State and local briefly

Posted: Friday, May 26, 2000

Ferry system making schedule changes

JUNEAU - Due to heavy fog, the ferry Taku is running seven hours behind schedule. Alaska Marine Highway officials anticipate the ferry to be back on schedule by Sunday. Travelers are encouraged to check with their local terminal for updated schedule information or call (800) 642-0066.

Ferry system travelers may need to be aware of other schedule changes as well. One change is an increase in service to Juneau for Celebration 2000 from the various ports throughout Southeast.

Additionally, due to late delivery of the LeConte from Bellingham Bay Shipyard in Washington, all sailings of the Taku and Aurora will be modified. AMHS officials expect the LeConte to return to service, at the earliest, on June 8.

For detailed schedule information, contact the AMHS at: or by phone at (800) 642-0066.

Coast Guard wins more honors

JUNEAU - U.S. Coast Guard Station Juneau crewmembers were honored Thursday as ``the nation's finest Coast Guard station.''

Rep. Bill Hudson, a Juneau Republican, represented the Legislature while honoring crewmembers at a ceremony at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.

According to the proclamation, the 1999 Station Juneau crew achieved an unprecedented level of performance when members set an all-time record for fewest discrepancies during their 1999 Coast Guard Standardization Team visit.

The crew was evaluated on efficiency, safety and unit operational readiness. During the visit, they conducted boat casualty drills, operational exercises, and gave written and verbal exams.

The crew has 16 members, led by Chief Petty Officer David E. Rowlett.

In 1998 and 1999, the crew conducted 192 rescues, saving 32 lives and assisting 206 people, according to the Coast Guard. Their efforts saved more than $14 million in potential property damage.

Students place high in science competition

JUNEAU - Two Juneau-Douglas High School students received fourth-place awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Detroit earlier this month.

Sophomores Lia Carpeneti and Sarah Moore were among 19 teams to get fourth-place team awards in the fair, placing them in the top 45 of 187 team projects. There were also about 1,000 individual projects in the fair, from the United States and other countries.

Their project looked at whether garlic has antifungal properties. They hoped a positive finding would show that the herb could replace artificial preservatives in food products.

``The answer to our hypothesis is another hypothesis,'' Moore said. ``And the judges said that was fine, that's what science is.''

The Juneau students were a little abashed when they compared their fold-out cardboard display with elaborate, expensive displays by students from foreign countries or private science academies.

``Being at the international science fair was the most intimidating thing I've done in my life,'' Moore said.

The judges, who were microbiologists, didn't say why the students were among the winners. Carpeneti and Moore won $500 as a team and two ``snazzy green ribbons,'' Carpeneti said.

Lamonts certificates redeemable by mail

JUNEAU - Lamonts customers holding gift certificates cannot redeem them in Juneau; they must mail the originals to Washington state to seek refunds, a liquidation coordinator said.

Bob Foster, who is handling the liquidation of the local Lamonts store, said today that gift certificates fall into two categories: those issued before Jan. 5 and those issued between Jan. 5 and May 10.

In the first category, customers must mail the original certificate to Lamonts Apparel Inc., Attention: Gift Certificate Redemption Department, 12413 Willows Road NE, Kirkland, Wash., 98034. The certificate should be accompanied by a letter containing the owner's name and address. Upon receipt, Lamonts will send a notice of claim form. After the form is filled out, it can be filed with other bankruptcy claims.

In the second category, original certificates are mailed to the same address, but customers will be given a refund, Foster said. For more information, call (425) 814-5745.

Congress OKs fishing insurance

ANCHORAGE - Alaska's wild salmon are now no different than a field of corn or soybeans when it comes to losses by natural causes.

Congress on Thursday approved a pilot program that will allow salmon fishermen to buy federally subsidized insurance protecting them against bad seasons. The program was proposed by Alaska U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, who called fishermen ``farmers of the sea.''

Rules for the salmon insurance program have yet to be worked out by the federal Department of Agriculture.

But under Stevens' provision, fishermen would be able to insure their catch starting in October 2001.

A basic policy would permit a fisherman to buy subsidized insurance that would replace up to a quarter of his annual fishing income.

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