Posted: Monday, April 16, 2001

Taxi rules before Assembly

JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly will hear a report tonight about possible changes to city regulations that govern cabs and other commercial passenger vehicles.

According to the agenda packet, cab companies have asked the city to simplify regulations and stop enforcing market segments that separate cabs, shuttles, tours and charters. The companies also have asked for a break in fees for chauffeur licenses, vehicle inspections and seasonal drivers.

According to City Manager Dave Palmer, the changes would be an interim action to be followed by further amendments. No action is required by the Assembly.

The Assembly also will consider a resolution authorizing the manager to lease its Salmon Creek building to the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc. with an option to purchase. The city would lease the building for a dollar a year for three years. JAMHI would pay operating and maintenance costs.

The Assembly will also decide whether to put a down payment on land at Lemon Creek for a new city gravel pit. The ordinance would appropriate $200,000 of $450,000 for 35 acres of land plus two 60-foot easements and allow access to several hundred acres of property on the west side of Lemon Creek. According to city documents, the current city gravel pit will be depleted in the next three to five years.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in Assembly chambers.

Infrequent fish returns to Haines

HAINES - Eagles, gulls, seals and beachcombers are scooping up Pacific capelin, a smelt-like fish and harbinger of spring that appears here only occasionally.

State sportfish biologist Randy Ericksen told the Chilkat Valley News that hundreds of the 5-inch fish washed ashore along Portage Cove this month. Bluish-green and appearing translucent, capelin spawn near shore at high tide, and like salmon, expire afterward. They were last around Haines in late April 1993, when they washed up at the head of Lutak Inlet. They've also been known to spawn in Glacier Bay and Snettisham, south of Juneau.

What sends them up Lynn Canal is largely a mystery, Ericksen said. "It's a good question. They're not real prevalent in Southeast Alaska in terms of areas they spawn in. But their population fluctuates a lot. It's probably that they're in great abundance this year that we see them," he said.

Ericksen shipped off some of specimens to a Juneau lab, where they'll be reviewed for their age.

Capelin feed along the polar ice cap and are commercially fished in Norway, where they're rendered down for their oil.

Diver dies in Unalaska

UNALASKA - A 42-year-old man died last week while on a diving job in Unalaska.

Public Safety officials said it's unclear what caused the death of Craig Magone. They're hoping an autopsy will solve the mystery.

Officers were called to the offshore systems dock about 4:40 p.m. Thursday. Public Safety Lt. John Lucking said officers and workers with Magone Marine were unable to resuscitate Magone, the brother of company owner Dan Magone. Company spokesman Dick Shacher said Craig Magone was preparing to conduct an underwater inspection of the fishing vessel Sea Fisher.

Magone had just entered the water when he started thrashing about, Lucking said. He went underwater briefly before fellow workers brought him ashore.

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