State and local briefly

Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Frigid weather here for the week

JUNEAU - Mittens, hats and leg warmers will be required garb through the weekend, weather forecasters say.

How low will it go? ``Areas which don't get wind, such as the Mendenhall Valley, may get minus 10,'' said National Weather Service Meteorologist Bob Tschantz. ``Other areas may get temperatures 10 to 15 above,'' Tschantz said.

Wind actually makes the air warmer, but creates a wind chill that robs the body of heat. The wind chill may reach 30 below downtown.

``Be careful, especially downtown,'' Tschantz said. ``Be ready for cold.'' A wind chill of minus 30 can freeze flesh instantly, and all bare skin should be covered under such conditions.

Tschantz said the cause of the cold is frigid air being pulled over Southeast from Alaska's Interior and Canada. The cold should linger through the weekend.

With the onset of colder weather with minimal snow cover, city water utility officials remind residents to check their water services. To avoid the freezing of water lines, leave a trickle of water running in the sink furthest from where the service line enters the house. Residents might also check heat tapes and insulation of lines, and make sure there is heat in the basement or crawl space. It also makes sense to see that crawl space vents adjacent to water lines are closed during any cold snap.

For more information, call the water utility at 780-6808, or visit their Web site at

State of State address is tonight

JUNEAU - Tonight at 7 p.m., Gov. Tony Knowles will deliver his annual State of the State speech to the Legislature.

The speech, which will be televised live on KTOO's ``Gavel to Gavel'' - cable Channel 4 - will be heavy on his budget proposal, said Bob King, Knowles' press secretary.

``He will use the speech to talk about his goals for this session as well as talk about the importance of citizenship for Alaska,'' King said.

The governor's goals for the session include getting a constitutional amendment allowing for a rural preference for subsistence on the ballot, creating more jobs, protecting children, improving education and finding a solution to the state's budget gap.

Beyond his legislative agenda, Knowles will discuss what it means to be a citizen of Alaska, and will reflect on examples of Alaskans who made a difference, King said.

Knowles will propose two bond packages - one to fund transportation projects and another to fund school improvements - and will call on the Legislature to approve the charter worked out between the administration and BP Amoco over that company's pending merger with Atlantic Richfield Co., King said.

Following the speech, leaders of the Republican-led majority will respond at a press conference, which will also be broadcast by ``Gavel to Gavel.''

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