Alaska News Nightly: June 11, 2010

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Subsistence Quota for Polar Bears Introduced
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
There will be a Native subsistence quota for polar bears in Alaska for the first time in nearly four decades. At a meeting in Anchorage this week, a commission that included representatives from the US and Russia set the quota at 58 bears for both countries. The commission was established with a bi-lateral treaty that designed to conserve the population of bears who live on both sides of the border.

Exxon Valdez Veteran Warns of Danger in Spill Cleanup
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
BP may have made progress in capturing the oil gushing from the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico, but the dirty job of cleanup is only just beginning.  As workers flock to the Gulf, one veteran of the Exxon Valdez cleanup in Alaska is warning of chemical hazards.

State Settles With Mercer
Associated Press
Alaska’s attorney general says the state has settled a breach of contract and professional malpractice lawsuit against its former actuary, Mercer Inc., for half-a-billion dollars.

Dan Sullivan called the agreement a great result for Alaska state workers and retirees. He said it could be the largest such settlement of its kind.

Alaska Trains for Spill Response
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The 2010 Prince William Sound oil spill prevention drill wrapped up Thursday near Valdez. The state Department of Environmental Conservation conducts spill response drills annually, and industry tanker companies are required to conduct drills every three  years. This exercise was a multi-agency effort between DEC, the Coast Guard and SeaRiver Maritime, the tanker subsidiary of Exxon Mobile.

Anchorage Lawmakers Call for More Police Officers
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Shortly after the Anchorage mayor and police chief announced the conclusion of the investigation into Wednesday’s shooting of a police officer, four Northeast Anchorage lawmakers called for the city to increase officer numbers, improve equipment and change patrol methods.

No Special Session for Alaska Legislators
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Anchorage
Not enough legislators yet support a request to call themselves into special session to attempt to override Governor Parnell’s veto of an expansion of the Denali Kid Care program.  The Senate announced Friday morning that a poll this week found 11 members wanting to bring the issue before them this summer.  The House is not polling its members.  It would take two-thirds of the combined membership – or forty legislators – to call a  special session.

Some King Fishing Open on Kenai River
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The department of Fish and Game is opening some King salmon fishing on the Kenai River. Catch and release rules will now apply to kings ranging from 20 inches to 55 inches. Fish smaller than 20 or larger than 55 can be caught and kept. These rules go into effect at midnight Friday night and run through June 30. There are restrictions on which areas of the river these rules apply, so anglers are advised to check with Fish and Game for boundary instructions.

Sutton Library Gains Funds
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
The little community of Sutton is gaining almost $2 million in state funds to build a new library.

Governor Sean Parnell signed the state’s capital budget last week, and that includes $1.7 million for construction of library building.

Writing Center Open in Anchorage
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Alaska has its first writing center, located in downtown Anchorage. The 49 Alaska Writing Center opened two months ago. It offers retreats, workshops and classes in different writing genres and on the business of writing.