Alaska Digest

Wire reports

Posted: Thursday, August 03, 2006

Baby porpoise found on Cook Inlet beach

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KENAI - A baby porpoise found by setnetters on a beach near Nikiski is recuperating at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.

The setnetters tried repeatedly to push the porpoise back into the water, but the surf and rising tide forced it back onto the beach.

Dino Mays was riding a three-wheeler Saturday evening when he found the 212-foot-long porpoise. He ran to a nearby fish camp and told Sarah Hudkins and others what he had discovered. Hudkins called SeaLife Center officials who told her how to care for the porpoise until rescuers arrived.

"My daughter just stayed with the porpoise the whole time," she said.

Jason Wettstein, spokesman for the SeaLife Center, said the porpoise was at the center's rehabilitation center. He described its condition Wednesday as "up and down."

Reporter put back on governor's press list

JUNEAU - A freelance journalist is back on Gov. Frank Murkowski's press list two days after the governor's top aide crossed him off for rudeness.

Longtime Juneau reporter Bob Tkacz was cut off from communications this week after walking out of a press conference held by Murkowski last Friday.

Chief of Staff Jim Clark said he may have acted hastily and he had not reviewed video of the news conference to see what had happened.

Tkacz said he grew frustrated when the governor twice cut off his questions Friday. As he got up to leave, Murkowski commented on Tkacz's departure.

He answered that the governor did not want to answer questions but was simply looking for an audience.

"I didn't shout. I didn't use any profanity," Tkacz said.

Clark said he had not known Tkacz's comment was a reply to the governor's comment.

Cruise ship initiative wins city clerk's OK

Sitka - Sitkans for a Clear Vote received permission Wednesday from the city clerk to collect signatures on an initiative petition, which would put a question on the ballot in the Oct. 3 city election regarding a cruise ship dock at Sawmill Cove Industrial Park.

The city clerk's office had rejected the previous initiative petitions filed by the group, ruling that the wording was unclear, according to the Sitka Sentinel.

The initiative, if passed, would require a public vote before the city sells, leases or disposes of land for a dock for cruise ships more than 300 feet long.

The group needs to collect 671 signatures by Aug. 10 to put an ordinance before voters.

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