Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, May 9, 2019

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As the ice goes, Arctic nations find their bonds are tested

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

In the end, the eight nations of the Arctic Council signed a short statement, affirming their commitment to peace and cooperation. But two major issues loomed over the Arctic Council meeting in Finland this week, and they pull at the seams of Arctic unity.

Attorney general says school funding plan is unconstitutional

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

A disagreement between the Legislature and Gov. Mike Dunleavy over school funding may be heading toward a constitutional showdown — one that could affect whether the state sends money to school districts.

Dissent at DEC emerges over roll-back of PFAS regulations

Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The Dunleavy administration’s decision to redefine PFAS levels considered safe in drinking water has caused dissension among a senior staffer working on contaminated sites. Lawmakers are scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue later this week.

How a small, Arctic village found itself in the middle of Alaska’s new oil boom

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Alaska is on the verge of a new oil boom — and the village of Nuiqsut is right in the middle. Now the village faces tough choices. How do you maintain a way of life when the oil industry is knocking on your door?

In Utqiaġvik, temperatures are warmer, and the ice is changing. What does that mean for whalers?

Ravenna Koenig, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Fairbanks

“I think it was a little more stable, and there was a little bit more assurance that the ice you were on was not going to disintegrate on you that easy,” said whaling captain Gordon Brower.

Annual volunteer effort to clean up Anchorage waterways commences

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Anchorage’s citywide creek cleanup started today as volunteers began picking up what – each year – amounts to hundreds of pounds of often muddy and wet trash from waterways. Organized by the Anchorage Waterways Council, the clean up aims to remove unsightly garbage and reduce negative impacts to fish, birds and other wildlife.