Alaska News Nightly: December 4, 2013

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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State To Receive $2 Billion Less In Next Fiscal Year’s Oil Taxes

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The State of Alaska is expecting to take in $2 billion less in oil taxes over the next fiscal year, according to the Department of Revenue’s fall forecast. That means a 30 percent drop in the state’s unrestricted general fund, the pool of money that the state’s elected leaders control.

Participants Voice Hopes And Realities At Domestic Violence Prevention Summit

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The Second Annual Prevention Summit kicked off on Tuesday in Juneau. Sponsored by the state Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the three-day summit at Centennial Hall brings together teams from 19 communities with the goal of sharing ideas about prevention.

Federal Budget Deal Might Include Higher Air Travel Taxes

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Brace yourselves for higher airline ticket fees, maybe. In Congress, budget negotiators are trying to craft a deal that would keep the government running and avoid automatic spending cuts without raising taxes. But lawmakers say the deal may include higher user fees, among them, a doubling of the security fee air passengers pay, from $2.50 per flight segment to $5.

Bills Would Help Communities Deal With Marine Debris

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Two bills aimed at helping coastal communities deal with marine debris advanced in Congress today.  Alaska Congressman Don Young, a co-sponsor, says they would make it easier for local, state and tribal governments to get money and training to address the effects of rubbish that floats to their shores.

Scientist Reprimanded Over Emails Settles Case

The Associated Press

An Alaska scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears helped galvanize the global warming movement has retired as part of a settlement with a federal agency.

Air Plan Deadline Extension Draws Critics

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

There’s push back on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed extension of time for states to develop plans to reduce fine particulate pollution. Clean air advocates are opposed to potential delay in improving air quality in communities suffering with air pollution, like Fairbanks.

Mayor Serves Assembly New Tennis Proposal

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

After two months of back and forth about whether a rec center with public tennis courts should be built in Anchorage with grant money from the state legislature, the city assembly voted the idea down at their regular meeting Tuesday night. But Mayor Dan Sullivan has already introduced a new proposal.

Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits Coming To An End

Josh Edge, APRN – Washington DC

The federal program extending unemployment benefits past the 26-week limit offered by the state will end on Dec. 28 unless Congress opts to extend it.

Skagway Residents Concerned About Short-Staffed Postal Service

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

Rural Alaska communities rely on mail service more than most. For many, it is a source of not just communication, but a supply line for things like medication and other necessities. That’s why Skagway residents are concerned with their postal service, after two employees were let go, leaving the post office short staffed and overwhelmed.

Alaska Columnist Preps For Springtime Gardens

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

In less than three weeks, the Winter Solstice will mark a gradual lengthening in the daylight hours in Alaska.  And, with more light, come thoughts of next spring’s garden. Anchorage Daily News gardening columnist Jeff Lowenfels is the author of two books on the soil and food web: Teeming With Microbes and Teeming With Nutrients.  Lowenfels says even though it’s frigid outside, it’s a good time to be thinking about gardening: