Alaska News Nightly: March 24, 2015

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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Demonstrators protest Shell’s Chukchi drilling plans at ‘Wilderness Week’

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

It’s the 26th anniversary of America’s second largest oil spill, when an Exxon tanker leaving Valdez Arm ran aground, leaking 11 million gallons of North Slope Crude into Prince William Sound. In Washington D.C., environmental activists marked the occasion with a demonstration in front of the White House. Their message was less about Exxon and tanker safety than it was about Shell, and its plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea.

Bill to seize federal land in Alaska nears vote on state house floor

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A bill with the goal of seizing federal land is now one step away from a vote on the House floor.

House passes bill to constrain Walker’s gasline plan

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The Alaska House has fired its latest salvo at Gov. Bill Walker in an ongoing dispute over a gasline. The body passed a bill to keep him from pursuing an alternative to the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas project on Monday, ignoring a veto threat from the governor.

DOT diverts $1.3M meant for Anchorage bike infrastructure to other projects

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

More than $1 million originally planned for Anchorage bike infrastructure in 2012 is now being allocated for use on other road projects instead.

Bairdi quota could increase again as busy season winds down

Annie Ropeik, KUCB – Unalaska

Bering Sea crab fishermen are trying to get through as much Bairdi tanner quota as they can before the season ends next week. This year’s huge allocation put the fleet in a time crunch — and future seasons could bring more of the same. That’s thanks in part to a new preferred size for the species.

Investigating historical trauma endured by Native Americans, Alaska Natives

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

An Ojibwe woman and independent journalist recently visited Alaska for a series of stories on historical trauma and Native American mental health practices. Mary Annette Pember says the troubled lives of Native Americans reflect their troubled history.

Rural designation process could impact Saxman’s subsistence status

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

The Southeast Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council met in Saxman and Sitka last week to discuss and gather input on issues related to subsistence in the region, including a proposed change to the rural designation process.

That change could make a big difference to Saxman, which has been considered non-rural since 2007, for the purpose of federal subsistence rights.