Alaska News Nightly: May 6, 2008

Senator Ted Stevens is asking for more funding to fight illegal and unregulated fishing on the high seas. Plus, Seward is the latest Alaska community to consider lowering electricity rates with nuclear power. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Stevens continues push for federal crack down on illegal fishing
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
At a U.S. Senate hearing today, Ted Stevens prodded the head of NOAA to put more effort into curbing illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing on the high seas.

Bethel under fire for possible Voting Rights Act violations
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska is asking the U.S District Court to order the City of Bethel to provide effective oral language assistance for Yup’ik speakers. The request is part of a suit filed last year by the ACLU of Alaska, along with the Native American Rights Fund, claiming that election officials have been violating the Voting Rights Act by not effectively translating for Yup’ik speakers.

Salcha area flood threat prompts Fairbanks to act
Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Fairbanks North Star Borough has opened an Emergency Operations Center in response to flood danger in Salcha.

Seward considering nuclear as alternative energy source
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
As Alaskans struggle with rapid increases in fuel costs, small communities are researching alternative energy concepts to lower their electricity expenses. Wind, solar and geothermal are possibilities for many Alaskan communities and in at least two, small nuclear reactor power sources are also being researched.

Proposed Mat-Su budget includes rising property tax
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Matanuska Valley residents are looking at a tax levy increase this year. The proposed Matanuska Susitna Borough budget for fiscal year 2009 shows a small jump in the mill rate, which Borough officials attribute to a slowdown in Valley growth.

Denali Park officials track down wolf to remove snare
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The National Park Service has removed a snare from a wolf in Denali National Park. The male wolf was one of two spotted in the Park with wire snares around their necks over the last two months.

How do you count visitors on 26,000 square miles of Alaskan forest?
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
The U.S. Forest Service is midway through a multi-year study to determine how many people visit the nation’s forests and what they do once they get there. In the Tongass — the nation’s largest forest — this seemingly straightforward work is complicated by the fact that there is not a single turnstile or ticket booth on any of its 17 million acres.