Juneau Digest

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Boat catches fire in Auke Bay harbor

JUNEAU - An unoccupied shrimp boat, the Hat Trick, caught fire Tuesday evening in the Don Statter Boat Harbor in Auke Bay, fire officials said.

Windows were broken, but the fire left the exterior of the boat intact. Firefighters didn't know the extent of the damage to the boat's interior. They couldn't complete an investigation because they were waiting for the smoke to clear out of the cabin as of press time Tuesday.

The fire was first spotted by an owner of a neighboring boat, Fire Marshal Rick Etheridge said. Both boats were at the far end of the harbor's "B" float.

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The blaze was reported to emergency dispatchers just after 6 p.m., he said. When fire officials responded, flames could be seen from the parking lot.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation, but Etheridge said the leading cause of boat fires is related to oil stoves or heat lamps. Several eyewitnesses said they saw flames or smoke coming from the cabin area.

Johnse Ostman, the owner of a troller docked next to the Hat Trick, said he only saw smoke when he arrived to ensure his boat escaped damage. He said the boat belonged to Zeb Strong of Tenakee Springs.

This is the second boat fire reported this winter, Etheridge sad.

"We had one in Aurora Harbor last month," he said. "It has been a fairly mellow winter for boat fires."

Tonight's 'Tommy' preview canceled

JUNEAU - Tonight's preview of the rock opera "Tommy" at Perseverance Theatre has been canceled.

There will be a pay-as-you-can preview at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and runs through April 22.

For more about "Tommy," refer to Thursday's issue of Hooligan or visit the Web site at www.perseverancetheatre.org.

Planning Commission asks for suggestions

JUNEAU - The city Planning Commission is inviting comments on a new draft comprehensive plan for evaluating zoning, capital improvements, development, land use permits and budgets.

The document, the city and borough's main planning tool, was last updated a decade ago. The public comment process began last year, and has been incorporated into the current draft, the commission announced Tuesday.

The next series of community meetings is intended to set priorities for 261 proposed actions.

"We would like to hear what your '10 most wanted' priorities for implementing policies for affordable housing, year-round jobs, natural resources, transportation and community services and amenities are," said Susana Montana, staff planner for the city.

A revised plan will go to the Juneau Assembly before it can be officially implemented this summer, the statement said.

For a schedule of upcoming meetings and sites, see www.juneau.org/cddftp/CompPlanUpdate.php.

Man arrested after downtown robbery

JUNEAU - A 30-year-old Juneau man was arrested Tuesday after being accused of taking clothing and $50 worth of belongings from an acquaintance Sunday evening on Front Street.

Thomas Austin was charged with robbery and felony theft. He was lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center, with bail set at $20,000.

He was accused of robbing a 19-year-old man at 6:49 p.m. Sunday. The victim was threatened, but no weapon was used, Juneau police said.

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