September 13, 2011
Coconut tree

Coconut tree     Photo: randomlife/Flickr

Island To Be Powered By Sun, Coconut Oil

Territory will move off fossil fuel in 2012

A small island off New Zealand is planning to install solar panels and coconut-oil-powered generators in an effort to become one of the world's first territories to generate energy entirely from renewable resources. The 1,500 residentsof Tolekau, a territory administered by New Zealand, currently import close to 1,400 liters of fuel each week. But next year, according to island head Foua Toloa, each of Tokelua's three atolls will be outfitted with 200-square-meter fields of solar panels that will provide more than 90 percent of the island's energy. The balance will be made up by burning oil native coconut oil. With a maximum elevation of only five meters, the island is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by global warming. In 2007, The Danish island of Samsø became the world's first island to move fully to renewable energy. It now exports its excess energy to mainland Denmark.

Read more at New Scientist


Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines     Photo: Frank Kovalchek/Flickr

Dogs on Juneau Runway Delay Landing

Alaska Airlines flight circles, lands safely

A pair of black labs wandered onto a runway at Juneau International Airport on Sunday afternoon and briefly forced Alaska Airlines Flight 64 to delay landing. Animal control officers, who captured one of the dogs while Flight 64 circled, are unsure how either animal gained access to the airfield. Another lab "that matches the description" was found nearby later in the day. The first dog's owner, whose name has not been released, was out of town and had left the pet with a friend. He or she will likely face a citation. The dogs may have been walking on the nearby Airport Dike Trail, or could escaped from caretakers while already on airport grounds, according to Deputy Airport Manager Patty deLaBruere.

Read more at the KINY Radio


Grizzly and cubs

Grizzly bear and cubs in Yellowstone     Photo: xinem/flickr

Cop Shoots Charging Brown Bear

Death comes as AK overhauls bear policy

A police officer in Soldotna, Alaska, shot and killed a brown bear last week after the animal charged him in a residential area. Officer Victor Dillon spotted the bear crossing a yard, then followed it on foot when it charged from a distance of approximately 25 yards. Dillion fired a single round from his shotgun, killing the bear. Perhaps coincidentally, the shooting took place not long after the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently announced a new predator control policy calling for a large-scale reduction in grizzly population by state agents. The AFGD believes the reduction will increase moose and caribou numbers, though the policy has been criticized by other wildlife experts. An article published in the Journal of Wildlife Management reviewed Alaska's grizzly management from 1980-2010 and warned that "current attitudes, policies and absence of science-based management of grizzly bears in Alaska are increasingly similar to those that resulted in the near extirpation of grizzly bears south of Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries." Brown bears are the same species as grizzlies but generally live closer to the coast. Police in Soldotna believe the dead bear had been attracted to a fresh caribou head left over from a butchered carcass.

Read more at Anchorage Daily News


Jeannie Longo

Jeannie Longo     Photo: MollySVH/Flickr

Longo's Husband Accused of Buying EPO

U.S rider says he sold Ciprelli booster

The French Cycling Federation has suspended the husband of champion cyclist Jeannie Longo, following a report that he bought the doping agent EPO in 2007. In an interview in the French sports paper L'Equipe, disgraced American cyclist Joe Papp confirmed that he sold EPO to Patrice Ciprelli, Longo's husband, in 2007. L'Equipe also published email correspondence between Papp, Ciprelli, and a man identified as a Chinese supplier. "I understood that Longo was the beneficiary of the EPO," Papp told L'Equipe. Outside profiled Papp in 2008 for his admitted role in professional cycling's underground doping culture. The response from the French Cycling Federation comes after last week's report that Longo had missed three doping tests in the past eighteen months, prompting warnings from the French Anti-Doping Agency that she could face a two-year doping suspension. Ciprelli has accused L'Equipe of faking the emails. In June, the 52-year-old cyclist bagged her fourth consecutive French national time trial championship, reaffirming her position as one of the world's most competitive female cyclists.

Read more at Cycling News


    Photo: Zaxo/Wikimedia Commons

Iran to Release American Hikers

Ahmadinejad calls reversal "humanitarian"

Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced today that two American hikers imprisoned in Iran since 2009 on charges of espionage will be released by the end of the week, overturning a ruling last month that sentenced the men to eight years in jail. In a statement broadcast on Tuesday morning's Today Show, Ahmadinejad called the decision, pending $500,000 bail, a "humanitarian gesture." Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were given eight-year prison sentences last month on charges of espionage and illegal entry into Iran. Guards arrested Fattal and Bauer with fellow hiker Sarah Shourd in 2009 after they mistakenly walked across Iran's border while hiking in Iraqi Kurdi­stan. Shourd was released for medical reasons last September.

Read more at The New York Times