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12:44pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Local News

Oil Spill Causes Road Delays in Valley

An oil spill slowed traffic on Broadway Avenue yesterday afternoon. Windy weather blew a heating fuel tank off its pedestal and into the roadway. Homeowner Anavilla Alfonzo says she was enjoying a day off when she heard a loud crash.

“It just scared the hell out of me because I was thinking the roof fell or something because I’ve seen that on the news in Anchorage – there’s so much snow that the roof fell.”

Alfonzo looked out the window and saw her 200-gallon heating fuel tank in the roadway, spilling heating oil.

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12:23pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Crime

Supreme Court Issues Ruling in Unalaska Workers' Comp Case

s_falkow/flickr

The United States Supreme Court handed down a decision Tuesday in a workers' compensation case that started in Unalaska. 

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2:29pm

Thu March 22, 2012
Local News

Local Support Service Companies Planning Expansion

A couple of local businesses are making moves to service bigger boats, a positive indicator for the city’s marine industries.

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2:06pm

Thu March 22, 2012
Local Government

Tenants Dispute 8-plex Utility Charges

Emotions ran high at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting during a discussion of utilities at the city’s new eight unit housing complex. Some tenants of the building are upset over a shared utility charge they say was not part of their lease agreement. Full disclosure: the reporter is a non-lease-holding tenant of the building. 

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12:57pm

Thu March 22, 2012
Industry

Snow Crab Fishing Grounds Expanded

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game lent a hand to the struggling snow crab fleet over the weekend, opening up 650 square miles of new fishing grounds. This year’s snow crab season has been repeatedly put on hold because of ice conditions in the Bering Sea and the limited crab grounds are getting pretty well picked over. Although fishermen brought in almost 5.5 million pounds of crab last week, the number of crab caught in each pot was only about half the average.

Fish and Game biologist Britta Baechler says opening the area should provide some relief for the crab fleet.

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12:46pm

Thu March 22, 2012
Local News

Council Funds Energy Study, Scrap Metal Removal

Council decided during their Tuesday night meeting to fund a study of alternative energy sources. It’s been ten years since the last study and in the interim fuel costs have risen and technology has changed. Currently the city runs on diesel generators but the study will look at tidal, wave, wind, geothermal and liquid natural gas. Council awarded the $47,000 contract to the Maine-based Financial Engineering Company. FEC will do a cost-benefit analysis of the various potential energy sources and present the results to council later this year.

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7:44pm

Mon March 19, 2012
Science & Environment

Award for Refuge Biologist Saves Aleutian Research Project from Budget Cuts

(USFWS)

Major recognition for an Alaskan scientist could mean the survival of at-risk research projects in the Aleutian Islands.

Last week, Jeff Williams, a biologist for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge won the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s top award for science leadership. Williams has been working in Aleutians for over two decades, and he’s best known for his work on Kasatochi. Using the data he had previously collected on the volcano, he was able to examine how life returned to the area after a devastating eruption.

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4:47pm

Mon March 19, 2012
Regional

State, Industry Appeal Steller Sea Lion Closures

The State of Alaska and industry groups are challenging recent rulings upholding fisheries closures in the western Aleutians.  The appeal notice filed in district court Monday is the latest in a yearlong legal battle over the restrictions put in place to protect an endangered stock of Steller sea lions.

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1:30pm

Mon March 19, 2012
Regional

PenAir to End Atka, Nikolski Service

Effective July 1 PenAir will no longer be flying to Atka or Nikolski - or at least they hope not. For years the airline has received the federal government’s Essential Air Service subsidy in exchange for serving the two Aleutian communities, but the company announced recently that it would not be bidding on the subsidy this year.

PenAir President Scott Bloomquist says it’s been difficult to serve the communities. 

“We’re serving them both with the wrong type of aircraft.”

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1:20pm

Fri March 16, 2012
Industry

Gov. Parnell Announces NPFMC Picks

Governor Sean Parnell has announced his picks for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. 

Two seats will open on the Council in August and Parnell is casting his vote with the Anchorage residents who currently fill them.   Ed Dersham and Dan Hull are both finishing their first full terms as councilors.

Dersham is a charter boat operator and lodge owner in Cook Inlet.  He took his seat on the Council in 2007 after another councilor resigned.  He’s also served on the state’s Board of Fisheries.

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12:43pm

Fri March 16, 2012
Regional

While Federal Budget Tightens, Young Reiterates Need for Earmarks

While the Republican party is preparing to unveil a slimmed-down budget plan next week, Rep. Don Young is back in Alaska assuring state legislators that he’s working to bring as many federal dollars to the state as possible.

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12:40pm

Fri March 16, 2012
Regional

Legislature Working to Develop Arctic Policy Commission

A meeting of the Northern Waters Task Force
(The Office of Sen. Bert Stedman)

The state legislature is making progress toward establishing an Arctic policy commission.

At a hearing of the House Finance Committee on Wednesday, Rep. Reggie Joule explained that even though Alaska is the country’s only Arctic state, it’s often left out of conversations about federal policy concerning the region. He thinks that having a body responsible for developing an Arctic strategy would give the state more credibility with regulators in Washington.

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12:32pm

Fri March 16, 2012
Local Government

Unalaska Officials Work to Put Best Face Forward in Juneau

Every year, Unalaska sends a delegation to the state capital to lobby for local projects. But what actually happens on these trips?

KUCB’s Alexandra Gutierrez traveled to Juneau to find out.

12:37pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Regional

Supreme Court Orders New Redistricting Plan

The Alaska Supreme Court has ordered the state Redistricting Board to redraw its proposed map of legislative boundaries.

A day after hearing oral arguments in the case, the Supreme Court issued its order late Wednesday afternoon.

The Justices point to an earlier case, Hickel v. Southeast Conference, in which the Court ruled that while the federal Voting Rights Act takes precedence over the Alaska Constitution, it should not be given so much weight that the constitution is “unnecessarily compromised.”

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5:37pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Industry

Risk Assessment Moves Into Next Phase

Maritime traffic in the eastern Aleutians: Aug 1, 2009-Nov 1, 2009
Marine Exchange of Alaska

With thousands of ships passing through the Aleutian Islands every year along the Great Circle shipping route, it’s inevitable that every once in a while one of them will encounter a problem.

In the past, rough weather and a lack of readily available response resources have resulted in some of those problems turning into disasters.  But since 2009 the Aleutian Islands Risk Assessment advisory panel has been working to improve prevention measures and response capabilities in the region.

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