VIDEO Highlights From Wilmingtons Tiny TotsKids Club Program

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Recreation Department’s Tiny Tots & Kids Club Program ended its first session on Friday, July 12, 2019.Below is a video from staffer Erin Cowden highlighting some of the fun that was had over the three weeks.——Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Highlights From Wilmington’s Tiny Tots/Kids Club ProgramIn “Videos”WILMINGTON RECREATION: Concerts, Trips & Youth Programs Were Huge Hits This SummerIn “Community”VIDEO: Highlights From Wilmington’s Tiny Tots/Kids Club ProgramIn “Videos”last_img read more

At CES 2019 Alexa and Google Assistant will howl The rest will

first_img null 0 12 Photos Smart Home Gadgets Tech Industry Tags More digital assistant stories Amazon Alexa 2018 event: Editors react Samsung’s first Bixby speaker, the Galaxy Home, revealed Share your voice CES 2019center_img Google is primed to go big at CES again Amazon’s Echo devices get redesign on the way to world domination Apple, Siri fall further behind Google, Amazon in the smart home 9:57 The world’s largest tech show has become center stage for the digital assistant wars.Amazon Alexa was the belle of the CES ball two years ago when the e-commerce giant unveiled a long list of product integrations that included Ford vehicles and Whirlpool appliances. Not to be overshadowed, Google the following year constructed a large, eye-catching stage and announced four new Google Assistant-powered smart displays.Which brings us to CES 2019, kicking off next week. There, Amazon and Google are expected to make big splashes designed to show the rest of the tech industry that they — not the other guy — have the best platform for operating our smart homes, connected cars and voice-powered offices. Making their cases will be especially important at CES, since the show has become a who’s who for the smart home and automotive industries, two major growth areas for voice assistants.But while both have extended the reach and influence of voice computing, both also need to broaden their messages and showcase their voice assistants’ capabilities. That work could persuade more consumers that they need smart speakers as much as they need smartphones. Currently, 32 percent of Americans own a smart speaker while 77 percent have smartphones, according to Adobe and Pew Research, showing there’s much more room for voice to expand Smart speaker adoption has been growing at a healthy clip, but drawing in new customers may get harder, with increased consumer concern about data privacy and a regular trickle of negative anecdotes about Alexa malfunctioning. Also, Adobe reported the No. 1 reason people don’t own a smart speaker is that they feel they just don’t have a use for one.”If the industry can convince those that do not own a smart speaker to get one, we believe the effects can be exponential,” in sparking new uses in gaming, shopping and search, Adobe Analytics’ Heidi Besik wrote last month.Here’s what to expect from the leading voice-assistant players at CES this year.Amazon Alexa: The market leaderThe online retailing kingpin will likely keep up its strategy of announcing lots of new Alexa partnerships to demonstrate its market dominance and highlight the versatility of its voice assistant.Amazon may also use its now sprawling devices portfolio to help retain its lead. That could mean using CES to unveil new integrations or features for its Fire TV streaming devices, Amazon Key in-home delivery service or Ring home-security gadgets. But don’t expect a long list of new Amazon-branded devices. The company introduced many Alexa-powered devices in September at its own Seattle launch event. At CES, Amazon is all about unveiling new partnerships, like this one with Toyota last year. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET And while Amazon’s playbook of using a large volume of announcements to show voice supremacy has worked well in the past, the company now faces a lot more competition. In mid-2017, Amazon controlled just over 70 percent of the US smart speaker market, eMarketer reported. The research firm last month predicted that number will drop to 63 percent in 2019 as competitors catch up. The Google Home speaker, for instance, should reach 31 percent; other speakers, including the Apple HomePod and Sonos One, will account for 12 percent. (Some consumers use multiple brands, accounting for a total that’s higher than 100 percent.)It’s why Amazon needs the CES spotlight focused on Alexa and not on some rival voice assistant.Google Assistant: The fast-following No. 2lenovo-smart-display-with-google-assistant-3284-012One of the four smart displays Google unveiled with its partners at CES last year. Josh Miller/CNET If any company can make Amazon nervous about its future in voice, it’s Google.The search giant introduced its first smart speaker in late 2016, two years after Amazon unveiled the Echo, but has quickly captured almost a third of the US smart speaker market. Google has also copied some of Amazon’s best ideas — coming out with a cheap, pint-size speaker called the Google Home Mini to rival the Echo Dot, and introducing its own smart displays to compete against the Echo Show.Now Google is signaling big plans for CES 2019, saying it’ll triple the size of its presence from last year. The company may introduce more partnerships as well as smart-home features from its Nest team to help keep pace with Amazon.But while Google has made big strides, it’s unlikely to dethrone Alexa in the next few years.Samsung Bixby: A lot of potentialSamsung, the world’s biggest smartphone maker, has been working its way into voice via its Bixby assistant. It started by bringing Bixby to its Galaxy S8 in 2017, and even created a dedicated Bixby button on the side of the phone. It also unveiled a smart speaker in August, called the Galaxy Home, which hasn’t gone on sale yet. In late 2017, the company said it would start adding Bixby into its refrigerators and smart TVs. Facebook may make some noise this year, using CES to promote its Alexa-powered Portal smart display. Then there’s IBM. Given that CEO Ginni Rometty has a coveted CES keynote speaker spot this year, we may hear news about Watson, though it will likely be focused more on businesses rather than consumers.For any of these companies hoping to hold its own at CES — and many don’t even want to play that game — coming out from under Amazon and Google’s massive shadows won’t be easy.’Hello, humans’: Google’s Duplex could make Assistant the most lifelike AI yet.The Honeymoon Is Over: Everything you need to know about why tech is under Washington’s microscope. Now playing: Watch this: Samsung has been talking up its plans to make Bixby a more important piece of its future. But so far, it’s well behind Amazon and Google in voice assistant smart-home devices, features and partnerships. It may even be too late to catch up.The company is typically a big player at CES, so it may use the show to keep pushing awareness of Bixby. It’ll be a challenge to stand out, though, against the two top dogs.The rest of the pack: A scramble for relevanceApple’s Siri pioneered voice computing on phones and remains a notable player in the market. But Siri has fallen far behind the competition, and Apple’s HomePod remains an also-ran in smart speakers as the company focuses on iPhones, its main profit driver. In addition, Apple rarely has a public presence at CES, preferring to host its own events. All these factors point to Siri likely being irrelevant at the upcoming show.Microsoft’s presence at CES in recent years has focused mostly on supporting its PC partners’ new devices, so it’s unlikely to make a big Cortana-related announcement at the show. Although an early player in voice computing, the software giant hasn’t pushed Cortana development, keeping its voice assistant a minor player. Google Assistant Alexa Amazon Voice recognition Google Samsung Sirilast_img read more

Amazon leads 700 million investment in electriccar startup Rivian

first_img Electric Cars Car Industry Trucks SUVs Comments 22 Photos More From Roadshow Tags 2 Rivian, the startup manufacturer planning to launch an all-electric pickup truck and an electric SUV, announced Friday it has received a $700 million equity investment that is led by internet giant Amazon. Rivian said it will remain an independent company, but the investment will no doubt help the new automaker push its planned models into production.The investment will help startup Rivian launch this R1T pickup and the related R1S SUV. Rivian Rivian showed off its R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The R1T will have a driving range of up to “400+” miles, depending on which battery pack a buyer chooses. It’s scheduled to launch in November 2020 and will be built at a former Mitsubishi plant in Illinois. The R1S, meanwhile, is a seven-seat electric SUV that’ll offer up to 410 miles of range. It’s set to launch in early 2021. The two models share many of their mechanical components.Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe characterized the investment as key for Rivian’s growth. “This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility,” he said in a statement. “Delivering on this vision requires the right partners, and we are excited to have Amazon with us on our journey to create products, technology and experiences that reset expectations of what is possible.””We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation,” Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to invest in such an innovative company.”Rivian promises its all-electric vehicles will have plenty of off-roading capability.Rivian’s two vehicles will be pricey luxury models, with the R1T tentatively scheduled to start at $69,000. Both vehicles ride on the company’s own “Skateboard” chassis that features a large centrally mounted battery pack and two electric motors. Though the vehicles are impressive, it’s safe to say that it’s still a long journey from showing two vehicles to actually selling them to the general public. Ramping up production will be “the biggest challenge we have,” Rivian executive director of engineering Mark Vinnels told Roadshow in fall 2018.Rivian offered no further details about the investment, saying only that this equity investment round, “includes participation from existing shareholders.” An earlier report had suggested that Amazon was interested in investing into Rivian. That report also claimed that General Motors might also want to invest in the electric-car manufacturer, but as of Friday, there’s no news on that front. 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Amazon 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous The Rivian R1T might be the electric pickup truck of tomorrow Share your voicelast_img read more

VW now offering 48hour eGolf test drives in the UK

first_img Volkswagen Tags 10 Photos Volkswagen VW’s adorable I.D. Buzz charms us on the California coast 3:28 Check out the VW ID 3’s clever camouflage 2020 Mini JCW Clubman first drive: A fast alternative for the crossover-averse 2020 Kia Soul review: Well-rounded box More From Roadshow 2020 Toyota 4Runner first drive: Same as it ever was — mostly Enlarge ImageGet ’em while the gettin’s good. Volkswagen With a brand spankin’ new electric hatchback soon to arrive, Volkswagen is ramping up its efforts to get people to embrace electrification, and its latest scheme should both accomplish that and help shore up some leftover supply for its outgoing EV.Volkswagen announced late last week that it will start offering extended test drives in the UK. These flexible test drives are, in essence, 48-hour loans that start and end at the dealership. In those 48 hours, though, people are free to do whatever, so long as they don’t leave the e-Golf dead by the side of the road or something equally silly. It’s a smart idea from an adoption perspective. You can theorycraft all you want about how well an electric vehicle will or won’t fit into your lifestyle, but you’ll never know for sure until you give it a whirl, and this allows everyone that opportunity without requiring an actual purchase. If it turns out the e-Golf’s 144-mile range (by Europe’s WLTP standard) fits into your life, there you go.It’s also likely a clever move that will help VW push remaining e-Golf stock through its doors. The car will become all but irrelevant when the ID 3 electric hatchback launches in mid-2020. With its shortest-range battery offering about 205 miles of range (again, by WLTP measurements) and its longest stretching north of 340 miles, the ID 3 has been built from the start as an EV, as opposed to the e-Golf, which runs on a variant of the MQB platform.The ID 3 is already forming a line. According to the automaker, it has now received more than 20,000 preorders for the ID 3, and it hopes to push that number to 30,000 by the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Share your voice 0 Post a comment Electric Cars Hatchbacks Now playing: Watch this: More about 2022 Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Preview • Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: Driving this concept gets us smilinglast_img read more

India proposes exempting EVs from registration fees report says

first_img 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Car Culture Electric Cars 4:33 3 Juice up the outdoors with Harley-Davidson’s electric bike concepts More From Roadshow See what your new electric car needs to break it in right 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 7 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Comments Share your voice Tags Indian traffic is legendarily wild, but imagine it without the smog haze or the nasal putt-putt of two-stroke engines and diesels. India’s EV incentive wants to make that happen. Hindustan Times/Getty Images Lots of places around the world are looking for ways to incentivize folks to ditch their internal combustion vehicles and get shiny new(er) electric vehicles instead. America famously has its EV tax credit and all its production number provisos and phased phase-out. China has something similar regarding EV purchase subsidies.India is keeping things a little simpler, according to a report Wednesday by Reuters. Rather than dealing with credits or rebates, India is considering simply not charging EV owners registration fees. It’s brilliant.India’s plan would apply not only to cars but to all kinds of electric vehicles, including motorcycles, scooters and autorickshaws. Frankly, we want to see people driving electrified Hindustan Ambassadors around because that would be great.In any case, this a plan that would, in theory at least, require minimal effort on the part of the government and it could prove to be a boon to pollution-clogged India. It would also help to reduce India’s dependence on foreign oil.last_img read more

Best universal remotes of 2019

first_imgSarah Tew/CNET If you have a serious home-theater system, or even a semiserious one with three or more components, a universal remote control is a wonderful thing. The best universal remotes can unify all those different device clickers into a single wand in a way that can feel magical. All of the best universal remote options have superior ergonomics, with more intuitive button layouts and a better feel than standard remotes. And many of them work with your smartphone or voice systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. My family and I have used many of the remotes on this list to control my main home-theater system for months or years at a time. At various points they’ve controlled multiple devices including my TVs, AV receivers, game consoles, Roku streamers and even a cable box DVR. My family uses the system as much as I do, and my main criteria in a universal remote is making it simple enough for a child to operate.Here are my favorite choices for best universal remote over the years that are currently available, in ascending order of price.Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. Read the Logitech Companion review My pick for the best universal remote for the money, is the Companion, a real remote tied to a Harmony Hub. Since the Harmony Hub handles the actual command sending you don’t have to aim the remote and risk one of your devices missing a command — which leads to confusion and delay. The remote is slick and easy to hold, and the battery lasts for months. In my years of using it at home, the main things I missed are backlighting behind the keys and a remote finder. Logitech Harmony Companion: $105 Sarah Tew/CNET Read the Logitech Harmony 650 review Caavo Control Center: $60 plus service fee Read the Logitech Harmony Express preview Read the Amazon Fire TV Cube review Read the Caavo Control Center preview See at Amazon Comments Logitech Harmony wrote the book on the universal remote control, and these are its most basic clickers I can recommend. The main appeal over a cheaper, non-Harmony-based remote controller, or the clicker that comes with your cable box, is the activity-based control. Press the “Watch TV” or “Listen to Music” buttons and the remote controller turns on all the relevant devices (such as your smart TV, blue-ray player, cable box and AV receiver), switches to the right inputs and maps the keys to that activity (Volume to the receiver and Channel up/down to the cable box, for example). Unlike more-expensive Harmonys (below), which use a universal remote app for setup and control, you’ll have to use Harmony’s Mac- or PC-based software to program the remote. The 650 and 665 also rely on IR (infrared) codes emitted from the front of the remote — if you want point-anywhere convenience, you’ll have to spend up for a system with a hub.The 665 is the only one currently listed on Harmony’s site but the 650 is identical (aside from color and number of devices each can control) and can often be found for less, especially refurbished. Harmony Elite: $250 Now we’re getting into big spending territory. The Elite’s main draw over the Companion is its screen, and for most users it’s just not worth it. The touch screen makes it more versatile than cheaper models, especially for calling up favorite channels and Roku apps, and the full backlighting is great. Unfortunately, both suck a lot of battery power so you (and your family) will need to remember to park the remote in its dock on the reg. The Hub is the only clicker on this list that doesn’t actually include a clicker. Instead, you control everything using the Harmony smartphone app — or by talking to your Alexa or Google Home speaker. The hub itself nestles deep in your AV cabinet, blasting out Infrared, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to your equipment. This Harmony smart control is a great system if you live on your smartphone, but for most people investing in a real remote is worth the extra few bucks.  Share your voice See at Amazon See at Amazon Amazon Fire TV Cube: $120 Logitech’s newest all-in-one remote control is its most voice-centric yet. Like the Caavo, you can use voice commands to control stuff by talking into the smart control, but unlike Caavo, the Express can talk back in Alexa’s voice. It’s like having a miniature Alexa speaker in your hand. After a couple months as my family’s main remote I find myself wanting an actual power button — you have to say “Turn on the TV” or “Watch Netflix” or even “Turn off the TV” to get stuff to happen — but my main quibble is its high price. As Harmony’s only remote with a finder function, however, this is still the one I’d get if money wasn’t an object.center_img The wacky Cube is a mashup of universal remote controls, Fire TV 4K streamer and Amazon Echo speaker. It comes with a remote but its keys are sparse and rudimentary: real device control happens via your voice. The Cube has an IR blaster to control your gear and a mic sensitive enough to hear your commands over the blare of music. On the downside, you’ll need to keep your old remotes around for many functions.This controlling device is often sold for as little as $80 or less, so definitely wait for a sale — or Prime Day — before buying it. Sarah Tew/CNET Logitech Harmony 650/665: $50 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Logitech Harmony Hub: $70 TVs Media Streamers Logitech Harmony See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew Amazon Bluetooth Best Buy Google Logitech Roku Tags Read the Logitech Harmony Elite review See at Amazon 4 See at Best Buy Caavo’s Control Center is one of two non-Harmony remotes on this list and is also the second-cheapest, but there’s a catch. To get Caavo’s advanced features, you’ll need to shell out bank for the service fee. It costs $4 per month, $40 per year or $130 for the lifetime of the remote. Unlike Harmony, Caavo Control Center includes an HDMI switch in addition to the smart remote. You plug your stuff into the switch and it handles the rest, including automatically recognizing your gear during setup. Caavo has its own voice control system and onscreen display to help you find stuff to watch, the clicker itself is simple and elegant and the remote finder is gold. Like the hub-based Harmonys below, Caavo doesn’t require line of sight (the switch acts as the hub) and will also work with voice commands from Alexa and Google Home speakers. Logitech Harmony Express: $250 See at Amazonlast_img read more

Illness Linked To Child Trauma

first_imgA recent study linked obesity in children to domestic violence. Now, evidence indicates that childhood trauma can spur physical disease later on, when an abused child reaches adulthood.  In Alaska, the state is working to reduce adverse childhood experiences to lessen the latent impacts of trauma, and to help reduce the burden on social services programs.Download Audio:In late Februray of this year, the  conference room at a downtown Anchorage convention hall buzzed with chatter, in anticipation of keynote speaker, Linda Chamberlain. And Chamberlain has a strong message.“Our early emotional experiences do become part of the architecture, the foundation of our brains. Our brains are incredibly plastic, during childhood, but don’t forget as I talk about this.. until the day you die, your brain is plastic,”  she told the audience.The event was  a symposium hosted by the state Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Dr. Chamberlain told the audience that adverse childhood experiences, such as witnessing drug use and domestic violence, can stunt a child’s neurological development.“The younger the child, the more vulnerable the brain is. The thing is, that you will go into a shelter, a domestic violence shelter, and I will see babies with PTSD. I know it right away. They’re avoiding eye contact, they are frozen, inhibited.”The good news, she says, is that, with effort, negative brain wiring can be changed. Chamberlain bases her comments on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, or ACEs, which was conducted through the Centers For Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente during the late 1990s. Researchers found strong links between childhood traumas and long – term health and economic outcomes.   Patrick Scidmore is a planner with the Alaska Mental Health Board.“This is true of people who have ever been diagnosed with depression, people who have asthma, obesity. The negative outcomes are just more likely in the group with high ACES scores.”Scidmore, is and a member of the state Advisory Board on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.  His expertise is reading the data, and translating that to more tangible information.“For example, for current smoking, we estimate from our Alaska data, 32 percent of the people who are current smokers would not be smokers if we could eliminate all adverse childhood experiences. And that translates into about $185 million dollars of savings to the state. Not necessarily state government, but across the public and private sector.”]Scidmore says data gathered by the Alaska Division of Public Health during 2013 shows how childhood trauma contributes to chronic disease: for example, thirty percent of asthma sufferers in the state have links to ACES, and almost half  of  COPD patients have high ACES scores.Since it is more cost effective in human terms to prevent childhood trauma, than to pay for the damage later on, social service providers are seeking ways in which to do that. Communities in several locations in Alaska are working on becoming “Trauma Informed”.  Elizabeth Ripley is CEO of the Matanuska Susitna Health Foundation.“Since the ACEs study was released, the brain science has caught up to the science behind the ACEs study, to show that literally, trauma changes the very physiology of the brain. But the good news that Linda Chamberlain shares is that we can heal the brain, but we have to be intentional about it.”Ripley says Mat Su has eight personnel trained in how to inform the public – in schools, law enforcement, and in businesses — on efforts to reframe how we deal with childhood trauma. Especially in school, where children who act out are often misunderstood.“We’ve tended to ask ‘what ‘s wrong with you?’ And this changes the framework to ‘what happened to you?”Ripley says a cohort of Alaskans have worked with the original authors of the ACEs study to train 25 people from around the state to help by providing information about the prevalence and impacts of child trauma“The information about the fact that people can heal, and that we can build resilience and help people heal from the trauma and have brighter futures, is really incredibly revelatory to most people.”She says creating resilience is the key, and that just informing the public and private sectors that touch children is a huge part of the effort. Mat Su joins Homer, and a half dozen Alaska communities now working to become “trauma informed.”last_img read more

Murkowski Energy Bill Avoids Hot Buttons

first_imgSen. Lisa Murkowski today released a national energy policy bill. It’s been one of her highest priorities as chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, and she produced the bill jointly with the top Democrat on the committee, Maria Cantwell of Washington. Murkowski says it required compromise; the bill doesn’t include some of the big items on Murkowski’s energy agenda.Download AudioThis bill is heavy on energy efficiency and weatherization, modernizing the electric grid and new technologies. Murkowski says she wants a bill that can actually pass.“This has been an effort through months and months to find common ground on energy issues that not only impact Alaskans, but impact people around the country.”It’s a pragmatist’s bill designed for a polarized Congress. It does not include controversies like the Keystone XL Pipeline and offshore revenue-sharing for states, let alone anything that would open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. It also does not include one of Murkowski’s biggest national priorities – ending the ban on exporting crude oil. The senator says she’ll work on that separately.“What you will see is a base bill that is bipartisan in nature, that does not have everything that I would like, but it doesn’t have everything the other side would like. That’s the nature of legislation.”The bill doesn’t direct federal resources to Alaska, or create Alaska-only programs. That would trigger the congressional ban on earmarking. But Murkowski and her staff say the bill has provisions Alaska is well positioned to benefit from. It authorizes federal research on geothermal energy, for instance, and promotes the development of hybrid micro-grid systems, like the wind-and-diesel combos that now power some Alaska villages. It supports state energy programs with loan guarantees, and includes training to produce workers who can build and maintain modern power systems. It doesn’t have financing for the big Alaska natural gas pipeline, but it does speed up the processing of LNG export permits.The Senate Energy Committee will take the bill up next week, and after that it will go to the Senate floor, where, Murkowski, senators will be allowed to offer amendments.“I’ve said before this is not a messaging bill, this is a time to update energy policy, and we’re doing it in the regular course of business.”Murkowski says the bill would reclassify hydropower as a renewable energy.She’s especially proud that the bill would repeal lots of old and redundant energy laws. That, she says, will cut down on the scores of reports Congress requires the Energy Department to produce that no one reads.last_img read more

Communities learn how much money they might receive for hosting LNG line

first_imgMunicipal leaders from across the state came to a preliminary agreement with partners in the Alaska LNG Project on local payouts last week.Download AudioThe proposed pipeline route for the Alaska LNG Project, a consortium of oil companies (Image courtesy of the Alaska LNG Project).The project will make $800 million available to communities facing impacts from the 800-mile long LNG pipeline, with billions more slated for future tax payments. But how much each community will be entitled to is still up in the air.For more than a year, a group called the Municipal Advisory Gas Project Review Board has been working to get to these numbers; $800 million on the front end of the AK LNG Project to pay for things like road expansions and other expensive upgrades, and 16.5 billion dollars for taxes over the life of the project. Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre is one of many city and borough mayors on the Review Board.“I think they’re fair numbers,” Navarre said. “A lot of it still depends on how it will be allocated among the different communities and the state.”We could use up this space simply entertaining all the options the legislature has for allocating that money, but that still wouldn’t get us very far. Governor Bill Walker has proposed the state take a 25 percent share of the project, buying out TransCanada. So who pays for what under that scenario?“If the state is a part owner of the project, is that portion of it exempted from taxation and if so, does that reduce those numbers by 25 percent? And if so, does that come out of the state’s share, the municipalities’ share or both?”“And when there’s a lot of money on the table and no one else has much money because of declining oil prices, there will be lively debate over who gets how much of that pot of money,” said Larry Persily, special assistant to the mayor on oil and gas.He used to work for the federal government keeping tabs on big oil and gas projects in the state and now he’s doing the same thing for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. He says all of these discussions, taking place years before a decision will even be made about whether or not to build an in-state gasline, all stem from arguments of the past.“This is intended to avoid the fights that have gone all the way to the state Supreme Court, multiple times, over what is the value of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and everything attached to it,” Persily said.And that’s why we’ve seen an opening bid, so to speak, of $16.5 billion for property taxes. Actually, that’s a payment in lieu of taxes, or a PILT. If you took all of the pipe and the buildings and the equipment and the land needed to build and maintain an 800 mile natural gas pipeline and taxed it like  regular property, the project would simply be too expensive. So $16.5 billion is what the negotiating parties have agreed to as an alternative.“So there will be a formula, based on production, that will be paid and distributed between the municipalities, such as the Kenai Peninsula Borough where the (LNG) plant is going to be located and the North Slope Borough, Fairbanks, Mat-Su Borough, Denali Borough and the state and that will continue for the life of the project,” Persily said. “What hasn’t been decided is…how it is going to be shared between the state and the boroughs.”There is clearly a lot more negotiation that will take place before we really know how much money communities can expect out of the project, and all of this is before the project sponsors have finished their report on the socio-economic costs. That means schools, hospitals, police and other services that might be needed during construction. That could also mean even more money in local coffers. If the project gets the greenlight. That decision isn’t expected until sometime in 2018.last_img read more

Homeless man fatally spears bear in Anchorage

first_imgA homeless man fashioned a long knife to a groomed tree branch and speared a hungry black bear cub that was sniffing for food Friday morning at an illegal camp site in Anchorage.State wildlife biologist Dave Battle says a sow and yearling have been stealing food from the homeless camp for days. The cub was near a tent Friday morning, and a man in the camp was afraid it would attack.Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen says in an email the man earlier fashioned a long knife to a “nicely groomed branch.” Battle says the man threw the spear, hitting the bear in the side. The bear ran less than 20 yards before collapsing and dying.Ipsen says David Tandler was given a $310 citation for negligent feeding of wildlife.last_img

Al Jazeera documentary highlights erosion in Kivalina Newtok

first_imgOn Sunday evening, the issue of Alaska coastal erosion will be featured on the Al Jazeera America program “Fault Lines.” The correspondent for the story is former APRN reporter Libby Casey. She says they highlighted Newtok and Kivilina on the northwest Arctic coast.Newtok is farther along in the very slow process of relocation, but Kivilina is having trouble getting disaster funds in part because of their strong efforts at protecting the community from storm damage.Download AudioLibby Casey is a reporter for Al Jezzera America. The Fault Lines program “When the Water Took the Land” will air Sunday evening at 9 p.m. EST.last_img

Blessing of Herring Rock A yearly ceremony to bring fish back to

first_imgWhile commercial fishermen were on the water anxiously awaiting the next herring opening in Sitka, some residents gathered on land for a traditional Tlingit ceremony. The Blessing of Herring Rock happens every year to get the fish to come back to the Sound to spawn.Download AudioJohn Duncan looks on as Roby Littlefield pours salt water over Herring Rock. (Photo by Brielle Schaeffer, KCAW – Sitka)For centuries, the Kiks.adi clan has honored the beginning of herring season in the spring by blessing Herring Rock, which originally stood on the waterfront of the Indian Village. It was at this rock where herring traditionally began their spawn. Nels Lawson is a Tlingit elder.“This time of year was very significant to our people because with the arrival of the herring on our shores, meant the arrival of new food, new food for our homes,” Lawson said.In that respect, little has changed. The small group of residents and tribal citizens are waiting for the fish to spawn to collect their tasty eggs.But spawning patterns have changed and the large Herring Rock has been relocated on shore. It now sits outside the Sheet’ka Kwan Nakahidi.Rachel Moreno, Sitka Tribe of Alaska Tribal Council member, says poor returns in recent years and fewer spawning areas make the blessing especially meaningful.“We bless it so we won’t have such a hard time getting them to come back,” said Moreno. “This is one of the last places herring spawn so it’s a very important anchor for that species and for our traditions for our people to enjoy the harvest of the herring eggs.”She says likes to enjoy her roe with seal oil and soy sauce, something she’s looking forward to after the herring spawn and the subsistence roe-on-hemlock harvest.Roby Littlefield did the honors of the blessing this year. She poured salt water from the channel over the rock in memory of her husband John Littlefield, a subsistence activist. She says she’s fueling up her boat in preparation for the harvest.“It’s not time to put branches in the water yet,” Littlefield said. “But it’s time to start looking because you never know for sure where they’re going to spawn especially with commercial harvesters pounding on them they’re running away and sometimes they scatter for a week at a time.”Competition over the herring resource has created tension between the commercial and subsistence interests. Littlefield, along with other traditional harvesters, feels that commercial fishing has a greater impact on herring than the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s data suggests. She’s concerned about the future of the ecosystem.“They’re at the base of the pyramid,” said Littlefield. “Everything depends on herring and so when you cut off the bottom of the pyramid you’ve got a problem.”Patty Dick teaches sixth-grade science at Blatchley Middle School. She sees the blessing of the Herring Rock as an important tradition, one she always teaches her students about.“There are a lot of changes that are occurring right now in our ocean,” Dick said. and we are in the process of living through these changes and so every year that these herring return is really special.”And that’s a blessing in itself.last_img read more

Legislature looks to draw funds from Power Cost Equalization fund

first_imgThe state House and Senate are trying to work out their differences over a bill that would draw money from the Power Cost Equalization Endowment Fund.Download AudioSenator Lyman Hoffman. Hoffman drafted the bill that would limit the ways that money from the PCE is drawn from.(Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)The $900 million fund subsidizes the high cost of electricity in rural areas. Because the state government has a $4 billion deficit, some lawmakers have suggested drawing money from the fund to pay for other state costs.Bethel Democratic Senator Lyman Hoffman crafted a bill that would limit the draw from the PCE fund to years when the fund earnings are more than what’s needed for the power cost equalization program. This program costs about 40 million per year.The Senate unanimously passed the measure, Senate Bill 196.But the House made changes to the bill. These changes made it less likely that excess fund earnings would be redirected back into the fund.Those changes concern Hoffman. When it was time for the Senate to decide Wednesday whether it would agree with the House’s changes, Hoffman spoke up.“They changed the formula on how the excessive earnings will be distributed and I believe that that formula will potentially put the fund in jeopardy and want to go back and revisit the differences between what the Senate has done, which is a more sound approach to the fund,” Hoffman said.As a result, there will be a conference committee to rewrite the bill so that both houses can agree to it.Hoffman will be the Senate chairman of the committee, which will also have Eagle River Republican Senator Anna MacKinnon and Fairbanks Republican Senator Click Bishop. The House members will be chairman Dillingham Democrat Bryce Edgmon, Eagle River Republican Dan Saddler and Fairbanks Democrat Scott Kawasaki.The Legislature formed the conference committee on what was an otherwise quiet day in the Capitol.last_img read more

Murkowski puts riders in spending bill Dems decry poison pills

first_imgPhoto: Committee homepageU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski had a chance to flex some legislative muscle today. As chair of an Appropriations subcommittee, Murkowski writes the legislation that sends money to the Department of the Interior, the EPA and the Forest Service and tells them how to spend it. Her subcommittee passed that bill today. Murkowski also added several of her favorite environmental policy changes, which Senate Democrats are calling “poison pills.”Download AudioMurkowski says she’ll never stop trying to get a road for King Cove, to link the community to an all-weather airport. The senator says her bill authorizes a land trade to allow for a road through a portion of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.“I recognize the need to protect the environment, but recognize it should not come at the expense of jeopardizing the lives of those I represent,” she said when her subcommittee met this morning.The land trade is an example of a rider – a policy change a lawmaker slips into another bill, sometimes completely unrelated. Another of Murkowski’s Alaska riders would stop the feds from imposing stricter predator-hunting rules in the state’s national wildlife refuges.Her $32-billion bill has several big national riders, like one that would block an EPA rule defining which waters are subject to the Clean Water Act. Another halts a stream-buffer protection rule that mine advocates say would kill coal mining in Alaska and around the country.Murkowski says her bill pinches EPA’s regulatory budget, in areas where she says the agency has overstepped its bounds.“Several program areas that have issued controversial rules that are currently blocked in court are reduced,” she said, reading from a prepared statement, “because I believe it is more important to provide resources to programs that yield tangible results in improving the environment instead of funding more lawyers and bureaucrats to draft rules of questionable legality and dubious environmental benefit.”The top Democrat on her subcommittee, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, says he likes that the bill increases money for drinking water infrastructure and the Indian Health Service. Still, Udall says he can’t support it.“We’re not prepared to gut environmental rules as the price of getting spending bills passed,” he said.Among the riders Udall counts as a poison pill are changes to environmental rules in the Tongass National Forest, in Southeast Alaska. Exactly what the bill says on that is unknown. Murkowski did not make the document public, but she and Udall issued summaries. The bill itself is scheduled for release on Thursday, when it goes before the full Senate Appropriations committee. Udall says that’s when he’ll try to remove the parts he doesn’t like.last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Tuesday June 19 2018

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen nowAlaska senators veer apart on family separationsLiz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.A gulf has opened between Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan on how to end family separations at the border. She signed a letter asking the attorney general to stop it immediately. Sullivan says it’ll take a new law.Accused of 2016 murders, Palmer man faces possible death sentenceCasey Grove, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageThe U.S. Attorney’s Office in Anchorage says it’s only the third time in the past 25 to 30 years that a formal intent to pursue the death penalty has been filed in an Alaska case.Walker asks Trump administration to protect those with pre-existing conditionsAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauAmericans with pre-existing medical conditions are protected under the current federal law in buying individual health insurance. But President Donald Trump’s administration says the protection included in the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Alaska Governor Bill Walker joined a bipartisan group of eight other governors in support of continuing the protection.ASMI says Chinese tariff increase will not apply to secondary processingDaysha Eaton, KMXT – KodiakSince last week, processors have been waiting to find out whether secondary processing of Alaska fish will be subject to a new 25 percent tariff,New Alaska regs requires oil and gas wells anchor below permafrostRashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – JuneauCompanies drilling oil and gas wells in Alaska will now have to dig deep enough to avoid problems stemming from thawing permafrost.AEL&P to share the wealth from corporate tax cutJacob Resneck, KTOO – JuneauRatepayers in Juneau can expect a rebate on their power bills.Palin’s son moves to court program after assaulting fatherAssociated PressTrack Palin has formally entered into a diversion court program after assaulting his father so severely that it left him bleeding from the head.Bolger picked to be new Alaska Supreme Court chief justiceAssociated PressThe Alaska Supreme Court will have a new chief justice, starting July 1.Kalskag negotiating new subsistence fishing regulations with Kuskokwim fishery managersAnna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – BethelHow you fish on the Kuskokwim River depends on where you are. And—according to local fishermen— how you fish near Upper and Lower Kalskag is unlike anywhere else on the river.Campbell Creek Science Center offers reward for information on stolen mammoth tuskErin McKinstry, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageSomeone stole a 10,000-year-old mammoth tusk from the Campbell Creek Science Center in March. They’re now offering a $500 reward for information.Tour guides, bear hunters seek solutions after tourists witness a hunt in the TongassElizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – JuneauIn January, the two groups got together — in meetings moderated by the forest service — to hatch a plan to keep the hunting guides and small cruise ships from overlapping.last_img read more

EWS quota Only 10 private medical colleges from Telangana State

first_imgHyderabad: Only ten private medical colleges in the State have responded to Medical Council of India’s (MCI) letter to send proposals for additional seats so as to implement the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota in MBBS admissions in private institutions from the present academic year ( 2019-20). Barring six minority and three new private colleges, 15 private medical colleges had the opportunity to get additional seats. However, five private institutions have decided to opt out, at least for this year. Also Read – Kids show eco-friendly ways in Mahabubabad Advertise With Us It may be mentioned here that the MCI has dashed off a letter asking all States to send proposals from private medical colleges about additional seats to implement EWS quota by June 29. The reasons being pointed out are some private colleges were not prepared with the last-minute decision of the MCI as it left little time for them to make necessary arrangements. Also Read – Hanamkonda: TDP will hit back strongly Advertise With Us Increased seats mean colleges have to rope in extra faculty and ensure additional facilities to accommodate the extra students. And these will become key factors when MCI comes for inspections. “Although it is being said that three-years would be given after which the MCI would come for inspections, this looks a risky proposition. Some of the private medical colleges have their five-year mandatory inspection scheduled next year. Advertise With Us They are apprehensive that faculty shortfall or something might go against them as officials generally look for faculty requirement on the total number of seats rather than leaving out the newly added seats,” said a joint owner of a private medical college, who did not wish to be named. Also, the additional seats to be granted are only the convener quota seats, whose tuition fee is in the range of Rs 60,000 per year. Compare this with fees collected for management quota seats (between Rs 11 lakh and Rs 24 lakh per year). “For taking such a risk, colleges do not get any financial relief as far as the fee is concerned as all increased seats are convener seats only. Hence, some colleges opted out,” the college owner added. Each private college in the State has a total strength of MBBS seats in the range of 100-200, with most colleges having 150 seats. However, EWS quota is applicable only on convener quota seats, which is 50 per cent in private colleges. The MCI has allocated 25 per cent on a total number of convener seats as additional seats to each government college and private colleges are likely to be extended the same facility. In college having 150 total seats, 75 seats are convener seats. So, 25 percent of this comes to nearly 18 seats. Since 10 private colleges have applied for additional seats, the additional seats in private colleges (to be allotted by MCI ) are likely to be in the range of 150 to 180 seats.last_img read more

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar offers prayers at Tirumala

first_imgTirupati: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar Sunday offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala here. Accompanied by family members, the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, arrived here last evening and after an overnight stay on the hills, they visited the shrine this morning, a temple official told. On arrival at the shrine, Javadekar and his wife were accorded a warm reception by top officials along with priests of the shrine, he said. Before leaving the temple, the IB Minister was honoured with a sacred silk cloth, a holy portrait of the presiding diety, and laddu prasadam, he added.last_img

Corporation Bank launches monsoon offer

first_imgGuntur: Corporation Bank Vijayawada Zone DGM and Zonal Head B Srinivasa Setty on Monday launched Monsoon Offer 2019 (Housing and vehicle loans mela) at Lakshmipuram Branch here. He said the bank is offering housing loan at 8.6 per cent interest and vehicle loan at 8.85 per cent interest. He explained other facilities of the bank. Lakshmipuram branch senior manager V Venugopal, Guntur branch chief manager G Srinivas Rao, Arandalpeta senior manager K Anjaneyulu, Vijayawada retail loan centre chief manager A Jyotsna Priyadarshini and Vijayawada marketing senior manager Abdul Raheem Sheik were present.last_img

International conference website launched at SPMVV

first_imgTirupati: The website for the forthcoming Springer International Conference to be held at Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam (SPMVV) here was inaugurated on Thursday. In-charge Vice-Chancellor Prof V Uma has launched the website which will facilitate in sharing entire conference information and participants can be able to register for attending it through this portal. Prof S Jyothi and Prof DM Mamatha from SPMVV along with Dr Syed Rahamathullah from Path Gene Health Care will be the convenors of this conference.last_img

Hyderabad CCMB scientist K Thangaraj awarded JC Bose

first_imgHyderabad (Telangana): Dr K Thangaraj, Chief Scientist at CSIR- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) was awarded JC Bose Fellowship. He was given the fellowship for his outstanding contributions in the field of population and medical genomics. The news came to light after CCMB rolled out a notification on Saturday. The JC Bose Fellowship is awarded to scientists in recognition for their outstanding performance by the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, a release said.last_img