Northwest Digest

Posted: Friday, September 30, 2005

Man charged with robbery, assault

JUNEAU - A 42-year-old man facing robbery and assault charges that could lead to 25 years in prison was ordered held on $10,000 bail Thursday.

Jeremy Karl was arrested by police Wednesday night after officers received several reports of a man approaching people in the downtown area, attempting to start fights and threatening some with a knife. One of the alleged victims told officers that Karl threatened his life while demanding money from him, police reported.

They lodged him at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. According to police reports, no one reported giving him money or being injured.

Karl appeared Thursday on felony charges of first-degree robbery and third-degree assault. District Judge Keith Levy told Karl that if convicted on the charges, he could face up to 20 years on the robbery charge and up to five years on the assault charge.

Assistant District Attorney Jack Schmidt asked for bail to be set at $10,000 based on the seriousness of the charges and Karl's criminal history.

In requesting a court-appointed attorney, Karl told Levy his situation had changed since he was last appointed an attorney. "I don't got a place to live," he said.

Arctic ice continues to melt at rapid pace

ANCHORAGE - Arctic sea ice has melted back farther this year than in 25 years of satellite monitoring, marking the fourth consecutive summer with "a stunning reduction" in the polar pack north of Alaska, Asia and Europe, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and NASA.

Combined with record or near record declines since 2002, the ice appears to be slipping into a long-term meltdown that may be slowly accelerating as the summer sun pumps more and more heat into the green-dark surface of the sea.

If the sea ice continues to shrink at the same rate, the summertime Arctic could be completely ice-free well before the end of this century, the scientists said.

While many factors contribute to the ice loss - warm water creeping north from the Bering Sea and Atlantic Ocean, changes in air circulation, thinning floes that don't rebound in winter - overall warming across the Arctic appears to be a growing influence.

"The sea ice cover seems to be rapidly changing and the best explanation for this is rising temperatures," said climate researcher Mark Serezze, a senior scientist at the snow and ice center. "My view is it's getting increasingly difficult to argue against the notion that what we're seeing is a greenhouse gas effect taking hold."

Shrinking ice may be the most dramatic consequence of widespread climate change in the Arctic that includes melting glaciers and disintegrating permafrost. The loss of ice could disrupt Native subsistence life, expose coastal communities to devastating storms and erosion, and threaten the existence of marine mammals like polar bears. Until recent years, the ice melted in summer then rebounded during the long, dark Arctic winter. But during the past four seasons, something has changed.

Airline considers moving from Sea-Tac

SEATTLE - American Airlines says it would want to be allowed to move to Boeing Field if Southwest Airlines gets to go, but it can't afford to build its own terminal.

Southwest has proposed moving from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to the King County-run field on the south end of Seattle. It wants to build a new $130 million, seven-gate terminal at Boeing Field and run up to 85 daily flights there, compared with 38 now at Sea-Tac, to avoid rising per-passenger costs that would help pay for Sea-Tac's $4.2 billion, 10-year expansion.

American, Like Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, opposes moving passenger airlines to Boeing Field and therefore duplicating service. But both have said that if Southwest is allowed to go, they would seek equal access for competitive reasons.

The airport now is used mostly by private pilots, cargo and charter carriers and by aircraft maker Boeing Co.

"This is a destination point for us - as we look at this market, if Boeing Field opens up, we'll want to be there," said Will Ris, vice president for government affairs for Fort Worth, Texas-based American, which operates 21 daily flights out of Sea-Tac.

He noted that the airline would have to ask the Federal Aviation Administration to build a terminal for other carriers.

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