Alaska News Nightly: November 16, 2009

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Juneau Residents Recover from Massive Mud Slide
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
Juneau residents displaced by this weekend’s landslides will stay in hotel rooms through the weekend. About 80 residents of downtown Juneau were allowed to return to their homes yesterday afternoon (Sunday), but eight people are still homeless.

Palin Begins Media Blitz
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, D.C.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin launches a massive publicity blitz today, and the national media is gobbling it up. Palin appeared on a pre-taped episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show this afternoon to promote her new book “Going Rogue: An American Life,” which hits book stands tomorrow.

Alaska Democrats Launch Palin Truth Squad Campaign
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Although the outside world may be turning somersaults over Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue, Alaska Democrats are using the book hype to boost their launch of a website aimed at holding Mrs. Palin accountable.

The White House asks Pipeline Coordinator to Resign
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Federal gas pipeline coordinator Drue Pearce resigned her position this morning (Monday) at the request of the White House. Pearce opened the office for the Bush administration in 2006. In her letter of resignation to President Obama, Pearce reminded him of the importance of Alaska’s gas – saying it is “essential to the nation’s energy and economic security.” The White House released a statement thanking Pearce for her service.

Another Below Average Pink Salmon Forecast for Southeast
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
It looks like it could be another below average pink salmon season next summer in southeast Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is forecasting a region-wide catch of 19 million Humpies for next year. That harvest would be just under half of the annual average for the past decade.

Foster Sworn in to State House
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
House Democrats yesterday [Sunday] confirmed the appointment of Neal Foster of Nome to take the place of his father, Richard, who died in office last month.

State Museum has a new Curator
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
An exhibit designer with a long history in the state is the new top official for Juneau’s Alaska State Museum and Sitka’s Sheldon Jackson Museum. Bob Banghart was named chief curator of the state museum system earlier this month.