Posted: Sunday, January 28, 2001

Accident fouls commuter traffic

JUNEAU -- A two-vehicle accident Friday afternoon held up traffic to the Mendenhall Valley for about 40 minutes, firefighters said. It occurred at 12th Street and Egan Drive, blocking Egan's outbound lane. No one was seriously injured.

The crash was reported to Capitol City Fire & Rescue at 3:58 p.m. It involved a blue Subaru, which was totaled, and a van from The Plumbing & Heating Co.

Downtown firefighters transported the Subaru's driver, a boy, 17, to Bartlett Regional Hospital. Bartlett's nursing supervisor said Saturday that he was treated for forehead and hand lacerations and released. He was issued a citation for driving with no valid operator's license, police said.

"Somebody was in a hurry and pulled out in front of my driver (headed outbound on Egan)," said Rusty Martin-Powers, co-owner of The Plumbing & Heating Co. "We are thankful nobody was really hurt," Martin-Powers said. The white Ford van had to be towed from the scene; as of Saturday afternoon, Martin-Powers had not received from his insurance company an estimate of damage.

Boys & Girls Club holds grand opening

JUNEAU -- The formal grand opening of the Boys & Girls Club of Juneau is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Rather than a ribbon cutting to mark the event, there will be a ribbon tying, said manager Steve Bassett.

"Tying a ribbon together will symbolize bringing a community together," Bassett explained.

Staff will take visitors on tours of the club, "showing them what we have now and letting them know what we plan to have and letting them play around with the foosball tables," he said.

The national anthem and two more songs will be sung by the Juneau-Douglas High School choir. The Tlingit National Anthem will be performed by Children of All Nations.

The club opened in mid-August, Bassett said, and it has proved to be a safe, attractive, after-school haven for children 8 to 18. "Attendance has been a steady increase from an average of 10 kids a day to now 25 to 30 kids a day. It's continuing to increase," Bassett said. Hours are 2:30 to 7 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

The club is located at 8825 Mallard Street behind the Nugget Mall. For details, call 790-4535.

BP counsels patience in gas pipeline

ANCHORAGE -- High natural gas prices that have supercharged enthusiasm for a pipeline to export North Slope gas also create a potential barrier, a top BP executive said Friday.

Richard Olver, head of exploration and production for London-based BP, told a gathering of Alaska oil industry professionals that they should be realistic in their hopes for a natural gas pipeline.

Natural gas is now selling for about $7.29 per thousand cubic feet. Through the 1990s, it averaged $2.06, Olver said. If the price stays at $4 or more for an extended time, BP expects available gas reserves to swell to five times their current size as producers with fields in Canada, the Lower 48 and elsewhere step up production and explore for new sources, he said.

"That's not what Alaska needs because if that happens, Alaska gas would never be produced," Olver said following a speech at the annual meeting of The Alliance, a trade group of Alaska oil-service companies.

BP officials do not believe the natural gas price will hold at $4, he said.

Olver said it's not today's high price that matters. Rather, it's whether Alaska gas can be competitive with other supplies 20 or 30 years from now, he said.

Olver emphasized that BP and other major oil companies are committed to building a gas pipeline by 2007.

He noted that BP, Exxon Mobil and Phillips Petroleum have put 75 of their "best people" in an Anchorage office to study the pipeline project and the various routes the line could take. The companies will spend $75 million on the review.

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