Alaska News Nightly: April 28, 2008

Democrats are asking questions about some dirty web tricks being played upon Ethan Berkowitz, who’s running for Alaska’s sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Meanwhile, Juneau residents are looking for ways to save money in the midst of their power crisis and Kodiak boat owners are ready to save money on large vessel repair costs. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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State Democrats ruffled by dirty web tricks
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
A series of fake websites intended to sabotage Congressional candidate Ethan Berkowitz are creating quite a stir within the state Democratic Party. Without pointing fingers, the Party today released a statement condemning what they call “dishonest campaigning.”

New Kodiak boat lift good news for large boat owners
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
The City of Kodiak has purchased a $6 million large vessel travel lift. The lift is welcome news to many large boat owners, who’ve been hit hard by high fuel prices recently. It means that soon they won’t have to travel long distances to have work done on their boats.

UAF names new chancellor
Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
The University of Alaska has named a new chancellor for the Fairbanks campus. Brian Rogers will take the two-year interim position. Rogers was one of two finalists for the job. He attended UAF as an undergraduate and has been involved in the University since, serving as a regent and a vice president. He also served in the state legislature for four years.

Juneau plans to educate residents through electricity crisis
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
City, state and federal officials have been discussing how to help Juneau weather its short-term crisis of very expensive electricity. Some members of Juneau’s sustainability commission wonder whether the rapid response is missing the big picture.

Sitka takes recycling to a new level
Melissa Marconi-Wentzel, KCAW – Sitka
Sitka’s recycling program logged another milestone this month. Just a couple weeks before Earth Day the city test-ran new equipment that will allow Sitkans to recycle more plastics than ever before.

Spring snows delay studded tire deadline
Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
Most Alaskans can keep their studded tires on for a while longer. The Department of Public Safety issued an emergency order in response to recent spring snowfalls, extending the winter-tire change out deadline by 2 weeks. Drivers in most of the state — including Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Valdez — can keep their studs on until May 15. Drivers in areas south of 60 degrees, like Homer, Kodiak and Juneau, have to remove them by tomorrow (April 29). The Department of Public Safety says slick road conditions made the roll-back necessary.

Cruise ship tourist numbers expected to be flat this year
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
The first cruise-ship tourists of the year are on their way to Alaska. About 1 million are expected before the season ends. The numbers are about the same as last year, which is unusual for an industry built on growth.

DEC sends strong message to cruise ship industry
John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
As the tourist season gets underway, The Alaska Cruise Association has been handed a strong message that the state Department of Environmental Conservation is not giving way on its new general wastewater discharge permit regulations.

500-year-old body validates Native knowledge
Brian Boyle, CBC – Whitehorse
A Yukon Chief says scientific studies on the body of a man who died on a glacier about 500 years ago are validating aboriginal people’s traditional knowledge. Dianne Strand told about 400 people at a scientific conference in Victoria, British Columbia that much of what has been learned about the “Long Ago Person Found” was already known by First Nation elders. She says this is making the case for science to pay attention to the knowledge held by those elders.