Alaska News Nightly: October 8, 2007

A tiny museum in Haines goes up against a giant in the L.A. art world. At stake are the naming rights for the “Hammer Museum.” Plus, a new CD captures some of the first recordings of Dena’ina music. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Legislators want alternative to oil tax alternatives
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Legislators see two competing oil tax methods open for debate during the special session next week — the net profits-based system and the gross production tax. But supporters of tax reform say neither side has enough support to get legislative approval, and unless those two methods are consolidated into one workable plan, the only victors at the session will be the supporters of the status quo.

Katmai bear hunt gathering controversy
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Bear viewing enthusiasts are upset by bear hunting in the Katmai preserve. Even supporters of hunting in general say they didn’t object to the hunts until the number of bears killed increased dramatically from 6 in 1985 to 35 in 2005 after the hunt was moved up from the 12th of October to the 1st. Critics say the bears are habituated to having viewers and fishermen around them and shooting them goes against the ethics of fair chase. When air service guide Chris Day from Emerald Air Service dropped off a film crew last week, a female was shot about 50 feet away.

Domestic violence task force begins statewide research in Bethel
Kenny Steele, KYUK – Bethel
The Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault’s newly formed Legislative Task Force is holding hearings throughout the state before they report to the full Legislature in spring 2008. Their first stop was in Bethel last week.

Y-K Delta villages discuss potential threats of upriver gold mine
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Talk of the proposed Donlin Creek Gold Mine consumed almost all the time at the Association of Village Council Presidents’ (AVCP) annual convention held last week in Bethel. AVCP is the nonprofit organization representing 56 tribal villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The proposed mine site is upriver from almost every AVCP village on the Kuskokwim.

It’s Hammer vs. Hammer in the Wall Street Journal
John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
The Hammer Museum in Haines is in a naming rights dispute with an art museum of the same name in Los Angeles. The museum in Haines is named for the tool, while the California museum gets its name from a wealthy benefactor and art collector, Armand Hammer. A front page article on the dispute in Friday’s Wall Street Journal is bringing national attention to the issue.

50-year-old recordings surface in new Dena’ina CD
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A newly published book and audio CD that documents rare Yupik and Athabascan dialect and songs has been given to the people of Nondalton and surrounding communities. The recordings were made in 1954 by John Coray, a white school teacher, as a sort of audio postcard to send to his parents in Los Angeles. He died when his small plane crashed in 1959. Recently his son Craig Coray put the songs together with a book of pictures, biographies of the singers and translations of the lyrics. Coray says its the first recording ever made of Dena’ina song and speech.

Craig Coray teaches music theory and northern indigenous music at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The book is not for sale, it was published through a grant from the National Park Service and given to the people of Lime Village Port Alsworth, Pedro Bay, New Halen and Nondalton.