State and local briefly

Posted: Thursday, May 11, 2000

Malaspina back in summer service

JUNEAU - This morning the Malaspina made its first run of the season up Lynn Canal.

For the third year, the Alaska Marine Highway System is using the Malaspina as a day boat running from Juneau to Haines to Skagway and back.

Since the tourism season keeps starting sooner and ending later, the Malaspina has been pressed into service a little early this year.

``We're seeing more shoulder season,'' said George Capacci, general manager for the ferry system. ``We're seeing more people coming up in May.''

The boat will make runs on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays through May 25, when it resumes a daily service. Daily runs will continue until Sept. 10.

The Malaspina is scheduled to leave Juneau at 7 a.m., with a stop in Haines at 11:30 a.m. and at Skagway at 1:45. The return trip starts at 4:15 p.m., with the Malaspina tying up in Haines at 5:15 and getting back to Juneau at 11.

Ketchikan businessman buys Taquanair

KETCHIKAN - A buyer has emerged for Taquan Air, which has been operating on a reduced schedule since December when Kootznoowoo Inc. said it was laying off the bulk of its workforce and offering it for sale.

Ketchikan businessman Brien Salazar announced Wednesday that his company, Venture Travel LLC, has purchased the name ``Taquan Air,'' along with five DeHavilland Beaver floatplanes, a Ketchikan waterfront lease and other assets from Taquan Air Service Inc.

Purchase price was not disclosed.

Governor vetoes optometry bill

JUNEAU - Gov. Tony Knowles has vetoed a bill that would have allowed optometrists to prescribe oral and injectable pharmaceutical drugs.

Knowles said he vetoed Senate Bill 78 because it would have expanded optometrists' drug practices without adequate training and education. He said the Legislature never sought the opinion of the Alaska State Medical Board when considering the bill.

The bill was sponsored by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, and Chairman Jerry Mackie said there was no opposition to the bill during the legislative process. ``The governor's veto is simply protection of the monopoly of the few ophthalmologists and doctors in the state,'' the Craig Republican said.

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