Alaska News Nightly: August 19, 2009

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Report Cites Potential Damage to Chuitna River
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
New reports just released indicate that Western Cook Inlet’s Chuitna River drainage salmon streams will be ruined if a proposed coal mining project is approved.  Delaware – based Pac Rim is moving forward on the strip mining plan pending state permit approval, but fishermen oppose the mine, saying it will harm their livelihood and the environment.

Juneau to Begin Testing Prep Players for Drugs
Rosemarie Alexander and Caitlin Getler, KTOO – Juneau
High school athletes in Juneau will be subjected to random drug tests beginning this fall. The plan mandates drug testing of athletes at Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain high schools. It also sets up a voluntary testing program for other students, and makes it easier for school staff and coaches to have a student tested if they suspect drug use.

Military Wants to Move Newtok
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
The United States military is boosting efforts to relocate the village of Newtok. Erosion is eating away at the Bering Sea village, and local leaders have been working for years with state and federal agencies to move the community. Now the with the military on board, the move is expected to go a lot faster.

Knik Arm Bridge Back on Transportation Plan
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
A settlement reached yesterday has put the Knik Arm Bridge project back on the short-range list of the Anchorage transportation plan.

Fairbanks to Consider Sales Tax
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks city voters will consider a sales tax this fall.  The city clerk’s office certified petitions sponsored by the Fairbanks Fair Tax association last week.  If approved, the petitions would implement a three percent sales tax and change the city charter to guarantee all revenues first go toward zeroing out city property taxes.

Anchorage Beer Drinkers in a Quandary
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Environmentally conscious beer drinkers in Anchorage have faced a conundrum this year. The city stopped recycling glass in January forcing tons of beer bottle waste into the regional landfill instead. In response, many consumers are paying a premium to buy their favorite beverage in a package that has long been associated with an inferior product.

Flower Parade Highlights Unalaska’s Santacruzan Festival
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
The Filipino Santacruzan Festival was held for the first time ever in Unalaska over the weekend. Families from around the community gathered to participate in the flower parade.