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April 5th 1:50 pm | STAFF REPORT Print this article   Email this article   Create a Shortlink for this article

Kotzebue Park Service hiring local experts

The National Park Service has announced that more opportunities have arisen for locals to do contract work for the Park Service in the Northwest.

"Our federal local hire regulations have become more pliable lately, which allows us to contract with more local experts," said Linda Jeschke of the Park Service.

For instance, one musk ox researcher that has worked with the service has hired Kotzebue and Shishmaref residents for the past four years to assist him in traveling to and carrying out his annual studies.

Similar job opportunities are expected to come up in the coming seasons, as the service expands its local hire options.

"That local person contributes their knowledge of the landscape, weather, winter camping and can help gather data as well," Jeschke said. "It's a win-win."

Jeschke expects these job opportunities to be long-term additions to research programs that cooperate with the National Park Service.

Positions may include research support managers, backcountry guides, maintenance staff, education interns and administrative staff. Specific openings will be advertised via radio, bulletin boards, park websites and Twitter. Interested applicants should watch for updates in those locations.

Follow the service on Twitter @KobukValleyNPS, or find their online information at www.nps.gov/kova. Or call (907) 442-3890.

Sen. Don Young apologizes for on-air slur

Alaska's lone U.S. Senator Don Young garnered national criticism in recent days after he used a racial slur during a radio interview with KRBD in Ketchikan last week.

Young used the term "wetbacks" to refer to the Latino people working on his father's farm in Central California when he was younger.

Initially, the congressman released a statement saying he meant no offense, and that the term was meant to be taken in context of the time period in which he grew up.

Many leaders around the state and country felt his statement didn't resemble closely enough an actual apology.

"Congressman Don Young reached a new low on Thursday when he used a racial slur about Latinos in a radio interview," said Alaska Democratic Party Chair Mike Wenstrup. "Even for Don Young, this comment is appalling.  Congressman Young's offensive remarks are completely out of step with Alaskans' values and we demand that he do the right thing and apologize for using this abhorrent racial slur about our families and neighbors."

The Senator did just that at the end of last week, issuing the following statement:

"I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska.  There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words. That word, and the negative attitudes that come with it, should be left in the 20th century,  and I'm sorry that this has shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform."

In discussion across the state, people both railed against Young's insensitivity and came to his defense - citing his long years of service to Alaska.

The Alaska Dispatch's Craig Medred took a candid look back at Young's history of tripping over trigger words. That article can be found on AlaskaDispatch.com.

Subsistence council to meet by teleconference

The North Slope Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet April 16, 2013 by teleconference. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m.

The Council will hear a briefing on the initiation of a review of the rural determination process and a briefing on customary and traditional use determinations in the Federal Subsistence Management Program. The Council will also review and comment on the draft Tribal Consultation Implementation Guidelines and discuss other issues related to subsistence in the North Slope Region.

The public is welcome to attend and participate in this meeting. To teleconference into this meeting, dial 1-866-560-5984, the passcode is 12960066.

The agenda and other meeting materials are available at http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/racdetail.cfml?rac=10. Information regarding this meeting is also available by calling the Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3888 or by e-mail, subsistence@fws.gov.

Additional information about the Federal Subsistence Management Program can be found on the Web at http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/home.html.

 

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