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Alaska News Nightly: January 29, 2013

January 29, 2013

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Bill Allows Tribes To Directly Apply For Federal Disaster Aid

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Alaska did not receive any money in the Sandy relief bill that cleared the Senate Monday night. The bill did include a provision that will allow tribes to directly apply to the federal government for future disaster aid.

Board of Fishers Adopts New Kuskokwim River Plan

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

The Board of Fisheries adopted a new management plan for the Kuksokwim River which includes stronger language supporting the King salmon subsistence fishery.

Fish and Game Releases Chinook Research Plan

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Meanwhile, the Department of Fish and Game has just released its long-term research plan to manage – and ideally prevent – future Chinook salmon disasters like the one Alaska experienced last year. The proposal calls for better estimates of young salmon populations on a number of major rivers, and it puts an emphasis on getting more local knowledge of fish stocks.

Eastern Bering Sea Fish Survey Yields Surprising Results

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

About a thousand people gathered for the Alaska Marine Science Symposium last week. Dozens of scientists spoke on topics ranging from ocean acidification, and changes in the productivity of plants and animals in the marine environment to jobs in science. A survey of fish in the eastern Bering Sea had surprising results.

Project Homeless Connect Offers Opportunities To Homeless Population

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Project Homeless Connect is a one-day, one-stop opportunity for homeless individuals to access state and city resources aimed at helping them find shelter and services. Anchorage’s outreach took place Tuesday, but homelessness is no longer a big city problem.  Smaller communities are facing a need to serve a transient and needy population without the facilities or budget to do so.

Quest Mushers WILL Think Of Massachusetts Man On The Trail

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

At least six Fairbanks-area Yukon Quest mushers will wear wristbands during this year’s Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. The hand-made bracelets are part of a fundraiser to support a man in Massachusetts who is battling Cancer.

Public, Scientists Disagree On Cruise Ship Wastewater

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

A bill that would relax the wastewater standards placed on cruise ships by Alaska voters is on the fast track in the Senate.

Princess Cruise Lines To Pay $20,000 In Fines

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

Princes Cruise Lines has agreed to pay $20,000 in fines for dumping water from on-board swimming pools into Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in 2011.

The fine was announced by the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday.

The EPA writes that Princess violated the Clean Water Act in May 2011 when more than 66, 000 gallons of pool water was discharged into the waters of Glacier Bay National Park.

EPA writes there was a software malfunction on the ship the Golden Princess, causing the pool dump valves to open. The malfunction allowed chlorinated water from six of the ship’s pools and spas to dump into Glacier Bay. Princess notified EPA of the discharges by phone the next day.

The EPA said the incident violated the wastewater discharge permit for large cruise ships, which prohibits the discharge of pool or spa water in national parks and refuges. The federal Clean Water Act allows the EPA to fine cruise companies for permit violations.

The Golden Princess can host more than 500 passenger and sails in Alaska during the summer season. It sails to Hawaii, the South Pacific and South America at other times of the year.

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