Alaska News Nightly: October 3, 2007

The lawyer for convicted former lawmaker Pete Kott is asking for a re-trial. Plus, we look at global warming’s “evil twin” — ocean acidification. A federal scientist says Alaska’s fishing industry needs to start preparing for a changing ocean ecosystem. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Kott seeks retrial
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
The attorney for convicted felon Pete Kott is asking for a retrial. The former legislator was found guilty on counts of conspiracy, extortion and bribery last week, all stemming from a federal probe into whether VECO illegally influenced Alaska lawmakers in 2006.

Large ship emissions subject of petitions
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Conservation groups and the State of California today filed petitions urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to start regulating greenhouse gas emissions from ocean-going cargo and cruise ships. The environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a petition on behalf of Oceana, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity. California filed its own petition.

Increasingly acidic oceans to impact Alaska’s fisheries
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
We hear a lot about global warming these days, but what about global warming’s evil twin? That’s what researcher Dr. Richard Feely calls ocean acidification. Feely is a Washington-based scientist in Anchorage this week to talk about the effects of ocean acidification on Alaska’s fisheries. He’s speaking at the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council meetings.

Election results roundup
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Voters across the state went to the polls yesterday to elect mayors, city and borough representatives and decide a long list of ballot initiatives. We briefly cover the results, starting with the Mat-Su Borough.

2007 Southeast cruise ship season ends; might be a record
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast Alaska’s cruise ship season ended last weekend when the “Serenade of the Seas” sailed south from Ketchikan. The 2,500-passenger vessel was one of 27 big ships fueling the region’s tourism industry this year.

Illegal sales of ‘seal sticks’ yields probation and fines
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
A former Aleut tribal leader from St. Paul Island was sentenced to three years probation today for illegally selling fur seal penis bones, also called “seal sticks,” to a Korean market in Anchorage. Richard Zacharof could have been sentenced to up to six months in jail for violating the National Marine Mammal Protection Act. Exiting the court, he said he’s happy to leave with just probation and a fine. Zacharof admitted to illegally selling about 100 of the seal sticks for a price of about $17 each.

Anchorage Mayor proposes 2008-2009 budget with increased spending
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Yesterday morning Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich unveiled an overview of his proposed municipal budgets for 2008 and 2009. Both years show an increased cost to run the city.

Bethel youth facility captures national award
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
The Bethel Youth Facility, which takes care of youth in criminal trouble in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta is being recognized nationally for their detention unit.