Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, April 09, 2004

Falvey named general manager of AMHS

JUNEAU - Alaska Department of Transportation Commissioner Mike Barton on Thursday appointed Captain John Falvey general manager of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

Falvey will take the place of George Capacci, who will leave his post on April 30 to take a position with B.C. Ferry Services Inc. in Victoria, British Columbia.

Falvey has worked with the ferry system for one year, serving as the fast vehicle ferry port captain in Juneau.

Prior to working at AMHS, Falvey worked for the oil company Unocal for 21 years, working up the ranks from third officer to unlimited master in command of the oil tanker Blue Ridge. He later worked in a variety of positions, building and operating high speed ferries.

"John's depth of experience in the maritime industry will be a valuable asset for the ferry system and marine highway as a whole," Barton said. "With the addition of two new vessels to our fleet, his skills and experience with fast vehicle ferries will be a large contributor to the success of our system as we transition."

62-year-old man dies from burn injuries

SEATTLE - A 62-year-old man flown from Juneau to Harborview Medical Center Tuesday night with first- and second-degree burns covering half of his body died Thursday from burn injuries to his lungs, Alaska State Troopers reported.

Gene Stuart was relighting a wood fire in his stove when a blaze consumed his remote cabin near Chilkat Lake.

Troopers reported that he tossed diesel fuel on the wood. They surmise that an ember in the stove caused the fuel to explode and spray Stuart, igniting his clothing.

Stuart was flown to Haines and then to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau before he was sent to Harborview in Seattle.

Firefighters extinguish blaze in two cars

JUNEAU - Capital City Fire and Rescue crews responded to a double car fire Wednesday in the Safeway parking lot in the 3000 block of Vintage Boulevard.

At 3:15 p.m., they found a fire in a Dodge Shadow had spread to the Subaru Legacy parked next to it, firefighters reported.

Eleven firefighters used two lines to put out the blaze in the fully engulfed Dodge and adjacent Subaru. They reported the Dodge ended up a total loss while the Subaru sustained damage to its front-left side.

No cause for the fire was reported Thursday.

Police respond to knife fight at Lena Beach

JUNEAU - Police responded to a report at 6:50 p.m. Wednesday of a fight involving about 20 people at one of the Lena Beach shelters. Two men were fighting and the rest of the crowd watched.

Officers reported there no injuries and no arrests. They seized a van and a large knife that was used by one of the men fighting.

Upon their arrival, they stopped several vehicles leaving the area and spoke with the occupants, as well as witnesses who were still at the scene. They also identified the combatants and interviewed them.

The case remains under investigation.

Cook Inlet villages file to revoke Unocal permit

KENAI - Four villages and a Homer-based environmental watchdog group are asking federal regulators to revoke Unocal's general permit for Cook Inlet oil and gas operations, saying the company has a long history of environmental abuses.

Chickaloon, Port Graham, Eklutna and Nanwalek, along with Cook Inlet Keeper, announced Wednesday they have filed a petition to revoke the permit with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The petition calls for individual permits to be issued for each Unocal facility in the inlet, rather than a general permit.

Unocal, which produces about 10,000 barrels of oil per day from its 10 offshore oil platforms, should be held to higher dumping standards than is required under the general EPA permit the company holds, according to petitioners.

In a response, Unocal said it has been working with the EPA, the Kenai Peninsula reported.

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