Alaska News Nightly: May 5, 2010

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An Alaskan Reporter Covers the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage reporter Craig Medred saw first hand the destruction from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound. Now he’s reporting on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for He’s in Gulfport Mississippi today and plans to drive to Alabama tomorrow.

Officials Look at Improving Support for Health Aides
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Health aides in the Lower Yukon village resigned in protest, weeks ago, citing concerns about their own safety. Temporary aides were put in place during a 2-week law enforcement crackdown in the village. That stint is now over. But new plans are forming to address the crisis and prevent others from occurring.

Bethel Residents Vote to Keep Liberal Alcohol Law
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Voters in Bethel have rejected a ballot initiative to once again bar the sale of alcohol there.

Letter Warns Governor about Sealaska Lands Bill
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
Three former top administrators with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have written a letter to Governor Sean Parnell warning that Sealaska’s lands selection bill could lead to an Endangered Species Act listing for the Queen Charlotte goshawk and the Alexander Archipelago wolf.

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Forest Service
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
A federal judge in Anchorage has decided in favor of the forest service and against two environmental groups in a 2008 lawsuit over the impacts of logging on deer habitat. Both sides agree the implications go beyond the four timber sales named in the suit.

Delayed “Green Up” in Fairbanks
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks is still waiting on green up. A somewhat subjective technique, observing a green hue of the trees on Chena Ridge, is used to officially designate the green up date in Fairbanks. The technique has been employed by National Weather Service meteorologists to track green ups in Fairbanks since 1976.

Proposal Would Establish Watchdog Group for Trans Alaska Pipeline
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Trans Alaska Pipeline stakeholders are meeting this week to discuss citizen oversight. The Copper River Watershed Project, a Cordova based environmental group, is hosting a public meeting in Glennallen tomorrow (Wednesday) with government and industry representatives in hopes of establishing a citizen watchdog group for the pipeline.

Anchorage Teachers Consider Tentative Contract
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Tomorrow Anchorage teachers vote on a tentative, three year agreement with the Anchorage School District. On Monday, members met with their bargaining team and union board to ask questions and voice concerns about the proposed contract.