Alaska News Nightly: December 24, 2007

Presidential Candidate Ron Paul plans to open Alaska Office. Plus, a high-school philanthropist gives the gift of alternative energy. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Presidential Candidate Ron Paul to open Alaska Office
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Alaska is attracting more attention from candidates hoping to win the Republican and Democratic nominations. The campaign for Republican Ron Paul plans to open an Anchorage office as early as this week.

Omnibus spending bill ready to be signed into law
Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
Congress’s omnibus spending bill is on President Bush’s desk. If signed into law, it’ll bring dollars to Alaska, and delay passport requirements.

EPA releases draf report on cruise-ship pollution
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
The Environmental Protection Agency says the average cruise-ship passenger generates about 8 gallons of sewage a day while at sea. The agency has released a draft report on water pollution from cruise ships and is seeking comments on what it should do about sewage, graywater and other discharges.

Giving the gift of Alternative Energy

Scott Burton, APRN – Juneau
Its the season of giving and for many people that includes charitable giving. But its rare to find a high schooler willing to part with hard earned cash for a good cause. Shaun Nessheim is different. He gives money he earns at a part time job to classmates who share his passion for alternative energy.

Alaska Native Village corporations look for power in numbers.

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A new consortium of some of the entities that were formed by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act is being created. The new Alaska Native Village Corporation Association hopes to capitalize on the idea. They held their first meeting in Anchorage, bringing CEOs together from 65 village corporations, with more than 100 expressing interest in joining.

New research raises concern over effects of farmed salmon on wild stocks
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
The Canadian study is the severest warning to date about the possible hazards of salmon farming. In Sitka, the assembly wasted no time in passing a resolution supporting the protection of wild salmon.

Forest Service pushes back release of updated Tongass management plan
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey had announced the plan would be made public in November. The date was then pushed back to December. Tongass National Forest officials now say it will be released in January. The Forest Plan adjustment will spell out changes to the Tongass Land Management Plan.

Plowing in Petersburg
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
A group of Petersburg residents is calling on city and state officials to change the way some state roads are plowed in winter. Earlier this month, more than 70 local residents signed a letter of concern calling for the street plows to stop burying the sidewalks while they clear the streets.

Anchorage Assembly fails to pass percentage proposition
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
At its last meeting of 2007, a majority of the Anchorage Assembly unsucessfully tried to put a proposition on April’s municipal ballot raising the percentage of votes needed to elect the Anchorage mayor.