WILMINGTON, MA — Mrs. Janet L. (Miner) Benard, a resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at Mass General Hospital on Friday, November 2, 2018, at age 64.Born on November 7, 1953 in Stoneham, Janet was one of four children of the late Walter C. Miner and Lucy A. (Hermann) Miner. Raised in Melrose, Janet was a freshman at Melrose High School when she met Ed Benard at the Fireman’s Carnival on September 29, 1967. High school sweethearts from MHS Class of 1971, they fell in love and were married in 1974. In 1979, they settled in Wilmington and started a family of two sons.Janet received her BS in Physical Therapy from Boston University, and her Master’s in Early Education. She worked for many years as a Physical Therapist for the Malden Visiting Nurse Association. She aided patients during rehabilitation with her expertise in physical therapy, as well as her kind and likable demeanor. Over her 30 year career, Janet touched many lives with her pleasant yet very instructive therapy sessions throughout Eastern Massachusetts.Janet enjoyed a little adventure from time to time. In her younger years, she loved skiing, tried hang gliding with her brother, rode a motorcycle, and even archery as an adult. She loved summer vacations to the Blue Water Hotel in Yarmouth with her family where she enjoyed relaxing at the beach or pool, windsurfing, or reading a good book.Most importantly to Janet, was her love of her large extended family. She was adored by all her family members for her cheerful, positive, and easy going nature. She loved to entertain family for all the holidays and events, hosting pool parties, or any special event at their home in Wilmington. Janet’s house was always welcoming, providing unconditional love and acceptance for all. From childhood through her challenges at the hospital, everyone was drawn to Janet with her engaging charm, warm spirit, and open heart. Janet was a great source of strength and happiness for people of all ages, especially her husband, children, grandchildren, and dear siblings. She will be greatly missed, but the many lives she touched will be her great legacy.Janet was the beloved wife of Edward R. “Butch” Benard with whom she shared 44 years of marriage. Devoted mother of Scott Benard and his wife Jessie of Lowell, and Craig Benard and his significant other Megan Baker of W. Palm Beach, FL. Dear sister of Bruce E. Miner and his wife Carol of NH, Nancy L. Perkins and her husband George of Derry, NH, and the late Steven W. Miner. Caring sister-in-law of Linda Ward and her husband Robert of Andover, Julie Trickett and her husband Michael of Billerica, and the late Greg Benard. Cherished grandmother of Brayden Michaud, Scottie Benard, and Rowan Benard. Also survived by many nieces and nephews.Relatives & friends will gather in honor and remembrance of Janet’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 4-8pm, and for her Funeral Service at the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church, 355 Franklin St., Melrose on Wednesday at 11am. Interment at Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.Gifts in memory of Janet may be made to Mass General Hospital, Attn: Development, 125 Nashua St., Ste. 540, Boston, MA 02114.Janet L. (Miner) Benard(NOTE: The above obituary is from Robinson Funeral Home.)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 email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Janet (Colucci) O’Connor, 86In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Janet E. Manuel, 79In “Obituary”OBITUARY: Doris May (Allen) Squibb, 88In “Obituaries”
WILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things to do in Wilmington on Monday, December 3, 2018:#1) Dinner & Dialogue: Substance Misuse Among Our YouthJoin Wilmington’s ROOTS Coalition for a discussion on the emerging substance misuse trends seen among our youth from 6pm to 8pm,at Villanova Hall (126 Middlesex Avenue). Samantha Reif, LCSW, Wilmington Health & Recovery Coordinator, will be on hand to lend her expertise. All participants are invited to give input on their experiences as well as provide support for those who need it. Parents and youth are welcome to attend. Light dinner provided by AJ’s Kitchen. First come, first served. Please RSVP HERE for planning purposes.#2) Nutcracker Reading & PerformanceThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is hosting ballerinas from the North Atlantic Dance Theater at 6:30pm. They will read and perform a variation of The Nutcracker. Afterwards, children will be invited to participate and learn some simple ballet positions. For ages 4 and up. Register HERE.#3) Getting Into Genealogy ClassThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is hosting a free genealogy class for beginners at 2:30pm. In this 90-minute presentation, Diane Brooks-Sherry, the Merrimack Valley Chapter President of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, will talk about family history and genealogy, genealogy basics, common genealogy tools, tips for staying organized, and research recommendations. Register HERE.#4) Wilmington Historical Commission MeetingThe Wilmington Historical Commission is holding its monthly meeting at 7pm at the Town Museum (430 Salem Street). The Commission will be discussing new signage for the town’s historic districts, a plaque for the Butters Farmhouse, and the Town Museum’s FY20 budget. Read the full agenda HERE. The meeting is open to the public.#5) Wilmington Democratic Town Committee MeetingThe Wilmington Democratic Town Committee is holding its annual Holiday Meeting at 7pm at WCTV Headquarters (10 Waltham Street). The meeting is informal — the committee will recap the year, talk politics, and plan for 2019. Feel free to bring snacks and/or refreshments. New members welcome.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLearn About Substance Misuse Among Wilmington Teens On December 3In “Community”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Monday, August 12, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Thursday, August 8, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”
Apple Tags Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Phones reading • The mobile world might finally get exciting again in 2019 Samsung’s foldable phone may be among the more interesting developments in the mobile world of 2019. CNET When one of the biggest “innovations” in smartphones in 2018 was the addition of a notch on the display, you know the industry has hit a rut. With fewer big technical leaps between generations, there’s plenty of evidence that consumers are starting to hit the snooze button on upgrading their phones. A year ago, smartphone sales fell for the first time, and they’ve continued to be on the decline despite one of the best lineups ever. Consumers aren’t embracing Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones, which come with only modest updates, and Apple has ceased reporting its iPhone unit sales numbers. That’s poised to change in 2019. There are enough big upgrades worth talking about, from the advent of 5G (finally) to the debut of flexible, foldable smartphones. The completion of the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint — still not a guaranteed deal yet — could also shake up pricing plans and dynamics between carriers. Lastly, the ultimate fate of Huawei, which got thrown in the air when Wangzhou Meng, the company’s chief financial officer, and daughter of its founder, was arrested by Canadian authorities. “Next year will be different,” said Gartner analysts Mark Hung. Here’s a rundown of what we expect in the coming year, including tons of buzz at CES. 5G In a discussion about mobile, how can you not talk about 5G? The technology will get a decent kickoff at CES 2019, but you can expect the momentum to build through the year as carriers switch and more and more advanced cellular towers go up. Ever since Verizon said, three years ago, that it was going to start field-testing 5G, the term’s been one of the hottest buzzwords in tech history. The huge bandwidth boost, responsiveness, and ability to handle multiple devices with varying connection speeds is poised to change our lives — one day. 5G is going to change your life — one day. James Martin/CNET Though carriers have all committed to a healthy number of launch markets, there’ll be a race to see who can get to scale fastest. T-Mobile said it was committing to a nationwide network build-out by 2020. Before it can expand its early rollout, Verizon needs to move beyond its proprietary standard for the home broadband service and adopt the industry-standard 5G specifications. The company has declined to provide more specifics on its roll out. On the product side, look to giants like Samsung to go big with 5G, which is expected to roll out on multiple devices, including one version of the company’s flagship Galaxy S10. OnePlus also said it expects to be among the first with a 5G smartphone, and Sprint and LG have vowed to launch the first 5G smartphone in the US. Foldable phones Foldable phones are either a gimmick or the next wave of mobile device design. But if nothing else, they add a new wrinkle and shake up the standard slab of glass or metal. Samsung offered a brief glimpse at its prototype foldable phone, and it’s likely we’ll see the real deal early next year. The folding mechanism may be little more than a novelty at first, but so was the curved display introduced in the Galaxy Round smartphone five years ago. Samsung provided a brief glimpse of its next big innovative phone. Eventually, that curved display technology made its way to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note line, and it’s standard on all Galaxy S phones. The key will be whether developers decide to take advantage of the fold-out screen — that’s why Samsung first showed off the phone at its developer conference. “Any time you have a significant departure on form factor, that engenders a lot of different products,” Hung said. “There will be a lot of experimentation.” Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights, hopes that experimentation involves larger foldable devices that go from a tablet to a full-fledged laptop. Samsung likely won’t be alone. The FlexPai from startup Royole is the first foldable phone to hit the market, though it’s unlikely you’ll ever see it outside of China. Huawei and Lenovo are also working on foldable phone technology, and more companies will probably hop on the bandwagon. T-Mobile-Sprint? The will-they-won’t-they romance of the wireless world continues into 2019. Ever since the deal for T-Mobile to buy Sprint was announced in April, the companies, especially executives from T-Mobile, have worked hard to sell the prospect of the combination. They’ve tried pushing the notion of cheaper, more-comprehensive 5G service and more coverage across the US as benefits of the deal. T-Mobile is awaiting the decision on whether it can buy Sprint. T-Mobile But it’s not a slam dunk. Consumer groups oppose the deal, as do the unions for communications workers. The government under former President Barack Obama killed the last attempt at a deal, but regulators under President Donald Trump might be more receptive. The companies maintain the deal will close in early 2019. If it does, consumers will see significant changes, with one of the four major carriers disappearing. Moorhead believes it’ll be good for consumers, potentially lowering prices as the combined company saves on infrastructure costs. T-Mobile has vowed to hire more employees and open more stores, though local Sprint stores will likely disappear. “It puts AT&T and Verizon on notice,” he said. It’s clear all eyes will be on this combination. “We’re watching this merger unfold, like everyone else, and don’t have any comments,” said an AT&T spokeswoman. A Verizon spokesman wasn’t available for comment. Huawei drama The world’s largest telecommunications provider and second-largest smartphone maker has had a rough beginning and end of the year thanks to the US. At the start of 2018, Verizon and AT&T shut down the prospect of selling phones made by Huawei, which has been seen as too cozy with the Chinese government, and Best Buy outright banned all of its products. Earlier this month, at the behest of US authorities, Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng, who’s also the daughter of founder Zhengfei Ren. Meng faces charges of utilizing American banks to help with sales of equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. She was released on bail Dec. 11. The Huawei Mate 20 is a top-tier phone. Too bad you can’t buy it at any US carriers or Best Buy. Angela Lang/CNET Huawei maintains that she’s innocent. A company spokeswoman declined to provide further comment. How does all this hamper Huawei’s momentum in the phone business? The company this year overtook Apple as the No. 2 smartphone player, but the controversies could hurt its prospects with consumers. “It’s going to be a challenging year for Huawei,” Hung said. 5G is your next big upgrade: Everything you need to know about the 5G revolution. Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens. Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? See All Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors • Share your voice 19 Comments 5G AT&T Huawei Lenovo LG Samsung Sprint T-Mobile Verizon Apple
2019 Toyota RAV4 is the best it’s been in years Tags More From Roadshow Toyota 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Enlarge ImageToyota had planned to have DSRC-based V2V communication in its US-market 2021 models, but not anymore. Andrew Krok/Roadshow Reuters reported on Friday that Toyota would be pulling the plug on its plans to install DSRC (dedicated short-range communications) technology in its cars by 2021. The system would have been used as the basis for a network of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications that would have theoretically reduced crashes.Toyota’s reasons for abandoning its plans mostly center on a lack of security for the dedicated 5.9GHz frequency that the US government set aside for the technology as well as other manufacturers’ lack of commitment to the tech.That isn’t to say that other manufacturers haven’t investigated DSRC — Cadillac has installed the system on a few CTS models since 2017 — but many, like Ford, have opted to go with a cellular data-based system which it plans to roll out to its vehicles by 2022.Back in 2016, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) recommended that DSRC be mandated for inclusion in all new vehicles, but the Trump administration seems to have mostly ignored that recommendation.Toyota didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 48 Photos Share your voice 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Auto Tech Car Industry General Motors Cadillac Ford Toyota 0 Post a comment
Tags Tech giants and antitrust Google is also currently under investigation by the EU over how it collects personal data for the purpose of online advertising. In 2017, the EU additionally fined Google $2.7 billion for its abusing its search dominance for shopping services.Meanwhile, in the US, the Department of Justice is investigating Silicon Valley’s tech juggernauts over whether they’re engaging in “anticompetitive conduct.” The investigation was announced June 3 after reports emerged May 31 that the DOJ would be preparing a Google antitrust investigation. It was followed by reports of an Apple antitrust probe. Facebook was then made part of the investigation announcement, as well as Twitter.”The growth of monopoly power across our economy is one of the most pressing economic and political challenges we face today,” Rep. David N. Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island and chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee, said at the time.”Market power in digital markets presents a whole new set of dangers.” Google’s ad system under EU probe for how it spreads your private data House starts antitrust probe of Facebook, Google, other tech giants Facebook takes steps to protect you from discriminatory ads Mobile Tech Industry Internet Applications Mobile Apps Digital Media Internet Services Android 10 beta’s best new tricks from Google I/O 2019 34 Photos Facebook is a moneymaking machine Post a comment Spotted earlier by the Guardian, the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) market study will focus on three main areas of potential harm to consumers: How much market power online platforms have; whether consumers can and will control how data about them is used and collected by online platforms; and whether digital advertising market competition could be “distorted” by some players with power.The CMA is open to comments from groups including government, advertisers, publishers, ad tech companies, consumer groups and online platforms until July 30. It will then decide whether to make a market investigation reference by Jan. 2, 2020, with a deadline for its final report to be published on July 2, 2020.Facebook and Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. 2:28 0 Under probe again for market power Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has kicked off a probe into digital advertising and online platforms. Its examination will focus on Facebook and Google in particular, the agency said Wednesday. A similar study in Europe resulted in Google being hit with a $1.7 billion fine in March for “abusive” online ad practices. The European Commission had said Google was exploiting its dominance by restricting its rivals from placing their search ads on third-party websites. Last year, the EU also fined Google $5 billion for antitrust practices across its mobile OS Android.”Two suppliers in particular, Google and Facebook (PDF) (and their respective subsidiaries, such as YouTube and Instagram) hold leading positions in the market for online advertising in the UK, with the majority of digital advertising revenue in the UK split between these two businesses,” the study’s statement of scope (PDF) says. “Digital advertising comprises the substantial majority of the revenues of both of these companies.” Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Advertising Facebook Google
Abe, stunning in a green resin from the Photon. Sarah Tew/CNET Abe, looking sharp from the Inventor II. Sarah Tew/CNET $220 at Amazon $400 at Amazon 6 $700 at Amazon Best for sharp details This is my go-to printer for balancing price, ease of use and print quality. Flashforge is the manufacturer, and sells this as the Adventurer 3, while the Monoprice Voxel version is the same hardware, just sold under a different name (the Voxel screen even says “Adventurer 3” when you turn it on). It’s not the fanciest for 3D printing, but it has a fully enclosed print area, a touchscreen interface and a flexible heated print bed that lets you pop off quality prints with ease. The most important thing about this pair of printers (and I tested both versions) is that the setup was painless, and I was up and printing in less than 30 minutes after opening the box and gathering materials. I did find the Wi-Fi connection could be finicky at times, but at least there’s a USB port right on the front panel for importing your files to the machine via thumb drive. My other complaint — the enclosed filament housing only takes half-size 0.5kg rolls, not the more common 1kg rolls. 18 Photos Best cheap 3D printer Share your voice Tags Sarah Tew/CNET See the Monoprice version here Sarah Tew/CNET Abe, in a solid print considering the low price of the Monoprice V2. Sarah Tew/CNET Best for protecting prints Anycubic Photon Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET The Inventor II is a step up in quality from the Adventurer/Voxel, even though it’s roughly the same size and close to the same build volume. The larger color touchscreen is a huge improvement, making it much easier to tap in Wi-Fi passwords. The enclosed space means 3D printing will pause automatically if someone opens the door, and the removable heated print bed is hefty, with a clever flexible top surface that peels off magnetically. It was a little faster than the Adventurer, with more calibration and fine-tuning options for 3D printing. But it also gets the same knock, an enclosed filament housing that only fits smaller 0.5kg spools, which are less economical and harder to find. In our Abe Lincoln test, it had the cleanest, most detailed print of the filament-based printers with a resolution of 50-400 microns. Flashforge Inventor II Despite the low price, this is a pretty damn full-featured 3D printer, and a favorite first step for testing the 3D printing waters. Monoprice also sells a slightly less expensive entry level design, called the Mini Delta, but this is superior in just about every way — and it’s often on sale for $199, or even a little less. But it’s also a good deal harder to set up and use than some of the more expensive models. The print surface is exposed, so your prints are more vulnerable to the elements (or cats, or children), and it took much tweaking, calibrating and troubleshooting to get quality results. Despite the beginner price, it’s not as beginner-friendly as I’d like it to be. That said, we got some very nice prints from it, eventually. Abe, very good, a little softer on the details, from the Adventurer 3. CNET/Lori Grunin Crazy things I’ve made on a 3D printer No matter how fine, most 3D prints are still just plastic layered one drop at a time. That means layer lines, surface imperfections and a look that’s not as clean as professionally molded plastic. Resin printers are the next step up in design when you want your print to look as high quality as anything made in a factory. Instead of 3D printing your object with a hot nozzle depositing bits of plastic filament, resin printers use UV light to cure liquid resin, one paper-thin layer at a time, on an upside down print bed that slowly rises from a vat of semitoxic slime. Yes, it’s as unpleasant as it sounds. The resin smells bad, and requires rubber gloves to handle (and a well-ventilated room for printing). You’ll also need isopropyl alcohol to wash the prints after they come out, and a UV lamp to finish the curing process. It’s a lot of work and mess. But the print we got from the Anycubic Photon was simply amazing. (Resolution is 25-100 microns.) Cured resin feels almost like glass, and holds quality detail. The results are astounding — just be prepared for what you’re getting into. Flashforge Adventurer 3/Monoprice Voxel 3D printing, like virtual reality, is one of those things that always seems to be on the cusp of going mainstream, without ever quite crossing over. Even though we’ve seen the concept play out for years on TV and in movies (what do you think a Star Trek replicator is doing?), having a 3D printer at home is still considered wildly exotic outside of a small enthusiast audience. I started playing around with 3D printing last year, mostly to satisfy my own curiosity, with an unexpected result. I’m now completely addicted to 3D printing. Over the past several months, I’ve searched for the best 3D printer and tested several models, from rock-bottom Monoprice printers to step-up resin printers that produce a truly professional-level print for prototyping. Below are printers in the lower-cost price range that we tested in the CNET Labs, and close-ups of one of our comparison test prints, a bust of Abraham Lincoln. All 3D prints require a little smoothing and filing with a hobby file to look their best (you can also prime and paint them, fill gaps with filler compound and so on) — but the Abes presented below are right off the print bed, no touch-ups. One printer I have not tested yet, but hear a lot of good feedback about, is the Creality Ender 3, which currently costs $230 and has a large community of dedicated fans who claim it’s the best 3D printer. Just note that some more assembly is required than with these other printers. For what to print and how to start printing, including materials (e.g., polylactic acid vs. ABS plastic), printing technology and software, see my latest tips and advice for 3D printing. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page. 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. Best plug-and-play 3D printer Monoprice Select Mini V2 Comments $340 at Amazon Computers 3D Printers 3D printing
Facebook is reportedly developing a new messaging app for Instagram. Getty Images Facebook is reportedly developing a new messaging app aimed at helping users share more information more often with their closest friends. The app, called Threads, is meant to be a companion to Instagram, The Verge reported Monday.Threads is designed to automatically share intimate details such as “location, speed and battery life,” as well as other typical social media posts like as photos and text, The Verge reported. The app is intended to be used with your “close friends” list on Instagram and is currently in testing at Facebook, according to the report.There was no word on when Instagram expects to launch Threads. Facebook declined to comment. Earlier this year, the photo-sharing social media behemoth ended support for Direct, a camera-first app that had more than a passing resemblance to Snapchat. Unveiled in 2017, the app was tested in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay but was canceled before a worldwide release occurred.Facebook announced plans in January to merge the services of WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, allowing users to send messages to one another without switching apps. The apps will remain separate, but they’ll be brought together under a single messaging platform or protocol. Internet Services Applications Facebook Instagram Tags 0 Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: 4:29 How to get your Instagram account back from hackers (The… Post a comment
The Alaska Miner’s Association annual convention has been going on all week in Anchorage. Coinciding with the AMA’s 75th year, is the 25th anniversary of Kotzebue’s Red Dog Mine.Download AudioThe success of Red Dog did not come easy, according to NANA Regional Corporation CEO Marie Greene, who was Friday’s keynote speaker. Green said NANA is uniquely positioned to meet development needs of the future.“Northwest Alaska has many of the minerals that the world will need in the future, and the world is looking North,” Green said. “Climate change, open ocean shipping routes, potential existing mineral development and off shore oil and gas exploration and development are drawing global attention.”Green says it all began with Red Dog, the mine developed in partnership with Teck – Cominco, but getting the mine started was a long, difficult process. When mining giant Cominco found zinc in the region in 1980, there was opposition to a large scale mine. Lawsuits and counter suits followed, but Alaska Native land claims under new federal legislation enabled NANA to select the lands where the mine is now located.Since it’s start in 1989, Red Dog mine has provided $1 billion in proceeds to NANA, $608 million to other regions and $199 million to shareholders.
Cross-Border Salmon Dispute Puts A Damper on Summer Troll OpenerRachel Waldholz, KCAW – SitkaHarbors emptied throughout Southeast this week as fishermen headed out for the beginning of the summer troll season.Bristol Bay Sockeye: A Run on the Brink?David Bedinger, KDLG – DillinghamAlaska’s largest sockeye salmon fishery was predicted to have a near-record return this summer, but so far the reds have only trickled into Bristol Bay’s rivers.Berkowitz Emphasizes New Tone for a New Anchorage in Inaugural AddressZachariah Hughes, KSKA – AnchorageYesterday, Ethan Berkowitz formally became the new Mayor of Anchorage.Anchorage’s 2014-2015 Snowfall Levels Lowest on RecordJosh Edge, APRN – AnchorageAs July begins and the National Weather Service resets their annual snowfall totals to zero, it’s official — Anchorage’s snowfall levels last winter are the lowest on record.Alaska’s Shoreline Erosion Rate Among Highest WorldwideLori Townsend, APRN – AnchorageA new study from the U.S. Geological Survey finds that Alaska’s northern coast has some of the highest rates of erosion in the world. Parasite Plagues Some Yukon KingsLaura Kraegel, KNOM – NomeAs salmon swim up the Yukon River, subsistence fishermen continue to express frustration about gear restrictions, closures, and — now — potentially infected fish.Hjalmar “Ofi” Olson, Bristol Bay elder, dies at 75David Bedinger, KDLG – DillinghamBristol Bay elder Hjalmar “Ofi” Olson passed away at an Anchorage hospital late Wednesday, according to family friends. Olson, who had been battling kidney failure for weeks, was 75.Sea Shanties, Scurvy, and a Sailboat Regatta Without WindShady Grove Oliver, KBBI – HomerThe 19th annual Land’s End Regatta ended the way a sailboat race shouldn’t- it was called on the second day for lack of wind. Stories 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 @aprn.Download Audio
Alaska lawmakers have created a complex system of oil and gas tax credits, in part in an effort to bring new explorers into the state to fill the trans-Alaska pipeline. Photo: USGS vs Wikimedia CommonsWith less than a month left in the legislative session, one of the biggest questions before Alaska lawmakers is what to do about oil and gas tax credits.The state’s refundable credit program is unusual – and huge. In recent years, refundable credits have become the third-largest line item in the general fund budget, behind only the Departments of Education and Health and Social Services.Now, Gov. Bill Walker argues the state can no longer afford those kind of subsidies. But some lawmakers worry about unwinding the system too quickly.Download AudioThis year, the State of Alaska expects to pay out $500 million in credits to oil and gas companies. Next year, that number could be even higher: $825 million, according to estimates from the Department of Revenue. (That number includes $200 million the governor vetoed last year, which is still owed to companies.)Meanwhile, the department estimates the state will take in about $2.1 billion in total petroleum revenue – including all taxes and royalties – during that same period.Tax Director Ken Alper with the Department of Revenue gives an overview of HB 247 to the House Resources Committee, Feb. 3, 2016. Gov. Bill Walker’s bill would reduce the amount of money the state pays to the oil industry through tax credits. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)That means over the next two years, the state will pay out credits amounting to $1.3 billion — more than half the total revenue it expects from the oil and gas industry.That is pretty unusual, said Tim Bradner, a longtime energy reporter who writes the Alaska Legislative Digest. Nobody else in the world offers a credit program quite like this, Bradner said.“It started out as a good idea, but incrementally got more and more complicated to the point that it’s difficult to understand, and difficult to control, and way too expensive,” he said. “Even if we had the money, it’s just way too expensive.” Gov. Bill Walker agrees. With the state facing a deficit of more than $4 billion, Walker proposed cutting some credits and capping others. So far, lawmakers have preferred much smaller cuts.But first things first: what are oil and gas tax credits?The system began as a set of incentives. The state wants existing companies to explore for oil and gas. And it wants new companies to come into Alaska. To encourage that, it instituted a system of credits.“It was simple in those [early] days,” Bradner said. “The concept was that you could give a company a little bit of a tax break to encourage them to go drill, spend money on exploration that they might not otherwise have spent, and find more oil and gas that way.”In theory, at least, the state would make more money on the back-end — in taxes and royalties — than it invested on the front end.But what if a company doesn’t owe any taxes? For a small company that’s never operated in Alaska, and isn’t producing any oil, a different incentive was needed. Lawmakers wanted to bring smaller companies into the state, in the hopes that they would explore more aggressively, potentially pursuing fields that were too small to interest the big North Slope producers.So in 2007, the state made some credits refundable. This is basically a check the state writes to reimburse a company for doing things the state likes. You drill a well, and the state will pay part — or even most — of the cost.“For small companies, it worked pretty well,” Bradner said. “You could make the investment, drill your wells, turn in your tax credit certificates to the state, and get a check from the state, and you could use that to finance your next year’s drilling. So it was very attractive for small companies.”Only smaller companies are eligible for a refundable credit. The big producers — like ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil — can use credits to reduce their taxes, but they don’t get a refund check.And that $825 million the state expects to pay next year? That’s just in refundable credits.The system was designed with high oil prices in mind. “At the time, we had plenty of money,” Bradner said.And the goal was to take some of what the state was raking in through taxes – mostly from big legacy producers on the North Slope — and reinvest that money in the oil industry, through credits for smaller companies, both on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet.But now of course, oil revenue has plummeted. Meanwhile, the refundable credits have grown.“It seems like each year, somebody would have a new idea, and the thing became kind of like a Christmas tree, to the point that it’s very difficult to understand how it all works,” Bradner said.Companies can also “stack” some credits, to the point that the state might pay more than two thirds of the cost of certain work.That’s what makes it so unusual, Bradner said“I think the most unique thing is you can get a check,” he said. “But it’s also the scale of it. And the many different kinds of tax credits that, in some cases, can be layered on top of each other, to the point that 60 to 70 percent of the cost of an exploration well can be covered by these different types of credits.”Just about anywhere else, Bradner said, if the government is funding 60 or 70 percent of your costs, it would then own part of that well.So the big questions is – it a good investment? It’s hard to know, Bradner said.“One of the problems with this kind of thing is you never really know if the companies would have explored and found the oil anyway,” Bradner said. “That’s the unknowable. The companies…argue that the tax credits have helped them. You’ll never really know if that’s the case, but the fact is, you got wells drilled that may or may not have gotten drilled [otherwise].”Certainly, many smaller companies have come into Alaska, and explorers like Armstrong Drilling on the North Slope, or BlueCrest Energy in Cook Inlet say the credits were a major draw.But here’s the catch: the state has spent more than $3 billion on refundable credits since 2007. And neither the public nor the legislature actually know where that money has gone.For instance, at some point in the last nine years, one company, in one year, received more than $200 million dollars, according to testimony before the House Resources committee by state Tax Division director Ken Alper.That’s a lot of money – more than half of state spending on the University of Alaska. What was it for?“We can disclose nothing,” Alper said, in an interview.That’s because most specifics about credits are protected as confidential taxpayer information.“We’ve had circumstances, for example, where a company will put in the newspaper how much they’re getting in tax credits, and someone will ask a question, and we can’t even confirm that that company has applied for a tax credit in Alaska,” Alper said.The governor, and Alper, want to change that. They’d like the state to be able to disclose which companies receive credits, how much they get, and roughly what kind of work they use it for.“We think it’s important,” Alper said. “It is, frankly, difficult to have a conversation in public, whether it’s in the legislature, the press, or at public meetings…without being able to talk about what we’ve actually done in the past.”But companies worry that the provision, as written, could reveal too much proprietary information. The measure was stripped out of the bill by the House Resources committee.House Speaker Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) said he’s not sure there’s a point to more disclosure.“The state knows who it is, the state knows how much was invested, the state knows all that information,” Chenault said. “And sometimes I just wonder, is that really information that every Alaskan is just dying to know?”House Resources also scaled back the governor’s cuts. The governor had proposed ending some credits for Cook Inlet immediately, while the committee bill steps down credits over eighteen months.And while the governor’s bill imposed a cap of $25 million in refundable credits per company per year, House Resources raised the cap to $200 million.The result? Over the next three years, the governor’s bill would save some $905 million, while the committee’s bill would save about $140 million.Chenault said he worries about yanking the rug out from under companies that have banked on the credits – and threatening future oil production.“My concern is, if we pull everything away today, how much, if any, investment is going to happen in the next few years?” he said.The bill has several more stops in the legislature before reaching the House and Senate floors. At this point, Chenault said, his only prediction is that the bill will change.
A big shake-up this afternoon in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race: Fairbanks attorney Joe Miller announced today that he will challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski after all. Miller says Libertarian nominee Cean Stevens has withdrawn from the race and her party’s leadership as agreed to let Miller appear on the General Election ballot in her place.Listen nowJoe Miller at the kick-off of his 2014 campaign for Senate. He lost that year in the Primary to Dan Sullivan. (Photo by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)Six years ago Miller ran as a Tea Party-style Republican and beat Murkowski in the Primary. Murkowski retained her seat, though, by mounting a write-in campaign for the General. By then, Miller’s campaign was sinking under a pile of revelations about his past, and the handcuffing of a news reporter at one of Miller’s campaign events, by men acting as Miller’s security guards.In his emailed announcement of his candidacy, Miller accuses Murkowski of being too liberal and said he’s running to offer voters a real choice.Other candidates in the race include Independent Margaret Stock and Democratic nominee Ray Metcalfe.
Organizers hold up a banner for March For Our Lives Alaska, asking for signatures (Photo by Victoria Petersen/ Alaska Public Media)From Bethel and Fairbanks to Anchorage and Juneau, people across Alaska gathered on Saturday in solidarity with March For Our Lives in Washington D.C.Listen nowAnchorage marchers carried signs showing varying messages such as Thoughts and Prayers are not Bulletproof and Books Not Bullets.About 1,000 people attended.The march kicked off with speeches from local student organizers. One of them was Keegan Blain, a junior at AJ Dimond High School.“We all believe that no more innocent children need to lose their life in what is supposed to be a safe place,” Blain said.Student organizer Keegan Blain (Photo by Victoria Petersen/ Alaska Public Media)The organizers want to raise the minimum age to own a firearm from 18 to 21, among other demands. They say high schoolers shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.“If you buy a gun at 21, you’re not gonna be having a gun while you’re also enrolled in a school,” high school junior and speaker James Schultz said. “You’d have it be in a college which has a lot more safeguards in place”Currently, Alaska residents can carry concealed firearms without a permit at 21, however most universities in the state don’t allow guns on campus without administrative approval. March organizers also want to require background checks for gun show purchases and reclassify certain weapons and ammunition magazines as military grade.Alaska has the highest percentage of gun ownership among adults in the country. Schultz insists the March for Our Lives movement does not want to take away people’s firearms.“I don’t want to take away your second amendment rights,” Schultz said. “I’ve got family members that have guns. What we want is gun reforms. So we want it to be harder to get a gun, but easy enough that if you’re healthy and you’re doing all the right things, you can get one.” Bethel High School Junior Amara Freeman and Senior Kelly O’Brien join the hundreds of thousands across the nation who marched for stricter gun regulation in the March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018. (Photo by Katie Basile/ KYUK)In Bethel, about 30 people joined the March, carrying signs and walking the slushy shoulder of Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway. Most of those who took to the Bethel street were students, teachers, school administrators, parents and grandparents.“It [my sign] says ‘At 17 I have seen 192 school shootings. I refuse to see another,’” 17-year-old organizer Kelly O’Brien said. “I made this sign when we did the Student Walkout, and that number was 188. And since the Parkland School shooting, there have been four more school shootings in the United States. So I’m marching for stricter gun laws and regulations and just keeping students safe in school.”Bethel Regional High School was the site of a school shooting more than 20 years ago where principal Ron Edwards and student Josh Palacios lost their lives. While the students marching wouldn’t have been old enough to remember the tragedy, Yuut Elitnaurviat learning center executive director Mike Hoffman says the effects of the shooting can still be felt in Bethel.“I see it every day at our school, and we’re already practicing our shooting lockdowns and everything,” Hoffman said. “I know I have four people who work in that school [Yuut Elitnaurviat and Kuskokwim Learning Academy] that were here during the school shooting 20 years ago, and just to watch their face when we started that whole process. I feel so sad for them.”March for Our Lives protesters walk toward the Alaska State Capitol on March 24, 2018. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)In Juneau, Anchorage Democratic Representative Geran Tarr spoke at the rally at the state’s capitol. Tarr introduced House Bill 75 last year. It establishes red flag laws that allow judges to remove guns from the homes of people at higher risk of committing acts of violence.“The idea is that you’re trying to intervene in a crisis situation and prevent someone from harming themselves or others and using the court to help you intervene by removing the guns,” Tarr said.The bill has had several hearings in the House Judiciary Committee and Tarr said she’s hopeful it will be moved out next week.Update: This story has been updated to reflect information on marches in Juenau and Bethel. It now contains contributions from KTOO’s Adelyn Baxter in Juneau and KYUK’s Anna Rose MacArthur in Bethel.
Crayfish. Photo by coniferconifer / flickrAn informal sport fishery has popped up in Kodiak. For crawdads.They’re crustaceans that look like little lobsters, and they’re native to the Pacific Northwest. But in the last few years, they’ve been found scuttling along the bottom of a popular fishing area near Kodiak, in the Buskin River watershed, mainly in the lake. In 2002, local groups noticed the invasive species in local waters.Now, a local tribal organization is studying their movement, distribution and diet.Listen nowThey are concerned the crawdads could be snacking on fry and disrupting salmons’ natural environment.Next to Buskin Lake, four guys pull on neoprene wetsuits and snorkeling masks. They’re gearing up for the hunt.“Man, I’m ready to slay some frickin’ crawdad right now,” Ryan Gabor said.Gabor and some friends have put aside the day to snorkel for the mud-colored crustaceans.They’re called a variety of names throughout the world including: crawfish, crawdads and crayfish.Kelly Krueger, tribal biologist with the Sun’aq Tribe, calls them by their proper name: Signal Crayfish. She says they’re not certain how the crawdads came to Kodiak, but she says people started catching them as early as 2015.“And I think it was because the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District and Blythe Brown, she was putting up signs that if you know of anything let us know, and then people just started looking for them and once people found out that they were in that southeast corner of the lake, then it kinda just exploded, and people have been snorkeling for ‘em, setting traps, and even scuba diving for ‘em,” Krueger said.The more people removing the crayfish from the Buskin, the better, Krueger says.Day trips to snorkel for crawdads are fun in the Kodiak summer, but the Sun’aq Tribe is concerned about the long-term effects on salmon and their habitat.In 2016, the Sun’aq Tribe and the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District teamed up to determine just how much of a presence crawdads have in the Buskin River. The Sun’aq Tribe has since taken the lead on the project, which is funded with a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Krueger says the Buskin is a popular subsistence salmon fishing stream along the road system.“So, on a year like this year where the salmon runs are really low, the tribal members are really concerned about it,” Krueger said. “And so the main question is how are the crayfish impacting the salmon resources? Are they are eating the eggs? Are they eating the carcasses? Are they eating the smolts? We don’t know.”Hypothetically, Krueger says, people could have shipped them up for a crawdad boil or as pets and then released them.One female can bear hundreds of babies in her lifetime.The Sun’aq Tribe is turning to locals to get a sense of the problem.Staff posted a sign up by Buskin Lake asking for people to report the number of the crawdads they catch and how many females with eggs they capture.It would be hard to make a dent in the population, according to one crawdad hunter, Miguel Zarate.“I don’t know,” Zarate said. “Every time I go there, I get a lot and then I go back to the same spots and I see still a ton of them.”)Zarate was in a local store, Scuba Do, when Ryan Gabor and his friend dropped by to rent their gear. While there, the gang also picked up a plastic raft. Motorized boats are not allowed on the lake because the Buskin is on Coast Guard land, and it’s also the source of drinking water for Base Kodiak.The raft carries the cooler and serves as a tender where the snorkelers can dump their stash of crawdads.Out on Buskin Lake, the gang dives down with bags made from nets and cinched at both ends. Once they filled the bags with crayfish, they pop back up to the surface and empty the crayfish into the cooler.The crayfish are fast. They’ll use their tails to propel away if they can. But Pearson Brodie says he’s having success.“I started finding them quite a bit once I started flipping over all these rocks,” Brodie said. “You try to get ‘em as soon as the mud stirs up and everything.”They’re only out there for a couple of hours before they have a large cooler full of crayfish. Brodie swims over to the raft and lifts the cooler lid. He sees hundreds of crayfish writhing around inside.The group meets Kelly Krueger with the Sun’aq Tribe and some of their local partners back in the parking lot.Krueger says in September, the Sun’aq Tribe will look at whether crayfish have also spread into deeper areas of the lake — trying to learn more about them in order to find a long-term solution.In the meantime, Kruegar says they can use all the help they can get from people like Ryan Gabor and his friends.Later that day, the guys gather at Brodie’s house, where they set up a pot of boiling water and drop the crayfish in by hand.They break out the cocktail sauce, and Gabor cracks a bright orange crayfish shell open with his fingers over a baking sheet. He says he aims for the tail, one of the fleshiest bits:Kind of tastes like crab to be honest,” Gabor said. “Like a real small version of crab, delicious.”
A flow line curves above the horizon on the western North Slope. (Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk)A Papua New Guinea company says a North Slope oil field may be a lot bigger than it first estimated.Listen nowOil Search told investors this week that the Pikka development could hold 750 million barrels of oil, increasing its original estimate by 50 percent. The company aims to drill two wells this winter to help confirm the field’s size.The company also said another area just south of Pikka, called Horseshoe, could hold more than 300 million barrels of oil. Another oil company with a stake in the project said last year that the entire area could hold upwards of a billion barrels of oil.Pikka is west of Prudhoe Bay, on land owned by the state and Kuukpik Corporation.Oil Search is relatively new to Alaska. Its other major projects are in Papua New Guinea. The company bought up a significant stake of the Alaska oil field last year from the Denver-based Armstrong Energy.Oil Search managing director Peter Botten told investors he’s feeling optimistic about the company’s North Slope venture.“We’re acutely aware we need to walk before we can run in Alaska, and we need to get it right and not drop the ball, but things are really going well there,” Botten said.Botten added that Oil Search plans to double its Anchorage staff to 100 by the end of the year.Oil Search’s increased estimate for Pikka was first reported by the Anchorage Daily News.
INDORE: BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiya, arrested for assaulting a municipal corporation officially with a cricket bat, Thursday moved the sessions court here after the magistrate’s court denied him bail. The sessions court reserved its order after the issue of jurisdiction came up, as there is a special fast-track court set up in Bhopal for handling cases against MPs and MLAs. Also Read – National Herald case: Officer bearers of Congress were cheats, Subramanian Swamy tells court Advertise With Us Akash’s lawyers pleaded that through a special court has been set up for a trial of cases against legislators, the sessions court can very well decide on bail pleas. The sessions court reserved its order on the issue. Akash, son of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, was arrested Wednesday after he was caught on TV cameras while assaulting the civic official while opposing demolition of an old house. The judicial magistrate court Wednesday turned down his bail plea and sent him to judicial remand for 14 days.
Hyderabad: Bank of Maharashtra held its 16th annual general meeting (AGM) to approve and adopt the balance sheet along with profit and loss account of the Bank for the year ended March 31. While adopting the balance sheet as at March 31, shareholders of the Bank expressed their faith and confidence in the Bank and its leadership team. The shareholders acknowledged and appreciated the management’s efforts undertaken for improving the Bank’s performance. Also Read – Secunderabad: Major General N Srinivas Rao makes farewell visit to AOC Advertise With Us AS Rajeev, Managing Director and CEO of Bank of Maharashtra informed about the performance highlights of Bank and various initiatives taken by Bank, while addressing the shareholders at the 16th AGM of the BankAC Rout, Executive Director, Hemant Tamta, Executive Director, Deendayal Agrawal, Director, General Managers of Bank, Representative of the Government of India and Auditors of Bank were present in the meeting.
The Ballari police have shifted Heera group director Nowhera Shaik to Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad. Nowhera was taken by the Ballari police on Prisoner’s Transit (PT) warrant in a case registered against her. She was produced in a court in Ballari and shifted back to the Hyderabad jail. The Heera Group director has been accused in several cases registered in Telangana, AP, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi. She collected investments from the public and later cheated them. She collected investments from the public on the promise of paying a 36 per cent return. The police suspect that she had collected nearly Rs 5,600 crore from 1.72 lakh investors across the country.
Hyderabad: BJP leaders on Tuesday demanded the government to supply drinking water to all the towns and villages by tankers wherever people are facing acute water shortage, distribute free seeds to farmers and declare 435 mandals as drought-affected. In a memorandum submitted to Chief Secretary S K Joshi, a delegation of BJP leaders wanted the govern to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the drought conditions prevailing in the State. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us They said that there is scarcity of water in the State the deficit rainfall. Out of 584 mandals, 435 mandals are drought-affected and the districts like Khammam, Nalgonda, and Suryapet are the most affected. Cultivation has not even reached 60 per cent out of 40 lakh acres in this season. The BJP leaders alleged that the government did not take proper steps to contain the situation and had not planned for alternative arrangements. Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us If this situation continues for few more days there will be no yield of crops and the farmers will be in a grave situation, the BJP leaders said. They demanded that the Agriculture and Revenue departments should help the farmers with proper coordination. The government should immediately waive off Rs one lakh loan of farmers as announced earlier by KCR and sanction new loans to all farmers. Advertise With Us They also added that the Prime Minister Fasal Bima Scheme should be implemented in the State so that those farmers who have not started harvesting will also get benefit with this scheme. For the farmers who are not eligible in Fasal Bima Scheme, the government should introduce input subsidy scheme so as to protect the farmers. The BJP leaders wanted the government to furnish details of all eligible farmers to the Central government to implement the Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme and pattadar passbooks should be given to all the remaining 10 lakhs farmers. BJP leaders Bandaru Dattatreya, DK Aruna, T Raja Singh, G Premender Reddy, S Venkateshwar Rao, Chintala Ramachandra Reddy and others were also present.
New Tehri : Nine children died and 10 were injured when a van taking them to school fell into a deep gorge in Uttarakhand’s Tehri Garhwal district on Tuesday morning. The accident occurred on the Pratap Nagar-Kangsali-Madan Negi road near Lambgaon. The van was on way to the Angels International School, he said Nine school children and 10 were injured. Also Read – NRC in Assam to be released: list to finalize if a person is Indian or Foreigner Advertise With Us The children who received serious injuries have been brought to the district hospital, Tehri District Magistrate V Shanmugam said. The children are from the Kangsali village and aged between four to 13 years. State Disaster Response Force, district administration and medical professionals rushed to the spot and helped evacuate passengers of the bus and had the injured shifted to hospital. Also Read – Subramanian Swamy cross-examined in National Herald case Advertise With Us Meanwhile, chief minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Rawat has also ordered a magisterial-level probe into the incident. Rawat also expressed his condolences and directed the officers concerned to act quickly in their rescue efforts. In another accident, five passengers died and several were feared trapped when a boulder fell on their bus at Lambagad slide zone on the Badrinath Highway. Efforts to save the trapped people was underway, and a police team was also present at the spot. More details are awaited.