Alaska News Nightly: September 25, 2009

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Obama Administration Opposes Counting Territorial Guard as “Active Duty”
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The White House is taking aim at funding for pensions for Alaska Territorial Guard members who served during World War 2.  The Obama Administration outlined its military spending priorities to the Senate on Friday – and listed a handful of things it opposes funding for.  It objects to counting the Territorial Guard members’ service during World War II as “active duty.”

Biologists Leaving For Unique Study on Polar Bears
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Biologists are heading out Saturday from Barrow to study polar bears in the Beaufort Sea from an icebreaker. The five-week research trip will mark the first time scientists have been able to study the bears in this environment, at this time of year. Eric Regehr is a US Fish and Wildlife polar bear biologist who will be on the icebreaker.

Enstar Hoping to Get New Gas Agreement
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
The southcentral natural gas company Enstar is hoping to get a gas supply agreement approved that would provide new gas supplies to existing customers and also bring in new customers in Anchor point. The agreement is with Anchor Point Energy and Enstar has asked the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to expedite the request’s approval.

Companies Still Interested in Alaska’s Natural Gas
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The current and projected low prices in US natural gas markets have not slowed down the two pipeline companies competing to carry North Slope natural gas to market.  Both TransCanada, with its state license approved under AGIA, and Denali Pipeline, a partnership project of BP and Conoco-Phillips, still expect to take their plans to potential producers next year.

Forest Service Gives OK for Timber Sale on Prince of Wales
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
The Forest Service has given the final go-ahead to a controversial timber sale on Prince of Wales Island.

Rural Subcabinet Scheduling More Trips
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Rural Action Subcabinet is putting together schedules now for future public meetings in rural communities – looking for ideas and suggestions from local residents on how to improve conditions there.

Juneau Boys and Girls Clubs Closing
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
The Juneau’s Boys and Girls Club is closing its doors, today – one of several across the state that may fall victim to a loss of federal funding. The Juneau clubhouse threw a goodbye party for the nearly 60 youth and volunteers who hang out there after school.

Begich Holding Town Halls on Health Care
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
As Congress hammers away on health care legislation in Washington, Democratic Senator Mark Begich is heading to Alaska to host town halls on health care this weekend.

Germans Win Trip to Unalaska
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
Most people come to Unalaska for jobs. Others come to visit historic sites or see wildlife. But two Germans came because they won an on-line contest from a throat lozenge company.