Playing its third game in three days, the South hockey team powered past Bartlett 15-2 on Friday.
Trenton Klingbeil delivered a hat trick and Hunter Schmitz accumulated eight assists for the Wolverines, who outshot the Golden Bears 31-13 in the Cook Inlet Conference game at Ben Boeke Arena.
Bartlett received goals from Bradley Mackin and Mark Abrego.
After defeating Kodiak on Friday, the Chugiak boys basketball team is in contention for the championship in the inaugural West Valley Wolfpack Basketball Invitational.
Chugiak beat Kodiak 50-36 to improve to 2-0 in the six-team, round-robin tournament.
Hunter Harr and Adam Huffman powered the Mustangs with 12 points apiece. Harr added three steals and Huffman went 4 of 7 from beyond the arc.
Matthew Blackly led Kodiak with eight points.
The tournament concludes Saturday.
No other results from the tournament were reported.
For the second time in the last three games, the UAA hockey team went down a goal in the first minute of the game.
Bemidji State forward Myles Fitzgerald scored his first of two goals 42 seconds into the game and the Beavers dismantled the Seawolves 5-1 Friday in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game in Bemidji, Minnesota.
"We need to be better to start games," UAA coach Matt Thomas said in a news release. "We can't expect to win when we spot teams early leads."
Bemidji State forward Jay Dickman recorded a hat trick for the Beavers with two goals in the first period and one in the second. The Beavers led 3-0 through the game's first 20 minutes.
Beavers forward Kyle Bauman tacked on four assists.
UAA defenseman Jarrett Brown scored the Seawolves' lone goal early in the second period — his second of the season. Assists were credited to senior winger Tad Kozun and junior winger Alex Jackstadt.
The Beavers (6-6-5, 3-4-4 WCHA) outshot the Seawolves 40-22.
UAA goalie Olivier Mantha supplied 35 saves and Bemidji goalie Michael Bitzer had 21 stops.
Both squads finished 0 for 3 on the power play.
UAA (1-12-4, 1-7-3) is 0 for 26 on the power play in its last seven games and has the second-worst winning percentage in NCAA Division I.
Only St. Lawrence, a team from Canton, New York, owns a worse record at 1-14-1.
The Seawolves are riding a nine-game winless streak heading into Saturday's rematch against Bemidji State.
The Anchorage District Attorney's Office has decided not to prosecute the owner of a Spenard business who shot one of his customers last month.
The owner of Determine Design, Daniel Clift, said he acted in self-defense when he fired his handgun Nov. 15, shooting Shelton Landon once in the torso.
While the shooting case "meets the elements" of first-degree assault, prosecutors would not be able to prove in court that Clift didn't act in self-defense, according to a letter from Deputy District Attorney Christina Sherman to Anchorage Police Detective James Anderson.
"This in no (way) implies that Mr. Clift's conduct is not of concern, but simply that the state will be unable to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt," the letter said.
Officials have not released many details about what exactly happened inside Clift's architecture company, Determine Design, that November afternoon.
The letter, dated Thursday, does not specify why the state could not disprove self-defense. To reach the decision, it said Sherman reviewed police reports, photos, audio, a 911 call, medical records and copies of emails. Sherman declined to comment further.
"The letter speaks for itself, and we do not discuss criminal investigations aside from what is in the public document," she said in an email.
Anchorage police said in a brief statement last month that a customer went into Determine Design on Nov. 15 to talk about a project.
"An argument ensued over payment; the employee produced a gun and shot the victim once in the torso," the police statement said.
The employee immediately called 911 and reported that he had shot someone, according to police.
Renee Oistad, a police spokeswoman, referred any additional questions about the shooting to the DA's office, which said it could not provide any more information.
In phone interviews this week, Clift and Landon told contrasting stories about what exactly happened inside of the second-floor architecture company last month.
The business is located on West Northern Lights Boulevard, just west of Arctic Boulevard.
Clift said in an interview Thursday that Landon was disgruntled and violent when he came into business the afternoon of Nov. 15.
He said Landon had asked the company for a change order on architecture plans for a marijuana business he is starting in Spenard. The architecture company billed him $600 for the work and he didn't want to pay, according to Clift.
"He was disgruntled and basically said, 'Why should I pay you?' and grabbed me and pushed me back across the office," Clift said.
"He started whacking my shoulder and saying, 'Now you're pushing me. Now you're pushing me.' "
Clift said he repeatedly asked Landon to leave. Clift said he grabbed the handgun he kept in the office, and said he hoped to try to keep Landon away while he called police.
"He walked back toward me and tried to get in my face and I think he was trying to take my gun," he said.
Clift said he pulled the trigger.
"He was physically aggressive and I didn't know what else to do," he said.
He said he did not believe Landon carried a gun that day in the shop. He said he wished he could have gone back in time and not started the project with Landon, so "we could have just avoided this whole situation."
Landon said in an interview Friday that he never pushed or shoved Clift. He never got violent at all, he said.
He said he came into the business that day with $600 in his pocket, intending to pay the bill so he could get the drawings.
He said he asked Clift for an itemized receipt so he could better understand the added costs. He said Clift responded, "Just pay the bill, Shelton."
Landon said he became agitated, stood up and asked Clift, "Have I ever screwed you guys or stiffed you guys or given you any reason to be tripping over 600 bucks?"
He said he then thought Clift was walking over to a computer to look at the invoice, but instead produced a handgun.
"I throw my hands up in the air and say, 'What are you going to do? Shoot me?' And that's when he shot me," he said.
"I had no weapons, no guns, no knives, no nothing and he shot me."
Landon was taken to the hospital that day. He said he underwent three surgeries. One of his kidneys and part of his stomach were removed. He said he was in a coma for about a week.
"My equilibrium is way off. I'm trying to learn to walk again," he said Friday.
Alaska law says a person can use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes its use is necessary for self-defense against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor or robbery.
State law has always said people attacked in their home do not have the "duty to retreat" — a legal obligation to flee if they can do so safely, said Senior Anchorage Assistant District Attorney James Fayette.
In 2006, the Alaska Legislature eliminated the duty to retreat for people defending their business.
Then in 2013, the Legislature did away with the duty to retreat "if you're in a place where you lawfully have a right to be," Fayette said.
Rep. Dean Westlake's announcement on Friday that he would resign came as an Anchorage television station was preparing to publish a report saying that he fathered a child with a teenage girl in 1988.
KTUU-TV reported Friday afternoon that the girl was 16 when she gave birth to the daughter, and that Westlake was 28 at the time.
"A staffer for Westlake asked Thursday night that a story on the birth be withheld because Westlake wanted to protect the mother and daughter," according to KTUU's report. Westlake worked as a police officer in Kotzebue on and off in the '80s and '90s, according to KTUU, but wasn't working for the city when the child was born.
The Kiana Democrat told House Speaker Bryce Edgmon in a letter on Friday that he will resign.
Seven women who currently or formerly worked as aides at the Alaska Capitol said Westlake made unwanted sexual advances or behaved inappropriately during this year's legislative sessions, the Anchorage Daily News reported last week.
Westlake had said earlier this week that he planned to remain in office amid the accusations of sexual harassment.
"Many people in the past few days have called for me to resign. I have thought seriously about it, and I have asked for counsel from friends, family, Native leaders, elders and God," the Democrat said in a statement on Tuesday. "I have decided not to."
Westlake was the defendant in a paternity lawsuit filed in 1990 in Kotzebue Superior Court over the child he fathered in 1988. The suit was filed by the state on behalf of that child. Attempts to reach the mother and daughter named in the paternity case were unsuccessful Friday afternoon.
The legal age of consent at the time — as it is today — was 16, with some exceptions, according to state law. For example, the legal age of consent was 18 if the person was engaging in sexual contact with someone, age 18 or older, with whose care they were entrusted "by authority of law."
Westlake could not be reached for comment Friday through a staffer. In an email Friday afternoon with Westlake's resignation letter attached, Alaska House majority coalition press secretary Mike Mason said Westlake "would like the letter to serve as his final statement as an elected official."
The letter does not specify a date when the resignation is effective. If no date is specified, a resignation is effective 10 days after the date of its mailing, according to state regulations.
"This was necessary for protecting the legislative institution as well as what's best for Alaska," House Majority Leader Chris Tuck said of the resignation Friday.
When asked if he was aware that Westlake had fathered a child with a teenager, Tuck said no.
Reporter Tegan Hanlon contributed to this story.
Marijuana board orders Fairbanks manufacturer to close
It's the first time Alaska's marijuana board has revoked a license, and Friday's fine was by far the largest ever approved by the board. “It's a new industry, it's a new process for us, so we haven't anything of this magnitude,” said board member Mark ...
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I have been honored to be chief of the Anchorage Police Department for the past six months. Since I took over, we have focused on how to best deploy our new resources to ensure we have a visible and proactive police force focused on curbing violent and property crimes in our city. As 2017 comes to a close and we move into 2018, I want to highlight a few of our significant accomplishments this year.
Over the past two years, we have run five consecutive academies, and are starting the sixth on Monday. This upcoming academy will have 36 recruits — the largest our department has ever seen. We are just now starting to reap the benefits of these academies as our newest officers are hitting the streets as solo cops. As we grow, my command staff and I are constantly evaluating how to best allocate your officers so we have the most impact on crime in Anchorage and ensure we are quickly responding to your calls for service. This includes looking at patrol shift sizes and configurations, specialty unit assignments like the Traffic Unit or the Community Policing Team, the appropriate size for detective units, and evaluating patrol area boundaries to make sure they give officers the best opportunities for community outreach.
This year we have made some significant changes within the department. We have realigned the CAP and VICE teams under one command structure and focused them on drug investigations. We believe most of the violent crime occurring in Anchorage has a drug nexus. If we can suppress drug crime, we believe it is likely to have an impact on violent crime. We are also working more closely than ever before with our state and federal partners in this effort.
We also created an entirely new Investigative Support Unit (ISU), which consists of eight patrol officers and a supervisor who are tasked with supporting all other units of the department. They have the capability to assist detectives locate suspects, conduct specialty details, or provide extra visibility in any area patrol has identified that needs a little extra attention. Just recently, ISU partnered with a local Fred Meyer for an undercover assignment to reduce theft. In just one day, they made multiple arrests and hopefully sent a message that thefts will not be accepted here in town.
As we concentrate internally on specific crime areas, we also know the community wants to see officers in their neighborhoods, on the street, and responding quickly to their calls. With more and more officers completing field training, we have focused on strengthening our patrol division to have more first responders available for calls. We also want officers to have the time to slow down, talk to residents, be consistently assigned to their patrol beats in order to become familiar faces to residents and businesses, and become more active in their community. I've always said it's a great problem to have when your community just wants to see officers more.
Finally, I want to thank Anchorage. This is truly a great place to be a police officer, and a very supportive community to serve. With more than 48,000 people subscribed to Nixle, the community has helped us to find missing people, locate vehicles or people of interest, or even solve crimes. Everywhere I go, residents thank me for the work our employees do every day, but I want to make sure Anchorage residents know how much we appreciate them in return. Anchorage has a high standard for its police officers, and we are working incredibly hard to live up to the standard our community has set for us, each and every day.
Justin Doll has been chief of the Anchorage Police Department since July 2017, and has served with APD for 21 years. He was raised in Spenard, graduated from West High and has bachelor's and master's degrees from UAA.
The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)adn.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to submit via any web browser.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida – Just outside the operating theater, the organizers of a medical conference wore Minnie Mouse ears.
Inside, as doctors practiced on three cadavers, blood from one of the human specimens seeped through a layer of wrapping.
"They leak," a lab technician said of the bodies.
The sessions, held last month and attended by a Reuters reporter, weren't at a hospital or medical school. They were part of a so-called cadaver lab – and the setting was a Florida resort. It was one of scores of such events over the past six years that have been held at a hotel or its convention center.
In this case, doctors practiced nerve root blocks and other procedures on cadavers in one of the Grand Harbor ballroom's salons at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts convention center. Online, Disney refers to its ballrooms as "regal and resplendent." They're often used for wedding receptions.
Disney did not respond to requests for comment for this article.
Medical training in the United States is usually done in secure lab facilities equipped specifically for such seminars. But not always. Reuters identified at least 90 cadaver labs that have taken place since 2012 at hotels or their convention centers in dozens of cities, from New York to San Diego. Some of the biggest names in the industry, from Hilton and Hyatt to Sheraton and Radisson, have hosted the events.
The cadavers used in these seminars are often procured through body brokers, organizations that acquire bodies donated to science and then sell or rent the parts for use in medical research and training.
Body brokers generally refer to themselves as "non-transplant tissue banks." They are distinct, however, from the organ-and-tissue transplant industry, which the U.S. government closely regulates. No federal law covers the sale or lease of cadavers or body parts used in research or education, such as those operated on at the Disney center. That industry is virtually unregulated.
Similarly, there is little, if any, regulation governing where seminars featuring cadavers and body parts can be held, although the federal government does have rules on how labs handle medical waste and bloodborne pathogens.
The World Health Organization says that, "in general, dead bodies pose no greater risk of infection than the person did while they were alive."
To ensure safety, event organizers say they screen the cadavers for infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis.
Diseases such as tuberculosis, however, cannot always be identified through screenings. And some medical professionals worry that some cadavers could spread antibiotic-resistant staph infections or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare degenerative brain condition.
When the deceased are cut open, there's an increased risk of a disease being transmitted to others, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
"I will be the first to acknowledge there have been no big outbreaks or situations that have occurred yet from a dead body," Osterholm said. "But I am absolutely convinced it's just a matter of time."
There has been at least one instance of a body broker who allegedly failed to report positive results for hepatitis B in a cadaver sent to a medical conference. In 2011, broker Arthur Rathburn provided the head and neck of a diseased cadaver to a conference held at a Hyatt hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, authorities say. Although no one who attended the conference reported getting sick, Rathburn faces trial in January on charges of defrauding health care workers and lying to federal agents. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Hyatt chain has hosted at least 10 seminars that included cadavers since the 2011 incident, Reuters determined.
After Reuters asked about the cadaver labs, Hyatt spokeswoman Stephanie Lerdall said the hotel chain is now reviewing the guidance it provides hotels around "medical trainings of this kind." She said Hyatt expects anyone using hotel facilities to "operate in a manner keeping with applicable health and safety protocols."
Cadaver labs are often part of medical association meetings for practitioners in fields ranging from spinal surgery to rhinoplasty. Or they are hosted by medical device companies who want doctors to try new products. The seminars are usually staffed by companies that run mobile labs. These companies often provide the donated bodies or body parts used by the doctors – such as torsos, hands, and legs – either from the company's own donor program or from other non-transplant tissue banks.
Surgeons say no mannequin or computer simulation can replicate the experience of practicing on a human specimen. And mobile lab providers say seminars at hotels and convention centers fill a gap. They allow many more practitioners access to training than could be accommodated at permanent lab facilities such as hospitals.
But regulations are few. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has no guidelines for seminars involving human body parts, a spokesman said. The Occupational Safety and Health Agency didn't respond to questions about whether or how OSHA regulates such seminars.
The New York State Health Department said it does not issue permits for hotel cadaver labs. Its rules require rooms where cadavers and body parts are used for education or research to have biosafety features, such as a working sink. Even so, the department has never inspected any hotels that have held cadaver labs, spokesman Ben Rosen said.
That means safety precautions are largely up to hotels and lab providers.
The Hilton hotel chain has held at least 11 cadaver labs since 2012 in cities including New York, Chicago and San Diego. A Hilton policy posted online requires a seminar organizer to show it has the approval of OSHA and the local health department before holding an event involving cadavers.
A Hilton spokesman said the hotel chain requires those who rent its facilities for such seminars to prove they have insurance and to "follow all protocols recommended by federal, state or local health authorities. These requirements are uniquely tailored to the location and type of event," the spokesman said, "and wherever possible, we specify required documentation."
But few authorities grant permits for such events. Reuters surveyed six states where cadaver seminars have been regularly held. New York was the only one in which a state or local health department said it had any regulations covering such labs. Some were oblivious to the seminars.
"We have never heard of this," said Rachael Kagan, a spokeswoman with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "Are you sure it is true?"
It is. Reuters found at least four conferences held in San Francisco hotels since 2012 that advertised the use of cadavers.
'BONE PIECES FLYING'
Anatomy laboratories at universities have sanitation features, such as floors that can easily be cleaned. That helps to minimize the spread of bodily fluids and tissues while researchers work on a specimen. Most hotel ballrooms or conference centers are carpeted and lack sinks and other washing facilities, however.
That means the biosafety protocols at hotels sometimes fall well short of what university researchers require in their labs.
In October, doctors practiced on human torsos in a ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson in New Jersey. A Reuters reporter witnessed one participant holding out his arm and asking event attendants whether there was soap or a sanitary wipe in the room so he could clean himself. Told there weren't, he left the ballroom, arm still outstretched.
And at the Disney lab last month, coffee and tea were available near one cadaver station. After a Reuters reporter asked if this were allowed, the refreshments were removed from the room.
Andrew Payer, a professor of anatomy at the University of Central Florida, said sinks are required in the school's anatomy labs. Such labs also typically prohibit food and drink. The rationale: to reduce the risk of pathogens being transmitted through hand-to-mouth contact.
To guard against fluid or flesh falling on hotel carpets, seminar organizers typically lay plastic on the floors. Depending upon the procedures the doctors are practicing, other steps might be taken, hotel seminar organizers say. "When they cut away the knee, there are bone pieces flying. So you cover up the walls," said James McElroy, president of Bioskills Solutions, which provides equipment and support for training on cadavers.
At the conference at the Hyatt in Jersey City, plastic and other floor covering lay only in the areas just beneath the gurneys that held body parts. Elsewhere in the room, carpet was exposed.
New Jersey health officials don't regulate these workshops. In neighboring New York, a health department spokesman said putting down plastic would not be acceptable because the material could puncture.
"Do shoes become contaminated on a carpet where a day later there's going to be a wedding dance and you've got one-year-olds crawling on the floor?" asked Osterholm, the infectious diseases specialist. "All you need is one situation to go badly."
Ronn Wade, director of the Maryland State Anatomy Board, said plastic floor coverings wouldn't protect against airborne pathogens either.
Hotels and seminar providers said only lab technicians handle cleanup, and medical waste is disposed of through a biohazard company. But mistakes can be made.
"We had a situation where there was a bin left that had blood-stained linens and plastic that was left in a meeting room and was not picked up" after a rhinoplasty lab, said Vince Fattore, director of events management at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. Another Sheraton employee cordoned off the area around the bin, which also contained syringes, Fattore recalled. He said the hotel called the conference organizer to have the sealed bin collected.
Despite that episode, Fattore said the hotel has two more cadaver conferences on the schedule – one in January and another in March. "We're here to serve the customer, first and foremost," he said.
"I'm not trying to sugarcoat it by any means. I know that there's definitely danger there and there could be cross-contamination in some cases," Fattore said. "That's why we take it very seriously."
A Sheraton Hotels & Resorts vice president, Indy Adenaw, said the chain allows each hotel "to accept or decline business on a case-by-case basis as they see fit."
'OPERATE WITH THE STARS!'
Holding cadaver labs in hotels and their convention centers also raises concerns about protecting the dignity of the dead.
"I find it altogether unacceptable that these courses could be held in a hotel setting," said Sabine Hildebrandt, an anatomist with a research interest in ethics at Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She said she fears that the experience might desensitize even veteran doctors to the need to treat bodies, living or dead, with dignity.
A 2016 gynecology symposium in the hotel convention center at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek, for example, advertised "Operate with the Stars!" There, "three lucky attendees" were selected to go on stage to be mentored through a procedure on a cadaver.
A spokeswoman for the group that held the conference said that "thousands of surgeons can watch and learn from this demonstration."
A media representative for the Rosen Shingle Creek said she could not comment.
The location of the seminars poses another challenge: the possibility that hotel patrons – adults and children – could unexpectedly be exposed to disturbing scenes.
Hotels surveyed by Reuters say they have not fielded complaints from guests, and seminar organizers say that access to the rooms where cadavers are used is restricted.
The levels of security vary.
At the Disney resort in November, a reporter covering the conference was able to watch two seminar sessions before being told she was not allowed in the room.
And in June, the ballroom doors of the 5-star Wynn Las Vegas Hotel in Nevada were left open after the start of an orthopedic-surgery lab at a medical convention. A reporter saw uncovered human torsos from the hall.
Wynn Resorts said the organizers had rented the entire convention space for the lab. "There was no expectation that anyone other than convention attendees would be in the convention area," Michael Weaver, chief marketing officer, said in a statement. He said Wynn policies "prohibit the general public from entering any meeting room being used for medical training events."
Lab providers and hotel staff have different ways of protecting guests from accidental encounters with gruesome spectacles. Most said they used the hotel's loading dock and freight elevators to avoid transporting specimens through areas frequented by the public. But not all are so careful.
Paul Kraetsch said he was working at the front desk of the Radisson Hotel Fresno Conference Center in California when it hosted a cadaver lab in 2015. The seminar organizers who carried in the cadavers "just brought them up through the main elevator, which I found pretty shocking," Kraetsch said.
The Radisson chain said it has no specific policy on medical events. But the safety of guests and employees is the "highest priority," said Ben Gardeen, a spokesman for the company.
"We would also expect our hotels to take the proper preventive measures to ensure these events don't create uncomfortable situations for other guests in the hotel," he said.
(Elizabeth Culliford reported from Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and Jersey City, New Jersey; additional reporting by Brian Grow in Las Vegas and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs in New York)
Fairbanks police are investigating the "suspicious death" of a 29-year-old woman on Friday, an officer said.
Around 7 a.m. Friday, the Fairbanks Police Department got word that a female assault victim was being treated at the local hospital, police said.
The woman, 29-year-old Holly Morgan Rae Charlie, was living in Fairbanks and had family in Minto, said officer and police spokesman Doug Welborn. Charlie succumbed to her injuries soon after police arrived at the hospital.
The death was not being classified as a homicide Friday evening. Welborn couldn't speak to whether it was related to domestic violence.
"It's a suspicious death, so that's why the detectives were called in to do some follow-up investigation," Welborn said.
A "person of interest" was located later Friday morning at 310 First Ave., and he was cooperating with police, Welborn said. No other suspects were being sought Friday, he said.
Police declined to comment on where the assault occurred Friday.
"This is a pretty fluid situation, so we're actually still investigating that," Welborn said.
Nine more women say that Alex Kozinski – a high-profile judge who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit – subjected them to sexual comments or other conduct, including four who say he touched them inappropriately.
Kozinski, known for his libertarian views and colorful written opinions, already had been accused of subjecting several women to a range of inappropriate sexual conduct or comments, and the circuit's chief judge on Thursday took the first step in launching an investigation into his behavior. The matter was assigned Friday to the 2nd Circuit judicial council.
The new allegations – which span decades and include not just those who worked for Kozinski but those who encountered him at events – bring the total number of women accusing the judge of inappropriate behavior to at least 15.
One recent law student at the University of Montana said that Kozinski, at a 2016 reception, pressed his finger into the side of her breast, which was covered by her clothes, and moved it with some "deliberateness" to the center, purporting to be pushing aside her lapel to fully see her name tag.
Another lawyer said Kozinski approached her when she was alone in a room at a legal community event around 2008 in downtown Los Angeles and – with no warning – gave her a bear hug and kissed her on the lips.
A University of California at Irvine law professor said Kozinski pinched her at a dinner this year, and he also joked that he had just had sex with his wife and she or others at the table would be "happy to know it still works."
A former U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge said Kozinski grabbed and squeezed each of her breasts as the two drove back from an event in Baltimore in the mid-1980s, after she had told him she did not want to stop at a motel and have sex.
[Previous coverage: Prominent appeals court judge accused of sexual misconduct by 6 women]
The Washington Post reported last week that six women – all former clerks or more junior staff members known as externs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit – alleged Kozinski had subjected them to inappropriate sexual conduct or comments, including two who said the judge showed them porn in his chambers.
Soon after that account became public, two others made allegations of impropriety in published, firsthand accounts that included their names. Dahlia Lithwick, who clerked for another judge in the 9th Circuit in the mid-1990s, wrote in Slate about how Kozinski, upon learning she was in a hotel room, had asked her what she was wearing. Nancy Rapoport, special counsel to the president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wrote in a personal blog post how the judge had invited her to drinks during her clerkship for another 9th Circuit judge and remarked: "What do single girls in San Francisco do for sex?"
Seven more women have since described their experiences to The Washington Post, three of them in on-the-record interviews.
In a statement read by one of his lawyers, Susan Estrich of the firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, Kozinski said: "Many of the things that are being said about me are simply not true, but I deeply regret that my unusual sense of humor caused offense or made anyone uncomfortable."
After The Post published its first story, Kozinski told the Los Angeles Times, "If this is all they are able to dredge up after 35 years, I am not too worried."
The review of possible misconduct that Kozinski now faces could lead to his being reprimanded, asked to retire or blocked from taking new cases for a period of time. On Thursday, Assistant Circuit Executive David Madden said in a statement "one or more" of Kozinski's clerks had resigned. The reason was unclear.
A 33-year-old woman said that when she was a student at the University of Montana Law School in 2016, Kozinski came to speak at an event. She said she encountered Kozinski at a reception afterward, and Kozinski – in an apparent attempt to see her name tag, which was partially obscured by her lapel – "very deliberately put his finger on the other side of my breast, and moved it, with some pressure" toward the center.
"It was shocking to me," the woman said, adding: "I thought it was wrong. I thought it was inappropriate, and it felt extremely entitled."
Four of the woman's friends, two men and two women, said she told them about what had happened soon after the incident. One friend, Kathryn Ore, 31, then a fellow Montana student who was also at the event, said Kozinski "spent the whole time staring at my breasts" – for likely a minute or two – during a conversation they had.
"It was long enough and the context was weird enough that it kind of threw me," Ore said, adding that, while it was possible his gaze meant something else, "I don't think I misinterpreted."
Leah Litman, 33, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine, said she, similarly, encountered Kozinski when they appeared together on a panel at her school in July to discuss Supreme Court issues. Litman said that at a dinner at the Italian restaurant Canaletto the night before their panel, Kozinski talked of having just had sex and pinched her side and her leg, just above the knee, with his thumb and middle finger. She said he also tried to feed her with a utensil.
"I felt uncomfortable and just wanted to leave," Litman said.
Rick Hasen, a University of California at Irvine professor who was at the dinner, said he recalled Kozinski making a comment similar to what Litman described, and the experience was "surreal." He said he would not have been able to see any touching of Litman's leg or side.
Three friends also confirmed that Litman had previously told them about various parts of the interaction not long after it occurred, and Litman provided screenshots of text messages exchanges with two of them. In one exchange, she indicated she was touched repeatedly, remarking, "It was gross." The friend who received that message, University of Michigan Law professor Gil Seinfeld, confirmed the texts were authentic and that he and Litman had discussed Kozinski touching her.
Christine O.C. Miller, 73, a retired U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge, said that around early 1986 – shortly after Kozinski was appointed to his seat in the 9th Circuit – he invited her to attend a legal community function in the Baltimore area.
As the two drove back together, Miller said, Kozinski asked if she wanted to stop at a motel and have sex.
Miller, then in her early 40s and married, said she had considered Kozinski, who had served as chief of the Claims Court, "an ally and a professional friend" but harbored no romantic feelings for him.
"I told him, no, I wasn't interested, and didn't want to be involved in anything like that," she said. Kozinski, she said, persisted.
"He said if you won't sleep with me, I want to touch you, and then he reached over, and – this was the most antiseptic – he grabbed each of my breasts and squeezed them," Miller said. She said she stared straight ahead, and he soon dropped her off at her home.
Miller said she told a friend and her husband at the time – both of whom are now deceased. Her current husband, Dennis Miller, said that when he started dating Miller decades ago, she also told him of an incident in which Kozinski "tried to grope her."
Many of Kozinski's accusers have talked only on the condition that their names and other identifying information not be published, out of fear that he might retaliate against them or the institutions for which they work.
One lawyer said that Kozinski approached her when she was alone in a room at a legal community function in downtown Los Angeles in 2008 and planted a kiss on her lips. The woman was then in her 50s and said she was hardly even an acquaintance of Kozinski.
"It was really disgusting," the woman said. "It would have been disgusting if I were young, but it was particularly gross and unwelcome."
The woman's husband confirmed his wife had told him about the episode and they felt they were unable to do anything – given Kozinski's position.
A former Kozinski clerk said Kozinski, in his chambers, showed her an "open-legged image of a male figure that was naked," although it did not have the "intent" of typical porn. Still, the former clerk said she was startled and soon went to talk to another 9th Circuit clerk about what had happened.
"I was pretty shaken about it," the former clerk said. The other former clerk confirmed their conversation.
The former Kozinski clerk, who is the third to have described the judge showing her an explicit image in chambers, said the judge must have seen the dismay on her face, because he soon came to her to apologize and ask if she was OK.
"I said I was OK, but that was not the kind of thing I wanted to be exposed to, and he never showed me anything like that again," the former clerk said.
A former 9th Circuit clerk said that at a dinner with other clerks, Kozinski brought up a movie that contained a topless woman, talking about her "voluptuous" breasts. The woman, who declined to be identified, said she made a face to signal her disbelief at what he was saying, and Kozinski turned to her and said something like, "What? I'm a man." Another person who was at the table said he recalled the dinner and that he apologized to the clerk afterwards, as he had brought her to Kozinski's table.
– – –
The Washington Post's Julie Tate contributed to this report.
Gov. Walker calls for more spending on jobs, public safety and oil company tax credits - Juneau Empire
Alaska Public Radio Network
Gov. Walker calls for more spending on jobs, public safety and oil company tax credits
15. Alaska's legislators will convene Jan. 16 in Juneau and have the final say on that budget. In most years, the budget is greatly rewritten by the Legislature. The FY19 proposal is about $400 million more than the budget approved by the Legislature ...
Credit rating agency sees a 'clear path,' as Alaska tries to balance its ...Alaska Public Radio Network
Alaska governor puts budget focus on economy, public safetyNewsOK.com
Governor Walker releases budget proposal for fiscal year 2019KTUU.com
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Trump administration officials are forbidding officials at the nation's top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases – including "fetus" and "transgender" – in any official documents being prepared for next year's budget.
Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are: "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based" and "science-based."
In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of "science-based" or "evidence-based," the suggested phrase is "CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes," the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.
The question of how to address such issues as sexual orientation, gender identity and abortion rights – all of which received significant visibility under the Obama administration – has surfaced repeatedly in federal agencies since President Donald Trump took office. Several key departments – including Health and Human Services, which oversees CDC, as well as Justice, Education and Housing and Urban Development – have changed some federal policies and how they collect government information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
In March, for example, HHS dropped questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in two surveys of elderly people.
HHS has also removed information about LGBT Americans from its website. The department's Administration for Children and Families, for example, archived a page that outlined federal services that are available for LGBT people and their families, including how they can adopt and receive help if they are the victims of sex trafficking.
At the CDC, the meeting about the banned words was led by Alison Kelly, a senior leader in CDC's Office of Financial Services, according to the CDC analyst who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. Kelly did not say why the words are being banned, according to the analyst, and told the group that she was merely relaying the information.
Other CDC officials confirmed the existence of a list of forbidden words. It's likely that other parts of HHS are operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these words, the analyst said.
At the CDC, several offices have responsibilities for work that uses some of these words. The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention is working on ways to prevent HIV among transgender people and reduce health disparities. The CDC's work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus, for example, includes research on the developing fetus.
The ban is related to the budget and supporting materials that are to be given to CDC's partners and to Congress, the analyst said. The president's budget for 2019 is expected to be released in early February. The budget blueprint is generally shaped to reflect an administration's priorities.
Federal agencies are sending in their budget proposals to the Office of Management and Budget, which has authority about what is included.
Neither an OMB spokesman nor a CDC spokeswoman responded to requests for comment Friday.
The longtime CDC analyst, whose job includes writing descriptions of the CDC's work for the administration's annual spending blueprint, could not recall a previous time when words were banned from budget documents because they were considered controversial.
The reaction of people in the meeting was "incredulous," the analyst said. "It was very much, 'Are you serious? Are you kidding?' "
"In my experience, we've never had any pushback from an ideological standpoint," the analyst said.
News of the ban on certain words hasn't yet spread to the broader group of scientists at the CDC, but it's likely to provoke a backlash, the analyst said. "Our subject matter experts will not lay down quietly – this hasn't trickled down to them yet."
The CDC has a budget of about $7 billion and more than 12,000 employees working across the nation and around the globe on everything from food and water safety to heart disease and cancer to infectious disease outbreak prevention. Much of the CDC's work has strong bipartisan support.
Kelly told the analysts that "certain words" in the CDC's budget drafts were being sent back to the agency for corrections. Three words that had been flagged in these drafts were "vulnerable," "entitlement" and "diversity." Kelly told the group she had been authorized to give verbal instructions about the remaining banned words.
Preparing for Saturday's annual Special Olympics Alaska Polar Plunge, Anchorage firefighters on Friday cut a 16-foot-by-16-foot hole in the ice at Goose Lake.
One by one, blocks of foot-thick ice were cut from the lake with chain saws and pushed under the surrounding ice with long wooden poles.
A group of three Alaska State Troopers and a deputy state fire marshal were on hand to test the waters Friday afternoon.
On Saturday, over 1,100 people are expected to jump into the lake, taking part in Special Olympics Alaska's largest fundraiser of the year. The organization, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to individuals with intellectual disabilities, typically raises over $300,000 from the event.
On Friday, the Walker-Mallott administration released its fiscal year 2019 budget proposal. With that, we want to provide a report card to Alaskans on budget reductions that have happened as part of this administration, as we have made significant reductions to streamline government and create efficiencies.
Beginning from the peak of 2013, the state budget has been reduced 44 percent (from $7.8 billion in FY 13 to $4.4 billion FY 18). This number does not include the $3 billion payment to the state pension system, although it does include cuts to the capital budget and oil tax credits.
The state operating budget has been cut $1.7 billion – or 27 percent – since fiscal year 2015. The $1.7 billion in cuts does not include reductions to Alaskans' PFDs, or the one-time pension item. (Inclusive of PFD, the reduction would be $2.3 billion or 31 percent).
Here's how the numbers break down:
• Operating agencies (day-to-day spending to keep government functioning): down $500 million, or 22 percent. Some of these cuts have been replaced by increased fees, particularly when the public expressed a desire to preserve valuable government services such as when hunters and fishermen supported and increase in fees rather than a reduction in services. If an adjustment is made for these fee increases, the budget is still down 13 percent from FY 2015.
These real reductions have had tangible impacts on our communities. Even with increased fees, funding for the Department of Fish and Game is down 14 percent. Funding for the Department of Education is down 18 percent. Funding for the Department of Public Safety and Department of Law has fallen $22.9 million, or 10 precent since 2014. Cuts to prosecutors and police personnel have hampered state and local ability to prosecute crimes, even as crime rates have risen and our opioid epidemic continues.
• Formula programs (things like Medicaid): down $252 million, or 11 percent. While we expect that this area will increase in the years ahead, shifting costs to the federal government and making other reductions all while increasing access to Medicaid services so thousands of Alaskans can have access to healthcare is a major accomplishment.
Through Medicaid expansion (that makes up less than 0.2 percent of the state unrestricted general fund budget), over 38,000 Alaskans have access to health care. This access comes thanks to federal reimbursement dollars, not money out of the state treasury.
• State obligations like oil credits, debt payments, and retirement: down $501 million, or 51 percent. These reductions are due to decreased spending of oil credits, and use of other funds to pay for retirement.
• Capital budget: down $463 million, or 78 percent
All of this has taken place against a backdrop of plummeting state revenues – down $4.8 billion, or 69 percent, since 2013 ($2.1 billion in 2018 vs. in $6.9 billion 2013). Since that time, we've also burned through over $14 billion in savings. That money from the Constitutional Budget Reserve and Statutory Budget Reserve (our "rainy day" funds) is almost gone, and local communities are receiving fewer dollars from the state than they did 20 years ago.
Generally, these figures represent unrestricted general funds – one of the four categories of funding that the state receives. These are the focus of most comparisons because it is the category of funding that hits the state treasury. The other three categories of revenue are restricted in use, and money saved in those categories cannot necessarily go toward reducing the deficit. Designated funds are typically for fees charged by agencies and are used to fund specific activities, while the use of other and federal funds is very narrowly limited (i.e., aviation fuel taxes must help maintain airports, and Medicaid dollars must be spent on Medicaid). Using these funds on another purpose would be illegal.
The governor's budget is designed to find common ground with the House and the Senate, and pursue solutions that we believe will work. By focusing on those areas where we believe everyone can agree, there is an opportunity to build our economy while building confidence in our state.
Gov. Walker's budget will balance the need to keep government efficient with targeted investment in a strong future for our state. Alaskans deserve it, and it's time to pull together to make that strong future a reality.
Sheldon Fisher is commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue. Pat Pitney is director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email email@example.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to submit via any web browser.
Gov. Walker proposes payroll tax for repairs to schools, using Permanent Fund earnings to balance budget
Gov. Bill Walker on Friday put forth an ambitious budget proposal that would, if approved by lawmakers, for the first time use Alaska Permanent Fund earnings for the operations of state government.
The proposal, released to the public at 2 p.m. and presented earlier in the day to news organizations, also would put in place a 1.5 percent payroll tax, but unlike earlier proposals, this one would expire in three years. It also would be designated for a specific purpose: taking care of overdue repairs and maintenance on schools, public buildings and more.
The Walker administration is pitching the tax as way to lift Alaska out of the recession by creating an estimated 1,000 jobs, including in rural Alaska. It would generate $800 million over three years, according to state officials. Counting federal and local dollars, $1.4 billion would be available for maintenance and upgrades.
In all, the budget for the 12 months starting July 1 totals $4.7 billion in state spending, slightly higher than the current budget because of a $34 million public safety initiative and growing Medicaid health care rolls. A gap of $2.5 billion between spending and revenue would be filled with a combination of savings and $1.9 billion from Permanent Fund earnings. Dividends to Alaskans would be capped at $1,216.
This is a developing story. Check back for more information.
PALMER — A report on the Hatcher Pass avalanche that killed Randy Bergt describes the kind of life-or-death decisions backcountry travel sometimes involves — and the mistakes even experts can make.
Bergt, a popular Anchorage skier and coach with decades of experience, died the day before Thanksgiving on Marmot Mountain. He was known as a careful skier who didn't take chances.
Bergt was with two friends, also seasoned backcountry skiers from Anchorage.
Bergt, 60, split from the group and ended up on a slope with wind-loaded snow that gave way and swept him down into a steep ravine, according to the report by avalanche forecasters Jed Workman and Allie Barker. The actual avalanche was relatively shallow, the forecasters found, and possibly survivable if the slope had fanned out gently.
The report found the factors that led to the slide included existing avalanche hazard, a run that ended in a "terrain trap" like the ravine, a lack of group communication, and his partners losing sight of Bergt.
The report makes it clear the trio knew the risks and took the right precautions. They regularly checked conditions at Hatcher Pass for avalanche forecasts and carried safety equipment.
One of the two skiers with Bergt had planned a safer route down in case conditions looked risky but "this was not well communicated to the group," it states.
The report comes amid still-raw emotions for Bergt's friends and family. Bergt's memorial service was Thursday evening. Hundreds gathered at the Kincaid Chalet.
Peter Smith, a 62-year-old Anchorage skier, attended the service. Smith was one of two men skiing with Bergt the day he died and described him as anything but reckless.
"I'd want him to be remembered for his expertise and for his love of life," Smith said in an interview Friday.
A chain of small mistakes led to the avalanche, he said. "So often when things go wrong, it's not just one thing. It's two or three or four in combination."
Bergt's death jolted the outdoors community, where he'd served as a mentor and inspiration for decades as Service High School ski coach and dedicated ski race volunteer.
He joined two equally skilled friends — Smith and David Pettry — in the Talkeetna Mountains that day in late November.
Bergt and Pettry discovered good snow was scarce in Hatcher Pass on separate trips the weekend before but Pettry mentioned powder in the President's Ridge area.
So that's where they headed Nov. 22.
All three carried beacons, shovels and probes, though not helmets or airbags deployed if wearers are caught in a slide, according to the report.
Each man basically had a lifetime of backcountry travel in avalanche terrain. All had taken avalanche training classes. Randy was a ski patroller at Alta Ski Area in Utah for more than a decade.
"The mountains don't care who you are," Barker said in an interview Friday.
The report indicates the men were certainly aware of the avalanche problem.
Smith and Pettry told Workman and Barker they didn't read a forecast that warned of "considerable" danger at higher elevations but expired two days before their trip.
Observations in Hatcher Pass earlier in the week also indicated signs of potential danger such as "remotely triggered avalanches, one human triggered avalanche, whumphing and shooting cracks on Southwest aspects," the report states.
The men, however, had been tracking high winds gusting to 51 mph earlier in the week, Workman and Barker found. Those winds loaded snow onto southwest to northeast slopes at upper elevations.
Wind can increase the probability of avalanches by piling heavier snow onto weaker unstable layers.
The men didn't see much good snow on the wind-scoured slopes as they climbed from the base of the ridge, the report states. They stopped about halfway up the mountain and decided to descend, looking for safe routes with good snow.
Pettry knew the wind had probably increased avalanche danger on wind-loaded slopes. He poked around the edges of less steep southeastern slopes but found them too hard and windblown for skiing.
Pettry skied back to the group. They briefly talked about how to descend, with differing opinions.
Before they could reach a consensus, Bergt moved toward a southwest slope. Winds that week, forecasters say, had loaded those slopes with snow.
"David was thinking the group would likely descend their ascent path, but this plan was not well communicated or understood by everyone," the report states. "David and Peter both had misgivings about descending the route Randy chose. Randy's route descended into a significant terrain trap. It would also have required re-climbing the descent route to exit."
That terrain trap would allow avalanche debris to pile up deeper than it otherwise would have.
Out of sight
The group plan was "loose and somewhat ill defined," the two men told the avalanche forecasters later. At some point before Bergt moved off, the other men suggested going back up the ridge.
Bergt committed to his descent and disappeared from view.
His tracks showed he descended but then changed course to a long traverse across the slope, which brought him closer to a wind-loaded ridge, the report states. It's possible he was trying to go back up and rejoin Pettry and Smith.
The two men, meanwhile, were trying to get to a spot where they could see Bergt.
They came around a knoll and saw the avalanche. It was 2 p.m.
Pettry and Smith started yelling for their friend.
They got no answer.
Pettry and Smith switched their avalanche beacons to search mode and began what would be an urgent 15-minute descent down the slide, the report states.
The angle steepened as they dropped, and culminated in several small vertical drops. Smith descended on skis. Pettry, entering a rocky chute, removed his skis and slid on his butt, arresting his descent with his feet.
They picked up Bergt's beacon signal at the base of the slope and found him after just three or four attempts with an avalanche probe.
Bergt was face down, buried in dense snow 4 feet deep.
The men dug him out and turned him over. By then, Bergt had been buried for at least half an hour.
"There were no signs of life," Workman and Barker wrote. "Peter and David began CPR and continued for an estimated 30-40 minutes."
Two bystanders called 911 after they saw the avalanche and heard Smith and Pettry calling for Bergt, the report found. They hiked up to the two men from the road that leads up to the top of Hatcher Pass from Palmer.
Alaska State Troopers and Palmer Fire and Rescue arrived. With light fading and potentially risky avalanche conditions, rescue groups decided to wait until at least the next day — Thanksgiving Day — to recover Bergt's body.
The next day, Bergt's brother as well as Smith and Pettry and several friends arrived to bring him out.
Workman and Barker, starting their investigation at the avalanche site, got there and told the recovery group the official rescue was delayed because the agencies were worried avalanche risk could endanger rescuers.
The group decided to go ahead.
Bergt's brother, with Smith and Pettry, removed his body from the burial site using several spotters in safe zones, the report says.
Once Bergt's body was in a safer location, the rest of the group joined them to take him out of the mountains one last time.
Frozen Budz, a Fairbanks-based marijuana edibles manufacturer, had its manufacturing license revoked Friday morning after the state board that oversees Alaska cannabis found the company sold tens of thousands of products that had not been tested, were moldy and had been made with untracked marijuana.
On Friday, the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office said in a written statement that it revoked Frozen Budz's manufacturing license and fined the company $500,000. The Marijuana Control Board upheld nine accusations against the company.
"The board found the acts of this licensee especially egregious," board chair Peter Mlynarik said in the statement. "The licensee disregarded marijuana industry regulations and put the public at significant risk by selling products that were not safe, tested, or tracked."
The board found that Frozen Budz had regularly sold edibles — products like brownies, chai tea and banana bread — that had not been tested for potency, mold or other contaminants. The company made edibles without tracking the source of the marijuana, as required under state law, and made products that had not been approved by the board.
The company sold products that were moldy and contained amounts of THC two to three times higher than the limit, the board found. It also sold products directly to consumers, which is not allowed under Alaska cannabis rules, allowed "onsite consumption" and did not label its products properly, the statement said.
Co-owner Destiny Neade wrote in a text message that they were working on their options to appeal the decision. She previously said that the company had tested its products.
On Dec. 1, the company's license was suspended as the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office investigated a tip that Frozen Budz was selling edibles that exceeded the 5 milligram per serving THC limit set in Alaska law.
That investigation "kind of opened up this entire can of worms," Erika McConnell, Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office director, said at the time.
On Tuesday, a second release from the office said that the company sold more than 114,000 untested edibles, and that the board was reviewing accusations against the company.
Alaska lawmaker accused of inappropriate behavior resigning
FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2017 file photo, state Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kotzebue, talks with another legislator during a break in the opening session of the Alaska Legislature in Juneau, Alaska. Staff for Westlake, who was accused by... JUNEAU, Alaska (AP ...
Accused of sexual harassment, Rep. Westlake resigns from LegislatureJuneau Empire
Rep. Westlake, embattled over sexual harassment allegations, will resignAlaska Dispatch News
Westlake will resign from LegislatureCordova Times
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