Alaska News Nightly: December 10, 2009

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Revenue Forecast Released
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
State department of Revenue commissioner Patrick Galvin today released the revenue forecast for 2010 and 2011. Galvin said 2009 was a wild ride for oil prices. From highs above $130 per barrel last spring to five months later when he says prices suffered the largest decline in history as they fell into the $20s. Galvin says this stability is expected to continue with a slight drop over the course of the remaining year and then rising gradually in future years. He says the current forecast for 2010 is $67 per barrel, representing an increase from the spring prediction of $58 dollars. That is having a big impact on the state’s unrestricted revenue.

Two More Cruise Ships Will Bypass Alaska
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Two more cruise ships will stop sailing to Alaska in the summer of 2011.The Royal Princess and Holland America’s Ryndam will shift to Europe and other parts of the world. Princess and two other lines have already shifted Alaska ships to the Caribbean and other markets for the 2010 season.

FAA to Continue Supervise Alaska’s Flight Service
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration says he expects Alaska’s Flight Service Stations to stay under the FAA’s oversight.  The stations provide pilots with up to date weather and safety information and can communicate with planes while they’re in-flight. Alaska is the only state where the Flight Service Stations are run by the FAA and not contracted out.

NOAA Releases Catch Share Policy
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their draft catch share policy on Thursday. The policy encourages fishery management councils around the country to adopt catch share programs like the ones already in place for the Bering Sea crab fisheries and for the pollock fishery.

Anchorage Schools Challenged by Moves to City
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
A just-released study of the recent influx of in-state transfer students to Anchorage contains some surprising results, along with daunting challenges for the school district and the city.

Aniak to Honor Aniak Legend Pete Brown
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The village of Aniak is in mourning. In October, the Kuskokwim river community lost its volunteer fire chief- Pete Brown, who died of cancer. Brown was a force for pulling people in the village together for good. Now, Aniak residents are hoping to honor his legacy by taking one program he started nationally.

Ultra Endurance Race Proposed for Interior
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
An ultra endurance race has been proposed for the White Mountains north of Fairbanks. The plan calls for a three-day event in which 50 racers bike, ski or run over a 100 mile route on trails in the national recreation area.  White Mountains 100 co-organizer Ed Plumb says the event would provide a new venue for Alaska ultra sports athletes.

Adventurer Plans Epic Alaska Trek
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A Lower 48 adventurer is planning an epic trek in Alaska and the Yukon.  Andrew Skurka of Colorado, who has several long hiking and pack rafting trips under his belt, plans to embark on a 45-hundred mile loop from Kotzebue in March.