News Week Round Up [May 18, 2017] - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, May 18, 2017

News Week Round Up [May 18, 2017]

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An early motorhome built in 1926

Census Job in Craig:

PSP Warning in Southeast and Craig

Maranda Hamme, Environmental Coordinator, collected samples at Fish Egg Point (Craig, AK) and detected toxic phytoplankton in the water and shellfish. The toxin levels are over the FDA regulatory limit for human consumption. We do NOT recommend harvesting shellfish at this time. Another update will be posted in the following week.

State House, Senate call for each other to give ground, Walker hopes for compromise

By Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media

Talk on the first day of the legislative special session focused on whether the House and Senate can compromise on a plan to balance the state’s budget in the future.

Senate leaders said the House must move in their direction. But House leaders said the Senate must do the same.

Independent Gov. Bill Walker said he’s hopeful the two sides can reach an agreement.
“People in this building including myself are doing things that – it’s not about what we want to do, what we like to do — it’s what we have to do,” he said. “That’s sort of the uncomfortable message throughout this building, but it’s happening. It’s, you know, very different than last year.”

The House majority supports an income tax or another tax that balances the impact of the budget plan across different income groups. They also want to raise oil and gas taxes.

Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, said he’s concerned about the effect on the private sector of tax increases. He said he’d like to avoid notices of government layoffs on June 1, but the Legislature must protect the private sector as well.

“We don’t want families to be frightened, they’re going to start having to make decisions and we don’t want families to go through that,” Kelly said of public workers. “Ultimately that just may be the collateral damage of getting these kinds of larger dealt with. Our hope is that they don’t get laid off.” [Story]

Canada's Trudeau visits Seattle. Protesters slam his pipelines


As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Seattle Wednesday, protesters rallied on the steps of the Canadian consulate downtown.

The Native and environmental activists were protesting pipelines Trudeau approved in November, including the Trans Mountain pipeline that would multiply oil tanker traffic through British Columbia and Washington waters up to sevenfold.

Protesters on Wednesday staged a mock oil spill in front of the Canadian consulate.

“I want Trudeau to know that if he does end up building this pipeline, if he allows it to go through those lands, he will have resistance from the people. We will not allow this pipeline to get to our ocean,” Vanessa Castle, a member of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe in Port Angeles, said.

"This will be affecting all of our salmon, all of our whales. Oil tanker traffic will be running down through the Salish Sea and out through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which is my front yard,” she said.

The Trans Mountain pipeline would carry heavy oil from the tar sands of Alberta to Vancouver, B.C. Tankers would then carry that oil through Canadian and U.S. waters.

In November, Trudeau said if the pipelines weren't built, the tar sands oil would be carried by rail tanker cars.

"That is less economic, and more dangerous for communities, and is higher in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than modern pipelines would be," he said.

While protesters were rallying Wednesday, Trudeau was en route to his speech at the Microsoft CEO Summit, a private meeting of 140 CEOs from 35 countries. [Source]

Legislature passes bill to allow ride-sharing companies like Uber, Lyft in Alaska

By Liz Raines
Throughout the legislative session, lawmakers have debated the balance of power between municipal and state regulation over drivers and the industry.

In March, the Senate passed SB 14, which designates Uber and Lyft drivers as independent contractors — exempting them from workers’ compensation, like taxi drivers. Ride-sharing companies lobbied for the change in state law as a condition for their operation in Alaska.

But the Alaska Municipal League became a vocal opponent of the measure because of concern over local control.

A House version of the bill passed Monday aimed for compromise by allowing communities to “opt-out” of ride-sharing operations. On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously approved House Bill 132, which also specifies that drivers must be at least 21 years of age.

The measure now heads to Gov. Bill Walker’s desk. If he signs it, the bill takes effect immediately. [Source]

21,000 AT&T Wireless Employees Threaten Weekend Strike

by richdelb

21,000 AT&T wireless workers are threatening to go on strike for two days over the weekend if the union and AT&T can't agree on a new contract by Friday afternoon. The employees, spread across 36 states, have been working without a contract since February, and voted back in April to authorize a strike if necessary. The standoff with AT&T's wireless union workers comes as the company is also engaged in tense negotiations with the company's 17,000 fixed-line union employees across California and Nevada.

The union wants reduced offshoring, a better raise than the 2% being offered by AT&T, no bump in worker healthcare contributions, and improved job security overall. AT&T hasn't suffered a major strike since a two-day strike in 2012, but unions have been emboldened by last year's Verizon's strike, which resulted in so many cancelled orders and repair and installation headaches that Verizon ultimately backed down and agreed to many union requests.

"We're continuing to bargain with the union and believe a fair agreement can be reached," AT&T said in a statement on the talks. "We’re prepared for a possible strike. If it happens, we will continue working hard to serve our customers." [Read the story]

African Pastor Eaten By 3 Crocodiles While Trying To Walk On Water Like Jesus

Pastor Jonathan Mthethwa of the ‘Saint of the last days church drowned into the crocodile River also know as the crocodile river and was seen by his church members getting eaten by 3 crocodiles.

It is said that Pastor Mthethwa walked into the water and when he was 30 meters inside the river, he attempted to ascend above the water so he can start walking, but the 3 crocodile appeared out of no where and started feasting on him.

“They finished him in a couple of minutes. All that was left of him when they finished eating him is a pair of sandals and his underwear floating above the water.” said Deacon Nkosi. [Source]

Scam triple charges boat owners for USCG vessel documentation

by Laine Welch
Every year vessel owners must renew documentation with the US Coast Guard as to the boat’s name, ownership, tonnage, home port and other basic criteria. It costs $26 – unless you get scammed by a private provider that charges three times as much. Fishing groups are warning that is the case with an online company called US Vessel Documentation.

Fisherman Norm Hughes of Haines received a letter saying he needed to renew his documentation at a website called paid $150 for a two year renewal. Then he learned it was a legal scam. US Vessel Documentation is sending misleading letters to boat owners across the country, says Steve Ramp with the Coast Guard in Sitka.

“This company is making themselves look very closely to be an official letter from the Coast Guard when they’re not. They’re not doing anything illegal. They’re offering a service to the owners of documented vessels and they are performing that service.” [Full Story]

10 Actions for an Anti-Stress Protocol

It almost goes without saying: Stress is at an all-time high. Not the kind of major traumatic stress we see elsewhere, sure. At least in the Western world, there aren’t any horrific sectarian conflicts scouring the landscape and generations to come. Our infrastructure is built to withstand most natural disasters. Our world is safe and predictable and sterile. But we’re stressed out just the same, afflicted with the kind of pernicious, low-level, unending stress that drives people into substance abuse, that promotes depression and suicide and broken relationships. The type that never quits. The kind you just want to drown out with Netflix and Facebook and anything at all to take your mind off the churning within.

Before anything, get the basics down. Good sleep, good food, regular exercise, and steady exposure to nature are all prerequisites for healthy relationships to stress. They’re necessary, but rarely sufficient.

What, for instance, can we do to pause and hit reset when under duress, when the furnace just conked out, the oldest child barfed at breakfast, and a looming work project is suddenly due today? And what can we do so those crises either don’t happen as often or hit us quite as hard?

Stop Taking Everything for Granted

We ignore the predictable. We don’t appreciate the dependable. On paper, things are great these days. The lights work, we have hot water, the streets are mostly safe. We can communicate instantly with people halfway across the world. Access to all the world’s knowledge rests in our pockets. Everything is amazing. Yet, we don’t notice it.

Instead, we focus on everything that’s going wrong. It’s understandable. That’s how we’re built—to detect novelty. But it makes the world a very stressful place.

Force yourself to take in the good. You can call this showing gratitude. Or being thankful. Or maybe just opening your eyes and taking stock of your life as objectively as possible. Life isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s great in many respects. Start acknowledging that!

Introduce an Acute Stressor

Step outside into the bracing cold. Splash cold water on your face or hop in the cold shower. Do as many bodyweight squats and pushups as you can manage. Drop and give me 20 burpees.

These acts shock you into focusing on the present moment. They take you out of your mind and away from whatever swill might be currently occupying it. You can’t ignore cold water on your skin.

The stress may still be there after the shock, but having that break can give you a foothold back in reality.

Seek Meaning, Not Happiness

Happiness is a real thing, but it’s fleeting. You can’t grab it for long—it’ll just flit away. It’s part of the journey. If your goal is to get back in shape, happiness happens along the way—when you hit a squat PR, when you plop down on the couch with a good book and a bowl of meat and sweet potatoes after a tough sprint workout. You don’t hit a specific point of fitness, attain happiness, and remain there in a state of bliss. Happiness emerges from the pursuit of meaning. Think ongoing instead of endpoint. [Read the Full List Here]

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