Alaska News Nightly: November 26, 2010

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Fishing Vessel Crew Member Arrested, Charges With Sexual Harassment
Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska
A crew member on the fishing vessel Frontier Explorer has been charged with sexual harassment and sexual assault of a National Marine Fisheries Service observer.

Victor Chavez-Ramirez, 28, was arrested on Thursday in Unalaska by NOAA special agents, and his arraignment took place on Monday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrock alleged that Chavez-Ramirez verbally harassed and groped a NMFS observer while aboard the vessel Frontier Spirit from August to October 2008.The harassment and assault also impeded the NMFS observer’s ability to monitor bycatch and collect data – another criminal offense for which Chavez-Ramirez is being charged.

Skrocki says that while the harassment and assault were alleged to have taken place two years ago, the observer approached law enforcement only recently.

Meaning of Fewer Earmarks for Alaskans
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Earmarks have a bad rap in Washington, but Alaska has heavily benefitted from them. On Wednesday we looked at the anti-earmark mood of Capitol Hill, and what it might mean for Alaska’s Congressional delegation. Tonight we dig into what fewer earmarks actually means for Alaskans.

Woman Missing After Snowmachine Falls Through Ice
Ben Matheson, KNOM – Nome
A search is underway for a woman who is missing after the snowmachine she was a passenger on went through the ice near Teller. From KNOM in Nome, Ben Matheson has the story.

Alaska Native Artist Featured in Live Presentation at APU
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Ryan Romer is a young Alaska Native artist who has been featured in a live art presentation at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage this month. Romer is one of five artists who, during November, lived in a cabin built on campus with one glass wall, so that passersby could see them at work

Romer’s medium is a bit eclectic. He paints in oils on canvas or makes sculptures or uses the printmaking press he hauled into APU’s Carr-Gottstein Hall.

Romer is originally from Bethel, but has been living in Anchorage for a decade, where he developed his interest in art through university of Alaska classes.

Romer says intuition plays a big part in his expression, too, since he lives with family members who live in a traditional manner. He says he’s most interested in the dramatic social changes that are facing Alaska Natives all over the state.

He says contemporary Alaska Native artists of the past decade are tasked with interpreting that challenge. He says he’s the only one in his family producing art, but he is witnessing that younger members of his family are following in his footsteps.

Anchorage International Film Festival Thriving
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Next Friday the Anchorage International Film Festival begins. After nine years of struggling to survive as an all-volunteer effort, this year the Festival has a staff and a rich field of entries.

Southeast Art Stand Out in Washington DC
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast Alaska art stands out in the collection of the National Museum of the American Indian. The Smithsonian branch – on The Mall in Washington, D.C. – has thousands of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian objects in its collections and many are before the public.

CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld paid a trip to the museum to find out more about what’s on display.

WWII Structure to Undergo $300,000 Restoration in Sitka
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Major work will begin next year on restoring the Japonski Island boathouse.

The Sitka Maritime Heritage Society has spent the past several years stabilizing the World War II-era structure in piecemeal fashion.

The organization now plans to spend more than $300,000 toward re-opening the building as a working wooden boat shop and marine museum.