Alaska News Nightly: August 17, 2009

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Anchorage Mayor Vetoes Gay Rights Ordinance
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Mayor Dan Sullivan issued a written statement that he has vetoed the gay rights ordinance passed last week by the Anchorage Assembly.

State to Archive Official Emails on Personal Accounts
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
State employees are now required to let the state archive their personal email accounts if they use them for state business.  Under a policy released on Monday – but signed 10 days ago by Commissioner of Administration Annette Kreitzer – a private message sent or received concerning the state must be forwarded to the state system.

Coast Guard Rescues Boaters
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Seven people were pulled from the water north of Juneau after a 20-foot skiff capsized near Tee Harbor. A man trapped under the skiff was reported as “unresponsive.” The Coast Guard also rescued three boaters – including a twelve-year-old – Monday morning in Misty Fiords National Monument, capping off a three-day search.

Comprehensive Glacier Study Released
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The federal government has released the longest and most comprehensive study of glaciers in North America – and it shows they’re melting at an increasing rate as the climate warms.

Railroad Weed Plan Attacked
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
An Alaska Railroad plan to eradicate weeds using chemicals along a stretch of track has raised the ire of environmentalists.  Some say the plan is harmful, but railroad officials say it’s required by federal authorities.

Kensington Ready to Start Work on Tailings Facility
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Coeur Alaska President Dennis Wheeler says cash flow is good and the company is ready “to hit the ground running” at the Kensington Gold Mine. He says Coeur has been mobilizing to begin work on the tailings facility as soon as it got the go-ahead from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers which came on Friday.

Fairbanks Getting Doused in August
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
August is living up to standard as Fairbanks wettest month.  After a record dry July, in which less than a 10th of an inch of rain fell, Fairbanks has received nearly an inch a half of rain so far this month, and there’s more in the forecast. There will be breaks in the rain but that the general pattern is wet.

Crews Finish Cleanup of Oil Ship
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
Crews have finished removing diesel fuel from the sunken oil industry supply ship Monarch in Cook Inlet.  The ship sank in January near the Granite Point platform about 16 miles from Nikiski, and the fuel recovery began in June.

Researcher Wraps Up Study of Bristol Bay
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
A researcher with the National Marine Fisheries Service has just wrapped up a two-week effort to get a better understanding of what kinds of creatures live in the near-shore environment of Bristol Bay.