Alaska News Nightly: April 20, 2010

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Alaska to Challenge Constitutionality of New Health Care Plan
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Governor Parnell on Tuesday announced that Alaska is joining 19 other states in challenging the constitutionality of the new Federal Health Care legislation.

Legislature Paves Way to Study Mining Impact in Bristol Bay Area
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
The Alaska Legislature has set aside funds to pay for a review of the impacts of mining in the Bristol Bay region.

Health Advocates Support New Regulations for Chemical Industry
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Public health advocates in Alaska are pleased that reforms to regulations for the chemical industry have been introduced in Congress. The Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 is an attempt to revise parts of the Toxic Substances Act that was passed in 1976.

EPA Fines Westward Seafoods
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
Westward Seafoods was fined $570,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act at their Unalaska plant. Though the company agreed to negotiate a fine, they did not admit to committing the violations.

Alaska Volcano Watchers Eye Iceland Eruptions
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Researchers at the Alaska Volcano Observatory in Anchorage are keeping a close eye on the erupting volcano in Iceland. The ice covered volcano is similar to many in Alaska. And the widespread disruption its ash cloud has had to airline traffic is something Alaska’s volcano scientists are very familiar with.

Some Leaders Born, Others Made
Ellen Lockyer – KSKA, Anchorage
Some Alaska Native leaders are born, but many are made through struggle and determination. That’s the message from Native elders to young Alaska Natives gathered at a UA Anchorage forum last week.

Ground Water Prolbems Affecting North Pole Real Estate Market
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Chemical contamination of ground water in North Pole is having an effect on the local real estate market. North Pole Realtor Dave Pfrimmer  says people looking for homes are being cautious.

Lawmakers Create New State Forest
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Lawmakers created a new state forest in southern Southeast Alaska shortly before they adjourned for the year. They passed a bill combined about 20 state parcels totaling about 25,000 acres.

Patriot Day Rally Draws Only 40 in Fairbanks
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
About 40 people, a few carrying guns, held a peaceful rally in downtown Fairbanks on Monday. The Patriots Day event was one of several held across the country by local branches of the Second Amendment Task Force.