Alaska News Nightly: May 23, 2008

Governor Palin chops more than $250 million out of the capital projects bill. Plus Sitka’s rural status comes under increased scrutiny. Also, Sealaska searches for descendants of 10,000 year old man, and a visit below decks on the Ferry Tustamena. 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.

Governor wields veto ax on capital projects bill
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Governor Palin today vetoed about $268 million from the capital projects bill the legislature passed in this year’s session. The vetoes eliminated or reduced state spending in three hundred sixty of about nine hundred local projects added to the bill by the legislature.

One per customer for Southeast halibut charter clients
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast halibut charter clients will be limited to one fish per day starting June 1st. The federal government announced the new rule yesterday.

New agreement will mean fewer Salmon for Southeast commercial fisherman
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
A new pacific salmon treaty agreement will mean fewer king salmon for commercial fishing fleets in southeast Alaska and British columbia. The bilateral agreement, announced yesterday is a 10-year extension of the existing treaty, set to expire at the end of this year. It lays out fishing quotas, research and overall management of all species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Canada.

Sitka’s rural status comes under renewed scrutiny
Melissa Marchoni-Wentzel, KCAW – Sitka
Sitka’s rural status may be in jeopardy, again. Under federal law, rural communities in Alaska have a subsistence priority in the management of wild resources. The Federal Subsistence Board held its last review in 2006. At that time, Sitka narrowly retained its rural designation. The Alaska Outdoor Council is calling that decision into question

Sealaska searches for descendants of 10,000 year old man
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
A Southeast cultural organization is looking for relatives of a 10,300-year-old man whose remains were found in a remote cave. The Sealaska Heritage Institute plans to collect DNA samples from Southeast Natives. They will be compared to DNA from the ancient man’s bones, found in Prince of Wales Island’s On Your Knees Cave in 1996.

Shutting down Juneau street lights won’t reap big savings
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Six weeks into Juneau’s electricity emergency, city residents have replaced, or just unscrewed, thousands of light bulbs. But many of Juneau’s brightest lights remain on all night long. City officials say turning streetlights off isn’t as easy, or as cheap, as you might think.

Below decks on the Trusty Tusty
Anne Hillman, KIAL – Unalaska
The ferry Tustamena and its services form an integral part of communities through out coastal Alaska. But many people don’t know about the communities that develop within the ship itself.

State pushes safety “rules” during Safe Boating Week
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The onset of warm weather means more people are out boating, and the State of Alaska wants them to be careful. This is “Safe Boating Week,” and State Boating Law Administrator Jeff Johnson says Alaska has basic rules when it comes to getting out on the water.