Alaska News Nightly: January 26, 2009

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No solutions yet for Emmonak economy
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The Palin administration could offer no solution today for the economic stress in the village of Emmonak, but says it’s still working on it. After visiting the community, state officials say it does not qualify for either a disaster declaration or an Economic Emergency declaration. All villagers are left with is a stepped-up effort to sign them up with existing programs.

BP unsure of gas line project; TransCanada confident
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
An official with BP last week said the national economy and low energy prices in the continental U.S. are lowering the chances for the Denali Gas Pipeline project his company and ConocoPhillips have announced. The “Denali” plan is in competition with TransCanada’s project, created in partnership with the State. TransCanada says it’s still confident in its project.

Ethics complaint filed against Palin staffers McCallister and Perry
The Associated Press
An outspoken critic of Gov. Sarah Palin has filed ethics complaints against two of the governor’s top aides, saying they misused their official positions for Palin’s personal and political gain. Anchorage resident Andree McLeod filed the complaints today with Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg. Named are Bill McAllister, Palin’s press secretary, and Kris Perry, the governor’s top aide in Anchorage. McLeod maintains the two worked on State time to benefit Palin’s interests during and after her Vice Presidential quest.

Anchorage’s acting mayor to run for full term
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The candidate list for spring’s race for Anchorage mayor just increased to ten. This afternoon Acting Mayor Matt Claman announced he wants to make his temporary position permanent.

Afognak Island mountain renamed for first Alaska Native DPS Commissioner
Erik Wander, KMXT – Kodiak
The Afognak Native Corporation announced the renaming of a mountain on Afognak Island in honor of Glenn G. Godfrey — the first Alaska Native to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Director of the Alaska State Troopers. Godfrey became director of the troopers in 1995 before being appointed Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety in 2000 by then Governor Tony Knowles. He served in the top post for nearly two years before his murder in 2002.

Redoubt Volcano status ‘orange’ for continued seismicity
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Redoubt volcano, located about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, has been kicking up a bit over the last few days, prompting the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) to raise its volcano alert level to “orange.” AVO geologist Chris Way-Thomas says that means a geologist will be on staff 24 hours a day monitoring Redoubt. Way-Thomas says a big ramp-up in seismic activity that started on Friday died down a bit on Sunday.

Alaska fish board explores changes to commercial Dungeness plans
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
The State’s Board of Fish heard testimony last week over proposals to open and close a number of areas in Southeast Alaska to commercial Dungeness crab fishing. Some proposals seek to end commercial harvests around some Southeast towns, but there are also attempts to reopen some closed commercial spots.

Southeast Alaska may be big winner in carbon credit programs
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
One way to reduce global warming is to burn less fossil fuel. Coal, oil and natural gas have generated most of the carbon emissions that have started heating the planet. But these days, you can also pay someone else to deal with carbon for you. And that could mean a new source of income in Southeast Alaska. Giant trees and deep, wet soil make Southeast Alaska one of the nation’s largest storehouses of carbon.