US

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Posted by sonny 03/09/2009 @ 06:09

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Does Obama reach young US Muslims? Ask today's host - USA Today
What do young US Muslims think of President Obama's Cairo address? Where should the president pray? What happens to political rhetoric when it's laden with religion? Is popular culture an insult to religion or an effective way to express it?...
US Will Let Some Banks Repay Aid - Washington Post
By Binyamin Appelbaum and David Cho The Obama administration plans to announce as soon as today that some of the nation's largest banks can repay billions in federal aid, but some officials caution that the show of progress is being underwritten by...
For US Autoworkers, Future Hinges on Adaptability - Washington Post
After many layoffs and the closing of many GM plants, autoworkers still employed must adapt to changes to carry out GM's mandate to bring the Volt electric car into production. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate...
Japan Stocks Gain on Yen Slump, US Jobs Data; Komatsu Rallies - Bloomberg
By Patrick Rial and Satoshi Kawano June 8 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stocks advanced after the yen weakened and the US lost fewer jobs than expected last month, lifting shares of companies generating earnings overseas. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's...
For China-US Talks on Climate, Issues Old and New - New York Times
By JOHN M. BRODER and JONATHAN ANSFIELD WASHINGTON — For months the United States and China, by far the world's two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, have been warily circling each other in hopes of breaking a long impasse on global warming policy....
Shiller Says Home Prices in US May Decline for 'Some Time' - Bloomberg
By Bob Willis June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Shiller, the Yale University professor who predicted the collapse of the US housing market, writes in a New York Times article today that home price declines “may well continue for some time....
Ching, Hejduk off US roster for Confederations Cup - USA Today
CHICAGO (AP) — Injured forward Brian Ching was left off the US roster for the Confederations Cup in South Africa along with defender Frankie Hejduk. Ching missed the Americans' last two World Cup qualifiers because of an injured hamstring,...
ANALYSIS-Settlements row with US may cloud Israeli economy - Reuters
By Dan Williams TEL AVIV, June 7 (Reuters) - Israel's economy, unscathed by costly wars in Lebanon and Gaza, faces a new challenge, this time from an ally -- the United States. Differences with US President Barack Obama over Jewish settlement of...
Health, climate change vie for boost in US Congress - Reuters
Kennedy legislation in paragraph 14) By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) - Barack Obama may be pressuring Congress as no US president has for decades as he aims to get two big domestic goals passed this year -- reforming health care and...
US soccer looks troubled heading to '10 World Cup - San Jose Mercury News
By John Ryan No nation has benefited more from World Cup expansion than the United States, since it's basically impossible not to qualify now that 32 teams are invited. But after another head-scratcher of a game Saturday, there's more reason than ever...

US Airways

US Airways Logo.svg

US Airways, Inc., an operating unit of US Airways Group, is the fifth largest airline in the United States. A member of the Star Alliance, it has a fleet of 353 mainline jet aircraft and 319 regional jet and turbo-prop aircraft connecting 200 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Europe. As of December 2008, US Airways employs 33,765 people worldwide and operates 3,130 daily flights (1,312 US Airways Mainline, 1,818 US Airways Express as of December 2008). The airline merged with America West Airlines in 2005 and the combined airline retained the US Airways name.

US Airways operates hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix. US Airways also maintains focus city operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, DC, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, LaGuardia Airport in New York, and Logan International Airport in Boston.

The airline operates the US Airways Shuttle, a US Airways brand which provides hourly service between key Northeastern markets. Regional airline service is branded as US Airways Express, operated by contract and subsidiary airline companies.

US Airways traces its history to All American Aviation Company, a company founded by du Pont family brothers Richard C. du Pont, Alexis Felix du Pont, Jr. and CEO Steven Gardner. Hubbed in Pittsburgh, the airline served the Ohio River valley in 1939. In 1949, the company was renamed All American Airways as it switched from airmail to passenger service. The company was again renamed, to Allegheny Airlines, in 1953.

Allegheny expanded progressively, introducing the Douglas DC-9 in 1966 and absorbing Lake Central Airlines in 1968 and Mohawk Airlines in 1972 to become one of the largest carriers in the northeastern United States and sixth largest airline in the world as measured by passenger boardings.

But with expansion came growing pains: by the 1970s Allegheny Airlines had earned the nickname "Agony Air" due to customer dissatisfaction with the carrier's service.

Allegheny's agreement with Henson Airlines, the forerunner to today's US Airways Express carrier Piedmont Airlines, to provide service under the Allegheny Commuter banner, is generally regarded as the industry's first code-share agreement, a type of service now offered throughout the industry.

Allegheny changed its name to USAir in 1979 following the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act the previous year, which enabled the airline to expand its route network into the southeastern United States. In the early 1980s, its routes in the Northeast were fed by Ransome Airlines, among others. Later, USAir acquired San Diego-based PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) and Winston-Salem, NC-based Piedmont Airlines in 1987 and 1988. At that time, the airline consolidated its headquarters at Washington National Airport into a new building at Crystal City in Arlington County, Virginia, adjacent to National Airport. Maintenance and operations remained based at its Pittsburgh International Airport hub.

USAir was a launch customer for the Boeing 737-300, as the airline needed an aircraft with greater capacity to serve its rapidly growing Florida markets. USAir was the world's largest operator of DC-9 aircraft at the time and approached McDonnell Douglas to negotiate a new airplane design. However, in the late 1970s, the McDonnell Douglas' proposed successor to the DC-9-50 did not suit USAir's requirements. After the negotiations with McDonnell Douglas broke down, Boeing came forward with a proposed variant of the 737. USAir selected the new 737 aircraft, and the company worked closely with Boeing during its development, taking delivery of the first plane on November 28, 1984.

USAir expanded dramatically in 1987, when it purchased San Diego-based Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) and Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Piedmont Airlines. The mergers gave the airline hubs in Baltimore, Charlotte, Syracuse, and Dayton, as well as prized routes to the West Coast and Piedmont's transatlantic routes to London Gatwick Airport. While Dayton was a hub for USAir for several years following the Piedmont merger, only Baltimore and Charlotte remained hubs later on. When the Piedmont acquisition was completed in 1989, it was the largest merger in airline history, and USAir became one of the world's largest airlines, operating more than 5,000 flights daily.

In the early 1990s, USAir expanded its service to Europe with flights to London, Paris and Frankfurt from its four primary hubs. The company formed partnerships, marketing the Trump Shuttle as the "USAir Shuttle" and accepted a large investment from British Airways that started one of the first transatlantic airline alliances. During this period several 767 aircraft were painted in the British Airways livery, but operated by USAir. It also invested in a new terminal at its hub at Pittsburgh.

In 1996, the alliance between USAir and British Airways ended in a court battle, once British Airways announced its intentions to partner with American Airlines. Subsequently USAir rebranded itself to US Airways. That same year, the airline also introduced a single-class subsidiary service known as MetroJet, which competed with low-cost carriers expanding into the East, in particular Southwest Airlines.

On November 6, 1996, just following the re-branding to US Airways, the airline placed an order for up to 400 Airbus A320-series narrow body aircraft, with 120 firm orders at the time of the order signing. At the time, the order was regarded as the largest bulk aircraft request in history. In 1998, the airline followed with an order for up to 30 Airbus A330-series or A340-series wide-body aircraft, with an initial firm order for seven of the A330-300 airliners. These orders enabled US Airways to replace its older aircraft with newer, more efficient aircraft, and it helped with the re-branding and repositioning efforts of US Airways.

In 1997 US Airways bought the remains of Trump Shuttle. US Airways also steadily expanded its flights to Europe through the end of the decade. Although the airline returned to profitability in the mid-1990s, its route network's concentration in the U.S. Northeast and high operating costs prompted calls for the company to merge with another airline.

On May 24, 2000 US Airways announced plans to be acquired for $4.3 billion by UAL Corp., the parent company of United Airlines, the world's largest commercial carrier at the time. The complex deal drew immediate objections from labor unions, consumer advocates and antitrust regulators. Negotiations stalled; with both airlines losing money, and the deal all but certain to be blocked by the federal government, UAL withdrew its purchase offer on July 27, 2001, paying US Airways a $50 million penalty for withdrawing from the deal.

Beginning in 2000, US Airways started retiring aircraft in an attempt to simplify its fleet to lower costs, replacing many of its older planes with the new A320-family aircraft.

As the largest carrier at Washington-Reagan, US Airways was disproportionately impacted by that airport's extended closure following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The resulting financial disaster precipitated the closure of the airline's MetroJet network, which led to the de-hubbing of the subsidiary's primary operating base at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the furloughing of thousands of employees. The airline entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 11, 2002, but received a government-guaranteed loan through the Air Transportation Stabilization Board and was able to exit bankruptcy in 2003 after a relatively short period. The airline made major cost reductions during its bankruptcy, but it still encountered higher-than-average per-seat-mile costs. On October 19, 2005, the airline repaid the government-guaranteed loan by refinancing the debt with other lenders.

In early 2003, US Airways management liquidated the pensions of its 6,000 pilots by releasing their pensions into the federal pension program Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The company was one of the first major airlines to eliminate pilots' pensions in order to cut costs.

Following a trial run of selling in-flight food in 2003, US Airways discontinued free meal service on domestic flights later that year.

In late 2003-early 2004, US Airways lobbied for lower operating fees at Pittsburgh International Airport, citing its economies of scale as the primary carrier and largest tenant at the airport. US Airways attempted to leverage its adverse cash position and "red ink" in the years following 9/11 to negotiate better financial terms with the airport. The Allegheny County Airport Authority rejected US Airways' demands for reduced landing fees and lower lease payments, in part due to antitrust and FAA regulations that required the airport operator to extend the same financial terms to all carriers if it accepted US Airways' demands. US Airways threatened to move traffic to rival hubs in Philadelphia and Charlotte, and the airline made good on its threat in November 2004, reducing its flights at Pittsburgh International Airport from primary-hub to secondary-hub status. The airline, led by former America West CEO Doug Parker, continued to demote Pittsburgh International Airport in subsequent years until it became only a focus city airport for the company. Pittsburgh today serves as merely the smallest focus city for US Airways with 56 flights a day, compared to 2001 when it was a fortress hub with 500+ flights a day with service across the country and to Europe.

In August 2004, US Airways attempted to build a Latin American gateway at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, announcing service to 10 cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The attempt was largely unsuccessful and short-lived, in part due to Fort Lauderdale’s close proximity to American Airlines’ hub at Miami International Airport and its extensive Latin American network. US Airways also began a process of de-emphasizing its hub-and-spoke system to capitalize on direct flights between major eastern airports such as Washington-Reagan, New York-LaGuardia, and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood. This emphasis on more direct flights has been undertaken by many airlines of late, as an attempt to capitalize on highest-profit routes, and is a system modeled after lower-cost Southwest Airlines' operations, a system (ironically) that most U.S. airlines had used until the mid-1980s.

The airline became the 15th member of the Star Alliance on May 4, 2004.

Fuel costs and deadlocked negotiations with organized labor (chiefly the Air Line Pilots Association, that was traditionally the first group to come to a concessionary agreement) forced US Airways into a second round of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection proceedings on September 12, 2004. Widespread employee discontent and a high volume of employee sick calls were blamed by the airline for a staff shortage around the 2004 Christmas holiday, a public relations disaster which led to speculation that the airline could be liquidated; the USDOT, however, found that the problems were caused primarily by poor airline management.

Even before the second bankruptcy filing of 2004, one of the alternatives US Airways Group explored was a possible merger with America West, as the two airlines had complementary networks and similar labor costs. The parties held preliminary discussions and conducted due diligence from February through July 2004. Ultimately, these talks ended due to issues related to labor, pension, and benefit costs.

By December 2004, US Airways had cut labor costs significantly. Its investment adviser, the Seabury Group, suggested putting the airline up for sale. The following month, US Airways Group and America West Holdings resumed their discussions. On May 19, 2005, both airlines officially announced the merger deal, structured as a reverse takeover. Financing for the deal was supplied by outside investors including Airbus S.A.S., an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, the European aerospace consortium. Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation, operator of numerous US Airways Express flights, and ACE Aviation Holdings, the parent company of Air Canada, also bought shares in the combined airline. The merged airline retained the US Airways name to emphasize its national scope, as well as to capitalize on US Airways' worldwide recognition, Dividend Miles frequent flyer program, and Star Alliance membership. On September 13, 2005, America West shareholders voted to approve the merger agreement, and three days later the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia approved US Airways' emergence from bankruptcy, allowing the merger to close on September 27.

Since the merger, US Airways has been headquartered at the former America West corporate offices in Tempe, Arizona, and America West executives and board members are largely in control of the merged company. The company's aircraft have used the US Airways operating certificate since September 2007, but retained the airline call sign "CACTUS".

During 2006 the airline began consolidating its operations under the US Airways brand; operations were not fully integrated until October 2008, when government approval allowing the airlines to operate under a single operating certificate.

In January 2006, the airline began consolidating its operations under the US Airways brand, and all America West flights became branded as US Airways flights.

On February 9, 2006, US Airways announced that it would become the first American "legacy" carrier to add the Embraer 190 to its mainline fleet.

In May 2006, the US Airways and America West web sites were merged. The new US Airways web site unites the two brands using graphics and styles reflective of the airline's new livery and services.

In July 2006, US Airways and America West ordered 20 new Airbus A350 aircraft.

The end of 2006 saw US Airways making a bid for competitor Delta Air Lines, which opposed this bid and hostiled takeover by US Airways. The final bid was valued at $10 billion but was withdrawn on January 31, 2007, since US Airways failed to secure backing from Delta's creditors. The airline has stated that it will no longer pursue a possible takeover of Delta.

Most pre-merger US Airways aircraft were equipped with Verizon Airfone at every row of seats. Since Verizon ended this service, the airline has deactivated the service and as of 2007, has removed the phones or has covered them in all aircraft.

Michael Miller, a member of The Velocity Group, an airline consulting firm, said that he approves of Parker's handling of the merger.

During the night of March 4, 2007, the US Airways and America West computer reservation systems merged. US Airways, which previously used the Sabre airline computer system, switched to the new QIK system, an overlay for the Shares system, which is based on the Amadeus computer reservations system, that had been used by America West. A few of the features from the Sabre system were incorporated into the new joint system, with the most prominent being the continued utilization of the Sabre ramp partition "DECS" for all computer functions related to weight and balance, aircraft loading and technical flight tracking within the company. Former America West employees were fully trained and migrated to the old East system on September 25, 2007.

America West Airlines completely merged into the US Airways certificate on September 25, 2007, which formally ended the America West brand. Former America West employees (including pilots, fleet service personnel, flight attendants and mechanics) remain on their original America West union contracts and have not completely combined work forces with their pre-merger US Airways counterparts. Until October, 2008, Former America West aircraft flew with their respective crews and used the call sign "CACTUS", while the pre-merger US Airways crews primarily flew with their respective aircraft and used the call sign "US AIR". In October, 2008, the company began operating under a single operating certificate (that of the former US Airways.) This required operation under a single call sign, and that of America West ("cactus") was the chosen survivor. In addition, flights operated using former America West aircraft and crews are numbered 1-699, whereas flights operated by pre-merger US Airways aircraft and crews are numbered 700-1999. (Flights numbered 2000-2199 are shuttle services, and those 2200 and higher are operated by express subsidiaries.) Aircraft operated by pre-merger US Airways crews or former America West crews flew under two different United States Department of Transportation operating certificates until September 25, 2007. However, until pilot union groups from both sides successfully negotiate a single contract, each group of pilots will fly only on its pre-merger airlines' aircraft and the flights will be marked accordingly.

Now that the computer systems are merged, former America West-operated flights are marketed as though America West was a wholly owned carrier. This marketing is common practice for airlines that have code-share agreements with other airlines operating aircraft for feeder or regional routes, and although the practice is uncommon for major airlines, it greatly simplifies the process for passengers connecting between historically US Airways-operated flights and former America West-operated flights.

In summer 2007, US Airways began upgrading its in-flight services, from food and entertainment to the training of flight attendants. The airline was planning to test-market a new seat back entertainment system in early 2008, however the 2008 fuel crisis has ended those plans. As a further result of the skyrocketing fuel costs, the airline is now rolling back the planned summer 2007 service upgrades as well as ending its existing in-flight entertainment on all domestic routes.

A Consumer Reports survey of 23,000 readers in June 2007 ranked US Airways as the worst airline for customer satisfaction. The survey was conducted before the airline's March 2007 service disruptions. A follow-up survey polling a smaller sample size, conducted in April 2007, found that US Airways remained in last place, with its score dropping an additional 10 points. Also in 2007, the Today/Zagat Airline Survey rated US Airways as the worst airline overall in the United States, ranking it 10/30 for comfort, 5/30 for food, 10/30 for service, and 15/30 for its online reservations system. On August 1, 2008, US Airways ceased providing their passengers with free drinks, including water. Passengers must now purchase bottled water or soda for $2 US, or $1 US for coffee and tea. However, the Shuttle flights between LGA, DCA, and BOS still offer free beverages.

US Airways ranked last out of 20 domestic airline carriers for systemwide on-time performance in March, April and May 2007, according to US Department of Transportation figures. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics June 2008 report (using data from May 2008), US Airways ranked 7th for percentage of on-time arrivals.

US Airways is the leader in service complaints with 4.4 complaints per 100,000 customers. US Airways rate of customer complaints is 7.5-times the rate of JetBlue (0.59 complaints per 100,000 customers) and 11-times the rate of Southwest (0.4 complaints per 100,000 customers). US Airways has a very poor record of addressing customer complaints, answering only 50% of the telephone calls to its customer service department.

US Airways east pilots took steps to relinquish their ALPA membership and form their own in-house union. Pre-merger US Airways "East" pilots were dissatisfied with the results of binding arbitration when the arbitrator's ruling placed all active former America West pilots, including their most junior pilot, who had been hired only three months previous to the merger, ahead of furloughed US Airways pilots with up to seventeen years of service. The former US Airways pilots petitioned the National Mediation Board to conduct a vote to determine whether to replace their union. East pilots (3,200) outnumbered west pilots (1,800) and the proposed union's president stated that the union has a sufficient number of requests to call a vote according to National Mediation Board regulations. The new union would be called the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA). On April 17, 2008, USAPA was voted in as the sole bargaining agent for the pilots of US Airways, East and West.

As of September 2007, US Airways continued to downgrade Pittsburgh International Airport's status from 500 flights a day (with 12,000 employees) in 2001 to just 68 flights a day (with only 1,800 employees). CEO Doug Parker stated its frustration with PIT being an unprofitable airport and that more cuts may be on the way. This represents a further deterioration of a strained relationship with Allegheny County, with which the airline shares significant historical ties. US Airways Group Inc. said October 3,2007 it would cut mainline flights at Pittsburgh International Airport to 22 a day from 31 and reduce regional flights to 46 a day from 77, beginning January 6, 2008, essentially reducing the airport to a destination spoke in its network. Pittsburgh is no longer a focus city for the airline as of its most recent annual report and January 2008 flight schedule reductions. US Airways did however select Pittsburgh for the site of its new flight operations center, beating out proposals from Charlotte and Phoenix. It opened ahead of schedule in November 2008 and is home to approximately 600 employees. It serves as the nerve center for all of US Airways' nearly 1,400 daily mainline flights.

On September 25, 2007 US Airways was awarded a route by the DOT to serve Beijing from Charlotte via Philadelphia This marks the first direct route to China from Philadelphia, scheduled to begin in March 2009. US Airways has threatened to withdraw the proposed route, however, if Philadelphia International Airport allows Delta Air Lines to enter Terminal A East.

On September 26, 2007 US Airways received Single FAA certification.

On October 29, 2007, US Airways announced it will apply for daily nonstop service between Charlotte and Bogotá, Colombia when the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) begins selecting carriers for 21 new weekly flights to the South American nation. The carrier has since lost this bid.

On November 11, 2007, US Airways announced nonstop service between Philadelphia and London's Heathrow Airport.

On April 25, 2008, it was reported that US Airways was in talks to merge its operations with either American Airlines or United Airlines, partially as a response to the recent Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines merger. Then, on April 28, 2008, reports stated that US Airways would announce its intent to merge with United within two weeks. At the end of May 2008, the airline announced that merger talks were formally ended. However, it is anticipated that a prospective United-US Airways merger may re-emerge if the Delta Air Lines-Northwest Airlines merger succeeds.

On June 6, 2008, US Airways announced that it cannot furlough aging 737 Classic aircraft (as United and Continental have announced) due to minimum fleet size requirements imposed on it by labor unions.

On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 from New York City's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina ditched into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff. It is believed that a "multiple bird hits" from a flock of Canada Geese caused both engines to lose power. All 150 passengers and 5 crew members (2 pilots and 3 flight attendants) survived with only minor injuries. New York's Governor Paterson called it "the miracle on the Hudson." President George W. Bush said he was "inspired by the skill and heroism of the flight crew," and he also praised the emergency responders and volunteers.

US Airways operates 3,130 flights a day to 200 destinations in 30 countries from its hubs in Phoenix, Charlotte, and Philadelphia.

US Airways' routes are concentrated along the East Coast of the United States, Southwestern United States and the Caribbean, with a number of routes serving Europe and primary destinations along the U.S. West Coast. The airline's western U.S. presence has increased dramatically following the merger with America West. Codesharing with United Airlines has helped US Airways by enabling the airline to offer its customers service throughout the Midwest, Great Plains and Rocky Mountains states. Services to South America, Asia and Australia also are offered via the United Airlines codeshare. Likewise, United passengers benefit from increased access via US Airways to the U.S. East Coast, Europe and the Caribbean. US Airways Express carriers operate a large number of domestic routes, primarily into US Airways' hubs and focus cities, but with some exceptions, particularly small markets where the regional express carriers operate service under the EAS program, as well as some point-to-point commuter routes in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions and south through the Carolinas. In February 2007, the airline announced that its official operations center would be located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On July 16, 2007 US Airways announced it had applied to the Department of Transportation for nonstop service between Philadelphia and Beijing. If approved, the flights would begin in March 2009 and would utilize Airbus A340 aircraft that would originate in Charlotte using a Boeing 767. On September 25, 2007 The Department of Transportation stated that it tentatively had awarded US Airways the Charlotte-Philadelphia-Beijing route to begin on March 25, 2009, however the airline recently asked the USDOT for permission to delay the flight by one year, partly due to the 2008 fuel crisis.

On November 11, 2007, US Airways announced nonstop service between Philadelphia and London's Heathrow Airport, its first services to the airport. The airline will retain its existing nonstop service between Philadelphia and London Gatwick, as well as between Charlotte and London Gatwick.

Also in 2007, the airline applied for flights to Bogotá, Colombia (proposed to start in 2008 from Charlotte), however its application was denied by the US Department of Transportation after the agency awarded Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and Spirit Airlines the routes from Delta's New York-JFK hub, JetBlue from Orlando, and Spirit from Fort Lauderdale.

As of 2008, US Airways and other airlines have struggled with the price of fuel. Despite that, US Airways CEO Doug Parker said "It is our international gateway. We'd like to expand that, the airline hopes to add three international flights next summer (2009), including to Tel Aviv" from Philadelphia. US Airways has applied for year-round service between Charlotte and Rio de Janeiro.

US Airways will begin service from the following cities to the destinations listed. Some routes listed below may already be operated by US Airways or its regional affiliates.

The following mainline routes are scheduled to be discontinued in 2009. Some routes, however, may continue to be served by code-share mainline and/or US Airways Express carriers. While the three hubs are having a handful of flights cut, the most notable is the major downgrade of Las Vegas to a focus city.

US Airways operates a fleet of 353 twinjets, divided between mostly newer Airbus aircraft and generally older Boeing aircraft. As of March 2007, the post-merger airline operated the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world. US Airways has a fleet average age of 12.1 years as of November 2008.

US Air and US Airways have operated a very varied fleet. Just prior to September 11, 2001, US Airways operated Fokker 100, DC9, MD80, B737-200, B737-300, B737-400, B757-200, B767-200, A319-100, A320-200, A321-200 and A330-300 (13 types, but only 12 listed here). This was a byproduct of several mergers as each airline that merged with the company brought their own aircraft configured to their specifications. Additionally, some of the airlines that merged with US Air and US Airways purchased and leased aircraft that had operated at other airlines. US Airways East obtained all their A320s directly from Airbus, while America West had an array of A320s that were obtained from airlines.

All east A319/A320/A321s (except the ones delivered after 2008) came with powerports on their seat rows. but A319/A320s from AWA do not. US Airways A320/319s that came from AWA have different engines than pre-merger A320/A319/A321 from US Airways. On the current Boeing fleet, the differences of the aircraft are only visible from the inside. 757s within the America West fleet differ considerably, for example in the location of the lavatories and the galley configuration. The US Airways 757s (partly from Eastern) have yet another configuration. The 737-300 fleet at America West is from all over the world. Some have air vents, some do not. US Air's 737-300s come from either US Air or Piedmont Airlines.

US Airways has operated various liveries under both the US Airways and USAir names. In general, the Express and Shuttle divisions have had liveries that closely paralleled the company-wide livery at the time.

Envoy Sleeper Seats are marketed as Envoy Class, US Airways' International Business Class, although they were considered International First Class-only before US Airways discontinued three-cabin service in 2001. When fully reclined, the sleeper seats are fully horizontal, forming a bed that is flat. There are six of the seats per aircraft, on the Airbus A330 only. Each has a personal on-demand video screen attached to the arm rest that offers movies, games and syndicated television shows in multiple languages. There is also an EmPower power outlet at each of the seats. Other Sleeper Seat amenities, including food and beverage services, are identical to those in the rest of Envoy Class. The seats in this class have the largest seat pitch (94") available on any commercial flight in the world.

US Airways' International Business Class. These seats do not offer the significant recline of the Sleeper Seats, however on Airbus A330 aircraft, every seat has a personal on-demand video screen attached to the arm rest that offers movies, games and syndicated television shows in multiple languages, and there is an EmPower power outlet at each seat. On Boeing 767 and Boeing 757 transatlantic flights, the airline is introducing personal video and audio entertainment devices with on-demand entertainment options. During this transition, some B757 and B767 aircraft have personal video screens with seven channels at each Envoy Class seat. Previously, there were no electric power outlets on the B767, however the airline is working to add 110 volt adapter-free AC power outlets. Some B767 aircraft also have been reconfigured with new lie-flat seats in Envoy Class featuring additional leg room. The airline offers free food and beverage service for all Envoy Class seats.

Domestic First Class service is available on all US Airways-operated aircraft and available via free upgrades to Preferred members, with a seat pitch ranging from 35 to 38 inches and a seat width ranging from 20 to 21 inches. Free wine, beer and spirits are offered, along with snacks including cookies, chips and cashews. Meals are provided on flights of 3.5 hours or longer. An EmPower power outlet is available at every first class seat on Airbus aircraft, but is not available on aircraft formerly operated by America West. At an October Employee Q&A, it was announced that the power ports would be disabled on all domestic narrowbody aircraft as of November 1, 2008.

America West Airlines had a frequent flyer program called FlightFund. Following the US Airways-America West merger, FlightFund was merged into the US Airways Dividend Miles program.

In addition to the US Airways Clubs, there is one Envoy Lounge located in Philadelphia International Airport for Envoy Class passengers. The Envoy Lounge includes upgraded amenities including free alcohol. All passengers with an Envoy Class or Star Alliance Business Class ticket are admitted at no charge. Those with a Star Alliance First Class ticket are admitted and also allowed one guest (traveling on a Star Alliance carrier).

Note: This list includes Star Alliance (*) partners.

The incidents and crashes listed below include only those of US Airways and US Air (and not predecessor or merger airlines such as Allegheny, PSA or America West; or partnering regional commuter airlines operating US Airways flights under the brand US Airways Express).

US Airways' short code number is 839887 ("TEXTUS"). Interested parties who text a flight number to 839887 receive flight status in reply.

The US Airways Do Crew program is the airline's employee community-service program. Employee volunteers in the program participate in community-based projects on a monthly basis through local chapters in Boston, Charlotte, Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC and Winston-Salem.

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US (disambiguation)

Us is a pronoun in the English language, the objective form of we.

US (capitalized) is an alternative of the abbreviation U.S., which generally refers to the United States of America, but can also (much less frequently) mean Union State of Russian Federation and Belarus.

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Alaska

Flag of Alaska

Alaska ( /əˈlæskə/ (help·info), Russian: Аляска Alyaska) is the largest state of the United States of America by area; it is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait. As of 2007, Alaska remains the least densely populated state, with a population of 683,478 with approximately 50% residing along the Anchorage metropolitan areas.

The area that became Alaska was purchased from the Russian Empire after Western Union discontinued construction of its first electric telegraph line which ran from California, up the coast of North America, across the Bering Strait, continuing to Moscow and into the European telegraph network. Despite $3 million in U.S. investment for the Russian-American telegraph expedition, work ceased upon the completion of the competing Transatlantic telegraph cable. The U.S. realized the potential of continuing the line to Moscow and sent Secretary of State William H. Seward to negotiate with the Russian Ambassador to fund the remaining phases of the telegraph line. Russia did not see the potential in funding, so Alaska was offered in exchange for the value of the Russian-American telegraph. The Russians feared that if they did not sell Russian North America, it would be taken from them by the westward expansion of the United States and Canada. They tried to play one potential purchaser off against the other to start a bidding war, but this was largely unsuccessful.

The U.S. Senate approved the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million at 2 cents per acre, about 5 cents per hectare. When adjusted for inflation, the total sum paid equates to approximately $111 million in today's dollars. The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized territory on May 11, 1912 and the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" was already introduced in the Russian colonial time, when it was only used for the peninsula and is derived from the Aleut alaxsxaq, meaning "the mainland", or more literally, "the object towards which the action of the sea is directed." It is also known as Alyeska, the "great land", an Aleut word derived from the same root.

Alaska has more coastline than all the other U.S. states combined. It is the only non-contiguous U.S. state on continental North America; about 500 miles (800 km) of British Columbia (Canada) separate Alaska from Washington state. Alaska is thus an exclave of the United States. It is technically part of the continental U.S., but is often not included in colloquial use; Alaska is not part of the contiguous U.S., often called "the Lower 48". Juneau, Alaska's capital city, though located on the mainland of the North American continent, is inaccessible by land—no roads connect Juneau to the rest of the North American highway system.

The state is bordered by the Yukon Territory and British Columbia, Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north. Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, though the Russian and Alaskan islands are almost 3 miles (4.8 km) apart.

Alaska is the largest state in the United States in land area at 570,380 square miles (1,477,277 km2), more than twice as large as Texas, the next largest state. Geologists have identified Alaska as part of Wrangellia, a large region consisting of multiple states and Canadian provinces in the Pacific Northwest which is actively undergoing continent building. It is larger than all but 16 sovereign countries.

Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas, California, and Montana.

It is also larger than the combined area of the 23 smallest U.S. States and Districts: Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, West Virginia, South Carolina, Maine, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and North Carolina.

Also, compared with territory outside the United States, Alaska is larger than Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom combined.

The northeast corner of Alaska is dominated by the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which covers 19,049,236 acres (77,090 km2). Much of the northwest is covered by the larger National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, which covers around 23,000,000 acres (93,100 km2). The Arctic is Alaska's most remote wilderness. A location in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska is 120 miles (190 km) from any town or village, the geographic point most remote from permanent habitation on the US mainland. The Rat Islands region in the Western Aleutians is more than 200 miles (320 km) from the tiny settlements of Attu and Adak, and may be the loneliest place in the United States. In 1971 the U.S. exploded an atomic bomb underground here, on Amchitka Island.

With its myriad islands, Alaska has nearly 34,000 miles (54,720 km) of tidal shoreline. The Aleutian Islands chain extends west from the southern tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Many active volcanoes are found in the Aleutians. Unimak Island, for example, is home to Mount Shishaldin, which is an occasionally smoldering volcano that rises to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above the North Pacific. It is the most perfect volcanic cone on Earth, even more symmetrical than Japan's Mount Fuji. The chain of volcanoes extends to Mount Spurr, west of Anchorage on the mainland.

Alaska has more than 3 million lakes. Marshlands and wetland permafrost cover 188,320 square miles (487,747 km2) (mostly in northern, western and southwest flatlands). Frozen water, in the form of glacier ice, covers some 16,000 square miles (41,440 km2) of land and 1,200 square miles (3,110 km2) of tidal zone. The Bering Glacier complex near the southeastern border with Yukon, Canada, covers 2,250 square miles (5,827 km2) alone.

The International Date Line jogs west of 180° to keep the whole state, and thus the entire North American continent, within the same legal day.

According to an October 1998 report by the United States Bureau of Land Management, approximately 65% of Alaska is owned and managed by the U.S. federal government as public lands, including a multitude of national forests, national parks, and national wildlife refuges. Of these, the Bureau of Land Management manages 87 million acres (350,000 km²), or 23.8% of the state. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. It is the World's largest wildlife Refuge, comprising 16 million acres (65,000 km2).

Of the remaining land area, the State of Alaska owns 101 million acres (410,000 km2); another 44 million acres (180,000 km2) are owned by 13 regional and dozens of local Native corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Thus, indirectly, the 84,000 Eskimo, Aleut and American Indian inhabitants of Alaska own one-ninth of the state. Various private interests own the remaining land, totaling about 1% of the state.

Alaska is administratively divided into "boroughs", as opposed to "counties" or "parishes." The function is the same, but whereas some states use a three-tiered system of decentralization—state/county/township—most of Alaska uses only two tiers—state/borough. Owing to the low population density, most of the land is located in the Unorganized Borough which, as the name implies, has no intermediate borough government of its own, but is administered directly by the state government. Currently (2000 census) 57.71% of Alaska's area has this status, with 13.05% of the population. For statistical purposes the United States Census Bureau divides this territory into census areas. Anchorage merged the city government with the Greater Anchorage Area Borough in 1971 to form the Municipality of Anchorage, containing the city proper and the bedroom communities of Eagle River, Chugiak, Peters Creek, Girdwood, Bird, and Indian. Fairbanks has a separate borough (the Fairbanks North Star Borough) and municipality (the City of Fairbanks).

Alaska is also home of the Mount McKinley mountain range which is the largest mountain range in the United States.

The climate in Juneau and the southeast panhandle is a mid-latitude oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) in the southern sections and a subarctic oceanic climate (Köppen Cfc) in the northern parts. On an annual basis, the panhandle is both the wettest and warmest part of Alaska with milder temperatures in the winter and high precipitation throughout the year. Juneau averages over 50 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation a year, while other areas receive over 275 inches (6,990 mm). This is also the only region in Alaska in which the average daytime high temperature is above freezing during the winter months.

The climate of Anchorage and south central Alaska is mild by Alaskan standards due to the region's proximity to the seacoast. While the area gets less rain than southeast Alaska, it gets more snow, and days tend to be clearer. On average, Anchorage receives 16 inches (406 mm) of precipitation a year, with around 75 inches (1,905 mm) of snow, although there are areas in the south central which receive far more snow. It is a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) due to its short, cool summers.

The climate of Western Alaska is determined in large part by the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. It is a subarctic oceanic climate in the southwest and a continental subarctic climate farther north. The temperature is somewhat moderate considering how far north the area is. This area has a tremendous amount of variety in precipitation. The northern side of the Seward Peninsula is technically a desert with less than 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation annually, while some locations between Dillingham and Bethel average around 100 inches (2,540 mm) of precipitation.

The climate of the interior of Alaska is best described as extreme and is a good example of a true subarctic climate. Some of the highest and lowest temperatures in Alaska occur around the area near Fairbanks. The summers can have temperatures reaching into the 90s°F (the low to mid 30s °C), while in the winter, the temperature can fall below −60 °F (-52 °C). Precipitation is sparse in the Interior, often less than 10 inches (250 mm) a year, but what precipitation falls in the winter tends to stay the entire winter.

The highest and lowest recorded temperatures in Alaska are both in the Interior. The highest is 100 °F (38 °C) in Fort Yukon (which is just 8 miles (13 km) inside the arctic circle) on June 27, 1915, tied with Pahala, Hawaii as the lowest high temperature in the United States. The lowest official Alaska temperature is −80 °F (-62 °C) in Prospect Creek on January 23, 1971, one degree above the lowest temperature recorded in continental North America (in Snag, Yukon, Canada).

The climate in the extreme north of Alaska is as expected for an area north of the Arctic Circle. It is an Arctic climate (Köppen ET) with long, very cold winters and short, cool summers. Even in July, the average low temperature is barely above freezing in Barrow, at 34 °F (1 °C). Precipitation is light in this part of Alaska, with many places averaging less than 10 inches (250 mm) per year, mostly in the form of snow which stays on the ground almost the entire year.

The first European contact with Alaska occurred in the year 1741, when Vitus Bering led an expedition for the Russian Navy aboard the St. Peter. After his crew returned to Russia bearing sea otter pelts judged to be the finest fur in the world, small associations of fur traders began to sail from the shores of Siberia towards the Aleutian islands. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1784, and the Russian-American Company carried out an expanded colonization program during the early to mid-1800s. New Archangel on Kodiak Island was Alaska's first capital, but for a century under both Russia and the U.S. Sitka was the capital. The Russians never fully colonized Alaska, and the colony was never very profitable. William H. Seward, the U.S. Secretary of State, negotiated the Alaskan purchase in 1867 for $7.2 million. Alaska was loosely governed by the military for years, and was unofficially a territory of the United States from 1884 on.

In the 1890s, gold rushes in Alaska and the nearby Yukon Territory brought thousands of miners and settlers to Alaska. Alaska was granted official territorial status in 1912. At this time the capital was moved to Juneau.

During World War II, the Aleutian Islands Campaign focused on the three outer Aleutian Islands — Attu, Agattu and Kiska - that were invaded by Japanese troops and occupied between June 1942 and August 1943. Unalaska/Dutch Harbor became a significant base for the U.S. Army Air Corps and Navy submariners.

The U.S. Lend-Lease program involved flying American warplanes through Canada to Fairbanks and thence Nome; Russian pilots took possession of these aircraft, ferrying them to fight the German invasion of Russia. The construction of military bases contributed to the population growth of some Alaskan cities.

Statehood was approved in 1958. Alaska was officially proclaimed a state on January 3, 1959.

In 1964, the massive "Good Friday Earthquake" killed 131 people and destroyed several villages, many by the resultant tsunamis. It was the second most powerful earthquake in the recorded history of the world, with a moment magnitude of 9.2. It was 100 times more powerful than the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. Luckily, the epicenter was in an unpopulated area or thousands more would have been killed.

The 1968 discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay and the 1977 completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline led to an oil boom. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in the Prince William Sound, spilling over 11 million US gallons of crude oil over 1,100 miles (1,600 km) of coastline. Today, the battle between philosophies of development and conservation is seen in the contentious debate over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2008, estimated Alaska's population at 686,293, which represents an increase of 59,362, or 9.5%, since the last census in 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 60,994 people (that is 86,062 births minus 25,068 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 5,469 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 4,418 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 9,887 people. In 2000 Alaska ranked 48th out of 50 states by population. Alaska is the least densely populated state, and one of the most sparsely-populated areas in the world, at 1.0 people per square mile (0.42/km²), with the next state, Wyoming, at 5.1 per square mile (1.97/km²). It is the largest U.S. state by area, and the 6th wealthiest (per capita income).

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 69.3% of single-race Alaska residents were caucasian and 15.6% were Native American or Alaska Native, the largest proportion of any state. Multiracial/Mixed-Race people are the third largest group of people in the state, totaling 6.9% of the population. The largest self-reported ancestry groups in the state are German (16.6%), Alaska Native or American Indian (15.6%), Irish (10.8%), British (9.6%), American (5.7%), and Norwegian (4.2%).

The vast sparsely populated regions of northern and western Alaska are primarily inhabited by Alaska Natives, who are also numerous in the southeast. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and other parts of south-central and southeast Alaska have many whites of northern and western European ancestry. The Wrangell-Petersburg area has many residents of Scandinavian ancestry and the Aleutians contain a large Filipino population. Most of the state's black population lives in Anchorage, though Fairbanks also has a sizable black population.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 85.7% of Alaska residents aged 5 and older speak English at home. The next most common languages are Spanish (2.88%), Yupik (2.87%), Filipino (1.54%), and Iñupiaq (1.06%). A total of 5.2% of Alaskans speak one of the state's 22 indigenous languages, known locally as Native American languages, of which most are moribund.

Alaska has been identified, along with Pacific Northwest states Washington and Oregon, as being the least religious in the U.S. According to statistics collected by the Association of Religion Data Archives, only about 39% of Alaska residents were members of religious congregations. Evangelical Protestants had 78,070 members, Roman Catholics had 54,359, and mainline Protestants had 37,156. After Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, the largest single denominations are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons/LDS) with 29,460, Southern Baptists with 22,959, and Orthodox with 20,000. The large Eastern Orthodox (with 49 parishes and up to 50,000 followers, population is a result of early Russian colonization and missionary work among Alaska Natives. In 1795, the First Russian Orthodox Church was established in Kodiak. Intermarriage with Alaskan Natives helped the Russian immigrants integrate into society. As a result, more and more Russian Orthodox churches gradually became established within Alaska. Alaska also has the largest Quaker population (by percentage) of any state. In 2003 there were 3,000 Jews in Alaska (for whom observance of the mitzvah may pose special problems). Estimates for the number of Alaskan Muslims range from 2,000 to 5,000. Hindus are also represented through a number of temples and associations and adherents number over one thousand. Alaskan Hindus often share venues and celebrations with members of other religious communities including Sikhs and Jains.

The 2005 gross state product was $39.9 billion, 45th in the nation. Its per-capita GSP for 2006 was $43,748, 7th in the nation. The oil and gas industry dominates the Alaskan economy, with more than 80% of the state's revenues derived from petroleum extraction. Alaska's main export product (excluding oil and natural gas) is seafood, primarily salmon, cod, Pollock and crab. Agriculture represents only a fraction of the Alaskan economy. Agricultural production is primarily for consumption within the state and includes nursery stock, dairy products, vegetables, and livestock. Manufacturing is limited, with most foodstuffs and general goods imported from elsewhere. Employment is primarily in government and industries such as natural resource extraction, shipping, and transportation. Military bases are a significant component of the economy in both Fairbanks and Anchorage. Federal subsidies are also an important part of the economy, allowing the state to keep taxes low. Its industrial outputs are crude petroleum, natural gas, coal, gold, precious metals, zinc and other mining, seafood processing, timber and wood products. There is also a growing service and tourism sector. Tourists have contributed to the economy by supporting local lodging.

Alaska has vast energy resources. Major oil and gas reserves are found in the Alaska North Slope (ANS) and Cook Inlet basins. According to the Energy Information Administration, Alaska ranks second in the nation in crude oil production. Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope is the highest yielding oil field in the United States and on North America, typically producing about 400,000 barrels per day (64,000 m³/d). The Trans-Alaska Pipeline can pump up to 2.1 million barrels (330,000 m3) of crude oil per day, more than any other crude oil pipeline in the United States. Additionally, substantial coal deposits are found in Alaska’s bituminous, sub-bituminous, and lignite coal basins. The United States Geological Survey estimates that there are 85.4 trillion cubic feet (2,420 km3) of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas from natural gas hydrates on the Alaskan North Slope. Alaska also offers some of the highest hydroelectric power potential in the country from its numerous rivers. Large swaths of the Alaskan coastline offer wind and geothermal energy potential as well.

Alaska's economy depends heavily on increasingly expensive diesel fuel for heating, transportation, electric power and light. Though wind and hydroelectric power are abundant and underutilized, proposals for state-wide energy systems (e.g. with special low-cost electric interties) were judged uneconomical (at the time of the report, 2001) due to low (<$0.50/Gal) fuel prices, long distances and low population. The cost of a gallon of gas in urban Alaska today is usually $0.30-$0.60 higher than the national average; prices in rural areas are generally significantly higher but vary widely depending on transportation costs, seasonal usage peaks, nearby petroleum development infrastructure and many other factors.

Alaska accounts for 1/5 (20%) of domestically produced United States oil production. Prudhoe Bay (North America's largest oil field) alone accounts for 8% of the United States domestic oil production.

The Alaska Permanent Fund is a legislatively controlled appropriation established in 1976 to manage a surplus in state petroleum revenues from the recently constructed Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. From its initial principal of $734,000, the fund has grown to $40 billion as a result of oil royalties and capital investment programs. Starting in 1982, dividends from the fund's annual growth have been paid out each year to eligible Alaskans, ranging from $331.29 in 1984 to $3,269.00 in 2008 (which included a one-time $1200 "Resource Rebate"). Every year, the state legislature takes out 8 percent from the earnings, puts 3 percent back into the principal for inflation proofing, and the remaining 5 percent is distributed to all qualifying Alaskans. To qualify for the Alaska State Permanent Fund one must have lived in the state for a minimum of 12 months, and maintain constant residency.

The cost of goods in Alaska has long been higher than in the contiguous 48 states. This has changed for the most part in Anchorage and to a lesser extent in Fairbanks, where the cost of living has dropped somewhat in the past five years. Federal government employees, particularly United States Postal Service (USPS) workers and active-duty military members, receive a Cost of Living Allowance usually set at 25% of base pay because, while the cost of living has gone down, it is still one of the highest in the country.

The introduction of big-box stores in Anchorage, Fairbanks (Wal-Mart in March 2004), and Juneau also did much to lower prices. However, rural Alaska suffers from extremely high prices for food and consumer goods, compared to the rest of the country due to the relatively limited transportation infrastructure. Many rural residents come into these cities and purchase food and goods in bulk from warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's Club. Some have embraced the free shipping offers of some online retailers to purchase items much more cheaply than they could in their own communities, if they are available at all.

Due to the northern climate and steep terrain, relatively little farming occurs in Alaska. Most farms are in either the Matanuska Valley, about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Anchorage, or on the Kenai Peninsula, about 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Anchorage. The short 100-day growing season limits the crops that can be grown, but the long sunny summer days make for productive growing seasons. The primary crops are potatoes, carrots, lettuce, corn, and cabbage. Farmers exhibit produce at the Alaska State Fair. "Alaskan Grown" is used as an agricultural slogan.

Alaska has an abundance of seafood, with the primary fisheries in the Bering Sea and the North Pacific, and seafood is one of the few food items that is often cheaper within the state than outside it. Many Alaskans fish the rivers during Salmon season to gather significant quantities of their household diet while fishing for subsistence, sport, or both.

Hunting for subsistence, primarily caribou, moose, and sheep is still common in the state, particularly in remote Bush communities. An example of a traditional native food is Akutaq, the Eskimo ice cream, which can consist of reindeer fat, seal oil, dried fish meat and local berries.

Most food in Alaska is transported into the state from "outside", and shipping costs make food in the cities relatively expensive. In rural areas, subsistence hunting and gathering is an essential activity because imported food is prohibitively expensive. The cost of importing food to villages begins at $0.07/lb and rises rapidly to $0.50/lb or more. The cost of delivering a 7-pound gallon of milk is about $3.50 in many villages where per capita income can be $20,000 or less. Fuel for snow machines and boats that consume a couple gallons per hour can exceed $8.00.

Alaska has few road connections compared to the rest of the U.S. The state's road system covers a relatively small area of the state, linking the central population centers and the Alaska Highway, the principal route out of the state through Canada. The state capital, Juneau, is not accessible by road, only a car ferry, which has spurred several debates over the decades about moving the capital to a city on the road system, or building a road connection from Haines. The western part of Alaska has no road system connecting the communities with the rest of Alaska.

One unique feature of the Alaska Highway system is the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, an active Alaska Railroad tunnel recently upgraded to provide a paved roadway link with the isolated community of Whittier on Prince William Sound to the Seward Highway about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Anchorage. At 2.5 miles (4.0 km) the tunnel was the longest road tunnel in North America until 2007. The tunnel is the longest combination road and rail tunnel in North America.

Built around 1915, the Alaska Railroad (ARR) played a key role in the development of Alaska through the 20th century. It links north Pacific shipping through providing critical infrastructure with tracks that run from Seward to Interior Alaska via South Central Alaska, passing through Anchorage, Eklutna, Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali, and Fairbanks, with spurs to Whittier, Palmer and North Pole. The cities, towns, villages, and region served by ARR tracks are known statewide as "The Railbelt". In recent years, the ever-improving paved highway system began to eclipse the railroad's importance in Alaska's economy.

The Alaska Railroad was one of the last railroads in North America to use cabooses in regular service and still uses them on some gravel trains. It continues to offer one of the last flag stop routes in the country. A stretch of about 60 miles (100 km) of track along an area north of Talkeetna remains inaccessible by road; the railroad provides the only transportation to rural homes and cabins in the area; until construction of the Parks Highway in the 1970s, the railroad provided the only land access to most of the region along its entire route.

In northern Southeast Alaska, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad also partly runs through the State from Skagway northwards into Canada (British Columbia and Yukon Territory), crossing the border at White Pass Summit. This line is now mainly used by tourists, often arriving by cruise liner at Skagway. It featured in the 1983 BBC television series Great Little Railways.

Most cities, towns and villages in the state do not have road or highway access; the only modes of access involve travel by air, river, or the sea.

Alaska's well-developed state-owned ferry system (known as the Alaska Marine Highway) serves the cities of Southeast, the Gulf Coast and the Alaska Peninsula. The system also operates a ferry service from Bellingham, Washington and Prince Rupert, British Columbia in Canada via the Inside Passage to Skagway. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority also serves as an important marine link for many communities in the Prince of Wales Island region of Southeast and works in concert with the Alaska Marine Highway.

In recent years, large cruise ships began creating a summertime tourism market, mainly connecting the Pacific Northwest to Southeast Alaska and, to a lesser degree, towns along the north gulf coast. Several times each summer, the population of Ketchikan sharply rises for a few hours when two ships dock to debark more than a thousand passengers each while four other ships lie at anchor nearby, waiting their turn at the dock.

Cities not served by road or sea can be reached only by air or by hiking/dogsled, accounting for Alaska's extremely well-developed bush air services—an Alaskan novelty. Anchorage itself, and to a lesser extent Fairbanks, are serviced by many major airlines. Air travel is the cheapest and most efficient form of transportation in and out of the state. Anchorage recently completed extensive remodeling and construction at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to help accommodate the upsurge in tourism (in 2000–2001, the latest year for which data is available, 2.4 million total arrivals to Alaska were counted, 1.7 million via air travel; 1.4 million were visitors).

Regular flights to most villages and towns within the state that are commercially viable are challenging to provide, so they are heavily subsidized by the federal government through the Essential Air Service program. Alaska Airlines is the only major airline offering in-state travel with jet service (sometimes in combination cargo and passenger Boeing 737-400s) from Anchorage and Fairbanks to regional hubs like Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Dillingham, Kodiak, and other larger communities as well as to major Southeast and Alaska Peninsula communities. The bulk of remaining commercial flight offerings come from small regional commuter airlines such as Era Aviation, PenAir, and Frontier Flying Service. The smallest towns and villages must rely on scheduled or chartered bush flying services using general aviation aircraft such as the Cessna Caravan, the most popular aircraft in use in the state. Much of this service can be attributed to the Alaska bypass mail program which subsidizes bulk mail delivery to Alaskan rural communities. The program requires 70% of that subsidy to go to carriers who offer passenger service to the communities. Perhaps the most quintessentially Alaskan plane is the bush seaplane. The world's busiest seaplane base is Lake Hood, located next to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, where flights bound for remote villages without an airstrip carry passengers, cargo, and many items from stores and warehouse clubs. Alaska has the highest number of pilots per capita of any U.S. state: out of the estimated 663,661 residents, 8,550 are pilots, or about one in 78.

Another Alaskan transportation method is the dogsled. In modern times (that is, any time after the mid-late 1920s), dog mushing is more of a sport than a true means of transportation. Various races are held around the state, but the best known is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a 1150-mile (1850 km) trail from Anchorage to Nome (although the mileage varies from year to year, the official distance is set at 1049 miles). The race commemorates the famous 1925 serum run to Nome in which mushers and dogs like Togo and Balto took much-needed medicine to the diphtheria-stricken community of Nome when all other means of transportation had failed. Mushers from all over the world come to Anchorage each March to compete for cash, prizes, and prestige. The "Serum Run" is another sled dog race that more accurately follows the route of the famous 1925 relay, leaving from the community of Nenana (southwest of Fairbanks) to Nome.

In areas not served by road or rail, primary transportation in summer is by all-terrain vehicle and in winter by snowmobile or "snow machine," as it is commonly referred to in Alaska.

Like all other U.S. states, Alaska is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: an executive branch consisting of the Governor of Alaska and the other independently elected constitutional officers; a legislative branch consisting of the Alaska House of Representatives and Alaska Senate; and a judicial branch consisting of the Alaska Supreme Court and lower courts.

The State of Alaska employs approximately 15,000 employees statewide.

The Alaska Legislature consists of a 40-member House of Representatives and a 20-member Senate. Senators serve four year terms and House members two. The Governor of Alaska serves four-year terms. The lieutenant governor runs separately from the governor in the primaries, but during the general election, the nominee for governor and nominee for lieutenant governor run together on the same ticket.

Alaska's court system has four levels: the Alaska Supreme Court, the court of appeals, the superior courts and the district courts. The superior and district courts are trial courts. Superior courts are courts of general jurisdiction, while district courts only hear certain types of cases, including misdemeanor criminal cases and civil cases valued up to $100,000. The Supreme Court and the Court Of Appeals are appellate courts. The Court Of Appeals is required to hear appeals from certain lower-court decisions, including those regarding criminal prosecutions, juvenile delinquency, and habeas corpus. The Supreme Court hears civil appeals and may in its discretion hear criminal appeals.

Alaska has been characterized as a Republican-leaning state with strong libertarian tendencies. Local political communities have often worked on issues related to land use development, fishing, tourism, and individual rights. Alaska Natives, while organized in and around their communities, have been active within the Native corporations. These have been given ownership over large tracts of land, which require stewardship.

Alaska is the only state in which possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is completely legal under state law, though the federal law remains in force.

The state has possessed an independence movement favoring secession from the United States, with the Alaska Independence Party labeled as one of "the most significant state-level third parties operating in the 20th century".

Most Alaskan governors have been conservatives, generally Republicans, but some have not always been elected under the official Republican banner. For example, Republican Governor Wally Hickel was elected to the office for a second term in 1990 after leaving the Republican ship and briefly joining the Alaskan Independence Party ticket just long enough to be reelected. He subsequently officially rejoined the Republican fold in 1994.

To finance state government operations, Alaska depends primarily on petroleum revenues and federal subsidies. This allows it to have the lowest individual tax burden in the United States, and be one of only five states with no state sales tax, one of seven states that do not levy an individual income tax, and one of two states that has neither. The Department of Revenue Tax Division reports regularly on the state's revenue sources. The Department also issues an annual overview of its operations, including new state laws that directly affect the tax division.

While Alaska has no state sales tax, 89 municipalities collect a local sales tax, from 1% to 7.5%, typically 3% to 5%. Other local taxes levied include raw fish taxes, hotel, motel, and B&B 'bed' taxes, severance taxes, liquor and tobacco taxes, gaming (pull tabs) taxes, tire taxes and fuel transfer taxes. A percentage of revenue collected from certain state taxes and license fees (such as petroleum, aviation motor fuel, telephone cooperative) is shared with municipalities in Alaska.

Fairbanks has one of the highest property taxes in the state as no sales or income taxes are assessed in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB). A sales tax for the FNSB has been voted on many times, but has yet to be approved, leading law makers to increase taxes dramatically on other goods such as liquor and tobacco.

In 2008 the Tax Foundation ranked Alaska as having the 4th most "business friendly" tax policy. Superior states were Wyoming, Nevada, and South Dakota.

In presidential elections, the state's electoral college votes have been won by the Republican nominee in every election since statehood, except for 1964. No state has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate fewer times. Alaska supported Democratic nominee Lyndon B. Johnson in the landslide year of 1964, although the 1960 and 1968 elections were close. Republican John McCain defeated Democrat Barack Obama in Alaska, 59.49% to 37.83%. McCain's running mate was Sarah Palin, the state's governor and the first Alaskan on a major party ticket. The Alaska Bush, the city of Juneau and midtown and downtown Anchorage have been strongholds of the Democratic party. Matanuska-Susitna Borough and South Anchorage typically have the strongest Republican showing. As of 2004, well over half of all registered voters have chosen "Non-Partisan" or "Undeclared" as their affiliation, despite recent attempts to close primaries.

Because of its population relative to other U.S. states, Alaska has only one member in the U.S. House of Representatives. This seat is currently being held by Republican Don Young, who was re-elected to his 19th consecutive term in 2008.

On November 19, 2008, Ted Stevens was defeated by Mark Begich, who was declared the winner of the election by virtue of having an insurmountable lead during the counting process. This loss also meant that the Senate Republican caucus could avoid the spectacle of having to throw out Stevens, its longest-serving member, following his conviction on seven felony corruption charges.

Republican Frank Murkowski held the state's other senatorial position. After being elected governor in 2002, he resigned from the Senate and appointed his daughter, State Representative Lisa Murkowski as his successor. In response to a subsequent ballot initiative, the state legislature attempted to amend the law to limit the length of gubernatorial appointments. She won a full six-year term in 2004. In 2006 Frank Murkowski was defeated in the Republican primary by Sarah Palin, who in 2008 became the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States.

Alaska is not divided into counties, as most of the other U.S. states, but it is divided into boroughs. Many of the more densely populated parts of the state are part of Alaska's sixteen boroughs, which function somewhat similarly to counties in other states. However, unlike county-equivalents in the other 49 states, the boroughs do not cover the entire land area of the state. The area not part of any borough is referred to as the Unorganized Borough. The Unorganized Borough has no government of its own, but the U.S. Census Bureau in cooperation with the state divided the Unorganized Borough into 11 census areas solely for the purposes of statistical analysis and presentation. A recording district is a mechanism for administration of the public record in Alaska. The state is divided into 34 recording districts which are centrally administered under a State Recorder. All recording districts use the same acceptance criteria, fee schedule, etc., for accepting documents into the public record.

The state's most populous city is Anchorage, home to 278,700 people in 2006, 225,744 of whom live in the urbanized area. The richest location in Alaska by per capita income is Halibut Cove ($89,895). Sitka, Juneau, and Anchorage are the three largest cities in the U.S. by area.

Alaska has many smaller towns, especially in the Alaska Bush, the portion of the state that is inaccessible by road.

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development administers many school districts in Alaska. In addition, the state operates several boarding schools, including Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Nenana Student Living Center in Nenana, and Galena High School in Galena.

There are more than a dozen colleges and universities in Alaska. Accredited universities in Alaska include the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Southeast, and Alaska Pacific University. 43% of the population attends or attended college.

Alaska has had a problem with a "brain drain". Many of its young people, including most of the highest academic achievers, leave the state after high school graduation and do not return. The University of Alaska has attempted to combat this by offering partial four-year scholarships to the top 10% of Alaska high school graduates, via the Alaska Scholars Program.

Alaska residents have long had a problem with alcohol use and abuse. Many rural communities in Alaska have outlawed its import. This problem directly relates to Alaska's high rate of Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) as well as contributing to the high rate of suicides and teenage pregnancies. Suicide rates for rural residents are higher than urban.

Domestic abuse and other violent crimes are also at high levels in the state; this is in part linked to alcohol abuse.

Some of Alaska's popular annual events are the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race that starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome, World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, the Alaska Hummingbird Festival in Ketchikan, the Sitka Whale Fest, and the Stikine River Garnet Fest in Wrangell. The Stikine River features the largest springtime concentration of American Bald Eagles in the world.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center celebrates the rich heritage of Alaska's 11 cultural groups. Their purpose is to enhance self-esteem among Native people and to encourage cross-cultural exchanges among all people. The Alaska Native Arts Foundation promotes and markets Native art from all regions and cultures in the State, both on the internet; at its gallery in Anchorage, 500 West Sixth Avenue, and at the Alaska House New York, 109 Mercer Street in SoHo.

Alaska Natives -- Inuit, Inupiaq or Yupik drummers and dancers -- give informal performances in the lobby of the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage on weekday evenings.

The four main libraries in the state are the Alaska State Library in Juneau, the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library in Fairbanks, the Z. J. Loussac Library in Anchorage, and the UAA/APU Consortium Library, also in Anchorage. Alaska is one of three states (the others are Delaware and Rhode Island) that does not have a Carnegie library.

Influences on music in Alaska include the traditional music of Alaska Natives as well as folk music brought by later immigrants from Russia and Europe. Prominent musicians from Alaska include singer Jewel, traditional Aleut flautist Mary Youngblood, folk singer-songwriter Libby Roderick, metal/post hardcore band 36 Crazyfists and the group Pamyua.

There are many established music festivals in Alaska, including the Alaska Folk Festival, the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival the Anchorage Folk Festival, the Athabascan Old-Time Fiddling Festival, the Sitka Jazz Festival, and the Sitka Summer Music Festival. The most prominent symphony in Alaska is the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, though the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and Juneau Symphony are also notable. The Anchorage Opera is currently the state's only professional opera company, though there are several volunteer and semi-professional organizations in the state as well.

The official state song of Alaska is "Alaska's Flag", which was adopted in 1955; it celebrates the flag of Alaska.

Alaska's first independent picture all made on place was in the silent years. The Chechahcos, was released in 1924 by the Alaska Moving Picture Corp. It was the only film the company made.

One of the most prominent movies filmed in Alaska is MGM's Academy Award winning classic Eskimo/Mala The Magnificent starring Alaska's own Ray Mala. In 1932 an expedition set out from MGM's studios in Hollywood to Alaska to film what was then billed as "The Biggest Picture Ever Made." Upon arriving in Alaska, they set up "Camp Hollywood" in Northwest Alaska, where they lived during the duration of the filming. Louis B. Mayer spared no expense in making sure they had everything they needed during their stay -- he even sent the famous chef from the Hotel Roosevelt on Hollywood Blvd (the site of the first Oscars) with them to Alaska to cook for them. When Eskimo premiered at the famed Astor Theatre in Times Square, New York, the studio received the largest amount of feedback in the history of the studio up to that time. Eskimo was critically acclaimed and released worldwide; as a result Inupiat Eskimo actor Ray Mala became an international movie star. Eskimo is significant for the following: winning the very first Oscar for Best Film Editing at the Academy Awards, for forever preserving Inupiat culture on film, and for being the first motion picture to be filmed in an all native language (Inupiat).

The psychological thriller Insomnia, starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams was extensively shot in Canada, but was set in Alaska. The 2007 horror feature 30 Days of Night is set in Barrow, Alaska but was filmed in New Zealand. Most films and television shows set in Alaska are not filmed there; for example, Northern Exposure, set in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, was actually filmed in Roslyn, Washington.

The 1983 Disney movie Never Cry Wolf was at least partially shot in Alaska. The 1991 film "White Fang", starring Ethan Hawke, was filmed in and around Haines, Alaska. The 1999 John Sayles film Limbo, starring David Strathairn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Kris Kristofferson, was filmed in Juneau. Sean Penn filmed large portions of the film Into the Wild on location in Alaska.

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United States Numbered Highways

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The system of United States Numbered Highways (often called U.S. Routes or U.S. Highways) is an integrated system of roads and highways in the United States numbered within a nationwide grid. As these highways were coordinated among the states, they are infrequently referred to as Federal Highways, but they have always been maintained by state or local governments since their initial designation in 1926. There has never been any de jure federal funding difference between these routes and any other state highways. The numbers and locations are coordinated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), in which the only federal involvement is a non-voting seat for the United States Department of Transportation.

The Interstate Highway System has largely replaced the U.S. Highways for through traffic, though many important regional connections are still made by U.S. Highways, and new routes are still being added.

The very similar Trans-Canada Highway is often considered the Canadian counterpart to the U.S. Highway System, although it is much more limited in scope.

In general, U.S. Highways do not have a minimum design standard, unlike the later Interstate Highways, and are not usually built to freeway standards, although some stretches of U.S. Highways do meet those standards. Many are the main streets of the cities and towns through which they run. However, new additions to the system must "substantially meet the current AASHTO design standards".

The two-digit U.S. Routes follow a simple grid, in which odd-numbered routes run generally north to south and even-numbered routes run generally east to west. (U.S. Route 101 is considered two-digit, its first 'digit' being ten.) Numbers generally increase from 1 in the east to 101 in the west and 2 in the north to 98 in the south. Numbers ending in zero or one (and U.S. Route 2), and to a lesser extent in five, were considered main routes in the early numbering, but extensions and truncations have made this distinction largely meaningless; for instance, U.S. Route 6 was until 1964 the longest route (that distinction now belongs to U.S. Route 20). The Interstate System grid, which increases from west to east and south to north, is intentionally opposite from the U.S. grid, to keep identically numbered routes apart and keeping them from being confused.

Three-digit numbers are assigned to spurs of two-digit routes. For instance, U.S. Route 201 splits from U.S. Route 1 at Brunswick, Maine and runs north to Canada. Not all spurs travel in the same direction as their "parents"; some are only connected to their "parents" by other spurs, or not at all, instead only traveling near their "parents". As originally assigned, the first digit of the spurs increased from north to south and east to west along the "parent"; for example, U.S. Route 60 junctioned, from east to west, U.S. Route 160 in Missouri, U.S. Route 260 in Oklahoma, U.S. Route 360 in Texas, and U.S. Route 460 and U.S. Route 560 in New Mexico. As with the two-digit routes, three-digit routes have been added, removed, extended and shortened; the "parent-child" relationship is not always present. Several spurs of the decommissioned U.S. Route 66 still exist, and U.S. Route 191 travels from border to border, while U.S. Route 91 has been largely replaced by Interstate 15.

In addition, U.S. Route 163, approved ca. 1971, is nowhere near U.S. Route 63. The short U.S. Route 57, approved ca. 1970, connects to Federal Highway 57 in Mexico, and lies west of former U.S. Route 81.

While AASHTO guidelines specifically prohibit Interstate Highways and U.S. Highways from sharing a number within the same state (which is why there are no Interstates 50 or 60), the initial Interstate numbering approved in 1958 violated this with Interstate 24 and U.S. Route 24 in Illinois and Interstate 40, Interstate 80, U.S. Route 40 and U.S. Route 80 in California. (US 40 and US 80 were removed from California in its 1964 renumbering.) Some recent and proposed Interstates, some of them out-of-place in the grid, also violate this: Interstate 41 and U.S. Route 41 in Wisconsin (which will run concurrently), Interstate 49 and U.S. Route 49 in Arkansas, Interstate 69 and U.S. Route 69 in Texas, and Interstate 74 and U.S. Route 74 in North Carolina (which will run concurrently).

Divided routes have been around since 1926, and designate roughly-equivalent splits of routes. For instance, U.S. Route 11 splits into U.S. Route 11E (east) and U.S. Route 11W (west) in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the routes rejoin in Bristol, Virginia. Occasionally only one of the two routes is suffixed; U.S. Route 6N in Pennsylvania does not rejoin U.S. Route 6 at its west end. AASHTO has been trying to eliminate these since 1934; its current policy is to deny approval of new ones and to eliminate existing ones "as rapidly as the State Highway Department and the Standing Committee on Highways can reach agreement with reference thereto".

Special routes—those with a banner such as alternate or bypass—are also managed by AASHTO. These are sometimes designated with lettered suffixes, like A for alternate or B for business.

The official route log, last published by AASHTO in 1989, has been named United States Numbered Highways since its initial publication in 1926. In the log, "U.S. Route" is used in the table of contents, while "United States Highway" appears as the heading for each route. All reports of the Special Committee on Route Numbering, at least since 1989, use "U.S. Route", and federal laws relating to highways use "United States Route" or "U.S. Route" more often than the "Highway" variants. The use of U.S. Route or U.S. Highway on a local level depends on the state.

In the early 1910s, auto trail organizations - most prominently the Lincoln Highway - began to spring up, marking and promoting routes for long-distance automobile travel. While many of these organizations worked with towns and states along the route to improve the roadways, others simply chose a route based on towns that were willing to pay dues, put up signs, and did little else.

Wisconsin was the first state in the U.S. to number its highways, erecting signs in May 1918. Other states soon followed, and the New England states got together in 1922 to establish the six-state New England Interstate Routes.

Behind the scenes, the federal aid program had begun with the passage of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1916, providing 50% monetary support from the federal government for improvement of major roads. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1921 limited the routes to 7% of each state's roads, while 3/7 had to be "interstate in character". Identification of these main roads was completed in 1923.

The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO), formed in 1914 to help establish roadway standards, began to plan a system of marked and numbered "interstate highways" at its 1924 meeting. AASHO recommended that the Secretary of Agriculture work with the states to designate these routes.

Secretary Howard M. Gore appointed the Joint Board on Interstate Highways, as recommended by AASHO, on March 2, 1925. The Board was composed of 21 state highway officials and three federal Bureau of Public Roads officials. At the first meeting, on April 20 and 21, the name - U.S. Highway - was adopted. It was also decided that the system would not be limited to the federal-aid network; if the best route did not receive federal funds, it would still be included. The tentative design for the U.S. Highway shield was also adopted, based on the shield found on the Great Seal of the United States.

Opposition soon formed from the auto trail associations, who rejected the elimination of the highway names. Six regional meetings were held to hammer out the details - May 15 for the West, May 27 for the Mississippi Valley, June 3 for the Great Lakes, June 8 for the South, June 15 for the North Atlantic, and June 15 for New England. The auto trail associations were not able to address the meetings, but as a compromise did talk with Joint Board members, and came out with general agreement with their plans. The tentative system added up to 81000 miles (130000 km), 2.8% of the public road mileage at the time.

The second full meeting was held August 3 and 4, 1925. At that meeting, discussion was held over the appropriate density of routes. William F. Williams of Massachusetts and Frederick S. Greene of New York favored a system of only major transcontinental highways, while many states recommended a large number of roads of only regional importance. Greene in particular intended New York's system of only four major through routes as an example to the other states. Many states agreed in general with the scope of the system, but believed the Midwest to have added too many routes. The shield, with few modifications from the original sketch, was adopted at that meeting, as was the decision to number rather than name the routes. A preliminary numbering system, with eight major east-west and ten major north-south routes, was deferred to a numbering committee "without instructions".

After working with states to get their approval, the system had expanded to 75800 miles (122000 km), or 2.6% of total mileage, over 50% more than the plan approved August 4. The skeleton of the numbering plan was suggested on August 27 by Edwin Warley James of the BPR, who matched parity to direction, and laid out a rough grid. Major routes from the earlier map were assigned numbers ending in 0, 1 or 5 (5 was soon relegated to less-major status), and short connections received three-digit numbers based on the main highway they spurred from. The five-man committee met September 25, and submitted the final report to the Joint Board secretary on October 26. The board sent the report to the Secretary of Agriculture of October 30, and he approved it November 18, 1925.

Note that 10, 60 and 90 only ran about two-thirds of the way across the country, while 11 and 60 ran significantly diagonally. The way in which US 60 violated two of the conventions would prove to be one of the major sticking points; US 60 eventually became the famous U.S. Route 66 in 1926. U.S. Route 101 actually continues east and then south to end at Olympia, Washington. The western terminus of U.S. Route 2 is now at Everett, Washington.

The new system was both praised and criticized by local newspapers, often depending on whether that city ended up on a major route. While the Lincoln Highway Association understood and supported the plan, partly because they were assured of getting the U.S. Route 30 designation as much as possible, most other trail associations lamented their obsolescence. At their January 14-15, 1926 meeting, AASHO was flooded with complaints.

In the Northeast, New York still wanted fewer routes, and Pennsylvania, which had been absent from the local meetings, convinced AASHO to add a dense network of routes, which had the effect of giving six routes termini along the state line. (Only U.S. Route 220 still ends near the state line, and now it ends at an intersection with future Interstate 86.) The indirect nature of U.S. Route 20, passing through Yellowstone National Park, led Idaho and Oregon to request that U.S. Route 30 be swapped with US 20 to the Pacific coast.

Many local disputes centered on the choice between two roughly-equal parallel routes, often competing auto trails. At their January meeting, AASHO approved the first two of many split routes (specifically U.S. Route 40 between Manhattan, KS and Limon, CO and U.S. Route 50 between Baldwin City, KS and Garden City, KS). In effect, each of the two routes received the same number, with a directional suffix indicating its relation to the other. These splits were initially shown in the log as - for instance - US 40 North and US 40 South, but were always posted as simply US 40N and US 40S.

The most heated argument, however, was the issue of US 60. The Joint Board had assigned that number to the Chicago-Los Angeles route, which ran east from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, but then angled sharply to the northeast, running more north-south than east-west in Illinois. Kentucky strongly objected to this, as it had been left off any of the major east-west routes, instead receiving the U.S. Route 62 designation. This, along with the part of U.S. Route 52 east of Ashland, KY, was assigned the U.S. Route 60 number in January 1926, while US 62 was given to the Chicago-Los Angeles route, contingent on the approval of the states along the former US 60. But Missouri and Oklahoma did object - Missouri had already printed maps, and Oklahoma had prepared signs. A compromise was proposed, in which US 60 would split at Springfield, MO into US 60E and US 60N, but both sides objected. The final solution resulted in the assignment of U.S. Route 66, which did not end in zero, but was still seen as a nice round number.

With 32 states already marking their routes, the plan was approved by AASHO on November 11, 1926. This plan included a number of directionally-split routes, several discontinuous routes (including U.S. Route 6, U.S. Route 19 and U.S. Route 50), and some termini at state lines. Major numbering changes had been made in Pennsylvania by the publishing of the first route log in April 1927, in order to align the routes to the auto trails, and U.S. Route 15 had been extended across Virginia. Further modifications and additions were made in the next few years.

Some states accepted this, and marked the routes as requested. But several states refused, including California, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oregon and Tennessee. In 1952 AASHO recognized the splits in U.S. Route 11, U.S. Route 19, U.S. Route 25, U.S. Route 31, U.S. Route 45, U.S. Route 49, U.S. Route 73 and U.S. Route 99.

General expansion and the occasional elimination continued to occur through the years. One of the more interesting cases was the proposed extension of U.S. Route 97 to Alaska along the Alaska Highway, cancelled because the Yukon Territory refused to renumber its section as 97. For the most part, the U.S. Highways remained the primary method of intercity travel; the main exceptions were toll roads such as the Pennsylvania Turnpike and parkways such as the Merritt Parkway. Many of the first high-speed roads were U.S. Highways: the Gulf Freeway carried U.S. Route 75, the Pasadena Freeway carried U.S. Route 66, and the Pulaski Skyway carried U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9.

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 appropriated funding for the Interstate Highway System, a vast network of freeways across the country. By 1957, AASHTO had decided to assign a new grid - opposing the U.S. Highway grid - to the new routes. Though the Interstate numbers were to supplement, rather than replace, the U.S. Highway numbers, in many cases (especially in the West) they were routed along the new Interstates as there was no need for the states to maintain two parallel routes through sparsely populated territory. Major decommissioning began with California's 1964 renumbering, and the 1985 removal of U.S. Route 66 is often seen as the end of an era.

The last remaining segment of unpaved U.S. Highway was U.S. Route 183 between Rose and Taylor, Nebraska, paved ca. 1967.

AASHTO has recognized that state highways are now symbols of good roads as the U.S. Routes once were. Thus it has acted to rationalize the system by eliminating all single-state routes less than 300 miles (480 km) in length "as rapidly as the State Highway Department and the Standing Committee on Highways of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials can reach agreement with reference thereto". New additions to the system must serve more than one state and "substantially meet the current AASHTO design standards".

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Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of play in American professional baseball. Specifically, Major League Baseball refers to the organization that operates the National League and the American League, by means of a joint organizational structure that has developed gradually between them since 1903 (the National League having been in existence since 1876). In 2000, the two leagues were officially disbanded as separate legal entities with all rights and functions consolidated in the commissioner's office. MLB effectively operates as a single league and as such it constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of North America. It is currently composed of 30 teams—29 in the United States and one in Canada.

Each season consists of 162 games (or 163 in the event of a tie breaker) which generally begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the first Sunday in October, with the playoffs played in October and sometimes in early November. The same rules and regulations are played between the two leagues with one exception: the American League operates under the Designated Hitter Rule, while the National League does not. Utilization of the DH Rule in interleague play, the All-Star and World Series games is determined by the home team's league rules.

MLB is controlled by the Major League Baseball Constitution that has undergone several incarnations since 1876 with the most recent revisions being made in 2005. Under the direction of Commissioner of Baseball (currently Bud Selig), Major League Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. As is the case for most of the sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the "closed shop" aspect of MLB effectively prevents the yearly promotion and relegation of teams into and out of the Major League by virtue of their performance. Major League Baseball maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of minor league baseball. This is due in large part to a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. National League, which held that baseball is not interstate commerce and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law. This ruling has been weakened only slightly in subsequent years.

The production/multimedia wing of MLB is New York-based MLB Advanced Media, which oversees MLB.com and all 30 of the individual teams' websites. Its charter states that MLB Advanced Media holds editorial independence from the League itself, but it is indeed under the same ownership group and revenue-sharing plan. MLB Productions is a similarly-structured wing of the league, focusing on video and traditional broadcast media.

Major League Baseball is divided into two leagues, the American League, with fourteen teams, and the National League, with sixteen teams. Each league is further subdivided into three divisions, labeled East, Central, and West. The unequal balance of teams, into even-sized leagues, prevents the need for interleague games (which two odd-sized fifteen-team leagues would have) to fill schedules.

Though historically separate leagues, distinction has all but disappeared over time. In 1903, the two leagues began to meet in an end-of-year championship series called the World Series. In 1920, the formerly weak National Commission, which was created to manage relationships between the two leagues, was replaced with an all powerful Commissioner of Baseball, who had the power to make decisions for all professional baseball unilaterally. The two leagues remained distinct, in as far as playing schedule, except for the annual All-Star Game and the World Series, until 1997 when regular season Interleague play began. In 2000, the American and National Leagues were dissolved as legal entities, and Major League Baseball became a singular league de jure, though it had operated as a de facto single entity for many years.

Major League Baseball (the current official organization) has used 1869, the date of the first professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, and has had official celebrations for its 100th anniversary in 1969 and 125th anniversary in 1994, which were both commemorated with league-wide shoulder patches. The present-day Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves franchises can both trace their histories back to the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in the early 1870s. Many believe that the formation of the National League in 1876 is the beginning of Major League Baseball. Some also believe the signing of the National Agreement in 1903 (two seasons after the American League's break in 1901) is the true beginning of Major League Baseball.

In 1870, a schism developed between professional and amateur ballplayers following the 1869 founding of the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The NABBP split into two groups. The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was formed in 1871. It is considered by some to have been the first major league. Its amateur counterpart disappeared after only a few years.

The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, which still exists, was established in 1876 after the National Association proved ineffective. The emphasis was now on "clubs" rather than "players". Clubs now had the ability to enforce player contracts, preventing players from jumping to higher-paying clubs. Clubs in turn were required to play their full schedule of games, rather than forfeiting scheduled games once out of the running for the league championship, as happened frequently under the National Association. A concerted effort was made to reduce the amount of gambling on games which was leaving the validity of results in doubt.

The early years of the National League were tumultuous, with threats from rival leagues and a rebellion by players against the hated "reserve clause", which restricted the free movement of players between clubs. Competitive leagues formed regularly, and also disbanded regularly. The most successful was the American Association (1881–1891), sometimes called the "beer and whiskey league" for its tolerance of the sale of alcoholic beverages to spectators. For several years, the National League and American Association champions met in a postseason championship series—the first attempt at a World Series.

The Union Association survived for only one season (1884), as did the Players League (1890). Both leagues are considered major leagues by many baseball researchers because of the perceived high caliber of play (for a brief time anyway) and the number of star players featured. However, some researchers have disputed the major league status of the Union Association, pointing out that franchises came and went and contending that the St. Louis club, which was deliberately "stacked" by the league's president (who owned that club), was the only club that was anywhere close to major league caliber.

In fact, there were dozens of leagues, large and small, at this time. What made the National League "major" was its dominant position in the major cities, particularly New York City. The large cities offered baseball teams national media distribution systems and fan bases that could generate revenues enabling teams to hire the best players in the country.

The resulting bidding war for players led to widespread contract-breaking and legal disputes. One of the most famous involved star second baseman Napoleon Lajoie, who in 1901 went across town in Philadelphia from the National League Phillies to the American League Athletics. Barred by a court injunction from playing baseball in the state of Pennsylvania the next year, Lajoie was traded to the Cleveland team, where he played and managed for many years.

The war between the American and National caused shock waves throughout the baseball world. At a meeting at the Leland Hotel in Chicago in 1901, the other baseball leagues negotiated a plan to maintain their independence. On September 5, 1901 Patrick T. Powers, president of the Eastern League announced the formation of the second National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the NABPL or "NA" for short.

Ban Johnson had other designs for the NA. While the NA continues to this day, he saw it as a tool to end threats from smaller rivals who might some day want to expand in other territories and threaten his league's dominance.

After 1902 both leagues and the NABPL signed a new National Agreement. The new agreement tied independent contracts to the reserve-clause national league contracts. Baseball players became a commodity. The agreement also set up an official classification system for independent minor leagues that regulated the dollar value of contracts, the forerunner of the system refined by Branch Rickey that is still used today.

It also gave the NA great power. Many independents walked away from the 1901 meeting. The deal with the NA punished those other indies who had not joined the NA and submitted to the will of the 'majors.' The NA also agreed to the deal to prevent more pilfering of players with little or no compensation for the players' development. Several leagues, seeing the writing on the wall, eventually joined the NA, which grew in size over the next several years.

At this time the games tended to be low scoring, dominated by such pitchers as Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, and Grover Cleveland Alexander to the extent that the period 1900–1919 is commonly called the "dead ball era". The term also accurately describes the condition of the baseball itself. Baseballs cost three dollars apiece, a hefty sum at the time, equaling approximately $65 inflation adjusted US dollars as of 2005; club owners were therefore reluctant to spend much money on new balls if not necessary. It was not unusual for a single baseball to last an entire game. By the end of the game, the ball would be dark with grass, mud, and tobacco juice, and it would be misshapen and lumpy from contact with the bat. Balls were only replaced if they were hit into the crowd and lost, and many clubs employed security guards expressly for the purpose of retrieving balls hit into the stands—a practice unthinkable today.

As a consequence, home runs were rare, and the "inside game" dominated—singles, bunts, stolen bases, the hit-and-run play, and other tactics dominated the strategies of the time. Hitting methods like the Baltimore Chop were put into use to increase the number of infield singles.

The foul strike rule was a major rule change that, in just a few years, sent baseball from a high-scoring game to one where scoring any runs became a struggle. Prior to this rule, foul balls were not counted as strikes: thus a batter could foul off a countless number of pitches with no strikes counted against him. This gave an enormous advantage to the batter. In 1901, the National League adopted the foul strike rule, and the American League followed suit in 1903.

Walter O'Malley is considered by baseball experts to be "perhaps the most influential owner of baseball's early expansion era." Following the 1957 Major League Baseball season, he moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles, and New York's Brooklyn Dodgers fans felt betrayed. O'Malley was also influential in getting the rival New York Giants to move west to become the San Francisco Giants. He needed another team to go with him, for had he moved out west alone, the St. Louis Cardinals—1,600 mi (2,575.0 km) away— would have been the closest National League team. The joint move would make West Coast road trips more economical for visiting teams. O'Malley invited San Francisco Mayor George Christopher to New York to meet with Giants owner Horace Stoneham. Stoneham was considering moving the Giants to Minnesota, but he was convinced to join O'Malley on the West Coast at the end of the 1957 campaign. Since the meetings occurred during the 1957 season and against the wishes of Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick, there was media gamesmanship. When O'Malley moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn the story transcended the world of sport and he found himself on the cover of Time. The cover art for the issue was created by sports cartoonist Willard Mullin, long noted for his caricature of the "Brooklyn Bum" that personified the team. The dual moves broke the hearts of New York's National League fans but ultimately were successful for both franchises—and for Major League Baseball as a whole. In fact, the move was an immediate success as well since the Dodgers set a major league single-game attendance record in their first home appearance with 78,672 fans. In the years following the move of the New York clubs, Major League Baseball expanded to include three other California based teams, as well as two in Texas and one each in Minnesota, Seattle, Colorado, and Arizona. In addition, the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City, Missouri and eventually to Oakland, California.

By the late 1960s, the balance between pitching and hitting had swung in favor of the pitchers. In 1968 Carl Yastrzemski won the American League batting title with an average of just .301, the lowest in history.

That same year, Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain won 30 games — making him the first pitcher to win 30 games in a season since Dizzy Dean. St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Bob Gibson achieved an equally remarkable feat by allowing an ERA of just 1.12.

In 1973 the American League, which had been suffering from much lower attendance than the National League, made a move to increase scoring even further by initiating the designated hitter rule.

Routinely in the late 1990s and early 2000s, baseball players reach 40 and 50 home runs in a season, a feat that was considered rare even in the 1980s. Many modern baseball theorists believe that the need of pitchers to combat the rise in power could lead to a pitching revolution at some point in the future. New pitches, such as the infamous gyroball, could swing the balance of power back to the defensive side. However, the gyroball is still something of a phantom pitch—the only pitchers allegedly able to throw it are Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Boston Red Sox and a college pitcher named Joey Niezer including others. However, during the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Matsuzaka admitted that though he has tried to throw the gyroball, he cannot do so on a consistent basis. A pitching revolution would not be unprecedented—several pitches have changed the game of baseball in the past, including the slider in the '50s and '60s and the split-fingered fastball in the '70s to '90s. Since the 1990s, the changeup has made a resurgence, being thrown masterfully by pitchers such as Trevor Hoffman, Greg Maddux, Johan Santana, and Cole Hamels.

A baseball uniform is a type of uniform worn by baseball players, and sometimes by non-playing personnel, such as managers and coaches. It is worn to indicate the person's role in the game and, through use of logos and colors, to identify the two teams and officials.

The New York Knickerbockers were the first baseball team to use uniforms, taking the field on April 4, 1849 in pants made of blue wool, white flannel shirts and straw hats. The practice of wearing a uniform soon spread, and by 1900, all Major League teams had adopted them. By 1882, most uniforms included stockings, which covered the leg, from foot to knee and had different colors that reflected the different baseball positions. In the late 1880s, the Detroit Wolverines and Washington Nationals of the National League and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Association were the first to utilise striped uniforms.

Caps, or other types of headgear with eyeshades, have been a part of baseball uniforms from the beginning. Baseball teams often wore full-brimmed straw hats or no cap at all since there was no official rule regarding headgear. Completing the baseball uniform are cleats and stockings, both of which have also been around for a long time.

By the end of the 19th century, teams began the practice of wearing one of two different uniforms, one when they played in their own baseball stadium and a different one when they played on the road. It became common to wear white at home and one of gray, solid dark blue, or black on the road. An early examples of this is the Brooklyn Superbas, who started to use a blue pattern for their road uniforms in 1907.

In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to audition for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warmer climates to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many college students.

Spring training typically lasts almost two months, starting in mid February and running until just before the season opening day (and often right at the end of spring training, some teams will play spring training games on the same day other teams have opening day of the season), traditionally the first week of April. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period due to the exhaustive nature of the position. A week or two later, the position players arrive and team practice begins.

Early July marks the midway point of the season, during which a three day break is taken when the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is staged. The All-Star game pits players from the National League (NL), headed up by the manager of the previous NL World Series team, against players from the American League (AL), similarly managed, in an exhibition game. Since 1989, the designated hitter rule is used when the game is played in an AL ballpark; formerly no designated hitters played in the All-Star game. The 2002 contest ended in an 11-inning tie because both teams were out of pitchers, a result which proved highly unpopular with the fans. As a result, for a two-year trial in 2003 and 2004, the league which won the game received the benefit of home-field advantage in the World Series (starting the first two games at one's own ballpark, and playing no more than three games out of a possible seven away). That practice has since been extended indefinitely. The practice has upset purists over the previous format of the two leagues alternating home-field advantage for the World Series (especially considering that the NL has not won since 1995, thus they have not had home-field advantage in the World Series since 2001). The Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox (both AL) took some advantage of the rule in 2004 and 2005 respectively, as each team started the Series with two home victories, giving them good momentum for a 4-game sweep (the Red Sox doing it again in 2007). However the American League's winning of home field advantage was not enough to save the New York Yankees in 2003 (when they lost to the Florida Marlins, NL, in six games), the Detroit Tigers in 2006 (when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, NL, in five games) or the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 (when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, NL, in five).

The first All-Star Game was held as part of the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois, and was the brainchild of Arch Ward, then sports editor for The Chicago Tribune. Initially intended to be a one-time event, its great success resulted in making the game an annual one. Ward's contribution was recognized by Major League Baseball in 1962 with the creation of the "Arch Ward Trophy", given to the All-Star Game's most valuable player each year. (This eventually became the Ted Williams Award).

Since 1970, the eight position players for each team who take the field initially have been voted into the game by fans. The fan voting had been cancelled since 1957 as a result of the Cincinnati ballot-box-stuffing scandal (a local newspaper had printed pre-voted ballots for fans to send in, resulting in seven of the eight positions going to Cincinnati players). The league overruled the vote, adding St. Louis' Stan Musial and Milwaukee's Henry Aaron to the team, and fan voting was eliminated until the 1970 season. In more recent years, internet voting has been allowed.

From the first All-Star Game, players have worn their respective team uniforms rather than wearing uniforms made specifically for the game, with one exception: In the first game, the National League players wore uniforms made for the game, with the lettering "National League" across the front of the shirt.

The division winners are seeded 1-3 based on record. The wild-card team is the 4 seed, regardless of its record. The matchup for the first round of the playoffs is usually 1 seed vs. 4 seed and 2 seed vs. 3 seed, unless the wild-card team is from the same division as the 1 seed, in which case the matchup is 1 seed vs. 3 seed and 2 seed vs. 4 seed, as teams from the same division cannot meet in the 1st round. In the first and second round of the playoffs, the better seeded team has home-field advantage, regardless of record.

The team belonging to the league that won the mid-season All-Star Game receives home-field advantage in the World Series.

As all playoff series are split between the two teams' home fields, "home field advantage" does not play a significant role unless the series goes to its maximum number of games, in which case the final game takes place at the field of the team holding the advantage.

A first positive test resulted in a suspension of 10 games, a second positive test resulted in a suspension of 30 games, the third positive test resulted in a suspension of 60 games, the fourth positive test resulted in a suspension of one full year, and a fifth positive test resulted in a penalty at the commissioner’s discretion. Players were tested at least once per year, with the chance that several players could be tested many times per year.

A former Senate Majority Leader, federal prosecutor, and ex-chairman of The Walt Disney Company, George Mitchell was appointed by Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig on March 30, 2006 to investigate the use of performance-enhancing drugs in MLB. Mitchell was appointed during a time of controversy over the 2006 book Game of Shadows by San Francisco Chronicle investigative reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, which chronicles alleged extensive use of performance enhancers, including several different types of steroids and growth hormone by baseball superstars Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi. The appointment was made after several influential members of the U.S. Congress made negative comments about both the effectiveness and honesty of MLB's drug policies and Commissioner Selig.

According to the report, after mandatory random testing began in 2004, HGH became the substance of choice among players, as it is not detectable in tests. Also, it was noted that at least one player from each of the thirty Major League Baseball teams was involved in the alleged violations.

According to ESPN, some people questioned whether Mitchell being a director of the Boston Red Sox created a conflict of interest, especially because no "prime players were in the report." Mitchell described his role with the team as that of a "consultant". Despite the lack of "prime" Boston players, the report had named several prominent Yankees who were parts of World Series clubs. This made some people feel that there was a conflict of interest on Mitchell's part, due to the fierce rivalry between the two teams. Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Byrd, along with his teammates, felt the timing of publicizing Byrd's alleged use was suspicious, as the information was leaked prior to the deciding Game 7 of the 2007 American League Championship Series between the Indians and the Red Sox. Former U.S. prosecutor John M. Dowd also brought up allegations of Mitchell's conflict of interest. Dowd, who had defended Senator John McCain of Arizona during the Keating Five investigation in the late 1980s, cited how he took exception to Mitchell's scolding of McCain and others for having a conflict of interest with their actions in the case and how the baseball investigation would be a "burden" for him when Mitchell was named to lead it. After the investigation, Dowd later told the Baltimore Sun that he was convinced the former Senator has done a good job. The Los Angeles Times reported that Mitchell acknowledged that his "tight relationship with Major League Baseball left him open to criticism". Mitchell responded to the concerns by stating that readers who examined the report closely "will not find any evidence of bias, of special treatment of the Red Sox".

Major League Baseball has several blackout rules.

A local broadcaster has priority to televise games of the team in their market over national broadcasters. For example, at one time TBS showed many Atlanta Braves games nationally and internationally in Canada. Fox Sports Net (FSN) also shows many games in other areas. If the Braves played a team that FSN or another local broadcaster showed, the local station will have the broadcast rights for its own local market, while TBS would have been blacked out in the same market for the duration of the game. A market that has a local team playing in a weekday ESPN or ESPN2 game and is shown on a local station will see ESPNEWS, or, in the past, another game scheduled on ESPN or ESPN2 at the same time (if ESPN or ESPN2 operates a regional coverage broadcasting and operates a game choice), or will be subject to an alternative programming feed. MLB's streaming Internet video service is also subject to the same blackout rules.

Major League Baseball is in the transition to a new set of television contracts. The league has three current broadcast partners: FOX, ESPN and TBS.

It was announced on July 11, 2006 that FOX Sports will remain with MLB through 2013 and broadcast FOX Saturday Baseball throughout the entire season, rather than the previous May to September format. FOX will also hold rights to the All-Star Game each season. FOX will also alternate League Championship Series broadcasts, broadcasting the American League Championship Series in odd-numbered years and the National League Championship Series in even-numbered years as part of the new contract. FOX will continue to broadcast all games of the World Series, which will begin on a Wednesday evening rather than the current Saturday evening format.

ESPN will continue to broadcast Major League Baseball through 2013 as well, beginning with national Opening Day coverage. ESPN will continue to broadcast Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball, and Baseball Tonight. ESPN also has rights to the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game each July.

TBS will air Sunday afternoon regular season games (non-exclusive) nationally from 2008 to 2013. In 2007, TBS began its exclusive rights to any tiebreaker games that determine division or wild card champions at the end of each regular season in the event of a tie with one playoff spot remaining, as well as exclusive coverage of the Division Series round of the playoffs. TBS carries the League Championship Series that are not included under FOX's television agreement; TBS shows the National League Championship Series in odd-numbered years and the American League Championship Series in even-numbered years as part of the new contract through 2013.

In January 2009, MLB launched MLB Network, which will air 26 live games that year.

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Source : Wikipedia