Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fire alarm triggered at Governor's Mansion

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JUNEAU - Cooking smoke in a kitchen at the Governor's Mansion triggered a fire alarm and a response from Capital City Fire and Rescue at 9:58 a.m. Sunday.

The smoke was cleared, the fire alarm was reset, and no injuries were reported at the scene at 719 Calhoun Avenue.

City seeks planning comment in survey

JUNEAU - The city of Juneau Planning Commission is seeking comments and suggestions on a new draft comprehensive plan. A phone survey will be held today through Sunday.

The plan, last updated over a decade ago, serves as Juneau's main planning tool and is the basis for evaluating zoning designations, capital improvement projects, development and land use permits and city department budgets.

The Planning Commission seeks citizen recommendations for priorities for the 261 actions included in the plan and urges those contacted to take part.

City staff will send responses and comments from the survey to the Planning Commission at their meeting, from 7 to 9 p.m. on May 15 in the Assembly Chambers of City Hall.

The draft plan, all research reports, and the proposed changes to the plan's land use maps can be viewed on the city's Comprehensive Plan Update Web site:

Rally to recognize wounded soldiers

JUNEAU - The governor's office will hold a rally to recognize wounded soldiers from noon to 1 p.m. today on Fourth Street, between Main Street and Seward Street.

Fourth Street between Main and Seward will be closed to motor traffic during this time.

Questions should be directed to Katie Provost at 465-4025.

Rally for National Day of Prayer set

JUNEAU - A rally to mark the National Day of Prayer was scheduled for noon Thursday on Fourth Street at the Capitol between Main Street and Seward Street.

The area will be closed to auto traffic and drivers are advised to avoid the area. Questions about this event should be directed to the Rev. Gene Rosebecke at 789-2724.

Carbon limits bond measure fails

KENAI - Alaska lawmakers have elected not to deal with greenhouse gas emissions in a bond package for the Alaska Railroad Corp.

House Bill 229, now on its way to the Senate, authorizes the corporation to issue up to $2.6 billion in bonds, a portion of which could help finance Agrium's coal gasification project.

Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, tried to amend the measure to add a limit to the amount of carbon dioxide any future plant built with Alaska Railroad Corp. bond proceeds could emit.

His amendment, which failed 11-26, would have prevented the corporation from issuing bonds unless the Department of Environmental Conservation certified that the coal gasification plant would be designed and operated so it would emit no more CO2 per megawatt than the average amount released in 2006 by Chugach Electric Association's Beluga natural gas power plant near Tyonek.

Gara noted later that global warming and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are becoming major issues for Alaska. In rejecting his amendment, the House, he said, had taken a potential step backward.

Army identifies soldier killed in Iraq

FORT RICHARDSON - A New Jersey man has been identified as the Fort Richardson paratrooper killed last weekend while on duty in Iraq, an Army spokesman said Monday.

Sgt. Michael R. Hullender, 29, was killed by a roadside bomb while he was on foot patrol Saturday in Iskandariyah, Iraq, Capt. Richard C. Hyde said in a statement.

Hullender, 29, of Little Falls, N.J., was a medic who joined the Army in September 1998 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in May 2005.

He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

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