Karl Kassel


The Week of the Arctic gets under way today here on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. Dozens of Arctic science- and policy-related events will be held throughout the week, culminating in Thursday’s Arctic Council ministerial meetings, when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will hand over the council chairmanship to his counterpart from Finland.

More than a thousand scientists and policymakers from around the world, along with organizations representing indigenous peoples, industry and other interest are converging here in Fairbanks for Arctic Science Summit Week. They’re coming to nation’s leading Arctic-research university to share the latest information on rapid changes under way in the circumpolar north.

KUAC file photo

Clean air advocates say they’re disappointing that local and state regulators haven’t made more progress in getting the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s air-quality program up and going. As KUAC’s Tim Ellis reports, Citizens for Clean Air members are worried the slow-moving process could jeopardize the local program, because opponents are already working to get an initiative before voters in the fall.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved a measure that allows the area school district to keep $800,000 that it would’ve been required to give back to the borough. Assembly members say the action was a small step toward helping the district cope with personnel and program cuts that district officials have proposed to deal with an $11 million state funding shortfall.

Tim Ellis/KUAC

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly passed a sweeping air-quality ordinance Thursday night that supporters hope will finally begin to clean up Fairbanks’s wintertime air pollution. Most members agreed the ordinance isn’t perfect, but that it’s a good start.

Borough Assembly Voting On Truancy Ordinance Tonight

Jun 12, 2014

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly votes tonight on an ordinance that reworks the school district’s truancy policy. The new policy appoints a truancy officer, and implements penalties that are less strict than state law.

The Fairbanks school district currently adheres to a statewide truancy policy, where parents face a $500 fine, a misdemeanor or court appearance if their children have five or more unexcused absences. Borough assembly Presiding Officer Karl Kassel says that policy is ineffective.

Fairbanks, AK - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly will consider a resolution Thursday that could prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from retroactively revoking permits within the Borough.  Sponsors are responding to the EPA’s decision this spring to revoke a permit for a controversial coal mining project in West Virginia.

Fairbanks, AK - A resolution to mitigate conflict between dog owners and trappers could pass easily during tonight’s Regular Borough Assembly meeting.  The item is on the consent agenda and unless an assembly member disagrees, two new areas will be established for dog training within the borough.  It’s a resolution that took two years’ worth of discussion between the Alaska Trapper’s Association and the Borough Trails Advisory Commission.