Talk:Alaska

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Former good article nominee Alaska was a Geography and places good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 19, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
December 3, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee
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Alaska border[edit]

Alaska is not bordered by Kamchatka Krai. Islands far. Please correct. 212.2.129.253 (talk) 12:22, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean by that. Alaska of course does not share a land border with Kamchatka. However (as is clearly explained in the article text) the Diomede Islands are quite close to one another, one in Alaksa, one in Russia. Given the close proximity, there are not international waters between the two, so there is a border of sorts. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:17, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Kamchatka is has not maritime boundary on the principles of international maritime law, where the state allowed a maximum of 12 nautical miles from the coast (territorial waters). OpenstreetMap and Yandex.Maps and help you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.2.129.253 (talkcontribs) 19:18, 23 July 2015‎
I think the IP isn't disputing the border with Russia, only disputing the border with Kamchatka Krai. From the article on Diomede Islands, the big island appears to be part of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, so it is accurate to say that Alaska borders Chukotka Autonomous Okrug in Russia (already mentioned in the lead section). But the nearest of the Aleutian Islands is still a good distance from the nearest island that's part of Kamchatka Krai. Given that, I tend to agree with removing the mention of that border from the article - unless I'm overlooking something? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 19:49, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, here's what it says now:

Bordering the state to the east is the Canadian territory of Yukon and the Canadian province of British Columbia, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia (specifically, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Kamchatka Krai) further west across the [[Bering Strait]

It isn't saying there is a direct international border between Alaska and Kamchatka, it says it is further west across the Bering Strait. I don't see the problem myself. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:48, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
The sentence begins with the words "Bordering the state to the ..." - all locations that follow do border Alaska with the only exception being Kamchatka Krai. The wording as it stands can be read to imply a maritime border between Kamchatka Krai and Alaska; perhaps it's just a question of needing to cleanup the wording, or to break regions that don't share a border into a second sentence. The closest point in Kamchatka Krai to Alaska is roughly 300 miles, which is roughly the same distance by sea for Massachusetts to Nova Scotia - yet no one would even consider implying that those two border each other. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:31, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Kamchatka Krai does not border with the USA. Even in the Russian Wikipedia is written (ru:Соседи субъектов Российской Федерации). As well as in sections of the United States and Russia width of territorial waters - 12 nm. (the World Factbook). 212.2.129.253 (talk) 06:27, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't personally think the article as currently written is misleading, but if others find it to be so they are welcome to change it, or to make specific suggestions here. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:48, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Good article?[edit]

I think this is very close to qualifying at least as a good article, and I'd really like to see it acknolwedged as one. A look at Talk:Alaska/GA1 shows that many of the issues identified back then have already been fixed. I've never gone through the GA process before, anyone care to join me in tryong to get this article there? Beeblebrox (talk) 19:14, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Here's some issues:
  • I've yet to come across the appropriate style guide. Are the sections in a generally accepted proper order?
  • Byron Mallott was on the ballot as an independent and was elected as an independent, or "Non-Affiliated" as current election law dictates it be called. See candidate profile on page 24 and sample ballot on page 28, both of which describe Mallott as "Non-Affililated" and not as a Democrat. Instead of providing a reliable source establishing that he's serving as a Democrat, his wannabe social media team mindlessly took the media's description of Walker/Mallott as a "fusion ticket" and applied some other state's election laws to that. Alaska law states that a governor/lieutenant governor ticket on the ballot via a nominating petition must share the same affiliation, at least as far as the ballot is concerned. Therefore, the ballot could not have consisted of Walker as an independent and Mallott as a Democrat, as certain editors have attempted to portray it.
  • The lead could still stand to be expanded. It's roughly half of the ideal length for a lead section, and it dwells on a few major topic areas rather than providing an adequate summary of the overall article.
  • In section Geography: "Alaska is the largest state in the United States in land area at 663,268 square miles (1,717,856 km2), over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state.". The figure of 586,412 square miles appears in countless sources over many decades. There is no source or anything else for that matter explaining how or why this figure should instead be taken as valid.
  • As for the section Regions, sources vary wildly as to the number of regions in Alaska and their composition. Most sources agree on either five or six major regions. I don't see how we've established a demarcation which conforms to any interpretation of sources.
  • The sections on the Alaska Heritage Resources Survey and on recording districts should be moved to Alaska Department of Natural Resources, as they describe functions of the department more than they describe items of general interest to Alaska. That article should be also expanded so that it's not overwhelmed by these items. The AHRS could also possibly be mentioned in National Register of Historic Places listings in Alaska due to the similarity of the subject matter. If it's a restricted inventory, that says that the public can't access details, so there's little point in giving it the kind of exposure this article can provide. It seems even more out of place when you realize that the NRHP enthusiasts have created untold scores of articles related to the NRHP and Alaska, yet the NRHP is not mentioned at all in the history section while this is.
  • In section Race and ancestry: well, I see precious little mention of ancestry, even though various Scandinavian and Yugoslavian ethnicities comprise important elements of the early white settlement of Alaska. Then there's Filipinos. Alaska Economic Trends, published by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, reported within the past year or two that Alaska has over 15,000 residents who were born in the Philippines, making Alaska one of only two states where an Asian country makes up the largest block of emigrants from a single country (the other, of course, being Hawaii).
  • In section Religion: "In 2010, the local Muslim community broke ground on the first mosque in the state.". Then what? That was five years ago. It's as if someone stuck a random fact in because there happened to be a source available (update: a cursory search revealed that Al Jazeera reported in December 2014 that the building was nearing completion, but I haven't incorporated that or other sources into the article yet). Also, "local" in this context may refer more to Anchorage than to Alaska as a whole. Resolved ambiguity issue, well, by making the statement less ambiguous. Editing this section brought up another issue. At the beginning of the paragraph which mentions the Russian Orthodox Church, it is unclear whether the intended statement was "the First Russian Orthodox Church" or "the first Russian Orthodox Church" because there's no source covering the sentence.
  • In section Economy: "Federal subsidies are also an important part of the economy, allowing the state to keep taxes low.". This breaking news just in – Generalissimo Ted Stevens is still dead!. In other words, this statement may very well be somewhat slightly outdated. To boot, low state taxes have largely been due to royalty revenues from oil combined with the various budget reserves lying about. This statement may apply to transportation funding, as Alaska is one of very few states whose transportation programs are almost entirely dependent on the feds, though even that has changed as road bonds have made their way back to the state ballot in recent elections.
  • In section Energy, the capacity of the pipeline is mentioned. Peak throughput (and when it occurred) and current throughput should also be mentioned.
  • "The cost of a gallon of gas in urban Alaska today is usually 30–60¢ higher than the national average;". Outdated? There's no source, and it could be as much as $1.00–1.50 a gallon higher in recent times. Prices vary greatly between Southeast and the mainland highway system and just about everywhere else. It may help understanding of this issue if we provided more information on in-state refining capacity and information on what gets imported from where to where, etc.
  • The last paragraph of the energy section repeats information mentioned earlier in the section. The sources appear redundant, too.Eliminated paragraph, consolidated similar-enough sources.
More to come as I go through. Aren't the trophy hunters glad I don't do GA reviews? RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 20:47, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
These all sound like good ideas for improvement, and some of them will probably be essential if the article is to be a GA. What prompted me to consider this again was looking at the only other GA experience I have, where I helped Jean Keene maintain good status. I think with just a little cleanup this is at least as good as that, but being a bigger subject of course there is more to say and more that needs fixing. I think you might be a little tougher than the actual GA reviewers, but I can't find any fault with your basic points. I assume this is going to take a bit of time, and I actually won't be online for a good chunk of the next two weeks as I will be out living it instead of editing it.
As for the regions, I did that, but honestly I don't know that I actually consulted a source at all. I pretty much looked for articles on the various regions and when it looked like I had the whole state covered I stopped looking. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:53, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
There's a few parts of the article which could be improved by simple copy editing; I'll try and work on those without burdening the talk page in chronicling every last move I make. I went through sales tax information for Alaska, as it appears that what we have is not only factually inaccurate but also somewhat POV-leaning. Curiously enough, the highest sales tax rate in the entire state is found in Homer and Seldovia, who pay a combination of borough and city sales tax for a 7.5% rate (year-round in Homer – Seldovia's sales tax rate varies on a seasonal basis, so they pay that much from April to September). RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 01:37, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Proposed merge with Alyeska[edit]

Aside from general notability concerns, without an etymological context, the information following the lede could almost certainly be considered trivia. I'm sure there's a place for such information, but in the other parent articles linked; right now it simply serves the purpose of bolstering a notability claim, ostensibly without really doing so to any appreciable extent. Quinto Simmaco (talk) 15:13, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

If that's the case, then Alyeska should be a dab page. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and Alyeska Resort, among others, are popular uses of the term. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 16:16, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
I came here to say the same thing, a dab page makes sense in this case, not a merger. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:04, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Agreed – the first paragraph can be incorporated into the 'Etymology' section of the Alaska article, the rest of the Aleyska article can be used to form the information for the dab page. Richard3120 (talk) 03:09, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Since we've had three comments in support of a dab page and no additional comments or replies regarding a merge, I have gone ahead and converted it to a dab, feel free to tweak as needed. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:44, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

Free images[edit]

Just ran across this on facebook: [1]. It's a series of infographics about Alaska created by the BLM, so they are free use and they are actively inviting people to re-use them. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:34, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

I wish you could find some free images of the Prince William Sound College and the Whispering Giant statue to insert into Prince William Sound College. YoPienso (talk) 22:29, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with that statue, but Commons tends to categorically view those types of photos as derivative works of copyrighted artwork. For reference, see multiple deletions of the J. C. Penney Whaling Wall mural and the Eisenhower Statehood Monument in Anchorage, the first family statue at Golden Heart Plaza in Fairbanks, the Patsy Ann statue in Juneau, etc. etc. I'm also not sure how they view Facebook images as a source even if the images are US-PD, but in general they take a strict view which limits our avenues to provide images (e.g. photostreams from congressional offices which are hosted on Flickr with non-free licenses have been avoided, despite the presumption that they are works of federal employees). I recently uploaded a new batch of photos to Commons from Flickr. While Flickr's search engine has improved greatly, what little time I did spend browsing over there wreaked havoc with my data limit, so I haven't gone back to it. I did notice a BLM photostream which contains much the same images as that Facebook page, and likely in a lot higher resolution. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 18:05, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
If I were going to Valdez, I'd take one myself like this. But I don't know how to upload it to commons, and have no plans of going to Valdez in the foreseeable future. Could get my son to take one maybe next time he goes climbing out there. Cheers! YoPienso (talk) 19:01, 29 December 2015 (UTC)

Inconsistent population rank[edit]

In the introduction, it states that Alaska is the 4th least populous state and links to a table that shows this is true according to 2010 census data. However the table also shows that according to the 2015 census estimate, Alaska is now believed to be the third least populous. It is the 2015 estimate that is given as Alaska's population later in the introduction. Also, in the sidebar Alaska is said to rank 48th (i.e. 3rd least) in terms of population and the 2015 estimate is given. Either the intro or the sidebar needs to be changed so that the information is consistent. So the question is, is it better to use the older census information which is very accurate for the time and rank Alaska 4th least, or the newer but possibly less accurate estimate and rank Alaska third? I think since the article typically uses the 2015 estimate, the introduction should be changed to reflect that Alaska is the 3rd least populous state. Mkultraviolence (talk) 13:59, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

I changed it myself. (I couldn't earlier because the page is semi-protected). If you want to change it back, you should also change the sidebar rank to 47th for consistency.
Mkultraviolence (talk) 09:45, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

"Official Languages" not really official languages[edit]

There should probably not be an "official languages" section in the capsule data. Note that, as it stands now, there are more languages listed as "official languages" than there are listed as languages spoken!

If you see the Reuters article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-alaska-languages-idUSKCN0ID00E20141024 you will note that there was a symbolic move to give official recognition to the languages that were historically suppressed.

However, "The move would make Alaska only the second U.S. state, after Hawaii, to officially recognize indigenous languages, although English would remain the official language and the state would not be required to conduct business in any other tongue."

And

"The law deliberately remains symbolic..."

Thus all of the languages listed other than English would not meet Wikipedia's own definition of what an official language is:

"An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a country's official language refers to the language used within government (e.g., courts, parliament, administration).[1] Since "the means of expression of a people cannot be changed by any law",[2] the term "official language" does not typically refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government."

For this reason I am removing the databox list of languages, while the list remains in the body of the article itself where there is room to explain the status of these languages. It would probably be most reasonable to indicate that these languages have been given official recognition, but do not practically serve as languages of government. zadignose (talk) 04:53, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 June 2016[edit]

Paragraph 3 of the section on land ownership in Alaska is incorrect. Although alienation of stock in Alaska Native corporations is restricted, there is no legal restriction on the authority of ANCSA corporations to sell or exchange land. Several ANCSA Corporations, and one in particular, have been profitably involved in real estate development and sales for years. Many others have engaged in land exchanges with state and federal agencies. Also, the tax exemption of the land only lasts until the land is sold, developed or improved.

204.52.189.242 (talk) 01:19, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done for now: as you have not requested a specific change in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
More importantly, you have not cited reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 16:19, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 9 July 2016[edit]

Alaska is a country, our lord and savior Bob Ross says so in Season 3 Episode 2. CHANGE IT TO A COUNTRY please.

Nortalian (talk) 06:41, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: No. -- Gogo Dodo (talk) 06:44, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

"Outside"[edit]

Apropos of terminology for referring to Alaska, it may be of interest to give the term that Alaskans commonly use for the rest of the world--"Outside"--usually capitalized to distinguish it as a proper noun distinct from the generic "outside". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.113.85.76 (talk) 19:49, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

translations[edit]

External links modified[edit]

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Paretheses[edit]

I am going to fix a slight error in the lede. Before reverting, please note that the sentence should be complete and logical if the parenthetical portion is omitted. That's not what I see as it stands. Rags (talk) 01:28, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

On second look, I decided to eliminate the parents. Seems to work better. Rags (talk) 01:37, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Flag[edit]

I have today discovered a rare photo of an American flag with 49 stars! The USN "Bluejackets' Manual", 16th edition, 2nd printing, came out between Jan. and August, 1959, before Hawaii achieved statehood! I think it would be an interesting addition to the Alaska article, but I fear that others may disagree. Also, I don't know about the copying issues, since it's not the most current flag, so 'fair use' may not apply. Maybe it's not a problem since the BJM is a government publication? I don't claim to know. Rags (talk) 02:06, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

The copyright is 1960. I suppose the author and artistic director chose the photos much earlier. My first awareness that there ever WAS a Stars and Stripes with 49! Rags (talk) 02:06, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

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