Alaska News Nightly: March 21, 2008

The candidates for Alaska’s lone congressional seat dabate at ComFish 2008 in Kodiak. Plus, Anchorage looks at curbside recycling. And a new report outlines damage of Selendang Ayu oil spill. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Budget wrangling between legislature and governor Palin heating up
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The state Senate will open debate Monday on next year’s budget with a plan that spends $4.2 billion for operating governmental agencies. The difference in the budget totals between the Senate and the Governor is $208 million. The House passed a budget three weeks ago that also cut the governor’s level of spending – but the two plans differ on where those cuts should be made. After the Senate finishes work on its version, a final budget will be put together in a conference committee.

US House candidates debate at FishCom 2008
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
Five of the six candidates for Alaska’s lone seat in the US House of Representatives squared off for the first time last night as part of the ComFish tradeshow in Kodiak.  Incumbent Republican Don Young took on Republican challenger and hometown candidate Gabrielle LeDoux, as well as Democrats Diane Benson, Ethan Berkowitz, and Jake Metcalfe.

Anchorage looking at curbside recycling
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage could become the first city in Alaska to offer curbside recycling. The mayor’s office presented a comprehensive waste management plan to the assembly this afternoon. The curbside recycling component would eventually cover about 12,000 Anchorage households- mostly downtown and surrounding areas.

Eielson AFB trying to turn municipal waste into energy
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A new experimental power plant is in the works at Eielson Air Force Base.  Civilian energy consultant Kate Morrison says the generator will be fueled with municipal waste.

Examining the need for rural transportation infrastructure upgrades
Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
Villages across Alaska are in need of upgrades to their roads and airstrips.  But how to pay for repairs or even the basic installation of infrastructure is always in question.  The Tribal Transportation Symposium held in Fairbanks this week gave Alaskans ideas of ways to get their projects prioritized

Report outlines damage of Selendang Ayu oil spill
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
An early tallying of the damage from the 2004 Selendang Ayu oil spill suggests that sea birds were the hardest hit among the animals living in the affected areas of Unalaska Island.

Atlantis in southeast Alaska
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Scientists are finding strong evidence that Southeast Alaska’s outer coast used to have another layer of islands and peninsulas. They rose up as advancing ice-age glaciers pushed a bulge of land ahead of them as much as 15,000 years ago. And the now-sunken ground could harbor hidden evidence of the region’s first human inhabitants.