Alaska News Nightly: November 10, 2009

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Foster Chosen For Vacant House Seat
Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome
Governor Sean Parnell (R) came to a blizzard-struck Nome on Tuesday to announce his choice for Western Alaska’s vacant House District-39 seat: Neal Foster, a Democrat.

The Alaska Purchase: Was it Folly?
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
When the US bought Alaska from the Russians in 1867, it may have been known as ‘Seward’s Folly’. But conventional wisdom is that Alaska has proved that initial criticism wrong.  That the state’s great natural resource wealth has paid for the Seven-point-two million dollar purchase price many times over. But professor David Barker says “folly” may not be such a bad description, at least when you consider the pure economics
of the transaction.

Grass Basket Weaving Tradition a Fine Art
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Grass basket weaving is an ancient and fine art that many Alaska Native women continue today. The types of baskets can vary with the region and the Native people engaging in the art.  The woven grass sock artwork of Inupiaq and Aleut weaver June Pardue is a study in beauty, function and it recaptures a practical way of keeping your feet dry.

Seward Heating System May Implications for Other Coastal Areas
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
A clean energy consultant believes a groundbreaking heating system in Seward using seawater may have applications in Sitka and other coastal communities. Anchorage-based engineer Andy Baker has been assisting the Seward Sea Life Center to design and install the seawater system, which uses a heat exchanger in conjunction with a fairly conventional heat pump system to extract BTU’s from the chilly waters of Resurrection Bay.

Former Ferry, Kalakala, May Have New Home
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
The former Washington State Ferry Kalakala currently tied up in Tacoma, Washington, may have a new home soon. This historic ship spent nearly half its life as a cannery in Alaska.

Yukon River Quest Already Drawing Strategies
Tara Bicknell, KHNS – Haines
Marathon paddlers are starting to think about next summer’s Yukon River Quest. Registration opened earlier this month for the 12th annual wilderness race, which runs from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Organizers say it’s the world’s longest yearly canoe and kayak marathon.