News Week Round Up [April 21, 2017] - P.O.W. Report

Friday, April 21, 2017

News Week Round Up [April 21, 2017]

Cranes and a Storm

Alaska Rep. Don Young files to run again in 2018

Alaska Dispatch News by Erica Martinson

Alaska's sole congressman went by election headquarters in Anchorage this week and filed to run again next year, offering a warning to any brewing opposition.

"Now, keep in mind, we're doing this because I believe in what I can do for the state of Alaska; I'm good at what I do; and you've been very supportive … So I'm filing early so those that might think about running or (that) I might retire, you can forget it," Young said in a video released by his office Thursday.

Young first came to represent Alaska in the U.S. House in 1973, in a special election held after Rep. Nick Begich, a Democrat, died in a plane crash.

In 2016, Young drew 50 percent of the vote, 14 points ahead of Democrat Steve Lindbeck. Libertarian Jim McDermott won 10 percent of the vote and independent Bernie Souphanavong drew just short of 3 percent of votes. [Source]

Juneau boundary expansion could threaten subsistence living in Angoon

KTOO by Emily Russell, KCAW-Sitka

The City and Borough of Juneau is looking to expand its boundaries on Admiralty Island.

That island is home to Angoon, a community of about 500 people, some of whom fear a nearby land annexation would threaten their subsistence lifestyle.

A meeting between Angoon and the City and Borough of Juneau was supposed to take place this week, but was canceled at the last minute.

Albert Howard grew up in Angoon. He’s served two terms as mayor, is now a member of the Regional School Board and serves as vice president of the local tribe.

“I pretty much lived here my whole life,” he said. “I know one end of the island to the other because I’ve hunted it with my dad and now I’m hunting it with my son.”

“Anything that happens on Admiralty Island is for the protection of the indigenous people of the Island,” Howard said. “It’s in (National) Monument language and it’s stated that way. You can find it online. It doesn’t say anything about the City and Borough of Juneau. That’s pretty clear in the language.”

Howard and others in Angoon are worried specifically about a place called Pack Creek.

It’s on eastern Admiralty about halfway between Angoon and Juneau.

Pack Creek is a popular bear-viewing place for tourists and hunting spot for locals.

Howard worries if that part of Admiralty Island is annexed, it’s resources could be auctioned off.

So why would Juneau want to annex the land if it can’t be logged or mined or commercially developed?

“There’s a lot of reasons,” Watt said. “If you look at the state and the constitution, the idea behind it is sooner or later the entire state ends up in a borough.”

So, basically incorporating it before anyone else does.

Alaska’s constitution says the state must be divided into boroughs, either organized or unorganized. [Source]

Pay attention POW! Hollis, Kasaan, Thorne Bay are all in danger of the same annexation coming in from Ketchikan!

Ketchikan Borough Assembly to review license for new brewery

KRBD by Leila Kheiry

Baleen Brewing Co.’s license application is on Monday’s Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly agenda for review. The Assembly can object to liquor license applications for certain reasons, such as if a business is delinquent on taxes.

According to a memo from Borough Clerk Kacie Paxton, the applicant, Alex MacGillivrey, has already registered to collect sales taxes, the business plan complies with zoning regulations, and Troopers expressed no concern about law enforcement problems related to the business.

The brewery would be located on Mizzen Lane, which is off North Point Higgins Road.

Ketchikan briefly had a downtown brewery that closed its doors many years ago, called Ketchikan Brewing Co. There’s been no local commercial brewery since. [Source]

Facts About Iodine

By Traci Pedersen, Live Science Contributor

Iodine is an essential element needed for life. It is best known for the vital role it plays in thyroid hormone production in humans as well as in all vertebrates. Iodine deficiency can lead to serious health problems, including goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), intellectual disability and cretinism.

As a pure element, iodine is a lustrous purple-black nonmetal that is solid under standard conditions. It sublimes (changes from a solid to a gaseous state while bypassing a liquid form) easily and gives off a purple vapor. Although it is technically a non-metal, it exhibits some metallic qualities.

Although iodine is not particularly abundant, it can be found in trace amounts nearly everywhere: water, soil, rocks, plants, animals and humans. Seawater is the largest reserve of iodine, holding about 34.5 million tons. But the concentrations are so low — averaging between 50 to 60 parts per billion (ppb) — that direct extraction is not feasible. Rivers contain less iodine, at approximately 5 ppb, according to Lenntech Water Treatment Solutions of Denmark.

Bernard Courtois, a French chemist, accidentally discovered iodine in 1811 during the Napoleonic Wars. Courtois was helping his father manufacture saltpeter — an important component in gunpowder that was in heavy demand at the time. Initially, he had been using wood ash as the source of potassium nitrate needed to make the saltpeter. However, due to a wood ash shortage, he began using seaweed instead. In order to isolate the sodium and potassium extracts from the seaweed, Courtois would burn the seaweed and wash the ash with water. Then, sulfuric acid was added to eliminate the leftover waste. After adding a little too much sulfuric acid one time, Courtois noticed a cloud of violet gas. He then discovered that the vapor would condense into deep violet crystals on cold surfaces.

The first iodized table salt was sold in Michigan in 1924. Before this, most people living along the coasts still got plenty of iodine just by being near the ocean and the coastal soil. People living further inland, however, were often iodine-deficient, resulting in a higher incidence of goiter. Once the connection between iodine deficiency and goiter was established, public health officials began looking for ways to alleviate the problem — eventually leading to iodized salt.

Photography was the first commercial use for iodine. In 1839, Louis Daguerre invented a method for producing images, called daguerreotypes, on thin sheets of metal. [Read the rest of the fun facts about iodine]

Tesla's Last Interview:

Tesla: Life is a rhythm that must be comprehended. I feel the rhythm and direct on it and pamper in it. It was very grateful and gave me the knowledge I have. Everything that lives is related to a deep and wonderful relationship: man and the stars, amoebas’ and the sun, the heart and the circulation of an infinite number of worlds. These ties are unbreakable, but they can be tame and to propitiate and begin to create new and different relationships in the world, and that does not violate the old.

Knowledge comes from space; our vision is its most perfect set. We have two eyes: the earthly and spiritual. It is recommended that it become one eye. Universe is alive in all its manifestations, like a thinking animal.

Stone is a thinking and sentient being, such as plant, beast and a man. A star that shines asked to look at, and if we are not a sizeable self-absorbed we would understand its language and message. His breathing, his eyes and ears of the man must comply with breathing, eyes and ears of the Universe. [Read the whole interview, it's very interesting]

Pot Breathalyzer Hits the Street

American police have for the first time used a marijuana breathalyzer to evaluate impaired drivers, the company behind the pioneering device declared Tuesday, saying it separately confirmed its breath test can detect recent consumption of marijuana-infused food.

The two apparent firsts allow Hound Labs to move forward with plans to widely distribute its technology to law enforcement in the first half of next year, says CEO Mike Lynn.

Lynn, an emergency room doctor in Oakland, California, also is a reserve officer with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and he helped pull over drivers in the initial field tests, none of whom were arrested after voluntarily breathing into the handheld contraption.

Two people admitted smoking marijuana within the past 30 minutes, Lynn says, and in a satisfying validation for his technology -- created with University of California chemistry assistance -- their readouts were much higher than the rest.

There's a two-part testing challenge now: confirming with laboratory equipment that the device gives accurate results, and then correlating specific measurements (given in picograms of THC) with levels of intoxication, a challenge that will include sending stoned drivers on an obstacle course -- something already done informally.

Law enforcement departments are being enlisted to help collect data that validates the test. The police chief of Lompoc, California, announced his department's participation in a statement Tuesday and Lynn says he hopes to provide the technology to a half-dozen departments over the next six months. [Read the full article]

I don't see this device being fully implemented because it's easily challenged in court if there isn't a secondary device to test toxicity. Case in point, DUI's are actually supposed to test the Alcohol BLOOD Level but because breathalyzers have become mainstreamed, most people don't realize that legally they can ask for a BLOOD and a Urine test to confirm that the breathalyzer isn't malfunctioning (spoiler: breathalyzers are unreliable).

If you talk to any lawyer, quite a few breathalyzers malfunction quite often--but because the accused didn't use a secondary form of measuring toxicity the police state got away with an easy charge and easy money. A pot breathalyzer in turn has no way to accurately test the toxicity of the user, like alcohol does. So unless, a secondary form of testing people who are high is developed--legally this type of testing will never pass....atleast not in the foreseeable future.

The lawyer who took on Big Tobacco and Enron is now going after Big Pharma for 'gouging' the American consumer

Class action attorney Steve Berman is coming after a drug industry he says is "gouging" the American consumer. And his suits have the potential to crack the lid on the black box of drug pricing, shedding light on a secretive process that has sparked an escalating blame game between drug makers and the many middlemen in the US health care system.

Berman sees the drug pricing system as a Rube Goldberg machine for extracting money from patients: Pharma sets a high price for a given medication, and then promises a big, undisclosed rebate to the pharmacy benefits managers who control which drugs get covered by insurers.

As prices go up, so too do the secret rebates. Berman's conclusion: The big guys get richer, and the patients pay the price.

So he's suing. One of his recent cases, against Mylan, argues that the company ran a racket with its infamous EpiPen, doling out kickbacks to PBMs to ensure its epinephrine primacy. Another, against the three biggest makers of insulin, accuses them of mounting an "arms race" of lockstep price increases to compensate for escalating rebates.

"The theme in all the cases is that the consumer is powerless, and the drug companies know that," Berman said in an interview. "It's completely opaque, so the drug companies will take advantage of that any time they can."

In the decades since, Berman has triumphed over big tobacco, major automakers, and multinational oil companies, securing billions of dollars in settlements and transforming his firm from a punchy upstart into a household name among corporate attorneys. In his retelling, he's always attorney to David, taking on corporate Goliaths with "squadrons of lawyers." [Article]

Clip of the Week:

Bonus: The Simpson's Take on Modern College

Read More: City of Craig Agenda for the April 20th Meeting + (Minutes from March 16 and April 6, 2017)

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