Posted: Tuesday, March 06, 2001

Aircraft tax break back in committee

JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly on Monday sent back to a committee a proposed ordinance to give a property tax break to quiet aircraft.

The assembly's Planning and Policy Committee wants another shot at crafting the ordinance, said committee member Ken Koelsch.

The ordinance as written would exempt quiet aircraft but defines those only as helicopters having a flyover calculated at one noise level. Koelsch said the ordinance should include other types of aircraft and make clear that lower noise levels also qualify for the tax break.

The committee is scheduled to meet at noon March 19 in the assembly chambers.

Ice classic tripod is up on Tanana River

NENANA - The organizers of the Nenana Ice Classic on Sunday set up the tripod that will trip when the river ice goes out, marking the unofficial arrival of spring in Interior Alaska.

Those who guess the exact time and date that the tripod falls will share a cash prize. Last year's jackpot, totaling $335,000 was shared by 18 winners.

The ice is 44 inches thick, said Cherrie Forness, Ice Classic manager. When breakup appears imminent the tripod will be hooked up to a clock on the shore, which will record the exact time the tripod falls.

Ahtna names new president

ANCHORAGE - Ahtna Inc. has hired a new president.

Ken Johns of Copper Center was hired to fill the top job until the corporation's annual meeting in June, said John Craig, chairman of the regional Native corporation's board. Johns replaces former Ahtna resident and chief executive officer Darryl Jordan, who was dismissed last month after an 8-1 vote of the board.

Johns will take a leave of absence from his position as president and chief executive officer of the Copper River Native Association. Johns also serves on the board of the Alaska Federation of Natives.

Jordan's removal followed months of allegations of mismanagement of the Glennallen-based corporation's assets.

Knowles pitches gasline in D.C.

JUNEAU - North Slope gas development and oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be the topics this week when Gov. Tony Knowles testifies before a congressional committee.

Knowles is scheduled to speak to the House Resources Committee on Wednesday, said Bob King, his press secretary.

Knowles has put building a pipeline from the North Slope's vast gas reserves to energy-hungry Lower 48 markets at the top of his agenda this year. Meanwhile, many Alaska officials hope the election of President Bush, Republican control of Congress and tight energy markets will prompt the federal government to open the refuge to drilling.

After his appearance in Washington, Knowles plans to travel to Calgary to give the keynote speech at the Arctic Gas Symposium on Thursday morning, King said.

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