Alaska News Nightly: October 11, 2007

Senator Ted Stevens hears testimony on the erosion problem in western Alaska at a field hearing in Anchorage. Plus, two Democratic lawmakers call on the oil companies to be more truthful in their advertising. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Stevens hears coastal erosion testimony; grills federal agencies on funding
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Senator Ted Stevens held a field hearing in Anchorage this morning to address the problem of erosion threatening western Alaska villages. Residents spoke of dire conditions as oceans and rivers encroach on their communities. But representatives from federal agencies weren’t optimistic that they could find money to fight the problem.

Truthfulness of oil company tax ads under scrutiny
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
The rhetoric is heating up on both sides of the oil tax debate with exactly one week until the start of the state legislature’s special session. Today state lawmakers Les Gara and Harry Crawford wrote a letter to the major oil producers asking them to tone-down what they call un-truthful advertisements on behalf of the industry.

Don Young’s first Republican competitor: Gabrielle LeDoux
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Kodiak’s two-term state representative Gabrielle LeDoux has become the first Republican to file a primary race challenge to U.S. Representative Don Young. In announcing her candidacy on KMXT public radio, LeDoux said Alaskans want a change in Congress.

Fort Richardson soldier dies in accident in Iraq
The Associated Press
The family of an Army sergeant from Connecticut says he died accidentally in Iraq this week after getting pinned between two vehicles that were being moved. 25-year-old Jason Lantieri died Tuesday in Baghdad; he was assigned to Fort Richardson in Anchorage.

Alaska’s Clean Water compliance better than some, but shows unique problems
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Alaska does not have as a big a problem as other states do when it comes to compliance with the federal Clean Water Act, but a snapshot study released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) does show some trouble spots.

Yukon River tribal watershed group extending participation to non-tribal groups
Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena
The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council is reaching out to non-tribal entities in an effort to expand its base of support. The Watershed Council advocates for the environmental protection and cleanup of the Yukon River and its tributaries, in both Alaska and Canada.

Valdez hosts formal visit from Ted Stevens as pipeline oil output slows
Amy Bracken, KCHU – Valdez
Senator Ted Stevens also spent a day in Valdez earlier this week.He visited city projects, hung out at a local ice cream joint, and toured the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal. The facility itself is almost as old as Stevens’ time in office. But the senator found new developments there.

Kodiak area students prepping to capture elders’ history
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
Students in Old Harbor will soon be taking part in a unique project to document the history of their village community.

Permafrost study begins evaluating potential CO2 emissions from a warming Arctic
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A five-year study of carbon and permafrost is underway in the interior. The investigation, lead by the U.S. Geological Survey and Purdue University, includes a number of Fairbanks-based researchers.