ralph has focused more on documentaries since, notably The Cove, Man On Wire and Virunga.Sting has won 16 GRAMMY Awards and has been nominated 44 times, and his interests and pursuits continue to reveal more to an admiring public. The two composers shared their Oscar nomination earlier this year — J. Ralph’s third, a unique success in the Best Original Song category for music from documentary films.Sting’s Tweet Praises Chris CornellRead more
See All Fortnite May 7 • 2020 Toyota Supra first drive review: More reset than reboot • Super Bowl 2019 Epic Games With the Super Bowl fast approaching, Epic Games decided to bring football uniform skins back to Fortnite: Battle Royale so you can represent your team while you play. Starting on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT), you’ll once again be able to purchase your favorite team’s uniform in male and female variants. And fans of Super Bowl competitors the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams can get a little something extra with alternative white versions of their respective uniforms being added for the first time. On Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT), Epic is also adding a football toy (much like the golf ball and basketballs previously seen in Fortnite) letting you get in the spirit of the big game by tossing around a digital pigskin.Fans of either the Patriots or Rams will also have the opportunity to duke it out in a limited-time mode called NFL Rumble LTM. This 20 vs. 20 match pits players in Rams uniforms against a rival team in Patriots garb to fight with unlimited respawns until one team is the victor. All of these football-themed items and game modes should be in play at least through the Super Bowl on Sunday, though Epic hasn’t given us a date for when they’ll go away. Like prior themed updates, they could be removed as soon as the weekly Fortnite patch next Tuesday. Share your voice Super Bowl 2019 Post a comment 0 Feb 7 • Every Avengers: Endgame character flash at the start of that Super Bowl trailer Tags reading • Fortnite brings back NFL outfits ahead of Super Bowl 2019 Feb 28 • Last chance to get 3 months of Mint Mobile service for $20 1:59 Best Super Bowl TV deals: Buying a new TV for the big game? These are your best choicesHow to watch the Super Bowl: Watch the game in the US for free, on TV or online Aug 14 • Raising the entry-level bar How to get your TV ready to watch the Super Bowl 17 Photos The 17 most anticipated video games of 2019 Video Games Now playing: Watch this:
2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Apple • Comment Apple: Get all your Apple news right here.Auto Tech: Interested in unique vehicle tech? This link’s for you. 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Tags Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 See All Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value More From Roadshow 17 Photos 1 Apple Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Share your voice Auto Tech Car Industry reading • Apple’s patent application could bring Touch ID or Face ID to the car Our favorite car tech and luxury features of 2018 While keys and key fobs offer some degree of security against vehicle theft, those parts themselves are also susceptible to theft. One of Apple’s newly published patent applications is aiming to add a few more layers of security, using a mobile device as a conduit.Apple’s patent application for a “System and method for vehicle authorization” was recently published online. The application, which was initially filed back in 2017, seeks to use mobile devices, and even biometric authentication, to add extra layers of security for a vehicle. As the patent application notes, “A vehicle with a key or a key fob provides rudimentary security and would benefit from many improvements.”The system’s workings are complex, but they wouldn’t appear so to the user. As the owner approaching a vehicle, that vehicle would send a signal to the mobile device, which would then communicate its approach back to the vehicle. The vehicle might request biometric authentication, which could be done on the mobile device, granting access to the car. Enlarge ImagePatent drawings aren’t usually of use to anyone but engineers and patent clerks, and Apple’s are no exception to that rule. USPTO It could go even further, using that biometric information to tell which registered user is approaching the vehicle. The car could then tailor various settings — seat position, radio favorites, things of that ilk — to the specific user. This bit isn’t entirely new, as seat and climate settings have been tied to individual key fobs in the past, but it adds a few extra layers of security on top. The application also mentions geofenced areas like gas stations. If the vehicle determined it was within a gas station’s geofence, for example, it could display a payment prompt on the user’s mobile device, sidestepping the payment process outside the vehicle. This isn’t new, either — GM’s Marketplace, which is already on new cars’ infotainment systems, allows for mobile payments to avoid card skimmers and other issues that could arise with card readers in public places.Adding biometric authentication to the car sounds right up Apple’s alley. Touch ID allowed for an extra layer of security when opening a phone or confirming a payment, and the newer Face ID tech does the same, albeit using a person’s face instead of their fingerprint. While it may be years away, or never see the light of day whatsoever, it’s still an interesting integration of Apple’s strengths with a market into which Apple is slowly wading.
Review • Pixel 3 review: The best Android phone of 2018 Google Pixel 3 $799 34 Photos Pixel 3 struts a polished and compact design Share your voice $849 $589 Phones Preview • Pixel 3 and 3 XL: Google’s nicest Pixel might lack that killer feature Walmart Now playing: Watch this: $812 10 tips and tricks for the Pixel 3 FCC Rumors Google 2:33 See It See It CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Mentioned Above Google Pixel 3 (64GB, not pink) News • Unlocked Google Pixel 3: Just $499.99 with this exclusive code The Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Angela Lang/CNET Shortly after Google introduced its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL flagship phones last year, rumors began to circulate that the company was planning to release cheaper versions of the devices. Unofficially called the Pixel 3 Lite and 3 XL Lite, the phones may have been spotted Monday in new FCC filings, 9to5Google reports. The Lite phones would be more affordable than the original Pixels, giving potential midrange phone buyers more options to consider.Earlier this month, it was suspected that the new phones were listed under the model numbers G020B, for the 3 Lite, and G020F, for the 3 XL Lite. Now six new additional listings popped up under Google’s name that could point to three different variants for each phone (possibly for different storage options). SAR levels and radiation reports, which every phone has to comply to with the FCC, were also included in the filings.The report lists a confidentiality agreement with the FCC that ends in August as well. Google usually debuts Pixel phones in October, which could mean that the Lite phones will roll out before the successors to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are announced. A few rumored specs for the Pixel 3 Lite include a Snapdragon 670 processor, a plastic body and the same camera as the Pixel 3. It may also be available through the US carrier Verizon by spring.Google did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Sprint See It 0 Tags Post a comment Best Buy See it
Comment Personal CareLike Google Assistant, Alexa’s repertoire of personal care commands is small. There is one Alexa skill in this category I love, though: My DermatologistTell Alexa, “Ask My Dermatologist what the UV index is today.” It’ll tell you the index for your ZIP code and whether you should wear sunscreen. My Dermatologist also offers skincare tips and information. Tell Alexa:”Alexa, ask My Dermatologist for my skin tip.””Alexa, tell My Dermatologist I need help.”MedicalFind healthcare providers, ask questions about symptoms and alert contacts when you need assistance with these Alexa skills.Ask My BuddyThis Alexa skill allows you to alert friends and family when you need help. It’s not a substitute for 911, but offers a great way to ask for help. You can alert just one person or your entire Personal Alert Network. Say:”Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert Mom.””Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert everyone.”Ask My Buddy will then send a text message, email or voice call to your contacts. WebMDWebMD can answer virtually any medical question you have about symptoms or a condition. Try these commands: “Alexa, open WebMD””Alexa, ask WebMD ‘what are the side effects of ibuprofen?'””Alexa, ask WebMD ‘what is diabetes?'”Virtual NurseAnother impressive Alexa skill, Virtual Nurse hands out detailed information on medical conditions, as well as interesting fun facts. Tell Alexa:”Alexa, open Virtual Nurse.””Alexa, ask Virtual Nurse what’s the normal temperature of a baby.””Alexa, ask Virtual Nurse what Warfarin does.”You may be able to take advantage of a few other Alexa skills for healthcare if you’re a member of certain services or groups: Express Scripts members can check the status of a home delivery prescription and get notifications when their prescriptions ship.Employees with Cigna Health Today can manage their health improvement goals and keep track of wellness incentives.Parents and caregivers of children who had surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital can use My Children’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery to get updates on recovery progress and post-op appointments.Swedish Health Connect customers can find nearby urgent care centers same-day appointments.Atrium Health customers in North and South Carolina can find a nearby urgent care centers and schedule a same-day appointments.Livongo members can pull up blood sugar readings and trends, and receive insights and personalized health “nudges.” 28 Photos Wellness SleepIf you have trouble falling asleep at night, enlist Alexa to help. Sleep RightWaking up refreshed is a phenomenon that goes deeper than just getting your eight hours — waking up at the wrong point in your sleep cycle can result in grogginess, no matter how long you slept. Sleep Right determines the best time for you to go to bed and wake up based on sleep cycles. “Alexa, ask Sleep Right what time I should go to bed.””Alexa, ask Sleep Right to help me get up before 6 AM”Read more: How to tell if you have sleep apneaSleep and Relaxation SoundsAlexa has a good deal of ambient sound skills, but this particular skill offers more than 125 different sounds to lull you to sleep. Tell Alexa:”Alexa, open Sleep Sounds.””Alexa, play Thunderstorm.””Alexa, play next.””Alexa, set a sleep timer for two hours.” How to use Alexa and still keep your privacy How to use your Amazon Echo as a personal fitness trainer 4 reasons to get an Amazon Echo for your grandparents 2:18 Alexa 101: What you should know about Amazon’s AI assistant MindMindfulness can slip by the wayside when you’re facing the daily hustle and bustle of life. Alexa makes it easier to prioritize your emotional state of being.Guided Meditation: Meditation of the Day for Calm This Alexa skill comes from the developers behind Stop, Breathe & Think, a great meditation app for emotional wellness. Tell Alexa:”Alexa, open Guided Meditation.””Alexa, ask Guided Meditation to play meditation.””Alexa, play next.”Make Me SmileThis fun Alexa skill brightens your day with happy fun facts. Just say, “Alexa, make me smile,” and it’ll tell you something uplifting.Read more: The 10 best meditation apps of 2019HeadspaceEven if you don’t subscribe to the paid version of Headspace, you can enable daily meditations for free. To get more meditations, connect to your Headspace account. To meditate, tell Alexa:”Alexa, tell Headspace I’m ready to meditate””Alexa, open Headspace”Spa MusicIf guided meditation isn’t your jam, you can launch Spa Music to play soothing soundtracks while you meditate or relax on your own. Just say, “Alexa, play Spa Music.” Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: 1 The battle for the best smart display: Google Home Hub… 39 Photos The 15 coolest things you can do with your Amazon Echo 4:05 More Alexa tips Healthy eatingMyFitnessPalYou can use Alexa with MyFitnessPal Lite or premium. Alexa can handle just about anything you’d need to open the app on your phone for. Try saying:”Alexa, open MyFitnessPal.””Alexa, ask MyFitnessPal how am I doing today.””Alexa, tell MyFitnessPal to log my weight.”H2O-PalIf you want to track water only, H20-Pal serves as a handy Alexa skill. You can tell Alexa: “Alexa, ask H2O-Pal how close am I to reaching my daily goal.””Alexa, tell H2O-Pal I drank eight ounces of water.”Alexa’s Daily Health TipThis Alexa skill wants you to focus on the little victories. Say, “Alexa, launch Daily Health Tip,” and she’ll tell you one thing you should focus on for the day. For example, it might tell you to watch your salt intake or focus on reaching your step goal. Track by NutritionixWith Food Tracker, keeping a food diary is easier than ever. You can log foods via voice commands, as well as get calorie information. Try these commands:”Alexa, open Food Tracker.””Alexa, tell Food Tracker I had two eggs for breakfast.””Alexa, tell Food Tracker to log a cup of skim milk.””Alexa, ask Food Tracker how many calories are in two slices of wheat toast.” Our 5 favorite things to do with Alexa Like the Google Home, Amazon’s smart Echo speakers boast a vast collection of skills to make your life easier. More than just a fun companion, Alexa can check your bank account balance, call you an Uber, check the weather and give you travel recommendations. But did you know Alexa can even serve as your very own personal trainer, meditation instructor, virtual nurse and sleep machine? Read more: Workplace burnout is now an official medical diagnosis | ‘Gaming disorder’ deemed an official illness by World Health Organization | What it’s like inside the doctor’s office of the futureFitnessAlexa works with tons of fitness apps, and as such, it’s a pretty great fitness coach. FitbitIf you connect your Fitbit to your Amazon Alexa account, Alexa will tell you stats like how many more steps you need for the day, how much deep sleep you got the night before and more. Just say:”Alexa, ask Fitbit how I’m doing today.””Alexa, ask Fitbit how I slept last night.””Alexa, ask Fitbit how much water I need to drink today.”Connect your Fitbit to your Amazon account to ask Alexa about your daily activity. Sarah Tew/CNET Motiv RingThe Motiv fitness ring also syncs with Alexa. Tell Alexa:”Alexa, open Motiv Ring””Alexa, ask Motiv Ring for my stats””Alexa, ask Motiv Ring for my heart rate.”Five Minute Workout: Core and CardioIn a pinch for time? Tell your Echo, “Alexa, open Five Minute Workout” and Alexa will guide you through a five-minute routine to get your heart rate up.Your Morning RoutineFitness isn’t always about long distances and heavy weights. I like this Alexa skill because it’s something most people need but often neglect. Say, “Alexa, open your morning routine,” and it’ll guide you through a 20-minute stretch session that targets your ankles, back, knees and hips. Tags Now playing: Watch this: Alexa Amazon
Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download AudioOil Producers Get Break On Alaska Property TaxesThe Associated PressPublic documents show Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration worked out a deal with Alaska’s major oil producers that allows the companies to withhold tens of millions of dollars in property taxes.Alaska GOP Aims To Block Party CoupsAlexandra Gutierrez, APRN – JuneauThe Alaska Republican Party has taken measures to prevent a takeover by libertarian and Tea Party activists. The new rules say a person has to be registered as a Republican for at least four years before seeking a top leadership position, and they require all candidates for the party’s statewide offices to be vetted by a special committee before they can run. The rules were adopted on Saturday, at the Alaska Republican Party’s biannual convention.Alaska Villages Find Success With Wind-Diesel Energy CombinationJoaqlin Estus, KNBA – AnchorageIt’s hard to use wind as a main power source because it fluctuates. But four small Alaskan villages have succeeded in creating an innovative wind-diesel system that works even in harsh, variable weather conditions.‘Second Shake’ Rattles Noatak, Northwest Brooks RangeMatthew Smith, KNOM – NomeJust two weeks after the strongest earthquake in the region in more than 30 years, residents of Noatak and others near the far western edge of the Brooks Range felt another series of powerful quakes over the weekend.Warm, Dry Weather Prompts Southeast Alaska Fire WarningEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauA fire warning issued last week for northern Southeast Alaska has been expanded to the whole region.Breakup Underway Along Yukon RiverEmily Schwing, KUAC – FairbanksBreakup along the Yukon River is underway. Warm temperatures over the weekend and low water levels mean river ice is rotting in place before it has a chance to jam up.State Hurrying To Update Rural Infrastructure Before Federal Dollars DiminishZachariah Hughes, KNOM – NomeFederal money for rural infrastructure is drying up, and state agencies are overhauling projects while they still can. With Alaska’s brief construction season about to begin, state officials are hurrying to bring airfields, roads, and other Bush infrastructure up to standard before funds get scarce.Burst Water Pipe Likely Cause For Skagway Ferry Dock SinkingMargaret Friedenauer, KHNS – HainesState transportation officials agree that a burst water pipe likely caused the Skagway ferry dock to sink last month. Repairs continue in hopes of getting the dock operational and returning ferry service to the Southeast community within the next week.The state is making repairs and some modifications to the dock now that it’s floating again.Department of Transportation spokesperson Jeremy Woodrow says it’s not yet known how much the salvage and repairs from the sinking will cost the state.Woodrow says the state is hoping to resume ferry service to Skagway on May 11. A final decision on that timeline will be made later this week, he said.Alaska Airlines Center Adds New Dining OptionJosh Edge, APRN – AnchorageWith around four months left until it’s slated to open, the University of Alaska Anchorage is tweaking the design of its new sports complex. The university has decided to add a new restaurant in an effort to draw in the surrounding community.Juneau Considers Solutions To Housing ShortageCasey Kelly, KTOO – JuneauCity officials are hoping to address Juneau’s longstanding housing shortage by opening more public land to development.The Juneau Planning Commission recently recommended about 150 acres of city-owned land on Pederson Hill be rezoned to allow a residential neighborhood to be built. The idea is to copy the early 20th century-style subdivisions of downtown Juneau and Douglas. But not everybody is happy about the proposal.
Download AudioAfter Pearl Harbor was attacked, Juneau’s Japanese population was forced from their homes and sent to internment camps in the Lower 48. Teenager John Tanaka was among those shipped out. He was the valedictorian of Juneau High School in 1942, but didn’t get to graduate with everyone else. An empty wooden chair was put on stage in his place. Now, a bronze replica of that chair will remain at the Capitol School Park permanently. The sculpture was dedicated at a memorial to the interned on Saturday.
The recreational marijuana industry in Juneau won’t be growing when it was originally scheduled as the city won’t be accepting conditional use permits for marijuana businesses until next year.The Juneau Empire reports that the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly unanimously voted Monday to extend the moratorium on accepting or processing marijuana business permits through Dec. 31.The moratorium was established in January and was slated to end in mid-October. Officials say the extension is to give the city more time to set zoning rules.
The elders move to different parts of the room. Most get a snack. Some start a game of Rummy or begin quilting. Others watch Jeopardy. I approach one elder, eating a pastry and wearing a big red sun hat.Catherine Peters is 82. “Or am I 83?” she laughs. Peters said she lives with her son who works during the day. She can’t cook or leave the house by herself. All this, she said, makes the Senior Center so important.“Sometimes we’re lonesome at home,” Peters said. “Our families can’t be all the time with us in the home. I’ll miss talking with my friends here. Even if I can’t see or hear, they come to me, and that makes my day happy and cheerful.”ONC Senior Services will still deliver a meal to 50 seniors around Bethel Monday through Friday. And ONC will still drive seniors to the post office, bank, and grocery stores, but that route will happen once instead of three times a week. They’ll also continue helping elders with paperwork like paying bills and requesting prescription refills.ONC’s long-term goal is to build a Senior Center of its own and give its elders a place to gather and eat throughout the week. As of now, there’re no set plans for making that happen. Bethel’s Senior Center is closing its doors to seniors. Orutsararmuit Native Council, or ONC, runs the program and will keep many of its services. But starting next month, it will no longer offer a space for seniors to gather, talk, and eat. Seniors will remain fed and supported, but they could be spending a lot more time alone.Catherine Peters, age 82, playing bingo at the ONC Senior Center. (Photo by Dean Swope, KYUK – Bethel)Download AudioIt’s 9:30 in the morning at the ONC Senior Center. Albert Kawagley and I are waiting a half hour for the other elders to show up.Kawagley: I’m 67, going on 68, a young man yet. [Laughs]Albert’s been coming to the center every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for six years. He said many of the elders grew up in Bethel and have known each other since childhood.KYUK: What will you miss most when this closes down?Kawagley: My friends, playing cards with my friends here and not just watching the four walls that surround me.The closure is happening July 1. At that time, elders will no longer have a place to eat lunch, talk and play bingo three days a week.Elders play bingo at the ONC Senior Center. (Photo by Dean Swope, KYUK – Bethel)Program Director Nikki Hoffman said ONC is closing the center to prevent a $200,000 budget deficit.“What I fear with the lost of this program is a risk for isolation and loneliness and their primary care providers could increase risk for burn out,” Hoffman said.The program mainly runs off state grants but the funding problem isn’t with the state’s budget cuts. It’s with the Senior Center itself, housed in the Lion’s Club building.“The grant award that we get for the adult day is $111,000,” Hoffman said. “75% of that would be used directly for the facility.”Three positions are also being cut. One of those, the Program Manager, is held by Denise Kinegak.z”And so this is what they do,” Kinegak said. “They usually come in, wash up, and then they head over here. Check our the birds, of course. Whenever we get new food donations, they’re always quick to check out what we have, so they know what’s in stock.”The birds are about a dozen ducks and geese lying on a table—subsistence donations that will be taken home and used in future lunches.
That’s a traditional South of the border tune, but don’t be surprised that the singers are not Mexican. They’re actually Korean.The Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata will occur in Anchorage Oct. 4 and 5. (Photo courtesy of Gracias Choir)The Gracias Choir originated in South Korea and is affiliated with the International Youth Foundation, a Christian based, but non-denominational non profit that works with youth around the world. It is a lavish stage production, with acts centered on the traditional story of Jesus’ birth. The program presents simple solos of well known Christmas songs, too, along with thundering renditions of Handel’s best known work.According to their site, “The Gracias Christmas Cantata is a show-stopping musical experience that has amazed audiences all across America since 2011. From LA to NYC and everywhere in between.” (Photo courtesy of Gracias Choir)There are 120 people in the orchestra and choir, and every one of them is a volunteer. The tour and stage production are fully funded through donations.The whole choir joins in the special Christmas concert. Choir member Gyunsoo Park said “everyone puts their whole heart into it to come up with ideas for the show”Julie Pak said the choir sends a powerful message to young people.“This choir didn’t start off professionally,” Pak said. “They started in a small room with 9 people. They wanted to bring joy to people’s hearts through this music. And they had the one dream that they could be one day the world’s best choir. They are the world’s best choir.”She said going toward a dream with determination can fulfill that dream.The Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata show plays October 4 and 5 at Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage. The show is free, but get there early, as it is first come first serve. “As volunteers of this organization, we go to Mexico to teach English camps,” Pak said. “I myself have been to Mexico five times, to teach English, and this year will be my sixth time on winter break to do these camps.”Julie said her link to IYF is through an Anchorage church.So the Mexico-Korea connection resulted in the choir’s name Gracias, which means “Thank you” in Spanish.“They are called the Gracias Choir because they sing out of their hearts because they want to bring joy to other people,” Pak said.Volunteers, like Pak, have been passing out free tickets, and brochures to advertise the upcoming Anchorage performance. The October show is all about the Christmas season The world’s best choir is planning a free concert in Anchorage Oct. 4 and 5. The Gracias Choir and Orchestra brings a bit of Christmas flavor to Alaska in October, and the family-friendly show depends on a network of enthusiastic volunteers to make it happen.Listen nowThe award winning Gracias Choir (Photo courtesy of Gracias Choir)Julie Pak has got her running shoes on. The UAA student is one of the volunteer organizers helping to produce the Gracias Choir show at Anchorage’s Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, and she dashed from a late class to publicize the event. Pak can’t help but blurt out that the choir took first place in last year’s choral competition in Germany“They have never won second place,” Pak said. “It’s always been first place prize. Last year, it was the biggest choral competition in Germany, and this was the most prestigious choir competition from all over the world. And the Gracias choir won the grant prize in Germany, out of all the choirs, and that is why we are able to say boldly, they are the world’s best choir.”Awards from Italy, Switzerland and South Korea are on the choir’s wall as well. When you think Gracias Choir.. think TV’s Glee with lush sets, brilliant costumes and unbounded youthful energy on an international scale.
View of Palmer. Photo: Flickr, AK_AV8TORListen nowThousands of people in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough just outside the city limits of Wasilla and Palmer are not covered by city police and rely solely on overworked Alaska State Troopers.As residents of the ever-growing borough grapple for solutions to spiking crime, one idea is expanding the cities’ police service to those outer areas. But, at least in Palmer, city officials say that would be expensive, difficult and unlikely to happen any time soon.About 7,000 people live inside Palmer city limits. It would nearly double the police department’s budget — adding an estimated $3 million every year — to provide police service to another 6,500 people in unincorporated areas nearby, according to a study compiled by the police department at the city’s request.The idea has come up at recent town hall meetings in the area, Palmer City Manager Nathan Wallace said.“It’s not going to be easy or quick, whatever happens,” Wallace said.The Palmer City Council took up the issue this week with a brief discussion on the study. They found that an expansion would likely require the annexation of outlying areas or a contract with the borough to pay for more police officers, Wallace said. Either idea might be unpopular and increase property taxes, he said.“It’s not something that we would just go out and say, ‘OK, we’re going to provide some police services, thank you very much.’ It’s something that has to start really at the citizens’ level, (those) that live outside the cities,” Wallace said.The talks in Palmer are just one part of a broader discussion on crime and policing in the surrounding Mat-Su Borough. A recent study by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center shows staffing of Alaska State Troopers in the region is one trooper per 2,000 residents, less than a third of the national average.In a letter to the Alaska Legislature and Gov. Bill Walker this week, Borough Mayor Vern Halter described the situation in one subdivision just outside Wasilla as “a public safety emergency.” Halter said the state needs to fund more trooper positions in the borough.
The smoke plume of the Livingston Fire approximately 15 miles southwest of Fairbanks in the Rosie Creek area as seen from Mile 339 of the Parks Highway early Sunday evening. (Don Anderson/Alaska Division of Forestry)A shed and an outhouse.Those are the only structures that have burned in Alaska’s wildfire season this summer, according to officials.Listen nowWildfires have burned just 270,000 acres in the state this year. That’s far short of the 1.2 million acres that burn during a normal season.“In the press release I’m just writing up, I used the word ‘largely uneventful,’” state Division of Forestry spokesman Tim Mowry said.The division is one of several state and federal agencies responsible for fighting wildfires in Alaska.On Tuesday, those agencies said they’re sending 100 of Alaska’s wildland firefighters out-of-state. Five crews are flying to Idaho to be dispatched to fires around the Western U.S.The main cause for this year’s slow fire season? Mowry says there haven’t been any long periods of hot, dry weather.There have still been 288 fires in Alaska this year. And they’ve burned 425 square miles — more than a third of the area of Rhode Island.But most of those fires have been far from densely populated areas.Two blazes are currently getting serious attention from firefighters. They’re outside the tiny village of Chalkyitsik. That’s about 170 miles northeast of Fairbanks.James Nathaniel is Chalkyitsik’s tribal administrator.“Everybody was getting excited because you could actually see the smoke coming from the fire,” Nathaniel said.Lightning started the two fires in early July.Officials say the area where they’re burning, the Yukon Flats, is among the driest in the state. But firefighters are now making progress in getting them under control.Even without fires threatening urban areas, the state has still budgeted about $23 million for firefighting and prevention this year.Some crews have been fighting fires. Others have been working on projects to create barriers, to make it easier to stop fires when they start in the future.Mowry said it’s worth paying to have crews on hand in case a major blaze breaks out.“That’s how this business works is, you can’t just flip a switch and have people there, ready to go,” Mowry said. “There’s a lot of planning and training and everything every year that goes into this.”
The priority plan and lesson script for Nicole Holta’s second grade reading lessons. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)Anchorage School District teachers have a new contract after months of negotiation. While there’s been a lot of focus on the salary increases, many teachers are just as interested in a change that allows for more flexibility in developing lessons.Nicole Holta is a second grade teacher at Scenic Park Elementary School. She has more than a decade of experience teaching reading to her class. She says she’s always followed a curriculum, but she used to have the freedom to introduce activities or supplemental materials to focus on individual student needs. A year ago, the school district mandated a new reading curriculum — which includes priority plans and scripts for the lessons. Holta says there wasn’t a lot of room for interpretation.“When we were trained on the materials, it was the expectation that we follow them,” Holta said.The district implemented the changes in an effort to boost reading test scores in the district. District-wide, about 54 percent of Anchorage students had below average reading scores during the last statewide standardized test.Holta’s colleague Jennifer Kueter understands the idea behind the new curriculum. But she says in practice, it wasn’t working for most of her first grade students.“So, your high [performing] students, this is a skill they already know, are forced to sit through it and get bored and get antsy,” Kueter said. “And then your struggling kids, they just kind of tune out because they know it’s gonna be hard. And they’re just gonna let the high kids choral answer, it’s all choral answer, we all repeat together. Well they just don’t answer.”Kueter says there were some benefits to more deliberate curriculum. But she lacked the freedom to adjust her lessons to individual student needs.The priority plans list out, to the minute, how each class should go — complete with the exact language to use with students (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)Superintendent Deena Bishop oversaw similar curriculum changes when she was the superintendent of the Matanuska Susitna Borough School District. On standardized tests the district went from being the worst performing district among the five largest districts in the state, to the highest performing for the last two years.Bishop says the Anchorage curriculum was made with participation from about 60 teachers from around the district.“When we discussed the issues, it’s about are we teaching kids the standards for which they need to learn to move to the next grade level,” Bishop said.The lesson plans and scripts received a lot of backlash from teachers. During public testimony at Anchorage School Board meetings this fall, teachers spoke for hours about the negative impacts they felt they were seeing in their classrooms. During one meeting, teachers staged a walkout to illustrate their frustration. All of this was happening while the Anchorage Education Association, the union that represents teachers, negotiated new contracts with the district.Union president Tom Klaameyer says that the new contracts do a better job of providing academic freedom to teachers.“We got specific language in here to make sure that teachers can modify curriculum according to their students learning styles and needs, and respond in real-time, right now, to what the students need at the moment,” Klaameyer said.The contracts add language that says teachers have more freedom to frame their lessons. The curriculum isn’t different, but teachers have a little more flexibility to add different materials that relate to their lessons, or do more small-group exercises to focus on individual student needs.Additionally, a new section of the contract allows for committees to be created that would present new academic recommendations to the Superintendent. The committee would be made up of union-appointed teachers.Superintendent Bishop is happy with the changes. She says the new contract allows for a better balance between the art of teaching and the science of learning.“It’s honoring and understanding that art of teaching and people bringing their profession and their expertise to the table. And also looking at data of kids,” Bishop said.Scenic Park teacher Jennifer Kueter say she’s optimistic the new contracts will help give teachers some much needed flexibility.“The academic freedom doesn’t say, I can do whatever I want to,” Kueter said. “I mean it really is small in what they’re saying, but it is allowing us to have some choice. And it is allowing, I’m hoping, to work in small groups, to do some of those things we’ve always been doing.”Most of the new contract changes will start to kick in once students and teachers get back from winter break next month.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @AKPublicNews Alaska’s US senators veer apart on shutdown votesLiz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.Two competing bills to end the partial government shutdown both fizzled. Alaska’s senators took different tacks.Shutdown puts strain on some Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizationsRenee Gross, KBBI – HomerSome Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizations are dipping into reserves in order to pay for services that the federal government usually covers.Dunleavy appointee accused of lying about his credentialsRashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – JuneauDepartment of Administration Commissioner-designee John Quick’s resume contains factual inaccuracies.Dunleavy appoints marijuana critic to pot boardAssociated PressA woman involved in a failed ban on marijuana operations in Fairbanks has been appointed to the board that regulates Alaska’s legal marijuana industry.State trooper charged with illegal use of computerCasey Grove, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageAn Alaska State Trooper serving on active duty with the Alaska National Guard has been arrested and charged with two felony counts of illegal use of a computer.Sitka police chief asks assembly to raise officer salaries in response to turnoverKatherine Rose, KCAW – SitkaConcerns over a hostile workplace culture surfaced Tuesday night, during a presentation to the Sitka Assembly calling for higher police wages.Alaska notifies 87,000 people after computer security breachAssociated PressAlaska officials say about 87,000 letters were sent to those possibly affected by a computer security breach at the state Division of Public Assistance last year.Federal court employees to work without pay if shutdown extends to FebruaryMatt Miller, KTOO – JuneauU.S. Courts say they have enough money to continue operating until Jan. 31. But after that, court employees and federal public defenders will be working without pay.Sea lion bites fisherman’s leg in Southwest AlaskaAssociated PressA sea lion bit a fisherman on his leg in a harbor in southwest Alaska, marking a fishing town’s third attack in two years by the marine mammals.Cordova’s Ice Worm festival to commence this weekendShahmeer Azmat, KCHU – ValdezThe City of Cordova is gearing up for one of its biggest festivals celebrating one of its tiniest residents. The 59th annual Iceworm Festival is a week-long community event, from January 26 through February 2, aiming to lift the winter blues.Russian Orthodox Christians celebrate Theophany on icy KuskokwimJacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – JuneauRussian Orthodox parishioners gathered in Bethel Jan. 19 to observe the Russian Orthodox holy day of Theophany.
Despite these uncertain times, Hood says he isn’t ready to move his family. This dog-sized piece of granite rock, called a glacial erratic, stands naturally balanced on the edge of Mendenhall Glacier. The adjacent pool of water has spilled over from an ice dam that is holding back most of the water in Suicide Basin. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO) But for nine months, when class is in session, Hood’s salary comes from the university. And right now, there are some big unknowns about potential cuts to programs and if enough funding will be available. So Hood says some expansive research projects — involving teams of people across the state — could unravel. Eran Hood is a professor at the University of Alaska Southeast. He’s training the next wave of environmental scientists, and he’s helping the capital city track potential climate disasters. And Hood says that’s leaving a lot of researchers hanging in the balance. He thinks if the cuts are that deep a lot of faculty are going to leave the state. The University system is still trying to figure out if it will make a declaration, which would make it possible to more rapidly downsize and reduce staff. In the meantime, Hood is spending his summer doing what he’s always done: Monitoring the changes in his backyard. He researches avalanches and glacial flooding events, among other things. Hood says all of the money for those types of projects is generated by him and his collaborators. But there’s growing uncertainty about the future of such projects with steep cuts to state funding. Earlier this week, university President Jim Johnson addressed how the institution will weather these cuts and the potential loss of research funding. “And when they leave the state that expertise goes with them,” Hood said. One faculty member in Juneau is hoping he doesn’t have to relocate. That helps pay for things like travel logistics, lab analysis and research assistance. Alaska glaciers are contributing to more sea level rise than any other mountain glaciers on Earth. He acknowledged eyes are on Alaska. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is known as a global leader in Arctic research, and climate change in the Arctic, Johnson said, is an issue of national security. Alaska is experiencing an unusually hot summer and researchers across the state are tracking the effects. The University of Alaska system is known as a leader in climate change research — studying melting permafrost to shrinking glaciers. “I’ve brought in more funding to the university then the university has paid me in salary over the years,” Hood said. The University of Alaska faces reductions in state money. On top of that, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has vetoed another $130 million. The Alaska Legislature has yet to decide if it will restore any of that cut. Eran Hood, at the University of Alaska Southeast, says his work is also crucial for the state and the rest of the world. “I still feel like I want to stay here,” Hood said. “I want to do research here. So I’m pretty committed to making that work.” “We could leave a tremendous amount of federal research money on the table,” Hood said. And so could tens of millions of federal dollars for climate change research. That money isn’t necessarily tied to the university. Many of the projects belong to the faculty who applied for the federal grants. Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the Alaska Legislature could choose to restore the University system funding. However, the deadline to override the Governor’s vetoes has passed.
Zaheerabad: TRS leaders and activists celebrated MLA Manik Rao’s birthday at RL Convention centre on Tuesday. MLC Md Fareeduddin, TRS activists and officials participated in the event. Notebooks and pens were distributed to students. TRS activists conducted a plantation drive as part of Haritha Haram programme.
Hyderabad: A coffee table book titled “Hyd and Seekh”, conceptualised and authored by Sahil Verma, was released at Hotel Park, Somajiguda here on Saturday. Hema Chennupati, principal, Oakridge School and other guests were all praise for the passion and focus of Sahil Verma in bringing out the book, which started as a school project to take shape of present work par excellence. Sahil Verma, who is just 15 years old student, thanked his grandparents, parents, teachers and others for their encouragement and support.