Alaska News Nightly: September 10, 2010

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New Regulations Proposed to Require More Rest for Commercial Pilots
Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage
Regulations now require commercial airplane pilots to get eight hours rest out of every 24. But the eight-hour rest time starts as soon as the pilot walks off the plane. He or she may spend a few more hours at work, although not flying, and commute, even by air, to and from a duty station and end up getting only little sleep. Some spend days on that kind of a schedule. Today, the federal Department of Transportation today announced proposed rules meant to boost safety.

Cruise West Reorganizing; Some Destinations Could Be Cut
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska –Sitka
A small cruise line known for its intimate Alaska sailings is in trouble. Seattle-based Cruise West is reorganizing and has laid off staff and stopped booking reservations. That’s left some cruises – which include Alaska, Europe and Central America routes – in doubt.

CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld takes a look at the company’s role in Southeast’s tourism industry and what the changes could mean for port communities.

Study: Anchorage Police Could Shift Routine
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Increase Community Policing and cut down on the time officers spend handling “calls for service.”  Those were just two of the recommendations released yesterday in a staffing and deployment study of the Anchorage Police Department.

Critic Removed from CIRCAC Board
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer
The Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council – or CIRCAC – has removed one of its most outspoken critics from the board of directors. Bob Shavelson – who also heads the Homer-based environmental organization Cook Inletkeeper – was kicked off the CIRCAC board last week.

Cold Climate Housing Research Center Expanding
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Cold Climate Housing Research Center is expanding its facility to make room for more interaction with outside agencies and the public.  The Center located at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has received federal and private grants totaling $2 million to build a 7,500 square foot addition.  CCHRC President and CEO Jack Hebert says the new Sustainable Northern Communities Center will bring collaborators in house.

Hebert says the new center wing will also include classroom space.  The facility will be an addition to the 15,000 square foot main Cold Climate Housing Center building completed in 2007. It was recently named as one of the four smartest buildings in the country by Siemens Corporation.  Siemens and other technology companies have outfitted the center with 1,200 sensors that monitor systems from the foundation to the roof top, to track performance, including energy efficiency. The non-profit Cold Climate Housing Research Center started by the Alaska Homebuilders Association, works to find and develop housing technology to suit challenges around Alaska.

Railroad Selects New President and CEO
Associated Press
A Texas railroad executive has been selected to run the Alaska Railroad Corporation.   Christopher Aadnesen is scheduled to begin his new post as president and CEO later this month. He was selected unanimously by the railroad’s seven-member board of directors. Railroad officials say Aadnesen brings nearly four decades of experience in the railroad industry, with his most recent position as CEO of Estonian Railways. He replaces interim railroad president Bill O’Leary.

First Farmed Alaskan Geoducks Hit Market
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
The first Alaska farmed geoduck clams were recently delivered to market. KRBD’s Deanna Garrison spoke with the responsible Ketchikan farmer about the major milestone in the fledgling industry.

Volcano Activity Falls in Recent Months
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
Observers of the volcanoes in Alaska likely have noticed a lack of significant volcanic activity in recent months after years of high activity.