Alaska News Nightly: May 15, 2014
Earmarks: Congress Mulls Return of Practice that Enriched Alaska
Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC
In Sen. Ted Stevens’ day, Alaska thrived on earmarks, the congressional practice of directing federal dollars to home-state projects. Lawmakers agreed in 2011 to end the tradition, in response to public outrage particularly over projects such as Alaska’s so-called “bridge to nowhere.” But now, there’s serious talk in Washington of bringing back the earmark.
Sealaska Reports $35 Million Net Loss Last Year
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast Alaska’s regional Native corporation had a $35 million net loss in 2013.
Oil Tax Referendum Groups Ramp Up Campaigns
Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau
With three months to go before the primary election, groups with a stake in the oil tax referendum are ramping up their campaigns.
How Much Is The Pipeline Worth?
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
This week the State Assessment Review board or SARB has been holding hearings in Anchorage over the dispute in how much the Trans Alaska Pipeline should be worth.
Municipalities and boroughs that the TAPS line runs through collect taxes on the line and those officials believe the value should be 13.7 billion. The pipeline owners who pay the taxes say it should be 2.7 billion. The Alaska Supreme Court recently reaffirmed a lower court decision that put the 2006 value of TAPS at nearly 10 billion.
The SARB board’s job is to look at all sides and decide what the tax value should be for this year. The decision will mean millions in tax dollars. Either in savings for the companies or in revenue for the municipalities.
Matt Buxton is a reporter for the Fairbanks Daily News Miner. One of the three SARB members is Bernard Washington who is the Chief Financial Officer for Alaska Public Media, the parent company of APRN.
TSA Offering Travelers A Chance To Streamline Security Experience
Jolene Almendarez, APRN – Anchorage
Travelers heading to the Anchorage airport this summer to catch a flight could face one less hurdle before they make it out of town. The Transportation Security Administration is offering flyers the chance to be streamlined through security checkpoints.
Clearwater Lodge Burns Down
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Clearwater Lodge near Delta Junction burned to the ground this morning. The rustic lodge was a popular gathering place for fishermen, birders and others who come to the Clearwater River.
Working Group Discusses Caribou Decline, Ambler Road
Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome
Caribou users in the Northwest Arctic Borough were told Wednesday that North America’s largest herd declined by more than a quarter in just two years. The group also questioned state officials on how a proposed road to the Northwest Arctic Borough would impact subsistence resources.
Olympic Aspirations: Training At The Alaska Boxing Academy
Josh Edge, APRN – Juneau
Alaska isn’t exactly known as a hotspot for boxing talent. But an Olympic caliber coach is hoping to change that. He started the Alaska Boxing Academy two years ago and already has a few athletes who are dreaming big about competing nationally and internationally.