Mayor Sullivan Vetoes East Anchorage Park Assembly Could Override

first_imgMayor Dan Sullivan has vetoed an ordinance the Assembly passed last week that designated municipal land in East Anchorage for a park.Download AudioPhoto © Jerrianne Lowther: Realigned creek near Grass Creek Village & Begich Middle School west of Muldoon.The municipality purchased the parcel near the intersection of Muldoon and Debarr streets in 2006 for $5 million from the federal government, which had seized it in a drug case.Chester Creek runs through the property, and East Anchorage residents have been pushing for a park there for several years. The back part of the 30-acre property has been OK’d by the municipality for use as a park, but Mayor Dan Sullivan has fought to keep some of the land for residential and commercial use. He says he vetoed the Assembly’s decision because it did not follow the correct process.“There’s already a tremendous amount of park land in East Anchorage, so it’s not like there’s a shortage of parks. What we are short of however is residential land,” Sullivan said. “And to just automatically, without going through a process to just say that all this land that could be developed for both small business and residential should be one hundred percent park, I think is really jumping the gun on the process.”Sullivan says the Assembly should have waited on a decision until the East Anchorage District Plan is finished. East Anchorage Assembly member Adam Trombley, who wrote the ordinance designating the park, says the Muldoon strip is one of the most densely populated sections of town. And he says splitting the land and selling the front portions off is a bad idea.Photos © Jerrianne Lowther: Chester Creek in natural creekbed east of Muldoon Road.“Let’s talk about the developability of the land. The middle section is not developable, not a market prices, because of the soil,” Trombley said. “The front commercial property – nobody’s been pounding on the municipalities door, ‘sell me that property, sell me that property – I want to develop it, I want to develop it.’ So I’m not entirely sure about his justification of why he wants to do that.”Part of the land is reportedly contaminated with pesticides from when a greenhouse operated there. Trombly argues development of a park would raise the value of existing residential property in the area and provide a common gathering place for one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods.Trombley is currently fighting to keep his Assembly seat in a high profile race against former legislator Pete Peterson and former NFL player and manager of the Northway Mall, Mao Tosi.The assembly can override Sullivan’s veto with 8 votes. The next meeting of the Anchorage Assembly is Tuesday, March 25.last_img read more

Strange new subatomic particles discovered at atom smasher

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Exotic subatomic particles made up of five quarks that physicists briefly thought they had discovered back in 2003 now finally appear to be in the bag. So say physicists working at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, who claim to have found conclusive evidence for the existence of so-called pentaquarks within the debris of high-energy proton collisions.The discovery has “filled a big hole” in the theory that describes how matter is built up from the fundamental particles known as quarks, says Guy Wilkinson, a spokesman at LHCb, one of the four main detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which was behind the find. That theory, put forward by physicist Murray Gell-Mann in 1964, describes how the protons and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei are themselves composed of three quarks and how other particles known as mesons are made from pairs of quarks and their antimatter counterparts, antiquarks. However, Gell-Mann’s scheme also pointed to the existence of pentaquarks, made up of four quarks and an antiquark. The lack of any evidence for such particles over the past 50 years, says Wilkinson, “didn’t throw the theory into disrepute but was becoming increasingly troublesome.”To catch the elusive prey, Wilkinson and colleagues studied the decay of “lambda-b” particles created by protons colliding within LHCb. They measured the combined energy of two of the decay products—a proton and a meson known as J/Psi, which consists of a “charm” quark and antiquark—and then totted up how many times they recorded each energy value across the thousands of collisions they studied. They found that the number of pairings with a certain energy—a little under five times the mass of the proton—was far higher than would be expected by chance. (Energy and mass are equivalent, according to Einstein’s equation E = mc2.) The researchers concluded that that was the mass of a fleeting “charmonium” pentaquark containing two up quarks, one down quark, one charm quark, and one anticharm quark. LHCb collected the data back in 2011 and 2012, but Wilkinson’s team held back from announcing their discovery to avoid the fate of those who had made the earlier claims of pentaquark sightings. Twelve years ago, about a dozen research groups from around the world announced that they had evidence for a lighter pentaquark known as theta-plus, but more detailed studies showed that all of the claims were illusory.To insure their result was robust, the LHCb collaboration made use of data showing not only the energy of the particles produced in the CERN collisions but also their directions. Running these data through a computer model, they found that they could get the experimental results and model output to agree only when they included two charmonium pentaquarks in the lambda-b decay process—one having a mass of 4.45 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) and the other a mass of 4.38 GeV. (For comparison, a proton weighs in at 0.94 GeV.) The research has been uploaded to the arXiv server and submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters.Physicists from outside the collaboration agree that the result looks convincing. “They appear to have found strong evidence for a ‘heavy quark’ pentaquark state,” says Ken Hicks of Ohio University. Curtis Meyer of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, agrees. “In reading the paper, I have seen nothing that I can easily point to as a potential problem,” he says, although he adds that “with any result like this, confirmation is very important.”The LHC started up again in April after a 2-year shutdown to upgrade the machine to operate at higher energies. Now, the fresh data that will flow into LHCb should enable scientists to study the pentaquarks’ structure, Wilkinson says. It is not clear at this point, he explains, whether all five quarks are bound tightly together inside the new particle, or whether instead three quarks group together as they do inside protons and neutrons and the other two form a separate meson—a bit like two atoms combining to form a molecule.Wilkinson says that because pentaquarks might be formed inside collapsing stars, their discovery might tell us more about what stars are composed of and how they evolve. The new data might also lead to the discovery of other pentaquarks with different masses. “Now that we know nature allows five quarks to be bound together, it would be very strange indeed if just this set of quarks is allowed to coexist in this manner,” he says. “There should be many others. We will just have to go and hunt for them.”center_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more