News Week Round Up [April 7, 2017] - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, April 6, 2017

News Week Round Up [April 7, 2017]

Julia Clark in her Exhibition Plane, 1911. Miss Clark was the third woman to receive a pilot's license. She was the first female pilot to die in an air crash in the United States in 1912.

POW wolf management recommendations released

KRBD by Leila Kheiry

Over the past year, state and federal officials have been talking about how to improve management of the annual wolf hunt on Prince of Wales Island, especially after an apparent decline in wolf numbers.

A 40-plus-page report was released Thursday, detailing some of the concerns regarding wolves on POW, and recommendations for moving forward in the future.

One concern is deer habitat – because deer are the primary food source for wolves – and how timber harvest could affect the deer population. Recommendations include managing tree stands to maximize deer forage; staggering timber harvests so there’s a variety of stand ages; and incorporating unharvested pathways between elevations.

Other recommendations for reducing wolf mortality include establishing a science-based management strategy and maintaining flexibility in the annual harvest quotas. The study also recommends protecting documented wolf dens.

Ongoing research and outreach efforts also are recommended in the report. [Read the rest here]

Commentary: Spending Cap is Key to Solving Budget Crisis

Once again, irresponsible spending by state lawmakers has left us with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit. This latest crisis underscores the need to tighten the state’s “spending cap” on annual expenditures, and a bill recently passed in the Alaska Senate is a good start.

Senate Bill 26 imposes a statutory spending cap of $4.1 billion in general fund appropriations each year, which would grow with inflation. A statutory cap — which can ultimately be set aside during the budget process — would be less effective than a constitutional limit, but it is a start. Whatever form it takes, a revised spending cap is desperately needed to put our fiscal house in order over the coming years.

Alaskans have been supportive of the idea for more than three decades. When the state’s current constitutional spending cap was put before voters in 1982, 61 percent voted in support. When given the option to overturn the limitation four years later, the margin in favor of the spending cap was even greater: 71 percent to 29 percent. More recently, a 2015 poll by the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce found a majority of the state remains in favor of spending caps.

Regrettably, the constitutional spending limit that voters approved in the 80s has proven to be woefully insufficient to address the budgetary challenges of 2017. Simply put, it is set too high to be useful. Under the current provision, which excludes certain types of government funds, the limit for this year’s budget is $10.1 billion — more than double the budget of $4.7 billion.

As we look for ways to cover this year’s deficit, our focus should be on cutting wasteful and unnecessary expenditures. Legislators have done an admirable job of reducing spending over the last few years, but plenty of bloat remains to be cut. The facts speak for themselves. Alaska has one of the biggest public sectors in the country, second only to Wyoming. 24.2 percent of Alaska workers are employed by the public sector (federal, state and local), compared to a national rate of 15.5 percent. In 2015, the state government spent more than $18,000 per resident, far more than any other state in the country and more than triple the national average, which is below $6,000.
[Read the Full Comments]

These high school journalists investigated a new principal’s credentials. Days later, she resigned.

By Samantha Schmidt

A group of reporters and editors from the student newspaper, the Booster Redux at Pittsburg High School in southeastern Kansas, had gathered to talk about Amy Robertson, who was hired as the high school’s head principal on March 6.

The student journalists had begun researching Robertson, and quickly found some discrepancies in her education credentials. For one, when they researched Corllins University, the private university where Robertson said she got her master’s and doctorate degrees years ago, the website didn’t work. They found no evidence that it was an accredited university.

“There were some things that just didn’t quite add up,” Balthazor told The Washington Post.
The students began digging into a weeks-long investigation that would result in an article published Friday questioning the legitimacy of the principal’s degrees and of her work as an education consultant.
On Tuesday night, Robertson resigned.

The resignation thrust the student newspaper staff into local, state and national news, with professional journalists nationwide applauding the students for asking tough questions and prompting change in their administration.
“Everybody kept telling them, ‘stop poking your nose where it doesn’t belong,'” newspaper adviser Emily Smith told The Post. But with the encouragement of the superintendent, the students persisted.
“They were at a loss that something that was so easy for them to see was waiting to be noticed by adults,” Smith said.

Robertson had been living in Dubai for more than 20 years before she was hired for the position. She said she most recently worked as the chief executive of an education consulting firm known as Atticus I S Consultants there.
In a conference call with the student journalists, Robertson “presented incomplete answers, conflicting dates and inconsistencies in her responses,” the students reported. She said she attended Corllins before it lost accreditation, the Booster Redux reported.

Under Kansas law, high school journalists are protected from administrative censorship. “The kids are treated as professionals,” Smith said. But with that freedom came a major responsibility to get the story right, Smith said. It also meant overcoming a natural hesitancy many students have to question authority.
“At the very beginning it was a little bit exciting,” Balthazor said. “It was like in the movies, a big city journalist chasing down a lead.”

But as the students began delving deeper into the story, keeping notes on a whiteboard, “it really started hitting me that this is a much bigger deal,” Balthazor said. [Full Article]

How Fake News Propaganda is Created:

Sweden Passes ban on wearing ski masks and covering your face at sporting events. Swedish fans bypass the ban by showing up wearing Burqas, waving banners saying "Thanks for the loophole".

Since then, the idea of ​​a mask ban at sporting events has been under discussion.
And on March 1 this year, Act came into force .
- There are no reasonable grounds to disguise themselves when going to sporting events, said Interior Minister Anders Ygeman (S) to Swedish Radio then.
But the law is also an exception:
"The prohibition does not apply to that covering the face for religious reasons" .
The formulation took a number of AIK-supporters that when they on Sunday went to the Friends Arena for the opening game against Hacken.
They came namely there - the niqab.
In addition, unfurled two large banners on AIK's standing stands with the following words:
"AIK's ultras mean well, now masks we use religious reasons. Freedom of ultras is the ultimate goal, thanks Ygeman the loophole. "
"Was quite fun"
As Sports sheet reaches Anders Ygeman only he laughs off the event.
- Honestly, I think the band was pretty funny. It indicates well that AIK are having a bit of humor, says Ygeman. [Translated source]

Back to the '50s? Many Teens Say Man Should Be in Charge at Home

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor

American teens have no problem with gender equality in the workplace, but home life is a different story.
A new report released today (March 31) by the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF) finds that modern high school seniors increasingly believe that everyone is better off if the man is the achiever outside the home while the woman takes care of domestic duties. In 1992, 58 percent of high school seniors disagreed that male-breadwinner arrangements were best. By 2014, the most recent year that survey data are available, that number had slipped to 42 percent.
"It's been a steady reversal," said study co-author Joanna Pepin, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Maryland.

Much of the declining interest in gender egalitarianism at home came from men in the 18-to-25-year-old surveys, Fate-Dixon said. That wasn't the case for the high school seniors, though: Men have always been a bit less supportive than women of egalitarianism, but that gap hasn't grown, Pepin and co-author David Cotter of Union College in New York reported. Likewise, black youth have always been more egalitarian than white youth, but support has declined similarly among all races.

Pepin and Cotter suspect that young millennials have landed on an approach to gender that they call "egalitarian essentialism." The schism between egalitarianism in public life and traditionalism in private seems to suggest that youth believe men and women should be treated equally, but that their essential natures are inherently different from one another, Pepin said.

Carlson's earlier research has also found that while many couples would prefer egalitarian relationships, a lot of working-class couples are seeing declines in men's employment opportunities and are being forced into female-breadwinner roles that they don't necessarily prefer.

"We're finding that families are having a hard time adapting to that," Carlson said.

Pepin agreed that lack of family support is "definitely not helping" to change gender attitudes. But economic pressure and workplace problems probably don't explain the whole decline in support of egalitarianism, she said. If working-class youth see their fathers struggling to pay the bills alone, she said, they might be more likely to value wages brought in by their mothers. Also, egalitarian relationships are valued by couples (a 2016 Pew Research Survey found that 56 percent say sharing chores is important to a successful marriage), and sociologists have found that egalitarian couples have the highest relationship satisfaction, Pepin said.

"Even though it's hard [to be egalitarian], it's getting easier," she said. "That is hard to reconcile" with backsliding egalitarianism among youth.

Even as they struggle to unravel why today's youth might not support gender equality at home and at work, sociologists aren't sure whether these attitudes will change with time. Today's high school seniors are much further from marriage and childbearing than the high school seniors of 1976, Carlson said — many might not marry for a decade or more. It's possible that their attitudes might change as they move through life. [Read the full Story]

"Struggle to unravel?" I know the answer but in today's world the answer seems to be too politically incorrect, so maybe i'll just keep the answer a secret...

[Read About the Battle of Kursk, the Greatest Armored Battle in History]

TIL there have been no beehive losses in Cuba. Unable to import pesticides due to the embargo, the island now exports valuable organic honey

Long known for its cigars and rum, Cuba has added organic honey to its list of key agricultural exports, creating a buzz among farmers as pesticide use has been linked to declining bee populations elsewhere.

Organic honey has become Cuba’s fourth most valuable agricultural export behind fish products, tobacco and drinks, but ahead of the Caribbean island’s more famous sugar and coffee, said Theodor Friedrich, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) representative for Cuba.

“All of [Cuba’s] honey can be certified as organic,” Friedrich told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Its honey has a very specific, typical taste; in monetary value, it’s a high-ranking product.“

After the collapse in 1991 of the Soviet Union, Cuba’s main trading partner, the island was unable to afford pesticides due to a lack of foreign currency, coupled with the US trade embargo. By necessity, the government embraced organic agriculture, and the policies have largely stuck.

Now that the United States is easing its embargo following the restoration of diplomatic ties last year, Cuba’s organic honey exporters could see significant growth if the government supports the industry, bee keepers said.

Cuba produced more than 7,200 tonnes of organic honey in 2014, worth about $23.3m, according to government statistics cited by the FAO. [Source]

Read More: 7th Annual Island Wide Customer Appreciation BBQ at the Klawock Airport Hangar.

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