Alaska News Nightly: February 16, 2009

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Murkowski delivers Republican message opposing Democrats’ stimulus bill
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski delivered the Republican response to President Obama’s weekly radio address Saturday. She spoke against the nearly $790 billion economic stimulus package the Democratic-lead Congress passed last week.

Cruise lines cited for excessive air pollution
The Associated Press
As state lawmakers look at a bill that would loosen waste water restrictions for cruise ships, State regulators have cited 8 cruise ships for air quality violations in 2008. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued 10 notices of violations — a five-fold increase from 2007. The notices were issued to ships owned by Celebrity, International Shipping Partners, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America and Royal Caribbean.

Will Obama administration assist Alaska Native corporations?
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
The Obama administration could offer Alaska Natives new opportunities in government and business, according to presidents of the Alaska Federation of Natives and the Sealaska Corporation.

Troopers cleared in Soldotna hospital shooting
Casey Kelly, KBBI – Homer
Alaska State Troopers have released the results of an internal review into an officer-involved shooting at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna in November. The review found that troopers took appropriate action and used appropriate force when they shot and killed 47-year-old Joseph Marchetti November 26, 2008.

Smooth running on Yukon Quest
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Yukon Quest sled dog race got underway Saturday and so far, reports are the running remains smooth.

Yukon Quest dogs followed by runners, bikers and skiers
Nancy Thomson, CBC – Whitehorse
In addition to dogs and mushers, hardy athletes from around the world are running, biking and skiing their way to Dawson City this week on the Yukon Quest trail. The seventh Yukon Arctic Ultra got underway yesterday morning in Whitehorse, and it boasts one of the largest — and most determined — fields.

Rosenfeld preparing for 2010 Governor’s race
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
One Homer resident says it’s not too soon to start preparing for the Governor’s race in 2010. Rob Rosenfeld, has thrown his hat into the ring hoping to become the Democratic challenger against Governor Sarah Palin in the next election. Rosenfeld says he’ll run on the issues of economics, energy, rural issues, education and the environment. His experience spans most of those areas, having worked in the non-profit sector for 27 years and for the past 11 years he has worked with Tribal leaders to create the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council.

Fish Board meeting in Sitka to take public comments
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Herring and salmon issues will occupy much of the Alaska Board of Fisheries’ attention for the next 10 days during its spring meeting in Sitka. The Board will begin hearing public testimony tomorrow afternoon on nearly 160 proposals for the management of Southeast salmon runs, and some species of state-managed groundfish, like lingcod. The Board lays down rules for both commercial and sport fisheries and is an influential player in some important subsistence fisheries.

Southeast Alaskan towns debating hydro power and Canadian interties
Tony Gorman, KSTK – Wrangell
The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) met in Wrangell late last week to discuss hydroelectric power in southeast. The AEA is trying to get Southeast communities to work together and decide what to do with funds for a proposed Alaska/British Columbia intertie.

Commercial crabbing opens in Southeast Alaska
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
Commercial crabbers in southeast Alaska began fishing for tanner and golden king crab over the weekend. Both seasons opened at noon on Sunday. The region’s tanner crab season has a guideline harvest level of 931,000 pounds.