Tag Archives: Rural Alaska

New housing design gets Quinhagak approval

From The Tundra Drums, Wednesday, February 17, 2010:

Houses in Quinhagak battered by decades of fierce wet winds might soon be replaced by a new model that hearkens back to traditional Native sod houses.

At a meeting last week, village leaders in the Southwest Alaska community accepted a preliminary plan for an energy-efficient home that could be a prototype for other houses in the village.

Click here to read the full story.

Reports: Alaska market conditions drive high fuel prices

From The Associated Press, Friday, February 19, 2010:

The attorney general and researchers at the University of Alaska Anchorage are attributing high gasoline and heating fuel costs in rural Alaska to market conditions.

Two independent investigations say small scale distribution over great distances in challenging locations appears to be the main culprit in rural-urban price disparities. The attorney found no illegal activity.

Republican Rep. Jay Ramras is one of several legislators looking at the issue. The Fairbanks Republican has held several hearings on the topic in his Judiciary Committee.

Bills aim to foster geothermal power

From Alaska Dispatch, Thursday, February 11, 2010:

In terms of punctuation marks, Railbelt natural gas supplies are a bit of question mark, and fuel prices in the Bush are a big exclamation point. So, it’s safe to assume Alaska’s electricity producers and consumers would appreciate a little stability. At least one company wants to transform Alaska’s geothermal resource into a reliable source of electricity, and is hoping for a way around an oddball state law that taxes hot water pulled from state land.

Click here to read the full story.

Community garden wins excellence award

From The Tundra Drums, Monday, December 28, 2009:

The City of Bethel received a 2009 Community Award of Excellence in the Public Involvement category from the Alaska Municipal League for the city’s development of the Bethel Community Garden in Bethel, according to a written statement from John Sargent, the city’s grant development manager.

Announcement of the award was made at the 14th annual Community Awards Banquet held at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage on Nov. 19. The banquet is held annually as part of the Alaska Municipal League Government Conference.

The Bethel Community Garden was established on top of a 200-load sand pad in Pinky’s Park at the end of Osage Street. The garden measures 125 feet by 125 feet. There is a six-foot high fence around the garden and a large gate. There are 48 rows three feet wide and between 60 and 80 feet long.

Click here to read the full story.

Jenny Jones donation makes greenhouse possible in rural Alaska

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, November 29, 2009:

An Alaska teacher’s dream to build a greenhouse so students can grow fresh veggies in the village of Quinhagak will likely become reality thanks to a $10,000 grant from former celebrity talk show host Jenny Jones.

In a surprise phone call, Jones rang up teacher Sherry Pederson at the school on Nov. 19 to announce the award.

About 50 students and a group of teachers gathered in the room to hear the call over the intercom, participants said. A reporter also listened to the conference call.

About 660 people live in the Southwest Alaska village, where a lack of roads to other cities means everything is shipped by barge or airplane, pushing up prices for fruits, vegetables and everything else.

Click here to read the full story.

Alaska biofuels list

While meandering along a garden(ing) path through the Internet, I came across a great publication produced by the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and the State of Alaska Plant Materials Center. It’s called “Alaska Biofuels Past, Present and Future” and includes a short history of the use of plant materials for fuel; a succinct definition of the relevant terms, some “how to” information for crop propagation and a list of “future hopes.”

You can read the whole document here.

Alaska in the forefront testing wind power

From the New York Times on Wednesday, February 18, 2009:

Beyond the fishing boats, the snug homes and the tanks of diesel fuel marking this Eskimo village on the Bering Sea, three huge wind turbines tower over the tundra. Their blades spin slowly in a breeze cold enough to freeze skin.

One of the nation’s harshest landscapes, it turns out, is becoming fertile ground for green power.  
Click here to read the whole article.

Governor Palin proposes energy corporation

From the Anchorage Daily News on Sunday, February 8, 2009:

Gov. Sarah Palin plans to introduce a bill calling for creating a joint corporation of the six Railbelt electric utilities.

Palin says such an entity could unite a “fragmented group of rival utilities” and could save rate payers $40 million annually.

The utilities are Fairbanks-based Golden Valley Electric Association, Homer Electric Association, Anchorage’s Municipal Light and Power, Chugach Electric Association, the City of Seward and Matanuska Electric Association.

Click here to read the whole article.

Alaska state officials promise aid to hurting Southwest Alaska villages

From the Arctic Sounder on Thursday, January 29, 2009:

State officials assessing hardships on the lower Yukon River area for a possible disaster declaration said they’ll push to create a fuel voucher that could help the poorest families.

After two days of listening to crushing testimony from scores of residents in Emmonak and Kotlik, the team said they would do all they can to quickly help.

“In both communities, we hear loud and clear that the children are going to school not ready to learn, that they’re hungry and cold. That’s really troubling to me,” said Tara Jollie, director of the state Division of Community and Regional Affairs.

“We’re hearing that there are families that are hungry and that’s not acceptable,” she said.   

Click here to read the whole article.

University of Alaska Fairbanks to build energy research building

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Wednesday, January 28, 2009:

Education leaders look to be sharpening their focus on energy research, a move spearheaded by tentative plans to build a 31,000-square-foot building dedicated to energy research — everything from wind and hydrogen to coal — at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The plan is on the fast-track. If it happens, it would meet a demand for more space for energy research and testing — a need previously limited in discussion to the context of a separate project, a proposed expansion of the university’s growing engineering programs.

University leaders are talking of building the $30 million center, which would house the 1-year-old Alaska Center for Energy and Power, during the next two summers.

Click here to read the whole article.

Click here for a link to the Alaska Center for Energy and Power website.