Alaska News Nightly: December 24, 2010

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Gara, Others Collecting Laptops for Foster Youth
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
If you’re looking for ideas to help others during the holiday season, Anchorage Democrat Representative Les Gara has an idea for you. Gara is working with volunteers to help connect foster youth with donated laptops. Gara says a constituent began collecting them and now his office is helping to organize the effort.

Gara says they now have a modest system in place to collect and distribute donated laptops.

He says they’re trying to make it easy for people to help. Contact them if you have one to donate and they’ll do the rest.

He says they’re operating on a shoestring, but they’ll gladly work statewide with donations.

Amanda Metivier was once in foster care and she now works to help youth in the system through the organization Facing Foster Care in Alaska. Metivier says foster kids tend to move quite a bit and that makes it hard to keep up in school.

She says having their own computer is also a way for them to stay connected to those they care about.

If you have a computer that is in excellent working order, no more than four years old, has a word-processing program and does not need any repairs, please call Rep. Les Gara at 269-0106.

McCarthy Close to Internet, Cell Phone Service
Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez
McCarthy is a step closer to having internet and cell phone service.  Recently the national park service released an environmental assessment on a proposal that would bring broadband and telecommunication services to the community.

International Pacific Halibut Commission Hoping to Expand Halibut Research
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
Recently, Southeast commercial and sport fishermen were shocked by severe reductions in halibut catch limits for next year.  As KDLG’s  Mike Mason reports,  the International Pacific Halibut Commission will expand their research efforts on the groundfish if a series of proposals are approved by the Commissioners at the panel’s annual meeting next month.

No Commercial King Salmon Opening on Stikine, Taku Rivers
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
It looks like there will be no gillnet fishery targeting king salmon returns to the Stikine and Taku Rivers again this may. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced this month that the pre-season forecast for both systems is too low to allow for a commercial opening.

Fairbanks Begins Historical Preservation Projects
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks city and borough government have begun a couple projects to preserve old documents, and mark historically significant buildings.

DOT Looking to Widen Stretch of Parks Highway
Sue Deyoe, KTNA – Talkeetna
The Alaska Department of Transportation is looking at a stretch of the Parks Highway between Denali State Park and Nenana that would be widened for passing lanes.  The project is currently in the public comment phase and the DOT is looking for input from residents and businesses along the 140 mile stretch of road under consideration.

Behind the Bell Ringing
Maggie Wall, KMXT – Kodiak
It’s a ubiquitous part of the holiday season. The Salvation Army bell ringing. KMXT’s Maggie Wall rang bells at Safeway earlier this week and decided to do a bit of research into the practice.

Keeping Holiday Spirit Alive Throughout the Year
Rhonda McBride, KTUU – Anchorage
From temples, to churches, to the office, the holidays bring out the better angels of our nature.

We open our cupboards to give food.   We buy toys for tots, and we  buy gifts for one another.

In this commentary, Veteran Alaska journalist Rhonda Mcbride looks at the spirit of giving, and how to keep it alive throughout the year.