Alaska News Nightly: September 18, 2014

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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Alaska Delegation Divided on Arming Syrian Rebels to Fight ISIL

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Congress today approved President Obama’s request to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight the terrorist group known as ISIS, but no one in the Alaska delegation was happy about it.

One-Man PAC to Target Four House Races

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

It’s not unheard of for wealthy individuals to get involved in ballot measure fights. This year alone, grocery magnate Barney Gottstein put $100,000 toward a failed oil tax referendum, and financier Bob Gillam has spent more than $1 million supporting an initiative to slow the development of Pebble Mine.

But what is unusual is for a single person to sweep into legislative races and operate basically like a Super PAC would. Attorney Brad Keithley is doing just that, targeting a handful of Anchorage races.

State Takes Step Toward Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Until recently, Governor Sean Parnell, like his two Republican predecessors, and Governor Wally Hickel before them, used lawsuits, legislative initiatives and policies to dispute or diminish tribal authorities on several fronts. The Parnell administration now is taking a step toward acknowledging tribal sovereignty.

Researchers, Academics Convene On Arctic Development Issues

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Researchers and academics from multiple nations are gathering at the University of Alaska Anchorage this week to aggregate research on Arctic development. There are two efforts underway. The first is the initial meeting of Arctic Frost or Arctic Frontiers of Sustainability, looking at resources and development in a changing north. The idea is to bring together existing international research, clarify the new knowledge and get the information out to the public and schools. Dr Diane Hirshberg is the Professor of Education Policy and director of UAA’s Center for Alaska Education Policy Research. She says in addition  to Arctic Frost, the second Arctic Human Development report will be released. The base line study was conducted 10 years ago.

DOT Puts Out New Juneau Access Project Document

Jeremy Hsieh & Jennifer Canfield, KTOO – Juneau

DOT puts out new Juneau Access Project document

Thursday, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities put out a draft document that addresses environmental issues stemming from the battle to extend Juneau’s only highway north toward Haines and Skagway.

Groups Hope MSA Update Won’t Move Fish Conservation ‘Backwards’

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

A number of regional fishing associations are joining forces to strengthen the Magnuson-Stevens Act.The Sitka-based Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association announced last week (9-9-14) that it’s reached an agreement with the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and several east-coast industry groups to form the Fishing Community Coalition. The new organization wants to ensure that Congress makes protecting fish stocks a priority as it prepares to reauthorize the nation’s most important law governing the harvest of seafood in federal waters.