Alaska News Nightly: July 1, 2008

Will Alaskans will have to wait for natural gas until the rest of North America is served?  Also, Bethel decides to build wind turbine. Plus, Tight funding and energy costs limit NOAA Bering Sea research. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Legislators wonder who gets the gas first
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
One of the unsettled issues over the legislature’s decision on whether to grant a license for developing a North Slope gas line is whether Alaskans will have to wait to get natural gas until TransCanada has built its project to other North American markets. The Palin administration says there’s no problem, but some lawmakers are skeptical.

Wind energy comes to Bethel
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Bethel is getting wind energy. After half a decade of tests and feasibility studies, the city secured funding to build one wind turbine. The project is small, but the city hopes its just the start of a bigger move towards renewable energy.

Tight funding and energy costs limit NOAA Bering Sea research
Anne Hillman, KIAL – Unalaska
Increased fuel costs and reduced federal funding are limiting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries research in the Bering Sea and may—in the long run—impact harvest limits. This year, the Aleutian Trawl Survey was cut completely and the Bering-Aleutian Salmon International Survey, or BASIS, was reduced from 40 days to 20 days.

Permafrost conference opens at UAF this week
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is hosting an international conference on permafrost this week.  Hundreds of researchers and land managers are in town to give and hear presentation on a range of topics related to frozen ground that underlies 25 percent of the surface of the Northern hemisphere.

Redcorp hopes to sue banks over bad debt
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
A group of Canadian companies went to court last week for the right to sue the banks that stuck them with $30 billion in bad debt. One of those companies is Redcorp Ventures. Redcorp owns the Tulsequah Chief mine near the Taku River and Juneau. Plans and estimated costs for the multi-metal mine have changed significantly in recent weeks.

Low income home building in the Mat Su
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
In a rural subdivision dotted with cottonwoods and willows on the outskirts of Wasilla, a four bedroom home is nearly complete. On the surface, the street looks like any subdivision anywhere, but there is something different going on  here.  Each house has actually been built in part by its prospective owner as part of a low income home ownership program.

Dungeness crab season off to a fast start in Southeast
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
Southeast’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery is off to a strong start and the fleet will have another month and half for this summer’s season. The season length is determined by the strength of the catch in the first week of crabbing. The Department of Fish and Game’s assistant area shellfish management biologist Karla Bush says the early 2008 catch has been good.

Alaska swimmer hopes to go to Beijing
John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
A graduate of Haines High school is preparing to compete in the Olympic swimming trials at the end of the week in Nebraska. Genny Szymanski just finished her sophomore year at Northwestern University in Illinois. Her specialty is the backstroke.

New sculpture honors Roy and Elizabeth Peratrovich
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
As of yesterday afternoon, Anchorage has a new sculpture gracing a downtown park.  The “Flight of the Raven” honors a husband and wife whose names symbolize the civil rights struggle in Alaska.