Alcohol sting nabs clerks, decoy
JUNEAU - Police and a state official investigating alcohol sales to minors found problems at several stores during an April 16 sting operation.
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board investigator Ed Kalwara said five markets were targeted. He said The Liquor Barrel and DeHarts sold liquor to the undercover agent while Fisherman's Bend, Carrs and Duck Creek Market did not.
"When the offenses are committed, the person directly responsible for the sale is charged by the police department. Then my office files charges on the licensee - but it could be a month or two before he gets the 'notice of violation,'" Kalwara said.
Officials also expect to file charges against an adult woman who bought alcohol for two minors in a store parking lot, Kalwara said.
At the Duck Creek Market, a clerk seized the drivers' license of an underage undercover agent and put it in the safe.
"That's exactly what he is supposed to do. That's standard procedure," said store owner Jack Manning. He said minors should know "that if they try to come here, they will lose their licenses."
"That was a good stroke (that Duck Creek seized the license)," said Kalwara. "I was so happy to hear that."
Commission to hear resort case again
JUNEAU - The Juneau Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously decided to collect more information about a proposed resort at North Tee Harbor and rehear the case. The commission denied a permit for the resort last fall. The Juneau Assembly remanded the issue back to the commission on appeal.
The commission asked the Community Development Department to provide more information about traffic and safety on Williwaw Way, property values in the area, a revised site plan for the proposal and an easement on site. The Assembly directed the commission to revisit findings of the project's impact on health and safety, neighborhood harmony and conformity with the land use plan. According to the application, the resort would include a lodge and camping facilities.
In other action, the commission unanimously approved a permit for a boiler building near the Princess Cruise Lines dock to produce and supply steam to cruise ships. The permit is the second part of a proposal from the cruise line to use local power while in port.
Housing project information available
JUNEAU - The Juneau Housing Trust is sponsoring a series of meetings about a new affordable housing project in Douglas.
The nonprofit group plans to build four homes this year for low- and moderate-income buyers. Groundbreaking for the Treadwell Prospect development is scheduled soon and the homes should be finished this fall, according to board president Stephen Sorensen.
Meetings about the project are at noon Thursday at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library, at 4:45 p.m. May 9 at the downtown library and at 7:30 p.m. May 24 at the Gruening Park community room.
The split-level homes will have four bedrooms, two baths and a carport. The trust hopes to sell each home for approximately $140,000, according to a press release. Funding for the project comes from the Alaska Housing Finance Corp., the National Bank of Alaska and Juneau's Housing First.
The trust has the goal of providing perpetually affordable housing to lower income buyers, Sorensen said. The group is able to offer below-market rates for the homes by retaining ownership of the land, he said.
For more information, contact the trust at 463-1276 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gasline forum set for tonight
JUNEAU - Three legislators, an administration official and an economist will discuss the potential for a natural gas pipeline during a community forum at Centennial Hall tonight.
The event, from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Hammond Room, features Reps. Eric Croft, an Anchorage Democrat, Jim Whitaker, a Fairbanks Republican, and Hugh Fate, a Fairbanks Republican; Natural Resources Commissioner Pat Pourchot; and Juneau economist Gregg Erickson.
Topics include possible state ownership of the pipeline, taxing reserves if a pipeline project doesn't go forward, possible tax breaks if it does, and providing natural gas to Alaska communities.
The event is sponsored by the Alaska Conservation Alliance.
Interior asks appeals court to reconsider Glacier Bay decision
ANCHORAGE - The Interior Department asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider whether the National Park Service must complete a full environmental review before it allows a 72 percent rise in cruise ships inside Glacier Bay National Park.
The court sided with the National Parks and Conservation Association in February by ruling the Park Service erred in doing only a partial environmental review for the cruise traffic increase.
"Glacier Bay Park is too precious an ecosystem for the Park Service to ignore significant risks to its diverse inhabitants," Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote.
No changes will be made to the number of cruise ships allowed while the case is under appeal.