Favorite Link Friday April 29, 2016 - P.O.W. Report

Friday, April 29, 2016

Favorite Link Friday April 29, 2016

Alaska Job Opportunity (US Census Tribal Community Partnership Specialist)

[Full Application description here]

In preparation for the 2020 Decennial Census, the U.S. Census Bureau is seeking to hire a Tribal Community Partnership Specialist for Alaska. According to the recruitment bulletin, the Partnership Specialist is responsible for developing partnerships with state, local, and tribal governments, as well as other entities. Please follow this link to learn more about this and other job opportunities in Alaska with the U.S. Census Bureau.

Applications for the Tribal Community Partnership Specialist position must be received by May 9, 2016. See the recruitment bulletin for more details.

Alaska is among states most vulnerable to corruption, expert testifies

An expert witness and preeminent historian of Alaska politics testified Wednesday about why Alaskans are wary of corruption and political meddling from Outsiders, a view that laid the groundwork for the argument that Alaska’s current campaign contribution limits are appropriate.

Gerald McBeath’s testimony came as the state builds its defense to a constitutional challenge before U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess in a lawsuit that seeks to strike down political contribution limits in Alaska, including the $500 annual cap that individual donors can give to candidates, an amount Alaska voters overwhelmingly approved in 2006.

An author of a book that examined the state’s dependence on the oil industry as well as other works, McBeath said Alaska’s particular vulnerability stems from the state government’s heavy reliance on revenues from the oil industry, a political system that permits just 10 senators in the 20-member Alaska Senate to block legislation, and a remote, small population in a state where independent watchdog groups have minimal oversight.

Following questioning from Burgess and later Clarkson about a key topic in the case — what is the appropriate contribution limit in Alaska — McBeath said the $500 cap on individual contribution limits, which also includes contributions to groups that aren’t political parties, is important because a skeptical public has said so.

The limit is also important because it reduces the temptation an elected official will take an action in exchange for cash or gifts — essentially quid-pro-quo corruption. [Full Source]

Here's what Alaska's marijuana bars may look like

No happy hours, but serving food and non-alcoholic beverages would be allowed in Alaska’s marijuana cafes, according to draft rules accepted by the state’s Marijuana Control Board.

On Tuesday, the board agreed on draft regulations that show the first details of what the “on-site consumption” area, akin to a café or bar, would look like. The draft now heads to the public for comment.

Alaska is the only state where regulators have carved out in their rules a public place where people can go to smoke or eat cannabis.

Here are the details of the first draft:

Existing marijuana retail stores would apply for a separate license for the consumption area, which would have to be located on the same premises. The area could be either indoors or outdoors, but must be separate from the retail store, with its own door, serving area and ventilation system. Businesses would pay a $1,000 fee for what the board calls the “on-site consumption endorsement.”

As with a bar or café, people would purchase small amounts of marijuana to consume on-site. People would not be allowed to bring their own cannabis to smoke or eat.

To avoid overconsumption, the board would set limits on how much could be sold in a single transaction. A person could buy only 1 gram of marijuana bud, marijuana edibles with 10 milligrams of THC, or 0.25 grams of marijuana concentrates. If a person didn’t finish the marijuana, they would have to leave it behind to be destroyed.

In another notable development from Tuesday’s meeting, the board allowed stalled applications to move forward by authorizing the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office to deem applications complete before the results of national background checks are in.

Potential marijuana businesses began applying for licenses on Feb. 24, but so far, none have been deemed complete. That’s because the staff of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office was waiting until the board had the ability to process national background checks, although there was no statutory requirement to do so, the board's general counsel, Harriet Milks, said Tuesday. [Full Source]

Japanese Monks Recorded the Local weather for 700 Years

Lake Suwa sits within the Kino Mountains of central Japan, in a area generally referred to as the Japanese Alps. When the lake freezes over, pure scorching springs below its floor preserve its water circulating, and that motion creates a ridge within the ice. Legend has it that the ridge, referred to as the omiwatari, is shaped by the toes of the Shinto gods as they cross the lake. Yearly since at the very least 1443, the clergymen who stay on the shrine on the sting of Lake Suwa have fastidiously recorded the date the ridge seems.

John Magnuson, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was introduced to the Japanese and Finnish data in the 1990s, when he convened an international group of scientists to compare ice records from across the Northern Hemisphere. Only recently, however, did Magnuson team up with ecologist Sapna Sharma of Toronto’s York University for a more detailed analysis of the very longest records. Magnuson, Sharma and their colleagues arranged for translations of the notations—some of which were made on fragile rice paper—consulted experts about local conditions, and, in the case of the Lake Suwa data, struggled to decode a calendar that not only differed from the Western calendar but varied depending on which shrine was using it. “It was a truly interdisciplinary project,” says Sharma.

The results of their study, published today in Nature Scientific Reports, show that since the Industrial Revolution, changes in the timing of freeze and thaw have accelerated, and suggest that the yearly rhythm of the ice in both places has become more closely tied to the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Extreme events have become more common, too: In the first 250 years that Shinto priests recorded the appearance of the ice ridge on Lake Suwa, for instance, there were only three years during which the lake did not freeze. Between 1955 and 2004, there were 12 freeze-free years on Lake Suwa; between 2005 and 2014, there were five. (Magnuson reports that the lake did not freeze during the winters of 2015 or 2016, either.) [Full Source]

Alaska Crab Mac & Cheese Receipt

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Mosquito Season

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