News Week Round Up [May 5, 2017] - P.O.W. Report

Friday, May 5, 2017

News Week Round Up [May 5, 2017]

Permit values slide for Alaska salmon

by Laine Welch

Despite an optimistic outlook this year for Alaska salmon catches and markets, the value of salmon fishing permits is on a slide.

“Of course we always look to those benchmark drift permits at Bristol Bay. We can tell a lot about the permit market just looking at that one.”

Southeast drift permits are in the $83,000 range. Prince William Sound drifts, home to the famous Copper River, have rebounded somewhat after dropping to $110,000

PWS drift gillnet permits got all the way down to $110,000 earlier this year and have climbed back up. Were up over $165 and they also have slipped down closer to the $150,000 mark.
Prince William Sound seine permits are at about the same price or slightly above.

The lowest value seine card is at Kodiak.

“ They’ve also dropped . We’ve sold a few right at $25,000. They haven’t dipped below that mark but that’s pretty darn low. That’s the lowest salmon seine permit price anywhere in the state. “

Bowen says what’s needed to perk up salmon permit values is a good fishing season. [Full story]

The Little Alaskan Halibut Cookbook Set to Hit Book Stores

LaDonna Gundersen

Ketchikan, Alaska –May 2, 2017 – Alaska fisherwoman and author LaDonna Gundersen’s latest book The Little Alaskan Halibut Cookbook will be available May 6th, 2017. With four seafood cookbooks under her belt, Gundersen’s latest collection is about wild Alaskan halibut. The 85-page hardcover ($9.95) includes 41 recipes created and vetted in the galley of LaDonna Rose–their 32-foot commercial fishing vessel. It also includes 28 full-color mouth-watering food photos, as well as, photographs of Southeast Alaska taken by Ole, Gundersen’s fisherman husband.

Over the years, Gundersen has learned the ins and outs of cooking in a 4 x 7 boat galley and the result are creative, simple and delicious recipes. “The promise I try and keep with my recipes are simple, no fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients,” said LaDonna Gundersen. “I take pride in the fact, that anyone can make them, whether you’re a five-star chef or a first timer. All are a delicious addition to a cook’s repertoire of recipes.”

In the book, you’ll find classic and simple suppers including Halibut and Chips, Bacon-Wrapped Halibut, and Roasted Halibut Cheeks in Lemon Butter Sauce. On the grill dishes like Barbecued Halibut with Sundried Tomato-Basil Pesto, Grilled Haliburgers, and Grilled Halibut with Fresh Strawberry Salsa. Hearty main courses that you’ll want to serve at dinner parties like Halibut and Brie in a Puff Pastry, Halibut Enchiladas, and Halibut with Coconut-Curry and Bok Choy. And, a handful of tempting sweets like Apple Crumb Bars, French Coconut Pie, and Heavenly Key Lime Pie.

In addition, there is information about wild-caught Alaskan halibut including its life at sea, responsible management, and versatility in the kitchen, from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute as well as the health benefits of eating halibut and the history of Alaska Natives fishing for halibut using halibut hooks. [Story]

Ketchikan nonprofits make their case for borough funding

KRBD by Leila Kheiry

Nonprofit organizations in Ketchikan made their case for public funding during Monday’s Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meeting.

Representatives of 15 local nonprofit groups took turns speaking for about 90 minutes, describing services their organizations provide to the community.

Elizabeth Nelson of First City Players said Ketchikan’s nonprofits provide a big bang for the public bucks they receive.

“If you took what all the nonprofits in this community do,, and all of a sudden we’re not funded and none of those things are happening anymore and all of the holes that makes in the community, and all the ways you then have to fund or fix or find a way to support, the amount of money the borough would have to invest would be far more than the maybe $400,000 that comes through to the nonprofits yearly,” she said.

“There’s an old Chinese proverb that says: If you have three pennies, keep one, buy food for yourself; the second, give to the poor; and the third, buy hyacinths for your soul,” she said.

Kelley-King said she believes a way will be found to continue funding local nonprofits.

The Assembly later voted unanimously to introduce the approximately $42.8 million Fiscal Year 2018 budget, including funding for nonprofit organizations. The Assembly could still make changes when the budget comes back for a public hearing and second vote on May 15.

Assembly Member Rodney Dial said he wants to talk about the issue in more detail during the next Assembly meeting, including how to fund agencies in the future. He suggests that a portion of the new tobacco tax go toward that expense, at least to start. [Full Source]

Pre-industrial workers had a shorter workweek than today's

from The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, by Juliet B. Schor

One of capitalism's most durable myths is that it has reduced human toil. This myth is typically defended by a comparison of the modern forty-hour week with its seventy- or eighty-hour counterpart in the nineteenth century. The implicit -- but rarely articulated -- assumption is that the eighty-hour standard has prevailed for centuries. The comparison conjures up the dreary life of medieval peasants, toiling steadily from dawn to dusk. We are asked to imagine the journeyman artisan in a cold, damp garret, rising even before the sun, laboring by candlelight late into the night.

An important piece of evidence on the working day is that it was very unusual for servile laborers to be required to work a whole day for a lord. One day's work was considered half a day, and if a serf worked an entire day, this was counted as two "days-works."[2] Detailed accounts of artisans' workdays are available. Knoop and jones' figures for the fourteenth century work out to a yearly average of 9 hours (exclusive of meals and breaktimes)[3]. Brown, Colwin and Taylor's figures for masons suggest an average workday of 8.6 hours[4].

The contrast between capitalist and precapitalist work patterns is most striking in respect to the working year. The medieval calendar was filled with holidays. Official -- that is, church -- holidays included not only long "vacations" at Christmas, Easter, and midsummer but also numerous saints' andrest days. These were spent both in sober churchgoing and in feasting, drinking and merrymaking. In addition to official celebrations, there were often weeks' worth of ales -- to mark important life events (bride ales or wake ales) as well as less momentous occasions (scot ale, lamb ale, and hock ale). All told, holiday leisure time in medieval England took up probably about one-third of the year. And the English were apparently working harder than their neighbors. The ancien règime in France is reported to have guaranteed fifty-two Sundays, ninety rest days, and thirty-eight holidays. In Spain, travelers noted that holidays totaled five months per year.[5]

13th century - Adult male peasant, U.K.: 1620 hours
Calculated from Gregory Clark's estimate of 150 days per family, assumes 12 hours per day, 135 days per year for adult male ("Impatience, Poverty, and Open Field Agriculture", mimeo, 1986)

Middle ages - English worker: 2309 hours
Juliet Schor's estime of average medieval laborer working two-thirds of the year at 9.5 hours per day

1850 - Average worker, U.S.: 3150-3650 hours
Based on 70-hour week; hours from Joseph Zeisel, "The workweek in American industry, 1850-1956", Monthly Labor Review 81, 23-29 (1958). Low estimate assumes 45 week year, high one assumes 52 week year

1987 - Average worker, U.S.: 1949 hours
From The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, by Juliet B. Schor, Table 2.4 [Source]

[Eight recipes from Around the Roman Table Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome]

Were humans in the Americas 100,000 years earlier than scientists thought?

By Lizzie Wade

What broke the 130,000-year-old mastodon bones in California? Most archaeologists would tell you it couldn’t have been humans, who didn’t leave conclusive evidence of their presence in the Americas until about 14,000 years ago. But a small group of experts now says that the fracture patterns on the bones, found during highway construction near San Diego, California, must have been left by humans pounding them with stones found nearby. If correct, the paper, published this week in Nature, would push back the presence of people in the Americas by more than 100,000 years—to a time when modern humans supposedly had not even expanded out of Africa to Europe or Asia.

Archaeologists first excavated the Cerutti Mastodon site in 1992, after the construction exposed bones. Over time they found more splintered bones and a smattering of large round rocks embedded in otherwise fine-grained sediment. More recently, Daniel Fisher, a respected paleontologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, took a close look at the fractures and found patterns he says are consistent with blows from a rounded stone, which leave a characteristic notch at the point of impact. Other chips of bone show what he calls unmistakable signs of being popped off by the impact. “Nobody has ever explained those [characteristic bone flakes] satisfactorily in any way not involving human activity,” Fisher says. He says humans were probably breaking the bones to reach the marrow, or to turn the bone itself into a sharper tool. The nearby stones, hefty and round, show wear patterns consistent with being smashed against bone, the authors say. In experiments, they used that method to break elephant bones and produced identical fracture patterns.

“The claims made are extraordinary and the potential implications staggering,” says Jon Erlandson, an archaeologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene who studies the peopling of the Americas. “But broken bones and stones alone do not make a credible archaeological site in my view.” He and many other archaeologists say it will take much stronger evidence to convince them that the bones were fractured by ancient people. [Source]

California Family Kicked Off Delta Flight, Threatened With Jail, Foster Care for Refusing to Give Up Tot’s Seat


Brian and Brittany Schear, of Huntington Beach, California, told NBC News that they had already boarded a Delta Air Lines flight from Maui to Los Angeles with their two infant children on April 23 when they were kicked off the plane following an argument with officials.

The Schears said they were then forced to find their own hotel, transportation and purchase new tickets for a flight the next day — all after midnight.

Brian Schear said the family had initially purchased a ticket for their teenage son on the red-eye flight, but decided to send him home early so that their 2-year-old could have a seat on the plane. The couple was also traveling with a 1-year-old.

He said they let the ticket agent know about their situation at the gate, and that the agent accommodated the family to sit together.

Brian Schear said they boarded the plane without issue, but with other passengers on the standby list for the flight, he was then told by Delta agents that the 2-year-old had to give up his seat — and then threatened with jail.

The incident came to light Thursday after the family posted video of the argument online. Brittany Schear captured the moments leading up to their removal from the flight, showing either an airline or airport employee telling Brian that if he and his family did not comply, they would all be kicked off the plane.

Brian then said, "Then they can remove me off the plane," the video shows.

An airline employee is then heard telling him, "So this is a federal offense. You and your wife could be in jail and your kids will be in foster care." [Full story]

Researchers identify 6,500 genes that are expressed differently in men and women

Several years ago, Prof. Shmuel Pietrokovski and Dr. Moran Gershoni of the Weizmann Institute's Molecular Genetics Department asked why the prevalence of certain human diseases is common. Specifically, about 15% of couples trying to conceive are defined as infertile, which suggested that mutations that impair fertility are relatively widespread. This seems paradoxical: Common sense says that these mutations, which directly affect the survival of the species by reducing the number of offspring, should have been quickly weeded out by natural selection. Pietrokovski and Gershoni showed that mutations in genes specific to sperm formation persist precisely because the genes are expressed only in men. A mutation that is problematic for only half the population, no matter how detrimental, is freely passed on to the next generation by the other half.

Pietrokovski and Gershoni looked closely at around 20,000 protein-coding genes, sorting them by sex and searching for differences in expression in each tissue. They eventually identified around 6,500 genes with activity that was biased toward one sex or the other in at least one tissue. For example, they found genes that were highly expressed in the skin of men relative to that in women's skin, and they realized that these were related to the growth of body hair. Gene expression for muscle building was higher in men; that for fat storage was higher in women.

The two then looked at tendencies to accumulate mutations, to see if natural selection puts more or less pressure on genes that are specific to men or women. That is, to what extent are harmful mutations weeded out or tolerated in the population? Indeed, the researchers found that the efficiency of selection is weaker in many such genes. "The more a gene was specific to one sex, the less selection we saw on the gene. And one more difference: This selection was even weaker with men," says Gershoni. Although they do not have a complete explanation for this additional difference, the researchers point to a theory of sexual evolution first proposed in the 1930s: "In many species, females can produce only a limited number of offspring while males can, theoretically, father many more; so the species' survival will depend on more viable females in the population than males," explains Pietrokovski. "Thus natural selection can be more 'lax' with the genes that are only harmful to males." [Read the Rest]

In Celebration of "May the 4th be with You" [Video of the Week:]

Read More: News Week Round Up [April 28, 2917]

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