Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2007

Conference looks into reproductive justice

Sound off on the important issues at

JUNEAU - The public is invited to a reception and presentation at 6 p.m. today at the Hangar on the Wharf as part of Women's Summit 2007, a two-day event aimed at raising awareness of reproductive rights.

The presentation will feature two nationally known speakers, Wyndi Anderson and Lisa Stone. Anderson is an educator with the New York-based National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and Stone is the executive director of Seattle Northwest Women's Law Center.

Both will talk about the way the movement for reproductive justice has changed in the past 30 years.

The summit was organized to bring together advocates for women's health rights from diverse fields, said Geran Tarr, director of the Alaska Pro-Choice Alliance, which organized the event. She estimated about 20 groups will be represented.

City wants bridge to be a top priority

ANCHORAGE - The idea to build a bridge across the Knik Arm was kept alive on Tuesday when the Anchorage Assembly recommended adding it to the city's list of top-priority transportation projects.

The Assembly's 8-2 vote is just a recommendation for the future of the bridge linking Anchorage and Point MacKenzie. Ultimately, a five-member committee of state and local officials will decide whether to include the bridge on the influential list.

Putting the project on the list would keep the much-debated project alive by triggering federal funding and letting investors know that Anchorage is committed to building the bridge. The authority estimates the bridge would cost about $600 million and plans for private investors to pay for most of it.

House OKs bill to cut back cruise ship law

ANCHORAGE - A House panel on Tuesday approved a bill that would weaken a voter-approved cruise ship law intended to make sure the vessels follow state and federal rules against water pollution.

The bill, introduced by Transportation Committee Chairman Kyle Johansen, R-Ketchikan, would eliminate a requirement that cruise ships carry independent observers to monitor pollution discharges in Alaska waters.

Defenders of the new law argue the bill defies the state constitution by calling for too many changes to the cruise ship initiative.

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