Author: Web Editor

June 24, 2014 Web Editor

The salaries of public employees are a matter of public record — but that doesn’t always mean these records are accessible to the average person. Juneau’s public radio and television station, KTOO, is spearheading an effort to create a searchable database containing the records of a variety of state agencies, including the sprawling University of Alaska system.

For the UA system, though, this isn’t the first time this type of project has been undertaken.

In May 2011, Heather Bryant began as editor-in-chief of UAF’s Sun Star newspaper, and brought with her an ambitious plan to cull together systemwide salary info — making the database available on the newspaper’s website.

Through a series of editorials, Bryant explained the rationale for the project in response to criticism from staff and faculty.

“Personnel accounts for approximately 60 percent of the university’s budget. It’s important to know how that money is spent,” Bryant wrote.

Some were outraged over the project, claiming their privacy had somehow been violated.

“Publicizing my salary information is invasive, and is a cheap way to ‘target’ individuals. Doing so is indicative of a totalitarian democratic ideology. Shame on you!” Jonathan B. Horen commented on the website.

One commenter suggested that it would be more fair if the Sun Star’s database included other state agencies in addition to UA employees — but the UA database would prove to be unwieldy and time-consuming for a student-run newspaper with a high turnaround.

As of January 2014 the database has been temporarily removed from the website, though the Sun Star says they plan to make an updated database available soon.

These days, Bryant works as the digital services editor at KTOO, applying her previous public record-wrangling experience to the job at hand — a database hosted by KTOO including state government, the Department of Public Safety, Department of Motor Vehicles and the Alaska Public Defender Agency.

According to an email from UAA Human Resource Services, the KTOO database will include UA employees’ gross salaries, healthcare and retirement benefit numbers, and employment status (full-time, part-time, permanent/temp or student employee).

For UAA, the comprehensive database could be eye-opening, especially in the wake of the soon-to-be released findings of program prioritization.

Incoming Faculty Senate President Diane Hirshberg, speaking from her own perspective, welcomes the steps toward transparency.

“My hope is that some people take a critical look at how we spend, the amount of resources that are spent on high-level administrators statewide. … We have a top-heavy university, and it’s been told to us by outside experts,” Hirshberg said.

Bryant, speaking from Juneau, still believes the essence of the project has to do with “transparency in government spending and accountability in government spending.”

KTOO hopes to have the public records database up and running sometime this fall.

April 8, 2014 Web Editor

Dear Friends of Seawolf Athletics, Today marks the completion of my first six months as Director of Athletics, without question the most exciting and rewarding period of my professional career in college athletics. It has been an honor and privilege for Patricia and I to make your home our home. It has also been an…

April 1, 2014 Web Editor

This recipe is meant to give a little extra flavor to a classic dish and hopefully encourage you to experiment with ingredients. You can choose to either get pre-cooked chicken or buy fresh chicken and season it to your taste. Some may like coating the chicken breasts in vegetable oil and sprinkling some garlic-based seasoning…

November 26, 2013 Web Editor

Here’s the Women’s and Men’s Great Alaska Shootout Schedule!

Also: get a break down with Thomas McIntyre and Mark Hoffman including stats on the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves (Women’s and Men’s), Georgetown University Hoyas, Nicholls State University Colonels, UC Riverside Highlanders, Indiana State Sycamores, University of Denver Pioneers, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix, University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, Pepperdine University Waves, Texas Christian University Horned Frogs, and Harvard University Crimson.

November 21, 2013 Web Editor

In the first week of November, the United States experienced an airport shooting, an airport bomb threat, and an armed individual in a New Jersey mall and a university lockdown. The events sparked discussion about public safety across social media sites. Are people overreacting, or are they not concerned enough?

Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, went into Los Angeles International airport Nov. 1 with an assault rifle. He killed a Transportation Security Administration officer and wounded two others. The Los Angeles Times reports local and federal officials are trying to determine whether further improvement is needed for airport defenses.

That same night, Richard Shoop, 20, carried a gun into a Garden State Mall in New Jersey. The New York Times interviewed witnesses who saw him clothed entirely in black with a motorcycle helmet. People panicked and ran for cover, but the only person he shot was himself. Authorities found his body in part of the mall that was under construction. Friends and family say he was suffering from depression and drug abuse.

According to Reuters, an employee at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport found a note in a bathroom Nov. 3 announcing a bomb was located in the terminal. The airport was shut down for over two hours. Flights were delayed or diverted as police and search dogs combed the building. No bomb was found. Officials are still investigating the note.

Central Connecticut State University went into lockdown Nov. 4 after an armed individual was spotted on campus. The suspect, David Kyem, was caught and charged with first-degree criminal trespassing. He was wearing a ninja Halloween costume, and carried an air gun and plastic sword.

When asked about public safety around UAA campus, Russian language major Anne-Marie Burnelle said, “Around the Goose lake area, it’s super sketchy. But I think the buildings are OK. … One time I was rollerblading and somebody flashed me. It was a guy. He had his pants down. … I got really scared, almost ran into a rock.”

Psychology major Madchen Wausen said, “Even though there’s a no-carry rule, I highly think people are carrying (guns) — if not on them, at least in vehicles. This is Alaska, after all.”

The University Police Department is in charge of campus safety. They unlock and lock building doors every night, can be seen cruising around campus in marked patrol cars, and are located in the Eugene Short Hall Room 114. They have incident action plan PDFs for employees and students on the UPD homepage. The documents include what to do in natural disasters, when an active shooter is on campus and when suspicious package/substances are found.

UAA employees concerned with safety on campus can participate in the UPD Auxiliary Team. Auxiliary Team members typically meet once a month. They are trained how to properly evacuate buildings, control crowds and participate in searches.

For further information, call UPD at 907-786-1120. For emergencies, 911 is still strongly encouraged. 

 

October 22, 2013 Web Editor

Check out photos from Homecoming Week 2013, October 10-18, including the Shopping Cart Parade, ‘Breast Show Ever’ Opening Reception, Broomball, Quiddtich, TNL’s own Murder Mystery Night, A Cappella Festivella 20, and the Homecoming Dance!

September 10, 2013 Web Editor

Updated news on the campus construction. Includes parking openings and alternatives as well as road closures.

April 23, 2013 Web Editor

by Oliver Petraitis, KRUA Music Manager

What do beards, feedback, and vocal static have in common? They’re all fuzzy.

Straight from Australia, The Growl’s new 11-song album “What Would Christ Do?” is a hazy, bluesy indie rock album that lives up to its ambitiously growling title.

The Growl achieves a sound that is very simi­lar to the fuzziness of older Black Keys records, but with a more sophisticated production style and occasional electronic influences unexpect­edly sauntering in.

The album is ripe with opposites. Songs like “Eleven,” “Cleaver Lever” and “John the Rev­elator” are pipe-busting, harmonica-wailing, reverb-rocking knockouts that contort the face of front man Cam Avery.

Songs like “Fee Fi Fo Fum,” which features some Venice-style accordion and stripped-down folklore banjo, and “In The Belly Of The Beast” slow to a mal-tempered crawl. Both tracks have a distinct Tom Waits-like sound. Then the band jumps headlong into grimy experimental noise on “NIYWTLWOE.”

“More” is a melodious slow-goer that is both hollow in spirit but full in soul. On the whole, the album is full of surprises.

The prevailing grungy sound kicks down the door, and the electronic instrumentation turns heads toward these newcomers. The Growl has set themselves up for future success with this album.

 

 

April 23, 2013 Web Editor

Throughout the many years of gaming history, the RPG genre has gone through many phases.

From “Zelda” to “Final Fantasy,” gamers have a lot of great memo­ries and “Evoland” will likely evoke similar ones.

April 9, 2013 Web Editor

by Mark Hoffman, contributor

As of March 21, the coun­try’s most renowned institu­tion of higher learning can add another accomplishment to its lengthy list of achievements: its first NCAA basketball tournament victory.

The Harvard Crimson’s stunning 68-62 upset win over the New Mexico Lobos busted brackets across the coun­try and helped incite the madness that is March. Though eliminat­ed in the next round, the Crimson will spend the offseason revel­ing in victory before kicking off next year’s campaign at the 2013 Great Alaska Shootout.

Most importantly for the Har­vard basketball team, the signa­ture win was a vital step for a program on the rise.

Only a year removed from the “Linsanity” caused by Harvard-grad-turned-NBA-star Jeremy Lin, the program’s latest mile­stone has placed Harvard smack dab in the middle of the basket­ball landscape.

OK, maybe “smack dab in the middle” is overstating it a bit. But they are definitely on the map. And that’s not exactly something they are used to.

After all, Harvard is still a school known more for their pro­pensity to develop US presidents rather than NBA players. But head coach – and former Duke point guard – Tommy Amaker brought a strong-rooted coaching pedigree to the program when he took over in 2007, and together they have climbed the ladder to NCAA hoops relevance.

In 2011, they clinched a share of their first-ever Ivy League conference champi­onship. In 2012, they were ranked in the top 25 in the AP and Coaches Poll’s for the first time in school his­tory. And then came their NCAA tournament win in an unexpectedly successful 2012- 13 season.

Hopes appeared bleak for the Crimson back in Novem­ber. Senior co-captains Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry withdrew from school amidst cheating allegations before the season even began.

However, the play of the Ivy League’s leading scorer, Wes­ley Saunders, and freshman point guard, Siyani Chambers, propelled Harvard to a third-straight Ivy League champion­ship and set the stage for their shocking upset.

Now Casey and Curry are on their way back to Cam­bridge. They won’t be alone, either. Zena Edosomwan, a four-star recruit with big potential, has committed to the Crimson.

As the rise of Harvard bas­ketball continues, will a Great Alaska Shootout Champion­ship be the next accomplish­ment in its run of success?

 

April 3, 2013 Web Editor

The University of Alaska at the University of Alaska Assembly, the student government, is hosting its annual election for President and Vice President.

The duos running are Andrew Lemish and Andrew Lessig and Max Bullock and Johnnie Templeton. Write in candidates are also eligible to be elected.

April 3, 2013 Web Editor

* Please ask your legislators to support “HB 43 – University Institutes of Law and Medicine” sponsored by Representatives Kawasaki, Josephson, Tuck, and Kerttula.

What about a medical school in Alaska? It is in our best interest to have excellent medical education and teaching hospitals where we live.

The acronym, WWAMI, stands for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho; five states that have one medical school at University of Washington.  Alaska gets 20 places yearly at University of Washington. We need local health professionals. Because of the leadership of Harold Johnston, M.D., Alaska has 36 Primary Care Residents at Providence Family Medicine Center. Many of these Residents have remained in Alaska and gone to Bush areas to practice. If a medical school were started, more Alaska medical residency programs will be established.

The comparative costs of health care in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota shows that Alaska health care is much more expensive according to the Milliman Report “Drivers of Health Care Costs in Alaska and Comparison States”  http://dhss.alaska.gov/ahcc/Documents/docs/drivers_healthcare_costs.pdf 11/29/11

What about a law school here in Alaska, the only state in the U.S. that does not have one?  As Alaska population has doubled, the number of Alaska lawyers has not kept pace with our population growth.  There are about 2,500 In-State Alaska attorneys and 601 Alaska Active Out of State attorneys for a total of 3,100 Alaska attorneys per Todd Communications Alaska Directory of Attorneys Page 2 Fall, 2012.  Therefore, 24% of the Alaska attorneys are Alaska Active Out of State. This is the highest percentage in the U.S.  Why are there 601 Alaska Active Out of State attorneys, most of whom have never landed on our soil?   Alaska Active Out of State attorneys are making money off Alaska.

Ms. Leslie Need, new lawyer liaison Board of Governors Alaska Bar Association, reported in March, 2013 Alaska Bar Rag that in the last five years 37% of the Alaska Bar licensees have been by reciprocity.  Why is there only about a 60% passage rate on Alaska Bar Exam, most of whom are Alaskans? Some other states have 30% higher passage.  All Wisconsin law school graduates are inducted into Wisconsin Bar without testing.  Alaska residents licensed to practice law in one of the 39 reciprocal states should be allowed to practice here without testing.  http://www.alaskabar.org/servlet/content/reciprocal_jurisdictions.html

Dr. Talis Colberg, Alaska attorney since 1984, Ph.D., Alaska Attorney General 2006-2008, and current Director, Mat-Su College, wrote a column in Alaska Bar Rag “Election of an Attorney General” published 12/12 stating that our then 53 year old state has had 24 appointed Alaska Attorneys General.  43 states has elected Attorneys General.  Dr. Colberg concluded:

“. . .It is a mistake to make the chief law enforcement office of the state an at will employee of the governor. . . . Alaska would be better off with an elected Attorney General.”

If you are told that Alaska cannot afford medical and legal education, please respond that Alaska has probably over $20 Billion in reserves currently.  American medical and legal education Alaska will save money and lives in the long run.  Let’s make certain HB 43 passes in the 28th Alaska Legislature.

 

Theresa Obermeyer

UAA student

April 3, 2013 Web Editor

Many important issues were raised in the Women’s History Month edition of The Northern Light, nearly all of which were either only vaguely touched on yet overshadowed by inconsequential nonsense or entirely redirected in a way harmful to women everywhere. There are numerous examples of this in nearly every article, but I will confine this letter to what I think are the most important.

I will first address your statement that this was not intended to be the “feminist” or “angry girl” edition of the Northern Light. The false notion that feminists are “angry girls” is probably the most damaging misconception to the feminist movement.

Feminism is simply the idea that women are people and should be treated as such. So while you were clearly intending this statement to tell your readers that this edition wasn’t going to follow the stereotypes attributed to feminists, you were in effect confirming these stereotypes. This was a very thoughtless thing to do in an issue supposedly dedicated to women.

In the Letter From The Editor segment of the paper, you touch on the story of Landen Gambill, who was “charged with violating the student honor code” after filing a complaint against the school after it “nearly ignor(ed) her claims about being raped and abused by her boyfriend, another student.”

This is a very important topic, one that doesn’t get much press. This was an opportunity to discuss the crucial issue that rapists and other sexual assailants are protected by institutions of education, places of employment, the judicial system, and the military to a degree one wouldn’t even expect of a far less developed society. Instead you say, “Because even when women are at their weakest and most vulnerable, our voices about our vaginas are considered ‘intimidating.’” I think this statement is offensive and inappropriate because you imply that this woman was in her “weakest and most vulnerable state” because she had been raped, despite the fact that she was demonstrating her admirable and laudable strength by fighting against those who wronged her.

You then ignore the real issue of the school defending her rapist by saying she was silenced because they found her discussing her vagina to be intimidating. Rape and domestic violence are very serious issues that cannot be reduced to “talking about her vagina.”

I was very happy when I saw Rosie the Riveter on the cover of The Northern Light. However, after reading the articles within this issue, I found its overall content not only dissatisfying and a poor attempt at representing women positively in the media, but this edition also confirmed in the name of empowerment the very same negative stereotypes of women commonly propagated by the media.

 

Kevin Bartlett

UAA student

April 3, 2013 Web Editor

Dear Editor,

My aunt always told me, “If you see a person driving off a bridge to stay out of the way. You do not want to turn a suicide into a homicide.” Well, this article is not about a car crash but on Greek Life on campus.

After Kappa Sigma did not become a recognized fraternity on campus last semester, I sought answers from Greek Council.

Because Sau Alpha Epsilon is the only fraternity on campus, I thought the process to bring a new fraternity to Greek Life would be a smooth transition, but it was not. I then realized starting a new fraternity — in my case, Tau Kappa Epsilon — was difficult.

I looked at Greek Council and found out SAE members held three votes on USUAA Student Government Assembly, two coming from senators’ seats, and one from a Greek Council Representative. Additionally, since SAE members contribute five out of eight votes on Greek Council.

This disproportion representation in positions of power makes SAE an unfair deciding factor amongst the student population concerning council decisions. The Dean of Students has the final say in the creation of fraternities, but she receives a recommendation from the council regarding Greek life matters.

On Feb. 22, 2013, Greek Council voted five “against” and four “for” votes in establishing TKE as a temporarily recognized fraternity.

Is this kind of injustice American? Our founding fathers fought against tyranny through the Declaration of Independence. Is it American to let a fraternity dictate Greek Council decisions by having five out of eight votes?

I suggest Greek Life should adjust it policies concerning its voting members. More Greek organizations should establish their presence on campus, because Greek life should be more than a social club tucked away in the Student Union. Greek life should be engaged in the communities of our campus, other than periodically selling baked goods. If Greek Council will not allow more Greek organizations, why their presence needed at all?

Mabil Duir

English & Political Science Major

 

April 3, 2013 Web Editor

These days, many games try to tell complex stories. They follow the example of titles that succeed with edgy, well-told narratives without realizing that those legendary titles are, at their core, interactive experiences. “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” is one of those conflicted games. It can’t decide whether it wants to be an awesome action game like “Bayonetta” or a soul-crushingly dispiriting story like the other “Metal Gear” series titles.

March 18, 2013 Web Editor

The original “BIT.TRIP Runner,” released in 2010, is an interesting experimental fusion of rhythm and platformer games. It is a very compelling experience and has a fantastic art style. But like many other side-scrolling platformers today, it is frustratingly challenging.

March 6, 2013 Web Editor

Women are often portrayed in media in a hyper-sexualised, degrading and stereotyped manner.

But according to Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who wrote and directed the film “Miss Representation,” society generally is so desensitised to the gender “norms” portrayed in media that people accept this portrayal as natural.

March 6, 2013 Web Editor

By Taylor Guillory, Contributor During the days of Andy Griffith and Dick Van Dyke, women began to branch out from their homemaker status. While many faced office prejudices, they trudged onward to make way for later generations. Women quickly became more than the sum of their parts and the sum of handy tricks that home…

February 27, 2013 Web Editor

College should not only be about book knowledge, but should also teach practical knowledge about how to make life easier. I offer this solution: invest in a slow cooker.This recipe is easy and leaves plenty of leftovers for lazy days on the weekend. A total of $9.70 was spent on this recipe, and the only thing purchased at the store was beef.

February 26, 2013 Web Editor

by Ronny Parayno, contributor

As a student veteran, I have attended this university for over four years.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to learn and grow, but it did not come without obstacles.  In 2007, the university did not have the Vet Resource Center or VA certifying officials.  This new office can be a point of contact for students looking for answers to their questions typically encountered by military members, veterans, family members, faculty, or staff.  These are only a few of the elements they need to progressively develop full-fledged veteran, military, and dependent programs for these men and women.  Next, we as students must make a choice to help these students.  I choose to help, and I hope others will follow.  Here is the plan we should take:

  • Talk about the military in an open discussion utilizing university venues
  • Introduce yourself to someone you know is in the military or a veteran
  • Work with staff, faculty, and students to develop social awareness
  • Attend Student Veterans of University of Alaska Anchorage club meetings
  • Support student government by attending assembly meetings and speak about your concerns

In closing, if you are a student who is interested in serving those who are currently serving or have served their country, then contact me at [email protected] with the subject heading “Military Friendly”.  Secondly, while you are waiting for my response, you can seek out opportunities that involve members of the military community at the new center or the Student Veterans of the University of Alaska Anchorage club.  For more information, visit Collegiate Link.  In the meantime, I look forward to getting your inputs.

February 21, 2013 Web Editor

What is it with games and guilt these days? First there was “Spec Ops: The Line,” then “The Walking Dead,” where no player could ever forget Clementine’s doe eyes. Now “The Cave” is here leaveing you with a feeling of shame in your gut through puzzles and gameplay.

February 21, 2013 Web Editor

It started as a humble dish in southern Italy, a succulent combination of eggplant, cheese and tomato. It travelled the world via the seven seas and landed in Australia sometime in the 1960s. Australians, of course, immediately bastardized the Italian version of this meal. Not only was the original vegetarian wholesomeness forever changed when the…