Alaska News Nightly: October 29, 2012

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Municipality Has Port Study, Holding Until After Bond Vote

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Bundled into the bond proposition included on the Nov. 6 election ballot, voters will find $50 million for the “Port of Anchorage Intermodal Expansion Project.” It’s the largest request on the list. But voters won’t have much information on the project before they make their decision. That’s because a report detailing problems with the bungled upgrade to the 50-plus-year-old port won’t come out until after the election.

Drug, Alcohol Abuse Costs Alaska’s Economy $1.2 Billion

Anne Hillman, APRN – Anchorage

A new report finds that alcohol and drug abuse cost Alaska’s economy $1.2 billion dollars in 2010. That number includes direct costs, such as $218 million dollars spent on criminal justice and protective services and $237 million on health care costs. But the report, which was commissioned by the Alaska Mental Health Board and the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, says the largest impact comes from lost productivity.

Oil Taxes Key Issue In Fairbanks-Area Elections

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Candidates for three State Senate seats representing portions of the Fairbanks area are on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. The candidates took questions during a Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce sponsored forum last week, and Alaska’s oil tax was a key issue.

Whales & World Problems – Combining Culture & Academics

Anne Hillman, Kids These Days

It’s hard to get excited about school when you’re reading a typical textbook written in the Midwest, and you live in a place with no trees, no sidewalks, and no elevators. That’s why educators on the North Slope are making a change. In the next installment of our “Being Young in Rural Alaska” series from the Producers of Kids These Days, reporter Anne Hillman looks at how the North Slope Borough School District is helping kids connect to academics and culture all at the same time.

Interview: New Book Highlights Life Of Statesman Vic Fischer

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

In 1924, Vic Fischer was born in Berlin, Germany, as a citizen of both the U.S. and Russia. That complicated- worldly start in life is a small glimpse into the extraordinary childhood of one of Alaska’s most loved statesmen.

Fischer tells the fascinating story of his early life, which includes escaping from both Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia in his new autobiography, “To Russia With Love, An Alaskan’s Journey.” The book, co-written with Charles Wohlforth, also explores how Fischer ended up in Alaska and became one of the youngest delegates to Alaska’s constitutional convention and also worked as a city planner, a state senator, and a professor.

His mother was Russian and his father, a famous American journalist and author. Fischer spent a lot of his childhood in Russia, but in 1939, under Stalin’s brutal dictatorship his mother needed to get him and his older brother out of the country.

Vic Fischer has a new autobiography called, “To Russia with Love, An Alaskan’s Journey,” written with Charles Wolhforth. They will celebrate the book’s publishing with a book launch at the Consortium Library at UAA on Tuesday from 5-7 p.m.