Alaska News Nightly: December 9, 2009

Sealaska Plaza Wood-Pellets 12-09

Photo By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Sealaska Plaza in downtown Juneau plans to install a wood-pellet boiler next year.

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AG Issues New Ethics Regulations
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Attorney General Daniel Sullivan this week issued new regulations making mostly procedural changes to the Executive Ethics Act. Most of the changes reflect the recent accusations against former-governor Sarah Palin and members of her administration.

Homer Health Center Gets White House Boost
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer
The SVT Health Center in Homer – a medical clinic geared toward low-income patients and operated by the Seldovia Village Tribe – has big plans for expansion, thanks to an early Christmas present from the Obama Administration.

Obama Picks New Gas Line Coordinator
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
President Obama has appointed Alaskan Larry Persily to be the new federal coordinator of an Alaska gas pipeline project. The Washington D-C based job coordinates the federal permits required for the project, and works as a liaison between the gas companies, the state, federal offices, and Canada in the planning stages.

ACS Funds Computer Support for University of Alaska
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Alaska Communications Systems or ACS, will provide a computer back up support services for University of Alaska. The $6.8 million gift rolled out yesterday in Fairbanks, covers five years and includes high speed cable connectivity and equipment space at a new ACS facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Sealaska to Convert to Wood-Pellet Heat
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Sealaska is converting its Juneau headquarters building from oil to wood-pellet heat. The Southeast regional Native corporation says the change will save money. It also hopes to create demand for a wood-pellet industry on Prince of Wales Island.

State to Clear More Spruce Near Fairbanks
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The state will clear more stands of black spruce in the Fairbanks area to combat the spread of wildfire. Fairbanks area forester Marc Lee says the fuel mitigation projects are part of an ongoing community wildfire protection program.

Parnell Throws Holiday Open House
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
More than 20,000 cookies, 200 pounds of fudge, cups of hot cider, and a brass band all greeted residents of Juneau at the governor’s mansion on Tuesday for the annual holiday open house. About 4,000 people stood in line to meet Governor Sean Parnell and the first family in an event that kicks off the holiday season in the Capital City.

Anchorage Passes Leaner Budget
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
With less than $1 million difference in reduced revenues and added expenses, Mayor Dan Sullivan’s “tight belt” municipal operating budget passed the Anchorage Assembly Tuesday night pretty much as he originally proposed.

Fairbanks Favorite Back in Business
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks venerable retailer of everything hardware is back in business. Samson’s re-opened last week at a new location almost year after closing the doors at its historic spot on the Chena River downtown to make way for a road project.