3 top stories from home and away
By P.M. Fadden
WORLD VIEW – Alphabet Soup
Central Asia nation Kazakhstan is changing its alphabet for the second time in a year after the previous system proved highly unpopular, reports BBC World News.
A recent decree amended last October’s decision to move from Cyrillic to a Latin alphabet, after the much-maligned apostrophes caused national uproar. The decree allots seven years to completely switch over to the new alphabet.
Meanwhile media source, Eurasianet says that the new system will not only make the language look more elegant, but it will save Kazakhs critical extra key pressing on electronic devices.
NATIONWIDE – Big Apple on Alert
The New York State Department of Health wants recent visitors to, and residents of the New York City area to know that an Australian tourist confirmed to have measles visited numerous hotels and the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Feb. 16 to 21.
According to The Washington Post, the Australian tourist’s travel route appears to show the contraction and progression of the notoriously contagious disease, in a chronology provided by state health officials Friday.
Officials are advising people without prior immunizations to contact a health care provider if they exhibit symptoms of measles, which include fever, rash, cough, pinkeye or a runny nose.
FRONTIER FOCUS – State of Schooling
The University of Alaska president, Jim Johnsen painted recently a distressing education picture in the wake of $145 million in cumulative state funding cuts over the past four years.
Current budgeting, reports ADN, includes flat funding of $317 million for the UA system, down from $378 million in 2014. UA campuses spanning ANC, Fairbanks, Juneau and rural community sites, have also experienced an enrollment decline from 32,700 to 27,800 during the same period. In addition, the UA system has 1,183 fewer employees and 50 fewer programs than three years ago.
Advocating increased funding to nurture in-state education, Johnsen explained scholastic regents to have settled on five goals measuring academic impact annually through 2025: Contribution to state economic development; provision of skilled workforce; continuance to lead in Arctic research; increase in state education attainment and more cost effectively operation.
Johnsen is asking Alaska Legislature for a $341 million dollar 2018 operating budget, an increase of $24 million dollars.